A PLANNED craft whiskey distillery and visitor centre for Clonakilty could attract up to 40,000 visitors per annum, as well as creating up to 40 jobs, subject to planning permission.
Clonakilty Distillery Ltd (CDL) applied last week to Cork County Council for a ‘change of use’ planning application for the Waterfront development, which formerly housed a local gaelscoil.
The project includes a visitor centre, a 80-100 seater café/restaurant, as well an outdoor dining area and 80 parking spaces.
According to the planning application, the proposed visitor centre will include a shop with off-licence at ground floor level, tasting room and display areas at first floor level, media room and open plan areas at second floor level, and ancillary office use and staff facilities at third floor level.
Site development works will also include alterations to the existing plaza, consisting of the relocation and replacement of the existing ramp and stairs, internal access roadways, landscaping, footpaths and an ancillary car park.
The developers are also seeking a modified entrance at Clark Street, including upgrades and provision of a roundabout at the existing Inchydoney Road/Casement Street/Clarke Street junction on the N71.
‘This project will incorporate a craft distillery, which will produce a single pot still whiskey under the ‘Clonakilty’ label,’ Michael Scully of CDL told The Southern Star.
‘The iconic whale tail will be used as the logo, which refers to the three fin whales which live permanently off Galley Head.
‘Malting barley is already growing next to Galley Head lighthouse and this will be used next year to make the first whiskey.’
Three large copper pot stills are currently being manufactured in Italy for delivery for January 2017, said Michael. ‘We would hope that the distillery would be up and running for next summer, subject to planning permission,’ he added.
A decision on the application is due at the end of September.