WHISKY GALORE: Council leader welcomes Green Distillery Fund

Council leader Aileen Morton; a whisky still on Islay; Cllr Alastair Redman; Oban distillery, tucked away in the town centre; a splendid collection of Scotch whiskies, a scene from the film Whisky Galore (the good ship Politician, which sank off Eriskay, had Dumbarton distilled whisky on board. It was Ballantine’s)  and two very rare whiskies, one from Port Ellen. Pictures by Bill Heaney

By Democrat reporter

“The distilling industry – both whisky and gin – plays an increasingly important role in the rural economy and international reputation of Argyll and Bute. This new fund has the potential to help the industry play a key role in protecting our climate too.”

These were words of Councillor Aileen Morton, chair of the council’s Climate Change Environmental Action Group, as the UK Government announced a new £10m Green Distillery Fund.

“There are many examples of the application of green technology across Argyll and Bute. This could be a fantastic new opportunity to harness innovative energy sources within one of our most prestigious industries, reducing emissions and creating higher value jobs.

This very much fits with one of our key aims, as part of our plan to address climate change, which is to promote Argyll and Bute as a low carbon area and to develop and seek additional investment for green infrastructure.

“I am keen to see how the fund will be administered and how the council can encourage partners in the distilling world to make best use of the monies available.”

Policy Lead for Economic Growth, Councillor Alastair Redman, said: “Argyll and Bute has more than 20 distilleries producing world class whisky and gin products. Many of our businesses are multi-award winning proving that the local drinks sector is something to be envied.

“From large-scale companies, to small micro-distillers, this fast-growing market creates much-needed employment. The number of people working in the industry locally has increased by 50% over the past 10 years and makes a valuable contribution to the local, Scottish and UK economies.”

  • Scotch Whisky exports are worth £4.9bn
  • In 2018, Scotch Whisky accounted for 75% of Scottish food and drink exports, 21% of all UK food and drink exports, and 1.3% of all UK exports
  • The Scotch Whisky industry provides £5.5bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy
  • More than 10,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland and over 40,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry
  • 7,000 of these jobs in rural areas of Scotland providing vital employment and investment to communities across the Highlands and Islands
  • There are 2 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries a year, making the industry the third most popular tourist attraction in Scotland


  1. Meanwhile, malt whisky sales to the USA, which is Scotch Whisky’s biggest export destination, have halved over the last year and a bit due to Donald Trump levying a 25% import tax on Scotch malt whisky.

    With Donald Trump said to be our friend and a good guy to his chum Boris Johnson the Scottish whisky industry, together with all of the associated bottling, labelling, packaging, transportation industry must be ecstatic how Bojo’ s chum has cut us a deal.

    P45 time beholds and all part of the Brexit bonanza of turkeys heading for Christmas.

  2. And here’s another rip snorter for the lumpen.

    Once fully out of Europe and no longer obligated to the pesky levels of EU food standards, such as those relating reduced levels of hygiene, restrictions on currently banned herbicides, steroidal and antibiotic fed beef, and of course workers rights, the race to the bottom will be on.

    Ah, turkeys, and chlorinated turkeys at that, no wonder the EU is resisting a trade deal with the UK unless it maintains standards.

    Well if one reads the UK internal Market Bill one will get the picture, and it ain’t pretty for Scotland the Brand. Toilet time really!

  3. I hate correcting people, but this was drummed into me in days gone by. It’s always Scotch Whisky and never Scottish Whisky. Good comments though Willie. Keep going.

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