A Western Isles campervan conversion service has kicked off an employment drive, after securing £25,000 of funding to support growth and future job opportunities following Business Gateway support.
Founded in 2020 by North Uist resident Rob Hall, Studio Vans specialises in the creation of beautiful, design-led, ready-to-go fit outs for campervan conversions.
As well as a package of 1:1 support including financial restructuring advice and access to a digital health check via Scotland’s DigitalBoost programme, Rob also secured funding through the DigitalBoost Development Grant.
In addition, Business Gateway introduced Studio Vans to Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. As a result, the team secured a place on Unlocking Ambition, the Scottish Government’s six-month flagship entrepreneurial programme. Working alongside a new cohort of Scotland’s most ambitious purpose-driven entrepreneurs, the initiative will unlock a £25,000 Development Grant which Studio Vans has committed to sustainable growth through investment in innovation and employment.
Rob Hall, Studio Vans
To cope with the demand created by the growing popularity of campervanning and staycations, Studio Vans recently hired an Island-based product design graduate from Glasgow School of Art, and hopes to hire two additional employees this year.
Rob Hall, Founder of Studio Vans said: “The guidance and on-going support from Business Gateway Outer Hebrides was crucial when we first launched the business. We are excited to now be in a position to offer designers and makers the chance to transfer their skills in a booming market. Since the island is now connected to fibre [broadband], the potential to connect much further afield while upholding and supporting the Hebridean lifestyle is a reality.
“Our adviser, Alistair, has been instrumental in providing us with expert local knowledge, and key business introductions have been essential in expanding our professional network. The support from Business Gateway in the early stages and throughout the pandemic has meant that we are in a strong position as we look to grow the business throughout 2021.”
Alistair Macleod, Adviser at Business Gateway, commented: “The initial stages of setting up a business are hugely important and securing the right contacts can make all the difference. Over the past year we have worked with Rob to do just that and it is great to see the business grow from strength to strength.
“Business Gateway Outer Hebrides provides a variety of business advice, including one-to-one support, business planning and offers engaging webinars covering all areas of how to start up a business. The announcement of employment opportunities and the increased demand of bespoke campervans is highly encouraging for Studio Vans and I wish them all the best in the future.”
To find out more about Business Gateway and its services, please visit their website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Photos by Christina Riley.