Alcohol licence application submitted for Wooler distillery and visitor centre

Plans for Northumberland’s first whisky distillery have taken a step closer to becoming reality after bosses applied for their alcohol licence.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:19 pm
Alan and Eileen Ferguson at the Ad Gefrin site in Wooler.
Alan and Eileen Ferguson at the Ad Gefrin site in Wooler.

Planning permission for the Ad Gefrin attraction, in Wooler, was granted in 2019, although work since then has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

But with completion at the site pencilled in for autumn 2022, the process had now started to gain approval to sell the range of spirits intended to be produced from the site.

Described as a “must-visit destination”, the new visitor facility is intended to show off the first ever “Northumbrian English Single Malt Whisky”, as well as celebrate the region’s Anglo Saxon heritage.

According to an application lodged with Northumberland County Council, consent is being sought for:

Opening hours to run 8am – 11.30pm, seven days a week Sale of alcohol for drinking on and off the premises between 8am – 11pm, seven days a week Permission to show films, stage plays and host music and dance performances between 10am – 11.30pm, seven days a week A late night food licence covering 11pm – 11.30pm, seven days a week

According to documents submitted with the application, a main restaurant and bar is planned for the site, at the former Redpath’s Yard, with space for about 70 seated drinkers and diners inside, as well as a further 40 at an outdoor terrace.

An upstairs function room is also planned, with space for about 30 people.

A renovated fabric mill is expected to have its own “mobile bar” for outdoor drinking, “weather permitting”.

An additional “outdoor space” is mentioned in the plans, with the possibility raised of it being used in future for a farmers’ market, but with its use stated to be “occasional, intended to work with existing local businesses and service providers”.

Further details are also provided on anticipated distillery tours, set to run between 10am – 6.30pm.

Chris Ferguson, director of experience at Ad Gefrin, said: “We’re delighted to be taking the next step in our journey to opening Ad Gefrin to the public in 2022.

“Working together with Northumberland County Council we have applied to sell our range of spirits on and off the premises in Wooler.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone next year.”

Comments on the proposals must be submitted by January 10.