On the 16th of April 2016, GlenWyvis Community Benefit Society launched its community share offer to raise £1.5m to build the world’s first community-owned distillery.
The original target was quickly surpassed with the final total reaching a remarkable £2,533,510 with 2441 supporters from more than 30 countries worldwide.
The record breaking share offer
A local investment level of £250 within specific postcode areas encouraged the close-knit Highland communities to back their history. Further afield, £750 remained the minimum to attract worldwide participation and help put Dingwall back on the international whisky map.
The over-riding aim of the distillery is to help regenerate Dingwall by staking its claim as the craft-distilling town of Scotland and attracting many more visitors to the historic market town. Job creation and environmental sustainability also formed an integral part of the share offer.
GlenWyvis founder, John Mckenzie, said: “Our aim has always been to produce both high quality Highland whisky and Scottish craft gin – and to attract more visitors to the area. We are exploring options for distillery tours and a proposed GlenWyvis visitor experience that will help to benefit the community and develop Dingwall in to a high-quality destination on the North Coast 500 tourist route.”
Second share offer
GlenWyvis launched a second open share offer on 3rd August 2017. The second open share offer was designed to capitalise on continued investment demand from locals and visitors alike. By investing just £250, investors could become part-owner of a whisky and gin distillery that would not only support the regeneration of Dingwall, but also reinvest future profits into worthwhile community projects – both locally and further afield. This second share offer closed in April 2019, having raised another £1.1 million.
GlenWyvis has now produced an award-winning spirit in its Goodwill Gin, with its first bottles of whisky expected to come to market in 2025.
Community Shares Scotland provided early stage advice, funded consultancy and a microgrant to support the first GlenWyvis share offer. The project was also supported by Co-operative Development Scotland who provided advice on the governance and legal structure to facilitate the share issue