'New golden age' for Scotch whisky gives economy a £4bn boost

Rare whiskys at McTear's
High spirits: The industry will receive £2bn in inward investment over the next few years.© McTear's

The Scotch whisky industry is enjoying a second "golden age" with record levels of productivity fuelled by overseas investment.

A report commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association to mark its centenary found the industry supports 36,000 jobs and generates £4bn in experts each year.

The national drink accounted for 55% of the growth in Scotland's international export markets over the last decade.

The research, Scotch Whisky & Scotland's Economy - A 100-Year Blend, found that inward investment and growing exports to international markets had provided a boost in recent years.

The industry itself is worth £2.9bn to the economy, with a further £1.3bn generated through the supply chain, and is due to benefit from a further £2bn in inward investments over the next few years.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said: "This new research is further evidence of the key role Scotch whisky plays in the Scottish economy.

"The demand for Scotch whisky is coming increasingly from the world's fastest growing markets. In comparison with other Scottish industries, Scotch whisky already enjoys an enviable export position across a wide spread of emerging economies."

He added: "The report shows Scotch whisky is likely to play an increasingly important role in Scotland's export markets.

"The momentum of growth needs to be better nurtured by both the UK and Scottish Governments. Scotch whisky underpins their ambitions for export-led recovery."