Modern extension to historic Rosebank Distillery gets go-ahead - with a warning

Plans to replace part of Falkirk's historic Rosebank distillery with a modern extension have been given the go-ahead.

Picture Michael Gillen

However, the permission comes with a warning that any further changes to the historic buildings beside the Forth & Clyde canal would not be supported as work continues to transform the site into a working distillery with visitor centre and cafe.

Ian Macleod Distillers' plans to regenerate the site - and produce the famous Rosebank whisky once again - were widely welcomed as the dilapidated buildings had lain derelict for many years.

However, the company was forced to make changes after the wall of one of the large bonded warehouses collapsed, putting the building beyond repair.

That, together with the expected fall in visitor number due to the coronavirus pandemic, meant the distillers decided to replace two of the old buildings with a modern, zinc-clad extension.

This, they say, will better suit the requirements of a modern day distillery which will help the area's economic regeneration.

But it has also been carefully designed to integrate the new and the old, so that it won't impact on the historic character and appearance of the site.

Most of the canalside facade will be retained to preserve the area's character and the landmark chimney will also remain, sitting alongside modern facilities that will overlook Camelon Road.

Historic Environment Scotland accepted that the change was necessary but stressed that it would not support any further loss of structures on the site.

Planning officers also agreed that while the collapse was regrettable, the proposed changes would help to protect the rest of the site from further damage.

The original planning permission was granted to Ian Macleod Distillers for an operational distillery which will be followed within three to five years by new visitor facilities including a cafe.

Work started to transform the site in autumn 2019, and by November of that year, the disused distillery buildings facing onto Camelon Road had been demolished.

The first Covid lockdown in March 2020 brought a halt to construction for several months few months but work restarted in the new year and is ongoing.

The information in this story came from a public notice published in this newspaper. You can read more public notices in our classified section today.

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