First community-owned distillery planned for Scotland

A Highland whisky firm has launched a share offer to build the first community-owned distillery in Scotland, planning to raise £1.5 million of local money to develop the new facility in Dingwall.

Directors of the GlenWyvis Distillery

Directors of the GlenWyvis Distillery

The GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society is working with the organisation Community Shares Scotland (CSS) to offer investment opportunities starting from £250 to locals living in all IV postcode areas.

Shares are also open to whisky enthusiasts outside the area, with investment opportunities of up to £100,000.

The new distillery will re-instate craft whisky distilling to the Dingwall area, some 90 years after the last of the town’s original distilleries closed down. The original Ferintosh Distillery was established by the Forbes of Culloden family in 1690, on the Black Isle just east of Dingwall, and is one of the oldest recorded whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Ferintosh was a favourite of the poet Robert Burns, who lamented: ‘Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost! Scotland lament frae coast to coast!’, on its closure in 1785.

The new GlenWyvis Distillery will be built on a farm above the town of Dingwall. The founders aim to make the project 100% community-owned as well as 100% powered by green energy.

The founder, local farmer John F. Mckenzie, said the project was always about more than just a distillery: “It is an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the historic town of Dingwall. GlenWyvis will be built on its whisky heritage, its community ownership and its environmental credentials. We have amazing local resources and will be using only local barley from a farmers’ cooperative – hence our streamline: built on history – powered by nature.

Construction of the new distillery is due to start in June and the first whisky is planned for Burns Night 2017. The Share Offer closes on 24 June 2016.

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