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Cabrach Distillery gains £140,000

Speyside distillery The Cabrach has received a funding package of almost £140,000 (US$180,261) ahead of its opening later this summer.

Cabrach Distillery
The Cabrach Distillery is gearing up to open in late summer

The community-owned distillery will be located in Cabrach on the southern edge of Moray, said to be one of the birthplaces of the Scotch whisky industry and famed for illicit stills and smuggling.

Launched by local charity The Cabrach Trust, the distillery has been in development since 2017. Distillation is expected to begin in August, with stills recently arriving on site.

The Cabrach Trust has now received nearly £140,000 from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), comprising a loan and a grant.

The funding package will help with the bottling process for Cabrach’s inaugural expression, The Feering, a blend of whiskies from four local Speyside distilleries.

It will also further support day-to-day start-up operations at the distillery, such as production and performance monitoring.

Future plans include the development of a café and heritage centre as part of the distillery site, alongside the restoration of the Old Cabrach School hall and house as the trust’s learning hub.

The distillery will operate as a social enterprise, with future revenue put towards the trust’s community regeneration goal.

Ahead of the opening, the distillery introduced The Cabrach Collective, a small community of ‘founding champions’ who can join the collective for £1,245 (US$1,534) to receive exclusive bottlings including the debut single malt and The Feering range.

Jonathan Christie, chief executive at The Cabrach Trust, said: “The Cabrach is renowned for its role in the birth of Scotch whisky and completion of The Cabrach Distillery will contribute to a tale of renewal like no other.

“Our distillery will serve as the economic lungs of our community-led regeneration vision, creating much-needed permanent, skilled employment while attracting thousands of visitors to this special place, who will be able to discover the area’s rich history, heritage, and natural beauty.

“The support of like-minded partners such as Social Investment Scotland is invaluable. This is a bold idea, a unique social enterprise, being made possible through the sustained support of the Cabrach community, alongside an exciting blend of funding partners.”

Among its partners are Forsyths, Ethos Foundation and Bently Foundation.

The Cabrach Trust recently secured up to £500,000 (US$636,100) in funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a Scottish government agency.

The project had already received funds of £3.5 million (US$4.6m) in 2021, as well as £310,000 (US$434,240) in 2018 from The William Grant Foundation, Foundation Scotland, Reekimlane Foundation and an anonymous donor.

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