Ian Macleod Distillers has been granted planning permission to start work on its multi-million pound redevelopment of the Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk.

A planning application was lodged in June 2018, followed by an extensive public consultation process, but Falkirk Council has now given the green light to the Rosebank restoration.

Rosebank ceased production in 1993 when former owner UDV (now Diageo) mothballed the site and its maltings were converted into a restaurant.

When the renovated distillery commences distillation it is expected to generate 25 full-time equivalent jobs for the local economy. The opening date is set for Autumn 2020.

The Rosebank Distillery, which is situated on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal, hopes to attract 50,000 visitors a year to Falkirk and will offer a wide range of distillery tours with some featuring the last drams of Rosebank distilled prior to its 1993 closure.

Plans for its revival include a new 1,000 metre contemporary and energy-efficient distillery with a production capacity of one millon litres of alcohol a year. The iconic Rosebank chimney will remain in place. There will also be a visitor centre, tasting room, shop and warehouse space.

Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, owners of Rosebank, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this significant milestone of the Rosebank redevelopment project. To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Our investment goes beyond production. We’re proud to be investing in Falkirk by adding to the town’s flourishing economy and tourism scene with a new Rosebank Visitor Centre, to help tell the story of this remarkable whisky.

“Rosebank Distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we’re committed to ensuring this remains the case. We will strive to replicate the unique Rosebank style by once more employing the unique techniques of triple distillation and worm tub condensers, for which this iconic Lowland single malt is famed.”

Alongside this news, Ian Macleod is purchasing the Rosebank site from its current owners, Scottish Canals.

Russell added:  “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals for their support of our vision to revive Rosebank Distillery. The backing from both parties has brought our vision to life and enabled the smooth running of this initial phase of the project. We look forward to continuing these relationships as we progress through the next stages.”

Ian Macleod Distillers also acquired the Rosebank brand and last remaining stocks from former owners, Diageo, in October 2017. The company expects to use this limited Rosebank whisky for a small number of releases from 2019, distilled in the last few years before Rosebank Distillery closed its doors in 1993.