Plan to see malt whisky distilled in Capital again

There are plans to transform the former Engine Shed site into a malt whisky distillery. Picture: Neil Hanna
There are plans to transform the former Engine Shed site into a malt whisky distillery. Picture: Neil Hanna
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AMBITIOUS new plans could see malt whisky distilled in the city for the first time in almost a century.

Proposals to transform the former Engine Shed site into a malt whisky distillery and visitor attraction are set to go before council chiefs at the end of the week, reviving a long-forgotten Edinburgh tradition.

It is understood the move would be the first time whisky has been produced in the city since 1925.

And Newmake Limited, the company behind the vision, say the scheme could create up to 25 jobs.

The company is looking to secure a 25-year lease of the St Leonards Lane building at an annual rent of £65,000.

But their scheme, earmarked as the preferred option by council officials, is competing against two other offers to take over the site.

A spokeswoman for Newmake Limited, said: “We have submitted our plans to the council and now await its decision. This project creates jobs and economic development and supports Edinburgh’s important tourism sector.

“We are confident we have presented a very strong case for bringing back single malt whisky distilling to Edinburgh and the rationale for realising this vision at the Engine Shed building.”

The Engine Shed provided work experience skills to vulnerable young adults before it closed down in February this year after losing £211,000 in council funding.

Other plans for its old base include a bid by St Leonards Yard to set up a food-based social enterprise hub with bakery, cafe and shared kitchen.

And a separate scheme by disability and mental health charity, Carr Gomm proposes moving the Rivers Centre – which provides treatment for patients suffering from psychological trauma – to the Engine Shed.

Councillor Cameron Rose, who represents Southside, said the distillery would “add another attraction to the area for people to come to”. He said: “This bid came out on top and I’m supportive of it.” Green finance spokesman Councillor, Gavin Corbett, said the Carr Gomm-led bid offered “more community benefit.”