In­vestors fear for town’s gin fu­ture

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

A PEN­SIONER fears his sav­ings have been lost af­ter he in­vested in a com­pany called McCaigs Dis­tillery, which launched an on­line crowd fund­ing ap­peal late last year.

Af­ter in­vest­ing £2,500 in the firm, which plans to make gin and vodka, the pen­sioner says the owner has failed to pro­vide any sizes of bar­rels or say when the dis­tillery will be open­ing.

How­ever, the pen­sioner said he has been told by the com­pany owner he is not to worry and that ‘ev­ery­thing is on track’.

McCaigs Dis­tillery, a new com­pany hop­ing to open premises in the town, un­der­took a pri­vate ap­peal for fund­ing through Face­book. The re­quest for fund­ing was closed ‘ seven weeks ago’. In­vestors were led to be­lieve gin and vodka would be dis­tilled from premises on the Rail­way Pier in Oban. How­ever, con­cerns have since been raised about the com­pany via Face­book.

When asked about his plans, the sole di­rec­tor of McCaigs Dis­tillery, David Eric Robert­son, said it was ‘not in the pub­lic in­ter­est’ to say where he was set­ting up his dis­tillery or when he would start mak­ing the gin.

Mr Robert­son said he was not pre­pared to go on the record in an­swer to a ‘ bunch of lies’ about him on so­cial me­dia. He added: ‘It is seven weeks since we closed the crowd fund­ing and in that time agents don’t get back to us. This is all just Oban gos­sip.’

He posted on so­cial me­dia: ‘Look guys what­ever your prob­lems are, our plan is on track. Yes it’s tak­ing slightly longer to open but it’s cer­tainly no grounds for this type of sug­ges­tions that you all seem to have about me! I took a hol­i­day over the fes­tive pe­riod to spend time with my fam­ily away from the manic that is Face­book. We only just closed the round in Novem­ber. Take a chill pill!’

Mr Robert­son’s com­pany is reg­is­tered at an ad­dress at Ge­orge Street, Ed­in­burgh.

The Oban Times looked at reg- is­ters of li­censees and through min­utes of meet­ings of Ar­gyll and Bute Li­cens­ing Board over the past year and could find no men­tion of Mr Robert­son or his dis­tillery. A num­ber of mem­bers of the li­cens­ing board had no rec­ol­lec­tion of Mr Robert­son and his plan. Four in­vestors con­tacted The

Oban Times. One said: ‘I took Mr Robert­son at his word and I still be­lieve he will de­liver. I couldn’t find any­thing that would have stopped me in­vest­ing. My con­cern is that there is no size of bar­rel. I was told by Mr Robert­son that “if it all goes belly up”, I would still have the bar­rels of gin to sell.’

An­other said: ‘I feel stupid. ’

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