Proposals to relocate one of the world’s largest whisky collections to Scotland have moved a step closer with the collection's owner taking over the proposed site for its new headquarters.
International asset management business Scotch Whisky Investments (SWI) is looking to move from its current location near Amsterdam to the Fife village of Falkland. It has now taken ownership of the site of its proposed development in the historic village from previous owners Smith Anderson.
SWI helps investors with their portfolios, managing whisky not for consumption, but for investment. It seeks to showcase the history of, and educate people about single malt Scotch whisky, as well as promote investment in the commodity.
The headquarters will be located at the site of the former St John’s Works, situated to the south of the urban edge of the village. This includes proposals for a new iconic corporate headquarters building with hospitality, offices, some retail and a small number of cottages for investors, visitors and staff. It will sit on a 10-acre site but will occupy only 40 per cent of the land.
The St John’s Work’s site was originally a linoleum factory and and taken over by Smith Anderson, a manufacturer of paper bags, before its closure in 2013.
"We are delighted to have taken what is a significant step forward in the delivery of these exciting proposals to relocate our global headquarters to Scotland, and with it one of the world’s largest whisky collections," SWI managing director Keith Rennie said.
“This is a fantastic location, and taking over the site is indeed a significant milestone, building on our already significant investment in Fife. Fife Council have been very supportive in relation to our activity in Glenrothes and Falkland, and Scottish Enterprise have also been great to work with."
He added: “Through this the relocation of our global headquarters, complemented by our facilities elsewhere in Fife, considerable employment and tourism opportunities will be delivered not just for the Kingdom, but for Scotland as a whole.”
A planning application for the Falkland centre expected to come by the end of the year, with approval by next summer, and with the potential to start construction on site in late 2024.
SWI already boasts significant investments in Fife, including a bottling plant in Auchtermuchty producing approximately 6,000 bottles of whisky per week. The company is also nearing completion of the first phase of four maturation warehouses at Crompton Road East in Glenrothes.