Multi-million-pound investment set to reignite the spirit of the Cabrach

Posted on December 14, 2021

Collective Architecture is excited to be working on ambitious plans to breathe new life into one of the UK’s most rural communities – famed for its role in the birth of malt whisky. The Cabrach Distillery and Heritage Centre; is a project which will showcase the craft and alchemy of making Scotland’s national drink while telling the story of the historic region.

The Cabrach, a remote, upland area in the North East of Scotland, was a once thriving community of over 1,000 residents and a legendary haunt of rebellious Jacobites, illicit distillers and smugglers. However, the devastation wrought by the Great Wars began a spiral of depopulation and decline. Today fewer than 100 people call the Cabrach home.

Moves to regenerate the area as a sustainable community have been driven by The Cabrach Trust, who today confirmed it has secured the £3.5million needed to activate this eagerly anticipated project which will be delivered in harmony with the natural environment of the Cabrach.

Grant Gordon OBE, Founder and Chairman of The Cabrach Trust, said: “Our vision is to regenerate the Cabrach as a thriving, sustainable community. Having secured funding for this project represents a critical milestone for the Trust and we look forward to embarking on this exciting next chapter in the Cabrach’s story.”

A 19th century steading at the Trust’s Inverharroch base will be restored to its former glory through a sympathetic restoration programme while sustainability will be at the heart of the transformation, incorporating an innovative renewable energy source.

Planning approval is now in place, enabling works on site are expected to get underway in February 2022, with the aim of being operational by Spring 2023.

Jonathan Christie, Chief Executive of The Cabrach Trust, commented: “With the build commencing early in the New Year, we look forward to sharing progress as our one-of-a-kind social enterprise unfolds, whilst launching several other exciting projects all poised to go live in 2022.

“We are humbled by the support provided by the Ethos Foundation, Bently Foundation and our other core funders. It is a privilege to work with and alongside such an array of incredible peer, community, and funding partners. The Cabrach Distillery and Heritage Centre is central to our regeneration plans and the long-term sustainability of this important community.”