Launch of Enterprising Britain 2007
Saturday 17th of February 2007 10:05
L to R: Sue Brownson OBE, Councillor Elizabeth McLardy, Lynne Franks and Margaret Hodge Minister for Industry & the Regions at The Gallery.

West Kilbride Craft & Design Town, winners of Enterprising Britain 2006, a Department of Trade and Industry nationwide competition to find the most enterprising place in the UK, recently played host to the launch of this year’s drive for entrants in the Enterprising Britain 2007 award.

Councillor Elizabeth McLardy, Eddie Wood, John Purves, (WKCIL Directors) and Maggie Broadley (WKCIL Craft & Design Officer) led guided tours of the craft & design studios and The Gallery, an exhibition space that showcases emerging and established professional designer-makers.

Tracy Vegro, Director of Enterprise Strategy, SBS, representatives from Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations around the country and Margaret Hodge, Minister for Industry and the Regions were amongst the VIP guests who enjoyed the high standard of craft on show in each of the studios and The Gallery, which compares with best practice from the U.K and beyond.

The Minister was delighted by the wonderful community spirit, which has seen this once almost derelict small Ayrshire Town transformed into a vibrant focus for craft & design. The Craft & Design town was praised as an example of innovative and creative thinking, one that is an example to others of what can be achieved by small community showing passion, drive and commitment.

Margaret Hodge said:
“There are cities, towns and communities throughout the country that have placed enterprise at their heart and helped make Britain a better place to live and work. Enterprising Britain is a great chance to celebrate this.

“I encourage all those innovative projects out there that have used the spirit of enterprise to make a difference to people’s lives to enter this year’s competition and have a chance to be crowned the UK’s enterprise champion.”

Two of the Enterprising Britain judges, Lynne Franks and Sue Brownson OBE, were also on hand to promote this year's search for the UK’s Capital of Enterprise.

This was Lynne’s first visit to West Kilbride and, although one of last years panel who awarded the title to the Craft & Design Town, she felt the visit really highlighted the scale of what had been achieved. Lynne was extremely impressed with the range of fundraising activities – and was particularly taken with the Aladdin’s Cave of second-hand furniture in the old Barony Church, the venue for WKCIL income generating sales which take place each Saturday.

It was a delight for everyone from West Kilbride to welcome back Sue Brownson, who had been charged with visiting the Craft & Design town last July and reporting back to her fellow UK judges. Sue’s warmth, professionalism and obvious enthusiasm and genuine interest made that day a memorable one for everyone – an extremely busy and successful Managing Director, Sue is one of the few women who have flourished at the highest level in the motor trade and her contribution was recognised in 1997 when she was awarded an OBE for service to the industry.

Like all the UK judges for Enterprising Britain, Lynne and Sue are unpaid ambassadors for enterprise in the UK.