Our RURAL ENTERPRISE finalists for the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards are…
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.
Buth Bharraigh Ltd
Castlebay, Isle of Barra
Buth Bharraigh Ltd merged from the demand for local produce from the island markets in 2013. It fills in the gaps in the community by providing both goods and services that people cannot access on the island and stocks over 80 different producers. The social enterprise is run by producers, creating a community hub with opportunities for all.
The Bay Kitchen & Stores
Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran
The Bay Kitchen & Stores started life almost 100 years ago as McKelvie’s Stores and is one of the last remaining independent food shops on the Island. Their strong community partnership means that they are guided by the needs of locals. They have teamed up with island chefs, beekeepers and growers, and offer pop-up events to help place emphasis on regional Scottish produce.
Locate on the shores of Loch Tay, Taymouth Marina is one of the most sought-after berthing locations in the country with shore powered facilities. A major attraction for tourists today, the site had previously fallen into disrepair before being bought by Eric and Naomi Strickland in 2011. With new development The Hot Box also adding to the site, Taymouth Marina has attracted visitors to the area and has helped to provide extra footfall for other local businesses.
Established in 2011, Rock Machinery specialise in log splitters for the domestic, small holder, agricultural and equestrian markets. They operate on the remote Stockhill Farm and have helped transform how people live in rural areas, with over 50 per cent of their log splitters being sold to people in small, entrepreneurial businesses.
Galloway Activity Centre
Loch Ken, Castle Douglas
Since 1988 Galloway Activity Centre has grown from a small sailing centre into one of Scotland’s largest outdoor multi-activity centres. Having been nominated as an environmental ambassadors for Dumfries & Galloway, they source local produce and take an innovative approach to introducing activities and accommodation to both locals and the Scottish tourism market.
Oban Phoenix Cinema
Established in 2012, the Oban Phoenix Cinema was the answer to the communities expressed desire for a local cinema Oban. Previously, locals would have to travel to Glasgow or Stirling. Their long-term aim is to serve the community as a commercial enterprise that is self-supporting. The cinema is also ‘green aware’, having replaced all their lighting with LEDs to reduce emissions and are committed to recycling.
This static caravan and holiday cottage business go that extra mile to welcome customers. They are ideally situated for families who want to enjoy the beaches of the area, or climbers, walkers. anglers, birdwatchers or artists who would like to explore this inspiring location. Last year they held a ‘mini’ festival which showcased local acts, designers and businesses.
Roan’s Dairy – Fresher than the Udders
Dalbeattie, Dumfries & Galloway
Fresher than the Udders was launched in 2015 by the Roan family on Barnbarroch Farm. The traditional family-run dairy business has adapted in a fragile industry, with their doorstep service reaching individuals who have limited or no access and their innovative mobile Udder Milkshake Bar visiting local events. They are currently planning to develop a new purpose built dairy unit which will create new jobs and support a number of local trade businesses.
Having started as a hobby for Ali McManus, Phabulous Pheasant is a business based around recycling game feathers in order to use 100 per cent of the bird and to produce items such as hat pins and brooches. Ali’s workshops benefit the community and she plans to expand on these next year. She chooses to stock her items in smaller shops rather than mass produce them for larger companies, making them especially unique. Phabulous Pheasant items can be bought in independent shops such as Island Crafts in Tobermory, Bisley at Braidwood and The Fireside in West Linton.