Scottish sailing business gets funding boost to build new premises

Day one of the Silvers Marine Scottish Series 2015, the largest sailing event in Scotland organised by the Clyde Cruising Club
Racing on Loch Fyne from 22rd-24th May 2015
GBR193, Zhik, Duncan Hepplewhite, Loch Lomond SC
Credit : Marc Turner / CCC
For further information contact
Iain Hurrel
Mobile : 07766 116451
Email : [email protected]
For a full list of Silvers Marine Scottish Series sponsors visit

Family business, Sailingfast in Avonbridge, has secured funding of £47,259 from Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER to replace an old shed with a brand new office building.

Sailingfast was established in 2002 and the business expanded and launched Paddlefast in 2014. The business is owned and run by husband and wife team, Emma and Duncan Hepplewhite.

Duncan Hepplewhite, director of Sailingfast explains: “For the last 11 years my wife and I have worked from the shed which has no central heating or electricity. It can be very challenging through the Scottish Winters. This funding will make a huge difference to our working environment. It will also enable us to employ more people and to continue to grow our business.

“Business Gateway alerted us to the Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER fund. We set about putting together an application, a time-consuming process. Emma & I were delighted to be awarded a significant sum which will make all the difference. Hopefully, it will also help us to raise the profile of sailing and paddleboarding and make it more accessible as a hobby for everyone.”

Ian Howarth, Chair Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER LAG Committee comments: “Kelvin Valley & Falkirk LEADER are extremely pleased to grant support this local business that will assist them to be able to employ people, offer better services to their customers and successfully grow.”

The new building, based between Falkirk and Linlithgow, is expected to be completed in September and on completion, the company will look to employ people to manage the shop and help with administration and marketing.

For interviews and further information please contact:

Stephanie Melrose, Smell the Roses PR

[email protected]

Mobile: 07944 865925

For more information about Sailingfast and Paddlefast please visit:

More information about LEADER: (

LEADER is a European Union Community Initiative which aims to promote economic and community development in rural areas. LEADER uses a bottom-up, partnership-based approach to rural development which will improve the quality of life and help make rural communities more sustainable. The 2014-2020 Kelvin Valley and Falkirk LEADER Programme covers rural areas within East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and Falkirk. The programme funds community organisations, charities, businesses and farms. Funding is awarded in line with our Local Development Strategy under our three priority themes: Theme 1: Heritage, Tourism and Leisure; Theme 2: Community Services and Facilities; Theme 3: Local Business and Employment. The Programme also has cross-cutting themes of Employability, Innovation, Low Carbon and Equal Opportunities. As of June 2019, the programme has awarded £2,271,053 of funding to local projects, which have levered in an additional £2.8 million of match funds that will be spent in our region.

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