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INVERKIP Distillery Project Attracts £1Million Government Funding

A PROJECT to build a new lowland malt whisky distillery and visitor centre in Inverclyde has been awarded nearly £1 million from the Scottish Government.

The Ardgowan Distillery, which plans to build the flagship project at Bankfoor on Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip secured £982,000 from the government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme. It will go towards construction costs.

The award was announced today by Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, ahead of the AgriScot 2017 exhibition in Edinburgh.

The distillery now plans to commence construction next year with ambitious plans for a world-leading lowland malt whisky distillery being completed by 2020.

Chief executive officer Martin McAdam said: “The Scotch whisky industry supports more thn 40,000 jobs in Scotland, and is a vital component of Scotland’s ambitious food and drink growth strategy.

“This £12 million project will move Inverclyde up the rankings for food and drink production in Scotland. During construction the project will support 35 jobs and contribute more than £2million to the local economy."

Once up and running, the distillery will create six new full-time jobs, with up to 15 additional jobs in the visitor centre and retail operations, with around 47 further jobs created in the wider economy during the first five years.

“We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for their generous support, and to all others who have backed the project so far, especially the local community for their enthusiasm and encouragement,” Mr McAdam added.

The distillery has already received full planning consent for the project, which will transform a former sawmill.

Earlier this year the distillery appointed industry veteran Willie Phillips -– who spearheaded The Macallan malt whisky for 18 years -– as chairman of the business.

It has also appointed former Bruichladdich and Springbank director Gordon Wright as advisor on commercial development and sales; whilst global distilling expert Professor Michael Eagan will review the new plant’s process engineering design.

The distillery will resurrect the name of the Ardgowan Distillery, which was founded in 1896 and located in Baker Street, Greenock. After a few years of whisky production, the distillery was used to make grain spirit and industrial alcohol until it was destroyed in the May Blitz of 1941.

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