A £600,000 new visitor centre offering an insight into Scotland’s industrial past and traditional whisky production has been opened at the Deanston Distillery near Doune, Stirling.
The distillery and a number of staff have already attracted international attention as Deanston featured as the distillery location in the recently released Ken Loach film, The Angels’ Share.
Jasmine Riggins, who stars in the film as Mo, was at the centre on Friday to celebrate its opening.
The new Deanston Visitor Centre opened by Burn Stewart Distillers is expected to attract 15,000 visitors a year and contribute to whisky tourism, an industry which generates an estimated £30m for the Scottish tourism economy.
Established in 1966, Deanston Distillery, which produces the hand-crafted Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is the only distillery in Scotland to be self-sufficient in electricity with power generated by the on-site hydro-energy facility.
In 2000, the distillery was also one of the first in Scotland to start producing organic whisky.
Andrew Mitchell, chairman of Burn Stewart Distillers, said: "Most single malts tend to have an interesting provenance story. They’re part of their own society with their own personalities but Deanston enjoys an enormous wealth of personality.
"The creation of the Visitor Centre here at Deanston has been a vision of the company for some 22 years because the distillery and the former cotton mill tell such a riveting and important story about the handcrafted production of whisky, the heritage of this stunning building and its place within the community and Scottish history.
"From the unique open air mash tun and vaulted maturation warehouse to the solid granite staircase, visitors will feel a real sense of the tradition, the sense of community, the hand-crafted whisky process and the proud self-sufficiency of the distillery here."
Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland chairman, added: "Scotland is the home of whisky and, with whisky distilleries and visitor centres adding some £30million to the Scottish economy each year, they have a vital role to play in bolstering the country’s tourism offering and ensuring a truly memorable visitor experience.
"With this in mind, I am delighted to see such an innovative and important development here at Deanston, adding to what is already a very impressive distillery."