Scotland business

Plans unveiled for Orkney gin distillery

Gin and tonic Image copyright Other
Image caption The Kemps say their new gin will contain "a uniquely Orcadian blend of ingredients"

An Orkney couple have unveiled plans to set up a gin distillery on the islands.

Stephen and Aly Kemp, from Kirkwall, are seeking planning permission for an artisan distillery, visitor centre and shop in the town's Ayre Road.

If approved, the distillery will produce the Kemps' own variety of gin - Kirkjuvagr - which has been in development over the past few months.

It is hoped work on the distillery will start in the autumn, with an official opening slated for next April.

The Kemps, who are trading under the name of Orkney Distilling Ltd, said the craft distillery would be the first of its kind on the islands.

They have used researchers at the Agronomy Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Kirkwall to help identify "a uniquely Orcadian blend of ingredients".

Production of Kirkjuvagr Gin will initially be carried out on mainland Scotland, until the distillery starts operating.

Image caption Stephen and Aly Kemp are seeking planning permission for a distillery, visitor centre and shop in Kirkwall

Mr Kemp is general manager of family firm Orkney Builders (Contractors) Ltd, which owns the Ayre Road site being proposed for the new distillery.

He said: "This is an exciting new venture for Aly and myself.

"As gin lovers, we've long wondered what it would be like to create a distinctly Orcadian variety, one that could proudly represent the islands in what is a highly competitive, but rapidly expanding and exciting, marketplace.

"In developing Kirkjuvagr, we were very keen to make some kind of connection with Orkney's Norse heritage, in addition to the brand's Viking name, and we like to think we've come up with something a bit special in terms of the ingredients.

"We're keeping the specifics about Kirkjuvagr close to our chest at the moment, but all will be revealed in time."

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