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The three key projects that could bring back ‘the Dufftown of the past’

Like many others across the country, Dufftown has suffered badly from the economic downturn.

Over the years, tourists have visited the town known as the ‘malt whisky capital of the world’ for its distilleries.

But now efforts are being made to entice them to explore and support the town centre.

The Dufftown and Mortlach Development Trust has identified three key projects to support the revitalisation of the town.

It is launching a farmers market in collaboration with Mortlach Memorial Hall next month to help local producers.

A craft fair in partnership with Dufftown Glassworks will take place in their premises and Mortlach Memorial Hall.

Hopes have been raised that the market will encourage more people to support the local businesses.

A heritage trail to showcase the town’s fascinating history

The creation of a five-mile heritage trail around the town will tell more people about Dufftown’s rich history.

Trust officials are working with landowners and Moray Council to rejuvenate the existing paths through this project.

Map of the potential route for the new Dufftown heritage trail.

Elsewhere, the trust are in talks with the Mortlach Kirk committee and Historic Environmental Scotland about protecting two Pictish stones.

If agreed, the project to display the stones in cases outside could boost awareness about their historic connection to Dufftown.

In addition, the trust is also working with long-standing childcare charity Cabin to craft a business plan to secure funding.

It comes as the group are on a mission to find alternative premises to continue to deliver invaluable childcare facilities.

‘Future of Dufftown looks positive’

Chairwoman Eleanor Candy is hoping the trust can play an important role in making Dufftown flourish.

She said: “The future of Dufftown looks really positive.

“We are hopeful the regeneration of Dufftown can bring back the vibrant community that I remember.

“I grew up here and remember the local shops, galas and the strong sense of community.

“The team are excited and passionate about their involvement in what the trust is doing.”

Truerlein heritage manager Peter Bye Jensen, Rev Eddie Enslin and Dufftown and Mortlach Development Trust chairwoman Eleanor Candy.

She added: “We are doing all the groundwork for the farmers market and the funds raised will go to support other community-driven projects.

“We are aiming to have our first market on July 10th.

“Meanwhile, we are working with Mortlach Church to see about the Pictish  stone and elephant stone being housed outside.

“The proposal has been put forward and we are currently investigating what funding may be available for the project.

“While Anne Jan Zandstra, one of our board members, has done a lot of background work on the heritage trail which will join two existing walking trails.”

Team’s aim is to showcase Dufftown

Mr Zandstra said: “I enjoyed learning more about Dufftown’s fascinating history and we want to showcase that through the heritage trail.”

Meanwhile, Mortlach and Cabrach Parish Church’s Rev Eddie Enslin is hopeful the stones project can encourage more tourism.

The trust has a close working relationship with regeneration firm Truerlein who supports them with volunteer hours and expertise.

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