Ian MacLeod Distillers Submit Plan for Whisky Storage Facility in Stirling

Ian MacLeod Distillers (IMD) has applied to Stirling Council to expand their operations in Scotland with a new whisky storage facility. 

This development will employ up to 62 people during the construction, then a further 25 people in the running of the facility. 

IMD has recently won 5 gold medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) 2023. An expansion of their storage facilities in Scotland will house more of their award-winning whisky until they are ready for bottling. 

IMD Stirling plans

What is planned for the development?

The plans for the new facility are not only for storage. They include:

  • Nine whisky storage facilities
  • A blend centre
  • A tank farm
  • An office building

These all plan to be situated on a 20.2-acre site with transport links to all other IMD facilities across Scotland. 

Currently, IMD has 3 distilleries across the country:

Whisky will be casked at the appropriate distilleries and then transferred to the Stirling storage warehouse for several years until the whisky is mature and ready for sale and consumption. 

Leonard Russell from IMD has this to say about the plans: “We are delighted to be submitting this planning application for new whisky storage facilities at Bandeath, which will provide additional capacity for our operations across Scotland.

“The new facility will further secure our spirit supply chain and have a clear beneficial impact on both the local and the national economy.

“The new storage complex will provide considerable benefits to the community, delivering employment both in its construction and once complete.

“We have also given a commitment to promoting apprenticeship opportunities.

“With our broad commitment to addressing climate change and delivering net zero, our new facility will be highly sustainable and have minimum environmental impact.

“We have undertaken extensive engagement with the local community throughout this process and look forward to continue to engage with them as matters progress.”

Why do distilleries need so much storage space?

Scotch whisky is only considered as such when it has been matured in a cask for 3 years. To store casks for this amount of time, whilst producing more whisky requires a lot of space.

There are many big players in the whisky industry planning storage facilities in Scotland. These include:

  • Diageo – they are expanding their existing facility in Kirkcaldy so it houses over 2.8 million whisky barrels
  • Beam Suntory – they announced plans for a £150 million investment in a whisky storage facility in East Ayrshire

The IMD investment continues this trend, partially down to the success whisky exports had for the Scottish economy in 2022 and 2021. 

A rapid increase in exports from £4.5 billion to £6 billion is a significant amount of whisky. If this trend continues (and it is very likely to continue) whisky producers will need an increasing amount of storage space. 

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