Diageo commits $150m to Scotch whisky investment programme

Diageo commits $150m to Scotch whisky investment programme

The investment will include a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker "immersive visitor experience" in Edinburgh, which is meant to celebrate the world's largest Scotch whisky brand and "become a new hub for Diageo's business in Scotland".

Diageo will erect an "immersive" visitor experience in Edinburgh for Johnnie Walker, and also planned to upgrade facilities at its existing network of 12 distilleries to give whisky tourism a boost, four of which will form part of a nationwide tour focused exclusively on the beverage. Both distilleries will also feature visitor centres.

Drinks company Diageo has announced a three-year investment worth £150m (€173.5m) to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences.

She added that the company hopes the Johnnie Walker experience in Edinburgh would attract the same level of interest as the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which now welcomes 1.71m visitors each year.

The investment has been pledged in addition to Diageo's £35m project to bring Port Ellen and Brora back into production.

Diageo, which owns the brand, is to invest £150 million in Scotland to boost whisky-related tourism.

Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo Global Scotch whisky director, said: 'Scotch is the world's favourite whisky and Scotland is the greatest distilling nation on earth.

Over the past six years, Diageo has invested US$1bn in building its Scotch whisky infrastructure to boost worldwide exports.

"This investment will ensure that the people we attract to Scotland from around the world go home as life-long ambassadors for Scotch and for Scotland".

2017 saw a 15.2pc jump in the number of tourists to Diageo's Scottish distilleries, with 440,260 visiting the 12 visitor centres. The world's largest Scotch whisky distiller operates 28 malt distilleries across Scotland, of which 12 have dedicated visitor centres.

Whisky from Diageo's distilleries all over Scotland contribute to Johnnie Walker, but four distilleries, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish, will be linked directly to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh, representing the "four corners of Scotland" and the regional flavour variations of Lowland (Glenkinchie), Speyside (Cardhu), Island (Caol Ila) and Highland (Clynelish) crucial to the art of whisky blending.

The Scottish Government and its agencies - Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland - recently launched the Scotland is Now campaign to promote Scotland as a leading business and tourism destination.

The drinks group also plans to overhaul and expand its visitor centres at 12 distilleries across the country to attract thousands more tourists to Scotland's whisky heartlands.

Edinburgh has been chosen as the preferred location for the Johnnie Walker investment because of the capital's particularly strong tourism growth, with the city already being home to some of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.

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