Major investment as two Fife distilleries announce expansion plans

Fife’s food and drink sector has received a considerable boost with the announcement that two of its local distilleries have plans to expand. This will safeguard jobs in the area and create a further 10 jobs.

InchDairnie Distillery, which established a distillery and bonded warehouse distillery in Glenrothes in 2012, has purchased almost 11 acres of land at Osprey Road, Glenrothes, to expand its operations. The business has had its plans approved to construct a bonded warehouse development for the storage of whisky during its maturation. The distillery is currently producing whisky, with its first single malt scheduled to be ready for sale in 2029.

InchDairnie has committed to invest £18 million to create this bonded warehouse development, and hopes in the longer term, this expansion will create six jobs.

Wemyss Family Spirits, producers of hand-crafted Scottish spirits, has also purchased land from Fife Council on Osprey Road, Glenrothes. Having gained planning permission to construct twelve bonded warehouses for whisky maturation on the 8.25 acres of land it has acquired, construction will soon get underway. Part of the medium-term growth plan for Wemyss Family Spirits also includes a bottling plant which it is anticipated will create ten jobs.

Councillor Altany Craik, Spokesperson – Finance, Economy & Strategic Planning, welcomed the news. He said: “This has been an ongoing project, with both InchDairnie Distillery and Wemyss Family Spirits working together with Fife Council’s Economic Development and Planning Teams, to create these significant expansion opportunities. It’s a welcome investment to the area around Whitehill Industrial Estate; it offers a significant boost for the food and drink sector, with job creation expected in the longer term; and it reinforces Fife’s position as a major distilling hub.”

InchDairnie Distillery’s Managing Director, Ian Palmer, commented: "We are delighted to build on our initial investment here in Fife with this additional maturation capacity. This expansion will allow the production from our now expanding distillation capacity to be all matured here in Fife."

InchDairnie and Wemyss Family Spirits have worked closely in recent years, and their land purchases have run concurrently, but separately. Of late, InchDairnie Distillery has been letting space for the storage of casks in a bonded warehouse to Wemyss Family Spirits. Now, it’s time for both businesses to expand and create more storage to keep up with production.

William Wemyss, Managing Director of Wemyss Vintage Malts, said: "Development and owning our own maturation warehousing and bottling plant is an important strategic move for us to support our existing spirits business. As a longstanding Fife family, we are delighted to make this additional commitment to the region after our investment in Kingsbarns Distillery in 2015"

Each of the plots of land were sold by Fife Council to the businesses, with missives concluding early this month. Works are scheduled to get underway imminently, and as the businesses expand, develop, and grow, they continue to engage with Fife Council’s Economic Development Team.