Ardnamurchan finances education of young people with whisky

Scottish charity donates casks of maturing Ardnamurchan Scotch whisky to help with youth higher education and training programmes

This is a unique story so far: the Ardnamurchan Trust, a charity registered in Scotland, has launched a programme in cooperation with Ardnamurchan distillery owner Adelphi to benefit young people in the region. Under this programme, the Ardnamurchan Trust buys a cask of Ardnamurchan whisky from the distillery for every local young resident aged between 10 and 17 years old and will hold it in trust. From the age of 18, the young adults will have the opportunity of selling the cask back to the distillery and using the profits to financially support their future training or further education and careers.

Win-win situation

The programme's organisers hope that this will encourage diversification in the region and that more companies will follow the example of participating in projects to support the education of the local population, especially of young people. Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi, provides additional support, offering work experience and training throughout all areas of the business. As part of the initiative, Ardnamurchan distillery is organising practical day courses which will serve as an introduction to the operational and tourist aspects of the whisky industry. The young people will also have the opportunity to gain experience in bottling, sales, marketing and logistics at Adelphi's main offices. “In addition to supporting young people from an early age, this also gives us security of an established long-term employment pool in the area,” Bruce is certain.

The area of Ardnamurchan consists of a small collection of villages and is home to about 320 people. With this unique programme, the Ardnamurchan Trust aims not only to give something back to young people and their families, but also to create potential long-term benefits for everyone in the region.

Ardnamurchan distillery

Adelphi chose the small village of Glenbeg on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, north of Isle of Mull, as the location for its new distillery, making it the westernmost point on the Scottish mainland. Very remote, but with a breathtaking location – on the shore of Loch Sunart – overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Ardnamurchan went into operation on 11 July 2014 and was officially opened two weeks later by Princess Anne. Two different types of whisky are produced, divided into approximately six months of production per year: a peated spirit with a phenol specification of 30-35 ppm and a non-peated one. The capacity is designed for 500,000 litres of pure alcohol per year; in 2017 about 180,000 litres were produced. Sustainability is Adelphi's top priority. The environmental footprint of the distillery is as small as possible and the electricity and heat requirements come exclusively from local renewable energies.