PLANNING permission for a new distillery on the banks of Campbeltown Loch which will also feature a museum, visitor centre and retail outlet have been given the go-ahead.

Dal Riata Distillery’s plans have been given the green light by Argyll and Bute Council with the £4.5 million investment set to provide employment for around 20 local people.

The company has also pledged to provide trainee positions for those seeking a career in the whisky industry.

Dal Riata’s co-director Iain Croucher said: “To be working within Scotch whisky is beyond a blessing. The ladies and gents that came before who created such a strong and powerful industry, which we are now custodians of, comes with great responsibility.

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“We must preserve this vital global asset for future generations to enjoy and thrive.”

The distillery’s name means the Kingdom of Alba and was used during the 6th and 7th centuries to describe an area which encompasses Argyll, Kintyre, Islay, Jura, Mull, Ardnamurchan, Cowal and a north east corner of Ireland.

Co-director Ronnie Grant added: “Gaining planning permission is a massive step forward in fulfilling our dream to bring a new distillery to Campbeltown.

“We have been humbled by the positive reaction we have received from both local people and the wider whisky community.

“Campbeltown is a special little place which is certainly on the up and we can’t wait to become a part of its bright future.”

Master of the Quaich Charlie Maclean said: “Campbeltown holds an important and special place in the history of Scotch whisky.

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"Two hundred years ago, some 25 distilleries were producing 748,000 gallons (3.5 million litres) of spirit according to The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland. In recent times the number of operating distilleries has significantly dwindled, but the news that The Dal Riata Distillery has been granted planning permission is splendid.

"Iain Croucher and his team know their whiskies. This they have proved by winning the title ‘Independent Bottler of The Year’ on more than one occasion. I have every confidence that the Dal Riata Distillery will produce magnificent liquid worthy of carrying forward Campbeltown’s legacy to a new generation of whisky lovers”"