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NORR to design new distillery at Craggan

Published 5th July 2018

The family owned company behind the proposed new distillery at Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey, has announced the appointment of award winning architects NORR.

Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd, which trades as Gordon & MacPhail and owns Benromach Distillery, announced last month it would seek planning permission for the first new malt whisky distillery to be built in the Cairngorms National Park since its inception.

NORR has substantial experience in this sector and will help the fourth-generation business owned by the Urquhart family, to draw up the plans ahead of a public consultation event later this year.

Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director of Speymalt, said:

“We were hugely impressed by NORR’s expertise in this sector. They appreciate the importance of ensuring the distillery sits well within the outstanding landscape of the Cairngorms National Park. They have also worked for some of the biggest and smallest companies in the industry and they really understand the particular requirements for a distillery.”

The Inverness based team at NORR have significant experience in the whisky industry. Their work includes the expansion of both the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich distilleries, as well as Dalmunach and a new distillery in Ardross, Ross-shire.

Mark Fresson, Director of NORR in Inverness, said:

“We are delighted to have been appointed for this exciting project. The site has huge potential to provide a contemporary building that represents the values and aspirations of Speymalt and provides a fitting gateway distillery to Speyside on a truly inspiring site.”

Speymalt also recognises the sensitivity of working close to the River Spey and NORR’s expertise in relation to this aspect of the project was particularly impressive, as Ewen Mackintosh continues:

“The waters of the River Spey are not only synonymous with the whisky industry in this area, but they attract anglers from across the world and we know how important it is to ensure there is no impact during the construction phase.

“NORR has worked on a number of projects on the banks of the Spey and its team are well aware of the issues and challenges. They have consistently demonstrated their ability to manage this aspect of the work without compromise.”

Speymalt hopes to build the new distillery overlooking the Cairngorm Mountains in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, as part of its growth plans.

The company intends to hold consultation events on the proposal in the autumn, prior to submitting a planning application later in the year. If planning is granted, building would start in 2019 and take 12 months to complete.

The multi million pound investment is expected to become a major tourist attraction and a significant local employer.

Speymalt is the parent company of Gordon & MacPhail, the family owned whisky specialist, wholesaler and retailer. The company also owns and operates Benromach Distillery in Forres.

Speymalt is a fourth-generation business, owned by the Urquhart family, which has built its knowledge and experience of the Scotch whisky industry over a 120-year history.

The Urquhart family realised a long-held ambition when they acquired Benromach Distillery in 1993. They reopened it after extensive refurbishment in 1998 and are celebrating the 20th anniversary this year. A member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, Benromach Distillery attracts over 13,000 visitors to the area every year.