Historic Falkirk distillery to get new lease of life

Rosebank Distillery is set for a major development
Rosebank Distillery is set for a major development

Whisky lovers are toasting a new canalside development which could bring up to 70 jobs.

The historic Rosebank distillery has been bought by a Scottish brewery.

After lying empty for over 20 years, the building next to the Forth and Clyde Canal on Camelon Road, Falkirk, will get a new lease of life.

Owners of the Isle of Arran Brewery have purchased the distinctive building and plan to develop a craft brewery and visitor centre on the site.

Scottish Canals has been keen to attract a developer for the last decade since the waterway was opened up as part of the Millennium Link.

Chief executive Steven Dunlop said: “We have been searching for the right partner to help breathe new life into Rosebank for some time.

“The development of Rosebank Craft Brewery will also complement the ongoing revitalisation of the wider canal corridor between The Falkirk Wheel and the Helix.”

Welcoming the jobs news and boost to the local economy, Councillor Dennis Goldie said: “This is definitely a good news story. We have been in discussions about this for some time and it is great to see it moving forward.”

The man behind plans also believes it will be a major attraction for the area.

Gerald Michaluk, managing director of Isle of Arran Brewery, has bought the Grade-B listed building from Scottish Canals.

He intends to turn the site into a brewery, bottling plant and eventually once again distil whisky in the landmark next to the Forth and Clyde Canal, near Camelon.

The multi-million pound project will also house a visitor centre.

Mr Michaluk said: “This is a fantastic site and the Rosebank Craft Brewery and Visitor Centre will add yet another attraction to the canal corridor.

“It is hoped that canal boats will link the centre with both The Falkirk Wheel and the new developments further west, making it a trilogy of visitor attractions all linked by the canal.

“The purchase of the site at Rosebank is the first crystallisation of our ambitious plans to increase production ten-fold across the country.”

Steven Dunlop, Scottish Canals’ chief executive, said: “Isle of Arran Brewery, a young and ambitious company with an excellent reputation for traditional beer making is an ideal partner for us. Twenty years after the buildings were vacated, they will give them a vibrant, exciting and sympathetic new use.”

Rosebank originally opened in 1813 and closed in 1993.