Champion Gary launches Falkirk’s own ‘fame academy’ for pipers

Gary Nimmo at his Falkirk base.
Gary Nimmo at his Falkirk base.

A world champion Falkirk piping tutor is determined to make the most of sky-high interest in Scotland’s national musical instrument with exciting plans for growth.

Gary Nimmo’s Achiltibuie Bagpipe Specialists (ABS) was originally launched as a bagpipe manufacturer, but soaring demand for tuition and workshops persuaded him to take his enterprise a major step forward.

For example he’s planning to celebrate the launch of a Falkirk Youth Pipe Band early next year.

Business Gateway supported Gary’s plans for growth by providing support with essential IT and HR facility improvements.

A new booking system on the company website was also introduced, allowing the business to capture all sign-ups to the tutoring school.

Now, with help from Business Gateway, four times world champion Gary has created an online mentoring programme that will allow him to enter international markets as the company continues to grow.

To celebrate St Andrews Day Gary and the ABS team have been visiting local schools to talk about the history of Scotland’s musical heritage.

The business has also secured contracts with Perth and Clackmannanshire Councils to teach and develop the future stars of the world-famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band.

Gary said: “My ultimate dream is to keep the art of playing bagpipes alive for the younger generation.

“In less than a year, we’ve been able to mentor 100 students in Falkirk.

“With a growing talent pool and genuine interest, I think there is significant scope for the development of a Falkirk Youth Band, and I’d encourage any individual who is interested to get involved”.

He added: “From assistance in achieving grant funding, to directing me to a variety of start-up support services, my Business Gateway adviser provided me with the resources and support I needed to bring my ideas to life.

“The marketing and digital workshops were hugely effective when it came to raising awareness of my business and promoting Achiltibuie Bagpipe Specialists on social media.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and I plan to continue working with Business Gateway as we drive the company forward.”

Louise Evison, Business Adviser at Business Gateway Falkirk, said: “Gary first accessed our one-to-one business support in February this year and since then, he has truly taken things in his stride. By working together to create a bespoke action plan, we were able to streamline activity to help shape the future direction of the business.

“By introducing Gary to HR and IT experts, we have been able to streamline his booking process and put him in a position to start approaching international markets”.

Gary added: “We really have had some real positive uptake in students coming for lessons, and have launched a whole drumming tuition service.

“The culmination of this excellent work is the creation of a Falkirk Youth Pipe Band to launch early 2020.

“We’re currently fundraising on our facebook Page for this, through our GoFundMe page.

“We are committed whole heartedly to removing as many obstacles towards tuition as possible, so are looking to launch regional classes in church halls and community centres across the Falkirk District, working as hard as we can to remove any and all obstacles towards learning”.