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Rosebank distillery restoration plans approved

Ian Macleod Distillers’ multi-million-pound redevelopment plans for Scotch whisky distillery Rosebank have been approved by the local council.

An artist’s impression of the restored Rosebank Distillery

The company submitted a planning application in June 2018 and following a public consultation process, Falkirk Council has agreed to the restoration of the famous Lowland distillery.

Ian Macleod Distillers first revealed plans to revive Rosebank in 2017, and secured £80m worth of funding for the project in November the same year.

Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Our investment goes beyond production. We’re proud to be investing in Falkirk by adding to the town’s flourishing economy and tourism scene with a new Rosebank visitor centre, to help tell the story of this remarkable whisky.

“Rosebank distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we’re committed to ensuring this remains the case.

“We will strive to replicate the unique Rosebank style by once more employing the unique techniques of triple distillation and worm tub condensers, for which this iconic Lowland single malt is famed.”

Rosebank fell silent in 1993 when previous owner United Distillers & Vintners (UDV, now called Diageo) closed the site and converted its maltings into a restaurant.

Bringing the distillery back into operation will create 25 full-time jobs when it begins operating. It is expected to open to visitors in autumn 2020.

Located on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Scotland, plans for Rosebank include a 1,000-square-metre “contemporary and energy efficient” distillery, capable of producing up to one million litres of alcohol per year.

The Rosebank chimney will remain in place, and other “historically significant” canal buildings will be revamped as a visitor centre, tasting room, shop and warehouses.

Now Falkirk Council has approved the plans, Ian Macleod Distillers can progress with purchasing the Rosebank site from current owners Scottish Canals.

Ian Macleod Distillers purchased the Rosebank brand and remaining inventory from Diageo in October 2017. The stock will be released in small quantities from this year.

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