Scotland and British Lions rugby legend Finlay Calder has been revealed as project manager for plans to build a £40million distillery near Jedburgh.
Last week, in an exclusive front-page story, The Southern reported news of a mystery meeting at Glendouglas Hall at which proposals for what would be the Borders’ first distillery were outlined to local stakeholders and residents.
The site that has been earmarked for the development is the Jedforest Hotel, and if successful, the scheme will see Edinburgh-based Mossburn Distillers Ltd create up to 50 jobs at the distillery, alongside a restaurant and visitor centre.
The company is the same one behind the proposed new £5million whisky distillery on the Isle of Skye.
Speaking on BBC radio earlier this week, Mr Calder, who has family connections with the Jedburgh area and now lives in Lauder, said the project was still at a very early stage.
“When this project came along, I was asked to take a look at it and see if I’d be interested in being involved,” explained Mr Calder, a grain merchant to trade, who was capped 34 times for Scotland and captained the British Lions on their 1989 tour to Australia.
“We’re still at the very, very early stages of this – we’re at base camp, but Kilimanjaro is looming in the distance.” Local MSP John Lamont has welcomed the news: “These plans represent a simply phenomenal investment in the Borders, and show that our region is still an attractive place for large companies to put money into.
“The proposals put forward by Mossburn Distillers are extremely exciting and would provide a huge boost to the Borders economy. Not only would it see tens of millions of pounds invested in the Jedburgh area, it would create several job opportunities for those living nearby.
“In addition to the increase in tourism we would undoubtedly receive, I am very hopeful that this development will prove to be great news for the Borders.”