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Cta Man

HIE funding boost for Outer Hebrides distillery

Published: 13/07/2021

Plans for a new distillery and visitor centre in Benbecula, which will create 22 new jobs have secured up to £1.99m from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The proposed distillery in Gramsdale, Benbecula

The proposed £12.5m distillery at Gramsdale includes pioneering and innovative low carbon technologies in the design, build and distillation process.

The Uist Distilling Company is owned by South Uist businessman Angus A Macmillan and his son Angus E Macmillan. The company plans to produce single malt whisky, rum and gin, ‘with a Hebridean flavour’.  The distillery will include a visitor centre with catering specialising in local produce.

It is expected that many new jobs will be created both directly and indirectly by the project including 22 FTEs at the distillery over the next three years. It is hoped that production will start in early 2022.

HIE has previously supported a feasibility study for the project and islanders had the opportunity to see the plans in more detail during community drop-in sessions last year.

Angus A MacMillan, said:

“The new distillery aims to be a champion of all things Hebridean and Scottish and will provide a huge boost to tourism in the area.

“We want to produce whisky, rum and gin that will put Benbecula and the Hebrides firmly on the whisky tourist trail, while introducing the products we make to a national and international clientele.

“We are delighted with the support we have had from HIE. Having a low carbon footprint is key to our plans and we are working with industry experts to design a spirit production process which is powered by renewable energy sources. This will lower the carbon output of the distillery and ensure we are at the forefront of the whisky industry’s move away from the use of fossil fuels.”

Joanna Peteranna, head of enterprise support at HIE's Outer Hebrides team, said:

“This innovative project will bring much-needed high quality and secure jobs to Benbecula. The plans include green energy technology, which should future proof the business in terms of Scotland’s net zero targets.

“It will also add to the other distillery developments in the Outer Hebrides and will help establish a whisky trail through the islands, which would be attractive for visitors. This is a fantastic project that, comparing levels of population, would create the equivalent of 10,000 jobs in Glasgow. This will be a significant boost to the Outer Hebrides tourism experience.”

Prior to the onset of Covid19, tourism had accounted for 10 percent of the local economy and helped to sustain many rural businesses and communities across the islands. The value of the industry was on track to reach £74m by 2020 after income from the sector growing from £53m in 2014 to £65m in 2017.

With Scotland’s drive towards net zero carbon, directors have decided to future proof the business from the outset – saving money as well as carbon.  The company’s capital investment includes £1.25m for an innovative green energy centre including a high temperature heat pump system which will provide hot water to the distillation process. 

The distillery will also focus on using sustainable organic production, using local ingredients such as peat, heather, seaweed and barley.

Ends.

Maoineachadh HIE do thaigh-staile ann an Innse Gall

Tha planaichean airson taigh-staile agus ionad-tadhail ùr ann am Beinn na Faoghla, a chruthaicheas obraichean ùra, air maoineachadh de £1.99m fhaotainn bho Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean (HIE).

Tha an taigh-staile £12.5m a tha san amharc ann an Gramasdal, a’ gabhail a-steach theicneòlasan de chàrbon ìosal a tha tùsail agus ùr-ghnàthach san dealbhadh, san togail agus sa phròiseas grùdaidh.

Buinidh Companaidh Grùdaidh Uibhist don fhear-gnothachais, Aonghas A Mac a’ Mhaoilein agus a mhac, Aonghas E Mac a’ Mhaoilein.  Tha a’ chompanaidh a’ planadh air mac na braiche, ruma agus sineubhar ‘le blas Innse Gall’ a dhèanamh. Bidh ionad-tadhail san taigh-staile a bhios ag ullachadh ’s a’ frithealadh bidhe a tha gu sònraichte às an sgìre fhèin.

Thathar a’ sùileachadh gun tèid mòran obraichean ùra a chruthachadh gu dìreach agus gu neo-dhìreach leis a’ phròiseact, a’ gabhail a-steach 22 FTE san taigh-staile thar nan trì bliadhna ri teachd. Thathar an dòchas gun tòisich an obair tràth ann an 2022.

