A planning application has been submitted to establish a £10 million craft Scotch Whisky
distillery and visitor centre on the banks of the River Clyde – the first distillery in the centre
of Glasgow in over 100 years.
The application lays out plans for the transformation of the iconic “pump house” building, which sits between the Riverside Museum and the new Hydro arena. The plans include an interactive and education-focused visitor attraction and small batch single malt Scotch Whisky distillery complete with bar, café, tasting rooms and retail outlet.
The project, supported by Scottish Enterprise, has been developed by a small group of industry experts, led by Tim Morrison - formerly of Morrison Bowmore Distillers and current proprietor of the Independent Bottler, A.D. Rattray Ltd, a Scotch Whisky Company based in Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire.
Tim Morrison, who was also behind A.D. Rattray’s Whisky Experience & Shop in Kirkoswald, said the development, which aims to educate visitors about the history of Scotland’s national drink and its production, will play a key role in regenerating the Clydeside area. During the building and construction phase, it will support up to 300 jobs, and once complete, the distillery and visitor experience will employ up to 25 permanent members of staff.
Subject to planning approval, work on the first phase of the project - the distillery building, interactive visitor centre and café – is due to get underway with immediate effect. The second phase - which will see the fitting of the distillery equipment and stills – will be complete by mid-2015.
Commenting on the planning application, Tim Morrison said: “We see this project as having huge potential – not only for Glasgow, but for the tourism industry, the Scotch Whisky trade and the whole Scottish economy. Our vision for the new distillery and educational visitor centre is that it becomes a part of Glasgow’s busy tourist trail – we anticipate it will attract more than 50,000 visitors each year.
“We’ve had a great deal of support for this project so far – from local businesses, the public sector and those within the industry, and we have taken the next important step in helping to make this project a reality by submitting a full planning application to Glasgow City Council for consideration.
Tim Morrison added that the team could not have chosen a more appropriate site for this development as the pump house played a historically significant role in the Scotch Whisky trade on the Clyde.
“In the past, this building controlled the entry gate into the Queens dock, ensuring customs and excise could keep a close eye on goods in and out, including Scotch Whisky, so we are proud to bringing it back to similar good use”, he explained. MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White said:
“Having met and discussed these proposals with a delegation representing the proposed ‘pump house’ development, I was extremely impressed with the plans and enthusiasm shown. I truly believe this is a fantastic opportunity to re-establish Glasgow’s historic whisky heritage. Not only this but it will also greatly improve the regeneration of this area of Kelvin, while also benefitting the whole of Glasgow through increased tourism as well as a much welcomed influx of both construction and service industry jobs.”