Main contractor announced for first phase of £20m Inverclyde distillery build

Alan Baker (director Ardgowan Distillery); Alan Muir (joint MD of Muir Construction); Roland Grain (investment director of Ardgowan Distillery); David Fairweather (business development director at Ardgowan Distillery); Martin McAdam (CEO of Ardgowan Distillery); and Stephen Caughey (construction project manager at Ardgowan Distillery).

MUIR Construction is to lead the first phase of the £20 million build of Inverclyde’s first zero-carbon whisky distillery.

The £7 million contract is expected to last 12 months and will see the firm complete Ardgowan Distillery’s main production elements, which will enable it to begin producing its own spirit from 2024.

Using low environmental impact composite cladding, the distillery design also utilises timber and steel materials to create a modern nordic long hall which symbolises the resurrection and rising from the ashes of the former Ardgowan Distillery, which was bombed during the 1941 Blitz.

The plans for the new net zero distillery include ‘cutting-edge’ technologies and partnerships with new technology developers to deliver a carbon-neutral spirit. The distillery has partnered with Heriot-Watt University and engineers Briggs of Burton to develop technology to capture all of the CO2 in its fermentation process and transform it into green biomethane – a technique which has never been used in a Scotch whisky distillery before.

Alan Muir, joint MD of Muir Construction, said, “We are delighted to be given the opportunity by Ardgowan Distillery to join the delivery team in what is an exceptional distillery. Not only will this be at the forefront of distilling fine whisky, but it will also be an outstanding statement in visual design, something I’m sure we will all be proud of on completion.

“Our construction team is very excited to get started on the first step in what we are sure will be an excellent ongoing relationship.”

Martin McAdam, CEO of Ardgowan Distillery, added, “Partnering with Muir Construction for this first phase of the build is a major and very welcome step forward for us. It was imperative that we selected a contractor who shares the same values for sustainability. Muir’s experience constructing some of the finest Scotch Whisky distilleries open today, coupled with their hand in pioneering Scottish sustainability projects meant they were the perfect fit.”