Whisky distilling on the Hebridean island of Harris is now a step closer, thanks to a Scottish Government grant.
The Isle of Harris Distillery which is to be built at Tarbert was today awarded £1.9 million from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme - one of five businesses to share £2.391 million in this round. A further three firms received £241,000 through the Marketing Development grant scheme.
Work is due to begin on the distillery, which is expected to create around 20 jobs, in late 2013.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead today visited the site of the proposed distillery and met some of those behind the project which aims to provide a boost for the local economy.
He said: “Whisky is an iconic Scottish product which is loved around the world and has growing international sales. Already many rural and island communities around Scotland have reaped the economic benefits that a distillery can bring.
“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to offer funding, amounting to over a third of the total costs of building the Isle of Harris Distillery, and it’s great to be here today to learn more about this exciting project.
“I am sure that, in time, Harris whisky will develop a worldwide reputation for quality in the same way as Harris Tweed has done. I look forward to enjoying a Harris dram in a few years time.”
See this week’s Stornoway Gazette, out Thursday 24th, for more on the project.