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Aussie entrepreneur buys Bladnoch distillery


Hope has been restored that Bladnoch distillery will run once again after the site was purchased by an Australian businessman last week.

Bladnoch distillery

The Lowlands distillery in Galloway, which has lain silent for six years, was purchased under Bladnoch Distillery Limited by David Prior, founder of organic yoghurt and granola producer five:am, for an undisclosed sum.

The company is planning a 'substantial investment' in restoring Bladnoch to meet industry environmental standards, with a view to firing up the stills in late 2016.

Bladnoch’s eight warehouse, administrative and visitor centre staff will be retained, while several new jobs will also be created.

Prior, who owns 100% of the business, said: 'I am delighted to have been able to purchase a Scotch whisky distillery of such renown as Bladnoch. Scotch whisky is the world’s foremost spirit drink and I am proud to be part of the Scotch whisky industry.'

Guiding Prior, who has no previous background in distilling, are Gavin Hewitt, former CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association; Ilana Edelstein, founding team member of Patrón Tequila; Michael Brennan, former senior finance executive with Bacardi; and Jonathan Driver, former malt director at UDV and Diageo.

Hewitt added: 'It is wonderful to see one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries revived. I’m excited to be on the team which will breathe new life into Bladnoch and provide a stimulus for the local economy.'

Bladnoch was built in 1817 by John and Thomas McClelland on their family farm, and is today Scotland’s most southerly distillery.

Having been bought in a mothballed state from United Distillers by Co-ordinated Development Services in 1994, which initially intended to transform the site into a holiday village, Bladnoch was re-opened in 2000 for just nine years before closing again in 2009.

Co-ordinated Development Services went into administration in March 2014.

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