Banffshire businesses on a learning journey to support local growth

A number of Banffshire businesses have come together for an informative fact-finding trip aimed at supporting growth in the food and drink and tourism sectors.

The ‘Banffshire Coast Learning Journey’ - a joint venture between Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North East - created an exciting itinerary for participants to learn about each other’s businesses and assess what services and activities are currently available in the area.

Developed in response to ideas suggested at a local food and drink event held at Macduff earlier this year, the event on Thursday, November 28 focused on the need for businesses in the Banffshire coast region to have increased opportunities to come together, learn and potentially collaborate on other food tourism and other initiatives.

Participants were transported by Grampian Escape Tours between the venues which included key tourist attractions such as Macduff Marine Aquarium and Vanilla Ink: The Smiddy in Banff, food and drink producers such as Summerhouse Drinks in Rosehearty and Macduff Distillery and the hospitality sector including the Davron Hotel and Down on the Farm both based in Rosehearty.

The work to support food and drink and tourism businesses contributes to the council’s ‘Developing Excellence in our North Coast Communities strategy’ which progresses opportunities in Banff and Buchan including key targets to encourage growth in these two vital sectors for the community.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Regeneration and Town Centres Manager, Christine Webster, said: “It was important that businesses from our wonderful food and drink sector joined together to share experiences and develop a strong working relationship to drive forward tourism in the North-east.

“I would like to thank all our hosts for making themselves available throughout the day and also all those businesses who participated and provided a real insight into the food and drink and tourism sectors.”

Isabel Foy, food and drink tourism project manager with ONE, added: “Visitors, both local and international, increasingly choose locations with interesting and unique food and drink offerings.

“We believe the personal relationships and understanding built on the day will help create exciting collaborations and draw visitors. Under our LEADER-funded project we aim to help build a core of quality food and drink attractions, so that the North-east becomes known for its food experiences that help grow the sales of local food and drink producers and the wider tourism sector.”

For more information about how your business can access support, contact Isabel Foy at Opportunity North East on 01224 061138.