A “WORLD CLASS” innovation and research centre was opened in the Wee County by a drinks giant last week.

The ribbon was cut on Diageo’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Menstrie and will be home to the company’s teams working on science, technology and innovation projects across the drinks industry supply chain.

The Innovation and Research Centre, opened last Friday October 11, is adjacent to the already existing International Technical Centre in a location that has a history of industrial innovation dating back to the Glenochil Research Station which pioneered the scientific study of Scotch in the 20th century.

Diageo is focused on grain-to-glass sustainability for the next 100 years and teams based in the Wee County will play a leading role in driving forward innovation in areas like distilling, maturation, packaging and logistics.

David Cutter, Diageo’s global president for supply and procurement as well as chief sustainability officer, was at the opening last week.

He said: “For over a century we have been at forefront of scientific and technological advances in the distilling industry and with these state-of-the-art facilities we are now investing in the next 100 years of innovation and growth.

“We have exceptionally talented people and these new laboratories provide a great environment for them to do their best work.

“We are particularly excited about the opportunity to lead the next generation of research into sustainability throughout our supply chain for the future.”

The last week opened £6.4million technical centre adds to the company’s already existing local footprint, including the warehouse at Blackgrange, the cooperage in Cambus, the coppersmiths at Abercrombie in Alloa and the global brand archive which is also in Menstrie.

MSP Keith Brown also attended the opening ceremony.

He said: “I am delighted that Diageo has opened this technical centre in Menstrie, creating welcome job opportunities and boosting both the local and Scottish economy.

“The state of the art centre will provide Diageo’s specialists with a hub to build on their status as a world class alcoholic drinks producer.

“Clackmannanshire has a distinguished distilling history and I am pleased to see Diageo’s commitment to building on this reputation.

“That the centre will in part focus on environmental sustainability also illustrates Clackmannanshire’s justified reputation as the best place in Scotland for the environmental sector to be based.”

Officially opening the centre was environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

She added: “Diageo is responsible for many of Scotland’s most famous drinks brands and makes a significant contribution to our economy while also playing a key role in our food and drink tourism industry.

“I commend their support for our island communities through investment in developing and enhancing our distillery heritage.

“I particularly welcome its commitment to environmental sustainability, which has included a £100million investment in renewable energy facilities.”