Whitby Gin Set to Open New Distillery in the Shadow of Whitby Abbey
Yorkshire’s award-winning Whitby Gin is set to open a brand-new distillery in the shadow of Whitby Abbey.
Scarborough councillors have approved Whitby Gin Distillery’s £1.5 million plans to renovate two derelict barns on Abbey Lands Farm on the south-west corner of the Whitby Abbey grounds.
Whitby Distillery, makers of Whitby Gin, was founded 2017 by Jessica Slater and Luke Pentith who have grown their business from a passion project to one whose gin stocked in more than 300 outlets across the UK.
The move will enable the distillery to become one of the most iconic distillery visitor experiences in England, providing high-quality leisure and function space for the local community to enjoy.
New eco-build distillery restores former derelict buildings
Luke Pentith commented: “This is absolutely wonderful news. We’d like to say a big thank you to Scarborough Council and English Heritage for believing in us and in our exciting project. Moving our distillery to Abbey Lands Farm is a game-changer for us and will enable us to step up production, give us a tremendous platform for growth and introduce a new industry to Whitby.
“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,” said Luke.
Work on the new eco-build distillery will start this autumn, with a 6-12 month build period. The beautiful building will be supported by renewable energy sources to house a new hand-beaten still. Green roofs will be planted with wildflowers to nurture the natural plants and wildlife.
Jessica Slater explained: “This is a serious commitment to Whitby. We are making a significant investment into the local community and the future of the town, with 10 jobs supported during renovation and, in the longer term, we anticipate up to 15 employees.
“As well as the distillery, our plans include a visitor centre, which will showcase our production process and our various gins, 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 Gin and the distillery have with the adjacent English Heritage attraction.”
Whitby Gin is crafted using hand foraged botanicals from the Yorkshire coast and moorland and more than 600 bottles of it are sold every week. It was already won a raft of awards, including the World Gin Awards.
Jessica explained that the business had been looking for its “forever” home and she now believes it has found it.
“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,” she said.
Luke added: “We recently purchased our new still Dora-Grace, which is to be relocated to this site. With Dora-Grace we have the capability to produce up to 100,000 full-size bottles per year. The distillery has been designed to allow for future growth by having all operations under one roof and leaving space for an additional larger still to join Dora-Grace should demand require it. This would allow us to double capacity yet again.”
The renovation work will partly be funded by Whitby Distillery’s Founders Club, which will give investors to chance to become part of the Whitby Distillery success story.