PLANNERS have raised their glasses in support of a Borders whisky distillery moving a step closer to reality.

Approval has been granted by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to the Grahamslaw Distillery Hold Co. Limited for alterations to an existing grain store building and agricultural building and for the demolition of a general-purpose building on land within Grahamslaw Farm near Kelso.

The new grain intake and grain store buildings are to dry and store grain for use in the Grahamslaw distillery.

The Grahamslaw Distillery Company is currently transforming Grahamslaw Farm into a high quality, sustainable distillery producing a traditional Lowland single malt.

The long-term objective is to produce whisky leaving a zero-carbon footprint with an environmental legacy running through all aspects of the distillery, from the energy used to the buildings’ conversion and sustainable farming practices.

A unique feature of the farm distillery will be the emphasis on producing authentic ‘field to bottle’ single malt whisky, using only spring barley grown on the 667-acre farm.

In his report approving the application, SBC assistant planning officer Euan Calvert says the latest development represented a “significant economic investment”, adding: “The surrounding farm site has already been granted permission for change of use of a disused farm building, alterations and extensions to form a whisky distillery including still house, mash house, boiler room, dunnage and cask storage, erection of visitor’s lunch room and formation of walled garden.

“It is understood that the design of the new buildings is led by the future distillery function. These buildings will allow for the grain to be stored and malted in advance of being used in the process of making whisky.

“The grain intake system will allow for the grain to be stored in batches in individual silos as opposed to mass collection. This is a requirement for the process of malting (on the floor of the former grain store) and making spirit in the neighbouring distillery.”