Scotch Whisky Association Celebrates New Edinburgh HQ

26 Jan 2016

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP marks office opening

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has today (26 January) celebrated the opening of its new Edinburgh head office, marking the continuing success of one of the country's most significant industries.

The new office in the prestigious Quartermile area of Edinburgh was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP. The SWA said this symbolised the partnership between the Scottish Government and one of Scotland's biggest industries.

The lunchtime event to mark the opening was attended by members of the Scotch Whisky industry, politicians, government officials and journalists.

The office is home to 32 employees and the SWA has a further five people in its London office opened last year. The SWA said the new, modern location provides a showcase for the Scotch Whisky industry which directly employs more than 10,000 people in Scotland, contributes £5 billion in value to the UK economy each year and is worth around £4bn in exports. The SWA moved to Quartermile from Atholl Crescent in Edinburgh's west end where it had been for more than 40 years.

There are 117 Scotch Whisky distilleries across Scotland, and many more industry sites, such as bottling halls and warehouses. With many distilleries located in remote parts of Scotland, the industry underpins local communities and has a vital role to play in Scottish society. It also boosts tourism, with around 1.5 million visits made to distilleries annually.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Scotch Whisky is not only a fascinating product but is crucial to the Scottish economy for the revenue it generates and for the employment it creates - especially in some of Scotland's most rural and remote communities

"I am pleased to be officially opening the new offices of the Scotch Whisky Association, which has been championing the industry for more than 100 years, and continues to promote its members interests. 

"Scotch Whisky is quite rightly world famous and, as one of our most iconic products, key to our ambition to grow the economy and I would like to thank the SWA for the role it has played in whisky's continuing global success.  

"The industry employs more than 10,000 people directly in Scotland, accounts for around a quarter of UK food and drink exports, and is sold in around 200 markets. This worldwide success is in no small part down to the skill of those working in the industry."

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "We're delighted the Deputy First Minister agreed to mark the opening of our new head office in the prestigious Quartermile development in Edinburgh. This reflects the good working relations between the Scottish Government and the Scotch Whisky industry, which is of great importance to the economy. The office provides a modern working environment for our employees and a showcase for our industry, which combines the best of the traditional and modern.

"We believe other industries can learn from the success of Scotch Whisky and we are keen to work in collaboration with the Scottish Government, for example to promote exports, sustainability and skills.

"The Scotch Whisky industry is going through a time of expansion. There are now 117 distilleries in Scotland, with seven opening in the last year or so. About 40 new distilleries are currently being planned or built to meet demand for the quality product."


Notes to editors
The SWA, headquartered in Edinburgh, was established more than 100 years ago. The trade body works to sustain Scotch Whisky's place as the world's leading high-quality spirit drink and its long-term growth worldwide.

Pictures of today's event are available.

SWA media contacts: Rosemary Gallagher, head of communications, 0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email or David Williamson, director of public affairs and communications, 0131 222 9226/07730 496151

For information on the Scotch Whisky Association visit

Follow us on twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA