Construction starts on new distillery
Gordon & MacPhail, the family-owned company behind a new whisky distillery in the Cairngorms National Park, has given its contractor the green light to start work, now the construction sector has been given permission to open. This follows the easing of conditions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority gave approval last year for the distillery which will be built on the banks of the River Spey at Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey.
Earlier in the year the company had taken the decision to delay the project due to the coronavirus pandemic, although work had continued on preparatory and technical issues.
Gordon & MacPhail first announced the plan to build a new distillery in 2018. Managing Director Ewen Mackintosh explained their decision to go ahead with construction, saying: “We know these are difficult times, but whisky is, and always will be, a long-term business. What we decide today will determine what products will be available in ten, twenty, even fifty years. This new distillery is very much part of our plan to develop a sustainable business for future generations to prosper.”
The company has appointed Morrison Construction as the main contractor with Rothes based Forsyths Ltd providing and installing all the operational equipment.
Ewen Mackintosh said: “These appointments are the next major milestone in delivering this long-term project for the company. We look forward to working with these established businesses who are both highly experienced in their own field.
“We were delighted to gain approval from the Cairngorms National Park Authority and we were particularly pleased by their comments about the quality of the application and the process we have followed. We plan to continue that same approach to quality during construction.”
Donald McLachlan, Morrison Construction’s Managing Director for Building Highland, said: “Our local team has an excellent track record in producing high quality distillery and visitor experience buildings throughout the region. We are delighted that the client has entrusted us with such a high-profile project in such a stunning location and we look forward to working with them to create a memorable destination for whisky enthusiasts.”
Richard Forsyth, Managing Director of Forsyths added: “As a fellow longstanding Moray family business, Forsyths is delighted to be awarded the process contract for Gordon & MacPhail’s new distillery. We look forward to delivering a first-class production facility.”
Owned by the Urquhart family, Gordon & MacPhail has built an unrivalled knowledge and expertise in Scotch Whisky over 125 years and owns Benromach Distillery near Forres.
After unveiling their plans last year, they were overwhelmed by the positive response from the local community.
Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director, commented: “We’ve been really heartened by the warm welcome we have received locally.
“As a family-owned business located in the north of Scotland we are very much rooted in our communities and we are keen to develop strong relationships in Grantown-on-Spey and the surrounding area.”
The eye-catching modern design of the distillery includes tasting rooms, a visitor centre with retail space and a coffee shop.
The building has been designed to take full advantage of the outstanding views across the River Spey to the Cairngorms.
The circular nature of the building will disguise much of the day to day working area within the service yard and sedum roofs will allow the buildings to blend into the surrounding environment.
In 1993, the Urquhart family realised a long held ambition when Gordon & MacPhail purchased Benromach Distillery. The company spent 5 years re-equipping it, before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.
They aim to build on the success of Benromach, with the second distillery forming an important part of the company’s plans for growth.