Articles Net Zero Rum Facility Submitted for Planning

Plans for a rum cask maturation facility heated by the UK’s first geothermal power project have been submitted to Cornwall Council. 

Designed by Grimshaw with BuroHappold engineering, the project is set in the heart of Cornwall’s copper kingdom, a World Heritage Site, and has been developed with sustainability at its heart, with the potential to regenerate the site and enhance its mining heritage. 

The proposed development will showcase the maturation process and will be able to hold up to 3,200 casks of rum for up to ten years. Utilising both heat and power from a nearby geothermal source, it will maximise energy efficiency, minimise energy loss, and achieve a net zero carbon design.

The project represents an opportunity to add new statement buildings in order to regenerate the historic fabric of the site in a sensitive manner. The new buildings highlight a very clear distinction between old and new, heritage and innovation, mining and maturation. The architecture does not attempt to mimic traditional mining forms or materiality, rather allowing its function to dictate its appearance. 

The two Grade II Listed engine houses that border the site remain the most prominent features for middle and long distance views. Their setting against the new buildings in the foreground requires a sensitive touch and the protection of key view corridors.

It is hoped the £10m facility for the Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company could be up and running as soon as 2022, with the possibility of further investment enabling creation of a full geothermal rum distillery.