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Off-trade spirits retail scholarship launched

Independent family-owned distiller, William Grant & Sons has launched a scholarship programme to honour Ian Murray, former Prestige retail manager who passed away in 2013 following a short illness.

Inspired by Ian’s work with his education and consultancy business, Spirited Solutions, William Grant & Sons is offering people working in an off-trade spirits retail environment in the UK the opportunity to further their development and knowledge of the spirits category, and particularly malt whisky.

Following the application process, one winner will be awarded the ‘Ian Murray Scholarship’ and complete a bespoke programme of activity. As well as having the opportunity to achieve their WSET 1 and 2 qualifications, the successful candidate will complete a presentation skills course and attend an educational distillery visit to a William Grant & Sons site.

Kirsten Grant Meikle, fifth generation Grant family member and head of strategic on-trade development at First Drinks is leading the initiative: “Through his work at First Drinks, and subsequently with Spirited Solutions, Ian inspired hundreds of people into the malt and blended whisky category. We hope to channel his passion for the industry into a new generation of drinks enthusiasts.

“The scholarship will combine spirits education with practical experience to ensure the successful candidate completes the programme feeling confident that William Grant & Sons and the legacy of Ian Murray helped them on their way to a successful career in the drinks industry.”

Open to 18 to 30 year-olds working in an off-trade spirits retail environment in the UK, the scholarship will be awarded annually with applications being shortlisted to 10 by Ian Murray’s colleagues and members of the Grant family. The winning candidate will be personally selected by Ian’s family.

3 February 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor