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Green light for £12m Isle of Barra Distillery

Isle of Barra Distillers has secured planning permission to build a £12 million (US$14.6m) whisky and gin distillery in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

Isle of Barra Distillers distillery
An artist’s impression of the proposed Isle of Barra Distillery

The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Planning Committee granted approval for the new facility, with backing from the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Planning Department.

The distillery will be located on the isle of Barra, and will also house a visitor centre.

Michael Morrison, co-founder and managing director of Isle of Barra Distillers, said: “It is great comfort to us that such individuals with vast experience and knowledge in their chosen fields have reviewed our plans and provided their feedback, to the point that they are satisfied with what we have put forward.

“This development will have a huge impact on Barra and the Outer Hebrides, all in a positive way.

“For an island community with such a fragile economy and employment opportunities being limited, this development has huge potential to ease the issues that we face.”

The distillery is expected to bring at least 40 jobs to the island; it is hoped the site will boost tourism in the area.

Furthermore, there are plans to launch the Isle of Barra Distillers Foundation to give back to the island of Barra.

Each year, the foundation will donate 1% of total net profits back into the local community.

The company said that the long-term goal is that by year 13, a 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky will be released. This should put the foundation in a position where it can build affordable homes to sell at cost price to young families, easing the housing challenges on the island.

In March last year, Isle of Barra Distillers revealed its plans to build a whisky and gin distillery on the island, complete with a visitor centre, and sought £5m (US$6m) for the project.

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