Isle of Harris Distillers has secured a £1.7m financial package from HSBC to support its growth and further investment in its maturing single malt whisky stock.
Currently lying in cask in the Outer Hebrides, the first batch of The Hearach should be ready from late 2020 for bottling.
From the outset, the distillery’s objective has been to create sustainable employment for islanders through the creation of a successful commercial venture. Established in October 2015, it already employs 30 locals, and will create a number of additional sustainable jobs as the production of whisky increases.
The distillery is also producing an award-winning gin to support the funding of stocks laid down for single malt whisky production, the company’s primary focus.
Sales of the Isle of Harris Gin, using an unusual direct-to-consumer strategy, have surpassed significantly the company’s initial expectations and helped to grow the reputation of the distillery in the spirits industry and amongst consumers.
Neal Tully, Relationship Director at HSBC, said: “The team at Harris Distillers instantly impressed us with their innovative approach to creating spirits and social ethos. As one of the island’s largest employers, we were more than pleased to provide finance to increase whisky production. We hope with the wider availability of the single malt we’ll see the business grow and also attract even more tourists to the distillery and Harris.”
The finance was allocated from HSBC’s national £10 billion SME fund to actively support UK SMEs. £500 million is specifically designated to support Scottish firms and rebalance the economy outside of London.
Simon Erlanger, Managing Director of Isle of Harris Distillers, said: “HSBC recognised our mission to be a catalyst for economic growth for the island and to create even more sustainable jobs for local people. We’re committed to Harris, whose water, weather and people are integral to the overall production of our high quality spirits.”