Plans submitted for new Borders distillery

18th March, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

The Three Stills Company (TTSC) has submitted a planning application to build what could become the first distillery in the Scottish Borders for almost 180 years.


The Three Stills Company is proposing to build a new distillery on a disused industrial site in Hawick

Having secured £10 million for the project in November last year, TTSC has now submitted a formal application to Scottish Borders Council (SBC), requesting permission to convert a disused industrial site in Hawick into a Scotch whisky distillery and visitors’ centre.

Founded by former William Grant executives John Fordyce, Tim Carton, Tony Roberts and George Tait, TSC faces competition from two other schemes attempting to establish the first Borders distillery since 1837.

R&B Distillers is seeking a location to establish a new distillery in the area, but company founder Alasdair Day said he work will not commence until R&B’s distillery in Raasay is open.

In March 2014, Mossburn Distillers announced plans to convert the Borders-based Jedforest Hotel into a distillery and visitors’ centre. Work will be overseen by former Scotland and British Lions rugby star Finlay Calder.

TTSC received funding pledges from a group of private investors led by Edinburgh-based investment company Badenoch & Co; the Ballande family in France; Switzerland headquartered Drake Enterprises; and the Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott.

Malcolm Offord, owner of Badenoch & Co, has been named TTSC chairman, while Tim Carton assumes the role of CEO.

According to TTSC’s planning application, submitted earlier this month, the company hopes to transform the former site of Turnbull & Scott Engineers Limited on Commercial Road, Hawick, into a distillery complete with offices, boilerhouse, visitors’ centre and café.

The application states: “Hawick is an ideal location for The Borders Distillery, which will become the first whisky distillery operating in the Scottish Borders since 1837.

“The characteristics that made Hawick suitable for the woollen industry in the nineteenth century, such as good water supply from the river Teviot, surrounding agricultural land and good transport links are also essential for a distillery.”

At the time investment in the project was announced, John Fordyce, director and project leader for TTSC, said: “Hawick has a very proud legacy as the centre for textile production in Scotland and we felt very strongly that we wanted to uphold this rich industrial tradition and bring back distilling to the region after such a long absence.

“The historical context was one major factor in us identifying Hawick, but so was access to natural resources and raw materials.”

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