PLANS for a major new distillery on Speyside have been given the go ahead by Moray councillors.
• Plans for a new distillery on the site of an existing disillery, closed for 15 years, have been approved by Moray councillors
• Chivas Brothers’ propose to build on site of disused Imperial Distillery
• Councillors hail major boost for Speyside and Moray area
Chivas Brothers. the whisky arm of international drinks firm Pernod Ricard, is planning to build the new distillery at the site of the mothballed Imperial Distillery, near Carron, Aberlour which has been closed for 15 years.
The construction of the new distillery will result in an increase of ten per cent in the company’s malt whisky distilling capacity, meaning 5 million litres of additional spirit each year.
The original distillery buildings have already been demolished to make way for the new development.
Councillor Douglas Ross, the convener of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, said the development would be a major boost for Speyside and Moray.
He said: “This application was submitted in late December and less than four months later it has now been approved which I hope shows that Moray is open for business and will work with applicants and communities to ensure we get a decision as quickly as possible.
“The applicants also took part in a pre-application process with the council and local people and this has helped the application to progress swiftly.”
He added: “Moray and Speyside are well known around the world for their contribution to the whisky industry and I’m sure this new distillery will be another welcome addition. Its location in Carron, replacing the former distillery, is very picturesque and it is pleasing that local people will now have a new distillery complex of a more modern contemporary design in their area.”
Angus Robertson, the SNP MP for Moray said: “The ongoing and substantial investment in Moray by the whisky industry is extremely welcome and demonstrates the international strength of Scotland’s national drink.
“Exports have been going from strength to strength with supply struggling to keep up with demand. As a result we have seen substantial investment in both existing facilities and in major new facilities such as Chivas are planning at Carron. This is creating new skilled jobs in Moray and supporting the various companies that supply the whisky sector.”
Richard Lochhead, the area’s MSP, also welcomed the opening of the new distillery on Speyside. He said: “These investments are great news for Moray with the whisky sector not just resilient in tough economic times but, in fact, growing at a very significant rate.
“This key national product demonstrates the significant strength of Scotland’s food and drink sector, which Moray forms a major part of.”
Councillor Pearl Paul, a Speyside Glenlivet councillor and the leader of the council’s SNP Group, said: “These plans are great news for jobs in Speyside both in the construction sector and for the long-term running of these facilities. I am delighted that our most iconic industry is doing so well and it is especially good to see these plans approved just as the Speyside Whisky Festival is starting.”
The Imperial Distillery was closed down in 1998 by former owners Allied Distillers before being purchased by Chivas Brothers in 2005.
The news follows the announcement by drinks giant Diageo of plans to build a £50 million “super-distillery” in Teaninich near Alness in Easter Ross.