South Scotland

Bladnoch Distillery bought by Australian entrepreneur

Bladnoch Distillery Image copyright Alex Hewitt
Image caption Existing staff will be retained at the Bladnoch Distillery

Scotland's most southerly distillery at Bladnoch in Galloway is to reopen and restart whisky production after being bought by an Australian entrepreneur.

David Prior has promised "substantial new investment" as well as the return of distilling after a six-year absence.

The company which previously owned the site went into liquidation last year.

Eight warehouse, administrative and visitor centre staff will be retained and new jobs will be created "giving a boost to local employment".

The new company, Bladnoch Distillery Limited, is headed by Mr Prior, supported by non-executive director Gavin Hewitt, former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association.

Mr Prior said: "I am delighted to have been able to purchase a Scotch Whisky distillery of such renown as Bladnoch.

"Scotch Whisky is the world's foremost spirit drink and I am proud to be part of the Scotch Whisky industry."

'Former glory'

Mr Hewitt said it was "wonderful" to see the distillery - which dates back nearly 200 years - being revived.

"I'm excited to be on the team which will breathe new life into Bladnoch and provide a stimulus for the local economy," he said.

The new owner said he planned to stay true to the distillery's heritage in "restoring it to its former glory".

Luke Charleton, of liquidators EY, said there had been a "tremendous level of interest from domestic and international investors" in the distillery.

"It is particularly pleasing to have sold the distillery to a buyer with a clear growth strategy," he added.

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