The Lakes Distillery has been given a £3.5 million boost to help it triple its yearly production of alcohol.

It has secured the £3.5m asset-based lending facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance.

The cash will allow The Lakes Distillery, based at Setmurthy, near Bassenthwaite Lake, to increase the quantity of single malt whisky stock it can produce each year threefold from its current capacity of 130,000 litres.

The facility is also able to grow over time, as the value of its current stock of whisky increases the older it becomes.

David Robinson, chief financial officer at Lakes Distillery, said: “In the past, it has been difficult for us to secure an asset-based facility due to the complexities of the whisky market.

“Secure Trust Bank took the time to understand our business model and was able to take a flexible and common sense approach to the lending criteria.

"They understood that the value of our whisky stock increases over time, meaning that the facility can grow as our business expands.”

John Gribbon, regional managing director for Yorkshire and the North East at Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance, added: “The Lakes Distillery brand is set to enjoy phenomenal growth over the next year as it looks to increase production capacity, inventory age and holding.

"The quality of the company’s operations, management team and product range mean it has the potential to rival the very biggest and best alcohol brands not only in the UK but across the world.

"We’re confident it will become a household name in the time we work with them.”

In January, the distillery secured a £4.25m investment from Comhar Capital to support its growth plans.

Leeds-based Comhar Capital acquired a minority share in the business and Craig Wilkinson, who established Comhar in 2018 with Neil Armstrong, joined the distillery's board.

The Lakes Distillery was established in 2011 under the leadership of Nigel Mills and Paul Currie.

Whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi, joined the business in 2015 from The Macallan.

Comhar's cash injection, Mr Mills said in January, would help sustain the distillery's ongoing programme of capital investment, which includes trebling production, installing new equipment and building a new warehouse, as well as supporting its aspiration to increase sales in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

The distillery has become a popular visitor attraction, welcoming more than 32,000 visitors on its tours in the last 12 months, and over 60,000 diners in the onsite restaurant.

Since 2014, it has produced over 500,000 litres of alcohol - equal to 1.5 million bottles of whisky.

As the spirit must remain in an oak cask for three years and one day before it is classified as whisky, the company made its first whisky sale in 2018, and has since sold more than 15,000 bottles.