A campervan conversion business has been launched in the Western Isles by a chartered engineer, and has already introduced a waiting list to "cope with demand from across the UK" while eyeing international expansion.

Rob Hall launched Studio Vans in June after receiving advice during lockdown from taxpayer-funded support service Business Gateway.

Business Gateway said that, by collaborating with local and international makers and designers, Studio Vans offers “a customisable service taking advantage of sustainable and premium crafted materials”.

Mr Hall was able to secure funding through the Outer Hebrides young entrepreneurs start-up scheme and the European Regional Development Fund’s grants for growth scheme.

Business Gateway noted the funding had enabled Studio Vans to buy key manufacturing products and contributed to fit-out costs for the firm's premises at Balivanich, a unit leased from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 

The business support organisation and HIE both worked with Mr Hall to support him with his application to lease the property.   

Mr Hall has also secured a grant through the HIE Innovation programme. 

Business Gateway said: "Studio Vans has now introduced a waiting list to cope with demand from across the UK and has already confirmed partners to take operations overseas to Australia and New Zealand."

It noted that Studio Vans' ongoing collaborations "include Glasgow-based designer Still Life Workshop, remoulding far-flung ocean plastic collected from the beautiful Uist beaches into innovative products for van fit-outs".

Mr Hall said: “As we were relatively new to the island, engaging with Business Gateway was crucial in making new business connections through individual introductions, local events and virtual meetings across the country."