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Work starts on Orkney gin distillery

Construction of a new gin distillery in Kirkwall, the largest town in Scotland’s Orkney islands, is now under way, with work due for completion this summer.

Orkney Distilling Limited has started to build its new distillery in Kirkwall

Husband and wife Stephen and Aly Kemp, who run Orkney Distilling Limited, received planning permission to build the distillery on Ayre Road, Kirkwall, in June last year.

In August 2016, Orkney Distilling launched Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin, which is made using a “unique blend” of Orcadian botanicals.

An unnamed distillery based in mainland Scotland currently makes the gin, but total production will move to Orkney once the distillery is complete. Orkney Distilling will reveal details of future products at a later date.

“After months of planning, we’re really excited to see the project now underway,” said Stephen Kemp. “The first stage involves the careful removal of the existing dilapidated warehouse buildings on the Ayre Road site and, once cleared, we’ll be getting straight on to the foundation concrete pour for the new distillery and visitor centre.

“Our aim is to have the project completed by the end of August, with our focus then on training our new staff and gradually moving full production of Kirkjuvagr to Ayre Road.”

The project will create between eight and 10 local jobs and hopes to boost Orkney’s tourism industry.

“With a major increase in tourist numbers predicted for this year, along with a rise in cruise ship visits, there’s a real need for more high quality attractions in the county to enhance the experience of those travelling to our islands,” Kemp added.

The distillery, which will also feature a visitor centre and shop, will use “seafaring and Norse themes” in its branding.

Production of Kirkjuvagr gin will move to Orkney

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