Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery
2021 started off on an exceptional note for the Wooler Community and everyone involved, as the Ad Gefrin team received the final green light for their highly anticipated visitor experience and bespoke whisky distillery development in North Northumberland.
Despite the challenges faced in 2020, the dedicated Ad Gefrin team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure they could hit the ground running when the opportunity arose. As a result, work on Ad Gefrin commenced promptly, with North East contractors, Brims Construction, stepping onto the site.
The involvement of Brims Construction holds significant importance as it marked the initiation of the first project in the Borderlands Programme for Northumberland.
Situated in Wooler, on the outskirts of the Northumberland National Park, this thrilling and innovative multi-million-pound regeneration endeavour aims to generate economic growth for the local and wider communities of Glendale. In 2022, those residing in, passing through, or visiting this remarkable area witnessed the emergence of the new visitor experience, which opened its doors in Spring 2023.
Ultimately, the distillery and visitor centre will create up to 50 new full-time jobs. The project’s goal is to showcase Northumberland’s unique Anglo-Saxon heritage, celebrate its ancient hospitality and exhibit the county’s finest arts, crafts and produce. Additionally, it aims to revive a 200-year-old local tradition of whisky distilling, providing a much-needed boost to the valley’s economy and the broader region.
Ad Gefrin secured £3 million in funding from the Borderlands Growth Deal, which is supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It has also received £1 million from the North East Rural Growth Network – Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF), through the North East LEP, and £650,000 from the Northumberland County Council. The remaining funding comes from private investors.
These successful funding bids not only demonstrate the project’s growing support but also offer the promise of a reinvigorated tourism industry in Northumberland, an increase in exports and environmentally conscious integration of the site into the surrounding landscape.
The approved funding will play a vital role in revitalizing the rural economy of the Glendale valley, especially considering the need for COVID-19 recovery support. Tourism serves as a key economic driver for Northumberland and with the expanding market for UK staycation tourism, it is likely to experience a significant boost.
Location: South Rd, Wooler NE71 6NJ
Assignment: Builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning
The construction of the £10.5 million visitor centre and whisky distillery in Wooler progressed smoothly and in Spring 2023, the facility opened its doors, although it will be another three years until the first Northumbrian single malt whisky becomes available for sale.
A historic moment unfolded in Northumberland as the two stills for the county’s inaugural whisky distillery arrived in Wooler, accompanied by a parade on the town’s bustling high street, where they were warmly received.
These stills form the essence of the Ad Gefrin distillery, a vital component of the expansive £10.5 million visitor centre, which stands as one of the largest investment projects ever undertaken in North Northumberland. Beyond the distillery, the complex encompasses a museum that delves into the Golden Age of Northumbria, a bistro restaurant, a bar and a gift shop.
Led by a Northumbrian piper and fiddler, the parade unfolded with a spirited ambiance, featuring two vintage trucks and two articulated lorries that carried the precious stills to Ad Gefrin. Enthusiastic locals lined the streets, waving Northumberland and Ad Gefrin flags under the clear blue skies, creating an almost carnival-like atmosphere.
Ad Gefrin is set to put Wooler on the map. Often recognized as both the gateway to the Cheviot Hills and one of the entrances to Northumberland National Park, the town anticipates a surge in tourism with the advent of the new museum. In preparation for the expected influx of visitors, Northumberland County Council has invested £650,000 in the town’s infrastructure to expand car parking facilities and refurbish public toilets.
For Alan and Eileen Ferguson, the founders of Ad Gefrin and long-time residents of Northumberland spanning four generations, the development of the museum has been a labour of love long before its announcement in 2018.
The two whisky stills, transported from Rothes in Speyside, arrived on the backs of trucks, each carrying a precious cargo weighing approximately three tonnes. Together, they grant Ad Gefrin the capacity to produce around 14 casks of whisky per week. However, the distillery is just one facet of the ambitious undertaking.
While Ad Gefrin has garnered significant attention locally, it has also garnered international recognition. It was recognised as one of the most eagerly anticipated museum openings by the Smithsonian Magazine, alongside esteemed institutions such as the National Museum of Norway in Oslo and the Museum of Modern Electronic Music in Frankfurt. However, the primary aim is to ensure that the local community benefits the most from this endeavour.
Finally, in Spring 2023, after five years since the Ferguson family initially unveiled their plans for the distillery and tourist destination, Ad Gefrin opened its doors to the public. In addition to pioneering whisky production in the county, this £10.5 million project aims to create a significant number of jobs in the area, generating employment opportunities in sales for both the UK and international markets, while fostering training and employment within the hospitality, visitor engagement and spirit production sectors.
