THERE is seemingly no end to Scotland’s capacity to build new distilleries – and indeed to restore production at previously-mothballed sites.

Halewood International’s bid to build a distillery in Leith, which will see it bring the historic John Crabbie name back to life, means there are now plans for three new distilleries in the city of Edinburgh.

The details for the £7 million project were announced as whisky giant Edrington unveiled its £500m investment in a new distillery for The Macallan, its leading international single malt brand.

With Diageo last year announcing it will invest £35m to bring its revered Port Ellen and Brora distilleries back into production, it is safe to conclude there is confidence in the Scotch whisky industry, at all levels, about its prospects for continuing growth in the years to come.

The industry is not without its challenges, though. A press report over the weekend highlighted the potential threat to Scotch arising from talks to thrash out a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the US. It claimed the US is pressing for current EU rules governing whisky ageing to be dropped, leading to fears the market could be flooded with whiskey imports after Brexit. Under current regulations, whisky must be aged for at least three years before it can be legally brought to market.

Industry experts are quietly confident distillers’ record in overcoming geopolitical hurdles down the decades will serve them well.

For the sake of much-needed employment and wealth creation in Scotland, it is to be hoped that Brexit is similarly dealt with.