Meet the Team

The best whisky needs more than the purest water, top quality barley, state-of-the-art equipment and the best casks money can buy. Crucially, it needs truly gifted professionals to help guide and shape not only the spirits, but the entire experience; from tours to dining, from shopping to tasting. Paul Currie, our Managing Director, and Chairman Nigel Mills have gathered around them a formidable team; some with masses of experience, some with little experience but huge amounts of enthusiasm and ability. Meet some of our faces behind The Lakes Distillery.

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PAUL CURRIE

Founder and Managing Director

As the son of renowned whisky man (MD of a global whisky business) and one part of a father-son team behind the Isle of Arran Distillers, Paul has whisky in his veins. 

“England is part of a global evolution of new distillers.”

Paul Currie
Nigel Mills

NIGEL MILLS

Chairman

Nigel, former convenience store retail player, has his work cut out for him owning the Trout Hotel in Cockermouth alongside running The Lakes Distillery. 

“It’s the ideal synergy between the two businesses – the perfect combination to boost tourism in the North Lakes.”

ALAN RUTHERFORD

Director

We benefit enormously from Alan’s expertise as the former production director at Diageo and a leading, much respected figure in the whisky world. 

Alan Rutherford

Dhavall Gandhi

Operations Director & Chief Whiskymaker

Dhavall joined the Distillery after fine-tuning his skills at Macallan whiskies and will be instrumental in crafting the Lake District's only single malt whisky.

"This state-of-the-art distillery offers a blank canvas and a potential for creativity that is unrivalled within the industry. This is my opportunity to continue telling the story through our brands."

TERRY LAYBOURNE

Culinary Director

With years of world-class hospitality experience, renowned restaurateur Terry acts in a mentoring role to our head chef and provides culinary direction for our Michelin-guide recommended Bistro.

“We run a bistro that takes its food and drink seriously - both for tourists and locals alike.”

Terry Laybourne
Andy Beaton

ROBERT DON

Head Chef

Locally-sourced ‘produce with style’ suits Andy’s approach to designing his menu for Bistro at the Distillery. Stylish but hearty food feature at the Bistro, with everything from cakes to Sunday roasts.
 
“My team are the most important ingredient to me. Alongside salt!”

TOM WILLIAMSON

Bistro and Bar Manager

Having worked in the hospitality industry since the age of 14 and working his way up from full-time server to manager in less than 2 years, Tom is perfect for ensuring that all runs smoothly in the Bistro.

“The most important thing about hospitality is excellent personal service.”

Tom Williamson
Brian Hill

BRIAN HILL

Tour & Retail Manager

Brian knows the ingredients to make an outstanding whisky tour, having worked in Scottish whisky tourism industry for many years.

“Making the tour come alive is critical – my team is passionate about the product and the care we put into making it.”

Simon Barry

Site Manager

Simon keeps the operations at the distillery site running smoothly - everything from ground maintenance to warehousing. You'll generally find him on site running from A to B!

“The site is beautiful regardless of what me and my team put into it, but it needs regular TLC to keep it looking it's best! ”

Katie Read

KATIE READ

UK Sales

As Cumbria’s local ‘woman of whisky’ Katie has secured business with the likes of Booths, Morrisons and even Claridges. She is instrumental in getting our product into the hands of our customers.

“Our range of wonderful spirits have true provenance and are made with passion, knowledge and care, reflecting the place we call home, The Lake District”

 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Clayton Nagel, Keiron Hall & Chris Pateman bring a wide range of skills and backgrounds to develop our relationships with stockists, wholesalers and retailers.

“We have amassed a network and understanding of the on-trade environment and a huge passion for spirits of all kinds. The Lakes Distillery produces some of the best spirits that Britain has to offer - we're looking forward to seeing where we are this time next year!”

 

Business Development
Maria Duddin

MARIA DUDDIN

Director of Business Development & PR  

 With over 15 years of industry experience, Maria's expertise help take the brand from strength to strength.

“Driving the sales of the Distillery in all areas is my focus, managing our vast event portfolio from trade to tourism and ensuring our award winning brands and destination is seen and heard!”

 

 

KAREN RIPLEY

Marketing Manager

Karen has developed around 15 years of marketing experience and loves to brings fresh ideas and creativity to our projects. 

“We've got enough stories to fill a book (so much so that we wrote our own!). I love it when our customers engage with us and get involved with the distillery.”

Karen Ripley
Laura Cleary

LAURA CLEARY

Brand Development Manager

Laura was with the business right at the start, before it was even out of the ground.

“The story behind our brand is spectacular - I'm looking forward to seeing it grow to its full potential.

DAVID ROBINSON

Head of Finance

 David is here to support each teams financial performance and keep everything running smoothly.

“Here at The Lakes Distillery no two days are the same- the team are great and all have a genuine passion for what they do.”

David Robinson
Amanda Whitle

Amanda Whitle

Production Coordinator 

Amanda is responsible for ensuring product quality, maintaining a safe and orderly work environment whilst supporting organisational goals.  

"We strive to maintain the highest standard of product possible to ensure maximum customer satisfaction."

Millie Forster

Events & PR Manager 

Millie coordinates all of our events alongside being able to identify any press opportunities.

"Events are a great way for us to connect and engage with our customers."


 

Millie Forster
Mike Hodgson

Mike Hodgson

Customer Service Manager 

Mike makes sure that the needs of our customers are being satisfied by providing excellent customer services throughout the customer journey.   

"I find it is crucial to understand and satisfy customers' requirements and aim to exceed their expectations." 

Claire Richardson

Management Accountant 

Claire prepares develops and analyses financial information so that we can make well-informed decisions, leading to future stability, growth and profitability. 

"I enjoy being able to use my initiative in order to prevent any problems from arising."

Claire Richardson
Brian Jobling

Brian Jobling

Chief Technology Officer 

Brian oversees all technical aspects and technological resources of the business to establish our technological vision.  

"From day one we have tried to make the most of all the technology around us to ensure maximum business efficiency." 


 

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