Scores of business figures gathered at the Falkirk Wheel to be inspired by speakers from some of Scotland’s leading food and drink businesses.
More than 60 guests attended the session which was held as part of Clydesdale Bank’s Business Week on Monday 9 November. Addressing the crowd was Andy Bell from Isle of Arran Distillery, Toby Knowles from Harviestoun Brewery and Les Montgomery from Highland Spring.
Each of the businessmen discussed the unique selling points of their products, the opportunities and challenges they face as well as their growth aspirations.
Isle of Arran Distillery is one of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland and the only malt whisky distillery on Arran where their single malts are their signature. Harviestoun Brewery, which is based in Alva, produces a number of leading craft ales include Bitter & Twisted and Schielhallion.
Highland Spring is one of Scotland’s biggest brands. The company which has been drawing water from the Ochil Hills since 1979 is the UK’s number one bottled water.
The event was followed by a buffet which included samples provided by the speakers and a networking opportunity.
Clydesdale Bank is a strong supporter of Scotland’s food and drink sector, with the Bank this year renewing its strategic partnership with industry organisation Scotland Food & Drink. It also enjoys a similar partnership with Scottish Bakers.
Simon Kerr, Head of Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centres in Stirling and Falkirk, and host of the event, said: “Welcoming Andy, Les and Toby has been an honour and a pleasure. It was an inspiration to hear from them and learn from their experience of the food and drink sector.
“With 2015 designated the Year of Food and Drink in Scotland, there is a great opportunity to develop and grow our local food and drink sector.
"Our experience in the industry puts us in a strong position to support local food businesses as they seek to achieve their growth ambitions.”
The theme for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ Business Week is ‘Growth through innovation’, a positive and forward thinking approach to inspire businesses across the UK. Over 200 events will take place across the country, from breakfast meetings to flagship events, with an impressive line-up of innovative speakers including Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Blacks, and Will Whitehorn, former president of Virgin Galactic.
Highlights in Scotland include Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce speaking on the sectors that are helping the city to become an economic powerhouse. Influential columnist and broadcaster Guy Browning will visit Edinburgh to discuss the innovations that can improve productivity.