Kilsyth honey firm through to finals of UK business competition

Paul Holmes of Kelvin Valley Honey
Paul Holmes of Kelvin Valley Honey

A BUSINESS in Kilsyth has created a buzz with judges after making it through to the final of a prestigious enterprise award.

Kelvin Valley Honey is just one of three Scottish firms which has made it though to the Barclays Take One Small Step competition - and could win £50,000 to bring the business to the next level.

Run by Kilsyth Community Market Garden and based in Murray Avenue, the enterprise is owned and managed by local residents who have one particular aim in mind.

They want to increase the bee keeping population of the Upper Kelvin Valley through recruiting 200 new beekeepers via a hive of activity!

The first step will be to train them up - and the second step will see trainees being lent the specialist equipment they need to succeed, along with a honey bee starter colony!

Members stress that the project will be open to both individuals and groups, young and old - but if Kelvin Valley Honey is to be successful, Kilsythians must get behind them and participate in a public vote.

Paul Holmes (63) of Kelvin Valley Honey is a former foreign correspondent - who swapped broadcasting in the Middle East for a role as a Social and Economic Regeneration consultant.

He believes that the business can only really expand if it scoops this very generous prize.

He said: “Winning £50,000 and accessing the support of Barclays business advisers and pool of business experts is a great incentive and provides a rare opportunity for third sector organisations and social enterprises to work in partnership with the business and corporate sector.”

Paul also wants beekeeeping to flourish as a much wider issue is at stake here. “Einstein said if the bee disappeared from the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live.

“In five years we’ll have increased the honeybee population in the area by 10 million bees, have 200 more beekeepers and a self sustaining community owned business, but we’ll only have scratched the surface in halting the decline of the UK’s honeybee population,” he said.

“We believe that the success of Kelvin Valley Honey and the way we’ve designed the business will enable lots of other people around the UK to copy us. That way we’ll go a long way towards ensuring Einstein’s prophecy doesn’t come true, in Britain at least.”

To vote for Kelvin Valley Honey visit www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk

nThe News and Chronicle has teamed up with Kelvin Valley Honey to back its major drive to cut local food waste. Fill in a simple survey and you’ll be entered into a FREE prize draw that could net you £150! Full details on page 15, and the survey is on page 44.