A FAMILY-owned firm celebrated 130 years of operations on Christmas Day.

William Grant & Sons, which set up the Hampshire arm of its operation in the Bartley Wood Business Park, Hook, seven years, was set up on Christmas Day in 1887, and, five generations later, is still going strong.

The company employs 144 people at its Hook base within departments ranging from marketing to commercial, human resources to finance and operations.

The business has also sponsored the Hook Fun Run for the past five years, and recently announced its status as carbon neutral through the Stand for Trees initiative Managing director, Neil Barker says: “At WG&S UK we are proud of our history, which has, together with our collective ambition and excellent people, propelled us to take the title of number one premium spirits supplier in the UK.

“Setting up shop in Hampshire has been hugely important for our business operations outside of Scotland, we are proud to call Hampshire our home.”

The founder William Grant’s ambition was to create ‘the best dram in the valley’ and the company wants to continue to pioneer and innovate, gaining industry-wide recognition for its practice for example, Glenfiddich and its title of World’s Most Awarded single malt whisky.

Expanding with the Hook branch came some 120 years after Mr Grant's 20 year dream of building his own distillery became a reality in 1887.

The company said it is also proud of its continued support of initiatives that align with its company values – being responsible, proud, sustainable and entrepreneurial – by volunteering for the likes of Naomi’s House children’s charity, and at local schools.

Over the past couple of years, some notable landmarks include in 2002 when William Grant & Sons had a series of successful new product launches including Hendrick’s Gin which was named ‘the best gin in the world’ by the Wall Street Journal.

Other leading brands produced by the company include The Balvenie Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry, Milagro Tequila, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, Drambuie and Monkey Shoulder.

Looking ahead, Mr Barker added: “Cheers to another 130 years”