Pembroke: A wee business tipple

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The Independent Online
INVESTORS with a few spare pounds and a liking for malt whisky might be interested in an offer from Scotland. The Isle of Arran Distillery, the first on the popular tourist spot in 150 years, is seeking pounds 400,000 in return for two-thirds of the equity. The company, led by Harold Currie, formerly Chivas Regal managing director, is seeking the funds via Venture Capital Report, the Henley- based 'business angel' broker.

Mr Currie has already raised pounds 600,000 by selling whisky that will mature in 2001.

Work on the distillery will start next month after a four- month delay caused by a rare visitor. A golden eagle nested nearby and the workers were not allowed to disturb its nesting season. 'The builders should be back from their holidays now so we should see the first whisky by the end of the year,' Mr Currie says.

BRITISH AIRWAYS is still prevaricating over how to celebrate its 75th anniversary later this month. Reports that its chairman, Sir Colin Marshall, and managing director, Robert Ayling, were going to belt out a version of 'Come Fly with Me' on the Heathrow tarmac have proved unfounded, but the airline is considering a special Concorde flight to Paris. The trip will take just 45 minutes compared with the two-and-a-half hours it took in 1919.

BA says it will be a low-key affair, as the airline is saving for the big one later this autumn - the relaunch of its Club Europe service. A real thriller, no doubt.

IS THAT A collective sigh of relief we hear from the banking community after a survey by the Gay Business Association has let them off the hook? The GBA commissioned a survey of the banks' treatment of gay businesses following concerns that some banks were trying to cut gay clients from their books.

It sent out 500 questionnaires, sat back and waited for the stroppy replies to flood in. Only they didn't. Just 40 forms have been returned. 'It seems the situation is not as bad as we'd thought,' says the GBA. 'Either that or people who have had bad experiences are worried about stepping forward.'

THE FINANCIAL services sector doesn't know the difference between a 50-year-old and someone who is 80. This is the conclusion of the research company Millenium, which criticises the sector for failing to target products at different phases of the grey market. 'Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney have little in common with Lord Denning or Barbara Cartland. But they're all over 50,' it points out.

One answer, Millenium suggests, is to sort out the mismatch between the age of the marketing department and the people they are trying to sell to.

'People think of marketing departments as places for the under-35s, but companies should think about retaining a few older people too,' it says.

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