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Five Star Spirit in the Scottish Borders

Press Release   •   Sep 12, 2018 14:37 BST

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward toasts the success with Borders Distillery founder John Fordyce

THE first whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders in more than 180 years has achieved one of the highest Quality Assurance accolades from the national tourism organisation just four months after it opened.

The Borders Distillery in Hawick, which opened to the public in May, has achieved the prestigious 5-star Visitor Attraction award from VisitScotland at its first grading visit.

The £10-million development on the site of the former Hawick Electric Company was opened by The Three Stills Company, creating up to 20 jobs. Visitors can enjoy a tour to find out more about the renovation and the workings of a fully functioning distillery which produces whisky and gin.

Although Scotch Whisky needs a legal minimum of three years to mature, The Borders Distillery has released William Kerr’s Borders Gin, made from scratch in Hawick using the distillery’s new-make malt spirit. It is named after William Kerr, the intrepid botanist, who was born in Hawick.

VisitScotland’s five star Quality Assurance Award recognises businesses which achieve exceptional levels of customer experience.

John Fordyce, founder of the Borders Distillery, said:We are delighted to receive a 5-star accreditation from Visit Scotland. From our architects to our contractors to our excellent Distillery team the focus has been on creating something that which delights those who come to visit us. The Borders Distillery is the first Scotch Whisky distillery to operate in the Borders since 1837 and we look forward welcoming visitors for many years to come.”

Paula Ward, Regional Leadership Director of VisitScotland, said:Congratulations to the team at Borders Distillery for this fantastic achievement, just months after they opened. It is great to see their hard work and commitment to providing a quality customer experience being recognised with this prestigious award. The Borders Distillery is a truly spectacular building that celebrates the building’s history and offers a fantastic insight into how whisky and gin is produced.

“Our Quality Assurance scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine. The scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door - it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business, driving-up quality and creating jobs.

“Delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.

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For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit

Notes to Editors

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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
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  • Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
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  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.