The owners of whisky company Wemyss Malts are to build a new craft distillery in Fife after receiving a grant from the Scottish government.

The Wemyss family has taken full control of the company behind the new distillery, the Kingsbarn Company of Distillers, which it will run as separate entity to its own Wemyss Malts whisky business. Doug Clements, who founded Kingsbarn in 2009, will stay on as a director.

The family is investing £3m in the venture, including £670,000 awarded by the Scottish Government Food Processing marketing and Cooperation Grant, to transform the listed farm in Kingsbarn, near St Andrews, into a distillery and visitor centre.

Planning permission to convert the buildings has been approved and work is expected to start in March, with the distillery fully operations by 2014. It will employ ten people and produce 150,000 litres of single malt whisky a year for the domestic and export markets, with the Kingsbarn brand targeting the premium end of the market.

William Wemyss said the acquisition was a rare opportunity to develop a new Scottish whisky brand and support the Wemyss Malt’s existing independent bottling operation, which includes a blended malt whisky range comprising The Spice King, The Peat Chimney and The Hive;