SCOTCH whisky industry veteran Graeme Bowie has been appointed to run the new Ardnamurchan Distillery, which is aiming to start production by the end of this year.

His appointment as distillery manager was announced yesterday by Ardnamurchan-based Adelphi Distillery, which is behind the multimillion-pound new-build project on the peninsula.

Mr Bowie is moving from Inver House's Balblair Distillery in Ross-shire, where he has been assistant manager. He starts his new role on Monday.

Adelphi, which recently welcomed Prince Albert of Monaco to the Ardnamurchan Distillery site, noted Mr Bowie had worked in the Scotch whisky industry for 28 years.

It said Mr Bowie's initial role would be to project manage the final few months of construction and equipment design and installation in conjunction with Global Construction of Muir of Ord, and Forsyths of Rothes.

It added that Mr Bowie would also be responsible for ensuring the proposed visitor centre was ready to welcome the local com-munity and tourists to the Glenbeg site.

Adelphi, which was bought nearly a decade ago by current chairman Keith Falconer and Donald Houston, from Jamie Walker, has more than 20 years of experience of bottling specially selected single casks of Scotch whisky from distilleries around Scotland for limited release in the UK and overseas markets.

Alex Bruce, sales and marketing director of Adelphi, said the foundations for the new buildings at the Ardnamurchan site were complete. The steelworks for the buildings were due to arrive next week, he noted.

He added that the buildings should be up by the start of September. The timetable then factored in about two months for the installation of equipment.

Mr Bruce highlighted an expectation that, following a commissioning period, first spirits from the new distillery would be produced in December.

He said the new distillery and visitor centre would initially employ about six people directly, with potential for this number to rise to 10 or 11.