Diageo will invest $150m over the next three years to fund a whisky investment programme in Scotland, which aims to promote Scotch whisky to global consumers.
This investment will pay for the construction of a new Johnnie Walker facility in Edinburgh – which will act as the hub for Diageo’s operations in Scotland – and the upgrade of the company’s Scottish distillery network.
The new Johnnie Walker facility will also act as a visitor experience centre for tourists, which will showcase the whiskies from the company’s Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish distilleries.
Visitor centres at the company’s Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar distilleries will be upgraded to “support the growth of single malt Scotch whisky”, while $35 million has been committed to re-open the Port Ellen and Brora distilleries.
Diageo will also provide further funding for its ‘Learning for Life’ training programme, which has provided hospitality training to 1,000 young unemployed people in Scotland over the last five years.
Furthermore, the company will establish a scholarship and mentoring programme to support young entrepreneurs in the country.
Diageo chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry.
“For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland. I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”
David Cutter, chairman of Diageo in Scotland added: “Over the past six years we have invested over £1 billion in building our Scotch whisky production infrastructure to grow exports of Scotch around the world.
“With this new investment, we turn our focus to bringing the world to Scotland. This will not only build the Scotch whisky industry it will bring economic benefits to communities throughout Scotland.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018