New £6.5m distillery planned for Benbecula
The Uist Distilling Company is planning to open a £6.5 million new distillery on the island of Benbecula.
The new distillery at Gramsdale will see single malt, rum made while a visitor centre will also be built to help boost tourism and add to the whisky trail in the Outer Hebrides.
The distillery will be run by father and son team Angus A Macmillan and his son, Angus. The two have said they wanted to create spirits with a “Hebridean Twist” and take them to Scotland and the world.
Mr Macmillan Snr, chairman and chief executive, who is from South Uist, said the distillery will bring 25 secure, high-quality jobs to the island, along with around 60-70 further jobs for suppliers, farmers, crofters and those involved in the transportation of their products.
He said: “The new distillery aims to be a champion of all things Hebridean and Scottish and will provide a huge boost to tourism in the area. We want to produce whisky, rum and gin that will put Benbecula and the Hebrides firmly on the whisky tourist trail, while introducing the products we make to a national and international clientele.
“I want to build strong relationships with other island distilleries so that we support the economic prospects of Scotland and our wider international industry.”
A planning application for the site will be submitted to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar this week.
The firm hopes to begin production in early 2022, The Scotsman reports.
The distillery complex is due to harness low-carbon technologies in the design, build and distillation process.
Angus E Macmillan, operations manager at The Uist Distilling Company, said: “Having a low-carbon footprint is key to The Uist Distilling Company’s plans. We are working with industry experts to design a spirit production process which is powered by renewable energy sources, this will lower the carbon output of the distillery and ensure we are at the forefront of the whisky industry’s move away from the use of fossil fuels.”
The firm is planning on running several community consultation events so locals can have their say on the proposals over the next few weeks.
Rachel Mackenzie, area manager for the Outer Hebrides at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, added: “These innovative plans will bring much-needed high-quality and secure jobs, as well as providing a visitor attraction that will be a significant boost to the Outer Hebrides tourism experience.”