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New Orkney distillery gets approval

Plans to build the first gin distillery in Orkney, Scotland, have been given the green light, with construction due to commence this autumn.

Orkney’s distilling community is set to grow with the build of a new artisan gin distillery

Earlier this year, husband and wife Stephen and Aly Kemp, from Kirkwall, submitted a planning application to build the distillery in the town’s Ayre Road.

Orkney Distilling Limited’s “artisan” distillery will produce Kirkjuvagr Gin, which has undergone “rigorous” development and testing over the past few months.

The Kemps have worked with the Agronomy Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Kirkwall to identify a unique blend of Orcadian ingredients for the new gin, which will officially launch in early August 2016, with the first batches sold exclusively in Orkney.

Since construction of Orkney Distilling’s distillery will start this autumn, with official opening planned for spring 2017, Kirkjuvagr Gin will initially be created at an unnamed distillery in mainland Scotland.

“Securing planning permission for our distillery represents a major step forward for the project,” said Stephen Kemp. “We’re now looking forward to getting work underway on the distillery and creating what we hope will be a major new visitor attraction for Orkney.

“The siting of the distillery was particularly important for us, given the seafaring and Norse themes in our branding, so we’re really delighted to get the go-ahead.”

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