A POPULAR brand is set to open its new premises in the shadow of a much-loved North Yorkshire landmark.

Work is beginning this autumn on Whitby Distillery’s £1.8 million project to renovate two derelict barns on Abbey Lands on the southwest corner of Whitby Abbey's 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 and 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 grown their business from a passion project to one whose gin is stocked in more than 500 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.

The Northern Echo: Luke PentithLuke Pentith

Luke Pentith said: “This move is a game-changer 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,” said Luke.

As part of this exciting project, Whitby Distillery is giving people the opportunity to set their family's name in history and to celebrate the life of a loved one for future generations. This initiative was launched last month and already over 200 places have been sold.

Jess Slater said: “In the grounds of our new distillery, we are creating a unique pathway leading into our new home. The Spirits Walkway will be a part of history, created and set in cast iron plates, allowing people to be a part of this wonderful adventure and feature their names or family names on the glorious path. All proceeds from the walkway, which will be laid when the building programme is completed, will go towards the cost of our new distillery.

“We are confident that tourists and Whitby residents alike will cherish this unparalleled walkway for decades to come.

“Our new distillery is a serious commitment to Whitby. We are making a significant investment in the local community and the future of the town. In the longer term, we anticipate up to 25 employees.

“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.” she said.

The Northern Echo: The Whitby Distillery site close to Whitby AbbeyThe Whitby Distillery site close to Whitby Abbey (Image: Supplied)

Luke added: “The renovation work is partly funded by Whitby Distillery’s Founders Club, which gives members to chance to become part of the Whitby Distillery success story.

“We have chosen to work with Native Architects who are the experts when it comes to sustainable redevelopment of heritage buildings. They value the qualities of traditionally crafted buildings but adapt and convert in a way that sets the reduction of CO2 emissions as a priority.

“Whitby Distillery is designed to be an inspirational building that has minimal environmental impact. We are taking a ‘fabric first’ approach to refurbishment to improve energy efficiency. Wastewater from the distilling process will be used where possible to irrigate plants and the vegetated roof.

“The heat extracted from this water will be used to warm the building. Green roofs will be planted with wildflowers to nurture the natural plants and wildlife. Hidden roof solar PV panels will generate electricity on site. Building materials can have high carbon footprints so materials have been selected that have low levels of embodied carbon.”