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A spirit of adventure helped by The Hive

20 November 2018

As the first co-operative distillery, GlenWyvis works closely with its community with the help of The Hive.

The Hive is a nationwide programme of support for anyone wishing to set-up or grow a co-operatively run business or organisation. It’s created by Co‑operatives UK in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank, and we continue to support it, having committed £1.3 million until the end of 2020.

The Hive offers advice and training opportunities to groups at different stages of setting up or developing their co-operative or social business. From peer mentoring, resources and advice, to tailored co-operative training sessions.

Together, The Hive gives like-minded people, innovators and groups the support they need to succeed.

One of those organisations that has benefitted from the expertise and resources available from The Hive is the GlenWyvis Distillery.

The idea of a distillery in Dingwall started out as a vision to create local jobs, attract tourism and put the village of Dingwall back on the map. Today, the GlenWyvis distillery is the world’s first community-owned distillery.

Back in 2016, local residents formed a co-operative and launched a ‘community share offer’. Around 3,000 people from across the region and beyond, raised an incredible £2.6 million to fund the planning and development of the GlenWyvis distillery.

In 2017, when building of the distillery commenced, additional funds were required to complete it and begin whisky production. Rather than borrow money and incur debt, the co-operative’s board launched another community share offer.

Thanks to this continued investment from the community, GlenWyvis distillery is now complete and began whisky production on Burns Night 2018 – the first time whisky has been produced in Dingwall for over a century.

How did The Hive help?

When the distillery needed support, they were signposted towards the guidance and expertise of The Hive. A team from The Hive travelled up to Dingwall and helped them launch a community share offer, this time an open share offer, one of the world’s first, which had no deadline to invest.

As part of this process, they were awarded the Community Share Standard Mark which gave the distillery’s directors confidence in the project. Their confidence cascaded down to the distillery’s investors, and has been the key to their success.

This innovative thinking and support led to GlenWyvis becoming the world’s first distillery owned by the community that surrounds it.

“As an investor, you get this spark that there's a little bit of Ross-shire that is ours. This really gives something to Dingwall to call its own.”

Sheena Young, Local Resident.

Read more case studies from The Hive

Bristol Wood Recycling Project

The Hive and Leeds Bread Co-op

The Hive and SPSC

The Hive and the SELCE Co-operative

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