Drinks giant Diageo has unveiled plans to invest £1bn in Scotch whisky production, creating nearly 1,000 jobs, amid surging global demand for the product.
Diageo, which produces Scotch brands Bells, J&B and Johnnie Walker among others, said it plans to build a major new distillery and expand a number of its existing 28 distilleries. The company will also create new warehouse space under the plans, which would be carried out over five years.
The group said the proposals would create 100 Diageo jobs, around 250 construction roles and up to 500 positions from the "knock-on effect" on the Scottish economy.
The move comes amid growing demand from Asia, South America and Africa
Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh said he expected "that success to continue, particularly in the high growth markets around the world, which is why we are announcing this major investment in Scotch whisky production."
"This builds on the foundations we have already laid down over recent years through sustained investment in both production assets and in maturing Scotch inventories.
"Scotch whisky is a significant manufacturing export industry in the United Kingdom, driving domestic investment and job creation through our success in exporting to high growth markets around the world."
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