Six of the best busi­nesses win chance to show­case their wares

The Oban Times - - Business -

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.

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.bgate­ ar­gyll-and-bute.

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