A planned new distillery and visitor centre in the Western Isles which is expected to create more than 20 jobs has been given a funding boost of up to almost £2 million.

The proposed £12.5 million development at Gramsdale, Benbecula, secured the cash from development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The Uist Distilling Company plans to produce single malt whisky, rum and gin on site, using renewable energy.

READ MORE: Karen Betts to leave top job at Scotch Whisky Association

A total of 22 full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created at the distillery in the next three years, with plans to start production in early 2022.


A computer-designed concept of the distillery

Company co-owner Angus A MacMillan, from South Uist, 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.

“We are delighted with the support we have had from HIE. Having a low carbon footprint is key to our plans and we are working with industry experts to design a spirit production process which is powered by renewable energy sources. ”


He said he hopes the funding of up to £1.99 million will help him to be at the forefront of the whisky industry’s move away from using fossil fuels.

READ MORE: Plans for new £6.5m island distillery unveiled

Joanna Peteranna, head of enterprise support at HIE’s Outer Hebrides team, said: “This innovative project will bring much-needed high quality and secure jobs to Benbecula. The plans include green energy technology, which should future proof the business in terms of Scotland’s net zero targets.

“It will also add to the other distillery developments in the Outer Hebrides and will help establish a whisky trail through the islands, which would be attractive for visitors.”