September 24, 2013 – Several months after leaving Glenglassaugh, distillery veteran Stuart Nickerson is making public the plans for his next venture. Nickerson hopes to succeed where a previous attempt has failed — building a distillery on the old RAF base at Saxa Vord in the Shetland Islands.
Shetland News reports Nickerson has teamed up with the Strang family, which bought the Saxa Vord site from the Ministry of Defense in 2007. Their Shetland Distillery Company has filed an application for planning permission with the Shetland Islands Council, and Nickerson told the site he hopes to begin distilling by the end of 2014. His initial plans are to build a micro-distillery capable of producing 30,000 litres of spirit annually, along with a maturation warehouse, bottling facility, and a small visitors center.
Nickerson led the team that revived Glenglassaugh Distillery in 2008, but left after the distillery’s owners sold Glenglassaugh to Billy Walker’s investor group that also owns GlenDronach and BenRiach distilleries. His bid is the second attempt to build a whisky distillery at the Saxa Vord site. Blackwood Distillers tried to develop a distillery at the site, but the Caroline Whitfield-led effort failed to attract enough support from investors and was eventually dropped in 2008.