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New distillery by Grantown gets a green thatch

By Gavin Musgrove

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The turf roof being delivered to The Cairn distillery. Picture: John Paul.
The turf roof being delivered to The Cairn distillery. Picture: John Paul.

The Cairn Distillery nearing completion by Grantown is now sporting a new thatch.

A “green” sedum roof – a key feature of the building – has been installed to create the new look.

At 900 square metres, it is one of the largest green roofs ever installed in Cairngorm National Park and was incorporated into the design to allow the building to blend into its local environment.

The green roof uses sedum – a plant which is easy to maintain and requires little water and few nutrients. It is ideal for use in green roofs as it is very resilient and can even survive drought.

Managing director Ewen Mackintosh welcomed this important stage in the construction: “The building itself is now wind and watertight and the installation of the sedum roof has transformed it.

“We were originally drawn to this site because of its stunning surroundings and it was important to us the distillery should sit well within this world class landscape.

“The sedum roof is just one of the design features which makes this possible.”

The sedum roof was installed by Inverness based Wyvis Roofing.

Founded in 2012, they have grown to become one of the largest roofing contractors in the region, undertaking roofing projects across the north of Scotland.

The Cairn Distillery, which includes a visitor experience, tasting rooms, bistro and retail space, is due to open this summer.

It will be a second distillery for renowned whisky experts Gordon & MacPhail.

The family firm, owners of Benromach distillery at Forres, announced their intention to build a second distillery in 2018.

Work started on site once Covid restrictions on construction were lifted in July 2020.

A firm spokeswoman said: “Gordon & MacPhail has built strong relationships with its local communities in Forres and Elgin and is determined to maintain that tradition in Grantown. The distillery will become a major tourist destination on the edge of the town and act as a gateway to Speyside.”

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