Diageo is giving its 12 Scotch whisky distilleries a £150 million cash injection for their visitor centres, culminating in the biggest single investment in Scotch whisky tourism.
At the centre of this enormous revamp will be a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker immersive experience in Edinburgh, which will double as a new hub for Diageo’s business in Scotland.
The company already has plenty of experience under its belt, having turned Dublin's Guinness Storehouse into Ireland’s top paid-for tourist attraction.
Over three years, Diageo will transform the Scottish centres, concentrating on Glenkinchie in the lowlands, Caol Ila on Islay, Clynelish in the highlands and Cardhu in Speyside, and celebrating the important role these single malts play in the blend that makes up Johnnie Walker.
The upgrade is hoped to create a new generation of Scotch attractions where people can meet the craftsmen and craftswomen behind the whisky. Diageo is also confident that it’ll help put Scotland at the cutting edge of the global boom in food and drink tourism.
‘Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry,’ said Ivan Menezes, Diageo chief executive.
I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.'
Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar are the other distilleries under Diageo’s portfolio set to benefit from the investment.
This money is in addition to the £35 million already committed to reopening the lost distilleries of Port Ellen and Brora, taking Diageo’s network of distilleries with specialist visitor experiences in Scotland to 14.