Planning permission for the development of the Ad Gefrin Distillery in Wooler has been granted by Northumberland County Council.
Situated on the former Redpath’s Yard adjacent to the A697, the project is the brainchild of the Ferguson Family and is expected to impact local, national and international markets.
Sited at the forefront of an area known as ‘The Gateway to the Cheviots’, the new distillery will contribute to the sustainable future of the area, providing local employment and showcasing local products. The vision of the Ferguson Family, it is hoped that the project will stimulate a variety of business opportunities by increasing the number of visitors to the town.
The distillery visitor centre will allow the public to explore the story of the area and the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, take behind-the-scenes tours and enjoy a meal at the onsite bistro.
At the heart of the project is the production of a new single malt whisky that it is hoped will become not only the pride of the local area, but exported internationally.
Up to 50 jobs will be created with planning permission giving the green light to demolition work on existing buildings and the salvaging of the slates and external stone for re-use.
Alan Ferguson, Head of the Ferguson family, said:
“We are thrilled with today’s decision and so grateful to Northumberland County Council for supporting our vision. This project has been a long time in the making, and now it will come to fruition. Although the ambitious timescales we had planned may have taken a small dent, this means that we are now able to move forward with all the energy and enthusiasm that we have stored up.”
“As well as commencing the demolition work on site in the next few weeks, this allows us to finalise requirements for the bespoke spirit stills with the manufacturers. They are integral to the future success of the Distillery, and when they are installed and commissioned, the heart of the enterprise will really start to beat.”
Eileen Ferguson, whose family the Redpaths owned the land, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have secured planning permission and now looking forward to transforming the site.
“I want to give a big thank you for all of the residents and local businesses throughout what has been a six-month consultation process. We received 100% support and look forward to the first chapter of Ad Gefrin which begins now. We have had the prologue, and this is the action.
“The Ad Gefrin name has a long history and is appropriate to a renaissance and new buoyancy for the economy. The Redpath and Ferguson families have been part of the fabric of the area for generations. Through our shop, restaurant and exhibition areas, we are totally committed to supporting Glendale by showcasing the best of Northumberland – such as food, drink, art and design.”
Peter Jackson, leader of the County Council, added:
“The Ad Gefrin project is one of the most exciting and innovative schemes to have been devised in Northumberland for years.
“The County Council is very happy to give its full support to something that will explore our vast range of history and further develop our fantastic visitor offer. I wish the project every success”