State Management Scheme

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The State Management Scheme (or 'the scheme') was the UK government's take over of the brewing, distribution and sale of liquor in three regions of the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1973. [1] The main focus of the scheme was centred on Carlisle and the surrounding district close to the armament factories at Gretna founded in 1916 to supply explosives and shells to the British Army during the First World War.

There were three schemes, Carlisle & Gretna, Cromarty Firth and Enfield. In 1921, Carlisle and Gretna was split into two separate areas, Carlisle was the larger part and supplied some beer to Gretna. In 1922 the Enfield scheme ended and its public houses sold back to private enterprise. The Cromarty Firth scheme did brew beer.

The scheme was denationalised by Heath's 1971 Conservative Government and its assets sold at auction in six lots, mostly to established brewing interests.


The Redfern Inn at Etterby, Carlisle

A central pillar of the scheme was the ethos of disinterested management; public house managers had no incentive to sell liquor, which supported the aim of reducing drunkenness and its effects on the arms industry. It had a 'No Treating' policy which operated from 1916 to 1919 forbidding the buying rounds of drinks.


Significant to the scheme was the refurbishment of public houses and the demolition and replacement of substandard premises. Most of the new premises were designed by the scheme's chief architect, Harry Redfern in his New Model Inn style which influenced the design of public houses in the rest of the UK.


  1. ^ Seabury, Olive. "The Carlisle State Management Scheme: Its Ethos and Architecture. A 60 year experiment in regulation of the liquor trade". Bookcase Carlisle. ISBN 978-1-904147-30-5. 

Further reading[edit]

  • The Carlisle State Management Scheme: Its Ethos and Architecture, Olive Seabury, Bookcase Carlisle 2007, ISBN 978-1-904147-30-5
  • A City Under The Influence - The story of half a century of state pubs, John Hunt, Lakescene 1971, ISBN 978-0-9502120-0-5