Whisky distillery planned for Benbecula

THE Uist Distilling Company has revealed plans to build a £6.5 million whisky distillery at Gramsdale on Benbecula.

The distillery will produce spirits including single malt whisky, rum and gin, each with a unique Hebridean flavour and the complex will also include a visitor centre with a food outlet.

A planning application will be submitted this week to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), with production hoping to start in early 2022.

The plans for the distillery complex include pioneering and innovate low carbon technologies in the design, build and distillation process.

The Uist Distilling Company is owned by local businessmen Angus A MacMillan and his son Angus E MacMillan, who not only want to produce single malt whisky but also rum and gin, all with a “Hebridean twist” to present to the national and international market.

The distillery and visitor centre will bring 25 secure, high-quality jobs to the island, along with around 60-70 indirect jobs for suppliers, farmers, crofters transport and other local and national businesses.

Angus A MacMillan, chairman and chief executive, said: “The new distillery aims to be a champion of all things Hebridean and Scottish and will provide a huge boost to tourism in the area.

“We want to produce whisky, rum and gin that will put Benbecula and the Hebrides firmly on the whisky tourist trail, while introducing the products we make to a national and international clientele.

“I want to build strong relationships with other island distilleries so that we support the economic prospects of Scotland and our wider international industry.”

Angus E MacMillan, operations director, said: “Having a low carbon footprint is key to The Uist Distilling Company’s plans.  

“We are working with industry experts to design a spirit production process which is powered by renewable energy sources, this will lower the carbon output of the distillery and ensure we are at the forefront of the whisky industry’s move away from the use of fossil fuels.

“Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) had already demonstrated its support by part-funding a feasibility study, while Western Isles Council is also supportive of the project.”

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