Plans for multimillion-pound distillery in Northumberland

Plans for multimillion-pound distillery in Northumberland
The Ad Gefrin distillery and visitor centre is being driven forward by the Ferguson family. An exhibition is to showcase plans for a multimillion-pound distillery and visitor centre in the heart of a Northumberland market town.

Plans were unveiled in August to revitalise the former Redpath’s Yard in Wooler, transforming it into a top attraction while also creating 50 jobs.

The Ad Gefrin Distillery scheme is being spearheaded by the Ferguson family, owners of national haulage firm Fergusons as well as many other North East firms going back over four generations.

Since revealing the scheme, more than 2,000 people have visited a consultation exhibition in Wooler, which was also displayed at Glendale Show, with more than 750 visitors leaving comments and pledging support.

The Ferguson family has now announced it will open a permanent project exhibition on Wooler Market Place from October.

Eileen Ferguson, one of the family leading the project, said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the level of support and enthusiasm that our concept has received, and we hope to take this project forward together as a community to definitively put Wooler on the map as a place which produces very fine whisky and a major tourism destination.

Ad Gefrin’s next major landmark will be the submission for planning permission.

It is hoped the distillery and visitor centre will open its doors by 2020 but as time is needed to lay down a malt whisky, the full release of the Ad Gefrin Single Malt is not expected until 2028.

As well as its spirits – the first whiskies to be made in Northumberland – the family wants the multimillion-pound investment to reinvigorate the local economy, help to retain young people in its workforce, and regenerate a site which has been disused for over twenty years.

Chris Ferguson, who will be developing the project along with Mrs Ferguson, said: “The passion that we have seen from everyone for us to create something really exciting and innovative in Wooler has been tremendous. We are thrilled by the encouragement we have received and all the memories and historic information people have shared about the site and town.