Plans for a new multi-million pound distillery near Grantown have moved one step closer with developers preparing to hear the views of local residents for the first time.
Elgin-based Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd, owners of Benromach distillery in Forres, have taken their plans for a new distillery at Craggan to the next level through the submission of consultation plans to the Highland Council.
The plans lodged this week by the family-owned company, which trades as Gordon and MacPhail, showcases their desire to give residents their first glimpse of the large-scale development by hosting a public exhibition at the YMCA Community Centre in Grantown on October 10.
Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Speymalt, spoke of the importance of gaining the public’s feedback.
He said: “We’re keen to hear the views of the local people on what we hope will be a significant addition to the area, with appeal for visitors and local people alike.
“This is a wonderful site and we want to ensure our distillery reflects the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings.”
The development would be the first new malt whisky distillery to be built in the Cairngorm National Park area since its creation in 2003.
The site will also include a number of house tasting rooms and a visitor centre including several retail and office accommodation.
Designs for the new building are in the early stages and a name has yet to be decided for the planned new distillery, which looks set to become a significant local employer and tourist attraction for the region.
Following planning approval, developers hope to begin the 12-month construction project next year.
Councillor John Bruce for Badenoch and Strathspey welcomed the development by saying: “We are very excited about it, but it’s still very early days.
“It’s part of the whisky trail and by Gordon and MacPhail placing it at the top end of the whisky trail, it will be a great idea.
“It will boost the economy by bringing tourism and visitors into Grantown which is very important to us.
“During a recent meeting, they put forward their case, very much in outline but if they get through this planning, it’s hoped it will be onwards and upwards from here.”