Plan­ners’ green light for dis­tillery pro­posal

In­dus­try: Fam­ily firm’ s de­vel­op­ment in whisky heart­land

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY CHRIS MACLENNAN

A job boost and eco­nomic boom are ex­pected in Spey­side after plan­ners gave the go-ahead for a new dis­tillery yes­ter­day.

The dis­tillery, vis­i­tor cen­tre and ware­house, to be si­t­u­ated on the out­skirts of Gran­town-on-Spey, be­tween Crag­gan Out­doors and Gaich Farm, will now be de­vel­oped by Spey­malt Whisky Dis­trib­u­tors Ltd – bet­ter known as Gor­don and MacPhail.

The firm pur­chased Ben­ro­mach Dis­tillery in For­res in 1993, which now at­tracts more than 13,000 vis­i­tors per year and has re­cently ex­panded to in­clude a gin dis­tillery.

Ewen Mack­in­tosh, manag­ing direc­tor of Spey­malt Whisky Dis­trib­u­tors Ltd, ex­pressed his de­light last night, adding that they “hope to get started very quickly – po­ten­tially this year”.

He said: “We’re look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity here.

“As a fam­ily-owned busi­ness lo­cated in the north of Scotland we are very much rooted in our com­mu­ni­ties and we are keen to de­velop strong re­la­tion­ships in Gran­town-on-Spey and the sur­round­ing area.”

The new dis­tillery, in an area that res­onates with whisky lovers across the globe, will have the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce 100,000 cases of whisky each year – ap­prox­i­mately two mil­lion litres – with 50,000 an­tic­i­pated to visit each year.

Coun­cil­lor Bill Lob­ban said: “I think this is a fan­tas­tic thing for the whole area and not just Gran­town-on-Spey.

“I think this is ex­actly the right kind of de­vel­op­ment, and over the years it will pro­vide a great eco­nomic boost and some lo­cal jobs, so over­all it is to be wel­comed.”

The dis­tillery will in­clude a “liv­ing roof ” planted with se­dum to help min­imise the vis­ual im­pact on nearby homes and will be si­t­u­ated right at the en­trance to the Spey­side Whisky Trail.

Eleanor Mack­in­tosh, Cairn­gorm Na­tional Park As­so­ci­a­tion (CNPA) plan­ning com­mit­tee con­vener, de­scribed the pro­posal as a “ma­jor de­vel­op­ment for the area” and con­grat­u­lated the “thor­ough and well­p­re­sented ap­pli­ca­tion”.

She added: “The food and drink sec­tor and the tourism in­dus­try are both ex­tremely im­por­tant to the na­tional park econ­omy – of­ten go­ing hand in hand as is the case here.

“It is an in­no­va­tive build­ing to house a busi­ness that will pro­vide long-term eco­nomic ben­e­fits.”

The de­vel­op­ment is the first malt whisky dis­tillery to be ap­proved by the CNPA since it was es­tab­lished in 2003.

The Scot­tish whisky sec­tor gen­er­ated £5.5 bil­lion in gross value to the UK econ­omy in 2018, with the in­dus­try recog­nised as the third most pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion in Scotland with more than two mil­lion vis­its to dis­til­leries each year.

The in­dus­try also sup­ports ap­prox­i­mately 7,000 jobs across the High­lands and is­lands.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing part of the com­mu­nity”

IM­PRES­SION: An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the planned whisky dis­tillery and vis­i­tor cen­tre near Gran­town-on-Spey will look like

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.