Historic Sligo mansion to become distillery

28th April, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

Permission has been granted to transform a Palladian estate in Sligo, Ireland, into an Irish whiskey distillery and tourist attraction.

Hazelwood-House

A new distillery will be built on the grounds of the 18th century Hazelwood House

The historic building, called Hazelwood House, was designed by architect Richard Cassels and built in the early 1700s.

Hazelwood itself will be restored under approved plans, while a disused factory on the site will be transformed into a 1,700 square metre distillery and visitors’ centre, reports The Irish Times.

Software developer David Raethorne purchased the site in 2014 and intends to transform it into a flagship tourist attraction. Production of Hazelwood’s single malt Irish whiskey is expected to commence in 12-18 months.

Trade body the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) welcomed news of Raethorne’s approved planning application.

“The Irish whiskey industry continues to bring jobs and investment to towns and cities across Ireland and I welcome the news from Sligo today,” said Miriam Mooney, head of the IWA.

“With a wealth of new entrants in the Irish whiskey sector, we will continue to see a significant number of new tourism offerings opening over the coming years, with visitor centres opening in conjunction with whiskey distilleries.”

According to the IWA, 17 Irish whiskey distilleries are set to start production by the end of July this year, while a further 17 are in various stages of planning.

The modern Irish whiskey sector has long-been sustained by just four leading distilleries: Cooley, Bushmills, Kilbeggan and Midleton, the home of Jameson, but the sector has seen a huge surge in applications to build new sites.

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