A historic Speyside whisky distillery could be brought back to life by Historic Environment Scotland.
HES is trying to find a commercial partner to help to redevelop the distillery in Forres, which is currently used as a museum.
The Dallas Dhu distillery was originally built in 1898 and produced its first barrel the following year.
Although it closed during the First World War, during the Great Depression and again after a fire in 1939, production returned to the distillery after the Second World War, where it continued until 1983.
Now, HES has published a Request for Information (RFI) to engage the wider market to receive information on solutions to meet their needs to develop the Dallas Dhu Distillery.
HES is inviting proposals from any interested parties, either individually or in collaboration with others, to develop the site.
A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: We have recently published a public contract notice inviting expressions of interest in exploring opportunities at Dallas Dhu.
Given the unique nature of the site, we are keen at this stage not to limit the scope of potential interest, so interested parties can apply either on their own, or as part of a group, as well as submitting ideas for different parts of the site.
The aim is to look at opportunities to explore different options to build on Dallas Dhus distinct heritage and offering, to encourage opportunities for use which will enhance the site and its existing visitor offer.
Richard Lochhead MSP has campaigned for the reopening of the Dallas Dhu distillery (Photo: Richard Lochhead MSP/Facebook)
Once ideas have been submitted we will then move to create a short list and explore the ideas in more detail.
The news has been welcomed by the the SNP MSP for Moray, Richard Lochhead.
He said: Im delighted that at long last Historic Environment Scotland are seeking external investment to write a new chapter in Dallas Dhus story.
This famous distillery in a spectacular setting represents a very special part of the history of Scotch whisky. Ive had several meetings about this in recent years to press for the sites potential to be developed to make a bigger contribution to the local economy to make the most of having such a wonderful distillery on our doorstep.
I know there are many ideas out there that could help transform the famous Dallas Dhu including restarting production at the only distillery thats in the care of the nation given its historical significance.
Also, perhaps new roles could be considered such as a whisky academy or other activities. This is an exciting prospect for the Speyside and Moray economy and offers massive potential for develop one of the countrys most successful and stunning visitor attractions.
Chair of the Malt Whisky Trail, James Johnston OBE added: ”Interest in Scotch is booming with recently released figures showing record numbers of visitors, so we welcome proposals to produce whisky at this historic distillery again. Dallas Dhu is a popular visitor attraction with a fascinating history. Looking at opportunities to enhance its unique heritage and story will only increase its interest as one of the nine sites along our trail in stunning Speyside.
For more information on the distillery contract process, click HERE.
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