Despite the pandemic, the number of distilleries in the UK increased by 124 in 2020, up 28% on the number of new distilleries the year before. This was the first time that the increase in the number of distilleries had increased by more than 100, giving a total of 563 registered spirit makers across the UK.
In 2020 England had 311 registered distilerries, triple the number in 2016. In Scotland there were 214 distilleries, with Wales and Northern Ireland also witnessing the number of distilleries growing year-on-year.
Although 2020 saw a record number of new distilleries entering the market, trading conditions remain challening, which is why earlier this year the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) issued further calls for chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide additional support for the spirits and hospitality sectors to help them through the on-going Covid-19 pandemic through a series of duty and VAT cuts.
However, support is not just needed for the wine and spirits sector, all leisure and hospitality companies that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic need additional help.
With the furlough schemes being wound down in September, there are wider industry concerns that there will be significant job losses as hospitality bosses either cut back on their expenses or simply call time on their business.