Wat-er way to bounce back into business.
A farm that was wiped out by foot-and-mouth disease has tapped into a new enterprise by bottling its ancient spring water.
And after selling its products to hotels, restaurants and caterers, it has now struck a deal to supply thousands of customers at Newcastle Racecourse.
Marlish Water was founded by cousins Elizabeth Walton and Joseph Evans on the family farm near Hartburn two years ago.
The farm had previously been a thriving visitor centre, offering tours to schools and families, but in 2001 it succumbed to foot-and-mouth disease. More than 800 sheep, rare breed cattle, pigs and goats were culled, equipment had to be burned, and the business came to an end.
But when Ms Walton was talking to her cousin they hit on the idea of bottling their ancient water, which is believed to have been drunk by Roman soldiers and Knights Templar.
Newcastle Racecourse was an obvious fit for Marlish Water.Joseph Evans, Marlish Water founder
And last year the pair secured permission to open their own bottling plant, instead of having to send their water to a facility in Sunderland.
Now the deal with Newcastle Racecourse will see them supply water throughout its bars and hospitality areas, as well as across the Gosforth Park estate, including the Border Minstrel pub and Parklands Golf Club.
They will also sponsor the Collingwood Insurance Beeswing Ladies’ Day on July 25, supplying free water to race-goers.
Mr Evans said: “As a business committed to building our brand presence with high end users across the North East, Newcastle Racecourse was an obvious fit for Marlish Water.
“We’re delighted that we’re going to be stocking water for the full Gosforth Park estate, and the brand exposure at Ladies’ Day, which attracts huge crowds of over 20,000, is a fantastic opportunity and a great way to put Marlish on the map.”
Newcastle Racecourse Executive Director David Williamson said: “When I heard about Marlish Water running its new bottling facility on the outskirts of Morpeth, it made perfect sense to see how it could support our catering offer.
“Marlish Water offers a premium product, which I have no doubt will be well received by the tens of thousands of visitors we welcome each year.”