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Award-winning gin distillery to move into historic Norwich building

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 05 September 2018

Craig Allison; Director of Bullards, John Bullard; Director of Bullards, Richard Pratt; owner of Crystal House and [Right] Russell Evans; Chairman of Bullards, standing outside Crystal House. Photo credit: Heist Films

Craig Allison; Director of Bullards, John Bullard; Director of Bullards, Richard Pratt; owner of Crystal House and [Right] Russell Evans; Chairman of Bullards, standing outside Crystal House. Photo credit: Heist Films

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An award-winning gin distillery might be moving into central Norwich and setting up tours and tastings.

The historic Crystal House in Norwich. PHOTO: Sophie SmithThe historic Crystal House in Norwich. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Bullards has submitted a planning application to change the use of Crystal House on Cattle Market Street from retail to light industrial use, in a move that will help the firm quadruple its gin production.

Established in 1837 and reborn in 2015, Bullards is the first gin distillery in Norwich for more than 150 years.

Bullards is looking for the Grade II building to house its new handmade 600 litre copper still from Kothe in Stuttgart, Germany.

A second phase of planning is in the pipeline for 2019 that will see the site become a tourist attraction and destination, offering tours and tastings plus a bar and restaurant.

The Crystal House in Norwich pictured in the 19th century when it was owned by Holmes & Sons.
Picture: Collect
Copy: Sharon Page
For: EDP NEWS
EDP Pics ©2003  Tel: (01603) 772443The Crystal House in Norwich pictured in the 19th century when it was owned by Holmes & Sons. Picture: Collect Copy: Sharon Page For: EDP NEWS EDP Pics ©2003 Tel: (01603) 772443

Crystal House was erected in 1862 and has since become a landmark within the city of Norwich with its large glass façade and cast-iron supports.

Standing empty since December 2016, the sites’ historical and architectural importance will be preserved by Bullards and more than 20 additional staff will be employed when phase two is complete. The gin firm will maintain the sites’ original light industrial use, distilling and bottling.

Bullards has recently scooped silver and bronze awards at the International Wine and Spirit Competition as well as winning two Great Taste Awards.

Richard Pratt, owner of Crystal House said: “When Bullards first contacted me about the proposal, I was intrigued! “It will be so nice to return the building back to an industrial use and to see the site become a destination for people in Norwich. I look forward to what the future holds for Bullards.”

Engraving of the Crystal House and surrounding area in Prospect Place, Norwich, when it was owned by Holmes & Sons in the 19th century. 
Picture: Collect
Copy: Sharon Page
For: EDP NEWS
EDP Pics ©2003  Tel: (01603) 772443Engraving of the Crystal House and surrounding area in Prospect Place, Norwich, when it was owned by Holmes & Sons in the 19th century. Picture: Collect Copy: Sharon Page For: EDP NEWS EDP Pics ©2003 Tel: (01603) 772443

Bullards will be unveiling their The Spirit of Norwich branding and new distinctive bottles next month, playing homage to its brewing history.

The company has also recently signed a three-year partnership with Norwich City Football Club, to become their exclusive gin supplier in the restaurant and bar areas. The first batch of their latest product, Old Tom Gin, will be produced in time for Christmas.

John G Bullard, great-great-grandson of the founder and board director, added: “Bullards occupation in 2018 of Crystal House is a cause of great celebration and optimism for the future.”

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