Save The Cat and Fiddle (and Weasel!)

by Karl & Lindsay in Macclesfield Forest, England, United Kingdom

Save The Cat and Fiddle (and Weasel!)
We did it
On 2nd December 2019 we successfully raised £54,548 with 821 supporters in 42 days

Help the team at Forest Distillery to refurbish and re-open The Cat and Fiddle Inn whist enabling it to produce WHISKY!

by Karl & Lindsay in Macclesfield Forest, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

WOW WOW WOW -  YOU'VE DONE IT!! The £50k target has been hit with hours to spare!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH xxx


The curious tale of The Cat and Fiddle (and Weasel)...

Once upon a time...

in 1813 to be historically accurate, a local Silk Merchant called John Ryle purchased a plot of land next to a brand new turnpike road.

Upon this plot, he built a beautiful, warm, cosy haven where weary travelers could enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. The weather at this location was often inclement, and Mr Ryle's Inn soon became a necessary stop when travelling between the towns of Macclesfield and Buxton. 

He named his Inn, The Cat and Fiddle (no, we don't know why either but hey diddle diddle!)

Over the years, the Inn has played a part in many stories. Some personal, some more of international importance (Charles Rolls regularly used it as stop-off whilst testing cars for his fledgling business with a Mr Royce) . However, over the last few decades, like many other pubs, the Inn has struggled to survive as a business. Several factors are to blame, but it's remote - yet beautiful - location certainly hasn't helped to encourage drinkers to visit and spend time.


In 2015, the Cat died, and a Weasel was born...

As the doors closed at the pub for the last time, a local family began a small business, selling gin which they distilled in their kitchen, using botanicals from the forest below The Cat and Fiddle. They called the product Forest Gin and it generated huge demand from the worlds best bars, hotels and department stores. 

The family quickly rented a barn in the forest, employed some local folk and now they daily distil Forest Gin and Forest Whisky whilst singing twee folk songs and wearing Elf costumes (the costume and songs bit is a blatant lie, but if it helps the story, then great).

2019 A conundrum.

The Cat and Fiddle Inn has been owned by the Robinsons family for nearly 100 years. The family are passionate about supporting pubs and local communities but, despite having invested huge amounts into the building over the years, each successive landlord has found it harder and harder to operate a successful business there. As a simple pub, the trading figures simply don't justify the investment needed. A lot has changed over the last century and after a lot of careful thought and consideration the family reluctantly decided to close the doors of The Cat and Fiddle.

But that was not the end of the story. For the last 3 years, the Robinsons family have been working hard to find the right partner, with the right business plan, who will take The Cat and Fiddle into a sustainable and successful future. To do this and reach its full potential, it was clear that The Cat and Fiddle needed to operate as more than a pub.

It just so happens that The Forest Distillery is operating at capacity, and is in urgent need of a space to put barrels of freshly distilled spirit to "sleep" for a few years until it is ready to be enjoyed as English Single Malt Whisky. The Cat and Fiddle just happens to have an extensive network of cellars at 1600 feet above sea level with the most perfect conditions for whisky to mature... coincidence or fate?

We need your help!

We need your help to give this tale a happy ending. This iconic pub needs a major transformation to secure its future, including a new environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant and lots of other major refurbishment works, to breathe life into this legendary hidden gem.

The Robinsons family are helping, the Bond family at the distillery are helping, but we are still considerably short of the funds needed to restore The Cat and Fiddle to its former glory.

This is not a charity request, so we are offering you some seriously valuable rewards in exchange for your hard-earned cash.

If all goes according to plan, then The Cat and Fiddle (and Weasel) will open its doors as a shining jewel on top of the green hills above Macclesfield and Buxton. 

If we can raise the final amounts required, we plan to:

  • Have an onsite shop with take-away food and drinks for your picnics. 
  • House a Whisky Distillery with the finest cellars in the land. 
  • Create a World-Class tourism site to attract people to our beautiful local area.
  • Generate employment opportunities for local people, with the added bonus of attracting investment and more visitors to the wider region.
  • And of course, The Cat and Fiddle Pub, with roaring fires, good food, and the finest drinks for you and your family to enjoy in the years to come.


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

Pre-Launch tour & drinks!

Pledge £25 and you will receive a ticket to one of our launch events before we open to the public. You'll get a couple of hours at the pub, a talk on the history of The Cat and Fiddle, at least 2 drinks (Gin, Whisky or Beer), and a tour of the premises including the fantastic Whisky cellars! Dates will vary depending on when the pub is ready, but we hope that this will be in the spring of 2020.

£15 or more

Your name on the saviors wall

Mark your name in history! For £15, add your name to the wall of The Cat and Fiddle. This reward is open to all - worldwide. We will create a permanent plaque to be displayed loud and proud incorporating all names of the good folk who have saved the building. This is for individuals and families only. We have a corporate option further down.

£27 or more

*GIFT* Pre-Launch Tour & Drinks!

Physical Gift Voucher for Pre-Launch tour & drinks! Pledge £27 and you will receive a ticket to one of our launch events before we open to the public. You'll get a couple of hours at the pub, a talk on the history of The Cat and Fiddle, at least 2 drinks (Gin, Whisky or Beer), and a tour of the premises including the fantastic Whisky cellars! Dates will vary depending on when the pub is ready, but we hope that this will be in the spring of 2020.

£50 or more

Pre-Launch tour & drinks for 2 people

Pledge £50 and you will receive a ticket to one of our launch events before we open to the public. You'll get a couple of hours at the pub, a talk on the history of The Cat and Fiddle, at least 2 drinks each (Gin, Whisky or Beer), and a tour of the premises including the fantastic Whisky cellars! Dates will vary depending on when the pub is ready, but we hope that this will be in the spring of 2020.

£52 or more

*GIFT* Pre-Launch tour & Drinks for 2 people

*Physical Voucher for gifting* Pledge £52 and you will receive a ticket to one of our launch events before we open to the public. You'll get a couple of hours at the pub, a talk on the history of The Cat and Fiddle, at least 2 drinks each (Gin, Whisky or Beer), and a tour of the premises including the fantastic Whisky cellars! Dates will vary depending on when the pub is ready, but we hope that this will be in the spring of 2020.

£90 or more

Pre-launch tour & drinks for 4 people

Pledge £90 and you will receive a ticket to one of our launch events before we open to the public. You'll get a couple of hours at the pub, a talk on the history of The Cat and Fiddle, at least 2 drinks each (Gin, Whisky or Beer), and a tour of the premises including the fantastic Whisky cellars! Dates will vary depending on when the pub is ready, but we hope that this will be in the spring of 2020.

£100 or more

4 Hour tour INCLUDING GIN DISTILLERY & TRANSPORT!

**AN IDEAL CHRISTMAS GIFT** £100 per person. You choose collection from either Macclesfield or Buxton train station. We pick you up in a group and whisk you up the hill to The Cat and Fiddle. Drinks will be poured and you'll get a tour of the pub and cellars. Then more transport to our Gin Distillery. More drinks. Returned to the station within 4 hours. What a day!

£1,000 or more

13 of 20 claimed

Corporate / Group sponsorship and day out!

Pre launch VIP daytime tour including name and Logo on our corporate sponsor wall and a social media post. Treat 20 of your team to 3 hours at The Cat and Fiddle as a private event. Includes plenty of drinks, a talk on the history of the pub, and a guided tour of the building plus our fantastic Whisky cellars! We'll also include your company logo on our sponsor wall at least A4 size.

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