Craft firms aim to be best of the west

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Craft businesses throughout Argyll and Bute will have the chance to sell their products to thousands of people at this year’s Best of the West festival.

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute is once again running a competition, inviting businesses across the region to pitch for a free trade stand within the craft tent.

The tent, sponsored by Business Gateway, is a popular pit stop for festival goers who are keen to snap up unique, local designs. With more than 5,000 visitors descending on Inveraray Castle, the competition is a fantastic chance for local crafters to raise their profile.

All six winners of last year’s competition proved popular during the weekend including Margaret Morrison-Macleod of the Divine Hag, an award-winning company that creates natural and organic aromatherapy room sprays.

Margaret said: ‘I was thrilled that my product was chosen to represent the ‘best of the west’. I had a wonderful response to my collection and to the beautifully crafted Baby Bliss spray, which I launched at the festival. It was wonderful to meet customers and get feedback.’

A panel of judges will select six winners based on their pitch, which should include the reasons their venture is special and why their products would be a good fit with the festival. The judges include festival host the Duchess of Argyll and Fergus Murray, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of economic development and strategic transportation.

Eleanor Argyll, Duchess of Argyll said: ‘I am thrilled that Business Gateway will be holding its competition to find the ‘best in the west’ of new businesses. We have been really impressed with the talent and diversity of the past entrants since the competition started and the winners have been very popular additions to the Business Gateway Craft tent. I am looking forward to the 2018 entrants already.’

The Best of the West festival is on Saturday and Sunday September 8 and 9, with live music on the evening of Friday September 7.

To enter, craft businesses are invited to describe in no more than 250 words why your craft business and the products you sell represent the ‘best in the west’. You must include a link to relevant websites or social media to support your entry and you can also include up to five photographs of your products and a film clip of no more than three minutes.

Entry is via email to business.gateway@argyll-bute.gov.uk. Entries open May 31 and the closing date is 5pm on July 6, 2018. Competition terms and conditions are available at argyll-bute.gov.uk/best-west-competition

For more information on the festival and to buy tickets, visit www.bowfest.co.uk