Distell, the distilleries owner, announced in the summer of 2017 that £11million would be set aside to completely renovate Bunnahabhain’s ‘scruffy appearance’. The project is due to take approximately 3 years to complete and is aiming to improve operations at the distillery but also turn it into a desirable destination in the ever-growing whisky tourism market.
The refurbishment began in early February 2019 with several coastal warehouses being torn down to provide space for a brand new visitor centre. The centre could be opening to visitors as early as this year and will feature a retail area, café and stunning views on the Bunnhabhain bay. Nearby cottages are also receiving improvement in order to provide holiday accommodation for the most passionate of whisky lovers making a visit to the distillery.
The production at the distillery will also be improved with an upgraded pumphouse and production building equipment.
Derek Scott, brand director for malts at Distell, said: ‘Our investment programme here at Bunnahabhain is about improving the operational side of our distillery for the long-term future. We are restoring our buildings to their former glory and providing a visitor experience where we don’t just welcome visitors – after the long, winding journey to get here, we help them enjoy a piece of Bunnahabhain life. The plan’s aim is to make the navigation of the site much easier for the visitor and to, in simple terms, declutter it. This will ensure the buildings are more efficient from a storage point of view and located in better-suited, more accessible locations to the production buildings.’
Production of whisky will continue throughout the refurbishment as normal and will cause no disruption to any visitors. 99% of the demolished materials are to be recycled with minimal impact on the surrounding environment planned.