Six of the best businesses win chance to showcase their wares
SIXlocal businesses are preparing to showcase their products at this year’s Best of the West Festival after winning a competition run by Argyll and Bute council’s Business Gateway service.
Business Gateway encouraged pitches from a host of companies in the council area, which were then put in front of three judges, including the Dutchess of Argyll, who picked the winners.
Skinny Sketcher, Hiya Pal, A Touch of Glass, Sea Tree, Moine Mhor Jewellery and Fyne Silver, will all sell their products in the Business Gateway-sponsored craft tent for one day over the festival weekend which takes place on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 at Inveraray Castle.
Gillian Logan, founder of Skinny Sketcher, based in Helensburgh, will be exhibiting her drawing kits for children, aimed at budding young architects.
Gillian said: ‘I was delighted to be selected for Best of The West Festival, a fantastic event in the stunning setting of Inveraray Castle. It’s espe- cially exciting as Inveraray Castle is featured in our ‘Capture The Castle’ Drawing Kit and I’m looking forward to seeing busy sketchers capturing the castle on the day.’
Gillian will be joined in the Craft Tent by Niki Sammon of Hiya Pal. The Helensburgh designer creates a range of greetings cards, handmade with real tartan. Also on show will be glass art made by mid-Argyll based Kirsty Brady of A Touch of Glass studio as well as ceramics and decorative items made by Michaela Goan of Sea Tree in Dunoon.
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to get their hands on unique jewellery by Margaret Ker of Moine Mhor Jewellery and Lynne Girdwood of Fyne Silver.
To win a place in the craft tent companies were asked to pitch in 250 words why their products represent the best of the west.
The winners were based on the quality and appeal of their products, the strength of their sales pitch and their fit with the craft tent and the festival overall.
The three judges, event host The Duchess of Argyll, Fergus Murray, the council’s head of economic development and strategic transportation and councillor, Aileen Morton, Argyll and Bute council’s policy lead for sustainable economic growth, selected the eventual winners.
The Duchess of Argyll said: ‘Best of the West celebrates all things great about the west of Scotland and this year we are bigger than ever, with a huge buzz around our famous crafts tent. Working with Argyll and Bute council and Business Gateway, I was privileged to be asked to judge the recent competition to find standout stalls to sell their merchandise at this year’s festival.
‘We saw some incredible entrants and it was certainly a difficult decision, but we look forward to welcoming these six winners to this year’s Best of the West to show off their truly fantastic creations.’
The Best of the West festival will see over 120 musicians performing, with Skerryvore, Skipinnish and the Peatbog Faeries already confirmed to headline this year, alongside an eclectic mix of modern and tradition- al bands and Gaelic singers. Against the backdrop of Inveraray Castle, the festival will have a strong food and drink theme with fresh, local produce available including Mull cheddars and Loch Fyne oysters, while over 20 whisky distilleries will be represented.
Children can have fun on the climbing wall, face painting, laser blast and art area.
For more information on the festival and to buy tickets, visit www.bowfest. co.uk
The council’s Business Gateway team will also be at the event, where they will be on hand to explain more about the business support on offer to entrepreneurs in Argyll and Bute.
Any business across the region, whether new or existing and looking for support to grow can contact Business Gateway and access help from business advisers with the skills, experience and local knowledge to help their business plan for the future.
To find out more about how Business Gateway can help you set up and develop your own business, call 01546 604 555 or visit www.bgateway.com/ argyll-and-bute.