A WHISKY company has shelved its plans to open a distillery in Peebles.

R&B Distillers announced three years ago that it intended to open its first distillery in the town following a public vote.

The company, which currently produces the Tweeddale brand, is now concentrating solely on establishing a distillery on the island of Raasay, near Skye.

A statement released by the company this week said: “Originally when we started the R&B Distillers project, we had an ambition to build a distillery in Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

“While we still have this ambition, we felt that it is better to focus on our Raasay Distillery in terms of projects just now.”

Back in 2015 R&B announced its plans for a major distillery project.

And the company wanted the public to decide where in the Scottish Borders the stills should be sited.

More than 1,350 votes went to Peebles - and talks had begun with the local authority regarding possible sites.

The Tweed Valley gained 207 votes, Kelso attracted 157, Eyemouth 123 and Selkirk 122 votes, ahead of the likes of Coldstream, Melrose and Galashiels.

At the time of the vote R&B bosses said that they hoped to become the first operational distillery in the Borders since 1837 as they faced a race against similar plans for Hawick and Jedburgh.

But in the preceding three years The Three Stills Company has now opened its Hawick distillery and visitor centre.

And Mossburn distillers, a subsidiary of Marussia Beverages, has gained planning permission for its plant near Jedburgh and is making progress towards opening.

This week R&B announced its sole focus will now be on its Raasay Distillery and its Tweeddale blended Scotch brand, rather than constructing a new distillery in the Borders.

The company previously launched its Borders Grain whisky, which was developed to demonstrate the style of spirit that would one day be produced at the Peebles site.

But this has also been shelved in order to concentrate on its Tweeddale Scotch whisky brand.

The statement continued: “As Tweeddale is our established brand, it felt better to grow the range with Tweeddale Grain of Truth.

“We are still very committed to bottling complex grain whiskies with unusual mash bills and finishes.

“We also hope to try and produce a grain whisky at our Raasay Distillery site in the future, which would be very exciting to do.”

R&B hope to launch their first Raasay Distillery whisky in 2010.