PLANS have been unveiled for a new £6.5 million island distillery.

The Uist Distilling Company said its proposals for Gramsdale on Benbecula include single malt whisky, rum and gin production, and the distillery complex will have a visitor centre with a food outlet stocked with local products.

The plans for the distillery site include low carbon technologies in the design, build and distillation process.

The building design will incorporate large glazed areas on either side of the building, showcasing the copper whisky stills and visitor centre.

The Uist Distilling Company is owned by businessmen Angus A MacMillan and his son Angus E MacMillan who want to present to the national and international market.

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Angus A McMillan, chairman and chief executive, said the distillery and visitor centre will bring 25 secure, high-quality jobs to the island, along with around 60-70 indirect jobs for suppliers, farmers, crofters transport and other local and national businesses.

He said: “The new distillery aims to be a champion of all things Hebridean and Scottish and will provide a huge boost to tourism in the area. We want to produce whisky, rum and gin that will put Benbecula and the Hebrides firmly on the whisky tourist trail, while introducing the products we make to a national and international clientele.”


Angus E MacMillan, operations director, said: “We are working with industry experts to design a spirit production process which is powered by renewable energy sources, this will lower the carbon output of the distillery and ensure we are at the forefront of the whisky industry’s move away from the use of fossil fuels.”

He added that “Highlands and Islands Enterprise has already demonstrated its support by part-funding a feasibility study”.

Rachel Mackenzie, HIE area manager for the Outer Hebrides, said: “These innovative plans will bring much-needed high-quality and secure jobs, as well as providing a visitor attraction that will be a significant boost to the Outer Hebrides tourism experience.”

A planning application will be submitted this week to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), with production set to start in early 2022.

Community engagement drop-in sessions are planned in the coming weeks.