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Ice Factor Group, that incorporates Snow Factor Braehead and Ice Factor Kinlochleven in the West Highlands, is celebrating further business success after winning the Business Growth of the Year Award at the Scottish SME Business Awards 2018 held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.

Over 250 guests attended the black tie event on Tuesday (17 April) that celebrates achievements by Scottish SME entrepreneurs and businesses. The awards also supported the Well Foundation.

Established in 2001 by Lochcarron born mountaineer and entrepreneur Jamie Smith, Ice Factor Kinlochleven remains the world’s largest indoor ice-climbing facility.  The gargantuan £3.6m site, converted from its former use as a Victorian era aluminium smelter, annually welcomes over 100,000 novice and expert ice-climbers and rock-climbers keen to test their mettle on 12m high ice and rock walls, while non-climbers can tackle the outdoor aerial assault course or enjoy the views over the Mamores from the Ice Factor Café and Chillers Bar & Grill.

Since 2011, Ice Factor Group has also operated Snow Factor Braehead, Scotland’s only indoor real snow-sports facility and one of the country’s six snow-sport resorts.  In the Spring of 2017, Jamie Smith reacquired 100% ownership of the business following a successful management buy-out.  During last (2016/2017) season, the popular ski and snowboarding facility accounted for over 50% of ‘mountain’ skier days.  Incorporating the award-winning Bar Varia, a Bavarian styled Bier Halle and Restaurant, Snow Factor’s innovations also include a Kinder Ski lesson structure for young skiers and snowboarders, ice-climbing walls and in 2015, the opening of Baltic Ice Bar Glasgow, Scotland’s only permanent ice-bar.

In February this year, Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution and MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, visited Snow Factor to learn to snowboard and to learn more about the reasons for Ice Factor Group being named Digital Business of the Year in the inaugural Scottish section of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018.’  That award was in recognition of Ice Factor Group’s highly successful digital first strategy that has seen the business achieve over 60% growth year-on-year in online sales since 2012. The national finals of that award will be announced in London on 3 May.

Jamie Smith, owner of Ice Factor Group, commented: “I’m very proud of the whole team for their contribution to help Ice factor Group achieve this Business Growth of the Year Award accolade at the inaugural Scottish SME Business Awards.  It’s an award that reflects the continued hard work and professionalism of our team to ensure Ice Factor Group continues to innovate and grow as one of Scotland’s leading adventure tourism businesses.

“A prestigious award, it’s also a further benchmark of our achievements as we relentlessly focus on providing our valued customers with winter-sport fun throughout the year and in delivering the highest standards of customer service. I am delighted too for the many other SME businesses recognised by these awards.”