Report by Jonny Blair
A landmark visitor attraction is bringing whisky-making back to Northumberland for the first time in 200 years.
Ad Gefrin, a new Anglo-Saxon museum and whisky distillery, is opening in Wooler.
It is creating 50 full time jobs, the majority of which have been filled by residents of north Northumberland.
The museum tells the story of the 7th century Anglo-Saxon royal court of Northumbria which has its palace at nearby Yeavering.
Its distillery will produce the first ever Northumbrian single malt whisky. The site also comprises a bistro serving locally sourced produce, a tasting bar and visitor shop.
Eileen Ferguson, co-founder of Ad Gefrin, said: “Our ambition is to make this a landmark destination that would appeal to the widest audience and to all ages.
"Huge credit goes to every single person who has played a part, however small, in delivering Ad Gefrin, from the planners and local authorities, the architect, construction teams, sub-contractors and trades, the museum designers, and the staff.
"We are immensely grateful to everybody who has helped to make this dream such a wonderful reality.”
It has been funded by the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which is a programme hoping to boost the economy across the North of England and South of Scotland.
Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Member, said: “The distillery will offer a unique, year-round experience and is set to draw in visitors from all over the world with huge financial spinoffs for local shops, restaurants, services and employment.”
“This is a such a great news story for Northumberland and for Wooler and we have followed and supported the scheme every step of the way."
Ad Gefrin is the first project to complete since the signing of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal in March 2021.
In addition to bringing jobs and visitors it has also regenerated a site which has laid derelict for more than twenty years.
The museum and distillery opens to the public on Saturday 25 March.
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