Fife town to house one of world’s largest whisky collections in major new development

An international business has unveiled plans to site its new headquarters in Fife which could include a museum to house one of the world’s largest collections of whisky.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 11:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 11:36 am

The plans, unveiled by Scotch Whisky Investments (SWI) would breathe new life into the site of the former Smith Anderson paper bag manufacturer in Falkland which closed in 2013.

The international business - which is involved in the whisky asset management sector - also wants to expand storage facilities in Glenrothes.

It has submitted Planning Application Notices (PAN) to Fife Council, and a formal application will follow after a 12-week consultation process which is set to start in August.

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The former Smith Anderson, factory in Falkland

The HQ aims to be a centrepiece for learning about, and showcasing, single malt Scotch whisky, and to provide a place of hospitality for worldwide investors in this commodity.

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It will be designed to house the worldwide administrative functions of the company itself,and SWI said the intention was that the site “will have stature and status with global appeal.”

The plans include relocating the world-famous Valentino Zagatti whisky collection - one of the largest in the world - from the Netherlands to a museum within the building.

The company says there will be benefits to the village of Falkland

It comprises more than 3000 bottles, and close to 300 whisky brands, most of which are extremely rare.

SWI’s “significant investment” envisages a mixed-use site in Falkland which could include restaurants, museum and hotel accommodation, as well as extensive community facilities for the village, at the site of the former St John’s Works.

These could include an additional public car park, with a multi-use village green, micro-forest and play park.

The site for the proposed development in Falkland

A small number of cottages will also be created as ancillary offices for the headquarters building, as well as visitor accommodation, with some staff accommodation and specialist shops mixed in. It is intended that these shops will complement, not compete with those currently existing in Falkland.

The former St John’s Work’s site was once a linoleum factory taken over by Smith Anderson, a manufacturer of paper bags before its closure nine years ago, and subsequent demolition.

It sits on the south of the urban edge of Falkland.

SWI is also planning a single malt Scotch whisky storage and bottling facility at Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes.

A planning application for four whisky storage warehouses, maintenance and bottling buildings, was submitted to Fife Council in March.

A further 20 warehouses are now proposed for the 5.4-hectare site.

Keith Rennie, director for Scotch Whisky Investments, said: "We are delighted to be bringing forward ambitious proposals for Falkland and Glenrothes as part of a significant investment programme for Fife.

“Our vision as a company is to showcase and educate people about single malt Scotch whisky, as well as promote investment in the commodity and provide new facilities for Falkland.

“Through this activity, complemented by the expansion of our facilities in Glenrothes, considerable employment and tourism opportunities will be delivered not just for Fife, but for Scotland as a whole.   

"We look forward to engaging with the public on these proposals and keeping the community updated as they progress."