A multi-million-pound distillery and visitor centre will create up to 50 jobs when it opens in Wooler, Northumberland, a first for the county.
Details have been announced for the development of the former Redpath’s Yard into Northumberland’s first whisky distillery.
Located in the market town of Wooler, and with millions of pounds worth of investment, this is set to become both a major tourism attraction and key local employer.
The Ad Gefrin Distillery will reinvigorate the local economy, help to retain young people in its workforce, and regenerate a site which has been disused for over twenty years.
Ad Gefrin will be developed and operated by the Ferguson family - a well-known and respected local family who have successfully run businesses in Northumberland across four generations for over 100 years.
Local people are invited to learn more about the project and to share their views and memories at a public consultation in Wooler between the 23rd and 31st August.
Subject to the relevant planning consents, it is hoped that the distillery and visitor centre will open its doors by 2020, with the first whisky, the Ad Gefrin Single Malt, not expected until 2028.
On announcing details of this exciting new development for Wooler and the Glendale area as a whole, Alan Ferguson OBE said: “This is a very bold undertaking for our entire family, involving my wife Eileen, our five children and myself.
“Our ultimate aim is to develop a unique single malt whisky and a major attraction, as well as opening a new chapter in the cultural developments and traditions of Glendale.
“Ad Gefrin is a multi-million-pound project which will totally transform this site, and we believe the community, local businesses and local producers will all benefit.
“Our proposal is probably one of the largest single inward investments ever made in North Northumberland.
“Ad Gefrin will be a key part of the long term process of much-needed regeneration in this area, and we believe it will enhance our community for generations to come.”
Local feedback on the plans has been extremely positive and Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism said: “The Ad Gefrin development is extremely exciting for North Northumberland and the county as a whole.
“The benefits that tourism provides for our economy are significant, with £686m spent by tourists in Northumberland during 2017, an increase of 8.5% on the previous year.
“Our long term aim is to encourage visitors to explore all parts of our beautiful county, including our rural upland areas, and this development will encourage this to happen, providing a focal point for visitors throughout the year, creating significant numbers of new jobs and ensuring the continuation of vibrant and thriving local communities within Wooler and the surrounding area.”
Chris Ferguson, who has spent more than a decade working in developing and creating major visitor experiences, who will be developing the project along with Eileen Ferguson, said: “We are incredibly excited to bring whisky distilling back to Northumberland.
“Working in partnership with the local community, and with the best craftsmen in the industry, we aim to create something truly innovative and distinctively Northumbrian.
“We want to build a lasting legacy for the town and county that can celebrate the best of Northumberland, our culture and history now, and in the future.”
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