Date Added - 06/06/12
The leader of Moray Council has welcomed whisky giant Diageo’s plans for a £1billion investment package over the next five years.
Councillor Allan Wright has written to Diageo Scotland’s managing director, Bryan Donaghey, saying how “thrilled” he was at the announcement.
Moray is the heartland of the Scotch whisky industry and Diageo already has a sizeable presence in the area.
In his message to Mr Donaghey, Councillor Wright said: “The news of a new distillery is particularly exciting and, as you would expect, I will be hoping that you decide on Moray as you did for the Roseisle distillery.
“Let me assure you that a decision to come to Moray would again trigger the same concentrated effort from our planners and other departments to speed the plough.”
Councillor Wright added: “Very best wishes for all the developments. It was extremely good news anyway but especially so in these difficult financial times.”
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Fiona Murdoch, who chairs the Moray Council economic development and infrastructure services committee, said: “With over half of all Scotland’s distilleries in Moray this is fantastic news for the area and the industry.
“We have a workforce and supporting businesses with the knowledge and expertise that should help Diageo look favourably on choosing a Moray site for at least one of their new distilleries, in addition to the expansion of their existing sites in Speyside.
“Most of all we welcome the commitment being offered to take on 100 young apprentices and graduates that come with this major expansion of the Diageo business – like other areas, youth unemployment is a major issue, as is retaining our young people after they finish university. These far-reaching proposals will help with both as well as giving our construction sector a significant boost.”
Councillor Murdoch, whose ward includes Scotland’s malt whisky capital of Dufftown, said the growth in global demand for whisky has rocketed and has kept Moray distilleries working flat out during a time of global recession.
“Distilleries that have been mothballed or working part-time for a number of years are all now back in full production bringing a magnificent boost to Moray, and particularly to the rural areas,” she said. “Diageo’s experience of 50% growth in net sales is phenomenal and is being reflected throughout the industry.”
Councillor Douglas Ross, chairman of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, said the council was committed to working with large companies like Diageo to make sure that the planning and building control phases ran smoothly.
He said: “Early pre-planning meetings are essential in helping deliver such multi-million pound projects and I will do all I can to make sure there is a fast-track approach if the new distillery comes to Moray.
“We had the experience of working with Diageo during the development of the new distillery at Roseisle which was delivered in record time and it would be good to work together again.”