Green light for Ardgowan distillery following new investment of £8.4 million

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A DISTILLERY has announced work will begin this year on their new distillery which is being built on the Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip, 30 miles west of Glasgow.

£7.2m of the new equity for Ardgowan Distillery comes from Austrian investor Roland Grain and the balance from new and existing shareholders.

The substantial new equity will allow Ardgowan to commence construction of their one million litre single malt distillery and visitor centre.

Ardgowan Distillery- Business News Scotland
Photo by Ardgowan Distillery. Ardgowan Distillery confirmed an £8.4 million equity investment into the business.

Grain, the founder of IT company Grain GmbH, said: “My passion for whisky began as a teenager in Austria when I began to collect Scotch whisky and today I am thrilled to become the major shareholder in the Ardgowan Distillery.

“My wish is for this project to create a lasting connection to the community and produce the highest possible quality whisky and over time achieve the lowest possible CO2 footprint.

“The company founders Martin McAdam, Alan Baker and I have a shared vision of what we can achieve.

Roland Grain Ardgowan Distillery - Business News Scotland
Photo by Ardgowan Distillery. Grain (47) is the founder, owner and CEO of IT company Grain GmbH which operates in 17 countries worldwide.

“Already they have built a strong team around them – not least their chairman Willie Phillips and their whisky maker Max McFarlane – and together we will craft the finest quality single malt whisky based on the extraordinary location of the Ardgowan Estate and the unusual microclimate of the Inverkip area.

“My hope is that the distillery will become a landmark building and a significant tourist attraction in the years ahead, and I very much look forward to seeing work commence this year.

“Ardgowan Estate is less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow and in 2019 Greenock welcomed more than 100,000 cruise ship visitors, so I believe there is a great opportunity to capture this market with a first-class food, drink and retail tourist experience.

“We estimate the distillery and visitor centre will create up to 30 new jobs within five years.”

Ardgowan CEO Martin McAdam - Business News Scotland
Photo by Ardgowan Distillery. Martin McAdam (above) is the CEO of Ardgowan Distillery.

Distillery CEO Martin McAdam said: “Roland Grain is a brilliant and passionate cornerstone investor who has global experience in investing in a whole range of spirits businesses.

“He is a genuine whisky enthusiast who has visited distilleries all over Scotland, and he has a clear vision for the project which is very much aligned with ours; based on place, provenance and people.

“This is terrific news for the project and for Inverclyde.

“We have put a lot of the uncertainty of Brexit behind us and we hope that Covid will also soon be a distant memory.

ARDGOWAN - Business news Scotland
Photo by Ardgowan Distillery. The distillery is also in discussion with a loan provider that will provide additional debt funding for the flagship project in the coming weeks.

“Over the past few years, we have used the time well to build up our team and craft some fantastic, blended malt whiskies, sourcing some of the finest casks from across Scotland.

“We are hugely proud of our Expedition and Clydebuilt whiskies which have won industry recognition and continue to gather a growing fanbase of customers.”

Local MSP Stuart McMillan commented: “I welcome this large investment in the Ardgowan Distillery project and my constituency.

“The Ardgowan Distillery will not only create 30 new jobs but will put Inverclyde on the global whisky map once again.

“This is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing the business grow, with Inverclyde being found in many more homes and businesses across the world.”