An ambitious vision to restore and revive vacant properties in Dufftown is under development by regeneration company Truerlein.
The Buckie-based firm has aims to make the town the “beating heart of Speyside” with a bold six-year vision for the town.
The Moray community has long been one of the most famous names in the whisky industry as home to some of the world’s biggest brands.
“Dufftown deserves to be reinstated as the beating heart of Speyside.”
Mhairi-ann Gallicker, director Truerlein
Dufftown restoration dream came from old photos of town’s bustling past
Initial aims of Truerlein include restoring and reviving properties to create a new bar and fine-dining restaurant in Dufftown.
The firm has already moved into the town’s former post office for office space, which aims to showcase their aims with residents.
Director Mhairi-ann Gallicker revealed her inspiration for the project came from becoming disheartened after comparing the town today to how it looked decades ago.
She said: “As a lover of Balvenie, Dufftown has always been close to my heart but it wasn’t until I married local lad Richard, and moved to the town, that I realised just how beautiful the area is.
“My father-in-law was the local photographer and his old photos show how busy the town used to be compared to now. That really struck a chord with me.
“Dufftown deserves to be reinstated as the beating heart of Speyside.
“With the right support, strategy and a clear route for targeted investment, we can not only lift the local economy but protect and conserve the town to create a bright and sustainable future for every member of the community.”
Hopes new ventures will help restore and revive Dufftown after pandemic
Truerlein is planning to launch retail and hospitality ventures in Dufftown to help restore and revive the town centre.
However, the firm has stressed it is with the aim of supporting existing firms while creating opportunities for more Dufftown-based entrepreneurs to run their own business.
Recent appointments to the project include local heritage consultant Peter Bye-Jensen, who will aim to incorporate the history of the town into the venture, and Colin Corson, a former team leader at Glenfiddich, to help advise new hospitality firms.
Meanwhile, the company is also aiming to work with Dufftown and Mortlach Development Trust, which is in the process of launching a farmers market later this year.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead visited the firm last year and has been “very impressed” by their vision for the community.
He said: “Dufftown is a community with enormous potential and with everyone working together there is no doubt that economic development could deliver new jobs and attract many visitors to the area.
“Like many of our villages and towns, there are many buildings that could be transformed with some investment and it’s realty heartening to know that we have talented and experienced people with the ambition to make things happen.
“For post-Covid recovery, and with community buy-in, such projects are going to be more important than ever.”