Annandale's Dram-atic Makeover

Press release   •   Apr 23, 2013 00:00 BST

The re-awakening of a historic distillery will ensure that fine single malt whisky will flow once more from the Annandale valley in Dumfries and Galloway.

Chairman of VisitScotland, Dr Mike Cantlay today (Tuesday 23 April) visited the Annandale Distillery, a multi-million pound development which is due to open as an inspiring new visitor attraction next year.

Following two years of restoration, the historic buildings of the former Annandale Distillery, which closed over 90 years ago, will be completed this month. The site will be open to the public in early 2014 following further development.

Activities for visitors will include distillery tours with tutored tastings of various whiskies, educational packages at the new Annandale Whisky Academy, a large visitor centre, shop and café.

The distillery could attract around 50,000 visitors per year and create up to 20 full and part time positions.

Annandale Distillery was opened in 1830 by George Donald and was later bought by Johnnie Walker in 1893.  The distillery closed down in 1919. Professor David Thomson and his wife Teresa bought the historic site, which was on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register, in 2007 and building work got under way in June 2011.

The opening of Annandale Distillery will add extra flavour to what promises to be an exciting year for Scotland in 2014 as the country welcomes the world with the second Year of Homecoming, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Mike Cantlay, who will today speak at a regional industry tourism conference held at Easterbrook Hall, organised by VisitScotland in partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Council and Destination Dumfries & Galloway, will also visit Professor David Thomson at Annandale Distillery later in the day as part of a planned itinerary in the area.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said;

This is absolutely fantastic news for Dumfries & Galloway and indeed Scotland. The Annandale Project being developed is magnificent and an investment into tourism is an investment into Scotland and the region’s future. It’s so exciting that Annandale Distillery will be ready to welcome visitors during 2014 when Scotland welcomes the world for Homecoming, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.

“David Thomson’s passion for his project is undeniable and we look forward to working with him to market his product worldwide.”

Professor David Thomson, said:

I am thrilled to be working on a project that will mean single malt whisky will once again flow from Annandale. I’m proud to hail from this part of Scotland and it’s great to be contributing to tourism in this way. We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors when we open during Scotland’s Homecoming year.”

Around 1.3 million visitors are welcomed to Scotch Whisky visitor centres and distilleries across Scotland every year contributing an estimated £26.9 million to the Scottish economy. Nearly nine out of ten visitors (86.1%) who visit whisky centres and distilleries come from outside of Scotland and nearly two thirds (62.3%) come from outside of the UK.

The two most iconic Scots of all time, Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns, are both connected to Annandale and feature in the year-long Homecoming Scotland events programme which includes events; Burns and the South West and the 700th anniversary re-enactment of Bannockburn. Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and victor of Bannockburn was the 7th Earl of Annandale and Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet and keen consumer of Scotch whisky, worked in Annan with his closest association to the area embodied in his work ‘the Diel’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman’.


For further information contact:

Sharon Makepeace

Corporate Press Officer

Tel: 07771 981 236

Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986

Notes to Editors:

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