Rural Enterprise and Innovation 2018

Xanthella Ltd.

Dunstaffnage, Oban

Xanthella was founded in November 2009 by Dr Douglas McKenzie. Looking for a new business challenge, he identified algae as a growing market. He concluded that the most realistic way to address the commercial opportunity was as a tool company supplying highly innovative technologies to the producers of algae rather than becoming an algae producer. Xanthella develops and manufactures bioproduction systems in the form of photobioreactors (PBR) that operate using LED technology. The systems are controlled by the Zeus II controller which allows for specific light, temperature and culturing conditions.


Waulkmill Cider & Grimble’s Vinegar

Westerkirk Langholm, Dumfries & Galloway

Waulkmill Cider is Scotland’s only commercial craft cider producer. Grimble’s Vinegar is a sister brand of the same company (incorporated in April this year as Langholm Distillery Ltd) which was launched at the end of November. Waulkmill Cider was founded seven years ago from almost zero capital investment. The business has grown organically year on year through turnover only. The business now has two employees and a handful of seasonal employees, one of which will be transitioning to year round employment very soon.



Udny, Ellon, Aberdeenshire

VegCø  are an Aberdeenshire-based food producer, established in January 2016. Their idea developed from the current family business, which partly focuses upon the generation of renewable energy. They have their own Anaerobic Digester, from which VegCø benefits from the generation of the electricity. The company uses this renewable energy to power our indoor greenhouse. VegCø  have around 45 600W lights alongside industrial heaters – which keep conditions consistent – and HOT!



Aberlour-on- Spey, Moray

Spey is an independent full-service creative communications agency which provides senior level advice providing a globally minded service from the world capital of Scotch Malt Whisky, Speyside. They are the only full-service agency in the region. Nothing they create is off the shelf. Spey’s services include public relations, data and digital, content marketing, experiential, brand engagement and corporate communications. Situated on the whisky highway, the A95, their business is perfectly placed to service whisky businesses that operate in the area, as well as service clients across several sectors across Scotland and the UK including food and drink, tourism, hospitality, education and creative industries and with a graduate and internship programme working with the colleagues and universities in Moray, H&I and North East..


MacRebur Ltd.

Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire

MacRebur was co-founded by three friends; Gordon Reid, Toby McCartney and Nick Burnett in early 2016, who were sick of the state of the potholed rural roads in Dumfriesshire. Inspired by an Indian method of melting plastic into craters to fill and seal them, they developed a patent-pending pellet from waste plastics (plastic which would otherwise end up in landfill). They have become known as the ‘plastic roads guys’ and their products – MR6, MR8 and MR10 – (which have been widely tested and meet British standards) are now being used in roads, lorry parks and runways across Great Britain to technical acclaim.



South Queensferry, Edinburgh

Edinburgh-based technology company IceRobotics is the world’s leading developer and provider of data collection and analysis products for monitoring dairy cow behaviour. Their revolutionary product, CowAlert, is a leading heat detection and health monitoring system that helps farmers make the right fertility and health decisions about their dairy herd.


HIJOBS Limited

Fort William, Inverness-shire

HIJOBS was founded in 2015 and are a technology job board focusing on rural areas in Scotland. They identified an opportunity to match candidates and recruiters outwith the Scottish economic hubs, in a cost effective way. The big players in the market didn’t find it commercially viable and businesses were no longer prepared to pay the prices of recruitment consultants and newspapers.


GlenWyvis Distillery

Upper Dochcarty, Dingwall , Highlands

GlenWyvis Distillery in the Highland market town of Dingwall is the UK’s first 100 per cent community-owned distillery. Together with the local community, they are bringing whisky distilling back to the town after an absence of almost 100 years – and in doing so, it is their mission to rejuvenate Dingwall by generating employment opportunities, financial return, tourism and a sense of local pride.


Down On The Farm

Rosehearty, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

Down On The Farm’s family (Carole and Matthew Short and their two young children Isobel and Thomas, along with Matthew’s parents Janet and John) have a 200-acre farm overlooking the rugged Buchan coast in Aberdeenshire. It is dedicated to a herd of beef cows and a sprinkling of sheep, peacocks, hens, ferrets and dogs. It is a real retreat for anyone wanting to escape busy urban life. Down On The Farm offers four luxury camping options – Harvest Hut, an off grid shabby chic revamp of a former farm workers accommodation and the Coastal Carriage; a tastefully remodelled vintage railway carriage. Both are beautifully decorated and come with log burners.


Back of Beyond (BoB) Broadband part of Craine Comms Ltd.

Oban, Argyll

BoB are a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and telecoms engineering company. Started up early 2016 as a general telecoms engineering company, it progressed into fixed wireless technologies and helped CIC companies connect more customers whilst at the same time starting Back of Beyond Broadband in October 2016. They provide customers with a range of products to then install, maintain and provide an equally good internet connection to their customers. Keeping the rural, digital economy competitive and at the forefront.