Scots distillery receives £10.5m investment

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

An artist's impression of the distillery after the upgrade is completed
An artist's impression of the distillery after the upgrade is completed
International wine and spirits producer Distell International has invested £10.5m in the Bunnahabhain Distillery on Islay, Scotland, as part of a three-year refurbishment programme.

As part of the upgrade, a number of the original buildings will be restored to their original condition, while others will be removed and relocated to create more space. Distell said the improvements would allow for better operational flow across the site.

Other areas being improved included the construction of a new filling store, as well as the refurbishment of the production building and a series of six cottages alongside the distillery, to be used as holiday homes.

Construction commences

Work has already commenced with the demolition of four warehouse buildings, as well as the start of upgrades to the existing pumphouse.

Distell also planned to create a new visitor centre at the site, which would feature a café and retail space positioned along the shoreline of Islay. Some of the existing warehouses are in the process of being removed from their current shoreline positioning to enable the visitor centre to be located there.

The centre will become the ‘brand home’ of the business and is planned to be open to visitors at the start of the 2020 tourist season.

Future-proof

Distell brand director for malts Derek Scott said the investment programme would improve the operational side of the distillery for the long-term future.

“The plans aim to make the navigation of the site much easier for the visitor and to, in simple terms, declutter it,”​ said Scott. “This will ensure the buildings are more efficient from a storage point of view and located in better-suited, more accessible locations to the production buildings.

“Furthermore, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the works. The whisky industry is starting to be more environmentally aware and our achievement of recycling over 99% of materials shows that, with a little bit of extra effort, it is remarkable what we can achieve.”

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