Scotland-based Isle of Harris Distillers has received a fund of £1.9m from Scottish government for the construction of the planned Scotch whisky distillery at Tarbert.

The fund has come from the Scotland Government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme and covers up to a third of the total costs of the building work.

Isle of Harris Distillers managing director Simon Erlanger said private equity will make up the rest of £10m needed for construction of distillery and operations for the first eight years.

The company plans to finalise the fundraising in early 2013 and expects to open the distillery and start production of single malt Scotch whisky by late 2014.

Isle of Harris Distillers chairman and founder Anderson Bakewell said they would bring long-time benefits to the people of Harris through the new distillery and were happy to be recognised by the Scottish government for their efforts.

"The award adds to the momentum which this project has generated and increases significantly the likelihood that this once-in-a-generation opportunity will not be squandered.

"Everyone in the islands can look forward with real excitement to the prospect of an initiative which promotes the assets of the islands throughout the world and serves as a catalyst for economic development locally."

The new distillery, which is expected to create about 20 jobs, will allow Harris to join a club of islands that make their own whisky.