A Yorkshire gin maker is set to move into new premises in the shadow of Whitby Abbey.
Work is set to start this autumn on Whitby Distillery’s £1.8m plan to transform two derelict barns into its new base, on the south west corner of the Abbey grounds. The build programme, which has been partly funded by the Whitby Distillers Founders Club, is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. It will feature a pathway, engraved with the names of friends and supporters of the distillery.
Whitby Distillery, makers of Whitby Gin, was founded in 2017 by Jessica Slater and Luke Pentith who have since grown the business from a passion project into a distiller supplying more than 500 outlets across the UK. The move will see the company open a unique distillery visitor experiences, with leisure and function space for the local community.
The duo has enlisted Native Architects who are specialists in sustainable redevelopment of heritage buildings, with the distillery’s design set to have a minimal environmental impact, with waste water from the distilling process to be used where possible to irrigate plants and the vegetated roof.
Heat extracted from the water will also be used to warm the building. Green roofs will be planted with wildflowers and hidden roof solar PV panels will generate electricity on site. Mr Pentith said: “This move is a gamechanger for us. Whilst we have been very happy in our current premises in Botany Way in Whitby, our new home will take Whitby Distillery to the next level, stepping up production and giving visitors the opportunity to see us distilling and bottling through the week with our tour experiences.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be restoring these derelict buildings on such a world-famous site. For us, this is all about launching an amazing adventure on the atmospheric North Sea coastline, with tremendous knock-on effects for the local economy.”
Ms Slater said: “Our new distillery is a serious commitment to Whitby. We are making a significant investment into the local community and the future of the town. In the longer term, we anticipate up to 25 employees. As well as the distillery, our plans include a visitor centre, which will showcase our production process and our various spirits, as well as paying homage to the amazing cultural heritage of Whitby and providing an educational and corporate business space.
“Whitby Distillery aims to offer an educational and enchanting visitor experience which can be accessed all year round, as an out-of-season and wet weather destination. The visitor experience venue and exhibition/hire space build on the strong links Whitby distillery has with the adjacent English Heritage attraction.
“The site has these incredible views of the Abbey, the town, the moors and the sea and no-one gets to see it as the area is closed off at the moment. We want to use the area for people to be able to take tours and also host small events up there.”
The project will also give people the chance to become part of the engraved pathway, called the Spirits Walkway, with more than 200 places have been sold. All proceeds from the walkway, which will be laid when the building programme is completed, will go towards the cost of the distillery.
Whitby Distillery’s products are crafted using hand foraged botanicals from the Yorkshire coast and moorland and more than 1000 bottles of it are sold every week. It was already won a raft of awards, including the Best British London Dry Gin category at the World Gin Awards.
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