Hull’s popular gin school reopens at new city centre location

An award-winning gin school and distillery in Hull is set to open its doors in a new home this weekend.

Hotham’s will occupy the whole of the second floor of a new leisure and office development inside the former HSBC bank in Whitefriargate in the city centre.

Previously based in nearby Hepworth’s Arcade, the business was originally launched in 2018 by founders Emma Kinton and Simon Pownall.

Last December they scooped gold in the experience of the year category at Yorkshire’s White Rose tourism awards for the second year running.

The school offers people a gin-making experience, taking them through the history of the drink and learning about the art of distillation.

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Work is still ongoing at the new 55 Whitefriargate complex in Hull city centre
Work is still ongoing at the new 55 Whitefriargate complex in Hull city centre

Emma said: “Our new home in Whitefriargate is probabaly four times larger than the unit we had in Hepworth’s Arcade so we have got a lot more room to run classes here.

“It’s a lovely space and we can’t wait to get started.

“We are just dealing with a few snagging issues today before a final clean and then we are ready to go. We have got 24 people booked in for tomorrow and we are really looking forward to it.”


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She said Hotham’s would also be involved in the running a new private members bar which is due to open later this year in the bank’s former vaults.

Currently cloaked in scaffolding, the 55 Whitefriargate development will feature a mix of shared workspaces, meetings rooms, restaurant facilities and a rooftop bar.

Due to fully open later this year, it promises to be one of the most significant recent facelifts in the street which links the Old Town to the rest of the city centre.

Whitefriargate has suffered from an exodus of major high street names in recent years, leaving a large number of empty units.

Earlier this month developers Wykeland confirmed the former M&S store it now owns in the street is due to re-open later this year as a temporary job centre in a partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.