Jobs in store as Falkirk sailing business nets funding boost

A Scottish sailing business is riding the crest of a wave after receiving a funding boost to build new premises.

Emma and Duncan Hepplewhite together sailing with friend Liam (extreme left). Picture: Contributed

Sailingfast, which is based in Avonbridge, near Falkirk, has secured funding of £47,259 from Kelvin Valley & Falkirk Leader to replace an old shed with a new office building.

Director Duncan Hepplewhite said: "For the last 17 years my wife and I have worked from the shed which has no central heating or electricity. During the Scottish winters, it can be very challenging so 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."

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He added: "We applied for the funding with support from Business Gateway and we were delighted to get it. We hope it will also help us to raise the profile of sailing and paddleboarding and make it more accessible as a hobby for everyone."

Sailingfast was established in 2002 and the business has expanded and launched Paddlefast.

Ian Howarth, chair of Kelvin Valley & Falkirk Leader LAG committee, said: "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.