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Helping It Happen 2016 National Award Winners


Highland Region Chairman's Award 2016

Gordon Castle was the stand out candidate for my 2016 Chairman’s award. When I look back to the Highland business highlights of the last 10 years I am in awe of two that have used modern marketing techniques brilliantly, North Coast 500 opened up the NW Highlands to a global audience and Gordon Castle, whose owners have taken an historically important but recently quiet little sporting estate in Moray to the top in the north. The rebuilding of their walled garden with impressive café and shop, the re-emergence of the Highland Games at the Gordon Castle Fair together with their excellent sporting offer have made this estate a must visit place for visitors. Their Estate branded Gin is now an award winning leader in this market. Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox have assembled a terrific team at Gordon Castle who are delivering their vision of excellence in all areas of their business and their marketing flair should help keep them at the top.

South West Region Chairman's Award 2016

Chosen by David Johnstone:

The reason that I have chosen the Scrib tree, is for me the impact that it has on the local community and the town of Douglas. When you drive through the town for many years it has been noticeable that the centre has been suffering from decay and it was looking rather sad. Suddenly when you drive through now, you are confronted by a building that has been wonderfully and sympathetically restored right in the heart of the village and exudes confidence and an air of attention to detail and care. It lifts the centre of the village. And that is before you start to look at what it is doing and how it is doing it in the way that it has worked with both a local tradesmen to enable it to be restored and then working with a local young person who is very much involved in the running of it. And not only that, it is providing a gateway for selling local produce to both the village of Douglas and those from wider afield.

It is a perfect example of how an estate can use its position to dramatically benefit a local community.

North East Region Chairman's Award 2016

Chosen by David Fyffe:

The North-East region is fortunate to have a large number of active estates who give a great deal of priority to supporting their local, rural communities. The wealth of case studies on our dedicated Helping It Happen web site bears testimony to their success.
As a background to the reason for choosing this year's Helping It Happen award winner, I don’t have to remind anyone of the severe downturn the local economy has gone through; The major employer, the Oil & Gas industry, has reduced its activity massively and this has cost the region more than 30,000 jobs over the last 2 years.
The knock-on effect of this has had a major impact on jobs generally in the many service companies, across the region, which support the O&G industry, but equally crucial has been the reduction in opportunities for young people such as school leavers.
Against this backdrop, I believe that the outstanding project in 2016 has been the tremendous, collaborative work that Ballogie, Glen Tanar and Dinnet Estates have put into their Landowners' Rural Education Partnership, working closely with Aboyne Academy staff.
Pupils have been given a well-planned, enjoyable and very interesting chance to learn about how the forestry sector works, the many benefits that are gained for the local community from good forestry management, and the job opportunities that it creates for local people in rural areas.
Valuable support has been given by other Deeside Estates, the Cairngorm National Park Authority, Forest Education Initiative and Aberdeenshire Council.
This project will continue in 2017 and it demonstrates just how much can be achieved when public and private sectors work together with a clear objective. A collaborative approach can deliver so much more with shared resources, time and effort.

South East Region Chairman's Award 2016

Chosen by Tony Stevenson:

Bowhill's (Buccleuch) investment in a partnership initiative with John Park at Drinkstone Farm near Hawick proves that there is mutual benefit in tenancies and that these relationships can be positive. Much is made of Estates and tenants not working together and that its always focussed on the landowner however this project proves otherwise. The Bowhill management team had several options open to them when John Parks Parents decided to retire and without having the necessary funding to keep the farm stocked John Park may have become another victim of these uncertain times in the farming sector. However, Bowhill seized the opportunity to not only secure the tenancy but also Johns skills and knowledge of both the land and the flock he has worked with for many years. By investing financially in the business partnership as well as offering management support services and offering them a 5 year tenancy the Parks can now plan into the future and grow the business into a sustainable unit. With the farm restocked and growing combined with the support from the estate the Parks can buy out the partnership at the end of the five years leaving another strong business for future generations to come.

Central Region Chairman's Award 2016

Chosen by Martin Robb:

I nominate the Luss Link Housing project as the winner for Central Region. It ticks a number of boxes which I think are particularly relevant:
  • Initial housing to-date provides a 'helping hand' for elderly from the existing local community
  • Projected housing will significantly encourage a younger profile to the Luss community
  • Younger population will likely have significant affect upon existing village school which is currently struggling
  • The Initiative is being driven by the enthusiasm of next generation $ndash; Sir Malcolm's son and daughter-in-law
  • Significant use of renewable energy by harnessing the local water supply
This is a project that sets a high standard of commitment by the landowner to rejuvenating a rural community.

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