Christine Hamilton, Owner Of Castlegate Nursery And Out Of School Club Ltd

Christine Hamilton, owner of Castlegate Nursery and Out of School Club Ltd

Kelso-based Christine Hamilton approached Business Gateway in 2017 for support with a digital marketing strategy that would help her rural business stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

The family-run firm, Castlegate Nursery & Out of School Club Limited, was signposted to Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme for specialist support with a re-brand, website, digital marketing and search engine optimisation.

Specialists in outdoor learning, Castlegate’s ethos is inspired by its surrounding natural environment, so owner Christine worked closely with DigitalBoost advisers to bring this life with a new logo.

As well as specialist branding, social media and communications support, Business Gateway helped Castlegate to secure over £3000 from the Scottish Borders Grant, which funded fifty per cent of the firm’s investment in website and branding.

Following the support from DigitalBoost and subsequent investment into digital marketing, Castlegate has seen a 17% increase in the number of 3 and 4-year-old children enrolled, in comparison to 2018-19.

In July 2019, Business Gateway also supported the nursery’s application to the Energy Saving Trust to help purchase a fully electric vehicle for school pick-ups and drop-offs.

Not only will the loan help the business to become more sustainable, it will save the business over £5000 in interest payments over a five-year period, allowing Christine to invest the money back into the business.

Christine Hamilton, business owner, Castlegate Nursery & Out of School Club commented: “Our family business has been up and running for over 25 years, so we knew it was time for some major changes. We approached Business Gateway for specialist marketing support, and we were amazed with the DigitalBoost service. It has enabled us to revolutionise our entire internal office management systems, create a new online brand, use digital marketing channels for the first time and increase business opportunities in the local area.

“It’s great to work with partners like Business Gateway and DigitalBoost who see things from a different perspective, as well as ensuring external opportunities are consistently on our radar. We were nominated as finalists in the Herald Family Business Awards and had the chance to work with another local business, Wonky Woolies, which we wouldn’t have been able to do without DigitalBoost support.

“We’ll use our new-found business confidence to actively seek opportunities to be seen locally and nationally. The positive engagement and new internal functions have increased engagement and online visibility and now, more and more families are enquiring about visiting the nursery.”

Sandra Campbell, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Borders, commented: “As part of our DigitalBoost programme, Castlegate received local adviser support on a diverse range of digital business skills, from brand identity to internal IT systems. It’s fantastic to see how Christine and the team have been able to take advantage of the DigitalBoost services available and unlock additional opportunities to take the business to the next level.

“It’s important that businesses in rural areas like the Borders have the chance to capitalise on the benefits of digital services. Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme is committed to providing one-to-one support on a wide range of topics, including web analytics, social media and search engine optimisation to name but a few.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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