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Dunnet Bay seeks permission for new distillery

Spirits producer Dunnet Bay Distillers has submitted a planning application to pursue an expansion project worth up to £4 million (US$5.4m).

Dunnet Bay Distillers
The mill’s restoration could cost up to £4m

The application has been submitted to Highland Council and requests permission to refurbish a 200-year-old mill and surrounding land at Castletown in Scotland, near the distillery’s headquarters.

The refurbishment would allow the producer to expand the business to include a visitor centre and whisky distillery.

Husband-and-wife team Claire Murray and Martin Murray founded Dunnet Bay Distillers in 2014. The company bought the mill in 2021.

Martin Murray, director, said: “If it goes ahead, this particular development offers exciting potential for our business and for the local community, not least as our future development plans include the employment of up to 12 more staff. However, we wait to see if planning permission is granted.

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

Helensburgh-based Organic Architects has been appointed for the mill’s restoration. It would be powered by green electricity, “making it one of the most sustainable distilleries in the industry”, according to Organic Architects.

Claire Murray, director, commented: “As the new custodians of the mill, we’re excited at the prospect of regenerating and breathing new life into the building.

“We are keen to tell its story and to add to the wonderful history as we hopefully move to re-establish the mill as a proud Caithness landmark once again.

“We would be grateful to hear from anyone with connections to the mill and how have stories and images throwing more light on the history of this wonderful place. We aim to make it into a local destination and distillery and so the history is something we wish to remember.”

Dunnet Bay Distillers produces Rock Rose Gin, which launched a refillable scheme in 2019.

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