A conservation group is due to meet officials in Cork this week over plans to try and preserve the historic Beamish & Crawford brewery owned by Heineken, according to reports.

Representatives of the National Conservation and Heritage Group (NCHG), which have for several months expressed concerns over the planned sale of the site by Heineken, are understood to be meeting with officials at the Netherlands Embassy in Ireland today (21 May).

The group is also hoping to schedule a meeting with Heineken global directors to discuss the brewery's future following the Dublin meeting, the Irish Times reported.

Meetings between the group and Heineken have already taken place earlier this year.

Heineken acquired the brewery late last year as part of its buyout of Scottish & Newcastle with Carlsberg. It subsquently decided to halt production and sell the site.

The NCHG wants a microbrewery and visitor centre installed on the site in order to "preserve its legacy" as the oldest brewery in Ireland.

Declan Farmer, corporate affairs manager of Heineken Ireland, said that as an organisation with "very deep roots" in Cork, the company felt it "extremely important" to keep an open dialogue with the NCHG to keep them informed of its initiatives and that it is "mindful" of the historical nature of the site in general.

"We take this whole issue very seriously and will strive to ensure that all necessary actions will be taken in this regard as part of our commitment to the sensitive decommissioning of the site," Farmer said.