Our very own, Nigel John Mills, has been appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Our Chairman and co-founder received the fantastic commendation in recognition of his services to entrepreneurship in the North-East and Cumbria. The CBE is an honour awarded by the Queen for an exceptional leading role at a regional level.

Nigel commented,  “I am honoured, humbled and thrilled to have been awarded a CBE and that entrepreneurship in Cumbria and the North East has been recognised at such a high level. Whilst working with entrepreneurs in the North-East and Cumbria, I see the passion, the desire, the history, the courage and the ability to turn these regions around and transform these challenges into opportunities.”

Nigel graduated as an accountant in 1984, however, his entrepreneurial spark was able to thrive after developing 11 newsagents into a chain of 77 convenience stores and eight supermarkets across Tyneside, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, the Midlands and South Wales. He then went on to become Chairman of the Entrepreneur’s Forum in 2012 having been an original founder member from it’s establishment in 2002.

Nigel has joint-ownership of the four-star Trout Hotel, a short drive from the Distillery in Cockermouth. In April 2012, whilst at The Trout, Nigel read of a brand new whisky distillery in the area that was being built inside a Victorian cattle farm. It was then that Nigel met with our Founder, Paul Currie to discuss a business venture and begin building the brand that is The Lakes Distillery today. Having owned a successful hotel for the past 23 years, the opportunity to build a world class whisky distillery, together with a tourist destination and food and beverage operation, was too good an opportunity to miss.

Nigel said, “Everybody attached to this project has had a lot of faith to get us to where we are today. Hope is eternal. Yes, you need a bit of luck along the way, but if you don’t love what you do, then you drastically reduce your chance of success. Nobody works this hard, just for the money.”

The Lakes Distillery has achieved great success from the help of Nigel and his business knowledge and experience. The distillery has welcomed over 100,000 visitors and the implementation of 7 different income streams have been used to build The Lakes Distillery brand. We look forward to continuing on this remarkably journey with Nigel into 2018 and beyond, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

Nigel commented, “I want to thank everyone who has supported me, and I look forward to the future of entrepreneurship and business growth in Cumbria and the North-East”.

Congratulations Nigel!

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