By Kristy Dorsey

Plans for a new malt distillery beside the Dornoch Firth have been lodged with Highland Council in a bid to revive production in an area where whisky was first made more than 200 years ago.

The family-owned Midfearn Distillery Company proposes to build on the Midfearn Estate at Easter Fearn, three miles south-east of the village of Ardgay on a site close to where whisky was first produced more than two centuries ago.

A public consultation is due to begin following submission of a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to the council’s planning department. An initial face-to-face event will take place at Edderton Village Hall on December 1. A further virtual consultation will be held on January 20, including a live chat facility.

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After completion of the consultation process, the company would be cleared to submit a detailed planning application.

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. It closed after a few years in operation and Mr Ross went on to work with other local distilling interests.

The 13,000-acre Midfearn Estate has been in the Brooke family since 1893, with its current custodian being Charlie Brooke.

“The Scotch whisky industry has advanced significantly since the opening of the first Midfearn Distillery and we will not only set out to make a distinctive and high-quality whisky, but we will prioritise environmental sustainability and work towards carbon neutrality at every stage of the project," Mr Brook said.