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HIE grant supports jobs at Isle of Raasay Distillery

Wednesday, 06 November 2019 Scotland Food & Drink Industry news

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R&B Distillers, owners of the Isle of Raasay Distillery, has secured up to £200,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The money will help fund bottling facilities and additional warehousing for the Isle of Raasay Gin and forthcoming Isle of Raasay Single Malt, helping to create up to five local jobs.

Maturing all Raasay spirit and bottling their own gin and whisky on the island supports the distillery’s core aim of keeping as much of the operation as possible in house and on the island.

The Isle of Raasay Distillery has been distilling since 2017, while running six luxury bedrooms and a five-star visitor centre, winning Tourism Destination of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Whisky Awards.

This year, they set out to broaden the appeal of this small island distillery with the release of the Isle of Raasay Gin, adding gin tastings to their repertoire.   

Over the next three years the product expansion is expected to increase the company’s turnover by more than £2.4m, two-thirds of which will be from international sales.

The first batch of Isle of Raasay Single Malt whisky is due for release in November 2020.

Eilidh Ross, business growth account manager with HIE’s Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross team, said:

“The Highlands and the Islands region is renowned for its food and drink as well as tourism offerings. The Isle of Raasay Distillery is already an important contributor to this growth sector. By creating valuable rural employment, the company is also helping strengthen community resilience on the island.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide support for this project and look forward to working with the company as they develop their product line in this rural island economy.”

Alasdair Day, Isle of Raasay Distillery co-founder said:

“This support from HIE for new warehouses and bottling facilities will ensure that every drop of our spirit is matured and bottled locally while, crucially, supporting local island jobs in what is deemed a fragile rural economy. Already, over 10% of the local population work at the distillery, and with HIE’s support, we hope to create more opportunities to live and work on Raasay.”

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