PLANS have been officially lodged to create a new all-year-round tourist facility in Luss with a target of attracting an annual 70,000 visitors.

The Glen Luss Distillery project is aiming to convert the village's old smokehouse building in Church Road and nearby land into a micro-brewery, distillery and gift shop.

Project founders Trystan Powell, Patrick Colquhoun and Daniel Lewis are described as having a "wealth of experience in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors" in the planning application submitted to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority.

The former fish smokehouse building, for which planning permission was granted in 2014, ceased trading and closed in October last year resulting in the loss of eight jobs and the premises has lain vacant since.

In a supporting statement which accompanies the new planning application, agents The Hay Partnership state: "The directors see the premises as being in an ideal location for their new business in terms of its visitor appeal for the existing visitor numbers but also in terms of branding and promotion.

"Whilst the proposed development will generate increased visitor numbers to the facility, the aim is to service the needs of existing visitors to Luss rather than to increase traffic.

"Anticipated visitor numbers at the moment are 19-20 per hour with these figures increasing to 26-28 during the summer months and holiday weekends. On an annual basis it is hoped to attract a percentage of the visitors already in the area and so a target of 70,000 visitors (from an estimated 750,000-1,000,000) are expected by year three."

Visitors to the attraction will be given a brief cinematic history of the Luss area, Loch Lomond and the Clan Colquhoun, followed by a guided tour showing the various stages of production and a chance to create your own gin.

As well as producing a single malt Scotch whisky, locally sourced botanical infused gin, aged and new-make rums, small batch vodka and a collection of craft beers, the plans include an interactive discovery centre, a making and tasting experience and a cask experience centre.

As many as 29 new jobs could be created, with more during busier summer months, and one third of the positions will be filled by local residents, including modern apprenticeships.

Meanwhile five per cent of initial profits will be donated to a local community charitable trust or fund, according to the project founders.

The supporting statement adds: "Although there have historically been references to illicit stills throughout the Loch Lomond area and the islands, the applicants understand that no distilleries currently exist within this part of the national park.

"Likewise, there is no museum specifically offering an insight into the history of the Luss area and the Clan Colquhoun."

A post on the Glen Luss Craft Brewery and Distillery Facebook page last Friday said: "Time to pour a dram and celebrate a huge milestone!

"Our planning application has been submitted and we are now moving forward to the next phase of building the first experimental craft brewery and distillery on the shores of Loch Lomond.

"This is a big step in our journey and we would like to thank each and every one of you for staying with us and supporting Glen Luss."