THE Glasgow Distillery Company has announced that it has secured a £5.5 million asset-based lending facility from Barclays in order to support its international growth plans.

The funding will provide working capital for investment in increasing whisky stocks, and to continue international expansion for the distillery, which re-opened in 2014 to become the first independent single malt whisky distillery in Glasgow for over a century.

Its biggest export market is currently Europe, though strong growth has taken place in Asia this year.

New retail contracts have also been secured in Russia, with distribution deals currently being developed in Belgium and Luxembourg.

In addition, two new products have been successfully launched in the last two months, further expanding the distillery’s award-winning range.

As well as the investment, Barclays has also assumed full day-to-day banking for the company.

Ian McDougall, finance director and co-founder of the Glasgow Distillery Company, said “We’re delighted Barclays has chosen to back the next stage of our growth plans, especially in such difficult economic circumstances.

“This investment will help finance our strategy to respond to increasing worldwide demand for our products.

“We have ambitious plans and, with the support of Barclays, our customers, suppliers and employees we are confident of our future success.”

The Barclays team was led by Stuart McAleese, relationship director, and Mike Kempton-Smith, Asset Based Lending.

McAleese said: “The Glasgow Distillery Company is a great example of an organisation with a solid forward-thinking business plan that’s clearly focussed on continued and strategic growth.

We worked closely with the founders, applying our industry expertise and understanding of the whisky sector to tailor a bespoke asset based lending funding package that will support further expansion of their award winning product range and international market reach.”

The distillery has remained operational throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and saw its business pivot to add hand sanitiser to its production schedules.

It also grew its online direct-to-consumer sales by 500%.

The team at the distillery created a virtual tasting experience, investing in a fully equipped tasting room, which they say will be used to take the distillery tour to international buyers amid the current travel restrictions in place.

Founders Liam Hughes, Mike Hayward and Ian McDougall revived The Glasgow Distillery Company after establishing it in the south of Glasgow back in 2012.

The original Glasgow Distillery was opened in 1770, before closing in the early 20th century.

The business now employs 24 staff and produces The Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Signature range and Malt Riot Blended Malt, in addition to Makar Gin, Banditti Club Spiced Rum and G52 Botanical Vodka.