The Lakes Distillery has picked up a prestigious award from tourism agency VisitEngland.
Following a recent inspection, the distillery has been awarded the Gold Accolade, which is awarded to only 21 attractions including HM Tower of London and Chester Zoo.
The Gold Accolade recognises the high standards achieved to meet VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, involving a scoring system based on an annual unannounced assessment by VisitEngland.
Established and introduced in 2014, the scheme puts under the microscope and scutinises the things which matter most to visitors, including customer service and catering and facilities. It also aims to recognise attractions that go the extra mile to create an enjoyable and memorable visitor experience.
The Lakes Distillery is the only distillery in the country to receive the accolade, and the only attraction in Cumbria to receive a Gold mark this year.
This news follows hot on the heels of the distillery’s recent success as being named one of ‘eight distilleries to see before you die’ in the World by World Whisky Day showcases the success of the three-year-old company, and its consistent innovation attracting people to its visitor centre on the River Derwent.
Paul Currie, one of the three founders of The Lakes Distillery, said: “We are delighted to be recognised with the highest accolade in English tourism, which is a fitting testament to the passion and hard work of all of our team. Producing the perfect whisky is only half of our vision for the business, as a visitor centre we are constantly striving to ensure guests have a great experience on every visit, and this proves that in such a short amount of time, we are really getting things right.
“Looking ahead to a year of English whisky history, the timing couldn’t be better, as we launch our first single malt, and release Steel Bonnets, the world’s first English and Scotch blend.”
After a successful crowdfunding initiative late last year, which saw 2,521 people buy a stake of a £1.75m share sale, the distillery is planning for a year that will put English whisky on the map in 2018. There will be a launch of four premium collections including Steel Bonnets, the world’s first blend of English and Scottish malt whisky, and its first ever single malt.
The Lakes Distillery started trading three years ago and has already produced 600,000 bottles of whisky worth £30m at retail. It has won numerous prestigious awards and introduced a number of Gin and Vodka brands, as well as a unique blended whisky, all on sale in high street outlets in the UK and in major export markets, including the Far East and Australia.