I was delighted to be contacted last week by Bryan Frew of the Kennetpans Trust in Scotland who are working hard to restore the original old Haig Whisky Distillery building in the historic Kennetpans.
Kennetpans is a small coastal area along the river Forth Estuary near the city of Stirling in South Eastern Scotland.
I have already written about the early Haig Whisky Family History and their connection to the Kennetpans and Jameson Irish Whiskey in another of my blog articles.
The original old Haig Whisky distillery buildings at Kennetpans have stood the test of time for almost three hundred years and are now in need of some serious restoration. It would be indefensible to watch this historic whisky ruin deteriorate further.
Concerned locals have now established a charitable trust (Kennetpans Trust – Charity No SC 042668) for the purpose of stabilising this historic site and to increase awareness of Kennetpans, not just as the most important distillery, but also its key and leading role in the industrialisation of Scotland.
The Kennetpans Trust hope to raise funds through various government routes and hopefully the whisky industry itself, as well as donations from individuals.
Haig Whisky Distillery Restoration & Preservation
They have recently been awarded a grant of £60,000 as part of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative’s application to the Lottery Heritage Fund. This grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund is match funded by Historic Scotland who are going to Project Manage the fund on the Trust’s behalf. Work should begin within the next few weeks and will start with the clearing of vegetation to allow the ruin to be seen in its entirety. Then they should be able to identify the work required to stabilise the ruin.
As you will see from the Kennetpans Trust’s own website at www.kennetpans.info, the initial findings as they carefully stripped away old ivy and vegetation from the ruin were worrying as they revealed several rotten wooden lintels leading to fears that large portions of the surprisingly intact old ruin may actually be in imminent danger of collapse. It would appear that the good people behind the trust have not acted a moment too soon.
Here at the Haig Whisky Club, we are delighted to endorse and support the great work of the Kennetpans Trust. Perhaps, Diageo and David Beckham who are behind the newly released Haig Club and who seem keen to emphasize their association with the history and heritage of Haig Whisky could also be persuaded lend their financial and promotional support to this very important Scottish and Scotch Whisky Heritage Project.
Restoration of the Distillery, which is the Spiritual Home of Haig Whisky could enhance and promote the “House of Haig” Brand for many years to come. As a marketing professional myself, supporting this project seems like a “No Brainer” for a company like Diageo if they truly care about their Whisky Heritage.
This ruin deserves and needs to be saved for Scotland and the World of Scotch Whisky.