Patrick Fletcher and Ian Stirling, the entrepreneurs behind the upcoming Port of Leith distillery, have secured a site after searching for the right place for four years. The new production unit of Scotch whisky will be located in the port district by the Royal Yacht Britannia and Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre in Edinburgh.
Having garnered adequate investment capital and permission from Ocean Terminal, a planning application is underway. It is expected to be submitted for review by the end of three months. If accepted, Edinburgh will witness a return to malt whisky distillation after nearly ten decades. It is one of two malt whisky breweries that have been proposed in the city. Newmake Ltd., headed by David Robertson, will soon commence building on a distillery in Holyrood Park.
Threesixty Architecture has been appointed to design Port of Leith, which is set to produce 400,000 liters of malt whisky yearly, once in operation. Site plans include a floating restaurant cum bar, and a store.
Said Fletcher, “It took a long time to find the ideal site. Ocean Terminal bought into our vision when we had no money and only a plan.” Once the pulse of the Scotch industry, he expressed excitement at the prospect of resuming the tradition in Leith. He also hopes that in the process, the local economy will gain a boost from an increase in jobs and tourism.
Leith is one of six ports in the country to have received a license to store whisky under bond, in 1822. The region is best known for blenders like William Sanderson & Sons, producers of the Vat 69 blend.