We have pulled together this handy Q&A page to help with any questions you may have about the new distillery.
Whitby Distillery was founded in June 2017 with the first product released in March 2018. It is a self-funded business, set up by Jessica Slater and partner Luke Pentith. Whitby Gin began in a utility room from which over 3000 bottles were produced.
2 years on and 40,000 bottles later Whitby Distillery has been recognised as one of the top UK gin producers with 9 other major awards including the winner of the Best British London Dry at the 2019 World Gin Awards.
A unique opportunity has arisen to transform two barns next to the Whitby Abbey into our new distillery and restore Whitby Distillery to its rightful home in the heart of Whitby.
If you are interested in learning more about the site renovation or are interested in becoming a founding member of the distillery, please click here and contact us.
Will there be an increase of traffic in town due to the distillery?
Due to the location of the site we will encourage visitors to Whitby to park at the Headland Car Park if there is a need to drive.
Will the distillery have disabled access?
Yes. The distillery will have complete disability accessibility.
How will you access the distillery?
The location of the barns is between the Abbey Headland Carpark and the Whitby Abbey. The public can access the site via Abbey Headland Carpark run by Scarborough Council or by foot. This distillery can be visited via the 199 steps or by using Caedmon’s Trod which is an underutilised public footpath in the heart of the town.
Will there be parking fees at the site?
Those visiting via cars will be encouraged to use the Abbey Headland Pay and Display Carpark run by Scarborough Council.
What will the opening hours be?
The site will be open to the public from 10am-5pm Monday - Sunday. This site will be available for private hire and as such the opening hours may vary.
When will the site be open?
Due to the current climate the timeline is under review.
How will you access the Whitby Abbey site while building work takes place?
There will be no change to the access of Whitby Abbey.
What security measures will be in place?
Security of the site is paramount. The building is designed to be secure whilst cameras, alarm systems, hedges and electronic gate system will be used to ensure security is at the highest level.
Will there be employment opportunities?
Yes. Upon completion we hope to employ a number of employees on a range of part-time to full time basis. As distilling is a new industry to the area, we will in the first instance offer training to staff. In the longer term we endeavour to work with the local schools and colleges to encourage further education in engineering, manufacturing and business studies.
Will the distillery impact the view of the Whitby Abbey?
No. The site renovation is sympathetic to the sensitive setting. The design pays tribute to Abbey Lands Farm which stood at this site until 1998.
How will the distillery impact on the trade of other businesses locally?
Due to the year-round appeal of the distillery we expect an increase in visitors to the town in a typical off season which is expected to be a benefit to surrounding businesses. For those businesses currently selling Whitby Gin we plan to offer incentives to their customers in the form of tour discounts if purchases are made in these local shops.
How long will the building work take?
We anticipate to the building work to take up to 18 months. However due to the current climate we are unable to commit to an exact timescale.
Will locals get discount or any other benefit?
Yes there will be discount available for locals residents. More details one this will be released as part of the distillery opening.
With there be an increase of antisocial behaviour on the headland?
This site is primarily a manufacturing site. Tours and private hire will be available. This site is not a drinking establishment and therefore we do not anticipate or will encourage anti-social behaviour.
Do you plan to expand the distillery in the future?
We do not intend on expanding the size of the buildings. The proposed site has been designed so that we are able to grow our current business capabilities to a reasonable size. If the business was to outgrow the site, we would look to move activities such as bottling and storage to Whitby business units.
What consideration has there been to the historical site of significance?
Due to the location of the site, an archaeologist along with the teams from English Heritage and Historic England have been engaged from the start of the process. The history of the barns and surrounding grounds will be showcased and highlighted as part of the tour experience. Unique botanicals to the area will be encouraged to grow following guidance of English Heritage’s senior gardens advisor. These will go on to be used in our products while educating our visitors and customers on their history and use.
Is this a seasonal attraction?
We expect more visitors in the summer. However, as the tours can take place undercover, we anticipate the distillery to attract visitors to Whitby during the typical off season and during poor weather.
What services will the site offer?
Whitby Distillery aims to offer an educational and enjoyable visitor experience which can be accessed all year round. The visitor experience venue and exhibition/hire space will embed and build on the strong links Whitby Gin and the distillery has to the adjacent English Heritage attraction.
We are so excited to bring our distillery in to the heart of Whitby and we hope you are too. If you still have questions please do get in touch