Tom Durham is the chairman of the Scottish Mountain Bike Consortium, one of the winners in last year’s Collaboration Prize, comprised of businesses working in the mountain biking sector across Tayside, Fife and Stirlingshire.
Here, Tom discusses how the award has helped all the individual businesses who make up the consortium, and how it is looking forward to even more success in future.
When we saw the article advertising the Collaboration Prize, we thought we’d be a perfect fit. We were working as an informal consortium to begin with, our six members worked together as part of the Planning to Succeed programme run by Scottish Enterprise, so when we saw it we decided to constitute ourselves as the Scottish Mountain Bike Consortium and apply.
It was great to win as we were able to really develop our businesses. As a group beforehand, we had lots of ideas but not necessarily the cash or structure to do anything with them. The Collaboration Prize gave us a lot of focus as well as the money to make those ideas happen. It was a significant development for us and really helped us grow our businesses.
We received £5,000 in cash and £5,000 of consultancy support to set up the consortium when we won the award. We ring-fenced the cash for equipment, using it to buy a portable bike-track for kids to use during events and a trailer to put it in. It is something we can fold up and take away at the end of the day, making it very easy to move between locations, so it’s been really useful for us.
On the consultancy side, we’ve had various workshops on things such as developing a new website, growing the business and marketing. As a result, we’re hoping our new website will be up and running by the end of the year.
We’re also getting some promotional videos done, with the rest of the consultancy money going towards developing the business.
Most of all, we have benefited from a huge amount of publicity and that gave us a lot of credibility as well as opening us up to a wider audience.
That credibility has been a great benefit to us going forward and if we had the time we could have our events team out every weekend if we wanted to. Enquiries are always regular so it definitely helped us.
We would thoroughly recommend the prize to anyone who is thinking about establishing a consortium, not only does it help focus your group, but if you win the opportunities – and the cash prizes – offer a terrific boost for the consortium and provide a terrific platform for further growth.