Plans for a new malt whisky distillery on the south bank of the Dornoch Firth have been given the green light by Highland Council.
The Midfearn Distillery Company Ltd. intends to build its distillery on the Midfearn Estate at Easter Fearn, three miles south-east of the village of Ardgay, on a site close to where whisky was first produced more than 200 years ago.
The granting of permission follows two public consultation events – one face-to-face and one virtual – at which the views of the neighbouring community were sought and local people had the opportunity to comment on the proposals.
The Easter Fearn site is close to what is believed to be the location of the Midfearn Distillery established in 1798 by local businessman, George Ross. This closed after a few years in operation and Ross went on to work with other local distilling interests.
The 13,000-acre Midfearn Estate has been owned by the Brooke family since 1893.
Charlie Brooke, the current custodian of the estate, said:
“I’m proud of our proposals to reintroduce whisky-making to Midfearn after a gap of more than 200 years. I’m also thrilled to be doing so with the backing of so many members of our local community, who have welcomed these plans with open arms.
“The new Midfearn Distillery will create around 25 jobs for local people in the early years, make a meaningful contribution to the local economy and, of course, produce excellent whisky that we hope will be enjoyed around the world for many years to come.”
Construction is expected to start in 2023, with the new distillery scheduled for commissioning in 2025 and having its first single malt whisky available for sale in 2030.
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