Profits from a new gin brand distilled in the grounds of an Argyll castle will help other business start-ups in the area.
The family behind Beinn an Tuirc Distillery, on the Kintyre peninsula, plans to use a percentage of its earning to set up a charitable foundation to fund other entrepreneurial individuals and organisations there.
Housed in a former piggery on the Torrisdale Castle Estate, the distilling operation is due to open shortly, with the first batch of Kintyre Gin expected to be ready by July.
Up to six jobs will be created in distilling, sales, operations and tour guiding. A graduate with specialist distilling skills has been recruited on a placement through the ScotGrad scheme run by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The company, set up by estate owner Niall Macalister Hall, has also received £24,276 from HIE towards the renovation of the building and the longer-term sustainability of the business.
The distillery will include a viewing area and tasting facility and is the first operation of its kind to be powered by an on-site hydroelectric scheme.
Liza Moran, of HIE, said: “Argyll and the Islands is renowned for its food and drink as well as tourism offerings. We expect Beinn an Tuirc Distillery to be a significant contributor to this growth sector.
“By creating valuable rural employment opportunities the company will also help strengthen resilience among local communities.
“We also welcome the proposed charitable foundation to be created by the business, which will help stimulate further economic growth in the area.”
Set amid the estate’s 1,200 acres of hill, forest and farm land, 200-year-old Torrisdale Castle has been in the ownership of Mr Mcalister Hall’s family since 1872.
He said: “We are really excited about the impending launch of the gin. It has taken a lot of hard work to get this far, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the advice, training and funding from HIE, as well as their support with the export market.
“We can’t wait to get started.”
The estate has also run a successful self-catering business since the early 1980s.