Our BUSINESS DIVERSIFICATION finalists for the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards are…
Ballogie Estate Enterprise – Potarch Development
Ballogie is a family-owned estate covering 6,000 acres of land. Potarch Hotel, part of the estate’s portfolio, was previously leased and run by a tenant until it closed in 2013. Completed at the start of 2016, the redevelopment has been adapted into a luxury self-catering property with a licensed cafe and restaurant; maintaining the cultural heritage of the site which was so important to the local community. The development has since increased visitors in the area, with the aim of promoting Potarch as an activity and tourism hub.
The Newport (incorporating Tatha Gallery, Newport Chiropractic Clinic and The Newport Restaurant)
Newport on Tay, Fife
The Newport’s ambition is to be a destination globally synonymous with inspiring fine art and ambrosial food, in an amazing relaxed, calm environment. Incorporated within The Newport is Tatha Gallery, The Newport restaurant and rooms and The Newport Chiropractor Clinic which together focus on health and wellbeing. Employing 42 people, the team work with local authorities, schools to raise awareness of their carbon footprint, zero waste and healthy cooking and eating.
Down on the Farm
In 2012, Carole Short established High Seas Hobbit, a farm diversification business which allows guests to live on the farm, enjoy spectacular views and escape the pressure of everyday life. Expanding on this, Coastal Carriage – a restored railway carriage living space – was launched in 2015. The unique aspect of Down On The Farm is the experiences it offers guests in discovering a real working farm and forgotten aspects of honest, rural life.
Luss Estates Company
Arden Arnburn, Argyll
Luss Estates is a diversified rural business set on the banks of Loch Lomond. They bring a modern and sustainable approach to green energy generation, farming, forestry, nature conservation and game management. They employ over 100 local people and work closely with Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. Luss welcomes over 750,000 visitors every year to its developments, including Luss General Store, Loch Lomond Arms Hotel and The Clan Shop. Loch Lomond Arms Hotel turned over £1.2 million in 2014, rising to £1.7 million in 2016.
Gordon Castle Estate, Fochabers
Gordon Castle Estate, Walled Garden and the Gordon Castle Scotland brand are the results of eight years of hard work by Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox. Offering a range of services including accommodation, dining and shopping, the estate employs 65 full-time staff and welcomed 60,000 visitors in 2015. In 2010 Angus brought back the Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair, which was visited by over 10,000 people in 2016.
South Queensferry, West Lothian
Originally a dairy farm, Craigie’s Farm began selling fruit and veg in the mid 80s. Since then the business has expanded – adding a butchers, meeting room, cafe and shop – and is now split into two; with G&G Sinclair continuing with the jams, farm and fruit while Craigie Fram Limited focuses on the development of the shop, cafe and meeting room. They are the only fruit farm in West Lothian and the only one in Scotland to offer customers the chance to pick their own cherries.
Cardney Sporting and Farming Estates
Cardney Estate is a 2000 acre estate that specialises in partridge and pheasant shooting, deer stalking, sheep farming and fishing. Originally reinvented by the late David Henry in the 90s when it was a run down estate and farm shoot, Cardney has continued to develop; with a large focus on efficiency in sheep farming and sustainability of the business for future generations. The company are members of Quality Meat for Scotland and the Scotch Farm Assured scheme.
Meikleour Estate is a diversified family business operating in farming, hospitality and tourism, commercial and residential property and renewable energy. Taken over by Sam and Claire Mercer-Nairne in 2006, the aim for the estate was to turn it into an enterprising place to live and work as well as an idyllic holiday destination. Meikleour Estate has since brought significant jobs and services to the rural area, as well as Meikleour Fishings benefiting not only anglers but the entire village.
Dr David Slight/Lands of Marketgate
Ormiston, East Lothian
The Lands of Marketgate surround the village of Ormiston, having been farmed by Dr David Slight for most of his life. Some years ago he sold part of his land to The Roslin Institute who carried out pioneering research on Dolly the sheep and has since focused on other ways to revive economic and social benefits to the rural community. Together with Clarendon Planning & Development Ltd, Dr David Slight is now assisting in addressing the housing shortage in East Lothian. The increased number of residents stands to economically benefit the village of Ormiston which was the first planned village in Scotland during the agricultural revolution.
The Walled Garden, Kincardine
Kincardine, Kincardine by Alloa
Purchased by Richard Laing and Anne Crawford in 2003, the couple transformed derelict Righead Farm into four high quality houses; retaining most of the farmland for agricultural use. They opened The Walled Garden to the public in July 2012, growing a variety of different vegetables on their grounds which are used to create delicious meals and seasonal menus in the cafe.