PLANS for a new £17 million Inverclyde whisky distillery and visitor centre are bang on track.

Sir Ludovic ‘Ludo’ Shaw-Stewart, who owns Ardgowan Estate in Inverkip – where Ardgowan Distillery will be built – says everything is going to plan.

Planning permission for the lowland malt whisky facility was granted by Inverclyde Council in March and bosses expect it to be fully operational in 2019.

It is expected that the development will create around 30 jobs.

Sir Ludo said: “The distillery is going really well. We’re in fundraising mode at the moment and it’s going to plan.

“We’re hoping to get things off the ground really next year.
“It’s all positive.”

While the distillery will be solely focused on whisky, which takes years to age, the estate boss has left the door open for other products to be manufactured there – such as gin.

Sir Ludo added: “We’re looking at a number of different options.

“With the gin market, it is extraordinary how it’s exploded, but our focus is single malt and always has been from the word go.

“But I’m sure there will be other things around that.”

The state-of-the-art facility will be built on the site of an old sawmill on the Inverkip estate.

It will produce a seven-year old lowland single malt.
With the addition of a visitor centre, bosses hope it will become a major tourist attraction appealing to people from all over the world, including the 100,000-plus cruise ship passengers who stop off in Greenock each year.