“The new office in the financial capital of Europe marks growing investment in Scotland’s booming Scotch Whisky trade, helping generate more jobs across the UK,” said the association. The office will be the SWA’s largest permanently staffed presence outside Edinburgh.
Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said the new office was a significant step for one of the UK’s most successful industries and exporters.
Praising the £5bn contribution Scotch whisky already makes to the economy, Truss said: “Whisky is at the forefront of Britain’s food and drink revolution, helping to drive the UK’s global reputation for world-beating quality and authenticity.
‘£100bn food and drink industry’
“It is the powerhouse behind our £100bn food and drink industry and is a global export success with 38 bottles leaving our shores every second.”
Truss promised the government would continue to work closely with the SWA and industry to ensure it received the support, skills and opportunities to take risks and gain access to emerging markets.
The environment secretary also claimed that support underlined the financial benefits of political union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. “It is yet more proof of how we are stronger together in the United Kingdom,” she said.
Greater collaboration will take place between UK government and industry to create more jobs, attract more investment and drive up exports through the SWA’s new London office, Truss said.
Nearly 200 markets worldwide
Scotch Whisky is shipped to nearly 200 markets worldwide, with exports valued at about £4bn a year . The industry supports more than 40,000 jobs, including many in the supply chain outside Scotland. The new London office will lead to the creation of five new jobs.
SWA chief executive David Frost said the London office would improve access to decision makers in the UK and internationally.
“The Scotch whisky industry is going through a time of expansion,” said Frost. “There are now 117 distilleries in Scotland, with seven opening in the last year or so. About 40 new distilleries are currently being planned or built to meet demand for the quality product.”
The SWA’s London office is headed by Sarah Dickson, director of global affairs, responsible for the SWA’s international and EU business. Dickson was HM Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras before joining the SWA earlier this year.
Scotch whisky – at a glance
- Makes a £5bn contribution to the UK economy
- Exported to nearly 200 markets worldwide
- Exports valued at about £4bn a year
- Supports more than 40,000 jobs
- 117 distilleries in Scotland
- Seven opening in the last year or so
- About 40 new distilleries are being planned or built