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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 18:13 GMT
Drinks firm's 100m whisky boost
Whisky distillery
Diageo operates 27 malt distilleries in Scotland
Drinks company Diageo is planning to create 200 new jobs in Scotland as part of a 100m plan to expand its whisky operations.

The company said the investment was one of the biggest in the industry's history and its largest in Scotland in 20 years.

Diageo plans to build a new malt distillery in the north and expand its grain distillery in Fife.

It also plans to increase the bottling capacity at its plant in Glasgow.

Chancellor Gordon Brown said the investment was great news for Scotland and the Scotch whisky industry.

"This is serious long-term investment by Diageo, confident about the stability which Scotland enjoys as part of the UK," he said.

Growing markets

About 40m of the money will go towards a new malt distillery to increase production of its single malts which include Talisker, Lagavulin and Dalwhinnie.

The site of the distillery is still to be finalised but the company hopes it will be near one of its existing Speyside malting facilities at Roseisle, near Elgin.

The managing director of Diageo Scotland, Bryan Donaghey, said the move underpinned its commitment to Scotland.

He said it should help the company meet demand from customers in growing markets such as Brazil, Russia and India.

Mr Donaghey said: "We see very encouraging growth in our Scotch whisky brands.

"Expanding our capacity now will help us meet demand well into the future."

This level of investment is exactly what is needed to ensure that Scotch whisky can take on the challenge of growing markets such as China and India
John McFall MP

The Cameronbridge grain distillery in Fife - the largest in the UK, producing Johnnie Walker, J&B and Bell's - will be expanded further.

Bottling capacity at the company's Shieldhall packaging plant in Glasgow will be increased and warehousing capacity will be extended in central Scotland.

Diageo is set to begin discussions with Moray Council on expanding the Roseisle site, with the hope of starting work later this year.

The drinks giant, which also produces Guinness and Smirnoff vodka, currently operates 27 malt distilleries and two grain distilleries.

It employs 4,000 people in Scotland.

West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall, chairman of the House of Commons treasury select committee and treasurer of the all-party parliamentary group on Scotch whisky, welcomed the news.

He said: "This level of investment, coming at a time of new optimism in the industry, is exactly what is needed to ensure that Scotch whisky can take on the challenge of growing markets such as China and India."

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