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Jackson Distillers hires senior managers

Scotland-based Jackson Distillers has made three appointments to its senior management team to drive forward its new St Boswells Distillery, the country’s first grain distillery in a decade.

Jackson Distillers
The site will be the lowest-carbon grain distillery in Scotland, according to Jackson Distillers

Three industry ‘heavyweights’ have been hired to help steer progress in the construction of Jackson Distillers’ St Boswells Distillery.

Trevor Jackson, founder and CEO of Jackson Distillers, has hired David Brown as commercial director, Tommy Leigh as operations director and Nick Laird as deputy CEO.

Planning for the construction of the production plant was granted in 2021, to begin in 2022. It is located in Charlesfield Industrial Estate, Boswell, near Melrose.

Brown has previously held senior roles in the Scotch whisky industry, at Allied Domecq and Whyte & Mackay, before attaining the position of managing director at John Crabbie & Co in 2018.

He has also been involved in new distillery build projects in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Brown said: “Having worked with some of Scotland’s best-known spirits brands, I am looking forward to working with the next generation of distilleries, creating innovative and environmentally sustainable products that are going to carry the industry into the next century.”

Leigh has worked in the Scotch industry for more than 40 years, with roles including production director at North British Distillery, and as environmental strategy group member.

He added: “The St Boswells Distillery will be the first carbon-absorbing distillery in Scotland capable of producing grain spirit for Scotch whisky and grain neutral spirit, and I am excited to have the opportunity to be at the forefront of its development. There is a gap in the market for low-carbon and fully traceable spirit and being able to fill that gap not only supports our own business but helps to bolster the sector as a whole.”

Meanwhile, Laird has experience as a managing director and non-executive director in automotive and technology-enabled businesses for more than 30 years, providing investment expertise.

He commented: “Jackson Distillers is at a pivotal point in its development. I am thrilled to help drive the organisation from proposal to production. Once built, it is anticipated the St Boswells Distillery will produce 5% of the total market volume of grain whisky spirit, providing a substantial return on investment for its shareholders and supporting the wider sector in a resource-efficient manner.”

Jackson Distillers
L-R: Leigh, Laird and Brown will join the senior management team

The construction phase is said to create 200 jobs, with 20 full-time positions available once the distillery is operating. The new development will boast the latest distilling technology, designed to reduce carbon emissions and maximise recycling with its zero-waste landfill.

It will produce 20 million litres of pure alcohol a year to use in Scotch whisky blending, and as a neutral spirit for both gin and vodka.

Jackson said: “The St Boswells Distillery is set to be a game changer for the sector, and I think the calibre of the talent we have been able to attract to our senior management team is a testament to that. I am looking forward to working with David, Tommy and Nick to drive forward the next phase of this transformative, innovative and sustainable project.”

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