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New Ardgowan Distillery secures major investment from Distil

Drinks group Distil is making a multimillion pound investment in Scotland's new Ardgowan Distillery.

Resurrecting a 19th-century name in Scotch whisky, the eco-friendly Ardgowan distillery will focus on malt whisky making and hopes to be producing spirits and welcoming tourists by 2023.

A final design for the building - on the Ardgowan Estate at Inverkip, near Glasgow - has been signed off and the team behind the project is currently securing investment for the build.

Distil, owner of drinks brands including RedLeg Spiced Rum, Blackwoods Gin and Trøve Botanical Spirit, has pledged £5 million to the Ardgowan project; an initial tranche of £3 million has been approved by shareholders, with the potential of an additional loan of up to £2 million.

The investment will enable Distil to build a permanent home for Blackwoods Gin on the site including stills, a gin school and a visitor centre. Production and NPD will be overseen by Edwards Distillers, led by master distiller Sion Edwards.

As part of the deal, the company will also gain access to Ardgowan's master whisky maker Max Macfarlane (formerly of Highland Park, Glengoyne, Bunnahabhain and Tamdhu) to help develop its own blended malt whisky brand.

Martin McAdam, CEO of Ardgowan Distillery, said: "We welcome this investment and are excited that Distil has chosen Ardgowan as the home for Blackwoods Gin. The Distil team is knowledgeable, passionate and very much aligned with our vision for the project."

Don Goulding, executive chairman of Distil, said: "This convertible loan of up to £5 million allows us the opportunity to realise a longstanding ambition to create a home for Blackwoods with our own stand-alone distillery and visitor centre.

"Access to our own facilities, as well as the ability to draw upon the Ardgowan team's wealth of experience, will allow us to accelerate NPD across our existing portfolio of brands and create our own brand of malt whisky, positioning ourselves in a premium category which has been in long-term growth globally."

11 August 2021 - Bethany Whymark