Young growth firms pick up £10k prizes

Firms find winning ways through working together

Three new Scottish consortia have each received a £10,000 collaboration prize from Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), which encourages companies to join forces to grow.

Scottish Craft Distillers, the Scottish Honey and Beeswax Consortium and Edinburgh-based creative design consortium Adventures in Light picked up the cash awards.

The judging panel also highly commended an application from businesses in the Borders to form the Ale Water Valley tourism marketing consortium.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister said: “As emphasised through Scotland CAN DO, collaboration is a key to innovation and growth for businesses in all sectors of our economy. I am therefore delighted to see the breadth and quality of applicants to this year’s CDS Collaboration Prize.

“The three winning companies are all shining examples of the increasing appetite from Scottish SMEs to explore the merits of working together.”

Sarah Deas, chief executive of CDS, the arm of Scottish Enterprise that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership business models, said: “It is inspiring to see so many businesses keen to collaborate for success. I congratulate the winners and wish them every success in their new ventures.” 

Craft distillersWinning the marketing category, the Scottish Craft Distillers co-operative brings together 12 small-volume distillers to form one entity to improve members’ exporting power.

The new co-operative is pooling members’ resources to create one marketing strategy which will allow more ambitious world-wide campaigns, bringing each distiller’s products to wider attention. Members will also share ideas on cost savings and new product development.

Tony Reeman-Clark, chairman, said: “We’re thrilled to win the Collaboration Prize. We are a group of craft distillers with ambitious plans but we lacked the time, funds and specific expert knowledge to put them into action. Thanks to the prize, we will be able to accelerate our efforts and make those plans a reality.

BeeswaxThe Scottish Honey and Beeswax Consortium (SHBC) will combine resources from members to increase production, with a commitment from all members to sell a minimum of 65% of honey and beeswax products under the new brand. SHBC has established a clear, united direction for its future, while keeping the core objective of saving Scotland’s ailing honeybee population.

Winning the Innovation category of the Collaboration Prize will significantly help the organisation push its new brand forward, develop uniform pricing, unrivalled quality and a competitive, collective marketing strategy which will open up previously unattainable markets.

Paul Holmes, chairman of the Kilsyth-headquartered SHBC said: “It is fantastic to have won the Collaboration Prize. Many of our producers have come from long-term unemployment or low-income households.

“Being part of the consortium will unlock the potential for members across the country to turn what has been a hobby into a viable career option. This will enable them to develop new products for sale and access a wider marketplace.

“Bees have been in decline in Scotland, but their presence is essential for Scotland’s agriculture and wildlife because they help pollinate crops. Growing this industry helps protect their future and that of our members.”

Adventures in lightAdventures in Light, which won in the tendering category, is a newly formed business that brings together a graphic designer, filmmaker and carpenter.

Their vision is to create dynamic projected installations for musical and cultural performances – an offer which is currently not available from one company in Scotland.

To date the group has worked with Edinburgh Science Festival, T in the Park and the Scottish Dance Theatre and by winning this prize they hope to engage more prospective clients with the possibilities for using projection and mapping for events.

Working as a consortium the trio will pool their expertise allowing for seamless idea creation to execution. It will also allow the collective the use of resources enabling the group to purchase more advanced equipment and embark on more ambitious installations.

Chairman, Cristina Spiteri said: “While we are individual businesses, we have been collaborating together for two years. When we found out there was a way for us to form a business from our collaboration, we were really excited. It’s absolutely perfect for us and we were already naturally working in that way.

“It makes sense for clients to be talking to one body rather than three individual businesses. It also means we can grow to involve other companies and artists to go for bigger jobs. Forming our official consortium is so exciting and offers so much growth potential for us.”

CDS worked in partnership with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, the Supplier Developer Programme and Business Gateway in promoting and judging this year’s prize.


·         Scottish Craft Distillers:

Tony Reeman-Clark of the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (second from left), pictured in a new Scottish craft distillery with distilling staff Liam Pennycook (left, brewer), Kenny Knox (centre, warehouseman) and Zak Shenfield (distiller, right).

·         Scottish Honey & Beeswax Consortium 02:

Jamie and Rebecca Stirling with a selection of honey varieties.

·         Adventures in Light:

Susanna Murphy (top left, motion graphics and film editor), Christina Spiteri (bottom left, 3D animator/graphic design) and Richard Anstice (set designer and builder).

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