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Number of distilleries in the UK rises

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The UK saw a 17% increase in the number of distilleries in 2016, bringing the total to an estimated 273 distilleries. 

The figures from HMRC show that 45 new distilleries were registered in 2016, while there were five known license cancellations.

According the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), there has been a 135% increase in distilleries since 2010.

Miles Beale, chief executive, WSTA, said: “This is yet another positive sign of the UK spirits industry going from strength to strength.

"From traditional products like Scotch, to the Great British gin boom and newer products like English and Welsh Whiskey, it is an exciting time for spirits producers across the UK.”

Creating free trade deals as part of the Brexit negotiations will be important for boosting success further, said Beale.

“We have already seen how successful and in-demand British gin is to 139 countries around the world. But we believe with the right support the industry can go further to access more markets overseas.” 

Scotland has the most distilleries with 131 recorded in 2016: an increase of 46% since 2010. England has 118 distilleries; Wales has 13; and Northern Ireland has 11. 

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