The first phase of the Ardgowan Distillery will incorporate two copper stills and six washbacks, with a planned output of one million litres per annum. Future output can be doubled via the addition of two further stills plus washbacks in an already-approved second phase.
Austrian investor Roland Grain – owner and chief executive of IT company Grain – has provided £7.2m of the new equity, with the remainder coming from new and existing shareholders.
The distillery is also in discussion with a loan provider that will provide additional debt funding for the project in the coming weeks.
Works starts this year
Work on the distillery is to commence later this year, with first spirit from the site expected in 2023.
Commenting on Grain’s involvement, chief executive Martin McAdam said: “He is a genuine whisky enthusiast who has visited distilleries all over Scotland, and he has a clear vision for the project which is very much aligned with ours; based on place, provenance and people.
“This is terrific news for the project and for Inverclyde. We have put a lot of the uncertainty of Brexit behind us and we hope that Covid will also soon be a distant memory.”
This new distillery will resurrect the Ardgowan Distillery name, which was destroyed in the May Blitz of 1941.
Global whisky roadmap
Local member of Scottish Parliament Stuart McMillan added: “I welcome this large investment in the Ardgowan Distillery project and my constituency. The Ardgowan Distillery will not only create 30 new jobs but will put Inverclyde on the global whisky map once again.
“This is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing the business grow, with Inverclyde being found in many more homes and businesses across the world.”
This year also saw The Isle of Barra Distillers submit planning proposals for a £5m distillery in the Scottish Highlands, with plans to create 30 jobs on site. Plant and equipment is expected to cost £2.2m with the construction of the distillery itself also expected to cost £2.5m.
Meanwhile, confectionery manufacturer Haribo has invested £22m into its Castleford, West Yorkshire site to boost manufacturing capability.