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Young stag in Highland mountains

Ardgay Game

Sutherland business Ardgay Game has been awarded £66,234 from the Scottish Government’s Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

Plate of roast venison with vegatables

Support during Covid-19

Established in 1982, the family owned business supplies Scottish wild venison which is collected from 130 sporting estates across the North Highlands and processed at their factory. It is sold mainly to the food service market with 70% of sales usually from international markets.

Based in Bonar Bridge, the company is considered a key employer in this fragile area where it employs 25 staff. 

The company had to close at the start of lockdown and have now lost 90% of their UK trade due to the pandemic. All 25 staff were furloughed but in June a small number returned to work with more returning in July to meet the demand from markets starting to re-open.

The grant, which was approved under the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, will help the company take back more staff as sales increase and go some way to making up for lost sales. It has also reduced the worry and risk of the business surviving in the short term. 

As a HIE account managed business, the company also benefits from regular contact with their account manager and have been able to engage a consultant to provide specialist advice on changing their marketing strategy as they emerge from lockdown.

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was managed by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies on behalf of Scottish Government. There was a high demand for the fund which received more than 5,000 applications Scotland-wide. Grants totalling almost £20m have been approved by HIE to 372 businesses across the Highlands and Islands.