PRIME Minister David Cameron raised a glass to toast the success of Diageo’s Cameronbridge Distillery whilst visiting Levenmouth last Friday.
Mr Cameron nipped into the Windygates factory to see how the drinks giant’s recently opened bioenergy plant, part of a £105 million investment, operated.
Mr Cameron said: “Whisky is an iconic product with a rich heritage and a fantastic future. It is a truly global brand.
“It was a real pleasure to see the Cameronbridge Distillery. It is at the cutting edge of the spirits industry, a world leader in embracing bioenergy technology and a major contributor to Scotland’s economy.
“All those who work there should be proud of what they produce.”
Mr Cameron was told the plant – a global first of its kind – powers the distillery by recycling the natural co-products of distillation, potentially making it one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable.
He marked his visit by hammering the bung – a ceremonial tradition in the Scotch whisky industry – into a cask of Cameron Brig single grain spirit produced using renewable energy from the bioenergy plant.
The cask will now be laid down to mature for 10 years, with Diageo pledging to auction it to raise money for environmental good causes in the future.
Mr Cameron also met some of Diageo’s 45 apprentices who work across a range of engineering, scientific and craft roles at the distillery.
David Gosnell, Diageo’s president of global supply and procurement, was delighted to be able to showcase the Windygates site and all it has to offer to Mr Cameron.
He said: “The distillery is at the forefront of innovation in renewable energy and sets a new benchmark for environmental sustainability in distilling – not just in Scotland, but on a world stage.
“We are particularly pleased to have had the opportunity to introduce the Prime Minister to some of our apprentices who represent the future of our business, a future which we are working to make as prosperous and sustainable as possible through the investment and innovation we have seen at Cameronbridge.”
Mr Cameron also visited the distillery’s gin stillhouse.
... but a cup of tea was all he really wanted
CAMERONBRIDGE Distillery wasn’t the only place David Cameron visited whilst he was in the area.
The Prime Minister also stopped by at Wellsgreen Golf Range on the Standing Stane Road.
Mr Cameron and his sizeable entourage had breakfast rolls and cups of tea and coffee at the range’s Standing Stane Restaurant and Bar.
Manager Shona Ballantyne told the Mail it was “quite a shock” when he arrived just after 11 a.m.
“On advance of him coming we had some security come in and have a look about the place,” she said.
“The next thing David Cameron walked in with about 20 aides – we were very starstruck.
“We’ve had a few local celebrities come in over the years but I must admit I wasn’t quite prepared for David Cameron coming in.
“It was nice that he chose to come here – we felt very honoured.
“He spoke to the owner on the way out and he said he may return and hit some balls.”