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New sustainable Scotch whisky distillery to be built on Islay 

A proposal for a new low-carbon whisky distillery on Scotland’s Isle of Islay is in the pipeline for development.

The suggested site, named IIi Distillery, is set to be located at Gearach Farm near Port Charlotte, Islay and takes its name from the oldest name for Islay.

Ili is the brainchild of landowner Bertram Nesselrode and farmer Scott McLellan, who are seeking a sustainable future for Gearach Farm.

The aim is fair the new “contemporary, sustainable distillery” to be “highly sustainable through the use of renewable energy, helping to ensure that Islay’s whisky legacy can continue well into the future,” they revealed in their proposal to Argyll & Bute Council.

“The vision for the site is bold and different; not just another distillery on Islay, but an Islay-native project, serving and benefitting the local community with jobs, sustainability, and growth. The proposal is brought forward by people with a genuine investment in the community and its interests,” their application explained.

“Physically, the built form of the distillery will also represent a point of difference: it will respect the built vernacular of the island and complement the natural form of its spectacular surroundings.

The goal is to create a distillery building of the highest quality that will be a credit to the Isle of Islay, enhance tourism around whisky distilling, generate long-term employment and wider economic opportunities, and produce a product that reaches a new audience,” they added in the plans.

Ili Distillery proposal includes on-site renewable energy infrastructure including a hydrogen plant, solar panels, battery storage and wind turbine, making the venture almost off-grid.

McLellan and Nesselrode instructed Alan Higgs Architect to draw up plans for the cylindrical distillery, which also needed to include a separate warehouse, a grain store, a visitor centre and plenty of parking.

The proposal is awaiting feedback from the council and will go through by 14 October. Once approved, construction will begin by summer 2022.

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