Power cut hits official opening

Swinney helps shine a light on SWA’s ceremony

David Frost with John Swinney

The official opening of the Scotch Whisky Association’s new head office in Edinburgh went ahead in somewhat gloomy circumstances, but not because of any trading issues.

As guests gathered to hear Deputy First Minister John Swinney declare the new suite open, a power cut plunged the room into darkness.

All businesses in the Quartermile area were without power for over an hour, but the lack of light didn’t hold back proceedings in Lister Square.

David Frost, the SWA’s chief executive joked: “When I prepared to speak about moving to a new modern environment I didn’t expect to be doing it in candlelight.”

The office is home to 32 employees and the SWA has a further five people in its London office opened last year.

Mr Frost said the location, in one of the city’s newest business addresses, provides a showcase for the Scotch Whisky industry which directly employs more than 10,000 people in Scotland, contributes £5 billion in value to the UK economy each year and is worth around £4bn in exports.

Mr Swinney said the whisky industry had “done us all a favour” through its international presence.

“From time to time there are challenges to face but the industry is able to cope with the peaks and troughs,” he said.

Photo: David Frost with John Swinney (by Terry Murden)

> Interview with David Frost 

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