A project by a rural Highland distillery to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing productivity and creating jobs has secured up to £250,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Nc'nean Distillery is a young, independent, organic whisky producer based in the small hamlet of Drimnin on the Morvern peninsula in Lochaber.
The firm is recognised for its sustainable ethos and innovative approach to making whisky and other spirits. All the company’s products are certified organic, waste is reused or recycled and the distillery is powered entirely by renewable energy.
The HIE funding has helped towards the costs of creating a new on-site bottling plant, which will cut future transport costs and emissions. It is also helping to fund a new warehouse and the installation of additional equipment to expand production.
The improvements will give the firm more control over its environmental impacts, cut down on future road traffic and retain operations and employment in Drimnin.
Over the next four years the project is forecast to increase company turnover by £715,000 and international sales by £464,000, while creating three rural jobs.
Helen Cameron, business development account manager with HIE in Lochaber, said:
“Whisky production is a key part of the Highlands and Islands food and drink sector, which provides valuable rural employment and contributes to community resilience. Nc’nean Distillery has shown great initiative in developing its business with a strong environmental ethos, while maintaining a high-quality product. This approach is an example of how rural businesses can embrace the wider move to a net zero economy and carbon neutral region.
“Creating three year-round jobs in such a rural settlement will also help the wider efforts to attract and retain working age people in the area. We are very pleased to be able to provide this support and look forward to continuing to work with Nc’nean Distillery as they develop the business.”
Annabel Thomas, founder and CEO of Nc’nean Distillery, said:
“We are delighted to have completed this development, which would not have been possible without the support of HIE. The new bottling plant is an important step on our journey, allowing us to increase our sales whilst keeping control of the process and increasing employment in the area.”