By Scott Wright

THE owner of what is understood to be Scotland’s oldest working distillery has revealed plans to develop a new warehouse complex in Perthshire.

The Glenturret Distillery in Crieff will build the facility on the site of the former Stuart Crystal outlet on Muthill Road in an investment worth several million pounds.

The Glenturret acquired the riverside outlet in late 2019, following the closure of the shop in April of the previous year.

Work has now begun to clear what have been termed the “existing dangerous and damaged structures”, paving the way for the new facility to be constructed. Three new warehouses and connecting staff amenities are planned for the site, which The Glenturret pledged would “secure future jobs for the community”.

It also declared that the River Earn pathway would remain accessible at all times during the build period and after completion. The new warehouses will complement the existing maturation facilities at the distillery, which is located the “Hosh” area of Crieff.

John Laurie, managing director of The Glenturret, said: “We understand that Stuart Crystal has been an integral part of Crieff’s history over a significant amount of time. Many of our team working for The Glenturret are local and have connections to this iconic site.

“We have spent the last three years renovating The Glenturret restaurant and distillery. The distillery is over 260 years old now and keeping tradition and heritage alive is incredibly important to us.

“With this in mind we are working very closely with our principal designer to ensure that our new plans for the land will have a positive impact on both the environment and community that surrounds it.”

The Glenturret Distillery dates from 1763 and is understood to be Scotland’s oldest working distillery. It was acquired by French luxury goods company Lalique Group from Glasgow-based Scotch whisky company Edrington in March 2019.

Under Edrington, The Glenturret had mainly been known for distilling malt for its Famous Grouse blended Scotch. But since acquiring the historic distillery Lalique has invested heavily to revitalise The Glenturret single malt brand and build sales at home and abroad. It has also developed a restaurant at the distillery which secured a Michelin star in March of last year, less than seven months after opening.

The Glenturret said that it currently has 64 members of staff, with positions currently available in the restaurant.

Following its sale by Edrington, the distillery had to recruit staff for roles in functions such as supply chain, finance and human resources that were previously run centrally.

It is expected that around three full-time posts will be created at the new warehouse, adding to the 30-plus jobs that have been created at the distillery since 2019.

The Glenturret said it will seek to recycle the bulk of materials following the forthcoming demolition of existing structures. It hopes to incorporate some of the original materials in the new build. A statement said: “This re-imagining of the space is set to positively lift the appearance of the surrounding infrastructure whilst being sympathetic to the existing environment.

“The picturesque riverside location will form the backdrop of a highly efficient warehousing operation that is required to help continued growth of The Glenturret brand.”

The timeline for the project is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.