William Grant confirmed yesterday it was backing the union

William Grant confirmed yesterday it was backing the union

William Grant & Sons has donated GBP185,000 (US$317,000) to campaign groups opposed to Scottish independence, election officials have revealed.

The Glenfiddich distiller is funding three separate campaigns that back a “No” vote in September's Scottish independence poll, according to an electoral commission report released today (8 July). The Labour and Conservative party-backed Better Together will get GBP135,000 while two smaller groups, Angus MacDonald and the No Borders Campaign, will receive GBP25,000 each.

The overall figure is almost double that stated in media reports yesterday that came out ahead of the official confirmation from electoral authorities.

Meanwhile, a William Grant spokesperson told just-drinks today that the company is to make a further donation to the No campaign that will be recorded in the electoral commission's next announcement. Today's report covered donations made between 18 December and June 26, while the next will detail those made between 27 June and 24 July. The report is expected to come out on 5 August.

Yesterday, William Grant confirmed it was donating money to the No campaign and that it backed the Scotch Whisky Association's (SWA) views that the industry “enjoys substantial support” from the UK government and its global embassy network. “The SWA believes that the risk of losing this could severely damage our industry,” William Grant said.

In a statement yesterday, Better Together said it was “delighted” to receive William Grant's support. “More and more companies, individuals and families are saying 'no thanks' to separation.”

The SWA has so far remained neutral on independence, but said in its annual report in April that it sees “potential risks” in a split. 

In June, a Bank of America analysis warned that a “Yes” vote could risk the soft power the Scotch whisky industry receives from the UK's 200 overseas embassies, agencies and trade delegations. It noted that a Scottish government would only have about 90.