Summit 2018: Jacobite Cruises

Freda Newton MBE, managing director of Loch Ness by Jacobite, said: “When admiring the successes of entrepreneurs, we often forget the huge amount of work that goes in to making these ideas a reality. “The Summit Awards are a great way to showcase the determination and drive of our talented visionaries and celebrate their journeys while showing support for Scotland’s world-renowned entrepreneurial community.”

Freda Newton MBE is the owner and managing director of the award-winning cruise experience company Loch Ness by Jacobite, based on the banks of the world’s most famous loch.

After gaining a business degree from Napier College in Edinburgh, Freda joined Rapsons Coaches where she served as Executive Director from 1991 to 1997. In 1996 she was seconded to National Express Group Plc and then promoted to Managing Director of Scottish Citylink Coaches Limited. After purchasing Jacobite Cruises in 2002, Freda immediately drew upon her industry experience and understanding of the tourism market to launch a full company rebrand. Work included a new logo, website and name – Loch Ness by Jacobite. Freda has also constantly refreshed the Jacobite fleet, each time with larger and more modern boats.

In summer 2018 she launched the Jacobite Maverick – which received a fitting welcome to the loch in the form of a fly-by in recognition of the catamaran’s moniker. Customer service and marketing form the backbone of Freda’s business strategy. With digital media, wild PR stunts and industry-leading communications she stays front of mind, and by focusing on an exemplar visitor experience, she delivers beyond expectations.

Today, Freda has built Loch Ness by Jacobite into an internationally recognised brand, welcoming over 300,000 passengers per year from markets including Europe, the USA, Australia and China. A force to be reckoned with, Freda is a passionate advocate when it comes to promoting and advancing the tourism industry in the Highlands and across wider Scotland. Part of this work included helping to launch and establish Destination Loch Ness, the local Destination Management Organisation and Scotland’s first Tourism BID, opening the area up for further investment and promoting the Highlands to new audiences around the world. This work has not gone unnoticed. Her services were recognised in 2017 when Freda received an MBE for services to Economic and Community Development in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the same year that she was awarded the industry’s highest accolade, the Silver Thistle award at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Freda is also well-respected in the entrepreneurial community, and is a past recipient of the SCDI Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award. Expressing her opinion on the importance of Scotland to be an entrepreneurially minded nation, Freda said: “As a small nation, Scotland has always had to adopt a forward-looking mindset to allow us to pack a punch on a global scale. “Over the years the challenges we have faced thanks to our smaller size have lent themselves to a culture of entrepreneurialism, fuelled through creativity and innovation. It’s essential that we continue to provide the support and the means necessary for Scotland to attract investment, talent and opportunities that will see us retain our position as a globally leading entrepreneurial society.”

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STV and Entrepreneurial Scotland have joined forces to launch a new initiative celebrating entrepreneurship across Scotland. The 2018 Summit Entrepreneurship Awards will showcase inspirational stories which explore the entrepreneurial mindset, illustrate brilliance and highlight the value to our country’s economy and broader society. STV and Entrepreneurial Scotland are calling on innovators, visionaries and game-changers – no matter what stage they are at in their journey – to come forward and take part. 

Buy your tickets for the 2018 Summit Entrepreneurship Awards here: SummitScot | Sponsored by Barclays UK & Deloitte UK