WHISKY will soon be flowing in the Borders after a planned distillery near Jedburgh cleared the final planning hurdle.

Mossburn Distillers will create in excess of 50 jobs at the former Jed-Forest Hotel with the creation of a distillery, bottling plant, visitor centre and cafe.

And the attraction is expected to draw in between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors each year.

The plans had been fully supported by Scottish Borders Council but flooding concerns from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency led to the application being forwarded to Holyrood.

The Scottish government has now stated that it won't intervene in the process... and allow the local authority's approval for the proposals.

SBC planning officer Euan Calvert was supportive of the £40 million development's rural location. He stated: "Many malt whisky operations are sited in countryside locations and many rely on this setting in marketing their brand and even rely on the unique location to characterise the product.

"The choice of location is also dependent upon a significant supply of water production and cooling, which will be provided by the Jed Water which runs alongside the application site.

"The rural countryside setting is important in providing a draw for tourists, who would come to see and learn about the production process but also to enjoy the proposed landscaped grounds.

"There are many comparable examples of tourism/ distillery and associated warehousing throughout Scotland which form an important sector to the rural economy both through direct labour and tourism revenue.

"The success of the proposed operation is dependent upon a range of factors, and the tourism potential derived from the site’s location is significant among these."

Work is scheduled to begin on the site, just off the A68, later this year.

And the fully operating distillery, which will produce up to 25 million bottles of whisky each year, associated cafe and visitor centre will all be open by 2021.

A spokesman for Visit Scotland said: "A distillery in this location would strengthen the visitor offer currently available in this area and also the wider Borders.

"The development would give a 'reason to visit' that currently doesn’t exist and it would complement the tourism offer already available in the region."