Business Matters Spring 23

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business matters SPRING 2023 EDITION
community. Inside: Chamber supports Paisley Museum, Renfrewshire Connect Thursday 18th May, A380 Returns, Members news and more…
The fabric of the business

President’s welcome

Dear Members, Welcome to the Spring issue of Business Matters and my first as President of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce (Chamber). I am born and bred in Renfrewshire, so I am very proud to be appointed to the role for the next two years taking over from Liz Connolly. We are grateful to Liz for her work with the board and I am delighted she has agreed to continue as a director.

As a Chamber, we also extend our warm congratulations to Liz on her election as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a great honour. We also welcome new director Ronald Leitch, Operations Director from Glasgow Airport. His skills and expertise complement our strong board as we help our members connect and grow. It has been encouraging to see the return of the Emirates A380 as a vote of confidence in a key route for the airport and wider city region connectivity.

I’m not the only person with a new role of course as we welcome a new First Minister of Scotland (FM). As a network during the recent leadership election campaign, we asked for a stronger working relationship with business and was pleased to hear the FM’s pledge of an ‘open door’ for our business community.

The latest findings from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce economic survey confirm that the beginning of 2023 provided welcome respite for some sectors of the economy more so than others, after a difficult end to 2022. However, this comes from a very weak base, and while confidence has generally increased, this is yet to translate into an overall improvement of business conditions. Most Scottish SMEs still report no improvement to sales, cashflow, and investment.

The survey also indicates that many businesses are still struggling in the face of rising cost pressures and high inflation, as well as continuing to face challenges regarding access to the labour market.

Business regulation is one area where government can make a meaningful difference. Regulation and red tape can be a real constraint of growth and we hear this often from our members. Challenges around the deposit return scheme; shortterm lets; alcohol advertising and the tourism visitor levy are just some recent examples. We need to do more to reduce regulatory constraints making things simpler “to do business” in Scotland.

I am delighted to highlight that your Chamber has agreed to be one of the first two corporate partners of the Paisley Museum Reimagined project, due to reopen next year after a radical £45m redesign and refurbishment.

We are joined by Coats - the world’s leading manufacturer in thread and structural components for apparel and footwear – more than 150 years after their founders gifted the building to the people of the town.

In doing so, both organisations are supporting Scotland’s biggest current capital heritage development, which – when reopened - will welcome 125,000 visitors a year and boost the local economy by £79m over the next 30 years.

Growing up in Renfrewshire I have many happy memories of visiting Paisley Museum. The Chamber is proud to support the redevelopment to help secure that opportunity for future generations to come.

Finally, I wish to extend an invitation to you all to join us at Renfrewshire Connect on Thursday 18th May at the Lagoon, Paisley. This prestigious

free B2B event, returning for the eleventh year is the largest of its type in Renfrewshire and is sponsored by Paisley.Is, the ambitious destination brand for Paisley & Renfrewshire. The event is open to all businesses, schools, and students to attend. We have six informative seminars to book offering expert advice and networking opportunities for your business. You can now register online via

I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you at our Chamber events so far this year and look forward to attending more in the weeks and months to come. I hope to see you there as we connect and grow our community!

Kind regards – Derek

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A warm welcome from our Chief Executive

Dear Members & readers, welcome to the Spring issue of our popular magazine Business Matters.

On behalf of the staff and board I warmly congratulate Derek J McNab on his election as President. Having successfully grown Mabbett with his team to a multi-site, award winning business, his expertise will be of great benefit to our members. In addition, we extend a warm welcome to Ronald Leitch from Glasgow Airport. His election maintains our strong relationship with Glasgow Airport and supports the crucial role it plays in both our local economy and prosperity of the city region.

You may have seen the major announcement of the Chamber’s commitment to be one of the first two corporate partners of the Paisley Museum Reimagined project, due for completion next year after a radical £45m redesign and refurbishment.

We believe the museum transformation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our

Business Matters Spring 2023

generation to continue the long tradition of philanthropic support from the business community.

The Chamber is delighted to commit this financial gift in recognition of the increased economic activity and visitor numbers to Paisley and the wider area. I’d encourage all other businesses to explore the opportunity the project represents.

Thank you to everyone who has completed our annual survey, the results of which you will find on page 25. Once again, the team have scored highly maintaining a consistent level of services on behalf of you our members and your feedback helps us plan for the next 12 months.

