The new malt whisky distillery on the Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas programme.
Ardgowan Distillery chief executive Martin McAdam said the project would provide a welcome economic boost to the local area.
“At present, Inverclyde has the lowest number of food and drinks businesses of any local authority area in Scotland and, as a consequence, has very low levels of food and drink employment.
‘30 new jobs within five years’
“Ardgowan Estate is less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow and last year Greenock welcomed more than 100,000 cruise ship visitors, so I believe there is a great opportunity to capture this market with a first-class food and drink tourist experience. We estimate the distillery and visitor centre will create up to 30 new jobs within five years.”
Construction of the distillery is planned to start later this year, to be completed by 2019.
Initial production at the site will be about 200,000 litres of pure alcohol (LPA) a year, which will rise to over 800,000 LPA a year at full production.
McAdam said the building of the distillery and visitor centre would support the Scottish government’s Ambition 2030 programme, to double food and drink production by 2030.
‘Build investor confidence in Inverclyde’
“It is an important step in linking food and drink production to tourism to aid the development of rural communities. It is also important to build investor confidence in Inverclyde as a place to do business,” he added.
Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart, owner of Ardgowan Estate, said the new distillery would become an important part of the Inverclyde tourist experience.
“The estate has an extraordinary 600-year history and I believe Ardgowan House and the visitor centre will become a tourist magnet for Glasgow day-trippers and cruise ship passengers from around the world. Together we will create jobs and bring new tourists to the area.”
The new distillery resurrects the name of the Ardgowan Distillery, which was founded in 1896 and located in Baker Street, Greenock. The distillery was used to make grain spirit and industrial alcohol until it was destroyed in the May Blitz of 1941.
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