GROUND was officially broken today at the Rosebank distillery, marking the start of its redevelopment under new owners, Ian Macleod Distillers.

The extensive, multi-million pound restoration, carried out by ISG, is expected to be completed in summer 2021, when the distillery will open its doors to the public and begin production once again. Situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Rosebank has been dormant for 25 years. It ceased production in 1993 when former owner UDV (now Diageo), mothballed the site and its maltings were converted into a restaurant.

Mike Younger, finance director of Ian Macleod Distillers, owners of Rosebank, said: “This ground break is an iconic milestone – it marks the start of a new and exciting chapter for both Rosebank and Ian Macleod Distillers.”

Once open, Rosebank distillery is expected to generate 25 full-time jobs and attract around 50,000 visitors a year to Falkirk.

Younger added: “Our vision was to bring this quintessential Lowland single malt back to life and ensure it could live on for generations to come. A dream that is now very much under way.

“More than ever, there is a real want for a Rosebank revival. It has now become somewhat of a collectors’ item, with bottles of 12 Year Old selling at auction for £350 plus – so there will be a lot of people excited to hear that work is officially under way.

“We have quite the road ahead and look forward to sharing our journey with you all.”

It was feared the whisky – one of the most sought-after lowland single malt scotch Whiskies in the world and often referred to as the King of the Lowlands – would be gone forever, until Ian Macleod Distillers acquired the Rosebank brand and last remaining stocks in October 2017.