CalMac’s independent Community Board has teamed up with the company to help raise the profile of Scotland’s west coast islands as business destinations.

The Board have organised a business conference aboard MV Clansman, on a non-landing cruise from Oban to Colonsay, on March 27.

The event, ‘Strengthening Communities: Diverse Approaches to Business Success’ is targeting people thinking of locating to an island to set up a business, or expanding an existing operation. They will hear from a range of speakers who have made a success of an island enterprise.

The initiative is the creation of Community Board member, Ian Macfarlane, who has a career-long track record of successful business development.

He said: ‘Our islands and remote communities are not only wonderful places to live and visit; they are also great places to do business. We have a real can-do attitude to enterprise and business opportunities across a range of sectors which are there to be developed.’

The networking event will also give existing business owners a chance to share their experiences and expertise.

The range of speakers includes sessions from Isle of Colonsay Oysters, the Loch Melfort Hotel, Gael Force Group Holdings, Gigha Halibut Limited, the Tiree Music Festival and the Kilchoman Distillery Company Limited.

‘Every business presenting has a success story to tell and is sharing their expertise and experience with anyone interested in following their lead and expanding their business on the west coast,’ said Ian.

CalMac currently sails to 27 island and remote mainland locations and is crucial to maintaining and growing businesses in the areas it services.

‘We are committed to working with the Community Board to expand our role as an economic enabler for the islands’ said CalMac’s Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Brian Fulton. ‘This is not just a short term networking event; it is one of a number of new initiatives we will be exploring to help deliver more employment opportunities across the areas we support.’

Anyone interested in attending can find more details and book at calmac.co.uk/CCB-initiatives