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Ex-rugby star gets approval for Borders distillery

Former Scotland and British Lions rugby star Finlay Calder has received approval to convert a Scottish Borders hotel into a £40 million (US$50m) malt and grain whisky distillery complex.

The site of the Jedforest Hotel in the Scottish Borders will be converted into two distilleries

Marussia Beverages-owned Mossburn Distillers, for which Calder acts as projects director, submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council in June last year outlining proposals to erect two distilleries, a bottling hall, maturation warehouses, offices and a visitor centre on the site of the Jedforest Hotel, near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders.

Jedforest Hotel, now named Mossburn House, was formerly an 18th century farmhouse.

Construction of the distillery will be in two phases. The first will see the build of the Jedhart Distillery and visitor centre, which will “focus on small production and educating visitors on the craft of making spirit”. It will feature a still house with three copper stills and a café with 36 covers. Five 5,000 square metre warehouses will also be constructed in this phase to store pallets and casks.

The second phase will see the construction of Mossburn Distillery and visitor centre, which will be significant larger and have capacity to produce 25 million litres per annum. While bigger and more productive, the design of this distillery will mirror that of Jedhart and will also include a 140-cover cafe and 120-cover restaurant and ‘entertainment area’.

Scottish Borders Council has now approved plans for site, which is set to bring 50 new jobs to the area.

The distillery could become the first to open in the Scottish Borders in 180 years, but faces competition from The Three Stills Company and R&B Distillers.

Mossburn Distillers is also currently developing the Torabhaig Distillery, which will become the second whisky-producing site on the Isle of Skye upon completion this year.

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