BrewDog Blaming Aberdeenshire Council For Blocking Growth & Jobs

imageFrom BrewDog:

This is a story we did not want to tell the world. But after well over a year of banging our heads against a brick wall with Aberdeenshire Council we feel we had no option but to let the public know what is happening. We are trying to grow our business and provide more local jobs and they are making this impossible. As a result it will cost Ellon employment, investment and facilities.

We want to build a world class hotel, outstanding restaurant, conference centre and bespoke distillery just behind our brewery in Ellon. This project would see us invest £5m into the local area and create over 80 new local jobs. However, the project cannot go ahead because the council are refusing to sell us the land at fair market value, indeed, they are insisting on charging over 60 times fair market value for the land we need to make this exciting local project happen.

On the 12th of May 2016 we had the land valued at £5,000 per acre by established and respected surveyor, DM Hall. We submitted our plans to the council for the distillery and hotel. They demanded £300,000 per acre from us. Over 60 times what an independent surveyor valued the land at. We have spoken with the Council several times since, but they will not budge. We want to invest in our local area and create much needed jobs yet the Council insist on making it impossible for us to do so.

Let’s put this into context. You may well be aware that we are currently building a brewery in Columbus Ohio (we have mentioned it on occasion). The local authority there not only fast-tracked our application and planning consents, they personally ensured nothing took more than a fortnight to get approved. And we paid much less for 52 acres in Columbus, Ohio than our hometown Council are charging us for 2.5 acres in Aberdeenshire. And both projects are in areas where job creation is needed.

The result of all of this? We cannot afford to build the distillery and hotel in Ellon and will look to do this elsewhere.

Aberdeenshire council’s main role is to supposedly serve the people of north east Scotland. Yet all they have done here is prevent us from creating 80 new local jobs and providing facilities which the Ellon community desperately need.

We do want to make this happen, however. The implications of Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to put their own interests over those of the people they supposedly serve will mean that regrettably we will now look to construct the distillery, hotel and restaurant somewhere else. We will look for land in a Council area with a pro-business approach, rather than anti-investment and anti-job creation we find locally.

We believe that given the climate in the North East of Scotland with many people losing their jobs, Aberdeenshire Council should be doing all they can to encourage employment and investment, not actively preventing it.

Boo Aberdeenshire Council.

About Bil Cord

Founder, owner, author, graphic designer, CEO, CFO, webmaster, president, mechanic and janitor for Producer and Co-host of the WILK Friday BeerBuzz live weekly craft beer radio show. Small craft-brewer of the craft beer news sites and one-man-band with way too many instruments to play.

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