English sparkling wine maker Chapel Down is proceeding with plans to move its production to a new site, after planning permission was granted by the local council.
Based in south-east England, the publicly-listed company applied to move site to Highland Court Farm in Canterbury, Kent back in November last year.
Canterbury’s city council’s planning committee approved Chapel Down’s proposals, provided the company begins work on the new winery in the next three years.
“The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission,” documents seen by Just Drinks read.
The new facility is set to cover over 26 acres of land and will allow Chapel Down to significantly increase production to 9m bottles by 2032, compared to the 1.5m produced in 2021.
Andrew Carter, CEO of Chapel Down, commented: “We are delighted that the planning application for a new purpose-built wine hub in Canterbury Business Park has been approved. This development will have a significant positive impact on the local economy, creating jobs, increasing local spending and placing Canterbury at the heart of the country’s burgeoning wine industry.
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“Following this successful planning outcome, we look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to deliver the next stage of this project, which will underpin our long-term growth plans.”
In November, Chapel Down said it expected the project to cost £20-30m ($21.7-32.6m). Just Drinks has asked the winery for updated cost figures and details of when the company expects construction to start and finish.
Josh Donaghay-Spire, operations director and head winemaker of Chapel Down, added: “We believe that the creation of this state-of-the-art hub for wine production will further burnish Canterbury’s credentials as England’s own sparkling wine capital, and Chapel Down’s status as England’s leading and largest winemaker.”
In the 12 months leading up to 31 December 2022, Chapel Down reported a net sales revenue of £15.6m ($19.43m), with operating profit up 51% to £1.7m.