PLANS to produce malt whisky at a family-run farm east of Steelend and sell it around the world have been approved by Fife Council.

Knockhill Distillery, south of the racing circuit and accessed off the B914 road, will create 11 full-time jobs while gin and vodka will also be made on the site.

An application to convert an existing poultry shed at Din Moss Farm, into a malt distillery with a bottling facility and cask storage area, has been given the go-ahead.

The business plan explained: "This plan shows that Knockhill Distillery has the potential to be successful, will immediately provide rural employment opportunities to local fabrication, plumbing and electrical firms, will provide up to 11 staff roles including trainee positions and has the possibility of creating a Fife tourist facility in the future with further employment opportunities."

The family-run farm currently produces sheep and poultry but, with grazing only available seasonally due to ground conditions, this reduces their income over the Autumn and winter months and they saw an opportunity to diversify.

They added: "The distillery will produce a range of single and blended malts with limited editions and pre-sales available in a variety of casks sizes and styles.

"Single cask, single farm whisky carries a great demand worldwide.

"Each barrel will taste unique, making every bottle release different from the last.

"This will ensure the whisky connoisseur and collector will seek every bottle that is released, with an extremely high demand for limited bottlings.

"There will be an opportunity for clients to design their own whisky which will mature in our onsite bonds."

There is scope for the business to expand with a second building on site that could be used as an additional maturation warehouse if required.

There will also be a gin and vodka distillation still, alongside the whisky still, to generate additional income and give them time to develop and market the brand while the malt matures for a minimum of three years.

The business, which aims to "establish the first distillery in West Fife which is both viable and sustainable", will support local producers, buying "top quality malting barley" from a farm in Dunfermline.

In a drive to be carbon neutral, energy efficiency measures will see a wood-chip fuelled biomass plant provide their main source of fuel, utilising the commercial woodland and softwood timber they have on site.

The glass bottles they'll fill with whisky, gin and vodka will be recyclable and the by-products from the whisky-making process, draff will be used on their own farm and they'll sell the remaining draff and pot ale to neighbouring farms.

Water is key to making whisky and the distillery has its own private water supply, by means of a borehole.

Tests shows it contains naturally occurring levels of magnesium and calcium and, a master distiller has advised, these chemical properties are ideally suited to the production of Scotch.