Linlithgow Distillery founders Alyson and Ross JamiesonAly
Linlithgow Distillery, creators of LinGin®, made from locally foraged botanicals from around Linlithgow Loch, has doubled the size of its premises and turnover in the first year and invested in a new 500-litre still, thanks to a £4,000 Growth Assistance Grant and ongoing support from Business Gateway West Lothian.
The company was founded by Linlithgow couple Ross and Alyson Jamieson who decided to come out of retirement after selling their IT business and embark upon a new venture.
Following months of distillery training and working with focus groups to get the perfect recipe, which includes meadowsweet, cubeb and bitter orange plus three secret botanicals, the first batch of LinGin, using a 100-litre still, was produced in January 2018 in their first site in Mill Road Industrial Estate, Linlithgow Bridge.
Within a year, due to increased demand online and from wholesalers, including Select Drams, Huffmans and Terroir Vines, the company, with the help of the Growth Assistance Grant of £4,000 from Business Gateway West Lothian, moved across the road from the original site and doubled in size. They now have space to host tasting sessions and tours in the future and invest in a second 500-litre still.
Over the last year, the couple has received ongoing one-to-one support from Business Gateway West Lothian, in areas including product development and export guidance.
This has helped them to develop a new range of Four Marys flavoured gins inspired by the four ladies-in-waiting to Mary Queen of Scots.
Four Marys Zesty Sherbet, Four Marys Bonny Bramble and Four Marys Forever Fresh have recently launched, with plans to launch the final Mary, Four Marys Subtly Spiced, by the end of October 2019.
Alyson said: “The success of LinGin and the great feedback we’re receiving on our Four Marys gins has been fantastic.
“Demand has grown quite literally by the month as word spread, orders increased and the realisation that we really had created something quite special became apparent.
“We’re both full-time on the business now and enjoying every minute of it, particularly the local foraging around the loch and nearby canals where I grew up and taking our gins on tour to events and trade fairs to get face-to-face feedback.
“Thanks to organisations like Business Gateway West Lothian we’ve been able to make use of lots of free help in areas including product development and exporting and financial support to help with the expansion and keep us on the right track along the way, which we hugely appreciate.”
Jim Henderson, Business Gateway manager, West Lothian Council, said: “This is a great example of another higher-value startup flourishing with support from West Lothian Council’s Business Gateway team. It is very encouraging to see how Ross and Alyson are developing their product range. We wish the Linlithgow Distillery every continued success."
Business Gateway West Lothian provides expert support and guidance to new and existing businesses, including free advice from experienced business advisers to help startups and growth businesses planning to expand or find new ways of doing business.
Free resources include local workshops and seminars covering everything from marketing and finance to HR and e-commerce.
To find out how Business Gateway West Lothian can help your business visit https://www.bgateway.com/local-offices/west-lothian or call 01506 668 527.
If you’re a small or medium-sized business based in Scotland, you can now access a newly launched loan capital fund which is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme.
The £12m fund, part-funded by the EU, helps accelerate the growth of businesses in Scotland, complementing other private and public sector forms of funding.
For more info and to submit your interest visit www.weareumifinance.scot.
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