A NEW multi-million pound whisky distillery is being proposed for Speyside.
Global drinks company Chivas Brothers is intending to build a distillery near Carron.
The company, part of Pernod Ricard, has begun the planning process and is consulting with the local community as well as taking part in discussions with council planning officials.
The distillery could be producing whisky by the end of 2015, supplying high quality spirit for the company’s portfolio of blended whiskies, including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and 100 Pipers.
Sited at the Imperial Distillery, which stopped operating in 1998 – the new development will be visible from the Speyside Way.
The company has designed the external façade to blend in with the surrounding riverside scenery, and it will benefit from the latest environmental innovations such as heat recovery technology will be used to provide a high quality working environment.
Christian Porta, chairman and chief executive, said: "Our success in growing our brands across the world, in existing and new markets, to many historical highs means that creating new distillation capacity is a key next step for our business.
"This new distillery will supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for many of our blends in the years to come.
A spokesman for the company told ‘The Northern Scot’ it was too early to say how many jobs would be created.
Chivas Brothers plans to grow its malt whisky distillation capacity by 25% before April 2013, and aims to do so with the re-opening of Glen Keith, at Fife-Keith, and expansions at four Speyside distilleries.
It also increased the capacity of The Glenlivet Distillery by 75% in 2010. The Glenlivet is the second largest selling malt whisky in the world and is the most popular one in the USA.
A public exhibition on the development will be held in Carron Village Hall on Tuesday, October 30 from 9.30am to 7.30pm.
In June, drinks giant Diageo announced a £1 billion five-year investment plan for Moray and the Highlands.
Many of its distilleries in Speyside could receive millions of pounds of investment, and a new distillery may be built at Glendullan at Dufftown or Inchgower near Buckie.
The investment from both companies has been sparked by a growth in sales, particularly in Russia, China Brazil, Mexico, India and the Far East.