Although construction is complete at the former Redpath’s Yard site, Northumberland’s first whisky distillery has also launched a founder program, allowing enthusiasts the opportunity to invest in this exciting tourist attraction.
The newly appointed business development manager of Ad Gefrin outlined the program, emphasising the exclusive benefits for Corenkyn members. These benefits include lifelong access to the Exhibition and Distillery Tours, recognition within the new building and an annual bottle of Ad Gefrin spirit for eight years. The initial five years will feature an exclusive Corenkyn Blend Collection, each with a distinct cask finish, followed by the Ad Gefrin Single Malt for the remaining years.
In a commitment to supporting the local community, Northumberland’s pioneering commercial whisky distillery, Ad Gefrin, has announced that it will exclusively source all its ingredients from within a 10-mile radius of its location. Collaborating with four local farmers, Ad Gefrin will cultivate the estimated 400 tonnes of barley required annually. Additionally, the distillery has formed a partnership with Simpsons Malt, located in nearby Berwick, to fulfil its main supply needs.
To ensure sustainability and minimise its environmental impact, Ad Gefrin will draw water for whisky production from an on-site borehole, reaching a depth of 200 meters to access the pristine water sourced from the Cheviot Hills. To support renewable energy, the distillery will harness the power of rooftop solar panels, aligning with its commitment to environmental stewardship.
By championing local agriculture, responsible water sourcing and clean energy practices, Ad Gefrin sets an inspiring example of sustainable whisky production and a dedication to preserving the natural heritage of Northumberland.
Analysis: Site Visit
Cklip Commercial Cleaning initiated the project for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery with a comprehensive site visit. The purpose of the site visit was to assess the cleaning requirements and gather essential information to develop an effective cleaning plan.
During the site visit, Cklip’s team carefully assessed the cleaning needs of the Ad Gefrin site. They considered the unique characteristics of the museum and whisky distillery, including the construction materials used, the layout of the premises and the specific areas that required attention. This assessment allowed Cklip to understand the scope and complexity of the cleaning project.
Cklip’s experts identified potential challenges that could arise during the cleaning process. They examined factors such as the size of the site, the presence of delicate artifacts or machinery and any safety considerations. By identifying these challenges in advance, Cklip could develop appropriate strategies to overcome them and ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning operation.
The safety of both the cleaning team and the Ad Gefrin site was of utmost importance to Cklip. During the site visit, they evaluated the safety requirements specific to the project. This involved identifying potential hazards, such as uneven surfaces, restricted access areas and the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). Cklip ensured that all safety protocols and regulations were considered to create a safe working environment for their team.
Based on the site visit analysis, Cklip determined the specific cleaning requirements for the Ad Gefrin site. They defined the scope of work for the builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning. This included establishing the timeline, allocating resources and outlining the necessary cleaning techniques and equipment to achieve the desired results. Cklip’s customised cleaning plan addressed the unique needs of the museum and whisky distillery, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored cleaning solution.
The site visit analysis conducted by Cklip Commercial Cleaning for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project was crucial in understanding the cleaning requirements and developing an effective cleaning plan. Through a thorough assessment of the site, identification of challenges, evaluation of safety requirements and scope definition, Cklip laid the foundation for a successful and efficient cleaning operation. The site visit analysis enabled Cklip to address the specific needs of the project and provide Brims with a comprehensive and customised cleaning solution.
Planning: Site Survey
Cklip Commercial Cleaning conducted a detailed site survey as part of their assignment for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project. The purpose of the survey was to gather essential information about the site and assess its specific cleaning requirements.
During the site survey, Cklip’s team examined the layout of the Ad Gefrin site. They analysed the floor plans, spatial arrangement and overall structure to gain a comprehensive understanding of the premises. This evaluation helped identify different areas that required cleaning attention, such as exhibition spaces, visitor areas, production facilities and external surfaces.
Cklip meticulously assessed the various surfaces present within the Ad Gefrin site. They identified the types of materials used, such as stone, wood, glass or metal and evaluated their specific cleaning needs. Surfaces that were sensitive or required specialised cleaning techniques were noted to ensure they received appropriate care during the cleaning process.
The site survey also involved identifying any challenges or obstacles that could impact the cleaning operations. This included factors such as difficult-to-reach areas, restricted access points, delicate artifacts or areas with limited ventilation. Cklip noted these challenges to develop strategies and ensure efficient and safe cleaning practices.
Cklip considered environmental factors that could influence the cleaning process. They assessed aspects such as natural lighting, airflow and the presence of nearby vegetation that could affect the cleanliness and maintenance of the site. This evaluation allowed them to tailor their cleaning methods and recommend appropriate measures to mitigate potential environmental impacts.
