Grants give £135k to no vote campaign

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A major employer in the Carrick area has shown a major show of support for the campaign to keep the United Kingdom together.

William Grant and Sons who have a distillery at the Grangestone Industrial Estate in Girvan recently donated £135,000 to Better Together.

The donation comes hot on the heels of a visit by Better Together Leader Alistair Darling to the distillery last month.

The distiller which owns the Glenfiddich, Balvennie Distillery and the Girvan Grain Distilleries has also given £25,000 to both Angus MacDonald and the No Borders campaign, two smaller campaigns fighting to keep the UK together.

In a statement, William Grant and Sons Holdings Limited said: “We can confirm that the company has made these donations.

“We support the stance of the Scotch Whisky Association over independence and would refer you to their recent statement that the Scotch whisky industry enjoys substantial support from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network and from lack of trade barriers within the EU.”

However, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland’s whisky industry is booming around the world, thanks to the hard work of everyone in the sector and the quality of the product, and is a shining example of how Scotland can succeed on the global stage.

“Whisky is part of a hugely successful and still growing food and drink sector – and independence will provide an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the Scottish brand internationally.

“But the UK’s planned in-out referendum on EU membership threatens our food and drink industry’s current access to Europe’s single market of 500 million citizens and 20 million businesses – and only a vote for independence will secure our place in Europe.”

Speaking last month Alistair Darling said: “I was delighted to be in Girvan to visit William Grant and Sons and see a real local success story.

“Why on earth would you want to put a barrier beween a manufacturer or a distiller and their customers?

“My argument for the UK is that we’ve got a much, much bigger market- that’s the best way of helping employers in Girvan like William Grant and Sons.

“The best way to secure jobs in places like Girvan is to vote No Thanks in September.”