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Gin site is just the tonic

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Gin site is just the tonic

GIN fans in the area are set to rejoice with the news a distillery could be opening in Dalton.

A planning application has been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council to transform former art cafe Dalton Pottery into a micro gin distillery.

RV & JM Clynick, who are based in Rugby, Warwickshire, are the applicants behind the bid, which reflects the current fashion for gin.

Plans lodged with the local authority show that the Clynicks hope to transform the existing site by creating a bar area and tasting room alongside the distillery.

This would be a first for Annandale and Eskdale and a welcome development for the site and current owners, Jenny and Geoff Finch.

The couple bought the property over 25 years ago when it was nothing more than a derelict farm steading and made it into their family home, as well as a successful business and popular tourist attraction.

In early 2015 they decided to close the art cafe, which had opened in 2000, and re-invent the business as a centre for lessons and workshops in art and ceramics for children and adults.

But in December 2015, a week before Christmas, tragedy struck when the site caught fire.

The Finches put their property on the market some time ago and the potential buyers have agreed to buy the site subject to planning permission being granted.

Geoff Finch this week said: “We currently still own the property as the offer that has been made for the site is subject to planning approval.

“If the application is approved we expect the new owners to begin work at the end of the summer.”

The region is already home to a whisky distillery and coffee shop at Annan – Annandale Distillery – which was officially opened in 2015 by Princess Anne and has created numerous jobs for locals.

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