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Plans submitted for new Highlands whisky distillery

The Highland Council has received an application for a new site on the Dornoch Firth, close to where whisky was first produced more than 200 years ago.

The Midfearn Distillery Company Ltd, which submitted the Proposal of Application Notice, hopes to build a new facility on the Midfearn Estate at Easter Fearn, three miles south of the village of Ardgay, close to where whisky was first produced more than 200 years ago.

The family firm behind the proposal says the project would be eco-friendly and provide a major boost to the local economy, offering employment for the community. A face-t0-face public consultation on its proposal will take place from 1 December, after which time the company would be cleared to submit a detailed planning application for the construction of the distillery.

The 5260-hectare Midfearn Estate has been in the Brooke family since 1893, and current custodian Charlie Brooke is adamant that green energy will be at the core of the venture.

The Midfearn Estate already provides electricity from existing wind and hydro power projects, and Brooke said: “We will not only set out to make a distinctive and high-quality whisky, but we will prioritise environmental sustainability and work towards carbon neutrality at every stage of the project.”

According to Brooke, the new distillery would be an “important development in providing employment and economic benefit to the wider community”.

He added: “This is a family business that will build and grow this enterprise on a beautiful site within the Dornoch Firth National Scenic Area and we look forward to working with the local community to return whisky-making to Easter Fearn.”

There are currently 47 whisky distilleries spread across the Highlands and Scottish islands, according to Visit Scotland.

Dornoch Firth is on the east coast of the Highlands, and has miles of white sand beaches. It’s also known for its local lore, which says that fairies once crossed the Firth on cockle shells and were seen building a fairy bridge of gold from shore to shore.

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