AN award-winning Yorkshire gin producer has been granted permission to move into new new premises in the shadow of Whitby Abbey.

Scarborough councillors have approved Whitby Distillery’s £1.5m plans to renovate two derelict barns on Abbey Lands on the south-west corner of the Abbey grounds.

Whitby Distillery, makers of Whitby Gin, was founded 2017 by Jessica Slater and Luke Pentith who have developed their business from a passion project to one whose gin stocked in more than 300 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.

Luke Pentith said: “This is absolutely wonderful news. We’d like to say a big thank you to Scarborough Council and English Heritage for believing in us and in our exciting project. Moving our distillery to Abbey Lands Farm is a game-changer for us and will enable us to step up production, give us a tremendous platform for growth and introduce a new industry to Whitby.

“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,”

Work on the new eco-build distillery will start this autumn, with a six to 12 month build period. The beautiful building will supported by renewable energy sources to house a new hand-beaten still. Green roofs will be planted with wild flowers to nurture the natural plants and wildlife.

Jessica Slater said: “This is a serious commitment to Whitby. We are making a significant investment into the local community and the future of the town, with ten jobs supported during renovation and, in the longer term, we anticipate up to 15 employees.

“As well as the distillery, our plans include a visitor centre, which will showcase our production process and our various gins, as well as paying homage to the amazing cultural heritage of Whitby and providing an educational and corporate business space."

They aim to offer an educational and enchanting visitor experience, which can be accessed all year round, as an out-of-season and wet weather destination.

Luke said: "The visitor experience venue and exhibition/hire space build on the strong links Whitby Gin and the distillery has with the adjacent English Heritage attraction.”

Whitby Gin is crafted using hand-foraged botanicals from the Yorkshire coast and moorland and more than 600 bottles are sold every week. It was already won a raft of awards, including the Best British London Dry Gin category at last year’s World Gin Awards.

Luke added: “We recently purchased our new still Dora-Grace, which is to be relocated to this site. With Dora-Grace we have the capability to produce up to 100,000 full size bottles per year. ”

The renovation work will partly be funded by Whitby Distillery’s Founders Club, which will give investors to chance to become part of the Whitby Distillery success story.