I encourage you to book on for Renfrewshire Connect taking place on Thursday 18th of May at the Lagoon and sponsored by Paisley Is. The day represents an opportunity to network with 50 + companies in one go and is a great use of your time. There are also six informative sessions on topics from marketing

and artificial intelligence to leadership, management and mental health.

So please book your free place now via and share with your colleagues and friends, we hope to see you on the day!

The fabric of the business community. 3
Printed on ECF paper sourced from sustainable forests using vegetable based inks. Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Bute Court, St Andrews Drive, Glasgow Airport, PA3 2SW t: 0141 847 5450 / f: 0141 847 5499 e: / w: Next issue of Business Matters is Summer 2023 Deadline for editorial and adverts is Friday 2nd June 2023 Themes are B2B / education and training & development / business support & finance / tourism & leisure Advertising & Editorial: Contact Jill Carrino t: 07702 909474 / e: Print and Design by: The Print Brokers (Scotland) Ltd / e:
Follow the chamber: Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce would like to acknowledge the support of our Premier Partners: West College Scotland offers a range of professional training and development courses to help you update your skills. “ I’d like to update my professional qualifications Clydebank 0141 951 7555 Greenock 01475 553 044 Paisley 0141 581 2121

Emirates’ iconic A380 touches down in Glasgow

Emirates’ flagship A380 has touched down in Glasgow Airport for the first time since September 2019. The added capacity will meet market demand and offer customers more travel options from Glasgow to Dubai, and beyond.

The iconic double-decker received a warm welcome by Scottish bagpipe players as it taxied to the stand. The Emirates check-in counter at Glasgow Airport was also decked out with celebratory red balloons and “welcome back” signs.

forwardtowelcomingpassengerson-board thispopularaircraftandtoconnecting customers to more than 140 destinations via Dubai.”

Ronald Leitch, Glasgow Airport’s Operations Director, said: “Emirates’ Glasgow-Dubairoutecontinuestobea tremendoussuccessstoryforScotlandand thereturnoftheairline’sflagshipaircraftis ahugevoteofconfidenceforGlasgowand thewiderregion.

“Aswellasdeliveringunrivalled connectivityforScottishleisureand business travellers to Dubai, home of one oftheworld’sbiggestinternationalhub airports,thedailyservicealsoplaysa crucialroleinexportingScottishgoods globallyaswellassupportingScotland’s inboundtourismindustry.

operator of Airbus A380, with more than 80 aircraft currently in active service.

The Emirates A380 is loved by customers for its spacious and comfortable cabins, quietness, and unique on-board features such as the Onboard Lounge and First Class Shower Spa. Customers can also enjoy award-winning inflight entertainment on ice with more than 5,000 channels of ondemand entertainment via the industry’s largest screens across all cabins.

Emirates has completely refurbished four of its A380 aircraft under the airline’s US$ 2 billion retrofit program, with the first A380 deployed earlier this year on the Dubai-London Heathrow service featuring the Premium Economy cabin, and Emirates’ latest cabin interiors including lighter colour palettes in First and Business Class.

“We'reveryproudtobringbackouriconic A380toGlasgow,providingmuch-needed capacityonthispopularroute.

Thisisalsoatestamenttoourongoing commitmenttoScotland,whichisakey regionforEmiratesintheUK.Welook

“WatchingtheiconicAirbusA380 aircrafttouchdownonceagainisa specialexperiencenotonlyforeveryone whoworksattheairport,butalsothe hugenumberofaviationenthusiastsand membersofthepublicwhogatheredtoday tocapturethemoment.”

Emirates will also be resuming A380 operations to Birmingham starting from 1 July. By the end of this summer, the popular aircraft will be serving almost 50 destinations The airline is the largest

The airline also plans to ramp up its fourclass A380 operations featuring Premium Economy cabins to more than 35 destinations across 20 countries by March 2024.

Emirates flight EK27 departs Dubai at 07:50hrs and arrives in Glasgow at 12:45hrs, local time. The return flight, EK28 departs Glasgow at 14:35hrs and arrives in Dubai at 01:05hrs local time, the following day.

For more information, visit Tickets can be purchased on, Emirates Sales Office or via travel agent.

4 Business Matters Spring 2023
Richard Jewsbury, Emirates Divisional Vice President in the UK, commented: Emirates’ Richard Jewsbury, Emirates Divisional Vice President in the UK, Gavin Newlands MP Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Natalie Don MSP Renfrewshire North and West, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce CEO Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Airport Operations Director Ronald Leitch, Bob Grant, CEO Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Local supplier opportunities with Statkraft

Local companies are being invited to register to supply goods and services during construction of a 50MW battery project near the Neilston substation in Renfrewshire.

