Tomatin Distillery Unveils Ambitious Plans for Multi-Million Pound Visitor Centre for 2025
In a bid to meet the growing demand from whisky enthusiasts eager to explore the origins of Scotland’s national drink, Tomatin Distillery is set to embark on an exciting new venture.
The distillery has recently unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art visitor centre, hoping to see a substantial increase in whisky tourists in the coming years. This is following the rapid increase in footfall to the current visitor centre, from 5,000 in 2022 to 35,000 in 2023!
The proposed visitor hub, slated to open its doors by May 2025, will be an impressive addition to the existing centre established in 1992. As part of this expansion, two warehouses are currently being demolished to make room for the multi-million-pound building.
This strategic move aligns with the surging interest in whisky tourism, as revealed by the Scotch Whisky Association, which reported over two million visitors to whisky centres across Scotland in 2022.
A Growing Trend
The Scotch Whisky Association’s findings underscore the soaring popularity of whisky-related tourism, making these centres the leading attractions in Scotland.
Footfall to distilleries has more than doubled since 2021, marking a significant 114% increase, with spending at distilleries climbing to £85 million—an 8.65% rise.
Tomatin Distillery, currently hosting around 35,000 visitors annually, expects this number to skyrocket to 50,000 upon the new centre’s opening, with ambitious plans to reach 100,000 within the next five years.
Martin Macalister Hall, Tomatin’s visitor centre manager, expressed confidence in the investment, emphasising the substantial demand for such experiences.
The planned visitor centre aims to be more than just a tour destination; it envisions a welcoming space where visitors can immerse themselves in the world of whisky, complete with a new bar, tasting rooms, and a blending academy for crafting personalised whisky blends. Tomatin also plans to create scenic paths and cycle tracks across its 140-acre property, transforming it into an inviting haven for longer stays.
Beyond the Distillery
The vision extends beyond the distillery itself, with plans to convert three vacant former managers’ houses into upscale accommodations, providing visitors with a unique on-site living experience.
This move aligns with the distillery’s goal of creating a comfortable space where guests can unwind and spend more time, fostering a connection with the surrounding landscape.
Tomatin Distillery has garnered support from the local community for its ambitious plans. Barbara MacAskill, chair of the Strathdearn Community Council, expressed enthusiasm about the project:
“It’s going to bring more revenue into Tomatin and put us on the map a bit better.
“It can only be a good thing for the village. I’ve not heard of any opposition.”
A Wave of Investment
Distilleries across Scotland are investing in improving their own facilities during this boom in interest in whisky.
We have seen plans and construction started just over the last year, including:
- Plans submitted for Witchburn Distillery, which features a visitor centre.
- Ian Macleod Distillers are planning to open their Rosebank Distillery with a new visitor centre.
- Ardgowan Distillery has started construction of their ‘cathedral of whisky’ visitor experience centre.
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