Plans made for €138m independent whisky warehouse

A private consortium of investors have put forward ambitious plans to build a €138 million whisky storage and filling facility, which it says will be the largest independent facility of its kind in Ireland.

Called ‘Project Vault’, the initiative has been proposed by the newly established Vault Whiskey Store. Phase 1 of the project – which will cost €38m – is for a whiskey filling hall and 12 warehouses with a capacity to hold 12,500 casks per warehouse on a 100-acre site in Moyvore, County Westmeath.

The proposed facility will enable whiskey producers to transport directly to the site and fill their casks, with a minimum maturation period of three years and no upper limit. Phase 2 of the project is expected to include a whiskey museum and visitor centre.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Alan Wright, joint CEO of Mullingar Writech Group and one of two local businessmen behind the project, said the company already had commitments from three multi-national distillers that will fill 80 per cent of the space in Phase 1.

“Initially when we start construction on this, there will be eighty full-time construction jobs of which we would like to have at least 10%. There will be a further 20-25 jobs – direct jobs – when Phase 1 is complete,”  he said, referring to the project as “liquid gold” for Moyvore.

Phase 1 is expected to be completed by August 2018, if approval is granted by Westmeath County Council, with the warehouses in use from February 2019, and final completion set for January 2020.

While Scotland is home to several independent facilities of this kind, this would be the largest of its kind in Ireland, with the majority of maturation warehouses attached to distilleries, added Wright.

Sales of Irish whiskey have been growing in recent years, with Pernod Ricard reporting Jameson to the the strongest of all its international brands in its full year results earlier this year. The company reported an organic sales lift of 20% and volume rise of 16% to 2.6 million 9L cases

Meanwhile earlier this year Bacardi took a minority stake in Dublin-based distiller Teeling Whiskey, having signed a distribution deal for the brand in the US.

A public meeting to discuss Vault Whiskey Store’s proposed Project Vault is due to take place Moyvore tonight.

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