‘Westcountry Willows’ wins at Irish Business Design Challenge

A Roscommon husband and wife-led business has won the ‘Micro Category’ at the 2023 Irish Business Design Challenge awards which were announced on Thursday last.

Westcountry Willows, based in Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon and run by Kate and Alan Burrows, won out over 43 other nominees to take the award.

The winners of Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Irish Business Design Challenge 2023 (IBDC) were announced on Thursday morning last at an awards ceremony in Tangent, Trinity College Dublin by Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Neale Richmond.

The three category winners, micro, small and medium, will each receive a prize of €15,000. Three runners-up prizes of €2,000 each were also awarded, and two entries were highly commended by judges.

Westcountry Willows specialises in making a range of handmade basketry products using locally sourced, naturally grown and renewable willow.

The citation for the award read: “The Roscommon business has demonstrated innovation and foresight in the development of a new, hand-made coffin woven entirely from willow.

“This product substitutes the use of environmentally damaging varnishes and other chemicals used in traditional coffin making with naturally biodegradable willow”.