Trade missions to Ireland and America have paid off for Forres firm Burgess Bagpipes.
The bagpipe-maker has picked up orders from buyers in the US, Canada, Germany and Spain, and expanded its contacts in Australia and New Zealand.
Earlier this year, the family-run firm secured a Go Global grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support its global marketing ambitions.
The funding allowed the company to visit traditional instrument resellers in Ireland and host workshops at the Jim Dowling Traditional Piping festival, one of the highlights on Ireland’s festival map.
It also hosted workshops at the New Hampshire Scot Loon Mountain Highlands Games in the US.
Next year, the company will be represented at festivals in France, Germany and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Burgess Bagpipes designs and manufactures Scottish small pipes, Border pipes, Highland bagpipes and accessories. Materials include African blackwood and titanium, and manufacturing uses modern precision engineering technology.
Set up by Burgess Hay, former owner of Forres-based Firscot Engineering, with his wife Fiona and son Scott, the firm is believed to be one of only two in the world making all three types of Scottish bagpipes.
Mrs Hay’s late father was renowned Aberdeen-born champion piper John McDougall. Scott joined the firm after working with his father’s previous company and studying traditional music at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Scott Hay said the overseas visits had given the business a “real profile boost”.
He added: “There’s been a marked increase in our followers on both Facebook and Twitter, especially from people in the USA.
“We have also seen increased website traffic, again notably from people in the USA, and have every reason to anticipate some of this translating into further sales.
“Thanks to Scottish Development International, which introduced us to a Global Scot in the USA, and the HIE creative industries team, who provided other useful contacts, we are also expanding our marketing networks.”
BBL became a client of HIE last year and the organisation has helped the firm with its growth plans.
HIE business development account manager Keira Orme said: “Burgess Bagpipes is an ambitious young company with bright new ideas for a traditional marketplace that stretches across the world. It’s great the overseas visits are paying off.”