A Speyside distillery is planning a huge expansion project in order to keep pace with the global demand for whisky.
Initial plans have been lodged with Moray Council to “re-model and re-build” the existing Aberlour distillery.
The historic site has been in operation since the late 19th century with spirit from the stills being sent across the world.
Now owners Chivas Brothers have indicated they want to expand the complex to increase the capacity of the distillery.
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Documents submitted to planners reveal that the extensive project will involve a new still house, a new tun room, mash house and improved access and parking for visitors.
Gordon Buist, production director at Chivas Brothers, said: “We have submitted the pre-application notice to Moray Council to allow us to upgrade and expand Aberlour distillery, which has been producing whisky since 1879.
“This expansion would allow us to increase our capacity, improve the infrastructure of the site and keep up with the growing global demand for our whisky.”
The initial proposals will be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday next week, which will allow any issues to be raised before final plans are drawn up.
Aberlour is the most recent distillery on Speyside to consider expanding following the opening of Macallan’s new £100million last year and the announcement that Glenfiddich was working on its own £30million expansion plans.
A new gas pipeline to increase capacity to distilleries was included in potential projects to be funded by Moray’s £65million growth deal with confirmation due in the coming months about what initiatives will be supported.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “It’s good to hear that this expansion is needed due to the increased demand and I know there are local meetings arranged to keep the community informed of what is proposed and how it will impact the village.
“The Scotch whisky industry continues to go from strength to strength, supported by the UK Government with the duty freeze.
“It’s good to see that these decisions have led to the reinvestment by the industry, which we see a lot of here in Moray as the centre for Scotch whisky production.”