Vital Spark

The three-year Vital Spark programme was set up by Firstport in 2015 to support local people in and around Dunoon, Rothesay and Campbeltown to provide practical solutions to social and economic challenges in their own communities.


Vital Spark was delivered in partnership with InspirAlba, funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, supported by Calmac Ferries, Scottish Government and the Kilfinan Trust, with grant funding provided to participants by UnLtd.

The Journey

In 2015 Firstport invited people to come up with ideas that could have a positive impact on their communities. The best ideas were selected and the budding entrepeneurs offered one-to-one business training and support, mentoring, funding and free workspace in temporary hubs in Dunoon, Rothesay and Campbeltown to test their ideas.

Vital Spark now has 18 early stage social enterprises, 12 of these are actively trading and six have taken on premises. Twelve new employment and volunteering opportunities have been created, five of these in partnership with a local organisation and over £125,000 of grant funding has gone to these enterprises.

Creating a long term legacy

Although Vital Spark is now coming to an end, Firstport will still have a presence in Argyll and Bute beyond the life of the programme. We will continue delivering workshops, seeking out networking opportunities and providing funding support, such as our forthcoming new Awards Programme will offer start up grants of £500 to young people during  Year of Young People 2018. In addition the social enterprise community will be supported and stimulated locally with InspirAlba continuing to be active as well as other complementary initiatives such as the Bute Island Alliance and the UnLtd Resilient Communities programme.

Read our report on the impact of the programme

VS publication front cover


Funded by calmac HIE Main Logo CMYK.jpg (High Resolution)  
Supported by UnLtd Scotland Main Logo InspirAlba logo and The Kilfinan Trust

To find out more about our programmes and how we can help you, get in touch.

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