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English whisky distillery gains £4.6m

Work has begun on the construction of a new English whisky distillery and visitor centre in Northumberland following a £4.6 million (US$6.5m) investment.

L-r: architect Richard Elphick with Chris, Eileen and Alan Ferguson
L-r: architect Richard Elphick with Chris, Eileen and Alan Ferguson

The family behind Ad Gefrin first revealed plans for the new site in August 2018. Once complete, the facility will bring English whisky production back to the county for the first time in 200 years.

Due to open in autumn 2022, the Ad Gefrin distillery will be located in Wooler on the edge of the Northumberland National Park.

The producer received £3m (US$4.2m) from the government-backed Borderlands Growth Deal, £1m (US$1.4m) from the North East Rural Growth Network – Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund, and £600,000 (US$841,300) from Northumberland County Council.

Eileen Ferguson, whose family is behind the project, said: “We have never doubted that we could fulfil our vision to create a world-class visitor destination in this beautiful county. The people of Glendale haven’t doubted either. Throughout everything we have continued to be overwhelmed by everyone’s good wishes – even when it looked on the surface as if progress was slow to the point of coming to a halt. We can’t thank everyone enough.

“We really want to thank all those who have worked so hard to get us to this point. We especially wish to thank Northumberland County Council and their officers who have given so much support to the development of Ad Gefrin. We hope this news lifts everyone’s spirits and means we can all start 2021 on a real high looking forward to much better times ahead.”

The distillery, which is expected to create 50 full-time jobs, will highlight Northumberland’s Anglo-Saxon heritage.

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