Speyside toast to the new year of innovation, architecture and design

Spirit of Speyside - set for another record-breaking year?
Spirit of Speyside – set for another record-breaking year?

WHISKY AND WATER will doubtless be taken in copious amounts over the forthcoming New Year celebrations – now Speyside’s leading festival says the perfect match is also ready for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has grown exponentially year on year and is expected to once again provide a massive boost to the Moray and Speyside whisky industry as well as tourism in the region.

With 2016 being the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, a Scottish Government initiative that is being led by national tourism agency VisitScotland and a number of partners, Spirit of Speyside Festival chairman James Campbell says that the union of innovative design and traditional whisky production was a fitting achievement to be celebrated during the themed year.

He said: “From the bold, innovative moves of illicit distillers who pioneered production to the world famous architectural design of the pagoda which has become a hallmark of Speyside’s distilleries, whisky would not be the multi-billion pound industry it is today without these innovators.

“This amalgamation of heritage and innovation is what makes Speyside whisky so unique and we look forward to sharing our traditions and passion for Scotch malt whisky with visitors to the Festival.

“The five-day event offers a rare opportunity for whisky aficionados, and beginners alike to learn more about the malts that have made our region world famous.”

From April 28 to May 2 the Spirit of Speyside will see its 17th annual festival, with thousands of visitors expected for a programme that is made up of over 400 unique events, including a selection of new attractions, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Scotland’s first themed year ran in 2009 as the year of Homecoming – the success of the project brought about a range of benefits to the country and boosted tourism overall.

Following on from this, the Scottish Government announced a series of themed years to showcase the country as a dynamic and creative nation through a yearlong plethora of programmed events.
Peter Bush OBE is Director of Events for VisitScotland. He said: “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is a terrific success story and has attracted many thousands of overseas visitors to Scotland.

“Although an industry that has a long-established heritage, whisky production in Scotland embraces creativity and innovation to supply global demand. This fits perfectly with the theme of Innovation Architecture and Design and visitors can look forward to finding out about this interesting side of our national drink during the festival in 2016.”

Information about the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival can be found on the website www.spiritofspeyside.com where tickets will be on sale from early February. The Festival is also active on facebook.com/WhiskyFestival.