Mark Bestford meets HRH The Prince of Wales

Graduate Mark Bestford and his wife meet HRH Prince Charles

Graduate of the Boat Building Academy Mark Bestford, with his wife and business partner Julie, attended a reception hosted by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at St James’s Palace, London on Tuesday 10 September 2013.  The reception celebrated the success of The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) entrepreneurs.

PRIME invited Mark and Julie to the prestigious event as an example of what people trained by PRIME have achieved.  Mark and Julie have set up their company, Boatwork Ltd, to assist boat owners, boatyards and water sport centres in the building, repair, maintenance and support of their water-based craft after Mark fulfilled a long term ambition by completing the City & Guilds Level 3 Boat Building course at the Boat Building Academy in 2012.

Mark said “Having both completed 22 years’ service in the Royal Navy, as well as working within the marine industry at various locations worldwide, setting up a business connected with something we love has been a wonderful experience.”  Mark was able to grow the company thanks to the training he received from PRIME following a course he took part in Sheffield in February 2013.  Mark commented “ While I had the boat building skills and craftmanship from the Boat Building Academy, it didn’t mean I knew how to start and develop a business and that’s where PRIME’s support was essential, helping to build up my skills in areas I didn’t have the right expertise in.”

Julie said: “It’s not every day you get invited to attend an event at St James’s Palace and it was a big honour that we both had the opportunity to meet The Prince of Wales”.

PRIME say that “People over the age of 50 have a wealth of skills and experience to benefit their local communities, as well as wider the economy, and people like Mark and Julie serve as positive examples that it’s never too late to set-up your own business.” gives more detail of the services (and ‘Boathearts’) that Mark and Julie offer.

The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise

The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) is the only national organisation dedicated to supporting business creation by the over 50 entrepreneur.

The charity was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in response to the letters he was receiving from mature people desperate to find work but, because of their age, unable to find anyone to employ them.

PRIME is a registered charity (No.1138233) and a company registered in England and Wales (No. 4184314).
Registered address: Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA.
President: HRH The Prince of Wales.