Highlands & Islands

Hillside tram proposed for distillery near Dingwall

Electric elevator concept Image copyright GlenWyvis
Image caption The funicular railway-style elevator has been suggested by an investor in the planned new distillery

Visitors to a planned new Highlands distillery could ride to and from the site on an "electric elevator".

GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society has proposed building Scotland's first community-owned craft whisky distillery near Dingwall.

One of the 2,600 people who invested in the distillery's crowdfunding appeal suggested that the public access the site by a funicular-style railway.

The ride would take three minutes, the society said.

It has been proposed that the electric-powered inclined elevator, also known as a hillside tram, would form part of a park-and-ride scheme serving the distillery's visitor hub.

An electric bus would take visitors from Dingwall to the elevator's base station.

GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society said the elevator would only be built if the distillery site is also chosen for the location of its visitor centre.

If the funicular does go ahead it would be the first of its kind in the UK and, at 400m (1,312ft), the longest in Europe, the organisation said.

'Great potential'

John Mckenzie, the founder of GlenWyvis and site landowner, said: "We are now exploring this funicular-style solution as a positive response to local concerns about access to the distillery.

"We think this 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 Highlands are already home to Scotland's only funicular railway. CairnGorm Mountain, near Aviemore, runs the railway to the UK's highest restaurant.

Opened in 2001, the funicular connects a base station with the ski centre's restaurant 1,097m (3,599ft) up Cairn Gorm mountain.

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