Simpsons Malt reveals plan for production hub in Scottish whisky country

A Northumberland firm which produces malts for the brewing and distillery sector is planning a new production hub in the heart of Scottish whisky country.

Berwick firm Simpsons Malt was founded in 1862 and is now run by the fifth-generation of the same family. As well as its maltings plant in Northumberland, it has a site at Tivetshall St Margaret, in Norfolk.

Now the firm has bought a 40-acre site near Rothes, in Speyside, where it intends to build a state-of-the-art maltings with malting barley storage facilities, subject to planning and due diligence.

The whisky industry has been one of the UK’s main export success stories in recent years, with predictions that the global market could be worth as much as $9.7bn by 2025.

But the sector has founded itself at the centre of trade wars and subject to rising tariffs from the US, while the coronavirus pandemic has led to a number of distilleries and their associated visitor centres having to close temporarily or reduce production.

Simpsons Malt said the Scottish site would be developed “when the time is right and demand is there from our customers”.

Tim McCreath, Managing Director at Simpsons Malt
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Managing director Tim McCreath said: “I am delighted to announce that we have entered into this agreement, which aligns with the company’s long-term strategic objectives.

“Having a maltings and malting barley storage facility in Speyside is something we have given serious thought to for a number of years and, subject to planning and due diligence, we will begin construction when the time is right and demand is there from our customers.”

The expansion for Simpsons Malt comes after strong financial results announced earlier in the year.

Accounts published in March showed that turnover had risen more than £10m to £168m, while operating profit rose to £11m.

The company – which employs around 300 members of staff – produces a range of malts made from UK-grown two-row barley and which is marketed predominantly at UK beer and whisky producers.

Simpsons also has an agricultural trading division, McCreath Simpson & Prentice, which has farming partners across England and Scotland.

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