Is historic country estate set for new life as a brewery?

Fordham Abbey boasts more than 230 acres of grounds.

Fordham Abbey boasts more than 230 acres of grounds. - Credit: Archant

A Japanese company is in negotiations to buy an historic building in East Cambridgeshire with a view to establishing the UK’s first sake brewery.

Dojima is in the process of buying the Fordham Abbey estate for £3.5million and hopes to invest a further £9million in transforming the Grade II listed property, creating dozens of jobs

Dojima is hoping to set up a sake brewery, an alcoholic drink made of fermented rice, and export the product all over Europe, as well as running a visitors centre and shop.

The company has been working closely with East Cambridgeshire District Council and UK Trade and Investment on the sale and is hoping to submit a planning application for the brewery in the coming months.

Kiyomi Hashimoto, managing director of Dojima UK, said: “UK Trade and Investment has been crucial to us. They gave us step-by-step support including setting up meetings with an expert, without which our project couldn’t even have begun.”

Fordam Abbey is a listed country house and is surrounded by parkland, cottages, offices, paddocks farmland and farm buildings, which stretch to upwards of 230 acres.

The house boats four reception rooms, four baths, ten bedrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court, walled garden, orchard and even 33 acres of its own woodland.

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It is understood that the farm will not form part of the sale.

Councillor Josh Schumann is to visit Fordham Parish Council on April 13 to update councillors on the plans.