Plans for Innis & Gunn brewery at Heriot Watt University research park given green light

Plans to build Innis & Gunn’s new brewery in Edinburgh have been given the green light, with the building set to be the first of its kind built in the city in more than 150 years.

By Rhoda Morrison
Thursday, 28th October 2021, 4:45 pm
Plans for the Innis & Gunn brewery have been given the go-ahead.
Plans for the Innis & Gunn brewery have been given the go-ahead.

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Proposals for the brewery, which will span a two-hectare site at Heriot Watt University’s research park, were submitted in May 2020 following a successful crowdfunding campaign which saw more than 2,000 investors raise £3.3million of the £20million needed to built the facility.

And planning permission has now been granted by the city council, much to the delight of company founder Dougal Gunn Sharp.

“I have wanted to build this brewery in Edinburgh for almost two decades and as the business has grown and gone from strength to strength, the importance has only increased,” he said.

“To have planning permission now granted at such an inspiring site is an important step forward.”

He added that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, work on the proposals have been paused and so he was unable to give a date on which construction would start.

“Plans for the brewery have taken a natural pause as we all continue to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, but we are committed to building the brewery when the time is right,” he said.

“Although we cannot give an exact date for breaking ground, the longer time frame does have some positives including more options in the market for the best low-carbon equipment and technology, which have the potential to change the game in terms of energy usage in brewing and packaging processes.

“Over the last year or so, everyone at Innis & Gunn has worked hard to ensure a strong supply chain for our customers and drinkers alike. Our latest published accounts show that our sales in the off-trade increased by almost 30 per cent year on year and this success during a challenging time, only strengthens the business and our need to have our own brewery.”

Beers brewed at the site will include the award-winning core range - Innis & Gunn’s The Original, Lager Beer and Session IPA - as well as other cask-matured ones.

Guided tours will also be on offer, giving beer drinkers the chance to experience the process first hand.

And for students undertaking degrees at the School of Brewing and Distilling, the new brewery will provide work placement opportunities in an exciting new collaboration between Innis & Gunn and Heriot Watt.

Lynda Johnstone, global director of estates and facilities at the university, said: “This is an exciting time for everyone involved and it’s a great honour to have the first brewery to be built in Edinburgh in 150 years located within the Heriot-Watt Research Park.

“When fully operational, this will provide a significant benefit for the students taking our Brewing and Distilling courses, as well as offering many opportunities for us to work together to take advantage of the low-carbon and environmental sustainability expertise we have within the University.

“This is a great addition to the Research Park which is already recognised internationally as a centre for high calibre science and engineering research.”

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