Diageo to invest £150m in Scotch visitor centres

Diageo has announced a £150m investment over three years to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences.

The heart of the investment will be a new Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience based in Edinburgh, and Diageo will also upgrade its 12 other distillery visitor centres.

Diageo chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said: “Scotch is at the heart of Diageo, and this new investment reinforces our ongoing commitment to growing our Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism industry. 

“For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors to Scotland. I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”

Whisky from Diageo’s distilleries all over Scotland contribute to Johnnie Walker, but four distilleries, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish, will be linked directly to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh.

They will represent the ‘four corners of Scotland’ and the regional flavour variations of Scotch whisky, creating a Johnnie Walker tour of Scotland.

First minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, added:  “This significant investment will not only help attract more tourists to Scotland, offering world class visitor experiences, but it also underlines the fundamental importance of the whisky sector to Scotland’s economy.”

Diageo’s other visitor distilleries: Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar, will also receive investment to support the growth of single malt Scotch whisky. This is in addition to the £35m already committed to re-open the Port Ellen and Brora  distilleries.