A DISTILLERY firm is planning to create a new malt whisky beside the Dornoch Firth in the Highlands.
The Midfearn Distillery Company Ltd wants to set up production at Easter Fearn, near the village of Ardgay.
The site is part of the Midfearn Estate, which has a history of whisky making stretching back over two centuries.
A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) has been submitted to Highland Council’s Planning Department.
This starts a public consultation phase during which the local community will have the opportunity to see and comment on the proposals.
There will be an initial, face-to-face consultation event at Edderton Village Hall on December 1, from 3pm top 7pm.
Supporting information will be available on the midfearndistillery.co.uk website from November 19.
A further virtual consultation event will be held on January 20 from 3pm until 7pm.
After completion of the consultation process, the company would be cleared to submit a detailed planning application.
Midfearn was the location of whisky distilling more than 200 years ago.
The Easter Fearn site is close to what is believed to be the location of the Midfearn Distillery established in 1798 by local businessman, George Ross.
This closed after a few years in operation and Ross went on to work with other local distilling interests.
The 13,000-acre Midfearn Estate has been in the Brooke family since 1893.
The current custodian, Charlie Brooke, believes the distillery will be an important development in providing employment and economic benefit to the wider community.
Brooke said: “The Scotch Whisky industry has advanced significantly since the opening of the first Midfearn Distillery.
“We will set out to make a distinctive and high-quality whisky.”
“This is a family business that will build and grow this enterprise on a beautiful site within the Dornoch Firth National Scenic Area.
“We look forward to working with the local community to return whisky-making to Easter Fearn, with all the benefits that will bring to the economy of the area.”
In 2018, the Scotch Whisky industry was estimated to bring £5.5bn in gross value added tot he UK economy.