New distillery, chocolate factory and smoker in East Lothian

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Three East Lothian businesses will open new sites this year
Three East Lothian businesses will open new sites this year
A new distillery, chocolate factory and smokehouse will open in East Lothian this year, as part of a Business Improvement Development (BID) scheme funded by local producers.

NB Gin, Chocolate Trees and Belhaven Smokehouse are all benefitting from East Lothian’s Food & Drink BID.

The scheme legally requires all East Lothian food and drink producers to contribute to an investment pot for the region.

NB Gin ceo Viv Muir said: “We are delighted to be opening a distillery this year to ensure our global demand can be met.

“The distillery will also provide a luxury visitor experience where people will be able to learn, sample and relax in a beautiful environment. It will coincide with the launch of our new rum.”

‘New small-batch chocolate factory’

Chocolatier Chocolate Tree’s ceo Alastair Gower said: “We are over the moon to have made our new small-batch chocolate factory a reality in East Lothian; we love it here.

“There is a huge demand for our products not only in the UK, but also overseas. We are doing our best to keep up.”

Elsewhere, Belhaven Smokehouse will significantly increase production after its factory expansion, the smoker said. The investment would also create jobs, it added.

The smoker’s sales manager Sandy Pate said: “This is a very big step for a small business, heading most definitely in the right direction as we continue to grow our product ranges and volumes, and most importantly keeping our standards to the highest.”

Spent on local businesses

The BID legally requires all East Lothian producers to pay a ‘sliding-scale’ levy, depending on their size. The money is spent on local food and drink businesses to help make their businesses grow. East Lothian Council also matches the funding.

“Overall, ​[the BID] will help grow the food and drink sector, helping to raise awareness of its provenance and the high quality products on offer,”​ an East Lothian Food & Drink statement said.

​[It] will support food and drink businesses through marketing and promotion, sales and distribution support; provide access to grants and funding that would not be available to individual businesses; help lobby on issues that affect local companies and offer a portal for information, support and mentoring.”

Meanwhile, snack manufacturer Fairfield Farm Crisps signed a deal​ with an equipment provider to increase its production capacity.

East Lothian Food & Drink BID beneficiaries

  • NB Gin
  • Chocolate Tree
  • Belhaven Smokehouse

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