Dal Riata Distillery toasts approval of £4.5m Campbeltown whisky distillery
Dal Riata Distillery Ltd has secured planning permission from Argyll & Bute Council to establish a £4.5 million multi-purpose development alongside Campbeltown Loch.
The venture will include a distillery, museum, visitor centre, and retail outlet, creating about 20 jobs for the local community. Additionally, the distillery has committed to offering trainee roles for aspiring professionals in Scotland’s growing whisky industry.
The distillery’s name, ‘Dal Riata’, pays tribute to an ancient kingdom that spanned regions of Argyll, Kintyre, and beyond during the 6th and 7th centuries. With barley for their single malt Scotch Whisky planned to be grown at Dunadd Fort – the historical capital of Dal Riata – the venture aims to blend the rich history of the region with its whisky-making heritage.
The duo behind this ambitious project are Iain Croucher, founder and owner of the award-winning independent whisky bottlers, North Star Spirits, and business entrepreneur Ronnie Grant.
Mr Croucher said: “To be working within Scotch Whisky is beyond a blessing. The ladies and gents that came before who created such as strong and powerful industry, which we are now custodians, comes with great responsibility.
“We must preserve this vital global asset for future generations to enjoy and thrive”.
Mr Grant added: “Gaining planning permission is a massive step forward in fulfilling our dream to bring a new distillery to Campbeltown.
“We have been humbled by the positive reaction we have received from both local people and the wider whisky community.
“Campbeltown is a special little place which is certainly on the up and we can’t wait to become a part of its bright future.”
The facility will feature an architectural spectacle with an impressive glass frontage offering glimpses of its large copper stills. A raised balcony will serve as a premium event and tasting space, offering panoramic views of Campbeltown Loch. The development also incorporates a vacant shop on Longrow to be converted into a visitor centre and conference and tasting room, and has been designed to allow for future production expansion without enlarging the existing footprint.
As Campbeltown experiences a surge in tourism, the Dal Riata initiative aims to capitalise on this by housing a museum within the visitor centre to narrate the town’s historic association with whisky production.
Looking ahead, the long-term plans include constructing a cask storage warehouse at Machrihanish Airport, which will also provide bottling and storage services for private clients.
Charlie Maclean MBE, master of the quaich, said: “Campbeltown holds an important and special place in the history of Scotch Whisky. Two hundred years ago, some 25 distilleries were producing 748,000 gallons (3.5 million litres) of spirit according to The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland.
“In recent times the number of operating distilleries has significantly dwindled, but the news that The Dal Riata Distillery has been granted planning permission is splendid.
“Iain Croucher and his team know their whiskies. This they have proved by winning the title ‘Independent Bottler of The Year’ on more than one occasion.
“I have every confidence that The Dal Riata Distillery will produce magnificent liquid worthy of carrying forward Campbeltown’s legacy to a new generation of whisky lovers”