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The Queen's Awards on Tour: Dear Diary (Part 1)

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Scotland - Day 1


Alarm goes off. Snooze button is utilised.


Alarm goes off… again. With the weather reflecting that of a typically grim, dreary November morning in London, I somehow manage to drag myself out of bed and head out of the door, camera equipment in tow.


After a short flight from London Gatwick, we touchdown in Edinburgh greeted kindly by its crisp, clear blue skies and warming rays of sunshine. We had certainly picked a good day to visit Scotland.


The first stop on the itinerary was the head office of Edinburgh based Queen’s Award winner, Innis & Gunn. There we met with its Managing Director Dougal Sharp, who shared his experience of winning two Queen’s Awards for International Trade (2010 and 2013).

Innis & Gunn sign.He talked about how, being an International Beer Brewing business, he was very aware about how important winning a Queen’s Award could be for companies such as Innis & Gunn but had to confess that first time around he didn’t think that Innis & Gunn had any chance of winning.

What gave him confidence was the fact that they had a good track record and had developed a sizeable International business, so they decided to “give it a go” and enter. And good thing they did because, amazing to them, they won!


View of the castle.After saying a quick farewell to Innis & Gunn, we quickly took in the Castle before hopping on the train to our next destination, The Scottish Seabird Centre. Situated on the wild and windy North Berwick coastline, it is a world-class interactive centre for wildlife education.

On arrival, we took shelter from the cold in the centre’s seabird Café, where we were promptly greeted by the company’s Managing Director, Tom Brock.

View of the coast.Tom spoke to us of the company’s 3 Awards, all in recognition of its efforts towards sustainable development and how it’s a great accolade to have such a prestigious Award associated with the success of the Seabird Centre. He went on to explain how they use the emblem on all of their literature and that the Award provides fantastic recognition that only helps to build on the success that they’ve had over the years.

Tom went on to say that one of the company’s most memorable occasions was when the received a visit from Her Majesty The Queen, who arrived to celebrate the Centre’s second Award.

A statue of a seal pup on a rock waving to the camera.One thing we couldn’t do was to run off without taking a quick look around the centre’s impressive facilities. My personal highlight was getting up close and personal with seal pups on an island 10 km away, using one of the centre’s remote-controlled video cameras.

Kat couldn’t leave without purchasing a pair of comical 'bouncy eggs' from the gift shop, and my sweet tooth succumbed to a broken slab of 'scotch tablet' on the walk back to the station.


We catch the next train back to Edinburgh and then hop across to Glasgow on a bus.


We arrive at the Hotel in Glasgow with tired feet and aching muscles, marking the end of a thoroughly productive first day.

(We are currently in the process of editing the inteviews with the Queen's Award winning companies from our visit to Scotland, all of which will be available to view on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks!)

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