Glenwyvis on track
Community distillery hits half million mark
Community Shares Scotland and Glen Wyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society are seeing steady uptake in shares following the share offer launch with £517,174 raised in the first three weeks.
GlenWyvis is based in Dingwall and the backers aims to create Scotland’s first community-owned craft whisky distillery, 270 years on from the Battle of Culloden. The aim is to raise more than £1.5 million.
To ensure a high level of local ownership, residents in “IV” postcode areas can invest for as little as £250. Investment opportunities start from £750.
The distillery is the brainchild of John F Mckenzie, supported by a board of directors and local community representatives. He said: “We are seeing a very strong early interest in our community share offer, so we are urging people to move quickly on investing. It is a great chance to be a part owner of a Scottish distillery and make a social investment that will benefit the local community too.
“From the outset we have envisaged the project as more than a distillery. It is an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the historic town of Dingwall.”
Commenting on the share offer Kelly McIntyre, Programme Manager, Community Shares Scotland said: “Early indications are showing this community share offer has real appeal for both locals and whisky enthusiasts further afield and we are impressed at the level of interest and steady investment shown from the start and encourage interested parties to make their pledge today.
“GlenWyvis has a truly international appeal with an amazing whisky heritage story which will strike a chord with expat Scots and the Scottish Diaspora worldwide and has the added impact of sitting nicely along the North Coast 500 route. And with its historic story links to Forbes of Culloden there is all the more reason for investors and visitors alike to become involved.”
Whisky has been made in Ross-shire and Inverness-shire for centuries and inspiration has been taken from former distilleries: Ferintosh, Ben Wyvis in Dingwall and Glenskiach in Evanton.
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. 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 Ferintosh brand of the day was a much loved whisky throughout Scotland and was a favourite of Scotland’s great bard Rabbie 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 Dingwall and will be 100% community-owned distillery and 100% powered by green energy.
Graeme Roy, crowdfunder, head of projects said: “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative project that celebrates Scotland’s heritage and give people the chance to invest in a community share initiative that will have such a positive impact on the local community; creating jobs, attracting visitors and benefiting other local enterprises.”
Construction of the distillery is due to start in June with the first run of whisky planned for Burns Night 25 January 2017. The distillery will produce craft Scottish whisky and there are plans for an associated Visitor Centre in the town.
The GlenWyvis Community Share Offer opened on 16 April and closes on 24 June. However, the board reserves the right to extend this deadline if the amount raised is close to the total required to proceed.