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£20m Speyside distillery project puts local firms first

By Calum MacLeod

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Gordon & MacPhail's new distillery starts to take shape.
Gordon & MacPhail's new distillery starts to take shape.

Family-owned drinks company Gordon & MacPhail is demonstrating its commitment to the north business community by awarding more than 90 per cent of its £20 million new distillery investment to local firms.

The firm, which is developing new distillery The Cairn near Grantown-on-Spey, has awarded contracts for work as varied as earthworks and scaffolding to companies based in Moray, Highland and Aberdeenshire.

Managing director Ewen Mackintosh explained: “Our products may be sold all over the world, but our headquarters remain in the North of Scotland and we appreciate the importance of supporting communities and boosting the local economy.

“We’ve been very impressed by our main contractor, Morrison Construction, who have been very supportive of our wish to procure as much as possible locally.”

The local approach is not simply for the building itself but the equipment inside, with Forsyths at Rothes manufacturing the mash tun, washbacks and stills which will finally produce the whisky.

The Cairn name was unveiled at the end of 2020 and reflects the distillery’s stunning location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.

Gordon & MacPhail was granted planning permission for the new distillery in 2019 and work started on site in July last year.

Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Cairn Distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and bistro.

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