Positive reaction to distillery plan

The Ferguson family
The Ferguson family

Good news, a great idea and watching with interest – these are just some of the positive comments to major proposals to create a multi-million-pound distillery and visitor centre in Wooler.

Last week, we reported that the scheme has been earmarked for the dilapidated former Redpath’s Yard, on South Road, and if it goes ahead, it will create 50 jobs.

An artist's impression of the distillery.

An artist's impression of the distillery.

The Ad Gefrin Distillery – named after the Anglo-Saxon palace at nearby Yeavering Bell – will be Northumberland’s first whisky distillery.

The scheme is the brainchild of the local and well-known Ferguson family, who aim to develop it into a major tourist attraction to invigorate the Glendale economy and put the area on the map.

After the plans were unveiled last week, a whole host of people have spoken in favour, including a glowing verdict from the Glendale Gateway Trust.

Chairman Patrick Sheard said: “This is very good news for Wooler and the wider Glendale area.

The former Redpath's Yard.

The former Redpath's Yard.

“The site has been a problem for the town for years, and a project like this, which will bring both jobs and visitors to the area, should be very good news indeed.”

The plans also received a positive response on our Facebook page, with everyone commenting on the story voicing their support for the project.

Among the comments, Jean Newton wrote: ‘Sounds like a great idea’, while Ian Gardiner described it as brilliant news and Kath Woollen labelled it wonderful. Mandy Smith-Moir added: ‘Watching with interest’.

If the scheme were to be approved, it is hoped that the distillery and visitor centre – telling the story of the history and heritage of Glendale – would open its doors by 2020, with the first single malt distilled and laid down in the same year.

Under this timescale. 2023 would herald limited releases of Ad Gefrin Single Malt, while there would be a full launch of the eight-year single-malt whisky in 2028 – such is the time needed to lay down a fine whisky.

Describing the plans, Alan Ferguson said that it was ‘one of the largest single investments ever made in north Northumberland’, which will ‘be a key part of the long-term process of much-needed regeneration in this area and we believe it will enhance our community for generations to come’.

The plans went on display at Glendale Show on Monday and are available to see at 2 High Street, Wooler, until tomorrow, from 10am to 4pm.

For people who can’t make the consultation, email chris@adgefrindistillery.co.uk