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—— 6 October, 2010. Ardentinny Community Trust ——– 

Dragons vote for Glenfinart Walled Garden Winner

Ardentinny Community Trust Convenor, Dennis Gower, came away a winner from the Dragons Den at the Annual Conference of Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network (ABSEN) in Campbeltown last week. Pitched against nine other projects, he emerged  victorious with a £500 grant from Firstport for the Glenfinart Walled Garden Project in Ardentinny.

The Dragons in question were Karen Anderson, Social Firms Scotland; Brian Weaver CEO of Highlands & Islands Social Enterprize Zone (HISEZ); Gerry Higgins, Chief Executive, Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS); Fiona Tipping, CEO, Social Enterprise Clydebank; and Naomi Johnson, Executive Director of Firstport, who presented the award.

When asked why the Glenfinart Walled Garden project had been chosen for the award, Naomi said ‘It was such a good pitch. It showed clarity of vision in how it would go forward with obvious outcomes and it seemed right to support it, not only from the point of view of the environment, but to give a now derelict asset back to the local community for it to enjoy and reap the benefits.’

The conference also provided a useful networking platform and some stimulating input, not least of which was the strong message that it was ‘our time’. With the sure prospect of swingeing central and local government cuts, the main way to sustain rural communities will be through social enterprise delivery of local services with funders and local communities working together. More information on the project is online at