A landmark visitor attraction in Northumberland supported by the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal has opened to the public.
Ad Gefrin is an Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery, which aims to bring 35,000 visitors annually to Wooler.
It is supporting 60 fulltime jobs, the majority of which have been filled by residents of north Northumberland.
Ad Gefrin has received £4million from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and sits within the programme’s Supporting Business, Innovation and Skills theme.
It is hoped strategic projects such as this will promote the region as a destination to visit and as a place to live and work.
The Ad Gefrin Museum brings to life the largely untold story of the 7th Century Anglo-Saxon Royal court of Northumbria which has its palace at nearby Yeavering.
Its distillery becomes England’s northernmost, some 15 miles from the Scottish Border, and 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.”
Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Member, said:
“I want to pay tribute to the Ferguson family and the team at Ad Gefrin for their vision, passion and incredibly hard work.
“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 capital 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 two decades.
The Ad Gefrin experience has already attracted international attention and was listed on Time Out's best things to do this year.
Here is what others are saying about the launch: