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Benbecula Distillery - one of seven whisky distilleries set to open in Scotland this year - is making headlines with its eye-catching ‘lighthouse’ design.

The £6.5 million distillery recently held a topping-out ceremony to mark the final roof sections being lifted into place.

The Gramsdale distillery, the brainchild of father-and-son team Angus E and Angus A Macmillan, is converting a former seafood processing plant and using the ‘lighthouse’ theme as a nod to Benbecula’s maritime heritage.

The glass-lined ‘lighthouse’, designed by sustainable distillery specialists Organic Architects, will house an illuminated still that will be visible from the nearby causeway.

Bari Reid, Director of Organic Architects, commented: “This building illustrates our design approach, marrying sustainability and brand into a unique building. Not only is this a bold new landmark on a remote, rugged island coastline, it repurposes an empty building with minimal waste and provides new skilled jobs and income through tourism. People will be talking about this for years to come, and we are proud to have been involved in such an iconic project.”

Angus E MacMillan, MacMillan Spirits Company, added: “The building design and, in particular, the lighthouse feature was intended to reflect the nautical heritage of the islands, which we also intend to capture in the spirits produced in our distillery. The illuminated still within the lighthouse will be a beacon for people crossing the causeway towards Benbecula. The visitor centre will be more than just a tour of the distillery and will include a storytelling nook among other items of local interest.”

Local contractor MacInnes Bros Ltd was awarded the building contract, while the distillery equipment is supplied from within the Highlands and Islands.

The Benbecula Distillery aims to produce 500,000 bottles of whisky per year, and it is estimated that 10 to 12 local jobs will be created.

Among the publications highlighting the distillery are Scottish Field, the licensed trade publication DRAM, and the German website, Whisky Experts.

The other distilleries launching this year are Eden Mill in St Andrews, Portintruan Distillery, Islay, Dunphail, Moray, Port Ellen, Islay, Port of Leith, Edinburgh, and Rosebank, Falkirk.

An eighth distillery at Machrihanish, Campbeltown, is expected to break ground this year. It is being developed by Isle of Raasay Distillery owner R&B Distillers.