Community distillery GlenWyvis reaches first target in its share offer

The society, which has also appointed its first distillery manager, is a third of the way to its £750,000 target

Progress is continuing at community-owned GlenWyvis Distillery in Dingwall, Scotland, with the hiring of its distillery manager and the first target of £250,000 reached on its second share offer.

Announcing the appointment of Duncan Tait, GlenWyvis chairman David O’Connor said: “This is a particularly special appointment as it is the linchpin to the next stage of our development, as we move from construction to distilling and production.

“Currently distillery manager at Mortlach Distillery, Duncan brings with him a wealth of distilling experience and in-depth knowledge of the whisky and tourism industry.

“He has many years of experience in distillery growth and team development and this is vital to us, as we prepare to open our doors, start our distilling operation and look to develop the GlenWyvis visitor experience.

“He also has a great knowledge of the local area and local whisky history, and along with his great character and personality, he will most definitely help to make the GlenWyvis brand a success in the global whisky arena.”

Mr Tait said: “This is a tremendous opportunity to be part of a distilling journey at the very start, and amazing to become the very first distillery manager here at GlenWyvis.

“I have a strong affiliation with the Easter Ross area, having started my career at Teaninich Distillery in Alness, and I’m delighted to be coming back. There is such a wealth of Highland heritage linked to the distillery and I am particularly interested in how that interlinks with our community development aspirations as we welcome our first tours to GlenWyvis in due course.

“I have enjoyed many years whisky distilling in Speyside and see this as a fantastic career move to join the GlenWyvis team in the creation of the first 100% community owned distillery.”

The now five-strong team at GlenWyvis has been busy supporting the second share offer with gin tastings, promotions, attendance at local and national events and numerous media and TV appearances.

Mr O’Connor said: “We are seeing a continued surge of active share offer investors and this has pushed our target over the quarter million pound mark this week, showing we still have a popular ongoing investor proposition.”

Hitting the first ‘whisky magic’ rung of £250,000 is the first step towards the distillery’s overall aim of raising an additional £750,000 on its second share offer. The funds raised will be used to accelerate the GlenWyvis brand development, to bring gin distilling to Dingwall and to reduce commercial lending costs.

James Proctor, programme manager at Community Shares Scotland, said: “We are delighted to see this ambitious project hit its initial investment target so quickly and also congratulate them on this important appointment of the first distillery manager.

“The growing numbers of GlenWyvis members is a testament to the power of the idea of a community-owned distillery. It’s a great example of how a Community Shares offer can involve people and has expanded the idea of what a community business is. We look forward to the opening of the distillery and seeing more people take the opportunity to invest in this pioneering enterprise.”

The GlenWyvis Distillery, which will be entirely powered by green energy, is nearing completion at the Heights of Dochcarty by Dingwall and is on schedule to open next month.

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