Award-winning Pappillon Dartmoor Distillery in Moretonhampstead has welcomed a visit from the town’s Member of Parliament. Directors Claire and Adam Hyne gave Central Devon MP Mel Stride a tour and briefed him on their plans to grow and diversify the business. The number of distilleries in the UK has more than quadrupled in the past six years amidst a national gin boom.
During the visit, the trio discussed the issue of spirit duty, with a government consultation on alcohol duty closing earlier this year. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the Government now has greater freedom to amend duty levels and address the disparities between the duties for beer, cider, wine and spirits. Mr Stride undertook to lobby treasury ministers over whether a tax relief scheme could be introduced, similar to Small Brewers Relief, which gives small brewers reduced rates of beer duty.
“We were really pleased that Mel visited and was interested to hear our concerns and thoughts about the level of duty for spirits. Any tax relief, in the current economic climate, would potentially make a big difference to our small business and we appreciate Mel taking this up with the treasury.”
Mr Stride added:
“The UK drinks industry is hugely important and there is a strong case to simplify alcohol duty and look at tax relief for smallest distilleries. It was great to visit Papillon and to hear about business’s excellent conservation work within Dartmoor.”
Mr Stride has previously received awards from the British Beer and Pub Association and the National Association of Cider Makers for his role in getting the beer duty escalator scrapped and his championing of the UK Cider industry.