Scotland's fastest whisky bottling plant went into operation yesterday in Glasgow. The new facility was officially opened by Scotland's first minister, Jack McConnell, and will be able to produce up to 600 bottles of whisky a minute.

The new plant is owned by the Edrington group, makers of The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Highland Park and Cutty Sark brands, and forms part of a £20m ($33.9m) investment by the group.

Ian Good, Edrington's chairman and chief executive, said: "As one of the major players in the Scotch whisky industry, we recognise that in order to grow our brands we need to devote increased investment towards improving productivity."

The investment was given the go-ahead as a result of increasing global demand for the group's key brands, which are sold in over 100 countries. The new production capacity is designed to improve the group's cost base and competitiveness and to meet future consumer demand.