Rowing Project Hazelwood House The Wynnes About Us
Hazelwood New Owners
Thecompanyintendtosettheballrollingonbuildingthedistilleryassoonastheyget theplanninggo-ahead.ButDavesaidtheyaremoreconcernedabouttakingthetimerequired toensureapremiumproductthandeliveringitquickly.“I’mawaretherearequiteafewother distilleriessettingupandtheirgoalwouldbetostartquicklyandproduceproductasearlyas possible.“Thatisnotwhatweareabout.Weareworkingtocreatealong-termsustainableproject.”He saidthatassoonastheygettheplanninggo-aheadtheywillstartorderingintheequipment needed.Atthesametimetheywillstartbuildingworks.“Butthetimescalemaydependon wherewedecidetobuyequipmentfrom.Wehavenotyetfullydecidedonwherewewillgofor the large copper stills”. Thestillsaremadebyhand.Someofthetopfirmssupplyingthemcouldtake18 monthstodeliverbecauseofthetimerequiredtobuildthemandthebacklogofworktheyhave onhand.“Somefirmscandothemquickerbuttheyarenotavailableanywhereofftheshelf. Whereverwedecidetobuyfromwillhaveabigimpactonthelengthoftheprojectuntilwe produceourfirstbatchofwhiskey.“Wearemoreconcernedaboutgettingtopqualitythan gettingitdonequickly. Thisdistilleryisgoingtoaroundforalongtimesoit’snotsomethingwe aregoingtorushsoastogainamonthortwo”.Davesaidthattheyareaimingatcreatinga world-classbrandwhiskeyandmakingHazelwoodaworld-classdestination.“Wearevery excited about it and we are confident we are going to come up with something special”.
IN THE MEANTIME . . . Last year the company opened the old factory for a large exhibition called Magnetism? But the owners are not in a position to decide if it that will happen this year. Dave said: “We cannot say yet if the premises will be open to the public again this year.“That will depend on the timing and scale of the building work going on. If there is a lot of construction this year, the site could be dangerous for public access”. “In an ideal world we would like to open again but at this stage I cannot say. The aim is to open it to the public as soon as possible.“One option might be to let people come on site to see the building work in progress if it would be confined to just one area of the large plant, but the focus will be on safety”, Dave concluded.
WHILEtheoldSnia/SaehanfactoryatHazelwoodremainsclosedoverwinter,itsowners arebusypreparingtobuildawhiskeydistillerytherethatwillputSligoontheinternational drinks map.DaveRaethorneofHazelwoodDemesneLtdthisweekgaveProgressiveSligoanupdate onplanstoproduceapremiumbrandwhiskeywithworld-wideappealattheformer factory.WhiletheyareworkingwithSligoCountyCounciltogetplanningpermission,theyare also pushing ahead with preparations for making a top range unique whiskey.Davesaid:“OurproductwillbesomethingthatSligocanbeproudof.Thewhiskeywill beattheupperpremiumendofthemarket,aboveanythingthatisavailableinIrelandat the moment”.Hesaidthatmostoftheirworkatthemomentrelatestocreatingthewhiskeybrand.“To thatendweareworkingwithaprestigiousUKbrandingagencycalledJKR,whohave helped brands such as Budweiser, Courvoisier, Jura and Molton Brown”.Intermsofworkdonesofaratthesite,theyhavere-roofedthewestwingofHazelwood House and have made the entire structure watertight.“Basically,notalotphysicallyhashappenedthereyetbecausewearewaitingonplanning permission.“Wecurrentlyhavefourlocalpeopleemployedonsitefulltime,includingalandscape gardener and we are working primarily on the site rather than the buildings”. The site now has 24-hour security and a network of CCTV cameras to keep it secure.HazelwoodDemesneLtdsubmittedanelaborateplanningapplicationonSeptember2last forafacilitywithseveralattractionsTheplannersrequestedfurtherinformationfromthe company on October 22.Davesaidtheyhavenowcompiledtheinformationrequested.“Thecouncilcame backseekingadditionalinformationandseekingclarificationinanumberofareas.“Weare intheprocessofputtingtogetherthatforthematthemoment.Thatshouldbecompleted withindaysnow.Hopefullywewillhaveplanningpermissionwithinthenextmonthor two”. Theplanningapplicationisforalterationsandchangeofuseoftheformer20,170 sqmlargefactorytoawhiskeydistilleryincludingancillarybondedwarehousestorage, distillationplantareasandoffices.Acafe/restaurant/retailareaoccupying1,740sqmis alsoplannedalongwithvisitortourandstafffacilitiesandassociatedservicesoccupying 18,430 sqm.
NEW YEAR UPDATE ON PLANS
An artist's impression of what the large new elegant stills at the front of the building will look like.
