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Dál Riata gets go ahead for £4.5m distillery

Scotch whisky producer Dál Riata has become the second Campbeltown distillery in recent weeks to gain planning approval.

Dal Riata
The £4.5 million Dál Riata distillery project will create around 20 jobs

Dál Riata submitted a planning application to build a distillery on the banks of Campbeltown Loch in August 2022.

The development has now been given the go ahead from Argyll & Bute Council, which also approved Glasgow-based whisky bottler Brave New Spirits’ proposal in August to build a net-zero single malt distillery in Campbeltown.

The Dál Riata project, which represents an investment of £4.5 million (US$5.5m), will feature a distillery, museum, visitor centre and retail outlet.

Dál Riata is the brainchild of Iain Croucher, founder and owner of independent whisky bottler North Star Spirits, and entrepreneur Ronnie Grant.

“Gaining planning permission is a massive step forward in fulfilling our dream to bring a new distillery to Campbeltown,” said Grant.

“We have been humbled by the positive reaction we have received from both local people and the wider whisky community.

“Campbeltown is a special little place which is certainly on the up and we can’t wait to become a part of its bright future.”

The museum will focus on the town’s history with whisky making.

The whisky region was once home to dozens of distilleries, but only three remain: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank.

Whisky writer Charlie Maclean MBE said: “Campbeltown holds an important and special place in the history of Scotch whisky. Two hundred years ago, some 25 distilleries were producing 748,000 gallons (3.5 million litres) of spirit according to The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland.

An adjacent shop will be turned into the visitor centre, conference and tasting room.

The development aims to add additional space to the distillery building to enable production expansion.

Dál Riata is also planning to build a warehouse in the future at Machrihanish Airport for cask storage, which would also include bottling and storage facilities for private clients.

The site will also grow its own barley for single malt production.

The project would create approximately 20 jobs and provide trainee positions for those seeking a career in Scotch whisky.

Campbeltown is also set to welcome a new whisky distillery from the owner of Scotland’s Isle of Raasay Distillery.

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