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Isle of Harris Distillers to go overseas with £10m funding

Isle of Harris Distillery has secured a £10 million funding package to boost international expansion plans.

The finance from from HSBC UK  will be used to widen the company’s distribution of Isle of Harris Gin and, when launched, its Hearach malt whisky to more than 20 international markets including the US, Canada, France and Germany.

Isle of Harris Distillery production line.
Isle of Harris Distillery production line. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

The funding is allowing the business to build two new warehouses, located two miles from its Tarbert distillery on the Isle of Harris.

The extra 21,500 sq ft (2,000 sq m) of warehouse space will hold 9,000 casks – equivalent to around 2.75 million bottles of spirit.

The new maturation warehouse complex, in the final stages of completion represents around a £3m investment.

Major Isle of Harris employer

Isle of Harris Distillery is one of the island’s largest employers with 45 staff and recently floated the idea of the Hebrides or Outer Hebrides potentially becoming a whisky region in its own right.

Isle of Harris Distillery managing director Simon Erlanger said: “That’s always been something at the back of our minds as a long-term vision and we’ve touched on it once or twice with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which has – quite rightly – responded by saying the region needs to develop a reputation for making whisky as a distinct area.”

Isle of Harris Distillery executive chairman and chief financial officer Ron MacEachran added: “As a business focused on the future, we’re venturing into new markets and expanding our international footprint – and introducing more of the world to the bottled spirit from our special island.

The then Prince of Wales visited Isle of Harris Distillery
The then Prince of Wales visited Isle of Harris Distillery. Image: DCT Media.

“HSBC UK has supported us in our ambitions to grow our business. Achieving ongoing commercial success stimulates global interest and visitors to this beautiful island, assisting it to survive and flourish in the 21st century.”

The operation has twice been named Distillery of the Year in the Scottish Gin Awards.

‘Distillery on the map’

For his part, HSBC relationship director Neal Tully added: “Scotland’s food and drink industry is thriving on the Isle on Harris.

“The distillery is a great example of a dedicated and robust Scottish business which has put itself on the map, not only in Scotland, but on a global scale too.”

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[Isle of Harris Distillers to go overseas with £10m funding]


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