Inverclyde’s first zero-carbon whisky distillery breaks ground


After 7 years of planning, Inverclyde’s first zero-carbon whisky distillery, Ardgowan Distillery, has broken ground on the first phase of its £20 million “cathedral of whisky”.

The first phase of the build is expected to take 12 months and will be delivered by Inverkeithing based Muir construction. It will see the completion of the distillery’s main production elements, including core groundworks, steelwork, and distillation equipment and enable Ardgowan to begin producing its own spirit from 2024.

The distillery design uses low environmental impact composite cladding, timber and steel materials to create a modern Nordic long hall, and the distillery has partnered with Heriot-Watt University and engineers Briggs of Burton to develop technology to capture all of the CO2 in its fermentation process and transform it into green biomethane – a technique which has never been used in a Scotch whisky distillery before.

Martin McAdam, CEO, said, “It’s been almost seven years in the planning, spanning Brexit, a global pandemic, and five Prime Ministers. But now, finally, we have started construction. Muir have been integral in constructing some of the finest Scotch Whisky distilleries open today and are at the forefront of several pioneering Scottish sustainability projects. We welcome their expertise as we embark on the first major phase of our state of the art distillery.”

Muir Construction, part of Muir Group, has previously worked with a number of distillery companies, including William Grant & Sons, Distell and Glenmorangie. They have also worked on a number of key sustainability projects, including the Queens Quay Energy Centre in Glasgow and Celtic Renewables.

To date, a total funding package of £24m has been secured for the project, with the distillery recently raising in excess of £3.6m via a convertible loan note to shareholders. The distillery will create 47 local jobs and produce 1m litres of whisky each year.