Diageo begins restoring famous Edinburgh clock

6th January, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Leading spirits producer Diageo has started restoring the dormant clock on the corner of Edinburgh’s Princes Street as part of its Johnnie Walker visitor experience.

Johnnie-Walker-clock

The clock in Princes Street, Edinburgh, is being restored as part of building the Johnnie Walker experience

The famous cantilever clock fell into disrepair and has been inoperative for several years.

Now, as part of Diageo’s investment in the Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience, leading UK clockmaker and specialist heritage clock restoration firm Cumbria Clock Company has been recruited to dismantle the clock and restore it to its original working condition.

The clock is locally known as the Binns Clock, a nod to the former department store that first installed it in 1960.

Ewan Andrew, Diageo president of global supply and procurement, said: “We are really excited to be working with the skilled craftspeople from Cumbria Clock Company to carefully restore the clock and bring it back into use.

“It is such an important part of the cityscape and is so fondly regarded by Edinburgh locals that it will be great to reinstate it as it used to be.

“With the restoration we want the Johnnie Walker Princes Street clock to once more become an iconic meeting place for the people of Edinburgh.”

The Johnnie Walker experience will be located at 146 Princes Street as part of Diageo’s £150 million (US$215m) investment in Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland.

Thought to be the biggest single investment in the whisky tourism industry, the money will also be used to upgrade 12 existing distillery visitor attractions across Scotland.

Four Diageo-owned distilleries – Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish – will be linked directly to the Johnnie Walker experience when it opens to represent the ‘four corners of Scotland’.

Diageo is also investing £35m (US$46m) to restore the silent Port Ellen and Brora distilleries. Last month, Diageo secured planning permission to restore the Port Ellen distillery on Islay.

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