Two researchers have been appointed to investigate the history of whisky distilling and smuggling in the Cabrach region of Scotland.

Historians Gregor Adamson and Dr Kieran German will undertake a two-month project to research local whisky distilling methods employed in the Cabrach in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The historic research will be part of a project aimed at regenerating the historic Cabrach region in the north east of Scotland.

Said to be one of the birthplaces of Scotch whisky, the Cabrach – located on the southern edge of Moray – is famed for illicit stills and smuggling routes in years gone by.

The plan will also include the creation of a new distillery and heritage centre in a bid to create jobs and attract visitors to the area.

The findings will be used to shape plans by the Cabrach Trust to transform the existing Inverharroch Farm into an authentic traditional farm distillery which will operate using historical production methods.

Executive Director Sue Savege, whose background is in heritage management and sustainable tourism, said: “The Cabrach is a special location with a rich heritage and culture and we want to share this unique bowl of spectacular, untouched scenery with a wider audience, while facilitating the creation of at least 10 jobs initially and providing a long-term boost to the local economy.

“The planned heritage centre will be the catalyst to revive the community and put the spotlight on the heritage of the Cabrach and its place in Scottish history. We want to celebrate its remoteness and see a vibrant and thriving community in the Cabrach once again, and to bring more people to the area while preserving all that makes it unique.”

The proposals for the heritage centre include a café, exhibition space for public and private hire and a gift shop.

Grant Gordon, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “These are hugely exciting plans and we are delighted to see them officially launched.

“Our vision is to help develop a thriving community that offers opportunities for both residents and visitors to enrich their lives by enjoying and sharing their surroundings.

“We believe that the distillery, heritage centre and the associated amenities will establish the Cabrach as a must-see in the North-east, bringing in new people and sustaining the local economy.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year, with an estimated completion date of 2020.

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