Fife drinks producer Eden Mill has submitted ambitious plans for a multi-million pound premium visitor experience just metres from its current headquarters.
The company is pursuing its £4 million project to create a new distillery and brewery within the former paper mill buildings at St Andrews University’s Eden Campus in Guardbridge.
It is hoped the centre would attract thousands of visitors every year once up and running, with a dedicated minibus service being laid on to and from St Andrews for organised groups taking part in distillery walkabouts and gin and whisky tasting tours.
The blueprint has been a number of years in the making, but a formal planning application seeking a change of use for former paper mill building 68A has now been lodged with Fife Council for consideration.
As well as the proposed distillery and brewery expansion, a new visitor centre is envisaged along with a café/bar, shop, presentation room and a VIP tasting area on the top floor of the distillery, offering views over the university campus and estuary.
Paul Miller, co-founder of Eden Mill, said: “With ambitions to grow the business, it’s the right time for Eden Mill to move forward with plans for a new distillery and brewery.
“We have always been pioneering, and this expansion can open the door to new product development and continued success.
“To stay competitive, the spirits industry in Scotland needs to embrace new ideas and experimentation while respecting its heritage and traditions, particularly with whisky.
“At this new site, Eden Mill will be in the perfect position to invest in new products and lead the way with innovation.
“We firmly believe that this development will greatly benefit the local area and the wider Scottish economy, which is always what we have set out to achieve as a business.”
After brewing began on site in 2012, Eden Mill has quickly developed into a household name in the drinks industry and became Scotland’s first combined brewery and distillery when it began the production of Scotch whisky and gin in 2014.
According to the plans, Eden Mill anticipate 40% of visitors to the distillery will arrive at weekends, with a peak weekly figure of 1,500 visitors expected during the summer months.
Times of opening for visitor experiences and the café/bar and shop would be 10am-10pm, although regular tours would likely end at 7pm each evening.
Occasional late evening use may be required for VIP distributor visits or entertaining purposes.
It is expected the council will consider the plans over the coming months.