DIAGEO’S Johnnie Walker whisky tourism centre planned for the former House of Fraser store in Edinburgh is expected to be given the go-ahead today.

The plans, which include facilities for roof-top bars, live music and theatre events, are recommended for approval by Edinburgh City Council officials.

The drinks giant’s proposal will create around 180 jobs and is part of a wider push to upgrade visitor facilities at its distilleries which provide the malts for the Johnnie Walker blend.

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Diageo is to invest over £185 million in a series of “Scotch whisky experiences” which includes revamping its 12 distillery visitor attractions and a £35m layout to reopen the distilleries of Port Ellen and Brora, with plans for the former also submitted.


The Edinburgh planning application sets out proposals for a seven-floor visitor centre.

The plans involve the restoration of the building including the clock on the corner of Princes Street and Hope Street.

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The proposals also include a space for staging music, theatre, arts and community events and a bar academy.

The development creates a “powerful strategic opportunity for Edinburgh city centre, establishing a major attraction in the west end, helping to balance visitor footfall across the city”, the firm said.