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Temporary visitor centre at Castletown mill is approved by Highland Council

By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS distillery has been granted permission by Highland Council to erect a temporary visitor centre with a cafe and retail space at the old mill near Castletown.

However, a number of conditions were imposed on Dunnet Bay Distillers to ensure construction work is carried out in "an appropriate and environmentally acceptable manner."

In the interest of road safety and amenity, the company has to ensure that an adequate level of access is timeously provided for the development while it also has to make provision for off-street parking.

Another condition relates to protecting the archaeological and historic interest of the site.

Claire Murray, Martin Murray co-founders and directors of Dunnet Bay Distillers
Claire Murray, Martin Murray co-founders and directors of Dunnet Bay Distillers

Dunnet Bay Distillers, which makes the award-winning Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka brands, acquired the 200-year-old listed building last year and plans to transform it into a whisky distillery and tourist attraction.

The project is expected to cost up to £4 million and create 12 jobs.

The temporary visitor centre, retail space and cafe could partly fund the distillery and tourist attraction.

The company, which was established in 2014 by husband and wife, Martin and Claire Murray, sells its products throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK and in 24 countries across the world.

As previously reported, Dunnet Bay Distillers applied for planning permission to refurbish the mill and the surrounding land and recently received consent for warehousing and bottling facilities at the site. The historic mill dates from the 1800s.

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