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Edrington is to build a new GBP100m (US$163m) distillery and visitors centre for The Macallan Scotch whisky brand, which will see a “significant” capacity rise for the single malt.

The new production facility, which follows similar high investment projects from other Scotch makers, will take on full production of The Macallan when it is completed in 2017, an Edrington spokesperson told just-drinks today (28 November). The current distillery, on the same estate as the planned facilities, will then be mothballed.

The spokesperson said the project is at the “very preliminary stages of pre-planning” and a formal planning application will be lodged in April. Asked what the new capacity will be, the spokesperson said “it’s a significant increase in capacity”, adding, “it’s premature to be talking numbers".

UK architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, who designed Heathrow's Terminal Five and luxury London housing development One Hyde Park, have been hired to work on the project. Construction is expected to begin next autumn, subject to planning approval.

Ian Curle, chief executive of Edrington, said: “This is a confident investment in the future of The Macallan and its home on Speyside. Our plan for the estate includes a contemporary distillery that embodies the international style of The Macallan and builds on the brand’s tradition of quality and craftsmanship.”

Edrington is the latest Scotch distiller to look to increase capacity as global demand for the spirit grows. Earlier this week, Diageo said it has completed a GBP14m expansion of two of its malt whisky distilleries, part of an overall GBP1bn investment programme in production first announced in June last year.

Pernod Ricard lined up a GBP40m annual investment in its Scotch production operations last year, while Beam Inc said last month that it will up its holding capacity in Scotland by almost 20%.

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