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Entrepreneurs gather for seminar

14 March 2014

Entrepreneurs from up and down the west coast gathered at Arisaig House on 13 March for the annual West Coast Communities Growth Trust seminar.

Guests were invited to question leading business, finance and media experts on how best to identify development opportunities to help to grow their businesses sustainably. This year’s key speakers included successful businessman Angus MacDonald, journalist Mairi Watson and representatives from Chartered Brands and Highland and Islands Enterprise.

One organisation to benefit from an award from the Trust is Via Ferrata Scotland (VFS), the first outdoor climbing development of its kind in Scotland which will open later this month.

Located beside Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall in Kinlochleven, the new climbing experience using metal staples and cable bridges will open up access to one of the most visually stunning areas of the highlands; attracting new visitors and keen climbers alike.

Ben Starkie, Director of VFS and Vertical Descents said: "The West Coast Communities Growth Trust is a real support to my businesses. The grant has supported the construction of Scotland's first Via Ferrata. This will not only be a great asset to tourism and outdoor activities in the west coast of Scotland, it will also create employment and sustainability for the local area. Along with financial support, the Trust seminars have helped me develop my entrepreneurial skills and have inspired me to develop my company. "

Angus MacDonald who set up the West Coast Communities Growth Trust with his wife Michie facilitated discussions throughout the seminar. He said, “Vertical Descents is showing great initiative in expanding their offering for visitors to Lochaber. West Coast Communities Growth Trust is delighted to support them.”

The West Coast Communities Growth Trust provides grants for local businesses. The aim of the programme is to enhance prosperity and promote thriving communities in North West Scotland by supporting sustainable local business and employment opportunities. Foundation Scotland manages the fund on the behalf of the West Coast Communities Growth Trust.

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