Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Scotch whisky is an iconic product recognised around the globe and new research published today reveals its vast contribution to economic growth in Scotland and across the UK.

The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK report, commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association from 4-consulting, shows the industry contributes nearly £5 billion overall to the UK economy. For every £1 million of value added, the industry generates another £520,000 across the UK.

SWA commissioned report shows the industry contributes
nearly £5 billion overall to the UK economy

In terms of the value it adds to the UK economy, Scotch whisky is bigger than a number of industries, such as iron and steel, textiles, shipbuilding and computing. It is also larger than other UK food and drink sectors, including meat, dairy, beer and soft drinks.

In Scotland, it makes up almost three quarters of the food and drink sector and is three times the size of Scotland's digital or life sciences industries.

Each year, Scotch whisky producers spend £1.8bn on suppliers. 90% of that expenditure is in the UK, including £1.4bn in Scotland. Dry goods, including bottles and packaging, cereals, energy and transport and distribution make up the majority of purchases.

The industry supports 40,300 jobs in the UK - up from around 35,000 in 2008 - in a range of sectors including glass manufacturing and labelling. This total includes 10,900 people directly employed by the industry in Scotland, up 6%.

As well as supporting employment in towns and cities, for example in large bottling halls, Scotch whisky is the lifeblood of many rural communities where it sustains 7,400 jobs, contributes around £900m in gross value added (GVA) and generates around £250m of income.

Commenting on the report, David Frost, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "This new report shows just how significant the Scotch whisky industry is to the wider UK economy, adding £5bn of value, supporting over 40,000 jobs, and contributing £4bn to Britain's trade performance. Scotch whisky must be recognised as a cultural asset that boosts growth and jobs, supports communities and combines the best of the traditional and the modern."

He went on to say: "Given the scale and impact of the Scotch whisky industry we believe the government should show its support. One way of doing so, in the short term, would be for the Chancellor to cut excise duty by 2% in the March budget. It is unfair on the industry and consumers, and detrimental to the economy, that almost 80% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch is taxation."

Despite a slowdown in exports, the Scotch whisky industry is expanding at unprecedented levels with around 30 new distilleries being planned or built across Scotland. Capital investment reached £142m in 2013, up 31% since 2008.

Source: Scotch Whisky Association