The company behind plans to restore malt whisky production to Edinburgh for the first time since the 1920s has called the recruitment of Bill Farrar, among three figures from the whisky industry, as a “major coup” for the project.

Holyrood Distillery, which is currently raising funds to build a distillery and visitor centre in the Capital, has appointed Mr Farrar, who stepped down from a senior position at Edrington last month, as sales and marketing director.

The company has also hired Laura Anderson as director of finance, and Jack Mayo as head distiller.

In his new role with Holyrood Distillery, Mr Farrar will focus on growing sales through the on and off trade, in Scotland, the UK and overseas.

This month also saw Mr Farrar join the board of Ian Macleod Distillers in a non-executive capacity.

Ms Anderson previously worked with Edrington, most recently as head, super premium strategy development. Mr Mayo arrives after three years at Glasgow Distillery.

Also providing advice to the Holyrood team is botanicals expert Hamish Martin, owner of Edinburgh’s Secret Herb Garden, and former chief of wine merchant Inverarity Vaults.

Holyrood Distillery recently launched a £5.5 million drive to help it redevelop the historic Engine Shed building and site on St Leonard’s Lane.

Having already been granted planning consent, Holyrood aims to begin distilling whisky in late 2018 and start selling its first drams as early as 2021.

The business is a joint development by David Robertson, former master distiller for The Macallan, and Rob and Kelly Carpenter, founders of the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Mr Carpenter, managing director, Holyrood Distillery said: “The combined experience of our team will not only help us create a distillery which is distinctly different from anything else out there, but will also help us deliver a range of flavour-packed spirits which capture the imagination of today’s consumers.”