A body representing whisky distillers around Scotland has launched an initiative to help with the supply of hand sanitiser to front-line services.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has been given approval from regulators to produce the cleanser from denatured alcohol, while working closely with Government and relevant authorities.

A number of its members can either supply high-strength alcohol for the hand sanitiser or make it themselves, with some distillers able to do this at scale.

Producers are now being invited to submit details to the portal of what they can provide so distillers can source necessary ingredients, while organisations in need of sanitiser will be able to specify their requirements.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “Distillers want to support health services on the front-line of fighting coronavirus wherever we can and also other essential services that need additional supplies of hand sanitiser in these difficult times.

“We now have the green light from Government, which means that our distilleries can supply high-strength alcohol to existing hand sanitiser producers where they are running low on stocks.

“We can also produce hand sanitiser at some Scotch whisky sites, for local provision or – with the right packaging and distribution partners – for provision at scale to those organisations who need it urgently.”

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She added: “The new portal will serve as an important tool for our companies to help meet the demand in Scotland and across the UK and for those organisations that need supplies of hand sanitiser.

“Scotland has the distilleries, the skilled workforce and the drive to make a difference and I hope that distillers, supply chain companies, distribution partners and those in need of hand sanitiser will get in touch and use the portal.”

The portal will connect distillers wanting to make hand sanitiser with those who can provide key ingredients and supplies such as bottles, pump-action closures and labels, as well as companies that can help distribute sanitiser.

It is expected to go live at 5pm on Wednesday.