The investment helped establish work on two new distilleries – Drimnin Distillery on the Morvern Peninsula and Torabhaig Distillery in the south of Skye.
The projects are expected to meet market demands for high quality malt whisky, in the UK and overseas, and deliver a range of economic and social benefits locally.
These include the creation of new, year-round jobs and increased visitor numbers at both locations.
HIE invested £168,709 in the Drimnin distillery, with a further £431,291 investment from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme. The site will produce a single malt whisky, with production due to start in early 2017.
Eight new jobs
Up to eight new jobs are expected to be created through this project, with further employment indirectly through its construction, future supply chain and tourism.
Drimnin ceo Annabel Thomas said: “After several years in the planning, it is hugely exciting to see the new distillery starting, literally, to take shape.
“Interest in small, quality spirit producers and single malt whisky continues to grow and we are looking forward to offering something a little bit different to consumers around the world.
“The social benefits include attracting more visitors to the area, boosting the resident population and providing well paid, skilled jobs in rural Scotland.
Development at the Torabhaig Distillery secured a £712,615 investment from HIE, which will create 12 new jobs when it opens later this year.
Torabhaig Distillery was set up by Mossburn Distillers, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the international investment group Haydn Holdings.
Springboard for future inward investment
Mossburn planned for the distillery to act as a springboard for future inward investment in other distilling operations, including bottling and warehousing in the Scottish Borders.
Finlay Calder, Mossburn Distillers projects director said: “We are delighted with progress at Torabhaig Distillery and look forward to the first spirit being distilled soon.
“Restoration work on the 19th Century steading buildings that house the distillery and visitor centre has been carried out, creating a modern and functional facility fit for the 21st Century. We are very proud of it.”
Helen Cameron from HIE’s business growth team said the distilleries would generate significant international sales and add diversity to the Scottish malt whisky sector’s reputation.
Distillery investments – at a glance
- Two new distilleries in the Morvern Peninsula the south of Skye
- £168,709 investment in the Drimnin Distillery
- Eight new jobs at Drimnin Distillery
- £712,615 investment in Torabhaig Distillery
- 12 new jobs created at Torabhaig Distillery