Boost for Dunbartonshire as Chivas Brothers reveals safety and community investment plans for its Kilmalid campus


Chivas Brothers, the Pernod Ricard business dedicated to Scotch whisky, has revealed its plans to further develop and expand its world-class Kilmalid bottling site. The investment was granted planning permission over the summer and is designed to improve site safety, segregating HGV and Forklift Truck (FLT) traffic from pedestrians. Chivas Brothers will also work on the surrounding greenlands, protecting community walkways and ensuring easy access around the site for Dumbarton residents.

The initial work, which was completed within the existing campus footprint in October 2023, included building a new North car park that provides a safer and more convenient route for employees to access the site via a new entrance on Stirling Road. The focus will now shift to the South car park which will be re-laid and expanded. Supplementary work will include building new roads to enable the implementation of a traffic management plan that will improve site safety and make travel easier.

Public transport links will be improved as part of the investment, as well as diversifying the options employees have to travel to work. This includes public access footpaths, installing EV charging stations and adding cycle lanes and secure cycle storage. In the future, it will include habitat rehabilitation and improved public access from Dumbarton alongside the River Leven, which flows adjacent to the campus.

Liam Donegan, Manufacturing Director at Chivas Brothers said:

“This is the next milestone on our transformation journey here in Dumbarton, following the upgrades to our state-of-the-art bottling facility last year. This investment reflects the continued value and commitment we place on our people, as well as the communities we are a part of – more than half of the people working at the Kilmalid campus are local to the Dunbartonshire area.”

In addition to the immediate developments within the existing footprint of the Kilmalid campus, the planning permission incorporates 8.5 acres of surrounding land which was purchased by Chivas Brothers from Strathleven Regeneration CIC. The funds received by Strathleven Regeneration CIC, a ‘profit for purpose’ company, for the land sale will be put to good use for the benefit of the local Dumbarton community.

Bruce Malcolm, Chair, Strathleven Regeneration CIC said:

“We are delighted our most recent land sale has gone to such a major local employer to assist their expansion. It will secure local jobs and create new opportunities for the local area and allow us to re-invest the proceeds for added local impact. This sale absolutely cements Dumbarton’s role within the Scottish manufacturing economy.”

Chivas Brothers is one of the top ten largest employers in Scotland with a total workforce of 1,800 teammates across the UK. Over the past 18 months the business has created nearly 200 permanent operator roles, reducing its reliance on temporary resources and providing longer term job security for its people. Alongside the recent refurbishment of its Leven office in Kilmalid in 2022, the plans represent the largest transformations the site has ever seen.

Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton constituency MSP, said:

“This is very welcome news for the Chivas Brothers operation at Kilmalid, especially for the workforce. Chivas Brothers has a track record of expansion and the employment of more local people on permanent contracts is a real vote of confidence in our area. This development cements their commitment to the local economy which will benefit us all for decades to come.”

Chivas Brothers prides itself on an average tenure of 14 years for its team at Kilmalid, which fulfils a wide range of functions that support its vision to open up to shape the future of whisky. Further plans to revitalise the area with the local community in mind will be drawn up in due course and presented to the community for input.

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