A SHOP in Fort William is slated to be the first Scottish outdoor sports retailer for women and owned by a woman when it opens in the UK’s “outdoor capital” this May.

Owner Eilidh Sykes secured funding of £47,500 from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to cover initial start-up costs, stock purchases, a lease deposit and shop fittings.

The store, Beinn Nibheis, located on the corner of Cameron Square, will predominantly stock female-owned brands and offer advice for women, beginners and pros, with an interest in outdoor pursuits.

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Sykes also has ambitions to open a second location in Aviemore in the coming years, where she plans to manufacture and stock her own range of outdoor clothing aimed at women.

Sykes said: “I have been involved in the outdoor industry all my life.

“I recognised a gap in the market for outdoor clothing designed specifically for females.

“I was attracted to RBS following its ‘Ask for More’ campaign which supports women in business. It has been seamless working with my relationship manager, and it was an added bonus that my local enterprise manager, Mairi Macdonald, was a Gaelic speaker like myself.”