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Diageo To Create Over 160 Edinburgh Jobs With Johnnie Walker Attraction

15 Feb 2019

Diageo To Create Over 160 Edinburgh Jobs With Johnnie Walker Attraction

Diageo could create over 160 new jobs in Edinburgh if plans for a new Johnnie Walker whisky centre attraction are signed off by the city’s council planning department.

The £150 million investment plans are for the former Frasers department store on Princes Street in Edinburgh’s West End area.

Ideas going before the City of Edinburgh for the seven-floor building include a visitor centre, retail space, a rooftop bar with 360 degree views over the whole of Auld Reekie and space for events.

There would also be a bar academy within the Johnnie Walker building which would be a learning hub for hospitality industry jobs and training opportunities, geared towards unemployed people in Edinburgh.

In total, Diageo says that at least 160 jobs would be created by the development, with the potential for up to twenty more.

The alcoholic beverages firm forecasts that, as the world’s best selling whisky, the pulling power of the Johnnie Walker brand could attract up to £135 million to the tourism economy for Edinburgh.

Current owners of the proposed building, property investment company Parabola, have jointly submitted the plans with Johnnie Walker’s owner, Diageo.

Explaining the motives behind the idea for the new attraction, Parabola’s Managing Director, Tony Hordon, said: “We feel like the custodians of a beautiful piece of Edinburgh real estate and we have taken great care to consider its future. 146 Princes Street represents an opportunity to deliver our core values; place, quality and destination.”

“With Diageo and their vision, we believe we have a use which will not only protect the building for many years to come, but it also celebrates the building, its history, and its heritage. We are particularly excited to be working with the Diageo team given our shared values and our sheer ambition to celebrate one of Edinburgh’s great buildings,” added Mr Hordon.

Cristina Diezhandino, Global Scotch Whisky Director for Diageo, also commented, saying: “Our ambition is to create a visitor experience that will rank not only as one of the greatest whisky attractions of the world, but one of the greatest brand attractions in any industry, putting Scotland at the forefront of the global boom in experiential travel.”

Throwing his weight behind the plans, David Cutter, the Chairman of Diageo in Scotland, said: “The location is one of Edinburgh’s most exceptional landmark buildings and we plan to restore it to its former glory as a cornerstone of the city and a thriving part of its cultural and social life.”

“We have the most passionate and skilled whisky-makers in the world here in Scotland and we want to celebrate their craft and everything that is great about Scotland and whisky,” concluded Mr Cutter.

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