Sale of 'ghost village' site offers dream opportunity for whisky fans to own their own Scottish distillery

A waterfront site on the west coast of Scotland has been put up for sale, offering a dream opportunity for whisky fans to own their own distillery.

Published 16th Oct 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The distillery development site, which can be found on the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll, is already attracting interest from around the world, according to the firm in charge of selling the plot.

The area for sale extends to 25.48 acres with both planning and building warrant approval for a distillery, bonded warehouse and visitor centre.

Jennifer Campbell of selling agents Baird Lumsden, stated that the property is available for offers over £500,000, and is attracting interest from contenders within the drinks industry as well as those who see it as a potentially "enjoyable and prestigious purchase", she said: “Approaches so far have come from both international buyers and domestic private individuals who are looking at it as a long-term investment, but also something of a dream project.

“It is being seen as a much more interesting project in which to invest than most – the opportunity to own your own Scottish distillery has clearly piqued interest.”

A strong part of the appeal is the fact the preparation for transforming the site into a whisky production site is already well underway, with the plot already cleared and permissions in place meaning that the new owners could "literally start building in spring".

• READ MORE: Abandoned ghost village in Argyll sold for £250,000

The selling agent said: “All the groundwork has been done, and there has been huge investment already.”

Campbell added that Portavadie is set within a popular tourist destination, famous for its dramatic landscapes, and is already home to home to a marina and leisure complex, which includes a hotel, spa and pool complex.

Tighnabruaich, three miles to the east, is a thriving village with a medical centre, art gallery, shops and restaurants, as well as a well-regarded primary school.

Campbell said: “Historically, the site was home to the unused Polphail Village, which was built in the 1970s during the expansion of the oil industry.

"Its removal has been of significant environmental gain and the cleared site is now offered to the open market with full planning consent and building warrants to establish a distillery in an area of outstanding beauty.”

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“The new distillery and visitor centre, which will be designed in the traditional vernacular Scottish style, will make a highly attractive addition to Scotland’s whisky heritage.”

Whisky tycoon Sandy Bulloch snapped up Polphail in 2017, for £250,000, with plans to build new residential and commercial properties.

Proposals to build Portavadie distillery were announced later that year, with a 60,000-litre whisky and gin production base announced for the site.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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