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Scotland to get first ever community-owned whisky distillery

Scotland is to get its very first community-owned distillery - after whisky fans and investors stumped up £1.5m via a crowdfunding page towards the project.

Published: June 23, 2016
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The GlenWyvis Community Benefit Society, based in Dingwall in the Highlands, smashed their target with two days left to go.

So far, 1,395 investors have invested in the unique business venture since it launched in April.

And following the success, the crowdfunding page has stretched its target to £2.25m to allow last-minute Scotch enthusiasts to get in on the action.

Not only will the firm be 100 per cent community owned, the new distillery will also be completely powered by green energy.

How the new distillery will look. Picture: Glenwyvis

How the new distillery will look. Picture: Glenwyvis

Construction of the distillery is due to begin this month with the first run of whisky planned for Burns Night 25 January 2017.

The distillery will produce craft Scottish whisky and there are plans in place for an associated visitor centre in the town to help bring visitors to the area.

Dozens of well wishers and investors took to the page this morning to congratulate the team on their success.

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Richard A. Forbes said: “Congratulations to John and all the good people at GlenWyvis Distillery for achieving the minimum goal to go forward with this project.

“My family and I are happy to be a part of this investment, as we have an ancestral connection to Duncan Forbes. Cheers and best wishes going forward. Can't wait to sip some of that GlenWyvis scotch whisky in the near future.”

Andrew McIntosh wrote: “Already invested. Decided to invest just a wee bit more just now. Good luck with the project. Looking forward to tasting the whisky.”

another fan, Eric Sutherland, said: “A wee couple of investments from the Sutherland clan in Baillechaul. Great project and great for the town. Look forward to tasting the finished product in a few years time.”

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The oldest-recorded whisky distillery in Scotland was established by the Forbes of Culloden family in 1690 just east of Dingwall but the last of the town's original distilleries closed down 90 years ago.

The Glen Wyvis Community Benefit Society launched their campaign in a bid to “reinstate craft whisky distilling to the Dingwall area".

The firm offered shares for as little as £250 to anyone living in postcode areas surrounding Inverness.

While everyone else could buy shares for between £750 and £100,000, regardless of where they lived.

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Over 200 people also invested £30 to have their names engraved on the “path to the stills” leading up to the main entrance.

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