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Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to create 160 jobs in Smyth and Washington counties

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Speyside Bourbon Cooperage Inc. is investing $35 million to establish operations in Smith and Washington counties. The project is expected to create 160 jobs.

The company plans to invest $26 million to open a bourbon barrel cooperage in Smyth County, which will create 125 new jobs. It also will invest $9 million to create a stave mill facility in Washington County, expected to yield 35 jobs. The stave mill will supply the company’s new Smyth County cooperage.

Speyside Bourbon Cooperage operates stave mills and bourbon cooperages in the U.S., with facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Bath County. The firm is part of Tonnellerie François Frères Group, a France-based publicly held company.

Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $325,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the cooperage project and a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund for the stave mill project. As part of securing state funding, the stave mill plans to use 80 percent of the white oak logs used for stave production from Virginia growers. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission also green lighted $510,000 in funds for the projects.

The company also is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and for tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Virginia competed against West Virginia for the deal.

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