Cardhu Distillery Visitors Centre

The site is located approximately 5 miles west of Aberlour and approx.. 14 miles north east of Grantown-on-Spey, located at Cardhu Distillery, Knockando, Aberlour and comprise the redevelopment of the visitor centre at the distillery consisting of internal alterations and external works.

Scope of Works

The works, which are part of the larger ‘Project Genie’ initiative, comprises the refurbishment of the existing Johnnie Walker brand home at the Cardhu Distillery to provide a new customer experience alongside the construction of a new “Prestige Suite” within the duty-free warehouse. The works also include external works to provide additional parking, a space for outdoor café / dramming zones as well as minor alterations to the tour route / process buildings.

Specialist fit-out packages will be procured by others and instructed into the main contract as named specialists.


  • Structural survey and inspection
  • Assessment of existing structure
  • Assessment of structure as proposed
  • Alterations to the barrel warehouse
  • Design of new access stair
  • Design of new walkways
  • Design of new lift shaft and base
  • Design of strengthening of external walls
  • Alterations to the existing roof
  • Design of internal two storey mezzanine structure


  • Design of new drainage/alterations to Visitor Centre
  • Design of new drainage/alterations to access road
  • External Works
  • Cut and fill for new road alignment
  • New access road design
  • Design of new car park
  • Layouts and details to new car park
  • Layouts and details to new footpath linking new car park and DVC
  • Hard landscaping
  • Layouts and details of footpath link through orchard

Design Philosophy

The new structure takes the form of braced steel frames, supported on shallow RC pad foundations.

The frame comprises in-situ RC on profiled metal deck, supported on an arrangement of beams and columns. Lateral stability is achieved by virtue of tieing into the wall of the existing warehouse.

The structure to the new stairs will be braced steel frames, comprising folded steel stringers supported on steel flat stringers.

The Outcome

The new look centre, has created a world-class visitor experience offering new interactive, multi-sensory tours alongside a new whisky tasting kitchen, retail facilities, discover the brand’s history through a new story room. Visitors can also enjoy the new distillery grounds featuring an outdoor café area and an iconic statue.

The distillery has also introduced new sustainability measures as part of the redevelopment including reducing overall light pollution, conserving water with landscaping and site implementations systems and safeguarding local pollinators and wildlife with a new biodiversity protection programme.

Cardhu visitor experience provides a unique offering in Speyside now offering a wide range of friendly and accessible experiences for a diverse audience with different learning styles and language capabilities including:

  • Domestic & International tourists
  • Visiting friends and relatives of Speyside residents
  • Prestige and Private Clients

Key Information

Colin Mercer

Construction Director

Colin has been in continuous employment within the UK Building and Construction industry since 1985. An articulated pupil ship with John Laing Construction launched his career that has seen him employed by 5 of the UKs top 50 Contractors. 20 years as a construction planner added to a wealth of multi-sector construction management experience, enables Colin to effectively lead his site teams through the most complex of projects, safely and efficiently. He is passionate about achieving customer satisfaction and developing talent through the UK construction industry.