Throughout the site survey, Cklip documented any special cleaning requirements specified by the client, Brims. This included any unique cleaning standards, preferences or regulations that needed to be adhered to during the cleaning process. The team ensured that these requirements were incorporated into their cleaning plan to meet Brims expectations.
The site survey conducted by Cklip Commercial Cleaning for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project played a crucial role in understanding the site’s layout, evaluating cleaning surfaces, identifying challenges, assessing environmental factors and documenting special requirements. This detailed survey enabled Cklip to develop a tailored cleaning approach that addressed the specific needs and characteristics of the Ad Gefrin site.
By conducting a comprehensive site survey, Cklip ensured that their cleaning plan and execution were aligned with Brims expectations and the unique requirements of the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery.
Implementation: Works Carried Out
Cklip Commercial Cleaning undertook the assignment for Brims to provide comprehensive cleaning services for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project. The project included a builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning.
Cklip’s skilled team commenced the project with the builders clean phase. This phase involved a thorough cleaning process to eliminate all construction-related debris, dust and residue. The team utilised appropriate equipment and cleaning products to ensure a deep clean. They cleared the site of any remaining building materials, such as wood scraps, nails, packaging and other debris. All surfaces, including floors, walls and ceilings, were meticulously cleaned and sanitised to prepare the site for the sparkle clean.
Following the builders clean, Cklip proceeded with the sparkle clean phase. This phase focused on providing a detailed and meticulous cleaning of all internal areas. The team ensured that every surface, fixture and fitting was cleaned and polished to a high standard. Floors were thoroughly cleaned; carpets were vacuumed and hard surfaces were wiped down and sanitised. Special attention was given to high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, switches and handrails, to maintain optimal hygiene. The sparkle clean phase aimed to create a welcoming and hygienic environment for visitors to the museum and whisky distillery.
The final phase of the project involved the external window cleaning. Cklip’s team utilised professional window cleaning techniques to remove dirt, grime and smudges from all external glass surfaces. They employed appropriate equipment, such as ladders, scaffolding and purified water systems, to access windows at different heights and ensure a thorough cleaning. The team carefully cleaned both the interior and exterior surfaces of the windows, leaving them sparkling clean and enhancing the overall appearance of the Ad Gefrin site.
Throughout the works carried out, Cklip Commercial Cleaning maintained a high level of professionalism, attention to detail and adherence to safety protocols. The team followed industry best practices and utilised environmentally friendly cleaning solutions whenever possible. They completed the assigned tasks within the agreed-upon timeframe, ensuring minimal disruption to the project’s progress.
The works carried out by Cklip Commercial Cleaning resulted in a transformed and immaculate Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery. The comprehensive builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning services provided by Cklip met Brims requirements and exceeded their expectations. The completion of this project further demonstrated Cklip’s expertise in delivering exceptional cleaning solutions tailored to the unique needs of their clients in the construction and commercial sectors.
Review: Hand Over
Upon completing the cleaning tasks as outlined in the project scope, Cklip Commercial Cleaning proceeded with the handover and sign-off phase for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project.
Cklip’s team conducted a thorough inspection of the entire premises to ensure that all areas had been cleaned to Brims satisfaction and in compliance with their high cleanliness standards. The team paid special attention to the builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning areas, ensuring that all tasks were completed meticulously. Any remaining cleaning residue or minor touch-ups were promptly addressed and rectified.
Once the inspection was completed and any necessary adjustments made, Cklip Commercial Cleaning invited the client, Brims, to perform a final walkthrough of the site. This walkthrough allowed Brims to assess the completed work and confirm that it met their expectations and specifications. Brims had the opportunity to review the cleanliness and overall condition of the Ad Gefrin site, ensuring that it was ready for occupancy and open to visitors.
During the walkthrough, representatives from Brims inspected each area, including the internal spaces and external windows, to verify that the cleaning had been carried out to their satisfaction. They examined the level of cleanliness, checked for any missed spots, and ensured that all specific requirements were met.
Upon completion of the walkthrough and final inspection, Brims expressed their satisfaction with the cleaning results and confirmed their approval of the work carried out by Cklip Commercial Cleaning. This sign-off indicated the successful completion of the cleaning project and the handover of the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery site to Brims for their intended use.
Cklip Commercial Cleaning successfully delivered on the assignment for the Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery project. Through their dedication, attention to detail and adherence to high cleanliness standards, they transformed the site into a pristine and inviting space. The builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning services provided by Cklip ensured that the Ad Gefrin site met Brims expectations and was ready for occupancy. The smooth handover and sign-off process further solidified the professional relationship between Cklip Commercial Cleaning and Brims, showcasing Cklip’s commitment to delivering exceptional cleaning services.