A whisky firm has launched a community share offer in a bid to build the first community-owned distillery in Scotland.

Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society plans to raise £1.5 million to develop a new distillery in Dingwall.

The launch, organised in conjunction with Community Shares Scotland (CSS), offers investment opportunities from £250 to locals living in all IV postcode areas.

The developers hope this will ensure a high level of local ownership of the distillery.

Shares are also open to whisky lovers worldwide with investment opportunities of up to £100,000.

Helicopter pilot and farmer, John F Mckenzie, is behind the plans to resurrect whisky production in the town some 90 years after its last distillery closed.

He said: “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. GlenWyvis will be built on its whisky heritage, its community-ownership and its environmental credentials.”

CSS programme manager Kelly McIntyre said: “This is one of the biggest community projects we have been involved in and we hope it will make a seismic impact in the kind of projects that we will see coming forward to work with Community Shares Scotland in the future.”

Construction of the new distillery is due to start in June and the first whisky is planned for Burns Night 2017.

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