East Cambridgeshire District Council Planning Committee yesterday gave unanimous approval to the construction of the UK’s first Sake brewery, to be built at Fordham Abbey, near Ely.
The applicant, Mr Yoshihide Hashimoto and his family, who own the Osaka based Dojima Sake Brewery Co, received full backing from the council’s planning, conservation and economic development teams for the scheme. At Planning Committee on the 3rd August Members of the Committee voted unanimously to support the recommendation of approval, which will see the demolition of existing disused/derelict agricultural barns to make way for a New Sake Brewery and Visitor Centre.
Marketing Director Miss Kumiko Hashimoto, who attended the meeting yesterday with her family and a delegation from Japan were elated at the decision and commented:
“We have been making Sake for 600 years and we want to teach our art to the people of the UK. We want to create a hundred jobs and use local firms in the construction of the Brewery and we are very excited, grateful and thankful to be here.”
The development will see £9m invested over five years.
Cllr Josh Schuman, Chairman of the planning committee added: “This development is an excellent example of departments and organisations working together to make a dream a reality. It will be an economic catalyst for the region but will also reinforce the fantastic trading relationships between the UK and Japan. It is a fascinating and exciting development for the area and we were very pleased to give it our backing.”
The Sake Brewery will be the first in the UK.
Sake production is a Japanese tradition going back a thousand years. The alcoholic beverage is made primarily with rice and has an alcohol percentage of 16-18%. The Dojima Company were directed to the Fordham Abbey site by UK Trade & Investment (now the Department for International Trade).
They expect building work to commence immediately, and hope to make 10,000 bottles of sake in their first trading year.