Green light for £12m Rosebank Distillery revival

Falkirk Council has granted planning permission for the long-awaited restoration of a famous local distillery.

The £12 million project will see the Rosebank chimney retained along with other historically significant buildings, while the distillery itself will be a contemporary design and run on the most energy-efficient lines possible.

Ian Macleod Distillers, which announced its decision to rescue one of the great “lost distilleries” of Scotland back in October 2017, said the announcement brings an end to endless site visits and meetings with planners and architects, as well as a protracted public enquiry. 

Rosebank ceased production in 1993 when former owner UDV (now Diageo), mothballed the site and its maltings were converted into a restaurant.

After 25 years of lying dormant, the extensive work to revitalise the Distillery is now expected to begin shortly.  This will generate 25 full time equivalent jobs for the local economy when it commences distillation and opens to visitors around autumn 2020.

Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “We will strive to replicate the unique Rosebank style by once more employing the techniques of triple distillation and worm-tub condensers, for which this iconic Lowland single malt is famed.

“Our investment goes beyond production. We’re proud to be investing in Falkirk by adding to the town’s flourishing economy and tourism scene with a new Rosebank Visitor Centre to help tell the story of this remarkable distillery.”

Following planning approval, Ian Macleod is purchasing the Rosebank site from its current owners Scottish Canals.

Mr Russell added: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals for their support of our vision to revive Rosebank Distillery. The backing from both parties has brought our vision to life and enabled the smooth running of this initial phase of the project. We look forward to continuing these relationships as we progress through the next stages.”

Councillor David Alexander, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for economic development, said: “It’s great to see the Rosebank Distillery coming back into use and this large investment on the site is to be welcomed. We’ve worked closely with Scottish Canals and Ian Macleod Distillers to ensure that this site can become a great tourist attraction as well as bringing investment to the local economy and new employment opportunities. We look forward to seeing this historic site transformed and producing whisky that will be recognised across the world.”

Tags: Falkirk

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