As glasses are raised across the north-east and Moray for the Spirit of Speyside festival, work continues on grand plans to celebrate the illicit history of Scotland’s national drink and its connection to one of Scotland’s most remote communities.
Anna Brennand this week marks her first month as the new chief executive of the Cabrach Trust.
During her first weeks of the job, she has met with members of the local community to hear their thoughts on the trust’s ambitious proposals for a £6.5 million heritage centre and distillery to tell the story of Scotland’s illegal whisky trade.
The Cabrach region, near Dufftown, held huge numbers of illicit whisky stills until the law changed in 1823 when the popularity, and profitability, of the drink soared.
Ms Brennand came to the Cabrach following her successful role as chief executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust in Shropshire.
Under her leadership, the museum attracted millions of pounds of renovations and the major tourism award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year.
Ms Brennand said that feedback from the local community has so far been positive, with many raising a glass to the tourism boost which could be offered to the community through the new centre.
She said: “We’re really looking forward to Spirit of Speyside, we’ve got a team in the Big Fat Whisky Quiz on Friday.
“It’s been great to get in touch with the local community to find out about what they think, and what they would like to see from the future of the Cabrach Trust and the plans for the heritage centre and distillery.
“So far, the response has been really positive. People are really keen to get the Cabrach back on the map and celebrate this beautiful region.”