In February 2016, R&B Distillers received permission from the Highland Council to bring the first legal distillery to the remote Isle of Raasay.
The island’s striking Victorian villa and ex-hotel, Borodale House, which has stood empty since 2006, will now be converted into a visitors centre and luxury members’ accommodation with adjacent distillery.
Designed by Olli Blair from ABIR Architects and Allen Associates, the distillery will be independently owned and operated and is expected to generate employment for up to 10 per cent of the island’s 120 residents.
Having subsequently secured grants for the distillery build from the FPMC (Food Processing Marketing and Co-Operation Grants Scheme), and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, for the development of a visitor’s centre, construction for this long-anticipated project can at last commence.
With the distillery set to open and begin production in April 2017, the first single malt from Raasay will be bottled in 2020. R&B Distillers predict that they will produce 150,000 bottles of Scotch whisky a year.
The team are hoping the new visitor centre will bring in 12,000 visitors to the island in the first year.
Co-founder Alasdair Day comments: “It has taken an enormous amount of effort and endeavour to get to this point and we are all aware of what we still have to achieve, however we are delighted that work has commenced on site. We are all full of excitement and anticipation for the future as we aim to be Scotland’s leading craft distiller”.