Calls for Dallas Dhu to move to public ownership
Scottish politician Richard Lochhead has asked Diageo to transfer ownership of the silent Dallas Dhu distillery to the government in order to bring it back into production.
Speaking to The Press and Journal, the MSP said that in moving the Speyside-based distillery back to public ownership, plans to restart production could be executed more rapidly.
In September last year, the Scottish Government said it was assessing the feasibility of the project.
Dallas Dhu was first established in 1899 by entrepreneur Alexander Edward, but has not produced whisky 1983 when it closed due to water shortage.
The site is currently run as a visitors’ centre and museum by Historic Scotland – an agency of the Scottish Government – where tourists explore its malt barn, kiln, mash house, tun room, still house, and bonded warehouse.
Having undertaken “feasibility study” in 2013, Historic Scotland is now considering restarting production at the distillery after a 20-year period of silence.
“It seems to me it would make sense for Diageo to pass ownership of the site, distilling and water rights and brand to the Scottish Government,” Lochhead said to The Press and Journal.
“That will enable Historic Environment Scotland to properly explore all the options and quickly. Otherwise we may face more years of protracted negotiations between the actual owners, Diageo, and guardians of the site, Historic Environment Scotland.
“If that were to happen, I am confident that, given the buoyancy in the sector, a partner could be sought to work with Historic Environment Scotland to make the necessary investment in production facilities and visitor facilities.”
Lochhead also tweeted:
— Richard Lochhead (@RichardLochhead) July 21, 2016