Thug HIE taic roimhe do sgrùdadh iomchaidheachd mu choinneamh a’ phròiseict agus bha cothrom aig eileanaich an uair sin air na planaichean fhaicinn gu mionaideach aig seiseanan tadhail sa choimhearsnachd an-uiridh.

Thuirt Aonghas A Mac a’ Mhaoilein:

“Tha an taigh-staile ùr ag amas air a bhith ag adhartachadh gach nì co-cheangailte ri Innse Gall agus Alba agus a’ toirt cuideachadh àibheiseach do thurasachd san sgìre.

“Tha sinn airson uisge-beatha, ruma agus sineubhar a thoirt gu buil a chuireas Beinn na Faoghla agus Innse Gall gu daingeann air slighe turasachd an uisge-bheatha, agus aig an aon àm a’ cur nan toraidhean againn an aithne do luchd-ceannach nàiseanta agus eadar-nàiseanta.

“Tha sinn air leth toilichte leis an taic a tha sinn air fhaighinn bho HIE. Tha lorg càrboin ìosal aig cridhe ar planaichean agus tha sinn ag obair le eòlaichean gnìomhachais gus pròiseas toraidh deoch-làidir a dhealbhadh, a tha air a chumhachdachadh le bunan lùtha ath-nuadhachail. Bidh seo ag ìsleachadh mach-chur càrboin an taighe-staile agus a’ dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil sinn aig fìor aghaidh gluasad gnìomhachas an uisge-bheatha air falbh bho chleachdadh air connaidhean fosaile.”

Thuirt Joanna Peteranna, ceannard taic iomairt aig HIE:

“Bheir am pròiseact ùr-ghnàthach seo obraichean tèarainte agus de dh’àrd-chàileachd air a bheil mòr-fheum gu Beinn na Faoghla. Tha na planaichean a’ gabhail a-steach teicneòlas lùtha uaine a bu chòir tèarainteachd mhaireannach a thoirt chun a’ ghnìomhachais a thaobh targaidean neoini lom na h-Alba.

“Cuiridh e cuideachd ris na leasachaidhean taigh-staile eile ann an Innse Gall agus cuidichidh e le slighe uisge-bheatha a stèidheachadh tro na h-eileanan, a bhios tarraingeach do luchd-tadhail. ’S e pròiseact mìorbhaileach a tha seo, a chruthaicheadh ann an coimeas ri ìrean sluaigh, co-ionann ri 10,000 obair ann an Glaschu. Cuiridh seo spionnadh cudromach ri gnìomhachas turasachd Innse Gall.”

Mus tàinig Covid19 nar measg, bha turasachd cunntachail airson 10 sa cheud den eaconamaidh ionadail, a’ cuideachadh le mòran ghnothachasan dùthchail agus coimhearsnachdan a chumail suas air feadh nan eilean. Bha luach a’ ghnìomhachais deiseil airson £74m a ruighinn ro 2020 an dèidh teachd-a-steach bhon roinn fàs bho £53m ann an 2014 gu £65m ann an 2017.

Le Alba a’ stiùireadh a dh’ionnsaigh càrbon neoini lom, tha stiùirichean air co-dhùnadh tèarainteachd mu choinneamh an ama ri teachd a thoirt don ghnothachas bhon fhìor thoiseach – a’ sàbhaladh airgid cho math ri càrbon. Tha inbheisteadh calpa na companaidh a’ gabhail a-steach £1.25m airson ionad lùtha uaine ùr-ghnàthach agus siostam pumpa-teasa àrd-teòthachd, a chumas uisge teth ris a’ phròiseas grùdaidh. 

Bidh an taigh-staile cuideachd a’ cuimseachadh air a bhith a’ cur an gnìomh dèanamh orgànach seasmhach, a’ cleachdadh ghritheidean ionadail leithid mòine, fraoch, feamainn agus eòrna. 

Deireadh.

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