Beam Suntory has applied for planning permission for a £150 million giant whisky facility in East Ayrshire
Beam Suntory has announced plans to invest £150 million in a giant whisky facility in East Ayrshire, Scotland.
The whisky giant behind brands such as Laphroaig, Bowmore and Auchentoshan has applied for planning permission to develop a facility that will hold over 500,000 whisky barrels.
If the planning permission is granted, the whisky maturation facility will be 70,000m2. It will be located just off the M77 outside of Kingswell with floor space mainly dedicated to whisky storage and associated buildings.
How will the Beam Suntory facility help locals?
Beam Suntory currently employ 400 people in Scotland. Building this facility will require local construction workers and additional workers to maintain the facility. However, Beam Suntory has not attached a figure of how many locals they would expect to employ following construction.
Craig Martin, general manager of manufacturing operations in the UK and Ireland for Beam Suntory has this to say: “This project represents a significant investment for Beam Suntory that will benefit Kilmarnock and position East Ayrshire as a key location for our Scotch whisky business for many years to come, aligning with the East Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Plan to develop the local economy and create jobs.”
What happens next?
Beam Suntory has submitted a proposal for application notice to East Ayrshire Council. They will now enter into a consultation period with locals to address any concerns.
This design consultation process will include the project architects, Energy Conscious Design Architects as well as key stakeholders at Beam Suntory.
Burns Mall in Kilmarnock will host a physical event on Saturday the 22nd of April between 10am and 5pm. At this event, the public will be able to view plans, raise questions, comment on the project and make suggestions.
A further virtual event will be held the following Tuesday the 25th of April on a dedicated website, in which more information about both events will be posted. The website will go live a week before the consultation events.
Craig Martin said: “Engaging with the community at this early stage of planning will enable us to not only share our plans, but also get valuable feedback from the public.”
Investment in the Scottish economy
Investment by whisky giants and whisky startups has become the norm in recent years in Scotland.
Beam Suntory is further investing in Scotland following news late last year that the company has joined a partnership to restore the peatlands in East Ayrshire.
Other whisky companies are expanding their operations in Scotland, which follows the news that in 2022 whisky exports in Scotland exceeded £6 billion.
- Diageo is expanding its Kirkcaldy facility to house over 2.8 million barrels of whisky
- Isle of Barra Distillers are investing £12 million in their new distillery on the island
- Guala Closures will spend £36 million on a ‘superfactory’ in Gartcosh
With all the rapid development in Scotch whisky, Beam Suntory will need these new storage facilities to keep up with its competitors. We keep up to date with Beam Suntory and the news around their brands including, The Ardmore, Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garicoh and Laphroaig.
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