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Loch Ness Spirits distillery making sanitising hand gel during coronavirus crisis

By Scott Maclennan

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The only distillery on Loch Ness is setting aside its gin-making activities to produce sanitising hand gel for health and social care workers.

Run by self-employed GP Dr Lorien Cameron-Ross and her husband Kevin it is perhaps no surprise that Loch Ness Spirits was among the first to recognise the importance of hand gel – and the need to get enough of it to the right people – in the current situation.

Initial efforts were hampered, however, by the rules around excise duties that mean even alcohol not being used for drinking purposes is subject to tax.

The HMRC has since relaxed those rules and Loch Ness Spirits is now forging ahead.

It will not sell the hand sanitiser it produces for the time being, but has launched a crowdfunder appeal to cover its costs.

Currently back working full-time for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis Dr Cameron-Ross said: “Our aim is a not-for-profit project.

“It is a matter of getting it out to health and social care workers who are more likely to come into contact with Covid-19.

“On top of the hand washing this gives them an extra tool in the kit to keep virus-free.

“If we can get production up enough then we could probably look at selling it in small quantities from the distillery and maybe some local outlets, but just enough to cover the costs to keep donating and keep producing.”

The hand sanitiser being produced is created from a recipe approved by the World Health Organisation.

For details of the crowdfunding appeal see https://bit.ly/2vPTohL

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