Case Studies

Borrisdale Tweed weaves pathway to success

Thanks to strategic advice from Business Gateway, Carol and Rob secured a grant which allowed them to move to a larger premise.

9th March 2020

About the business

Founded by Carol Graham and Rob English in 2017, Borrisdale Tweed specialises in the design, manufacture and retail of exclusive, high quality homewares and accessories using locally woven Harris Tweed.

From a modest start as a pop-up shop next to their weaving shed, the business has doubled its turnover year on year and also significantly exceeded its projected turnover for 2019, following its recent relocation.

Business Gateway’s support has been invaluable to our business, their input helped clarify our strategy to expand our manufacturing through a move to a larger premise.

How Business Gateway has helped

Business Gateway was able to help Borrisdale Tweed with one-to-one sessions from a business adviser, funding advice and an introduction to the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Business Gateway also supported the textile firm’s successful application to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Grants for Growth Funding, where they were awarded £20,000, helping them to renovate a dilapidated building in a key location in the south of Harris.

Rob English, director of Borrisdale Tweed, commented: “Business Gateway’s support has been invaluable to our business. Although I was succesful with ERDF funding in my previous academic roles, the input provided really helped clarify our strategy to expand our manufacturing through a move to a larger premises in Leverburgh. This included a focus on training and sustainability, to the effect that I now have a site management qualification and we were able to project manage the renovation ourselves. We are now also almost zero waste with regard to use of cloth in the manufacture of our products.

“The grant enabled us to turn the former post office in Leverburgh into bespoke premises, which ultimately helped us to achieve our main objective of providing exclusive, high quality products made in the Outer Hebrides.”

Derek Maclean, business adviser at Business Gateway Outer Hebrides, added: “In addition to one-to-one support, strategic advice and networking opportunities, we were able to connect Borrisdale Tweed to the Grants for Growth scheme and fill its funding gap. It is fantastic to see how the ERDF grant funding has enabled Carol and Rob to create beautiful business premises and support our traditional textile industry by increasing their on-island manufacturing.”

Support provided

1:1 Business Advice

Advice on Business Plan

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Advice on Funding

Networking Opportunities

Financial Restructuring Advice or Support

Get the support you need right now

You can connect with us through the contact form, call us or contact your local Business Gateway office.