Penderyn’s new whisky distillery buildings in Swansea
20th April 2023
When asked if we could transport an oversized boiler to Swansea’s newest Distillery, we jumped at the chance.
In 1973 Byworth began producing boiler shells after purchasing a 2-pass dry-back boiler design from a long established company, Coltman’s.
The site was completed in early 2021 and added another 135 metres to the facility. The extension included a new Customer Centre and training facilities, as well as improved breakout space for the staff.
The newly extended Byworth site is one of the only places in the UK where you can witness the full cycle of industrial boiler manufacture, from flat plate to completed boiler, all under one roof.
Following the Coronavirus pandemic, Byworth were finally able to celebrate the completion of the extension with a factory launch event in October 2021. The event gave Byworth the opportunity to show customers and suppliers around the facility, meet the team, and celebrate the company’s achievements.
A hotly anticipated new attraction has been built in Swansea after three years of work. A substantial part of the former Hafod Morfa Copperworks site has now been transformed and the keys have been handed to the “world-class” whisky business, Penderyn Distillery.
The Penderyn Distillery buildings were saved, improved, and newly built on behalf of Swansea Council on the historic site which dates to 1809. The huge Welsh whisky brand is now installing equipment that will help make the location an operational distillery and destination for visitors.
It will be the third Penderyn Distillery to open in Wales as there are already two sites, one in the south Wales village of Penderyn, and another in the heart of Llandudno North Wales. They are open seven days a week and offer distillery tours and masterclasses, and plans are in place to open the doors of the Swansea distillery this summer.
A spokesperson for the business said they were delighted to be a part of the history of one of Swansea’s greatest heritage sites.
A team of conservation artisan tradesmen worked “tirelessly” to overcome reconstruction challenges of the listed buildings, according to a spokesperson for John Weaver Contractors, which carried out the work on behalf of Swansea Council. Some structures seemed to be beyond repair at times and archaeological artefacts were also unearthed, added the spokesperson.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “We’re delighted to hand over this exceptional site to Penderyn Distillery. I’m confident that, using their knowledge and expertise as one of Wales’s great modern success stories, this important heritage site will become a fantastic visitor attraction for Swansea.”
The project received £4m in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £500k from the Welsh Government economy and transport funding to transform the industrial site which once made Swansea a copper-making world superpower in the 18th and 19th centuries. Additional works to other historical buildings as part of the project have been supported by Welsh Government targeted regeneration investment funding.
The Lower Swansea Valley became the world-leading centre for copper smelting in the 18th century. The Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site is of international importance, becoming the world’s largest copperworks in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.
As for the logistics, this required in-depth planning to meet demanding road restrictions. The first was the need to use a wafer deck trailer to reduce the height of the load while in transit, thus allowing us to manoeuvre under many bridges with only inches to spare.
After completing a route survey, we had to submit a movement order, notifying the local authorities of our intentions to travel through their county, and giving them our desired route and time of travel. This had to be done one week prior to the movement commencing meaning that all other aspects of the project had to align with this time frame
Our Slot for off-loading was 12:00 on 14th June, having loaded the day before we were poised and ready for a 02:00 start from our Base in Crosshills.
Our Driver and Escort Vehicle only had till 06:30 to complete the first leg of the journey due to an embargo restricting them from moving on any public highway between the hours of 06:30 – 09:30
Arriving at Ross on Wye Services at 06:15, both driver and Escort driver took a well-deserved break and waited to complete the remaining 2 hours of their journey.
The rest of the trip went without any hiccups and arrived on site at 11:30 so the onsite engineer could start the next phase of their project.
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