A new £10million whisky distillery and visitor centre is planned for the banks of the Clyde near the new Hydro Arena.

It will be the first distillery to open in the centre of the city for more than a century.

The plan is to convert the historic pump house at Queen's Dock to create a single malt whisky distillery with bar, cafe, tasting room and shop.

Scottish Enterprise has backed the scheme, which has been developed by a group of industry experts led by Tim Morrison, formerly of Morrison Bowmore Distillers and current boss of the AD Rattray Scottish Whisky Company.

He said the development, which aims to educate visitors about the history of Scotland's national drink and its production, will play a key role in regenerating the Clydeside area.

During construction the development will support 300 jobs and once complete, the distillery and visitor centre will employ up to 25 permanent staff.

If the scheme gets planning permission, work on the distillery building, visitor centre and cafe will begin straight away with the second phase, which will involve fitting the distillery equipment, finished by mid 2015.

Mr Morrison said: "We see this project as having huge potential - not only for Glasgow but for the tourism industry, the whisky trade and the whole Scottish economy.

"Our vision for the new distillery and educational visitor centre is that it becomes a part of Glasgow's busy tourist trail. We anticipate it will attract more than 50,000 visitors a year.

"We have had a great deal of support for this project so far - from local businesses, the public sector and those within the industry.

"We have taken the next important step in helping to make this project a reality by submitting a full planning application to Glasgow City Council for consideration."

Mr Morrison said the team could not have chosen a more appropriate site for the development as the pump house played a historically significant role in the Scotch whisky trade on the Clyde.

He explained: "In the past, this building controlled the entry gate into the Queen's dock, ensuring Customs and Excise officers could keep a close eye on goods going in and out, including Scotch whisky, so we are proud to be bringing it back to similar good use."

The plan has been backed by Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White.

She said: "I truly believe this is a fantastic opportunity to re-establish Glasgow's historic whisky heritage.

"It will also greatly improve the regeneration of this area of the Kelvin while also benefitting the whole of Glasgow through increased tourism, as well as a much welcomed influx of both construction and service industry jobs."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk