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Gin’s the tipple for town

Section:  Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags:

JUST the tonic  . . . Lockerbie could become home to a gin distillery and brewery by 2018.

Plans are in place to tranform the former Wilson and Gilston painters and decorators in Well Street.

Distillery plans in place The man behind the idea is ex chef Michael Tough, who now runs a specialist recruitment agency in Moffat.

He said: “We are looking to make one craft ale and one high end gin, subject to planning permission of course.

“I decided to do this because I can and it is something that might be fun to be involved in.”

Mr Tough, who spent 13 years living in the Isle of Skye, plans to call the breweryGalldachd na h-Alba, which translates to Lowlands of Scotland.

He said: “On Skye I was at the opening of Isle of Skye Brewery when I was head chef at Sligachan Hotel in 1995. If was fun and exciting.

“Obviously there is the business potential also, I am happy to invest some money in the project. Business is often about taking risks: sometimes they come off sometimes they don’t.”

And discussing why he chose a Lockerbie site, he added: “I picked the Lockerbie site on the spur of the moment, but I like the site and I know the history of the building and the painting and decorating company which is sadly shutting, so it is part of my history also.”

He’s planning to be in business by next year and said: “I hope to be up in running in 2018,I have had good interest from people interested in being the head brewer.

“We already have a client in the USA. Chefs In Scotland has placed a head chef at a bar restaurant in Collierville by Tennessee called “The Highlander” and we plan to supply them.

“We also have hundreds of existing clients across Scotland and the north of England who we can look to supply.

“My vision for the company is to get it up and running and to break even in year one and make a profit in year two and then grow.”

Previously Chefs in Scotland (CIS) attempted to transform the run-down Mercury Motor Inn on Moffat’s Station Road into a state-of-the-art business and training centre.

Architect’s impressions were drawn up for the building, which has been empty since 1999, and a petition of support was launched.

However a lack of correspondence with the site’s owners meant the project had to be disbanded.










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