AN ULVERSTON distillery was among the representatives of the spirits industry to attend a virtual roundtable discussion celebrating and discussing the sector.

Shed 1 Distillery was joined by MPs including Trudy Harrison, of the Copeland constituency.

The event was hosted by the UK Spirits Alliance.

It offered the chance for North West businesses and parliamentarians to celebrate the rise in the number of distilleries in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Producers on the call highlighted their pivot to online sales given the huge effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on trade.

Ms Harrison praised distillers' work during the pandemic and highlighted the importance of the Lakes Distillery, based near Bassenthwaite, to the tourist economy.

Shed 1 Distillery said it was vital the Government continued to support growing businesses in the region.

Speaker of the House Lindsay Hoyle MP highlighted the importance of supporting a growing and innovative industry as it recovered from the economic effects of the pandemic.

Trade envoys Mark Menzies MP and Katherine Fletcher MP both spoke of the need for the Government to support growing small and medium-sized enterprises as these businesses looked to export to new markets such as South America.

All on the call agreed that British spirits were iconic and highly valued around the world.

To protect a growing industry in the midst of these challenges, distillers called for a fair, industry-wide duty regime.

A spokesman for the UK Spirits Alliance said: “It’s great to see so many spirits producers and parliamentarians coming together not only to celebrate the rapid rise of spirits production in Cumbria and Lancashire, but to discuss how this growing industry can be supported by government.

"As the prime minister looks to 'build back better' post-Covid, the UK Spirits Alliance urges him and his chancellor to support a growth sector like spirits production to help level-up across the country”.