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Landmark building to be transformed into whisky attraction

30th January 2022  

One of Elgin city centre’s landmark buildings is to be transformed into a major visitor attraction.

Gordon & MacPhail’s South Street shop will undergo a multimillion-pound makeover to create a unique whisky experience, incorporating displays, tasting rooms and a liquid library of some of the world’s rarest whiskies.

Whilst work is underway, the local family-owned firm plans to transfer their high-class whisky, wine and spirits shop to an outlet on the High Street, next to the entrance to the St Giles Centre.

Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige, explained: We have been here since 1895 and South Street is, and will remain, the spiritual home of Gordon & MacPhail. It’s a destination for many whisky aficionados from around the world. Our ability to adapt in changing times over more than a century has been a major factor in our success as a company. This substantial investment is another exciting step on our journey from a local grocer’s shop to internationally renowned whisky experts and distillers.

“Grocers played a vital role in the development of the industry, using their skills for blending tea to produce blended whisky. Gordon & MacPhail took an alternative path and focused on single malts, developing their expertise in maturation.”

The work will take place throughout 2023 and involves improvements and repairs to the exterior of the building. Internally there will be a complete refit of the ground and first floors, transforming the space into a must visit destination for lovers of whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail took an advertisement in the local newspaper to announce the opening of their South Street shop in May 1895. It has seen many changes over the years and originally housed the offices and boardroom for Gordon & MacPhail before they moved to larger premises, with warehousing, at Boroughbriggs Road.

Stephen Rankin added: “We see this as a major vote of confidence in Elgin. We believe the new whisky tourist attraction will bring people into the area and creating experiences is a key element of any strategy to revitalise town centres. We also hope the relocation of our retail shop, which will open in the next few months, will give a boost to the High Street.”

The shop on South Street will close its doors tomorrow (31st December 2022) Hogmanay to give the staff time to move the stock before work starts in the second week in January. The click and collect service and online offering, which proved so popular during lockdown, will continue so customers will still be able to buy their favourites whiskies, wines and spirits from Gordon & MacPhail.

All the existing staff will be retained while South Street is closed.