Published: 12/03/2017 11:28 - Updated: 12/03/2017 11:33

Dunnet distillery expansion is boost for economy

Laura Gunn of HIE (left) with Martin and Claire Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers. Picture: Mike Brooks Roper
Laura Gunn of HIE (left) with Martin and Claire Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers. Picture: Mike Brooks Roper

A CAITHNESS distillery has embarked on a major expansion plan which will increase production, add to the area’s tourist attraction and help secure local jobs.

Dunnet Bay Distillery, which was formed in 2014, hopes the extended premises will boost its international sales and turnover and create at least one job.

The expansion is expected to cost around £248,000 with £64,000 coming from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The micro distillery was established in 2014 by Martin and Claire Murray and is the most northern distillery on mainland Britain.

It produces Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka which are hand distilled and crafted using a blend of traditional and local botanicals.

The company has grown quickly and now employs 12 people. It needs to expand to meet increasing demand for its products as well as rising visitor numbers using the North Coast 500 route.

The extension will enable the company to install another still for increased production flow. It also includes a new warehouse to expand storage facilities and a visitor centre to welcome more people and enhance the visitor experience.

Martin Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers, said: “We are proud that in the past two years we have established a strong brand and business from our home in Dunnet.

“At present our business growth has been constrained by production bottle necks and not a lack of demand. This demand comes from overseas and also from our door step, thanks to a significant increase in numbers of visitors from the North Coast 500.”

He added: “The support from HIE allows us to capitalise on these growth areas, so that our products from Caithness can go further around the world on their travels. It also allows us to build a home for our product here in Dunnet, with a visitor centre and shop that will hopefully attract more visitors to the area.”

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