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Laverstoke Mill is revealed after demolition of the shed that was in front of it

Bacardi Limited has begun its redevelopment of the former Laverstoke Mill site which is just to the east of Whitchurch. The company is transforming the former bank note production site into a combined gin distillery and visitor centre.

300 – 600 VISITORS PER DAY

The company anticipates to produce thousands of litres of gin and attract 100,000 people to its visitor centre each year or about 334 per day – many of whom will travel via Whitchurch. Peak visiting times may see 600 visitors in a single day.

About 10,000 of the visitors each year will be the company’s key customers, employees and partner agencies. Plans stated that there will be 20 staff total, with 10 each at the production centre and visitor centre.

Gin will be produced at the site.

SIGNIFICANT MARKETING INITIATIVE

The company states that it will promote the attraction with a “significant marketing initiative here in the UK and globally”. They expect that over 1 million people will see their ‘postcard image’ of the Laverstoke site in the first year of its opening.

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Several redundant buildings near Laverstoke Mill were recently demolished

Already, some local Whitchurch businesses have started to plan for the hoped-for boost to local tourism. Our town offers train and bus services; as well as hotel facilities, pubs, restaurants and many shops where the tourists can visit, in addition to our very own popular tourist attraction, the Silk Mill.

DEVELOPMENT UNDERWAY

Many of the redundant buildings around Laverstoke Mill have already been demolished, with just rubble remaining to be tidied away.

A gardenpiazza, visitor centre, shop, courtyard, café, bar and elaborate greenhouse is planned for the site which straddles the River Test. The original water mill will be restored with a modern turbine. The mill was originally used to produce bank notes.

Plans show what the new greenhouse at Laverstoke Mill will look like.

The raw spirit and botanicals will be brought to the site and the finished product will be sent by road tanker for bottling elsewhere in the UK. To accommodate the production, 6 large storage tanks with a capacity of 100,000 litres each; plus 4 smaller tanks of 30,000 litres each will be built on the southern part of the site.

Bacardi employs 6,000 people globally and has 27 production facilities around the world.

Comments (3)

  • soapworks

    Shame if they can’t save some of the machinery that used to work some of the mill, that could be a nice tourist attraction. I for one would then definitely visit.

  • kate muff

    Nice to see that the mill isn’t going to be a waste land, like so many other places locally, it should bring in more money for the community and they obviously realize the great potential that Whitchurch has, good for Bacardi.

  • Mike Stead

    This is a perfect reason to upgrade the footpath currently running below the B3400 from Bere Mill lane to Freefolk. In winter it’s a boggy mess. We should be encouraging people to arrive by train then walk or hire bikes (maybe from North Hants bikes) to visit the mill.

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