The team behind new distillery Ad Gefrin have received the final funding needed to start build. This means they can now start developing the whisky distillery, and associated visitor experience, in North Northumberland. The first whisky distillery in the area for 200 years, Ad Gefrin will celebrate the region’s unique culture and heritage, alongside reviving a long tradition of whisky making in Northumberland. The distillery will produce a distinctive Northumbrian single malt whisky, and generate new jobs for the area.
The new cultural centre will offer an immersive AV and museum interpretation of the Northumbrian royal capital of Ad Gefrin and the Golden Age of the Kingdom of Northumbria. It will link with the landscape, archaeology, and stories of the area, as well as trails through the Northumberland National Park, encouraging visitors to explore the wider Borderlands area.
Despite all that has happened in the past year, the Ad Gefrin team has worked behind the scenes to make sure that when final approval arrived, they could hit the ground running. This means that work on Ad Gefrin can start immediately, and the building contractors have now moved onsite.
Located in Wooler on the edge of the Northumberland National Park, this exciting multi-million-pound regeneration project plans to deliver economic growth to the local and wider communities of Glendale. Those living within, passing through or visiting this outstanding area of the county will see the new visitor experience start to take shape during 2021 with the opening expected in Autumn 2022.
Commenting on the exciting news, Eileen Ferguson 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.”
Ad Gefrin is the first project in the Borderlands Programme for Northumberland to break ground. Ad Gefrin has received £3m from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which is funded through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and has also received £1m from the North East Rural Growth Network – Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund through the North East LEP, and £600k through Northumberland County Council. These successful funding bids show the project has gained supporters with the promise of a resurgence to Northumberland tourism, an exporter trade boost, and environmental considerations integrating the site into the surrounding landscape.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said: “It’s fantastic that work can now begin on a new multimillion pound visitor centre and distillery at Ad Gefrin – a hugely important site showcasing Northumberland’s heritage. The new centre and distillery, backed by £3 million investment from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, will provide a magnet for tourism as well as an important export boost for the region. We’re levelling up across the country by investing in projects which create jobs and drive economic growth, making our regions great places to live, work and visit.”
For further reading, Ad Gefrin have also announced that Ben Murphy will be the Head Distiller.