Bute firm needs your votes to win award

Mhairi Mackenzie, founder of the Rothesay-based Bonnie Bling jewellery firm.
Mhairi Mackenzie, founder of the Rothesay-based Bonnie Bling jewellery firm.

A Bute company has been shortlisted for the Scottish Rural Parliament’s inaugural Rural Innovator Awards in Argyll and Bute.

Bonnie Bling, founded by former Rothesay Academy pupil Mhairi Mackenzie (pictured), is one of six projects across the area shortlisted for the award, which seeks to recognise and showcase some of the most innovative and effective ways in which rural challenges can be addressed.

The company micro-manufactures Scottish-inspired jewellery using laser cutting technology at its workshop in Rothesay’s Watergate, selling around the world online and running a series of creative workshops and events.

There are seven published categories for the award, including rural businesses and employment, broadband and transport infrastructure. The Argyll & Bute award category encompasses all of these, with an emphasis on showcasing people, projects or organisations which tackle real rural issues using an innovative approach.

Scottish Rural Parliament coordinator Emma Cooper, who is based on Bute, said: “We are very excited to be able to start accepting votes for the Rural Innovators Awards in Argyll and Bute.

“Some incredible and inspiring projects were nominated for the awards in this category and shortlisting was a challenging task, especially as so many projects were nominated in the area.

“We have put forward six projects rather than the usual four to the public vote to reflect the sheer density of innovation taking place in the area.

“We would encourage people to have a look at the shortlisted projects on our website and Facebook page and choose the project they find most innovative and inspiring. The breadth and creativity of these projects are a testimony to the people living and working in Argyll and Bute.”

The other five Argyll and Bute shortlisted projects are the Argyll Timber Transport Group, the Stramash social enterprise, Network Carradale, Moto Scotland (Scotland’s first and only off-road motorbike training centre) and Campbeltown Backpackers, which raises funds for the Kintyre Amenity Trust.

To find out more about the Argyll and Bute nominees, and to cast your vote for the project you think is best, click here.