Finance Durham completes first deal investing into craft distillery

Sarah Slaven, Jon Chadwick, SImon Henig, Michael Vassallo

Durham distillery secures £250k investment

The Finance Durham fund managed by Maven Capital Partners has completed its first deal, investing £250,000 in craft distillery, Durham Gin.

Durham Gin is a small-batch craft distillery that creates spirits using a 400 litre copper pot. The company, which was founded in 2014 by former NHS chief Jon Chadwick, produces gin, vodka and gin-based liqueurs sold under the Durham Gin and Durham Vodka brands.

The distillery’s gin contains fresh water from a natural spring in County Durham and 10 separate botanicals, including floral flavours such as juniper, elderflower and pink peppercorn.

The company moved into its current Langley Park distillery in January 2014, selling its first bottle of Gin just one month later. It quickly secured shelf space in flagship stores across the North East and now supplies national retailers such as Fenwick and Majestic Wines.

Last year, sales of gin in the UK increased by 16%, equating to 43 million bottles sold across the country. The UK Gin market is now worth over £1bn and is expected to rise to £1.3bn by 2020.

The investment in Durham Gin will allow it to relocate to central Durham to accommodate greater production capacity and storage facilities. The new site will also include a new visitor centre, offering guided distillery tours and events.

The Finance Durham funding will also support the launch of Durham Whisky, the North East’s first ever Whisky.  The first bottles will be available for purchase in 2021, and customers can pre-order their bottles from the first batch distilled later this year.

This investment is the first deal from the £20m Finance Durham fund set up by Business Durham, part of Durham County Council. The Fund is managed by Maven Capital Partners, which provides flexible funding packages tailored to SMEs’ growth requirements.

Jon Chadwick, Founder of Durham Gin said: “It has been a fantastic process working with Maven’s local team, which has a long-standing experience in assisting start-ups like ourselves go from strength to strength. Maven took time to understand our business and our particular needs thoroughly, tailoring the investment to support our growth strategy.”

Michael Vassallo, investment director at Maven said: “We are delighted to support Durham Gin’s growth plans through the Finance Durham Fund investment. Jon is a real entrepreneur with a very talented team behind him. This is an exciting business consisting of driven and passionate individuals, with a product tailored to an increasing market demand. As the first of many growing businesses the Fund will support, we look forward to helping Durham Gin in their quest to become the region’s distiller of choice.”

Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are pleased to have invested the first part of the Finance Durham Fund into a real home-brewed, local success story. We are seeing more and more firms start up and grow here in County Durham, and the £20m Durham Finance Fund will support those regional businesses as they scale up, creating employment locally and adding to the economic prosperity of the County. “