A Cornish geothermal distillery company has been awarded a £75,000 cash boost to fulfill its plans to create a low carbon green facility near St Day.

World-renowned whisky and spirit producers from Orkney to Cornwall toasted an almost £9 million cash boost announced by the government on Saturday that will drive forward plans to create low-carbon green distilleries.

The Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company received the £75,000 to help realise its plan to create a geothermal distillery at St Day.

But the scheme is opposed by the current users of the racetrack who are campaigning to Save United Downs Raceway.

Campaigners say the owners of the track Cornwall Council offered them a ten year lease on the raceway, but then broke their 'promise' and withdrew the offer.

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Matthew Clifford, founder of the Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company, has submitted outline plans for an ultra high-tech biome on the outskirts of Redruth.

The aim is for the site at United Downs to create a 100 per cent sustainable cask facility in which to mature rum, using heat from underground.

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Having already received collective funding of more than £1 million to kick-start green innovation projects, 12 distilleries across Scotland and five in England can now bid for further grants up to £3 million, totalling almost £9 million.

The grants will support successful distilleries to accelerate projects that decarbonise their production processes, which typically rely on fossil fuels, helping prevent pollution equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Norwich.

In the first phase of funding, distilleries received up to £75,000, helping them boost decarbonisation research and development, with schemes including the use of hydrogen and biofuel boilers and geothermal energy in their production processes.

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “From whisky and gin to rum and vodka, the UK’s distilleries are famous around the world for their innovation, and it is great to see them use this to get into the spirit of going green.

“The funding announced today will support one of our most iconic industries to go further and faster in cutting their carbon emissions and build back greener – something we can all raise a toast to.”

In 2019, the UK distilleries industry grew by 20%, highlighting the opportunity for the sector to be at the heart of the UK’s green and resilient recovery from coronavirus.

The production of whisky is said to have directly produced around 530,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2018, with the majority of these emissions coming from the generation of heat for the distillation process. This accounts for more than 80% of the distillation industry’s fuel consumption – almost all of which is currently from fossil fuels.