Dunnet Bay Distillers to build visitor centre from shipping containers in grounds of historic mill

Caithness-based Dunnet Bay Distillers is looking to create a temporary visitor and community building and cafe in the grounds of the 200-year-old Castletown Mill building.

The company, which is behind the award-winning Rock Rose Gin brand, acquired the mill with a view to restoring it to former glory and protecting its heritage status. The site is close to the existing Dunnet Bay Distillers base.

In order to help fund the redevelopment of the landmark building, the firm hopes to erect a “sustainable temporary structure”, bringing new jobs to the area and paving the way for it becoming a visitor destination.

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The temporary facility would be created from three used shipping containers. As well as providing a cafe, there would be a shop and community hub where people can attend events to learn more about the history and the future of the site.

An impression of how the temporary structure at Dunnet Bay Distillers could look.

Dunnet Bay Distillers is run by Claire Murray and Martin Murray, who said: “A temporary building means just that: it will be there whilst we are creating our new home for whisky, vodka and gin production.

“It's good news for the local community as it will create new jobs. We are already an important and valued employer in this small coastal community and we are energised by the idea of helping Thurso become an even more popular destination. We therefore expect this initiative to help other local businesses too.”

If planning permission is granted, and once refurbished, the old Castletown Mill will take over from the temporary shipping container centre.

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