UK – Diageo, the British multinational distiller will invest US$185.8 million in Johnnie Walker global brand attraction & distillery programme, Scotch Whisky tourism for over a period of three years in Scotland.

The investment will be used to construct a new Johnnie Walker facility in Edinburgh to change Scotch whisky visitor experiences while acting as the hub for Diageo’s operations in Scotland.

The new facility will act as a visitor experience centre for tourists and will showcase distilleries, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish, linking them to the company’s main brand.

In addition, it will pay for the upgrade of its existing network of 12 distillery visitor centres including those at Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, Cragganmore and Royal Lochnagar distilleries.

The upgrade will support the growth of single malt Scotch whisky, while US$35 million has been committed to re-open the Port Ellen and Brora distilleries.

Diageo plans to provide further funding for its ‘Learning for Life’ training, a programme the company says matches high-potential individuals with vacancies within the industry and works to reduce the gap between people’s skills and the competencies required by employers.

Apart from reinforcing a commitment to growing Scotch whisky brands and supporting Scotland’s tourism sector, they were rolling out a scholarship and mentoring programme to support young entrepreneurs in the country.

“Over the past six years we have invested over US$1.23 billion in building our Scotch whisky production infrastructure to grow exports of Scotch around the world.

With this new investment, we turn our focus to bringing the world to Scotland.

This will not only build the Scotch whisky industry it will bring economic benefits to communities throughout Scotland,” said David Cutter, chairman of Diageo in Scotland.

This investment builds on Diageo’s US$6.19 million investment from 2012 to 2017 while extending its US$1.23 million per year funding support for its award-winning Diageo Learning for Life programme.

The company said the program has helped over 1,000 young unemployed people in Scotland into training and jobs in the hospitality industry over the last five years.