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Silver Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner
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Silver Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner

Chamber Matters: Caithness Business Fund

Exciting new wildlife tourism business, Caithness Wildlife Tours, has been given a helping hand to get off the ground thanks to support from the Caithness Business Fund.

Launched by environmental scientist and passionate naturalist Kate Willis, the business offers personalised, land-based tours all year round, providing visitors to Caithness with wildlife and sightseeing experiences that showcase the beauty and diversity of the far North.

Kate first approached the Caithness Business Fund in 2015 with her idea for a brand new wildlife watching experience in Caithness. With support and mentoring through the Chamber’s business support project, funded by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, in areas including business planning, marketing and accounting, she was able to put together a solid business plan and apply to the Fund for support.

Thanks to the support offered by the Fund, Kate has been able to purchase a high quality spotting scope and binoculars, as well as custom graphics for the Caithness Wildlife Tours minibus, enabling her to offer a top service to customers right from the start.

Since receiving the funding, Caithness Wildlife Tours has had a busy couple of months, taking visitors to Caithness on a variety of trips, ranging from 2.5hr puffin watching experiences to full-day bespoke wildlife tours. Kate has also been taking local hoteliers and B&B operators out to give them a taste of what the business can offer, and is working with the North Coast 500 Wildlife Festival to offer trips to view a local puffin colony. She is also running “The Owls of Caithness” a family oriented event at the Seadrift Centre on Saturday 28 May.

Trudy Morris, Managing Agent for the Caithness Business Fund, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer support to this exciting and innovative business. It was clear from the start that Kate has a real passion for wildlife and will deliver a fantastic, high quality experience that showcases the best of what Caithness has to offer.”

Kate Willis, owner of Caithness Wildlife Tours, said: “The support from the Fund has been a huge help in getting my business off the ground. The financial support has ensured that I am able to offer customers the best experience from the start. The Fund is also giving me ongoing mentoring and support, which will be really helpful as I work through the start-up period.”

To find out more about the Caithness Business Fund and the support it has to offer to businesses across the Caithness and North Sutherland area, just visit http://caithnessbusinessfund.co.uk/ or contact the team on 01847 500104 or enquiries@caithnessbusinessfund.co.uk.

For more information about “The Owls of Caithness” event and other tours offered by Caithness Wildlife Tours visit http://www.caithnesswildlifetours.co.uk/.