Meet the Helping It Happen finalists: Rural Business Award

19 Sep 2019

The countdown is on till our Helping It Happen Awards Dinner & Ceremony in a couple of weeks’ time! We’re taking a closer look at each of our finalists here on our blog and today it’s the turn of the Rural Business category. The standard of nominees was extremely high this year and our finalists are certainly leading the way in enabling and supporting success in rural areas. If you haven’t booked your tickets to celebrate with us at The Sheraton Hotel on 2 October, you can do so on our website. Anne Lundon, Presenter of BBC’s Landward, will be hosting the evening. 

Here’s a little more about the stories behind the finalists in the Rural Business category, kindly sponsored by Turcan Connell.


Skyeskyns, based on the beautiful Isle of Skye, is the sole remaining commercial woolskin tannery in Scotland. The family business is truly committed to sustainability and has taken its next steps towards a neutral carbon footprint. For the first time, skins are being tanned using mimosa, the tannin extract from the bark of the mimosa tree and looking to the future, everything produced within the tanning process will be compostable and spread back on the Skyeskyns croft. The lambskins are ethically sourced from local abattoirs and local people are employed, all contributing to the local economy. 

Read their story.

Borders Machinery Ring

In 1987 a ground-breaking farmers co-operative was born in the Scottish Borders. Now, the Borders Machinery Ring (BMR) has grown into a £7million turnover business with over 1050 members. The ring recently moved to a new office premises in Earlston, providing not only a modern workplace for staff, but also excellent training facilities central to the membership. Pooling and sharing of farm machinery is still a core function of BMR, but others now include fuel supply, utilities, labour and training provisions. The pioneering work of BMR provided a blueprint for the formation of machinery rings across the UK, including 9 covering the majority of Scotland. 

Read their story.

Ogilvy Spirits

Secondary potatoes unwanted by supermarkets lead Haton of Ogilvy Farm to set up their distillery. Since launching in 2014, their Ogilvy Potato Vodka has gone on to win World’s Best Vodka at the IWSC awards, along with many other prestigious accolades for the product. Their range has expanded to create a range of premixed cocktails which utilise the vodka and a range of local pressed fruit juices. The second step in the diversification of the farm was the creation of a new visitor centre which offered a new lease of life to an otherwise disused steading. Both local and international visitors have travelled to hear the unique story of Ogilvy Vodka and share the interesting experience. 

Read their story.

Don’t forget to book your tickets and join us at our Helping It Happen Awards Ceremony to find out who takes home the trophy in the Rural Business category. Book your tickets.