Speyside distilleries get the green light for expansion plans

Glenfiddich Distillery
Glenfiddich have expansion plans for their Dufftown site approved

TWO EXPANSION PLANS for different Speyside whisky giants were approved by planners at Moray Council on Tuesday.

As reported yesterday, Edrington, owners of the Macallan distillery near Aberlour, sought approval for their cooperage and warehouse development, and extension to their distillery and visitor centre being created near Craigellachie.

Despite objections to the plan by neighbours Tim and Gaynor Barry the plan was approved, paving the way for the £100million development that will see 10 warehouses being created.

At the same meeting Glenfiddich in Dufftown were given approval for their plan to build new distilling facilities, tun rooms and other equipment as well as improved access.

Following Tuesday’s meeting Council Leader Stewart Cree said: “For these global industries to commit to this level of investment in Moray is a measure of their confidence in the Speyside brand.

“It is recognised the world over as the finest malt whisky you can get, and that reputation draws thousands of visitors to our area every year.  As such we are glad to be able to play our part in ensuring the boost to our communities from this confidence, and look forward to seeing these industries go from strength to strength.”

The Macallan application was recommended to be approved by planning officers – and members of the Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee unanimously agreed but only after imposing two conditions on the plans.

Sound levels were ordered to be monitored every quarter for five years, while the proposed lighting scheme on the site would be referred back to the committee for further consideration after concerns were raised over possible light pollution.

The decision was welcomed last night by Moray’s parliamentary leaders, with Angus Robertson MP commenting: “The plans for major expansions at both Glenfiddich and Macallan are representative of massive investment by the whisky sector in Moray. This is good news for jobs both directly and through the large supply chain, which supports many high skilled and well paid job in the region and further afield.”

His Holyrood colleague Richard Lochhead MSP added:  “This level of investment in the Speyside whisky industry is a massive boost for Moray and the local economy.  It’s fantastic that these international brands are committed to growing their distilleries in Moray and that these plans have been given the go ahead is welcome news for our communities.”

“Whisky is not just a major industrial investor and employer in Moray, it is also at the heart of Moray’s tourism message. Macallan and Glenfiddich significantly influence both of these sectors and with this investment we can look ahead to continued success for the short, medium and long term.”

The Edrington plans saw the Macallan owner commissioning world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster for the project, which will feature glass–fronted curved buildings with turf roofs. for more details of the project visit the website here

A spokeswoman for the company said: “This is a project that will provide vital infrastructure for the new distillery and will be a site of major architectural significance.

“When it is complete in 2017 the new distillery and visitors’ centre will bring both employment and significant economic benefits to our local community.”