The proposed Ad Gefrin Distillery, located in the market town of Wooler, 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.
|The proposed Ad Gefrin Distillery site|
The launch of Northumberland’s first whisky distillery and visitor centre, is said by Ferguson family to be “not based on a whim.” Background research, conducted by the family, concluded there were two key opportunities.
The first was the continuing growth in the global demand for whisky, with sales increasing in value by 4% in 2016, with demand continuing to outstrip supply. The second was the need for a high-quality visitor destination in North Northumberland.
Whisky distilling presented a clear opportunity to satisfy both. This is demonstrated by Wooler’s nearest distillery – Glenkinchie, over 50 miles to the north in Lothian, which attracts over 60,000 visitors annually.
Commenting on the news, 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.”
He continued by saying: “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 residents have been invited to learn more about the project and to share their views at a public consultation in Wooler between the 23rd and 31st August. This will be followed by the submission of the architect’s designs and plans for the development to the County Council Planning Department in October.
Subject to planning permission being granted, it is hoped that the distillery and visitor centre will open its doors by 2020, with plans to release the first Ad Gefrin English single malt whisky in 2028.
Posted by Steve Rush