OUTDOOR equipment and clothing firm Highlander was a double winner at The Herald??s Family Business Awards.

OUTDOOR equipment and clothing firm Highlander was a double winner at The Herald??s Family Business Awards.

There were more than 300 guests at the event, which was held in Association with Business Gateway, at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow last night.

They saw Livingston, West Lothian, based Highlander win the international growth award and the small and medium family business of the year category, which was supported by Clydesdale Bank.

This was the first time the company, which was set up in 1985, had entered the awards and judges were impressed with its global ambitions as well as winning high profile contracts for London Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games merchandise.

Along with that it has a strong social commitment by contributing to groups and charities including the John Muir Trust, Help for Heroes, Britain on Foot and Children with Cancer UK.

Alastair Christmas, from Clydesdale Bank, said: ??Each of the entries deserves to be recognised, but special congratulations go to Highlander, worthy winners of the small to medium sized business of the year award.??

In the international award, which was supported by law firm Burness Paull, retailer A Hume was given a commendation by the judges.

The large family business of the year, supported by Craig Corporate went to infrastructure services company QTS Group while Robertson was commended by the judges.

Tom Craig, of Craig Corporate, said: ??The strength of the finalists was particularly high and we were delighted for the QTS group who emerged as worthy winners.??

Crieff Hydro??s Stephen Leckie was presented with the outstanding contribution prize for his recognition in building up the hotel company.

Clydebank based electrical contractor Campbell & Kennedy won the fastest growing family business award, supported by Business Gateway, while Glasgow cleaning and facilities management firm Spectrum Service Solutions was given a commendation.

Till system and software company Zonal Retail Data Systems picked up the business innovation award, which was supported by Campbell Dallas.

In the customer service excellence category, supported by TL Dallas, it was the Auchrannie Resort on Arran which won. It is the third year in a row the island based hospitality and leisure business has picked up a prize at the awards.

Egg producer Glenrath farms was the winner in the large rural family business category while hotels firm Costley & Costley was recognised with a commendation from the judges.

Huntly based ice-cream maker James Rizza & Sons and Kelso??s The Orde Food Company were joint winners in the best small and medium rural family business, supported by the Grand Central Hotel.

The Oak Tree Inn, based at Balmaha, Loch Lomond, was the winner of the commitment to the community award, backed by Foundation Scotland.

Hugh Lightbody, of Business Gateway, said: ??This year??s Family Business Awards recognised and celebrated the high quality of Scotland??s family business community and our congratulations go to all of the winners and finalists. Family businesses account for almost three quarters of companies in Scotland and Business Gateway supports many of them on a daily basis. The contribution this sector makes to the whole Scottish economy is significant and recognising and supporting their efforts, while helping raise their profiles, is vitally important for their continued success.??

Grant Stevenson, partner at Burness Paull said:??The strength of submissions in each category was extremely impressive, and the winners should be very proud.??

Giles Ruck from Foundation Scotland said: ??It is encouraging to see so many family businesses not only contributing to the Scottish economy but making a major difference in their communities through their charitable giving.??