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Ad Gefrin toasts hugely successful first year

There are high spirits in Wooler as the team at Ad Gefrin reveal they have smashed their visitor number target in the first year of opening.


The landmark Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery welcomed more than 64,000 people since opening last March, vastly outperforming their 35,000 ambitions.


Ad Gefrin represents a major success for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal which supported the development with £4million in funding.


The Ad Gefrin attraction is supporting 60 fulltime jobs, the majority of which have been filled by residents of north Northumberland.


Its unique museum has brought to life the largely untold story of the 7th Century Anglo-Saxon Royal court of Northumbria which has its palace at nearby Yeavering.


The distillery has had a busy 12 months, getting through 216 tonnes of malt and producing 135,000 litres of spirit – enough to fill 618 barrels.

The signature whisky, Tácnbora, even featured on ITV’s Saturday Morning with James Martin, in an episode which saw the chef using the spirit to make a steamed sponge with whisky custard.


Ad Gefrin also launched a gin, Thirlings, using botanicals reflecting the richness of the Northumbrian countryside from the Cheviot Hills to the coast.


And it’s not just spirits selling well – more than 43,000 cups of coffee were served in year one in the bistro, which has become popular with locals and visitors alike.

Eileen Ferguson, co-founder of Ad Gefrin, said:


“We have surpassed all expectations in our first year – that’s after having set ourselves a high bar – but there is plenty more we want to achieve.


“Our team began with a derelict haulage yard and transformed it into a high-end, multi-purpose attraction that is proving popular with visitors young and old.


“I love the buzz around Wooler since Ad Gefrin opened and I hope it continues to bring new people to this wonderful part of Northumberland.”

Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Member, said:


“Ad Gefrin has been a fantastic success story for both Wooler and Northumberland and we’re delighted to see these figures.


“The creation of this wonderful distillery and visitor centre has helped boost this rural economy, sparking a number of other improvements in the town.


“It’s a great example of how funding from both the county council and the Borderlands Growth Deal can help regenerate an area, creating jobs and opportunities for our residents and bringing thousands of new visitors to the town.”


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