The owner of a North-east gin company believes he could open his gin distillery within two years.
Stuart Ingram, owner and founder of House of Elrick gin, submitted plans to redevelop the historic estate of Elrick House, near Newmachar, as a gin-making facility and destination restaurant back in 2015.
Elrick House, which dates from 1720, has belonged to the Ingram family for 60 years.
Mr Ingram bought the estate in 2014 in order to revamp the land, which has previously remained unaltered since the house was built 300 years ago.
House of Elrick gin, which was launched in November 2016, is currently made in Surrey.
It is already sold in many bars in and around Aberdeen, Inverness and London, and as far away as Italy.
Mr Ingram said: “We have been considerate with our use of botanicals that will be grown in our garden, once reinstated and opened to the public.”
“We are the only spirit to use Loch Ness water.
“The gin even made its way to Sandringham estate for Christmas, as we received a lovely letter of thanks from Her Majesty.”
The proposed restaurant will also use fresh produce grown in the gardens and will work from a menu designed to complement the flavours in the gin.
Although gin has experienced a resurgence in recent years, Mr Ingram believes that Elrick House will be his unique selling point in the market.
Despite the excitement surrounding the build, he admitted that it has not been an easy experience.
He said: “I am still bemused by the lack of support by authorities when someone puts it out there to try to build something better.
“And to create jobs for an area that has been so reliant on the oil industry, when the city has so much to offer.
“Elrick House has a rich history of being used by the local community when owned by the Burnett-Whyte family.
“I want to create this again, so that people can be proud of the community.”