Rosebank is about to become a hive of activity as work finally begins on its rejuvenation. It is a tremendous milestone that will see some parts of the distillery preserved while others are completely transformed.
The 108ft chimney stack of the Rosebank distillery has been a famous landmark in Falkirk for as long as anyone can recall. Guarding the town’s eastern boundary, it greets motorists driving in from the west and can be glimpsed from the other direction by passengers shuttling through on the Edinburgh – Glasgow train. Yet the best view is on foot as you approach along the canal towpath from the Falkirk Wheel.
Steam would have once billowed from its top, signifying that all was well with the distillery and the production of its much-loved single malt, until the fateful day in 1993 when the stills ran cold and the doors were closed, seemingly forever. Gradually nature took over this dead space with weeds sprouting from the gutters, while a bloom of colourful graffiti appeared on the walls.
All this is about to change as the new Rosebank rises from the ashes. Over the coming months it will become a bustling building site that will leave the canal-side buildings carefully restored and converted into a visitor centre, tasting room and warehouse. On the other side it will look strikingly different with a modern, glass-fronted stillroom breathing new life into the distillery. And in the middle, proudly connecting Rosebank’s past with its present and future, stands that towering chimney – a Falkirk landmark as it ever was.