GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society has unveiled an ambitious plan to build a sustainable, electric funicular-style railway to the distillery - but only if the distillery site is chosen as the location for the visitor centre.
The innovative proposal is being developed alongside plans to build the world's first community-owned distillery above Dingwall. The idea to build a futuristic electric elevator was first raised by one of the 2,600 GlenWyvis investors and to date the concept has been developed privately. It will now be the focus of a full feasibility study to be shared with the GlenWyvis board of directors.
The board continues to review a number of potential visitor centre locations in and around Dingwall. However, the elevator will only be built if the distillery is chosen as the site of the visitor hub. An innovative park and ride scheme would also be set up to shuttle visitors from the town centre to the base station on board an electric bus. The elevator would carry visitors the 400 metres to the distillery in three minutes.
John Mckenzie, the founder of GlenWyvis and site landowner, explained the elevator would be the first of its kind in the UK and the longest in Europe. He said:
We are exploring this solution as a positive response to local concerns about access. We think it has great potential to attract many more people to Dingwall and the distillery itself. It is all aimed at rejuvenating Dingwall as the craft distilling town for Scotland.
The board of GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Cait Gillespie to the new role of History Curator at the world's first 100% community-owned whisky distillery.
A former Head Girl of Dingwall Academy, Cait graduated from Strathclyde University in 2014 with a First Class BA degree in History. In addition to her historical research, Cait has worked in communications for Aberdeenshire Council, and as community engagement officer as part of the Future City Glasgow project. Cait returned home to live at Loch Ussie in 2016 and, alongside her role as history curator, she will now support the GlenWyvis team across a wide range of community engagement and marketing tasks.
Following her appointment, David O'Connor, chairman of the GlenWyvis board, said: “We had a high number of excellent applications, and we were impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of the short-listed candidates. However, Cait's combination of interests, experience and superb communication skills made it an easier selection process. We are delighted she has agreed to join GlenWyvis and we're sure all our founding members will support this appointment that their investment has made possible.
We had an informative and fascinating visit to Forsyths at Rothes today. We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Richard Forsyth and local man Neale Boag from Avoch who have provided special assistance to GlenWyvis in support of our aims and community ethos to confirm 100% that our whisky stills are on their production schedule for 2016.
Our GlenWyvis Gin has been finding it's way into the hands of Scotland's ex-First Minster Alex Salmond.