The creation of a shopping arcade, leisure centre and camping facilities are among the proposed projects revealed by Dufftown-based Truerlein as part of their six- year vision to make the town the “beating heart of Speyside”.
The ambitious plans comes as the town like many across Scotland have been in decline as a result of the economic downturn.
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.
Now the regeneration company are working on a draft masterplan to submit to Moray Council, in the hopes of revitalising the town.
A shopping arcade could be created in the town in efforts to boost footfall and in turn benefit all the town’s businesses.
While a new sports centre incorporating a café, pool, squash courts and other sporting activities could transform what is currently available in the local area.
A campsite and caravan park is being proposed to help fill accommodation gaps in the town.
Guests will be encouraged to reconnect with the natural world.
Other proposals include a boutique hotel, Fife Street Bistro, Lettoch Housing and Balvenie Street high end restaurant.
The projects already going ahead are the reopening of The Lunch Box takeaway shop and a fish and chip shop.
Meanwhile, the closed Stuart Arms pub will open its door again after a refurbishment.
Director Mhairi-Ann Gallicker said that community engagement would be “vital” to ensure this project can be a success for the town.
She told the P&J: “We want to hear the good ideas and the fears from the community.
“We want to start restoring the town rather than just building new and we have been tasked by Scotland’s Town Partnership to make it scalable across Dufftown.
“It is all about long term scale and talking with Moray Council, estate owners, community, the town and visitors to learn from them.
Hopes to drive footfall
“Dufftown has some beautiful shops and owned by local business people who are really passionate about what they do.
“This project is more about how we support and turn Dufftown back into a tourism hub.
“People flock to Dufftown as it is the Malt Whisky capital of the world and we want to expand that making sure visitors are aware of businesses and other places to visit.
“Dufftown isn’t a broken community – it is just in decline like so many Scottish towns.
She added about the projects: “We are looking at a potential personable shopping arcade which has a Victorian feel courtyard and something open in the evening with fire pits for people.
“The likes of the chipper, pub and The Lunch Box are going ahead as they are required for Dufftown and will support the tourism industry with people coming to visit Dufftown for staycations.
“We are reopening The Lunch Box on May 17 and revamping the Stuart Arms pub which was closed last year with work expected to begin in the middle of May with the opening in August.
“While the fish and chip shop could open sometime at the end of June.
“We are thinking it will take a six month period to get the draft masterplan together and submitted to the Moray Council which is when it goes out to public consultation.
“In early discussions, Moray Council have spoken warmly of the plans.
“Obviously not every project will happen as depends what the public thinks about it.”
The firm has stressed the project is with the aim of supporting existing firms while creating opportunities for more Dufftown-based entrepreneurs to run their own business.
People can visit www.facebook.com/Truerlein/ to find out the latest on the New Dawn Dufftown project.