Permission sought for guided tours of new Suffolk gin distillery
- Credit: Archant
Owners of a new gin distillery on the Suffolk coast are asking planners for permission to hold guided tours to show people how the drink is made.
Fishers is moving its gin production from Adnams to Beach Lodge, near the Brudenell Hotel, on Aldeburgh seafront, and says it will be a “significant investment” and hopes it will be a huge tourist boost for the town.
The company – founded by Andrew Heald, whose family have lived in the town for a number of generations – had believed its original planning consent for the project included permission for guided tours.
However, this has been disputed by East Suffolk Council and so Fishers has now applied for permission for the tours.
East Coast Planning Services, for Fishers, said: “The tours are designed to allow customers to see and learn about how gin is made, taste the product and understand the brand.
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“They are so important to the business that the entire upper floor (half of the building) is given over to this activity – the approved plans show the proposed arrangement for the upper floor with a 12-seater table, and lounge area that is now completed.
“The offsite activities will take guests into the environment that surrounds Aldeburgh, on fishing trips, river trips and the like.
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“There is a plan to offer river trips and a ferry on the River Alde once the business is established. The business is founded on a conservation ethos and these activities will help to educate visitors about the ecology of this beautiful place.”
The company had been concerned that some people who took part in the consultation over the gin distillery feared the premises could develop into a ‘gin bar’ and bring disturbance to the area.
But Fisher say tours will be an hour, booked in advance for a maximum of 14 people and there will be no facility for ‘walk in’ guests and no drinks or food will be sold on site.
It said: “If guests wish to buy a drink they will be directed to the Brudenell next door.”
East Coast Planning Services said: “It is anticipated that the brand will in time be synonymous with the town in the same way that Adnams has become synonymous with Southwold.
“The business has built this distillery in a very valuable beach front site to allow visitors better access to this beautiful part of the town.
“The Fishers Gin distillery will be a very positive addition to the council’s tourism offer and to the overall economic wellbeing of Aldeburgh.”