IT is being billed as Scotland’s first community-owned micro-brewery and it has smashed the £125,000 fundraising target to help make the goal a reality.

The Isle of Eigg Brewery started a fundraising community share campaign a fortnight ago and by last night it had raised more than £133,000.

Stu McCarthy, its founder and brewer said with two weeks left in the campaign to create the country’s most environmentally-friendly brewery, the team had decided to “stretch” the target by £65,000 to allow them to fast-track the social impacts they believed it could deliver.

McCarthy said: “The response to the campaign is breath-taking,” he said. “Almost 400 people have bought a community share. Their backing means they want Eigg Brewery to bring positive change to our local and wider community. I can’t wait to get started.

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“Achieving our initial target so quickly really ups the pace at which things can happen. Now it’s about how much we can deliver socially and environmentally, and how fast. There’s such huge potential.”

The Isle of Eigg is 12 miles off the mainland, and famous for its community land ownership and unique renewable energy system powered by wind, water and sun. Now it will have Scotland’s first co-operative brewery.

McCarthy said the campaign motto was “People not Profit” and they wanted to counter the effects of Covid to create a platform where people could thrive: “We’ll create three new jobs over the first three years. In a population of 110 children and adults, that will make us one of Eigg’s larger employers.

“With an additional investment we hope this can be done over a shorter period. And we’ll create a grant for local business start-ups.”

He said Brewdog were showing that people wanted environmentally-aware businesses and while they were doing it on a macro-scale, Eigg wanted something similar on a micro-scale.

McCarthy added: “People have invested in the Isle of Eigg Brewery because of what it is offering socially and environmentally.

“They see the wider good that can come about.”

The campaign runs until December 29 at