Glasgow & West Scotland

Hunter Laing reveals new distillery plan for Islay

Artist's impression of new distillery Image copyright Hunter Laing
Image caption A computer-generated impression of the new distillery

The race is on to build Islay's first new distillery in a decade after plans were revealed for an £8m venture.

Hunter Laing and Co has submitted a planning application to develop a new malt whisky distillery at Ardnahoe in the north-east of the island.

If the plans go ahead construction could start in May with the first whisky flowing by the end of 2017.

Distiller Jean Donnay is also hoping to start work on a new distillery west of Bowmore later this year.

Hunter Laing is a family-owned business, formed in 2013, which now distributes to 65 markets in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia.

Director Scott Laing said: "The opportunity to bring fresh investment to the island and provide a new chapter in Islay's illustrious whisky-making history is tremendously exciting all of us."

"The distillery could drive Islay's economy by creating several full-time jobs on the island as well as many seasonal positions."

Economic future

If Hunter Laing is given permission for the project, land owned by Islay Estates will be transferred to the bottler.

Lord Margadale, chairman of Islay Estates, said: "Islay is a beautiful island that is famed for its distinctive whisky; this is an exciting opportunity to build on this reputation and to help secure a strong economic future for the island."

There will be a 21-day public consultation period before Argyll and Bute Council makes a decision on the application.

Jean Donnay, owner and designer of Glann ar Mor distillery in Brittany, also has plans for a new distillery, on Loch Indaal, just west of Bowmore.

The Gartbreck project was delayed by a problem "from a missing plot of land" but Ms Donnay has said she hopes work will start this spring.

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