The UK has witnessed a record number of new distilleries registrations in 2020, according to data released by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The figures reveal that UK distilleries increased by 124 last year, which is said to be a 28% increase in comparison to 2019. The boom saw the number of distilleries in the UK increase by two folds in four years.

In England, distillery numbers trebled since 2016 with 311 registered distilleries last year.

Scotland saw numbers surge to 214 last year while Wales and Northern Ireland also reported growth.

Overall, the total number of distilleries registered in the UK increased to more than 560 last year compared with over 440 in 2019.

According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), Covid-19 failed to stop investors from launching new spirit businesses across the country.

WSTA also noted that 2020 was the hardest year for many UK distillers, especially small, independently owned businesses.

For most of last year, pubs and bars across the country operated with restrictions or shut completely due to Covid-19 restrictions.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “It’s heartwarming to find a positive story from the gloom of 2020 – and our bold and growing band of distillers have delivered once again. The record number of new distilleries opening across the UK is great news and helps provide jobs and a real boost to local economies.

“With such a difficult 2020 behind us and a daunting challenge to recover in 2021, our distillers need the support of the Chancellor at the upcoming Budget.

“A freeze at the last Budget certainly helped distillers to invest and grow, but we need the Chancellor to go further this time, with both a duty cut and an extension of the VAT reduction in hospitality venues, until at least March 2022 – and including alcoholic drinks.”