Drinks giant Diageo has said the seeds of future regeneration for whisky tourism in Scotland are being sown in Scotland this week with the opening of a "unique" new distillery and garden visitor attraction.

The single malt distillery in East Lothian – the region famed as the garden of Scotland for its quality food and drink produce - will open its gates to the public again this week after a major transformation of its visitor attraction at Glenkinchie as part of a £185 million investment in Scotch whisky experiences by Diageo.

It said Glenkinchie will be "the Lowland Home of Johnnie Walker, the first of four corner distilleries around Scotland that will form an incredible network of visitor experiences linked to the world’s number one Scotch whisky and the new global centrepiece Johnnie Walker Princes Street attraction in Edinburgh, planned to open next summer".

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The Glenkinchie Distillery attraction is centred around a landscaped garden – said to be "carefully curated to reflect the stunning local rural environment" – and "an extraordinary immersive guest experience" in the distillery’s traditional Victorian red brick warehouses.

Barbara Smith, managing director of brand homes for Diageo in Scotland, has officially declared the new visitor experience open with the ceremonial planting of a tree to complete the garden and to represent the future growth of Scotch whisky and tourism.

She said: “We are acutely aware of the difficult times many people are going through, particularly our colleagues in the tourism and hospitality sector across Scotland.

"We know there’s a long way to go and a lot of uncertainty ahead. Still, we believe in the resilience of our business and our communities, and we will be doing all we can through our investment to sow the seeds of recovery and future growth.”

Ramsay Borthwick, Glenkinchie distillery manager, said it "will be offering people an experience like no other distillery in Scotland".

Subject to government guidance on COVID-19, Glenkinchie will open to the public on Thursday, October 29.

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