Top Scottish businessman backs bid to bring tartan weaving back to the Highlands

A leading Scottish businessman is backing a campaign to raise £500,000 to bring tartan weaving back to its home in the Scottish Highlands.
Last week, Scottish Field revealed that Clare Campbell was ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign online, for a new enterprise on the Black Isle.
The ‘Build the Mill’ crowd funding campaign is being run by Scottish design house Prickly Thistle, and has won the backing of Sir Brian Souter, founder of transport giant Stagecoach.
Sir Brian, who is also the president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), has lent his support to Clare.
Speaking yesterday (Thursday), Sir Brian said: ‘I met Clare for the first time when she presented at the ICAS annual conference.

Clare Campbell in the ruined building she hopes to convert into a tartan-weaving mill

‘She explained to me her vision for a highly ambitious and modern contemporary tartan brand – with a business plan that is set to re-design the tartan industry from the Highlands. One that restores the full manufacturing of the cloth to its birthplace.’
Clare, 39 and also a chartered accountant, added: ‘I am delighted that such a prominent businessman has given his support. I hope that this campaign to raise funds will help me build another global brand like Stagecoach that Scotland can be proud of.’
Founded by Clare two years ago, the brand has struggled to find suitable manufacturing partners in Scotland in what is already a busy sector for the country’s economy. As a result she took the step to build her own mill on the Black Isle by purchasing a farm steading that is suitable for conversion and now has pre-planning approval for the project.
The ’Build the Mill’ campaign is hosted by Kickstarter, one of the longest established crowd funding platforms. After significant research, the company decided to use this platform to raise £500,000 to help complete the mill project.

The farm building will hopefully become a mill for weaving tartan in the Highlands

Subscribers to the campaign on the Kickstarter website will be able to choose different levels of cash pledges for which they will receive products, or ‘rewards’ for their support.

Sir Brian continued: ‘Re-shoring of manufacturing operations like Clare’s is key to the future of Scotland’s economy, and I look forward to watching her business flourish. With that of course, I will be backing her Kickstarter campaign and I look forward to being part of the story that makes history for Scotland.’
The campaign, which hopes to raise £500,000 to convert and fit out the mill building runs from tomorrow (Saturday, October 14) for two months.
It will offer luxury reward gift items ranging from £15 to £8,000, all of which are unique to the campaign or are numbered limited edition products.
Visit https://pricklythistlescotland.com/ for more details.