Bute businesses hopeful for success in outdoor and leisure awards

Butefest was hailed as a success earlier this year, and has now made it onto a shortlist for outdoor festival awards.
Butefest was hailed as a success earlier this year, and has now made it onto a shortlist for outdoor festival awards.

Three island businesses have made it onto the shortlist of this year’s Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards (SOLAs), with winners to be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow next month.

In the 17 awards categories, Bute has representatives in the Best Outdoor Festival, Best Brewery/Distillery Tour and Best Booking Agent.

Butefest, the Bute Brew Co and WildBute are the groups hoping for success in the second SOLAs after being publicly voted onto the shortlist.

The third iteration of Butefest, the island’s own music festival, went ahead earlier this summer and was a big success despite poor weather throughout the event.

Hazel Mulholland, chair of the Butefest committee, told the Buteman it was a rewarding feeling to be nominated.

She said: “It feels great that although we are still a fairly new festival, we have been nominated and been voted by the public as a finalist.

“We intend the festival to continue and although we are still putting this year’s festival to bed, we are looking forward to what 2018 will bring.

“We want to continue to build on our community relationships and build on the success Bute as a whole is enjoying, which can only be a good thing!”

Aidan Canavan, founder of the Bute Brew Co, told the Buteman: “I was overwhelmed to be nominated in the first place and the support we had was fantastic, I never expected that we would go any further especially when I heard we were up against the likes of Brewdog and Tennents.

“It came as quite a shock to get down to the final five, it is a credit to our wee team here.

“But we also couldn’t do it without out the great support and feedback from our customers.”

The next step for the 115 finalists is to provide a submission in support of their win, before an independent judging panel will participate in assessments of the customer facing elements of the businesses.

They are invited to then attend the Gala Final at the Glasgow Marriot on October 29, where the accolades will be presented to the overall winners.

The awards’ founder and CEO Warren Paul said of this year’s prospects: “The inaugural awards created firm foundations to develop SOLA into an annual competition and a mainstay event of the industry.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the businesses that help to showcase our beautiful country; congratulations and good luck to all our finalists!”