TheprojectincludesexternalandinternalrefurbishmentofHazelwood House (2,277 sqm) to provide a visitor centre.Theworkswillalsoinvolvetheremovaloftheexternalstairtotheeast ofthehouse,thecreationofanewglazedentranceintheadjacenteast courtyard,togetherwithanewglazedexternalpassengerliftinstallationtothe westelevationandexternalgroundworks. Aterraced/deckareatotherearof thehouseandawaterfeature/pondoverexistingparkingareabetweenthe formal garden of the house and factory/new distillery is planned.Thebasement,portionsoftheground,firstandsecondfloorswillserve toursofthehouseandasancillarymuseum/exhibitionareastogetherwith whiskey historical information and tasting areas integrated in a distillery tour. Itisproposedtouseportionsofthegroundfloorandwesternoutbuildingasa restaurant/tearoomsandtouseportionsofthesecondfloorasanexecutive office and boardroom together with two executive residential suites.Craftworkshops/tradedisplaysareplannedatexisting567sqm stables to the east of the site. Anexistingsurfacecarparkwillbereconfiguredtoprovide237carparking and 5 coach parking spaces.
The now disused factory was opened by Italian company Snia in 1971
EMPHASIS ON PREMIUM QUALITY RATHER THAN DEADLINES
Hazelwood House Gets Distillery Green LightFrom the Sligo Champion By Sorcha Crowley OWNERSofHazelwoodHouse,DavidandSueRaethornehavespokenoftheirdelightatfinallybeinggrantedpermissiontotransformthe former Saehan Media factory into a major tourist attraction for the North West.SpeakingexclusivelytoTheSligoChampion,Davidsaid"We'redelighted.Theplanningconditionswerealltobeexpected.We'reveryhappywith it" "SligoCountyCouncilhasbeenfantastictoworkwithintermsoftheprocessofplanning.Infairness,theyhadtoaskforalotofinformation but they did make the process as easy as they could for us' he said.TheplanningpermissionincludestherestorationofHazelwoodHousetoitsformerl8thcenturygloryandconversionoftheoldfactorytoan exclusive whiskey distillery.ItwasthefirstPalladianbuildingdesignedinIrelandbyLeinsterHousearchitectRichardCasselsin1730.Overthecenturiesit'sbeenan aristocratic home for the landed gentry, occupied by an army squadron and used as a psychiatric hospital.Now a new chapter is beginning with plans for a visitor centre, museum/exhibition areas, whiskey historical exhibition and "tasting area along with a restaurant and tea-rooms.Theformervideotapefactorywillbeturnedintoamodernwhiskeydistillerywarehouse,visitortourandstafffacilitiesandanothercafe/restaurantandretailcentre.Thenearbystables willalsoberestoredandopenedascraftworkshopsandtradedisplayareas. Thesitehasunder24-hoursecurityasgroundpreparationworkisunderway.Thefirstsodisnotexpectedto be turned until 2018 under the owners ten year phased plan, with the installation of the distillery plant scheduled for 2019 and completion of phase 1 in the factory due in 2020."Fromourperspectivealotdependsonfundingandhowthedistillerygoes,"Davidtoldthisnewspaper"Thatplanistheworstcasescenario-ifwecandothingsquickerwewillmove quicker than that’ he said.TheDublinentrepreneurwouldliketohostsimilararteventsontheestatetotheMagnetismexhibition stagedinthefactorylastyear.‘Ifthere'salotofconstructionworkgoingonit'snotpossiblebutwestillhave optionsaroundthesite. We’rethinkingofsomethingsculpturalperhapsbutitcouldbe2017beforethathappens," hesaid.‘Weneedtogatherourthoughts,sitdownandplannow.Therewillbeawholeseriesofannouncements made then over the summer' said. David.Sligoplannersattached28conditionstothepermission.Theownersmustsubmitareportannually providingdetailsoftheworkdonethepreviousyear. TheproposedconservationworkstoHazelwoodHouseshall becarriedoutunderthesupervisionofaconservationarchitect.Under"nocircumstances’shallanywaterbe extracted from the Garavogue River or Lough Gill for uses associated with the distillery.From the Irish Times
Dave Raethorne Hazelwood Owner
Permission granted for distillery at Sligo’s Hazelwood House Production of single malt whiskey to start in the Lough Gill distillery within 12-18 months Hazelwood House in Co Sligo, which was considered one of Ireland’s most at-risk Palladian mansions just two years ago, is set to be restored. Sligo County Council has granted planning permission for the restoration of the historic house which was constructed for the Wynne family on the shores of Lough Gill in the early 1700s.The owners have also been granted permission to transform a former factory in the grounds of the historic estate into a whiskey distillery and visitors’ centre, incorporating a cafe/restaurant and retail centre.Hazelwood House was designed by architect Richard Cassels, who also designed Leinster House, Powerscourt House and Russborough House.Software developer David Raethorne, whose company Hazelwood Demesne Limited bought the estate in December 2014, said production of single malt whiskey would begin in the Lough Gill distillery on the estate within 12-18 months. “In the meantime whiskey will be distilled to our specifications at The Shed distillery in Drumshanbo, ” he said. Tourist attractionThe businessman hopes to convert the property into a flagship tourist attraction. He said a lot of work had already been done making the house safe, especially in the west wing. Under the 10-year planning permission, the former factory, built in the 1960s, will be adapted as a 1,700sq m distillery and visitors’ centre. Mr Raethorne said this would be phase one of the project but he was unclear what the timeline would be for the restoration of the house. “It has been there for 300 years so whether it takes three years or five years, the important thing for us is to get it right,” he said