An application lays out £15 million plans for a Wolfcraig “whisky experience” just outside the city that will incorporate the distillery, an “interactive, education-focused” family visitor attraction, private tasting room and 180-cover bistro restaurant and bar.
The Wolfcraig Distillery project promises to tap into Stirling’s heritage and is founded by Michael Lunn, former chairman and chief executive of spirits giant Whyte & Mackay Group, and co-directors John Moore and Jamie Lunn.
Working alongside the management team will be a trio of industry experts: Alan Rutherford, former production director at Diageo, who was awarded an OBE for his services to the Scotch whisky industry; former Bacardi UK operations director Iain Lochhead; and renowned master distiller Ian Macmillan.
Subject to planning approval, construction is expected to get underway in the spring with the distillery set to open its doors in summer 2022. It is anticipated that the distillery will employ some 50 full-time staff.
The building, which is designed by Opfer Logan Architects, promises a “stunning vista” across to the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. It will also harness the latest technologies to ensure that sustainability is at its core, project backers said.
The venture also plans to operate a shuttle service between the distillery, the train station and Stirling Castle to work closely with these hubs.
Lunn said: “Our distillery will encourage visitors and tourists to spend more time in and around Stirling, helping to boost both the local and national economies.
“In addition to producing a premium Highland single malt, we want to offer a state-of-the-art immersive experience for people of all ages and knowledge levels. Our research indicates the distillery could attract around 90,000 visitors in its first year given its proximity to Glasgow and Edinburgh.”
He added: “There has been excellent support for the project so far, from local community groups to the public sector and we are looking forward to taking the next step in Wolfcraig’s exciting journey.”
Initial private investment has been secured with further investment opportunities being made available to the public via a variety of founder membership packages, allowing whisky enthusiasts to become a part of the “Wolfpack” from the outset.
MP for Stirling, Alyn Smith, said: “My priority since my election is to support jobs and investment, and my view is that this is a great opportunity for Gargunnock, Cambusbarron and Stirling as a whole.
“Obviously there are details to be worked out and I will consult locals to ensure their views are heard but I have examined this proposal and I think there is great potential for a top quality, local, sustainable business which will be good news for farmers, locals and visitors.”
Marion MacAllister of Cambusbarron Community Council added: “Cambusbarron Community Council have met with the directors of Wolfcraig Distillery and we look forward to seeing their final plans and learning more of their ambitions.”
Several new distillery projects have been undertaken in recent years across Scotland, with many also producing other drinks and spirits, such as gin.
A version of this article appeared on The Scotsman business.