The Bladnoch distillery in southwest Scotland will reopen and start producing whisky once more after Australian businessman David Prior snapped it up.

Bladnoch’s owner Co-ordinated Development Services went into administration in March 2014.

But Prior plans to re-employ eight staff that worked in the warehouse, visitor centre and admin department, and has also taken on former Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt as a non-executive director.

He said that “substantial investment” need to go into the production facilities to bring it in line with industry environmental standards before it can start producing Scotch whisky again.

Prior said: “I am delighted to have been able to purchase a Scotch Whisky distillery of such renown as Bladnoch. Scotch Whisky is the world’s foremost spirit drink and I am proud to be part of the Scotch Whisky industry.”

Prior founded five:am, an organic yoghurt and granola business, in 2009 and sold it to PZ Cussons last year for £52 million.

Hewitt added: “It is wonderful to see one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries revived. I’m excited to be on the team which will breathe new life into Bladnoch and provide a stimulus for the local economy.”

Bladnoch was opened on the banks of the River Bladnoch in 1817 as Scotland’s southernmost distillery. Now that is has reopened it takes the number of Lowland distilleries up to eight.