Royal link in Deeside training initiative

The distillery will provide training for hospitality students
The distillery will provide training for hospitality students

The Duke of Rothesay and a Deeside distillery have formed a partnership to train a new generation of hospitality professionals.

His charity the Prince’s Foundation and Royal Lochnagar Distillery have teamed up in the latest of the Duke’s projects to help Ballater recover from the impact of Storm Frank and a devastating blaze at the Old Royal Station.

Distillery staff will train new recruits for The Carriage - a new tearoom and bistro which will feature in the new station, due to reopen later this month after major fire refurbishment.

The Prince’s Foundation is now putting the finishing touches to three specifically-designed areas - a traditional Victorian tearoom in the main building, and a bistro set on the original station platform.

It will provide employment for 10 people initially and once up and running, the charity will introduce its Get Into Hospitality outreach programme offering training for young people.

The distillery will provide Scotch whisky instruction for the hospitality students, including a tour to explain the distillation process and tastings to learn about food pairings.

Kenneth Dunsmuir, executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Diageo and Royal Lochnagar Distillery are enthusiastic about contributing greatly to His Royal Highness’s commitment to restore Ballater to its former glory and helping to train a new generation of hospitality professionals.”

The Carriage is near the Rothesay Rooms restaurant and neighbouring Highgrove Shop, the Duke’s first local regeneration project on Netherley Place.

Sean Phillips, distillery manager at Lochnagar, said: “We are pleased to support the revitalisation of Ballater station through The Carriage, which we hope will contribute to the renewed growth and success of Ballater by providing local employment and training and giving tourists another reason to visit beautiful Royal Deeside.”