Award-winning Cotswolds Distillery has been awarded a lucrative grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, for the construction of a new visitors’ centre at their site in the North Cotswolds.

The distillery fought off fierce competition to secure the grant of £145,000. Awarded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the grant is presented to businesses which create jobs and growth in the rural tourism sector. The remaining cost of the build will be met through the distillery’s current equity crowdfunding round on Crowdcube, which opened last week and aims to raise £2 million.

In addition to serving as the new Brand Home, it is hoped that the new visitor centre will allow the distillery to diversify its tour offering with a wider range of experiences available to visitors including tastings and evening events.

The new visitor centre will house tasting rooms, an expanded shop, an exhibition space and a café. Currently the distillery welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors a year running three tours a day, seven days a week. The new centre will have interactive exhibition spaces and a viewing area, allowing drop-in visitors a glimpse of the distillery when tours are fully booked meaning they can still learn about the work of the distillery and see production in action.

Dan Szor, Founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery said, “We are thrilled with this marvellous vote of confidence from the UK government, which will allow us to enhance our award-winning visitor offering. We’re looking forward to completing our visitors’ centre project and really creating a destination that brings people to the area, showcasing this stunning region that’s so dear to us.

This grant really shows that the Government fully back our vision and recognise the far-reaching benefits that this kind of investment can have on the wider rural economy of the North Cotswolds.”


The Cotswolds Distillery:

Located in Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, the distillery has become a premier local attraction, offering tours and tastings daily, and now receives 27,000 visitors a year and runs tours and tastings every day

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017 and is just over three years old. It has been aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels and specially shaved, toasted and re-charred red wine barriques. It is bottled non-chill filtered, with no added colour and at 46% ABV. RRP £44.95. Each bottle lists the barley variety, harvest year and local Cotswolds farm it was grown on.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is available nationally and in 12 countries across the world. Key UK retailers include Majestic Wine, The Whisky Exchange and Laithwaites.

The distillery also produces the Cotswolds Dry Gin, which was named Best London Dry at the 2016 World Gin Awards and received the top Gold Outstanding award in the 2017 International Wine and Spirits Competition

Prestigious accolades for the Cotswolds Dry Gin include ‘Best London Dry’ at the World Gin Awards 2016 and a Gold-Outstanding award at IWSC 2017. Difford’s Guide recently ranked the Gin as one of the top 20 Gins available in a survey of 450 brands.

Cotswolds Dry Gin is on sale nationally and in over 23 countries.  Key national accounts include Waitrose, Majestic, Oddbins, Laithwaites, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason. Difford’s Guide recently ranked the Gin as one of the top 20 Gins available in a survey of 450 brands, and it won ‘Best London Dry Gin’ at the World Gin Awards 2016.

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The Cotswolds Distillery has just opened a round of equity raising through the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. They are looking to raise £2 million, which will go to building the brand and expanding the sales and distribution networks. The new visitors’ centre is a central part of the brand building strategy and the distillery hope to open the new facilities in Spring 2019. More details can be found at

The grant:

Under the RDPE Growth Programme, there are grants for rural tourism infrastructure, food processing, and business development. The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) delivers the grants, working with ESIF sub-committees in Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) areas. The government has confirmed that it will guarantee funding for RDPE Growth Programme grants if these are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU.

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