Diageo Shieldhall, the world’s largest dedicated Scotch Whisky packaging site, is celebrating 40 years at the forefront of the global Scotch industry.
Scotland’s Economy Secretary Derek Mackay and Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands, joined workers at the site to congratulate them on their contribution to Scotland’s greatest global export.
Opened in April 1979, Diageo Shieldhall, in Renfrewshire, extends across 43 acres and produces 27 million cases of Scotch Whisky each year, bound for 180 countries around the globe – contributing 25% of the total worldwide Scotch Whisky industry.
With over 500 people employed at the site, Diageo Shieldhall is one of the most significant engine rooms of Scottish manufacturing and exporting working around the clock to produce some of the world’s most famous brands. The site has seven high speed bottling lines including a 600-bottle-per minute line that is the fastest in the industry.
At the heart of Shieldhall’s output is the world’s most popular Scotch, Johnnie Walker, with the brand’s iconic Red Label and Black Label produced at Shieldhall, as well as other major global Scotch whisky brands including J&B, Buchanan’s, Bells, White Horse and Black & White.
Over the 40 years of production Shieldhall has produced over 600 million cases of Scotch whisky.
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Scotch Whisky is one of Scotland’s greatest global exports and the Diageo Shieldhall plant has played a vital role in making that success possible. I want to congratulate the staff – past and present – for their huge contribution not just to Diageo, but to Renfrewshire and to Scotland’s economy.
“I wish the company every success for the future and I am sure the staff at Shieldhall will continue to be at the forefront of Scotch whisky for years to come.”
Gavin Newlands MP said: “Congratulations to Diageo on this significant anniversary. For 40 years the facility at Shieldhall has provided good, skilled, well-paying jobs for people from Renfrewshire, and beyond.
“We can be proud of our country’s ability to punch well above our weight in the food and drink sector with Scottish produce recognised the world over for its quality. Shieldhall has played a major part in this these past four decades and I look forward to them being here for many more years to come.”
David Cutter, Diageo President Global Supply and Procurement, welcomed Mr Mackay and Mr Newlands to the site and introduced them to staff, including long-serving employees and apprentices.
He said: “Shieldhall is one of the most important locations for Diageo’s global Scotch whisky business and it is also one of the great engine rooms of Scottish exporting. More Scotch whisky is packaged and exported to the world from Shieldhall than anywhere else and we are extremely proud of the contribution this plant has made to the global growth of Scotch.
“That is mainly down to all the people who have worked here over the past 40 years and who have all played an enormous role in making Shieldhall one of the most efficient and productive manufacturing plants in the world.”
AnnMarie Phillips, Operations Director at Shieldhall, said: “I am incredibly proud of everyone who works here at Shieldhall, from the long-serving employees who have been here since the plant opened in 1979, to our most recently recruited apprentices.
“We’re delighted to mark this anniversary and to celebrate the efforts everyone has made to the success of the site. We are now looking forward to the next chapter of our journey and to keeping Shieldhall at the forefront of Scotch whisky and competitive global manufacturing.”
During the visit Mr Mackay and Mr Newlands met with one of Shieldhall’s longest-serving members of staff, George Smith a capability trainer who has been with Diageo for 41 years, 21 of which have been at Shieldhall. They also met one of the sites most recent recruits, engineering apprentice Lucy Bell, who joined the company a year and a half ago.