Businessman seeks £5m for new Borders distillery

28th February, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

The Scottish Borders could soon welcome its first whisky distillery in over 170 years if one local businessman manages to secure £5 million of funding.

Scottish-Borders distillery

Alasdair Day, owner of Tweedale Whisky, hopes to secure £5m in funding to build a new distillery in the Scottish Borders

Alasdair Day, who revived the Tweedale blended Scotch whisky brand that was once headed by his great-grandfather, hopes to transform an old water mill in Walkerburn, near Tweedale, into a Scotch whisky distillery.

Day is currently in talks with a number of potential investors and, if successful, plans to build a new distillery with capacity for the production of 100,000 litres of alcohol a year.

If built, the distillery would be the first to open in the Scottish Borders since 1837.

“There are a lot of projects involving Scotch whisky currently in the pipeline, so I thought momentum was with me and this is the right time to get my project off the ground,” Day told The Spirits Business.

“We have spoken to all of the relevant council departments and are currently in the early stages of discussions with potential investors. Everything seems very positive at the moment.”

Day added that of the £5m in funding, £3m will be earmarked for planning and building costs, while £2m will go towards capital costs to keep the distillery running until its first whisky is released.

Through his firm, The Borders Distilling Company, Day spent almost two years searching for the ideal location to set up the distillery.

He has also spoken to residential committees in the region, which Day claims have responded favourably to the proposals.

Should these plans come to fruition, the first planned release of the Borders Distilling Company will be a three-year-old single malt. Day also claims that all whiskies from the distillery will have a “lowland character”.

A formal planning application will be submitted once funding has been secured.

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