A husband and wife team from Kirriemuir have been named Tayside’s top young entrepreneurs at the regional finals of the 2011 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
Ben and Rosemary Scrimgeour (both 26), founders of The Building Workshop in Kirriemuir, Angus were announced as regional winner at a ceremony at GA Engineering’s offices in Dundee.
They were presented with a £1000 cash prize by Gordon Deuchars, Managing Director of GA Engineering (Scotland), sponsors of the winner’s award.
Mr and Mrs Scrimgeour will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday, November 15. Six of the 18 regional winners are selected to compete for the coveted national title of PSYBT ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and the opportunity to win an additional £2000.
Ben Scrimgeour graduated from Dundee University in 2008 with a Masters of Architecture degree but being unable to find employment prompted him and his wife Rosemary to go traveling instead.
They returned to Scotland a year later with the idea of establishing their own architectural and design practice and two potential contracts – one for the design of a barn conversion in the French Alps and another for the design and build of a renovation to a Victorian townhouse in London.
In July 2009, together with their hard earned savings and a loan from PSYBT they bought everything they needed and opened for business.
Operating out of a converted cowshed on Rosemary’s family farm in Kirriemuir, The Building Workshop combines traditional buildings with contemporary living and design.
Ben said: “We can provide sensitive designs to transform old buildings into homes, holiday lets, office spaces, workshops or a number of other functional spaces.”
Last year, they were awarded £1,000 from the Shell Livewire Grand Ideas competition and Ben is also in talks with the Architects’ Professional Examining Authority in Scotland (APEAS) with a view to achieving chartered status through running his own business. If Mr Scrimgeour wins his case he will be the first architect in 176 years since the Royal Institute of British Architects was established to complete his chartership in this way.
As winners they have received funding, advice and support from PSYBT, which during the last 22 years, has supported over 12,000 young people to start over 10,000 businesses, providing £36.4million in funding and additional assistance.