Eden Mill signs lease with University of St Andrews for new distillery

14th March 2022

A 50-year land lease has been agreed and signed with the prestigious and world-renowned University of St Andrews.

The new distillery, with its ambition to be one of the world’s first carbon neutral distilleries, is now being constructed on the University of St Andrews Eden Campus, which is dedicated to zero-carbon, sustainable businesses and research enterprises.

Derek Watson, University of St Andrews quaestor and factor, said: “Today marks an exciting milestone in the relationship between the University of St Andrews and Eden Mill which has been based at what is now the Eden Campus for a decade.

“The regeneration of the former paper mill site and the creation of Eden Campus is a major strategic move for the university which will provide an exceptional working environment for our staff, breathe new life into the local economy of Guardbridge and have a beneficial impact on the town of St Andrews and beyond. We are delighted that Eden Mill is part of that.”

Paul Miller, Eden Mill managing director and founder, added: “The vision for the Eden Mill distillery has been closely developed with the University of St Andrews. Its fabulous location at the mouth of the River Eden meets the romantic requirements for single malt scotch whisky, while the strictly sustainable nature of our new distillery and the environmentally innovative surroundings of the campus are perfect for our progressive brand.”

Stella Morse, Eden Mill St Andrews chair of the board of directors, commented: “We are delighted to have received full planning permission and confirmed our long lease with the University of St Andrews to build on the decade of foundations laid by EDEN MILL St Andrews with our new and ambitious contemporary gin & single malt scotch whisky distillery. We’re pleased to have worked in partnership with the University of St Andrews to secure planning permission for what will become one of Scotland’s future iconic distilleries. Our values and ambition regarding sustainability are closely aligned and we look forward to opening the distillery to visitors from across the globe in 2023.”

The multi-million-pound distillery will be partially powered through the university’s recently commissioned ground solar development and a future roof mounted system on top of the distillery. Eden Mill is also discussing with the University the potential for capturing carbon from production processes which may be used to produce alternative fuels

Construction work on the distillery has already commenced and the new distillery and visitor centre is scheduled to open in the first half of 2023. EDEN MILL expects the distillery to become one of the leading visitor attractions in the St Andrews area and will also provide new jobs in region.

As well as the distillery, the campus is home to the award-winning biomass energy centre and university spin-out companies working at the frontiers of science and technology – producing sustainable antibiotics, new fuel cells, synthetic proteins and new forms of batteries.

In January, Eden Mill received investment from Edinburgh-based specialist consumer brand investor Inverleith LLP, taking a majority stake in the company. The investment allows EDEN MILL St Andrews to realise its new distillery and meet its sustainability ambitions. Inverleith has consumer strategic brand and commercial know-how, as well as significant global drinks business experience and expertise.

Rennie Donaldson, former group financial controller at Edrington and prior head of corporate development at William Grant & Sons joined the board as new chief operating officer.

Paul Skipworth, a former regional director of Moet Hennessy Asia, CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, Partner L Capital (LVMH) and the managing partner of Inverleith also joined the board alongside Inverleith Senior Investment Director Michael Atkinson, who brings global spirits industry experience from the Bacardi Martini Corporation and Moet Hennessy.

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