Caroline Millar, Director
Go Rural specialise in supporting the development of agritourism, food and drink and rural businesses, facilitating national and international knowledge exchange, project management, providing business advice on farm diversification and organising bespoke rural events and workshops.
Caroline and husband Ross with Finlay age 10 and Sophie age 8 live on the family farm at Balkello, Auchterhouse, two miles north of the City of Dundee boundary. The farm is a 650 acre mixed arable farm producing beef, lamb, wheat, oil seed rape and malting barley and stretches to the highest point in the Sidlaw Hills.
Caroline also farm tourists, using the natural beauty of the farmland, views of the local area, privacy (except during harvest!), fresh air, and locally farmed food and drink to provide a unique experience to 5 star couples staying at three luxury Hideaways. Developed as a farm diversification in 2005, the business collectively uses 0.6 of an acre of land and has grown to exceed profit levels in the farm business. A key focus is on delivering an exceptional, personal service to guests throughout their customer journey. The Hideaway Experience has been regional winner of the Scottish Tourism Thistle Awards for Best Holiday Accommodation for the past three consecutive years. 2016 will see further investment to grow The Hideaway Experience significantly.
Caroline was brought up on the family farm near Caputh in Perthshire where she was actively involved with all aspect of the farm and her parents’ farmhouse bed and breakfast business. She enjoyed meeting guests from all over the world and this early experience of tourism gave her a love of this industry. After graduating from Glasgow University she lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand for over a year working in different tourism and farming businesses.
On coming home, Caroline worked in business development and marketing for Forth Ports PLC for ten years, four of which were based at the Port of Dundee. During this time Caroline undertook an MBA at Edinburgh University part-time. Caroline set up her own consultancy business focused on the rural sector in 2008 and over the past seven years has supported a wide range of rural businesses to grow their business and become more profitable. Caroline is not a theoretical based business advisor – she has been through all the highs and lows of starting up and running a business, the good times and bad, the tough times and easy times. This is what makes Caroline stand out from many other business service providers – she “walks the walk” and doesn’t just “talk the talk.”
Caroline is passionate about developing on farm tourism and leisure as a means of driving additional income for farmers, engaging with the public, and growing the rural economy. Caroline is also passionate about seeing more of Scotland’s hotels and restaurants using locally farmed and fished produce to benefit consumers, producers and the tourism industry.
Caroline is a recent Nuffield Scholar sponsored by the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland, presenting her findings on farm diversification into tourism and leisure to the UK Nuffield Conference in November 2013 and at the Oxford Farming Conference 2014. Caroline is a recent graduate of the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme and believes that high quality leadership is essential for businesses to grow and the economy to grow.
Caroline sits on the Regional Board for Scottish Enterprise in Tayside. Caroline was recently appointed as a Director of the Oxford Farming Conference.
Caroline’s first love is travel and she has been fortunate to live, work and visit a range of International countries. Italy and New Zealand rank as her favourite places in the world, along with Scotland.
Caroline’s CV can be found here Caroline Millar CV as October 2015.pdf