PLANS for a new microbrewery in Botley will not only be serving up beer but also employment opportunities to marginalised members of the community.

Paul Humpherson, a criminal barrister and director of Tap Social Movement Ltd, wants to put his business idea to good use and offer training and employment for people who have been through the criminal justice system.

The company was co-founded with Amy Taylor, a senior policy adviser at the Ministry of Justice, and Tess Taylor, craft beer and coffee shop general manager.

Mr Humpherson said: "What is really important about our proposal is that this is not just a microbrewery.

"This is a social enterprise and we are dedicated to offering chances to help people get a skill and get them on the right path again.

"We will be offering jobs and training in the brewery itself and we will also act as a broker for the burgeoning brewery industry."

The proposal would see a microbrewery established in an empty industrial unit on the Curtis Industrial estate.

Unit 27 has been empty for several years and there are no houses close to where it might be built.

Mr Humpherson added: "The brewery will manufacture and distribute craft beers created using the traditional infusion mashing technique and the best available malted barley, cereals and hops from Oxfordshire farms wherever possible.

"Finished beers will be sold directly to customers in the city and wider Oxfordshire and also to Oxford University's college bars.

"We are really excited about this project and hope the local community can get behind us on it.

"This is a great opportunity to provide vital support to help some people change their lives around."

Ms Taylor, who will be beginning a PhD in criminology at Oxford University, said: "My partners and I all have experience working across the criminal justice system on the front line as well as a keen knowledge of the brewing industry.

"We are working with local community rehabilitation companies and prisons to secure placements on a number of different work streams including brewing as well as marketing, branding and packaging and distribution."

Beers from the brewery will be sold directly to free houses, pub groups, clubs and bars and will also be available at craft beer shops and other retailers.

Mr Humpherson said the brewing will be a "natural and low-tech process" with little waste that cannot be recycled.

There are no plans to change the outside of the empty building except to install ventilation as "it will still be and look like an industrial unit".

North Hinksey Parish Council has said it has no objections to the plans.

The application was submitted to Vale of White Horse earlier this month.

Residents have until August 2 to comment on the consultation before a decision is expected to be made on August 31.

For more information search application number: P16/V1748/FUL on the Vale's website.