A major expansion of a grain store that supplies Speyside distilleries has been approved.
The storage at Boormalt on the outskirts of Buckie will now be doubled to 60,000 tonnes – creating more jobs, and potentially more business for the town.
The proposals from grain merchants WN Lindsay include six new silos and a single-story storage building next to the current site.
Last night Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie hailed the development as having benefits for the 60 farmers that supply the silos as well as the town’s harbour.
He said: “It’s creating a lot of extra storage for them to use there. It’s not going to create a lot more jobs but it could result in more boats coming through the harbour.
“A lot of grain is already sent through Buckie harbour and this can only lead to more of the same.
“The extra storage is going to be massive. It’s definitely going to support the farmers too and make it a lot easier for them.”
The expansion is expected to create an extra four full-time jobs at the March Road site.
WN Lindsay and Boormalt have a partnership with whisky giant Chivas Brothers to use local grain at their distilleries.
Members of Moray Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the major development this week.
During the discussions Buckie councillor Gordon McDonald asked whether the extra storage would result in extra vehicles on nearby roads.
Members were told the firm intends to stop using third-party storage following the expansion and use Buckie as a central distribution point instead. It is estimated there will be about 1,000 less lorry journeys on Moray roads every year.
In a submission to authority planners, agents Campbell of Doune explained the days of operation during the harvest would now extend by a week to 37 days a year.
A spokesman wrote: “Boormalt supply a number of the distilleries active in the Speyside area and it is important to both the maltings and the distilleries that the supply chain is kept as efficient as possible to keep Scotch as competitive as possible on the global map.
“This project will allow the maltings at Buckie to enhance its place in the supply chain, securing the future of the site and guaranteeing the farmers of the local area a secure outlet for their grain for years to come.”