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International whisky firm to develop presence in Fife

SWI Artist Impression

PLANS TO develop a bonded whisky storage facility in Glenrothes have taken a major step forward after the project received support from Scottish Enterprise.

Scotland’s national economic development agency will provide Scotch Whisky Investments (SWI) with a £850,000 grant for its innovative plans in the Fife town, which will provide premium cask storage facilities along with bottling and additional cask services.

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Scottish Enterprise’s support, which compliments the Dutch-owned company’s multi-million pound investment in the project, will deliver up to 38 full-time jobs, all of which will be above the real living wage.

Scotch whisky is a significant contributor to Scotland’s economy.  Earlier this year, it was revealed that global exports of Scotch Whisky grew to more than £6bn for the first time in 2022, according to figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). 

Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, Neil Gray, said: “Attracting businesses to invest in Scotland is key to our goal of creating a fair, green and growing economy.

“This investment from SWI is another success for our strategic Team Scotland approach, bringing together the Scottish Government, economic agencies and our international network to promote this country as an inward investment destination.

“The Scotch whisky industry is of tremendous importance to Scotland’s economy, employing in excess of 11,000 people – more than 7,000 in rural areas – and boosting exports by £6.2 billion in 2022.”

Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “SWI has ambitious plans to provide a comprehensive offering to its clients in Glenrothes, including full cask management services, which will be attractive to consumers and targets a gap in the market for suitable Scotch shortage. 

“Our globally based Scottish Development International (SDI) teams have worked closely with SWI on their plans for Fife.  This is a project we’ve been pleased to support, which will not only provide a jobs boost for the local workforce but will also put down roots for SWI in Scotland.

“Scotland is globally renowned for many reasons, one of which is our national drink, Scotch.  Working alongside our ‘Team Scotland’ partners including InvestFife, SDI will continue to promote the very best our country has to offer to international investors, delivering economic opportunities in the process.”

Formed in 2007, SWI offers asset management solutions around rare Scotch single malt whisky.  With 270 million EURO in Assets under Management on behalf of clients, it’s one of the largest investment management companies in Scotch whisky worldwide. 

Headquartered in Sassenheim, The Netherlands, SWI aims to deliver a centre of excellence for the support of the cask investment and storage market in Glenrothes that allows Scotch to age on site, creating high quality matured Scotch whisky.

Alongside its plans for Glenrothes, SWI is aiming to deliver a new mixed-used development in Falkland, which will include a visitor centre that will showcase and educate people about single malt Scotch whisky.

Keith Rennie, Director of SWI, said: “As part of our growth and expansion globally, the site in Glenrothes is the first step in the development of our operations into Scotland, and will become the base for our business for many years to come.

“The support of SDI and Fife Council’s Economic Development team has been invaluable in allowing us to transition to Fife, and build out our operation and prepare for the future.”

The grant support from Scottish Enterprise is the latest milestone reached by SWI for its Glenrothes project.

Working jointly with Scottish Enterprise and its globally based SDI teams, InvestFife, the collective brand for Fife Council’s Economic Development, supported SWI in identifying the perfect site to enable the business to establish its base in Fife.  The sale of 7.7 hectares at Crompton Road East, Glenrothes, concluded in April following planning approval for the development and marked one of the area’s most significant industrial land sales in recent years.

Pamela Stevenson, Service Manager, Economic Development at Fife Council, said: “We are delighted to conclude the sale of Crompton Road East in Glenrothes and welcome the news that Scottish Enterprise has awarded a grant to support the ambitious, innovative plans of Scotch Whisky Investments, which will contribute significantly to the local economy and create sustainable employment in the area.

“We are continuing to work with the company to ensure that all planning and statutory consents are delivered on time to ensure a smooth transition into Fife and showcasing Fife as the best place to do business.”

SWI’s plans are the latest good news for inward investment in Scotland.

In June, EY’s latest Annual Attractiveness Survey showed Scotland remained the most attractive location in the UK outside of London for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  The influential and independent study showed that a record 126 inward investment projects were secured by Scotland in 2022, a 3.3% increase compared to 2021 when 122 FDI projects were attracted to the country.

EY’s results, which cover the calendar year January-December 2022, align with SDI figures announced earlier this summer that showed more than 8,500 planned real living wage jobs had been generated by inward investment projects supported by SDI, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland in FY22/23 (financial year), the highest number of planned jobs secured since FY18/19.

Scottish Enterprise research showed that these planned jobs could potentially generate direct Scottish Income Tax of almost £115 million over a three-year period.

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