Diageo has announced a raft of major expansion plans at its facilities across Scotland including the creation of a new £50 million distillery in Easter Ross.
The company, which is the biggest distiller of Scotch, has earmarked a greenfield site near Alness to build the new plant and it will sit adjacent to the firm's existing Teaninich site. Diageo is in the process of submitting a formal planning application to Highland Council and if approved will bring in a number of construction jobs to the area on top of the 20 positions that will be created once the development is up and running. It is part of a number of significant changes that will be happening within the organisation over the coming years.
Officials detailed proposals to invest £12 million to expand the current distillery at Teaninich while another £30 million has been set aside for new production facilities in Speyside and the creation of a new stillhouse at the Mortlach site in Dufftown. There will also be a raft of improvements carried out at Glendullan in order to boost Diageo's current operations.
Brian Higgs, Diageo malt distilling director, said: "We are delighted to announce the next phase of investment in expanding our Scotch whisky production capacity in Scotland.
"All three sites we considered for the new malt distillery were excellent potential locations but after detailed investigations Teaninich came out just ahead in terms of the many complex logistics required when planning such a development."
Officials are hoping to get construction of the new facility underway by 2014 and once completed it will have the capacity to produce around 13 million litres of spirit on an annual basis from 16 copper stills amounting to 45 million bottles.
Diageo received a major boost at the end of January after sales of Captain Morgan rum had helped towards a five per cent rise in total sales and took reported revenues up over the the six months up to December 30th. The spirit recorded a 15 per cent jump and was highlighted as the driving force behind these figures.