Whisky Focus - Ground Broken For £20 Million Ardgowan Distillery Construction

Ground Broken For £20 Million Ardgowan Distillery Construction

14th November 2023
Ardgowan Distillery, the inaugural zero-carbon whisky distillery in Inverclyde, has initiated the construction of its £20 million visionary 'cathedral of whisky'.

Ardgowan Distillery construction gets underway. Pictured L-R Gordon Stewart, Construction Manager, Muir Construction, Stevie Caughey, Construction Project Manager, Ardgowan Distillery, Scott Hardie, Project Engineer, Muir Construction, Martin McAdam, CEO, Ardgowan Distillery

Ardgowan Distillery, the inaugural zero-carbon whisky distillery in Inverclyde, has initiated the construction of its £20 million visionary "cathedral of whisky". Muir Construction, based in Inverkeithing, is set to complete the first phase over the next 12 months. This initial stage encompasses crucial components like core groundworks, steelwork, and distillation equipment, positioning Ardgowan to commence spirit production by 2024.

This milestone follows almost seven years of meticulous planning by the distillery founders, signifying a significant achievement in the development of an ergonomic, energy-efficient distillery and visitor experience. The project is expected to generate 47 local jobs and yield up to 1 million litres of premium single malt whisky annually.

The groundbreaking distillery design integrates low environmental impact materials, including composite cladding, timber, and steel, to craft a contemporary Nordic long hall. This design symbolises resurrection and emergence from the remnants of the former Ardgowan Distillery in Greenock, devastated during the 1941 Blitz.

Ardgowan Distillery artist impression.

Ardgowan's ambitious vision for the net-zero distillery involves incorporating cutting-edge technologies and forming partnerships with emerging technology developers to achieve a genuinely carbon-neutral spirit. Collaborating with Heriot-Watt University and engineers Briggs of Burton, the distillery aims to capture all CO2 generated in the fermentation process and convert it into green biomethaneóa pioneering technique yet to be employed in a Scotch whisky distillery.

Martin McAdam, CEO, said: "Itís been almost seven years in the planning, spanning Brexit, a global pandemic, and five Prime Ministers. But now, finally, we have started construction.

"Muir have been integral in constructing some of the finest Scotch Whisky distilleries open today and are at the forefront of several pioneering Scottish sustainability projects. We welcome their expertise as we embark on the first major phase of our state of the art distillery."

Muir Construction, a division of Muir Group, specialises in distillery construction, boasting prior collaborations with major distillery firms such as William Grant & Sons, Distell, and Glenmorangie. Their portfolio extends to significant sustainability initiatives, including contributions to projects like the Queens Quay Energy Centre in Glasgow and Celtic Renewables.

The new Ardgown Distillery construction project has secured a comprehensive funding package totalling £24 million thus far, with the distillery recently augmenting its financial support by raising over £3.6 million through a convertible loan note to shareholders.

Ardgowan's current acclaimed assortment of sherry cask-influenced malts have achieved noteworthy success with a triple gold triumph at the 2022 Scotch Whisky Awards. The Clydebuilt whisky range, recognised for its excellence, is currently accessible through
specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

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