INVERKIP Distillery Developers Aim For 'World Class' Visitor Experience

PLANS to create a whisky visitor centre at Inverkip have taken a step forward with the appointment of design experts.

The Ardgowan Distillery –- which is developing a new malt whisky distillery at Bankfoot on Ardgowan Estate -– has just appointed leading architects Jonathan Gotelee Architect, brand experience experts Contagious and brand agency Chemistry to help design a world-class visitor centre at the site.

Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart, owner of Ardgowan Estate, said: "I really hope that Ardgowan becomes an important part of the Inverclyde tourist experience. The estate has an extraordinary 600-year history and I believe Ardgowan House and the visitor centre will become a tourist magnet for Glasgow day-trippers and cruise ship passengers from around the world. Together we will create jobs and bring new tourists to the area."

The visitor centre design is being supported through the Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER programme 2014-2020 which has provided 50 per cent funding for the concept work.

Ardgowan Distillery Chief Executive Martin McAdam said: “Inverclyde has tremendous tourism potential, yet it performs very poorly compared with other areas in Scotland. We’d like to help change this. 

“Ardgowan Estate is less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow and last year Greenock welcomed more than 100,000 cruise ship visitors, so I believe there is a great opportunity to capture this market with a first-class food and drink tourist experience. We estimate the distillery and visitor centre will create up to 30 new jobs within five years.

“I’d like to thank the team at LEADER for awarding us this grant. It is an important step in linking food and drink production to tourism to aid the development of rural communities. It is also important to build investor confidence in Inverclyde as a place to do business.”

The LEADER support comes from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas programme.

McAdam continued: “The LEADER funds will help the distillery produce a clear design concept for the visitor centre which will bring together several design experts at this early stage to formulate a cohesive plan for the detailed design phase. This will result in a much more comprehensive and realistic detailed design that we will take through to a phase 2 project."

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