£22.5m package

Islay distillery raises finance to boost output

Islay Heads: ‘exciting opportunities’

An Islay distillery will ‘substantially’ raise production after receiving a £22.5 million package of support that will be invested in its facilities.

Kilchoman Distillery, an independent operator on the island, aims to produce 40% more whisky within the next 12 months and the owners have already started work on a new warehouse and extra staff have been hired to cope with demand.

The distillery is a major employer on the island, with 40 staff. The new investment will allow Kilchoman to store thousands more casks of whisky which it can release to the market in several years’ time.

The brand is already established as a premium spirit in 50 countries, with the biggest markets being in France, Germany, the US and China. The funding from Barclays will allow Kilchoman to increase its presence in these big four markets.

Islay Heads, general manager at Kilchoman Distillery, said: “This substantial investment will allow us to invest back in the business, with construction of a new warehouse already underway and plans in the pipeline that should bring efficiencies and further expansion

“There are exciting opportunities to grow our brand in countries like France and the US and despite the unsettling economic conditions there remains a growing market for premium whisky brands.”

Andy Hall, of Barclays corporate banking, said: “Despite the challenging economic conditions, the production of our national drink remains an expanding industry and we are pleased that Kilchoman is now one of several independent distilleries in Scotland where we are supporting their ambitions for growth in Scotland and beyond.”

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