New Borders distillery gets go-ahead

Plans to create Scotland’s first grain distillery in 10 years have taken a significant step forward after being given the green light by planners.

A computer-generated image of the proposed new grain distillery.
A computer-generated image of the proposed new grain distillery.

The St Boswells Distillery, set to be based at Charlesfield Industrial Estate, will be Scotland’s lowest carbon g rain distillery, which is expected to add value to locally grown cereals, using modern dis tilling technology and adding to the circular economy, reducing carbon emissions and maximising recycling with zero waste to landfill.

It will produce 20 million litres of pure alcohol a year to meet the growing demand for grain whisky for use in Scotch Whisky blending, and a Scottish grain neutral spirit for gin and vodka.

The approved plann ing application will facilitate a £46m investment in the local economy, creating around 200 construction roles and 20 permanent, high-value jobs supporting the rural community.

Trevor Jackson, founder and CEO of Jackson Distillers, welcomed the planners’ decision.

He said: “This is another significant step forward in the process to create the Borders’ first major grain distillery.

“We have had great support for our proposals from local stakeholders across the region and have worked closely with Scottish Borders Council to ensure we created plans that fit into the landscape, present climate change mitigation opportunities and support the local community.

"We are grateful to everyone who has helped us to get to this stage and will continue to work with local stakeholders as we now progress with construction.”

The 18 month construction period is scheduled to begin in 2022, and spirit will be produced in 2024.

At the heart of the distillery project is its environmental impact.

It’s claimed the site will take high-quality local cereals from the surrounding Tweed Valley and process them efficiently and sustainably with renewable energy into the spirit. The cereals, once spent, will be passed to the adjacent anaerobic digestion plant, where they will be converted into methane, with the remaining material being used as soil conditioner for the crops, and process water from an on-site bore-hole will be recycled.