Excitement is building ahead of a visit by the Duke of Rothesay to one of the island’s award-winning local firms, Bute Fabrics.
We spoke to managing director John Glen who explained how the visit, scheduled for Friday, June 24, all came about.
He said: “I’ve met Prince Charles on a couple of occasions over the years.
“We met him again at an event hosted by the Scottish Tartans Authority at Dumfries House back in January.
“I told him how part of Bute Fabrics’ strategy is to create opportunities for school leavers and the youth on Bute, to try to arm them with skills that could help them create a career path for themselves.
“I said it would be very nice for him to come and visit the staff to find out what more about what we’re doing.”
Mr Glen continued: “The company is all about people and we’re trying to energise our workforce with training programmes to give them that element of job satisfaction while creating a sustainable working environment.”
The visit to the mill in Barone Road will provide the Duke with the opportunity to meet employees and collaborators.
Bute Fabrics, which is part of The Bute Family brand alongside Mount Stuart Trust and Bute Estate Foods, has achieved notable success over the years.
In 2014 the firm won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise - the UK’s highest accolade for business success - and last year the firm was presented with the Scottish Export Team of the Year award in the BQ Scottish Export Awards.
With a focus on education and the future of the island, Mr Glen added: “The key for us is the sustainability of Bute, creating jobs and training programmes to help the youth of today and tomorrow.
“If we can’t give them jobs here, we can at least arm them with relevant skills to get jobs on the mainland.
“We’re huge supporters of academia but recognise there’s a percentage of leavers who aren’t going to go to college or university, and these young people need to be nurtured.
* An open invitation is being extended to the island community to attend a summer event Bute Farbics is hosting on Friday, August 5..
In addition to tours of the mill, there will be opportunities to buy fabric and textiles, food and other refreshments, as well as an opportunity to meet local staff who have made the company the award-winning enterprise it is.
Details of the summer event will follow in The Buteman.