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Topping Out at Benbecula Distillery

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Topping Out at Benbecula Distillery
The final roof sections have been lifted into place on a unique distillery ‘lighthouse’ currently under construction on the remote island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. 

A topping out ceremony was held at the new MacMillan Distillery as the highest point was completed on the Gray & Dick glass lighthouse which will house the pot still. For the first time, these new photographs give whisky lovers a tantalising glimpse of how the new distillery will look.

Working with Organic Architects
The unusual lighthouse feature was designed by sustainable distillery specialists Organic Architects as a nod to the island's rich maritime location. It is set to drive further growth in whisky tourism for the Hebrides.

MacMillan’s new gin and whisky distillery repurposes a former crab processing building. Facing away from the sea, so as not to confuse shipping, the replica lighthouse was added as an extension and contains a lit spirit still which is visible along the causeway leading from Benbecula to North Uist. Gray & Dick were once again delighted to work alongside the Organic Architects team as their specialist design and construction partner. 

Bari Reid, Director, Organic Architects, commented:

“This building illustrates our design approach, marrying sustainability and brand into a unique building. Not only is this a bold new landmark on a remote, rugged island coastline, it repurposes an empty building with minimal waste, and provides new skilled jobs and income through tourism. People will be talking about this for years to come and we are proud to have been involved in such an iconic project.”

Stuart Gray, Director, Gray & Dick, said:

"It's been an exciting and unique project for the entire team at Gray & Dick. We're thrilled to see the structure safely reach its final anchorage following a 250-mile journey from our premises in Glasgow, and reach its 'topping out' milestone. Getting to this stage has involved the hard work, skills and support of many people, including the team at Gray & Dick and our own supplier partners. We acknowledge them all with grateful thanks for delivering another successful and iconic project."  


Angus E MacMillan, MacMillan Spirits Company, commented:

“The building design and in particular the lighthouse feature was intended to reflect the nautical heritage of the islands which we also intend to capture in the spirits produced in our distillery. The illuminated still within the lighthouse will be a beacon for people crossing the causeway towards Benbecula. The visitor centre will be more than just a tour of the distillery and will include a storytelling nook among other items of local interest.”

Benbecula Distillery aims to produce 500,000 bottles of whisky per year and it is estimated that this will create an initial 10-12 local jobs. It also adds to the flourishing drinks market in the Hebrides.

                         Stuart Gray

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Gray & Dick is the market leader in the design, supply, and installation of high-end structural glazing with proven expertise in heritage projects. With more than 40 years’ experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.

To find out more about our design services, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.

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