Historic Bladnoch Distillery to restart productionBy Amy Hopkins
The 200-year-old Bladnoch Distillery is to restart production following its acquisition by an Australian entrepreneur, with the SWA’s former boss stepping in as non-executive director.
Bladnoch Distillery, which has lay dormant for six years, has been acquired by businessman David Prior, who has pledged “substantial investment” to restart whisky production.
Gavin Hewitt, former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), will support Prior as non-executive director.
Funds will enable the distillery’s production facilities to “meet environmental standards”, while its eight existing warehouse, administrative and visitors’ centre staff will be retained and new jobs will be created.
“I am delighted to have been able to purchase a Scotch whisky distillery of such renown as Bladnoch,” said Prior. “Scotch Whisky is the world’s foremost spirit drink and I am proud to be part of the Scotch whisky industry.”
Bladnoch Distillery was first established in 1817 and is situated on the banks of the River Bladnoch. It is thought to be Scotland’s most southerly distillery.
In March last year, the distillery closed until further notice after its parent company, Northern Ireland-based Co-ordinated Development Services, went into liquidation.
The chief executive of Co-ordinated Development Services, Raymond Armstrong, spent six years restoring the site, which began producing whisky again in 2000. However, the distillery has not distilled for the past six years.
Initial reports claimed that the distillery was being eyed for acquisition by the Arran Brewery and a number of partner investors.
“It is wonderful to see one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries revived,” said Hewiitt, who stepped down as chief executive of the SWA after 10 years in the role in 2013.
“I’m excited to be on the team which will breathe new life into Bladnoch and provide a stimulus for the local economy.”