LAVERSTOKE Mill could become the new global base for an English gin maker, with the creation of a tourist attraction.

This week the Bombay Spirits Company announced that it had bought the four-acre site, in London Road, and was planning to restore the historic mill buildings.

It intends to distil its Bombay Sapphire gin in the grounds, while also turning the former Portals factory into a visitor centre.

People will be able to see the copper stills where the gin is distilled and the unique mix of herbs and spices added to make the very English gin.

The water mill will also be restored to power part of the distillery.

John Burke, global category director for gin, said: “While we are just starting the initial pre-planning application phase and public consultations, we aim to restore Laverstoke Mill to its former glory by creating a world-class centre to the highest environmental and design standards to celebrate Bombay Sapphire gin.

“The success of Bombay Sapphire has heightened interest in the brand and people are wanting to know more and see how it’s made. This wonderfully historic site is the perfect showcase.”

Open public consultation sessions will be held in the Mill House on Thursday, 19 May, from 2pm until 8pm, Saturday, 21 May, between 10am and 1pm, and Thursday, 9 June, from 2pm until 8pm.

Planning permission will then be sought and construction could begin by the end of the year, with completion due in summer 2013.

Mr Burke, who lives in Overton and put forward the site, added: “There’s a long way to go in this process and much to do to restore this derelict site of 40 buildings.

“This site has an amazing history as for more than 200 years it produced high quality paper for the bank notes of England, India and other countries. In many ways this history parallels the story of gin, the British Empire and Bombay gin.”

During building work, between 200 and 300 jobs will be created and other opportunities will arise when the site opens.

Laverstoke Mill was recorded as a corn mill in the Domesday Book of 1086 and expanded with the growth of the British Empire.

To find out more or to register your interest in attending a public consultation meeting, visit or email