A total of 45 new distilleries were registered in the UK in 2016 – a 17% increase compared to the previous year.
The rapid growth – an increase of 135% since 2010 - brings the total number of UK distilleries to 273, with distilleries in England contributing two thirds of the new licences granted in 2016, according to new figures revealed today by the HMRC.
The 273 distilleries, which include five known licence cancellations in 2016 – three in England and two in Scotland, comprise 118 in England, 11 in Northern Ireland, 131 in Scotland and 13 in Wales, according to the HMRC.
The growth was ”yet another” positive sign of the UK spirits industry going from “strength to strength”, said the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
“From traditional products like Scotch, to the Great British gin boom and newer products like English and Welsh Whiskey, it is an exciting time for spirits producers across the UK,” said chief executive Miles Beale, adding consumers here at home and around the world had developed a “real thirst for top quality British spirits”.
To riser to that challenge, a new distillery was coming online at the equivalent rate of one per week, said Beale.
As the Government negotiated free-trade deals with both Europe and third countries there was “a real opportunity” for the UK to boost its exporting capacity by trading quality spirits overseas, he added.
“We have already seen how successful and in demand British gin is to 139 countries around the world and we believe with the right support the industry can go further to access more markets overseas.”
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