Diageo bid for more warehouses to house up to 2.8m whisky casks at Kirkcaldy facility

Diageo’s huge warehouse complex on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy is set to expand.
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The drinks giant wants to add three more 60,00-square metre storage facilities, taking the total at Cluny Bond to 49, and increasing the overall storage capacity from 2.7 million cask to 2.8 million.

A planning application has been submitted to Fife Council to make the changes.

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The first warehouses were opened at the 545-acre complex at Begg Farm in 2013 - between 150 and 200 construction workers were on site at any one time working on the project - as part of a £150m project when Diageo purchased the site to construct 46 storage warehouses for the storage and maturation of whisky. A total of 42 have been built with the rest under construction.


Due to changes in its operating systems, the area originally earmarked for handling and processing casks has become available and the company wants to build the new warehouses there.

The work will also include a new security gatehouse, office building, workshop new roads and access as well as extensive landscape proposals and public art.

As it is deemed a major application, a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) was lodged in October, followed by a 12-week community consultation period.

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The company has now made its formal planning application which councillors will consider in due course.

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an collection of brands across spirits and beer and can trace its operations in Fife as far back as 1627 through the Haig family – the oldest family of Scotch whisky distillers who founded Cameronbridge Distillery in 182.

The Kingdom continues to play a major role in Diageo’s Scottish operations - Cameronbridge Distillery is the world’s biggest Scotch whisky distillery and Diageo Leven is one of the largest spirit bottling plants in the world.

The Cluny Bond site was previously used as an open cast mine and then became agricultural land.

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A supporting statement, submitted as part of the planning application, said: “The buildings are a highly efficient way of storing casks of whisky on pallets to mature over a period of time ranging from 3 to 12 years. The layout of the site is critical to ensure the safe and efficient transfer of whisky from tankers to casks and back again and their storage.”

Diageo’s investment in Scotland and Fife has been driven by the encouraging growth of Scotch whisky exports.

By law, it must be matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years, although most Scotch whiskies are matured much longer. These casks have to be stored in warehouses.

Diageo currently has over eight and a half million casks of Scotch whisky maturing in warehouses. Its main facility is at Blackgrange, Clackmannanshire, which boasts the biggest warehousing complex in Europe with around three million casks.

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Cluny Bond site is the company’s second largest warehousing site in Scotland.

Across Scotland, Diageo employs around 4,000 people at 50 sites, producing over 50 million cases of Scotch whisky, gin, vodka, and other products each year primarily for export to over 180 different markets around the world.