Nc’nean Distillery toasts Virgin Money funding deal set to accelerate its export activity
Nc’nean Distillery has secured the package from the Clydesdale Bank owner with the backing of UK Government department UK Export Finance (UKEF), and says the funding boost will help as it continues to expand its presence overseas, with the US and Canada set to remain key growth areas as its Organic Single Malt becomes more widely available across both countries. The firm, which in 2020 raised nearly £2 million, also says it was recently ranked 21st in a list of the World’s Most Admired Whiskies.
The distillery, which takes its name from Neachneohain, a Gaelic goddess known as the Queen of Spirits and as a fierce protector of nature, and its team of about 20 produces various organic whiskies from its base near Drimnin on the Morvern peninsula. It has a major focus on sustainability, having been B Corp certified and using renewable energy from a wood-chip biomass boiler, for example.
Nc’nean boss Annabel Thomas said: “Our partnership with Virgin Money has been critical to Nc’nean as we develop and grow the business, and this recent funding package has been fantastic to support our expansion to new markets.”
UKEF supported Virgin Money in providing a tailored funding package, issuing a UK Government-supported General Export Facility (GEF) loan guarantee that covered 80 per cent of the financing and enabled the lender to complete the transaction.
Craig Wilson, head of foreign exchange sales and trade finance at Virgin Money said: “Nc’nean Distillery has entrepreneurship and sustainability at its heart, and this is embodied in the founder Annabel who we are delighted to have been able to support in the next step in her business growth journey."
Lara McGrath, UKEF export finance manager, added that the organisation – the UK’s export credit agency – is pleased to support Nc’nean with its ambitious international plans. She added: “We share Nc’nean’s passion and drive for bringing quality, sustainable Scottish produce to new markets, and we look forward to supporting more companies in the Scottish food and drink sector with our [GEF].”
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