Finalists announced for 2019 Helping it Happen Awards

Land-based member organisation Scottish Land & Estates has announced the finalists for its 2019 Helping It Happen Awards campaign.

Now in its third year, the campaign and its annual awards are becoming increasingly renowned as champions of rural business and entrepreneurship in Scotland. High numbers of entries into all nine categories demonstrate strong support and appreciation of the recognition Helping It Happen gives to all sizes of rural business for their contribution to local communities and the wider Scottish economy.

The Awards categories invite a diverse range of businesses to demonstrate their success as entrepreneurs through sharing their story, and to highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits their success has brought to local communities and often very remote areas of Scotland.

The 2019 independent judging panel includes experienced rural business owners, public service professionals and business mentors. Their focus is on identifying sustainable businesses which use innovative practices and technologies to uphold high environmental standards, with potential for continued growth and positive social and economic impact on both a local and national scale.

Judge Julia Latto of Scottish Enterprise said: ‘We are inspired and enthused by the number and standard of entries for a third year running. The Awards have clearly gained momentum throughout Scotland, and businesses from all facets of rural industry are sharing their growth and success, alongside demonstrable benefits to their communities, to the environment and to future generations. Selecting the finalists has been a challenging task for the panel, and those nominated should be extremely proud of their business achievements.’

Sarah-Jane Laing, SLE executive director, added: ‘Helping It Happen is evidently succeeding in its aim to gain public recognition for the economic and social contribution made by rural businesses to the Scottish economy. These businesses overcome the challenges of remote rural living to grow into successful enterprises, and many provide significant employment within their local communities and beyond. The standard of services, products and initiatives created by families and small collaborations, and the determination and professionalism required to develop into credible businesses deserves recognition and appreciation from consumers, industry and government bodies. We are delighted to be helping that happen!’

The finalists for each category have been announced as follows:

Tourism: The Scourie Hotel, Lairg; The Bus Stop, Bankrugg Farm, East Lothian; Jahama Highland Estates Glen Nevis Access Path, Fort William.

Rural Business: Borders Machinery Ring, Earlston; Skyeskyns, Isle of Skye; Ogilvy Spirits, Hatton of Ogilvy Farm.

Rural Housing: Abercairny Estate, Crieff; Inverbroom Estate, Garve; Dormont Park, Dalton.

Education: Dumfries House, Cumnock; Falkland Estate Centre for Stewardship, Fife; Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy; Fenton Barns Nursery, East Lothian.

Working with Communities: Cullen Volunteer Group; Crossroads Community Hub, East Ayrshire; Marchmont House, Berwickshire

Innovation in Farming: Durie Farms, Leven; Westfield Farms, Inverurie; Elchies Estates, Aberlour; Sweethope Farm, Kelso.

Enhancing our Environment: Lochrosque and Kinlochewe Estates, Wester Ross; The Campbell Partnership, Scottish Borders; Upper Dee Riparian Woodland, Deeside.

Conservation: Whitmuir Estate, Selkirk; Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels; The Tweed Foundation, Scottish Borders.

The finalists of the Iver Salvesen Green Business Award will be announced at a later date. This is a separate award in recognition of businesses that are committed to enhancing their environmental and social credentials and that are working to lower their environmental footprint.

The winner of each category will be announced at the Helping it Happen Awards gala evening on 02 October at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh. Tickets are available from Scottish Land & Estates.

The Helping it Happen Awards are run by Scottish Land & Estates. The Awards were founded in 2017.

The campaign aims to highlight how landowners and rural businesses across Scotland play a key role in enabling and supporting success in rural areas. This campaign provides case studies covering a diverse range of sectors, including examples such as providing affordable rural housing, the development of renewable energy schemes and partnerships with local schools to deliver rural skills qualifications.