Whisky giant Diageo has started work on a £6.4 million centre of excellence for operations behind a large share of Scotland’s national drink.
The investment at Menstrie, in Clackmannanshire, will upgrade facilities for whisky blending, science and technology and materials testing teams.
London-based Diageo, whose whisky brands include Johnnie Walker, said the new centre would provide a “world-standard” working environment for its scientists.
The firm also expects it to become a key hub for innovation, not just for the spirit industry, but also in environmental sustainability in manufacturing.
Diageo’s growing footprint in Clackmannanshire already includes the company’s largest warehousing site (Blackgrange), cooperage (Cambus), coppersmiths (Abercrombie in Alloa) and global brand archive (Menstrie).
Diageo International supply centre director Ewan Andrew said: “Our technical centre in Menstrie is a crucial part of our business globally, delivering excellence in science and innovation.
“This investment will create new state-of-the-art facilities for our talented team of whisky specialists and scientists to enhance the industry-leading work they do on growing and protecting our business around the world.”
Diageo’s other whisky brands include Bell’s, J&B, Haig Club and Vat 69.
Its single malt range includes Caol Ila, Cardhu, Dalwhinnie, Knockando, Lagavulin, Oban, Royal Lochnagar, The Singleton and Talisker.
The new facilities are being built on an area of unused land next to the company’s existing technical centre, which is also home to teams working on Digeo’s vodka, rum and gin brands.
In April, Diageo unveiled £150m plans for its “biggest single investment” in whisky tourism.
The FTSE 100 Index company aims to “transform” visitor centres at whisky distilleries including Cardhu on Speyside and Clynelish at Brora in a major tourism drive based around its Johnnie Walker brand – the world’s top selling Scotch.