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One of the world's largest whisky collections may be moving to Fife

SWI, the international whisky asset management business, is set to relocate its headquarters, currently located in Sassenheim outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to the Fife village of Falkland.

Published: September 19, 2023

It has now taken ownership of the site of its proposed development in the historic village in Fife, which features in Outlander, from current owners, Smith Anderson.

This move comes at a time when the Fife whisky scene is booming, with Eden Mill set to open their new distillery and visitor centre in 2024, InchDairnie releasing Ryelaw whisky earlier this year and calls for Fife to be recognised as its own whisky producing region.

SWI is an international asset management company which helps investors with their portfolios, and manages whisky not for consumption, but for investment.

It seeks to showcase the history of, and educate people about single malt Scotch whisky, as well as promote investment in the burgeoning commodity.

The headquarters will be located at the site of the former St John’s Works, situated to the south of the urban edge of the village.

The proposals include the headquarters building with hospitality, offices, some retail and a small number of cottages for investors, visitors and staff. It will sit on a 10-acre site but will occupy only 40 per cent of the land.

The St John’s Work’s site was formerly a linoleum factory and then taken over by Smith Anderson, a manufacturer of paper bags before its closure in 2013, after which it was demolished.

This headquarters building aims to act as a centrepiece for learning about and showcasing single malt Scotch whisky, as well as providing a place of hospitality for worldwide investors in this commodity.

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At the site of the proposed SWI headquarters are (from left) Keith-Verden Anderson (Smith Anderson), Paula Civelek and Keith Rennie (SWI) and Jamie Anderson (Picture: Cath Ruane)

The development will, the SWI team say, deliver significant investment, creating employment and tourism opportunities for Falkland. This is significant as Fife is often seen by some as being the ‘birthplace’ of Scotch whisky.

It is also the intention of SWI to relocate one of the world’s largest whisky collections to its new home in Falkland once the new development is completed.

A planning application for the Falkland centre expected to come by the end of the year, with approval by next summer, and with the potential to start construction on site in late 2024.

SWI already has significant investments in Fife, including a bottling plant in Auchtermuchty producing approximately 6000 bottles of whisky per week.

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Additionally, the purchase 7.7 hectares at Crompton Road East in Glenrothes was one of the area's most significant industrial land sales in recent years.

The £10 million phase one development at Glenrothes is almost done, with four maturation warehouses and plans to expand to 27 which could hold some 200,000 casks.

Supporting the cask investment and storage market that will allow Scotch to age on site, it is intended that these will be launched by next month, with about £850,000 in grants from Scottish Enterprise.

These investments will complement the company’s activity in Falkland.

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Keith Rennie, Manging Director for Scotch Whisky Investments, said: "We are delighted to have taken what is a significant step forward in the delivery of these exciting proposals to relocate our global headquarters to Scotland, and with it one of the world’s largest whisky collections.

“This is a fantastic location, and taking over the site is indeed a significant milestone, building on our already significant investment in Fife.

"Fife Council have been very supportive in relation to our activity in Glenrothes and Falkland, and Scottish Enterprise have also been great to work with.

“Our vision as a company is to showcase and educate people about single malt Scotch whisky, as well as promote investment in the commodity.

“Through this the relocation of our global headquarters, complemented by our facilities elsewhere in Fife, considerable employment and tourism opportunities will be delivered not just for the Kingdom, but for Scotland as a whole.”

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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