DIAGEO, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, has confirmed that construction work on its Johnnie Walker Princes Street global flagship visitor experience is progressing well.
The development comes as part of the firm’s £185 million investment programme in Scotch whisky and tourism, with the visitor centre on Edinburgh’s main shopping street being the flagship project.
The Princes Street building was formally home to a House of Fraser department store, but will now be redeveloped into an eight-storey tourist destination featuring a three-floor multi-sensory, immersive Johnnie Walker visitor experience; a flexible events space; a training academy; roof-top bars with views of Edinburgh castle and the city skyline; and ‘significant’ retail space at street-level.
BAM Construction resumed work on the building in June, following a three month pause due to Covid-19 restrictions. Diageo insist that that the detailed plans for the interior of the building are to remain a ‘tightly guarded’ secret, but did say that it is anticipated that Johnnie Walker Princes Street will open its doors to visitors in summer 2021.
The news of construction work progressing was accompanied by the unveiling of a new website for the project, which will act as a means of keeping people updated through to opening day.
Barbara Smith, managing director of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, commented, “The last few months have been so difficult and disruptive for everyone and we know there is still a long way to go, but we keep walking with confidence and we are looking to the future with positivity.
“Johnnie Walker Princes Street is progressing well following the restart of construction and we are delighted to be launching our website so that our future guests can share in the excitement and anticipation we feel as we build towards opening our doors to visitors next year.”