Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall.
However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.
The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
A bespoke candle-maker has been able to accelerate the growth of her business and take on new premises after Business Gateway helped the team secure funding through the Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme.
Founded in 2019 by Hazel MacCormick, Lismore Luminations is a business based on the Isle of Lismore that designs and manufactures soy candles and ancillary products with unique scents inspired by the magnificent scenery surrounding the island.
Business Gateway worked with Hazel after she experienced increased demand for her products. As well as providing support from a business adviser, they were able to signpost her to funding opportunities and help her access a growth grant from the Local Growth Accelerator Programme.
The Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme is funded by Argyll and Bute Council and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20 Structural Funds Programme.
Using this grant, Hazel was able to expand production from her kitchen to larger premises, with the aim of providing further employment opportunities on the island long term.
Hazel said: ‘Before working with Business Gateway, I would never have imagined I could turn my hobby into a growing business. With its support, I have been able to access funding, expand into new premises and create a successful brand that I hope will bring jobs to the local community in the future.’
Through Business Gateway, Hazel was also able to access a range of services including one-to-one support, advice on her business plan and two days of marketing support to help identify potential markets for her business to target which helped expand her customer base across mainland Scotland and the UK.
She also engaged with DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital training programme, delivered by Business Gateway.
The combination of funding and business support services has resulted in the development and creation of new candle scents and products.
Hazel added: ‘When the pandemic hit I had to adapt my business as I was no longer able to attend markets or sell in shops.
‘With the support of Business Gateway I was able to develop my online sales via my website site. The one-to-one support has been invaluable to help navigate social network marketing.’
Angela Vernel, business adviser for Business Gateway, said: ‘The Argyll and Bute Local Growth Accelerator Programme has been highly effective in facilitating the growth of Lismore Luminations, and it’s fantastic to see how Hazel has had the confidence to build her brand, develop new products and expand.
‘We know that throughout this pandemic, people have been taking time to evaluate what they want to do with their careers.
‘Hazel’s story shows that it’s possible to take your hobby and make it into a thriving business, especially if you reach out and access the range of support available.’
For more information and to connect with Business Gateway please visit www.bgateway.com or contact the local team on 01546 808363.