The new Dal Riata Distillery in the Scottish region of Campbeltown has been granted planning approved.
Argyll and Bute Council has approved plans for the £4.5 million development, which will be located on the banks of Campbeltown Loch and will include a distillery, museum, visitor centre, and retail outlet.
The name 'Dal Riata' translates as the Kingdom of Alba, a term used for an area encompassing Argyll, Kintyre, Islay, Jura, Mull, Ardnamurchan, Cowal, and a northwest corner of Ireland in the sixth and seventh centuries. The capital of Dal Riata was Dunadd Fort, where the new distillery intends to grow the barley for its single malt.
Dal Riata Distillery is expected to provide employment for 20 people and the company has also pledged to provide trainee positions for those seeking to enter the Scotch whisky industry.
The new distillery is the brainchild of whisky enthusiasts Iain Croucher, founder and owner of independent bottler North Star Spirits, and entrepreneur Ronnie Grant.
Croucher said: “To be working within Scotch whisky is beyond a blessing. The ladies and gents that came before who created such as strong and powerful industry, [of] which we are now custodians, comes with great responsibility. We must preserve this vital global asset for future generations to enjoy and thrive.”
Grant added: “Gaining planning permission is a massive step forward in fulfilling our dream to bring a new distillery to Campbeltown. We have been humbled by the positive reaction we have received from both local people and the wider whisky community.”
Scotch whisky expert Charlie MacLean hailed the news of the planning approval for Dal Riata Distillery as “splendid”.
“Iain Croucher and his team know their whiskies. This they have proved by winning the title ‘Independent Bottler of The Year’ on more than one occasion. I have every confidence that the Dal Riata Distillery will produce magnificent liquid worthy of carrying forward Campbeltown’s legacy to a new generation of whisky lovers.”
The museum being incorporated into the distillery development will share information for visitors about the Campbeltown region's long history of whisky distilling. A visitor centre and conference and tasting space will be developed in a currently vacant shop on Longrow that adjoins the site, in addition to a premium events and tasting space that will be accommodated in the main distillery building. Long-term plans for the site also include the construction of a warehouse at Machrihanish Airport.