The managing director of Isle of Harris Distillery, Simon Erlanger, has highlighted the value of the support it received from business network GlobalScot as the agency celebrates its 20th year.
The Isle of Harris distillery, famed for its gin served in distinctive, rippled glass bottles, raised £8.3 million in equity and £3.1 million in grants before its doors opened to the public in Tarbert in 2015, with 18 private investors hailing from across Europe, the United States and the Far East
Mr Erlanger believes the support of GlobalScot, which was established to play to the advantages of the Scottish diaspora, played an integral role in the distillery project coming to life.
He said: “We made connections with a variety of people, which led to our single biggest pledge of investment, enabling us to complete the equity element of our funding requirements.
“Without that, I’m not sure this project would be going ahead”
The distillery, which boasts an attractive visitor centre, started life with just 10 people and currently employs almost 40 permanent staff.
Twenty years in existence
GlobalScot, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, aims to connect organisations in Scotland with worldwide business and community leaders who have Scottish ties.
Linda Hanna, Scottish Enterprise interim chief executive, said: “The GlobalScot network is a critical and significant asset for Scotland.
“Over the last 20 years harnessing this network has helped to deliver millions of pounds of investment for Scotland and provide vital knowledge and connections to help Scottish companies enter markets overseas.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also congratulated GlobalScot on its milestone saying: “The 20th anniversary of GlobalScot is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, but also look ahead at how the network will play a critical role in Scotland’s economic recovery.
“GlobalScots undoubtedly help Scotland punch above its weight when it comes to attracting global investment, and I am looking forward to seeing what they do, now and in the future.”