Chairman’s Report

Grant Gordon, trustee, the Cabrach Trust






In 2016/17 a number of new trustees joined the board of the Cabrach Trust, strengthening the board’s capabilities to support the growth of the trust. New trustees are selected on the basis of experience and knowledge of the proposed project and of the local area and are given appropriate training according to the requirements of the position.

In recognition of the progress being made with the Trust’s plans for development, during the year the board agreed to appoint its second staff member, experienced business development manager, Justin Livesey, who will support the Executive Director, Sue Savege in delivery of the distillery and heritage centre project.

The main activity conducted during the year was progressing the development plans for the distillery and visitor centre at Inverharroch Farm together with the preparation of an application for a Community Asset Transfer of the group of buildings known as the Acorn Centre. The objective of the Asset Transfer is to provide long-term security for the community as regards offering a public meeting space.

The application for the Asset Transfer of the Acorn Centre was successful and the all of the necessary reports, drawings and detailing of the conversion of Inverharroch Steadings into a working distillery with associated visitor centre, are now complete. A planning application was submitted to the Moray Council in April 2017.

Together these activities mark off two major milestones in the progress of the Cabrach Trust.

A further related element of work undertaken in the year was a thorough historical research project explaining the heritage and history of whisky distilling & smuggling in the local area, all with the intention of providing valuable source materials for the visitor centre and supplying the information needed to complete the specification for a working historical distillery at Inverharroch.

During the course of the year the farm continued to be leased to local tenants who have kept sheep in the fields over the course of most of the year, thus maintaining the farm in active use. Inverharroch House is now being utilised as offices for the Cabrach Trust with the intention to convert the first floor into accommodation for future trainees and interns.

During the year the Cabrach Trust accomplished work on a number of strategic documents. These include; development of a ten year master plan, undertaking of a social impact audit, conducted a full community consultation report, carried out a resource efficiency study.

The Trust has made all of these documents available on its website and through its social media channels at, www.facebook/cabrachtrust


The coming year

In 2017/2018 the Cabrach Trust will continue to progress plans to establish the distillery and heritage centre at Inverharroch. Work will focus on obtaining the estimated £6m of funding for the project. An application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund which together with a Shares Issue, and further funding through grants and donations, will provide the necessary funds to commence work on the site.

In the coming year, we will also build on our understanding of the cultural heritage of the Cabrach and its unique distilling and smuggling history by establishing a community heritage project.

Achievements and performance

During the year the charity incurred expenditure of £136,000 in connection with the work related to the development of the visitor centre and distillery and operating costs. These costs have been met from rental income of £9,100, donations of £110,000 and from reserves.

Financial review

It is the policy of the charity to maintain unrestricted funds, which are the free reserves of the charity, at a level which covers unrestricted expenditure and provides sufficient funds to cover management, administration and support costs.

The board discussed the funding position with its main benefactors and were given reassurance that funding would normally continue to be forthcoming, at least for the following twelve months, while plans to grow the charity continue to make good progress.


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