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210112 | Geothermal rum distillery project receives £70K from Government green fund This geothermal rum distillery has received

Geothermal rum distillery project receives £70K from Government green fund

This geothermal rum distillery has received green funding from the Government to get off the ground

12 January 2021 Artists impression Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company

By Olivier Vergnault

A project to build a £10 million geothermal rum distillery in Cornwall has received further green funding from the government.

Matthew Clifford, founder of the Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company, hopes to see the facility open outside Redruth, Cornwall, by the end of Summer 2022, and outline planning permission has been submitted to Cornwall Council.

The company has been working with Geothermal Engineering Limited, a power plant based at United Downs near Redruth, Cornwall which will drill into granite 5km underground to generate electricity.

If approved, it is hoped that the first stage of the distillery will create 30 jobs - and be environmentally sustainable. It could distil 640,000 litres of rum over a period of five to 10 years and would create a further 70 jobs as it expands.

Now the project has received £75,000 as part of the first phase of the Green Distilleries competition.

The Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company is one of 17 distilleries around the UK to receive a share of the £10m fund to make distilleries greener and reduce their carbon emissions through low-carbon hydrogen, biomass and repurposed waste to power or geothermal energy.

Mr Clifford said: "As an ambitious, start-up distillery project, aiming to get everything sustainably right from the word go, we are overwhelmed and beyond grateful to be amongst the highest beneficiaries of the Government’s Green Distillery award: it’s an endorsement and an understanding at the very highest level of what we aim to do.

“We have poured our hearts and souls into this vision which combines our absolute passion for rum with root and branch sustainability, much-needed investment and quality full-time jobs utilising local skills and businesses in this part of Cornwall.”

The successful distilleries will receive between £44,000 and £75,000 in the first phase of funding, helping them boost decarbonisation research and development, with schemes including the use of hydrogen and biofuel boilers and geothermal energy in their production processes.

Energy and clean growth minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said the funding will help prevent pollution equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.

He said: “Building back greener from the pandemic is something we can all raise a toast to.

"Every business can play a part in the green industrial revolution and this funding will allow UK distilleries to lead the way by making their production cleaner while also creating jobs.”

In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, highlighting the opportunity for the sector to be at the heart of the UK’s green and resilient recovery from coronavirus.