Despite the many challenges the Scotch whisky industry has been facing in recent months, it is hard to find signs of a slowdown in the sector's development. Companies operating in the industry are very optimistic, which is also justified by the considerable market resistance to crisis situations in the past. So it should come as no surprise that at a time when global business largely forgoes investment to secure ongoing operations, Scotland is investing millions of pounds into building new or expanding existing whisky distilleries.
One of the independent whisky bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail, recently announced a new distillery in the Speyside region. The distillery is scheduled to open as early as 2022 and will be called The Cairn. The name refers to the location of the distillery, near Mount Cairngorm. The word "cairn" comes from the Gaelic language and means an artificial stone pile built as a monument or landmark.
Construction work in the Cairngorms National Park began this July. In addition to the distillery, the multi-million dollar investment will also include the construction of a visitor center, tasting rooms, shopping space and cafes.
Another planned investment is the construction of the Wolfcraig distillery, near Stirling. The £15 million investment includes building a distillery, a visitor center with interactive educational attractions for families, a tasting room, bar and restaurant.
Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2021 and the distillery is scheduled to open in summer 2022. Wolfcraig Distillery is expected to employ 50 full-time employees, to produce 1.5 million liters of distillate annually, and focus on the production of high-quality malt whisky. The production will use the latest technologies that will guarantee ecological and sustainable operation of the distillery.
Diageo, which has allocated 185 million pounds for a project to build modern visitor centers in its distilleries, also believes in the fast recovery of Scottish tourism.
A unique interactive visitor center has been built in the Glenkinchie Distillery near Edinburgh as part of the project. Following a major expansion, the distillery's center is now open to visitors, and the Lowland Home of Johnnie Walker is the first of four Scottish distilleries that Diageo has expanded to create a one-of-a-kind network of attractions inspired by the company's flagship product, Johnnie Walker whisky.
The project will also open tourist attractions at the Clynelish, Cardhu and Caol Ila distilleries in the coming months, culminating in the opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh in 2021.
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