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£2m plan to open malt whisky distillery in the heart of Edinburgh

Published:  28 August, 2015

A former master blender at Macallan is behind plans to open the first single malt whisky distillery in Edinburgh for 90 years.

David Robertson is leading the bid to open the £2 million Holyrood Park distillery and visitor experience at the Engine Shed building in the heart of the city.

A lease on the site has been granted by the city council but the project is still subject to planning permission.

Robertson said: "The production and export of whisky is perhaps Scotland's most iconic industry, supporting huge numbers of jobs, and visiting a distillery is a must for most visitors to Scotland.

"It seems to us that the one place missing a single malt distillery is Edinburgh, the capital of the country known for the world's most famous whisky.

"We hope to be able to create an immersive and entertaining visitor experience, supporting the local economy through jobs and training opportunities, while reinforcing the capital's position as a world class tourism destination.

"Most importantly, our goal is to create beautiful, hand-crafted single malt whiskies which will stand shoulder to shoulder with the other great single malts that are now being produced in Scotland and elsewhere."

The distillery will also host an education facility to be used as a community and school resource for learning about whisky distilling and the history of the site.

It will initially employ up to 25 people and aims to start distilling by next summer.

The first single malt will go on sale in between eight and 12 years and production will be limited to 250,000 bottles a year.

In the late 1700s Edinburgh had eight licensed distilleries and it is estimated that there may have been as many as 400 illegal stills.

Glen Sciennes was the last single malt whisky distillery to operate in Edinburgh and closed in 1925.

The Engine Shed building dates back to the 1830s and was built as a goods warehouse for the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway.