True Highlands Blog
THE COMMUNITY SPIRIT THAT IS OPENING THE DOORS TO NEW MEMBERS
GlenWyvis Distillery is the UK’s first 100% community-owned distillery. Situated high on a hill above Dingwall, a small market town in the Scottish Highlands, the distillery is entirely powered by renewable energy.
In the summer of 2016, GlenWyvis completed the biggest-ever community crowd-funding campaign in UK history. Like-minded people from Dingwall and beyond came together to invest in GlenWyvis and become part of something truly historic. Together, the distillery raised over £2.6 million in 77 days – an overwhelming response to an extraordinary idea.
With more than 2,600 members, and over 60% of from the Highland area, GlenWyvis aims to take a lead role in the rejuvenation of Dingwall and the wider Highlands. Formed as a Community Benefit Society, GlenWyvis will invest a share of future profits into worthwhile community projects – this is truly the ‘community spirit’.
Now, as demand for investment opportunities continues, and visitor numbers to the area increase, GlenWyvis has brought forward the launch of a second open share offer to open the door to new members. The new share offer will be launched on Thursday August 3rd at the Black Isle Show in the Scottish Highlands.
Increased tourism in the area has come about as a result of the successful North Coast 500, touring route which takes in Dingwall, which is where the distillery founders have set up GlenWyvis Basecamp, a pop-up reception area, where visitors can learn about the project while the distillery itself is being built.
The area has also seen an influx of “Outlander” fans who have been adding GlenWyvis to their route map as they look for the site of the original “Ferintosh” distillery – the whisky of choice by lead character “Jamie”.
Ferintosh Distillery was established in 1690 just east of Dingwall, and is both one of the most famous and 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, Ben Wyvis Distillery, closed down.
New history in the making
GlenWyvis aims to “seize the moment” with a new share offer that gives people from near and far the opportunity to be part of distilling history. The minimum level of investment in the new share offer will be £250 for all investors – and supporters will also be able to pay extra to have their name added to the distillery wall or the Path to the Stills.
Funds raised will help to accelerate the distillery’s brand development plans, which include bringing gin distilling into Dingwall. The funds will also help with further development of the GlenWyvis visitor experience in and around the town, and to reduce commercial lending.
GlenWyvis Distillery founder and managing director, John McKenzie, said: “The second share offer was always in our plans – and we’ve brought it forward to give a new audience the opportunity to be part of our community-owned distillery. The decision to open up the £250 investment level to everyone has been made to widen membership in GlenWyvis to as many people as possible. Our aim is to reach local people who missed out on the original offer, and to make membership accessible to visitors who come to explore the Highlands. We believe that more investors will translate into more visitors both for GlenWyvis and for Dingwall.
“People who missed out on the original share offer are always asking if they can invest, and even more so now that the building is taking shape and we’ve opened GlenWyvis Basecamp down in the town itself. It is an exciting time, and this new share offer will not only help us to fast-track our brand development, but will also reduce bank lending, so we can deliver on our community benefit remit sooner.”
For more information on the new GlenWyvis open share offer, you can contact the distillery directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can invest online from 10.00am on Thursday 3rd August at www.crowdfunder.co.uk or at www.glenwyvis.com.
To mark the historic laying of the distillery’s foundation stone in January 2017, GlenWyvis released a limited batch of 1,600 bottles of Highland single malt whisky – called ‘Highland Inspiration’. The whisky was carefully selected and bottled for GlenWyvis to mark this milestone event in the revival of craft distilling in the Highland town.
The community of Dingwall is heir to a long and illustrious whisky history that stretches back to the time of Jacobite rebellion and the original Ferintosh Distillery. Distilled just outside Dingwall, the reputation of Ferintosh whisky was considerable and the closure of the distillery in the late 18th century moved Robert Burns to lament its passing in verse.
In its name, GlenWyvis also honours two other local distilleries – Glenskiach and Ben Wyvis – that both fell silent in 1926 during the era of US prohibition. Highland Inspiration celebrates these historic foundations, taking inspiration from the characters and stories that continue to enthral and shape the local whisky culture of the Highlands today.
Tags: buy shares, community owned, dingwall, distillery, ferintosh, nc500, outlander, whisky