Global appetite for Scotch Whisky continues

The SNP has welcomed news that Diageo will invest over a billion pounds in Scotch Whisky production in the next five years.

Diageo’s proposals will see a new distillery in Speyside and, if the global demand continues, a second built.

Speyside represents more than half the malt whisky sector and the region attracts thousands of international visitors, acting as a global advert for Scotland.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said:

“The news of this major investment is very welcome. This continuing high level of confidence in the sector is really good news for a wide range of companies and local traders who supply the sector and the overall growth in demand for whisky can only mean continued growth in whisky tourism.

“Speyside is at the heart of the Scotch Whisky sector and there are huge benefits to our local economy.

“The combined investment by several major companies in Speyside runs into many hundreds of millions and will provide skilled jobs and significant business confidence in the region.

"Scotland achieved record food and drink exports in 2011, as Scotch Whisky exports increased 25 per cent to £74.5 million. This latest investment is capitalising on this fantastic record."

Moray MP Angus Robertson, Vice Chairman of the All Party Whisky Group in Westminster, said:

“This level of investment in the sector by Diageo is excellent news and comes on the back of investment announcements by other key industry names like Chivas.

“This kind of large scale project, including a new distillery, involves considerable administrative coordination and logistical work with public agencies. I would encourage those agencies to work as efficiently as possible with Diageo to deliver this hugely important industry expansion and investment so that the benefits to our economy come quickly.

“Diageo’s expansion underlines the critical importance of our region for the whisky industry. This brings huge benefits to the whisky sector and underlines the further potential for Speyside both in terms of production and as a whisky destination.”