WHISKY giant Chivas Brothers has this afternoon announced ambitious £40m plans to expand its operation in Dumbarton.

The Reporter can reveal how the Scotch whisky and premium gin makers, has announced its intention to invest in a new state-of-the-art facility over the next three years at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton.

And, industry sources say that if the plans get the green light the facility will deliver "a world-class operation with outstanding performance."

Plans include a bottling hall and office set for completion by the end of 2019, which will be newly designed and purpose built, providing a more integrated and engaging environment for all Chivas Brothers employees.

The proposal is a response to an extensive review of the company’s current operations.

But the proposals will see the eventual closure of their Paisley site in three years time.

The transfer of activities from Paisley to Kilmalid is scheduled to start in 2018 and by the end of 2019 all Chivas Brothers employees based in Paisley would move over to work at the company’s Kilmalid site.

The new integrated operation will build on Chivas Brothers’ rich 80-year history in Dumbarton.

Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman & CEO at Chivas Brothers, said: "We're excited to be making this proposal for a £40m investment in our site at Kilmalid to create a new state-of-the-art facility.

"Our Kilmalid facility has huge potential and we believe that this project will have a positive impact for the local area, starting with the employment opportunities created by the upgrade works."

Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton and the Vale's MSP, said the move was a huge boost  for the town and surrounding community.

She said: “This is fantastic news for Dumbarton and a huge vote of confidence from Chivas in our local economy.

"People in Dumbarton are proud of our town’s rich whisky heritage and this investment will help secure our place as a producer of Scotland’s national drink for many years to come.

“The Lomondgate development in Dumbarton is already home to a number of world-leading companies including Chivas and today’s announcement shows that we are in a strong position to attract further jobs and investment to West Dunbartonshire.

“In this post-Brexit climate of uncertainty it is positive news for the whole of Scotland that such an iconic brand is making significant investment plans for the future which will safeguard jobs.”

See more in next Tuesday's Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter.