Names: Carlene Macnair and my brother Adam Macnair.

What is your business called?

Gilsland Park, a family-owned and run holiday park on the outskirts of North Berwick in East Lothian.

The park has just over 120 stances, the majority for owner occupied, large static holiday homes. We also have stances for seasonal tourers and a small holiday letting fleet, with two and three bedroom holiday homes. Over the past few years, we have invested significantly in luxury Hot Tub Lodges.

We are the managing partners of the business.

To whom does it sell?

Customers come from all over the UK. They are based mainly in the central belt of Scotland, the Borders and northern England. Lots of our customers have been with us for many, many years.

What is its turnover?

Around £600,000.

How many employees?

The two managing partners and four staff.

When was it formed?

It’s been a family affair since the 1930s when our great grandfather Dr. Robert Macnair, an Edinburgh GP, acquired the Old Fever Hospital, just outside North Berwick. He believed strongly in the healing properties of fresh seaside air and deemed it the perfect place for his patients to rest and recuperate. When our grandfather, a shepherd, took the site over, he started the caravan park alongside a smallholding on the surrounding land.

Why did you take the plunge?

Gilsland has been in our blood since childhood. We are two of eight grandchildren who, from a very young age, turned out, along with mums, dads, aunties, uncles and cousins to help run the site, in return for a huge, famous Sunday dinner cooked by Granny Pat. While two of us are now managing partners in the day to day running of the park, all eight grandchildren are owners of Gilsland and have an interest in the running and development of the business.

What were you doing before you took the plunge?

My husband and I had been running our own gas engineering, plumbing and property business which I continue to help him with. Adam worked as a farrier.

How did you raise the start up funding?

We were really lucky, being a fourth generation family business – we didn’t have to raise start up funding. That’s not to say however, that taking over a family business comes without its stresses and strains. You could argue you experience more pressure from yourself and others to prove yourself. Anyone who has worked in a family business will know that whilst some family members are your biggest champions, others can be your harshest critics.

What has been your biggest break?

Being gifted the business by the third generation in 2012. It was handed down in great shape, with no debt and a healthy amount of goodwill. Another significant factor in the company’s recent growth and development has been the support and advice provided by mentors who are well known in the world of family businesses. I attended a leadership workshop for Social Enterprises and Family Businesses in Glasgow, and was truly inspired by the course tutor Martin Stepek. He then introduced me to George Stevenson from Family Business Solutions, which has been instrumental in guiding the business through a large investment and development in the last couple of years. .

What was your worst moment?

Closing the gates in March due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has to go down as one of the worst moments. The superb weather we then enjoyed just rubbed salt into the wounds.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Our customers. We meet them at their best, when they are relaxed and on holiday. We live in a truly, beautiful part of the world that we love sharing with people and are proud to be looking to grow a business with such a rich, heritable history.

What do you least enjoy?

We have not enjoyed the uncertainly of the climate we found ourselves in these past few months, although there is some comfort in knowing we are all in this together.

Whilst we are absolutely sure our business will bounce back strongly and quickly, it has been hard not knowing the end game. Running your own business means that generally, you can control things, look at issues, make decisions, make changes where necessary and try new things. So much of this ability to control things was taken out of our hands this year, as a result of Covid-19.

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish government do that would help?

Clearly, the recent announcement that holiday accommodation businesses will be able to re-open in July has been a massive help.

Over the past three months, there’s been so many unknowns and we understand why. There’s been lots of help and offers being promised but too many have taken too long to be confirmed or come to fruition. Going forward we recognise it’s not easy for governments but, in terms of their engagement with businesses like ours, greater clarity and a faster speed of response will be crucial for the whole sector at this time.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

Managing the business during the lockdown has provided an opportunity to reflect on what we want from life – what’s important. It really has brought home to us and our families how lucky we are to live where we do and with whom.

How do you relax?

Both of us very much enjoy spending time with our families. In particular, I love horse riding and ride to relax. There is simply nothing better that riding out with my daughter. It certainly clears the head and I come back smiling every time.