NHRF loan provides concrete results as new distillery finishes foundations

Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd today (28th February) finished laying the foundations of their new distillery at Dunnet, in what promises to be the start of an exciting year for this ambitious new business. The company, which has been supported in the construction of the distillery by a loan from North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF), aims to produce artisanal gin flavoured with Caithness botanicals under the brand “Rock Rose Gin”.

The official completion of the foundations of the distillery was attended by NHRF Chairman John Thurso MP and Nigel Lowe, Director of NHRF and Head of Programme at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).  North Highland Regeneration Fund is a company limited by guarantee set up by the NDA as part of its input to economic development in the area. The NDA has a remit to help maintain dynamic, sustainable local economies for communities living near their sites and has committed £1.85m to the loan Fund since its inception.

Dunnet Bay Distillers is run by husband and wife team Martin and Claire Murray, who aim to have the distillery constructed and the first batch of samples produced by May of this year. Mr Murray currently works in the oil and gas industry and is studying for a PhD in brewing and distillation.

Speaking at today’s event, Mr Murray said: “We are delighted to have received the support from the North Highland Regeneration Fund.  It has enabled us to accelerate our project schedule significantly. This means that we can have our production running before summer and in time for the events across Scotland.”

Mr Lowe said: “It was great to see Martin and Claire start construction on their new distillery, and I’m delighted that we have been able to support this exciting new business. This is a perfect example of why NHRF was set up – to help ambitious businesses produce concrete results in the real world.”

Mr Thurso said: “Caithness has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship and it’s fantastic to see this trend continuing with businesses like Dunnet Bay Distillers. Food and drink is a key growth sector for Caithness and for Scotland as a whole, with increasing demand for top-quality Scottish produce across the world.

“I wish Martin and Claire all the best in their new venture and look forward to seeing the end results of their endeavours.”