ISLE of Harris Distillers has secured a £1.7 million financial package from banking giant HSBC to support its expansion and back further investment in its maturing single malt whisky stock.

The distillery, which is already one of the largest employers on the Outer Hebridean island with 30 staff and plans further recruitment as it increases whisky production, was established in autumn 2015 and expects its first batch of The Hearach single malt to be ready for bottling from late 2020. The spirit is lying in cask on Harris.

Isle of Harris Distillers, which has as its primary objective the creation of sustainable employment for islanders, has been producing a premium gin to help fund its single malt whisky production.

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This has been marketed direct to consumers online and to select independent restaurants and bars, with sales having surpassed expectations.

Managing director Simon Erlanger said: “HSBC recognised our mission to be a catalyst for economic growth for the island and to create even more sustainable jobs for local people. We are committed to Harris, whose water, weather and people are integral to the overall production of our high-quality spirits.”

Neal Tully, at HSBC, said: “The team at Harris Distillers instantly impressed us with their innovative approach”.