Dunnet Bay submits planning application for new distillery

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Dunnet Bay Distillers has submitted a planning application to Highland Council seeking permission to renovate a 200-year-old mill and surrounding land in Castletown, near its headquarters.

The Caithness-based company, which owns the Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka brands, acquired the historic mill last year.

If the planning is granted, the restoration and fitting out of the renovated building could cost up to £4 million.

Plans involve a complete renovation of the dilapidated listed building, with a view to creating new resources for the expanding business, including a visitor center and a whiskey distillery.

The spirits company was established in 2014 by husband and wife team Claire Murray and Martin Murray, both directors of the company.

Martin Murray explained: “If it goes ahead, this particular development holds exciting potential for our business and for the local community, particularly as our future development plans include hiring up to 12 additional employees.

“In the meantime, we have obtained permission to develop a temporary visitor centre, café and shop close to the site of the old mill.”

Claire Murray added: “As the new custodians of the factory, we are thrilled to be regenerating and breathing new life into the building.

“We would be grateful to hear from anyone with connections to the sick who has stories and images that shed more light on the history of this wonderful place.”

Organic Architects, based in Helensburgh, were appointed for the project. Company Director Andrea Wise said: “This is a rare opportunity for a thriving local business to regenerate this historic building which has not been able to find a user for decades.

“Historic Environment Scotland were consulted during the design process to ensure that the changes needed are as appropriate as possible for the old mill.

“The distillery will be powered by green electricity, making it one of the most sustainable distilleries in the industry.”

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