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Distilleries win display exemption

Published:  18 May, 2009

Distillery and brewery visitor centres will be granted exemption from new restrictions on the display of alcohol proposed by the Scottish government.

Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill made the commitment on a visit to the Scottish Liqueur Centre, and said he wanted to protect premises that promoted the history and quality of Scottish drinks.

The move means visitor centre stores will be exempt from a ban on displaying alcohol at multiple sales points.

MacAskill said: "Our regulations to prevent alcohol being displayed in more than one area of the shop were designed to prevent alcohol being displayed all over the store to encourage impulse buying.

"Clearly, alcohol sold at attractions to promote and increase understanding of the skill that goes into producing premium drinks, such as malt whiskies, doesn't fall into this category."

Campbell Evans, government and consumer affairs director of the Scotch Whisky Association, welcomed the news.

He said: "We have worked closely with the government to agree a pragmatic and workable solution.

"The revised regulations are a recognition that it is possible to tackle alcohol misuse issue while avoiding unintended negative consequences for a key Scottish industry."