Ardgowan Distillery unveils building plans for distillery and visitor centre

Ardgowan Distillery unveils building plans for distillery and visitor centre

The plans aim to create an environmentally conscious “cathedral of whisky” which brings visitor experience to the fore

12 January 2022

The Ardgowan Distillery has unveiled new plans for their landmark distillery and visitor centre which will commence construction next year. The design utilises composite cladding, timber and steel materials to create a light-filled modern Nordic long hall which will, hopefully, have a low environmental impact.

The building is designed to provide an energy-efficient distillery and maximise visitor experience. It will incorporate a glass-walled ‘sky platform’ with views of the Clyde.

The company has already pledged their new distillery will be carbon negative and are working with specialist distillery engineers Briggs of Burton to ensure the flagship building makes use of the latest innovations in energy reduction, heat recovery and carbon capture.

The new plans for the site on the Ardgowan Estate, 30 miles west of Glasgow, supersede a previous design which received planning permission in 2019. Ardgowan Distillery have submitted their revised design to Inverclyde Council, with a response anticipated early next year.

In June, Ardgowan Distillery confirmed the Inverclyde project would go ahead, following an investment of £8.4 million. This has been led by principal investor Roland Grain, with additional investment from Distil Plc. The company hopes the distillery will be operational in 2023.
A side view

Commenting on the proposal, Grain said, “...Central to this is our innovative building, designed by leading Austrian architects Spitzbart & Partners. This very modern Nordic long hall is pointing skyward, symbolising resurrection and our rise from the ashes of the former Ardgowan Distillery, which burned down in the Greenock Blitz in May 1941, and also our ambition to become one of the top whiskies in the world.

The location to carry out this ambition, Grain said, is perfect: “Ardgowan Estate is less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow and, in 2019, Greenock welcomed more than 100,000 cruise ship visitors, so I believe there is a great opportunity to draw people here with a first-class food, drink and retail experience.”
The viewing platform

The plans have also been welcomed by Ardgowan Estate owner Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart and local MSP Stuart McMillan. Distillery CEO, Martin McAdam, said, “This project will be a major boost to the local economy…. We estimate the distillery and visitor centre will create up to 47 new jobs within five years. We have already made our first local hire – our Production Coordinator Matt Blair is from Greenock – and we will be advertising construction tenders early next year…”

In the words of lead investor Roland Grain, the new buildings hope to “stand out as a ‘cathedral to whisky’ and put [its] corner of Inverclyde firmly on the tourist map.”

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