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John O'Groats project

Most northerly mainland distillery gets go-ahead

New direction: Derek and Kerry Campbell

Britain’s most northerly mainland whisky distillery will form part of an ongoing regeneration of one of the most famous destinations for long distance travellers.

The micro Scotch whisky distillery at John O’Groats will open in the summer of 2021 after planning permission was secured for a 32,670 sq ft site which will also house a visitor centre and bonded warehouse.

The distillery will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year and will be the first Scotch whisky distillery in John O’Groats since 1837.

It is the brainchild of local husband and wife Derek and Kerry Campbell who first announced their plans last year. They have secured £198,000 of funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

New distiller approved for key site

Mrs Campbell said: “The support we have received from the local community and business owners to date has been fantastic and we can’t wait to welcome them to our distillery in 2021.”

Keith Muir, HIE’s head of business growth for Caithness and Sutherland, said: “It will enhance the area’s wider visitor offering, notably around the North Coast 500. All of this encourages visitors to stay in the area longer, which benefits all local businesses and communities.

“We particularly welcome the improvement it will make to the look and feel of the John O’Groats end of the road attraction, in bringing a long disused site back into productive use.”

Andrew Mowat, manager at the Seaview Hotel in John O’Groats, added: “The development of the new distillery and visitor centre is really exciting for the area and is another great example of the ongoing development of John O’Groats. 

“It will complement the plans for the mill and brewery in the area. It will also help increase dwell time in John O’Groats, attract more visitors, increase employment and utilise a currently undeveloped site.

“We are now getting closer to achieving our aim of making John O’Groats a world class destination, with the community trusts and business community working hand in to realise this goal.”



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