Funding boost for distillery gin school

The gin school at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery. Photograph: Raymond Hosie.
The gin school at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery. Photograph: Raymond Hosie.

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A Kintyre distillery is one step closer to opening its own innovative gin school thanks to funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

With help from HIE of £59,300, from a total spend of £199,300, award-winning Beinn an Tuirc Distillers has completed the next phase of its development.

Established in 2016, Beinn an Tuirc – which translates as hill of the boar – is located in renovated outbuildings on Torrisdale Estate near Carradale.

The firm has constructed a new building to house the gin school. This is powered by the renewable energy hydro scheme, which currently runs the still.

Beinn an Tuirc director Emma Macalister Hall said: ‘This is major development for the business but an obvious step for us to take. We have been bowled over by the success of the distillery shop and the popularity of our gin tours. It ties in perfectly with our self-catering business and we plan to offer weekend gin school courses that include accommodation as well as day courses.’

Once Covid-19 restrictions allow, gin school participants will be able to tour the distillery, learn about the distilling process and take home a bottle of gin blended by themselves.

The final element in the development is the creation of additional space within the distillery building to cater for the expansion of production to meet growing demand.

Gary Haldane, business development account manager with HIE in Argyll and the Islands, said: ‘Our investment builds on the strong links between tourism and food and drink and supports the Tourism Strategy for Scotland 2020.

‘This encourages Scottish tourism businesses to develop high quality visitor experiences, making the very best use of our wonderful food and drink products.

‘This project by Beinn an Tuirc will grow its tourism business with a year-round attraction and contribute to the area’s wider tourism offering, encouraging more visitors to come and to stay longer, once restrictions are lifted.’

Beinn an Tuirc co-director Niall Macalister Hall added: ‘HIE has been instrumental in helping our plans become a reality and its support since we started the business has been fantastic.

‘This new expansion will help us fulfil another objective which is to increase our workforce and become a major employer in an area where opportunities are often scarce.’