Could more distilleries boost town’s economy?

Councillor Donald Kelly.

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A South Kintyre councillor believes reinstating some of Kintyre’s lost distilleries would bring a boost to the area’s economy.

Councillor Donald Kelly told the Courier he plans to approach Argyll and Bute Council’s economic development department to find out the potential for redeveloping whisky distilleries in Campbeltown.

In the Victorian age, Campbeltown was known as the whisky capital of the world but where it once had more than 30 distilleries, only three remain – Springbank, Glen Scotia and Glengyle.

Campbeltown is still one of five Scottish whisky-producing regions, alongside Islay, Highlands, Lowlands and Speyside. It is the situation on nearby Islay, where there are currently eight working distilleries, which Councillor Kelly wishes to replicate.

He told the Courier: ‘Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia are a boon to the local economy and continue to do fantastically well; we are lucky to have them. However there is a missed opportunity here to create well-paid, sustainable jobs.

‘The return of some of the town’s lost distilleries would hopefully further enhance the existing distilleries by bringing more whisky tourists to the area, as well as boosting other sectors of the economy including accommodation providers.’