William Grant donates to keep Scots in UK

Scotch producer William Grant and Sons has donated what has been described as a “substantial sum” of money to the main campaign against Scottish independence.

William Grant

It is understood to have given in the region of £100,000 to Better Together, saying that the Scotch whisky industry currently enjoyed “substantial support” from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network.

However, it was this embassy network was recently criticised by the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) for charging Scottish trade organisations to promote whisky.

The Scottish government has also argued that independence would benefit the whisky industry, pointing to moves towards an EU exit by the United Kingdom and its potential threat to the spirits trade.

SNP's Angus Robertson MP criticised Scottish trade organisations being "double-charged"
SNP’s Angus Robertson MP criticised Scottish trade organisations being “double-charged”

William Grant, which produces brands including Glenfiddich malt whisky, had a turnover of more than £1 billion last year, and is one of the few Scotch whisky producers to remain in family ownership.

The BBC reports that the company is said to have also donated smaller sums of money to other groups who are campaigning for a “No” vote ahead of the independence referendum, which will be held on 18 September.

Industry trade body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has not formally backed either side in the independence debate, with its chief executive David Frost saying in April that he was seeking reassurances about what he described as the potential “risks” of independence for the industry.

However, Mr Frost also said the industry would succeed regardless of the result, mirroring Diageo who previously said the company was “there [in Scotland] to stay” whatever the outcome of the referendum.

Scotch whisky producers have been encouraged by other trade bodies to support Scotland as part of the United Kingdom, with John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry pointing in May last year to the importance of integrated currency and common UK laws and regulations.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said that the decision on Scottish independence was "for the people of Scotland to make".
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said that the decision on Scottish independence was “for the people of Scotland to make”

In a statement, William Grant and Sons said: “We can confirm that the company has made these donations.

“We support the stance of the SWA over independence and would refer you to their recent statement that the Scotch whisky industry enjoys substantial support from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network and from lack of trade barriers within the EU.”

A spokesman for Better Together said: “We are delighted to have received this support. More and more companies, individuals and families are saying no thanks to separation.”

Scotch whisky was responsible for more than £4bn of exports last year, which the SWA said accounted for about 85% of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Customer Services

Felix Solis Avantis UK Ltd
Canterbury, UK

Head Distiller & Ambassador at Little Bird

Little Bird Gin
London, UK

Brand Marketing Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

PR and Communications Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Various Sales Roles

Amathus Drinks Plc
Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall, Devon, Leeds and Birmingham

Assistant Buyer

Liberty Wines
London, UK

Partner Development Manager

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Partner Manager - Wholesale

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, UK

(Junior) Account Executive

Phipps Relations
London, UK

Spirits & More

Rome,Italy
19th May 2018

db Awards 2018

London,UK
22nd May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more