Beer and cider, biscuits, cakes and even gin are among the delicacies offered by artisan producers in Dorset. But the county could soon see its first-ever output of a product more commonly associated with the opposite end of the British Isles: whisky.

The Dorset County Distilling Company is aiming to secure £2.75 million in investment, and intends to use the cash to complete construction at its Springhead distillery in Blackmore Vale in the north of the county so production can begin.

Dorset entrepreneur and property developer Hutch Wright is behind the scheme, along with his son Alex, a food and drink professional.

The pair say they have spotted a chance to combine the craft revolution with Dorset's branding potential, and hope to join the likes of the Piddle brewery and Fordington craft gin among the county's ranks of successful small-scale producers of alcoholic drinks.

“The trends that have transformed the beer, wine and gin markets during the past decade or so are increasingly shaping the world of whisky," said Mr Wright senior.

“With beer in particular there’s now a very strong public perception that quality is most likely to be found in products that come from small, independent, ‘craft’ producers."

He added that the distillery would source all ingredients from within a 50-mile radius, and aimed 'to paint a picture of Englishness'.

The start-up venture is hoping to secure investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), which offer tax relief to individual investors in small companies with less than £15 million in assets.

Mr Wright senior believes backers – who will be asked to buy shares worth a minimum £2,500 – could double their money in around five years.

“One of our key business objectives is to see our brands universally recognised and associated with quality and authenticity within the next half-decade," he explained.

The company intends also to produce other spirits, including rums, gins and vodkas, and sees itself as more free to experiment with ingredients, cask finishes and production than makers of Scotch whisky, which are bound by certain rules they must meet in order to keep their labels.

The aspiring distillers moreover see a solid future for their product.

“Whisky is perfectly geared to long-term investment," said Mr Wright junior, a former chef who turned to distilling and brewing after attending a whisky-tasting event in the US.

“This is one of the few manufacturing businesses where the stored product not only improves with age but increases in value year after year – and always has a ready buyer.”