The Rosebank Revival Continues
Today marks a pivotal day in the revival of Rosebank - work on the new Rosebank Distillery is restarting. It is great news after the long months of inactivity caused by the pandemic and a collapsed wall. With the old Rosebank empty and forlorn, Leonard Russell, MD of Ian Macleod Distillers, sympathises with anyone who feared the worst. “I’m not surprised if passers-by have thought – ‘What’s going on? It looks like it’s completely stopped,” he says.
But the stoppage was only ever a matter of time. “We never had cold feet about the project,” he explains. “What happened was that when digging a pit to deal with drainage on site, a wall fell down. We got further surveys done and concluded that we had the opportunity to revisit the design. With builders not allowed on site, it gave us the breathing space to reapply for planning permission and create something even better. Our objective is still to make Rosebank as fabulous as it can possibly be.”
At the construction company, ISG, Benjamin Mawby would certainly drink to that. “From a builder’s point of view it’s a fantastic outcome,” he says of the partial redesign. “And from an architectural point of view, I think it’s going to be stunning. You will still have the history there with the malt building, the chimney and what we know as the original warehouse.”
So, what can we expect to see in February? “You’re going to see some excavators arrive, and some large eight-wheel lorries removing material and bringing in aggregate, concrete and reinforcement steel,” says Benjamin. “We’re going to dig down to what we call the formation level to start laying the foundations to support the distillery building. And at peak there’ll probably be 10 – 15 people working on the ground.”
In the weeks ahead anyone passing by will be in no doubt that the new Rosebank is back on track. After all the months lying idle, everyone is determined to press on and get the job done. At first much of the work will be hidden behind a two-metre hoarding to be covered in images of the Rosebank rose and pencil illustration of the new distillery, but in a couple of months the steel skeleton of the new distillery will slowly emerge into view.