Chamber member Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has announced that construction of their Neilston Greener Grid Park will commence in mid-2023. Statkraft would like to hear from companies that usually supply construction sites, as well as off-site services such as lodging, restaurants, catering and car hire. The information will be included in a suppliers’ directory shared with main contractors to enable them to easily locate local providers.

Statkraft expect that the main contractors will be announced in May, and the construction period will last for approximately 18 months.

For more information, and to add your details to the register go to

The fabric of the business community. 5

R&D tax relief: Are you maximising the opportunity?

Many small or medium enterprises (SMEs) still don’t realise that they qualify for research and development (R&D) tax incentives. As businesses contend with the economic challenges and the continuing threat of recession, this relief could provide a valuable cash injection.

Significant changes are being made to the R&D tax credit schemes, some of which come into force from 1 April 2023. The enhancement rate for SMEs is being reduced to 86 % (from 130 %) and the rate at which companies can surrender losses is being reduced to 10 % (from 14.5 %); these changes can result in a reduction of more than 30% in the tax benefit.

On the flipside a ’rebalancing’ of the two R&D relief schemes means larger companies or those making a claim under the R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) regime will see an increase from 13% to 20% (gross benefit).

Further, in the most recent budget announcement, a new ‘R&D intensive’ rate is being introduced for loss-making SMEs where their R&D qualifying expenditure is at least 40 % of total expenditure.

With this in mind, planning around R&D tax is crucial to achieve the best outcome for an organisation.

To help businesses understand the scheme and the possible opportunity, R&D expert at Azets, Gemma Monaghan, explores the key details here.

What is R&D tax relief?

The R&D tax relief scheme is designed to incentivise innovation within the UK and reward companies conducting research and development The benefit is only available to limited companies.

The qualifying criteria for the SME scheme are:

an organisation with fewer than 500 FullTime Employees ; and an annual turnover not exceeding €100m or balance sheet assets (gross) not exceeding €86m.

Why is it so important to get it right?

HMRC is scrutinising claim submissions due to fraudulent activity and a year on year increase in submissions. It’s therefore critical to partner with a trusted advisor and ensure a claim is robust and compliant, both from a technical and financial perspective.

For companies undertaking R&D projects and subsequently incurring R&D expenditure, there could be significant tax savings or cash repayments available. Given the complexities with the current schemes and the different benefit options for a company, careful planning is paramount to ensure the R&D benefit is utilised in the most effective manner.

Some of these complexities affecting a claim include: group structure and associated enterprises. grant income. contractual relationships between companies.

Each need to be reviewed, considered and applied correctly.

What costs can be claimed?

Broadly, to qualify for an R&D tax relief claim, a company’s project must seek to achieve an advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainties. This R&D definition can lead many to believe that the activities they undertake and expenditure they incur are not qualifying.

How to identify an R&D opportunity

Some high-level questions to help identify R&D claims opportunities are:

Are you developing new or improving existing products or processes above what is available in the market?

Have you encountered failures within a project where the solution wasn’t readily achieved by your workforce?

Have you had a project fail due to technical reasons?

Have you combined different technologies that haven’t been achieved to date, with no guarantee of success?

· Have you contracted any specialist design functions to support a project?

If you have any questions on R&D tax relief, contact Gemma Monaghan, R&D Tax Director, on 0141 886 6644 or email

6 Business Matters Spring 2023

£1.5 Billion Corporation Tax Hike Could Cripple Struggling Scots’ Businesses Warns Expert

Scotland’s business community will be under pressure to find an extra £1.5 billion per year of Corporation Tax payments by 2025/26 following a 31.58% proportionate increase in the Corporation Tax rate due to take effect in April.

Corporation Tax, which is currently 19%, will rise to 25% on 1st April and will raise an estimated additional £1.2 bn in the first year, rising to £1.5 by 2025/26. It is estimated that Scotland currently contributes around £5 bn in corporation tax per annum – the UK figure is around £68 bn per annum, equating to 2.9% of UK GDP.

A leading SME expert is warning that the additional tax burden could lead to a significant reduction in investment and the risk of businesses closing.

“Last October the Government announcedthatitwillperseverewithan increaseinthebaselineCorporationTax from 19% to 25% for businesses with annual profitsofmorethan£250,000,” said Nicola Campbell, Accounts and Business Advisory Services Partner at Azets. “Businesses acrosstheUKwillbepayinganadditional £18bnperannumby2025/26andwe

estimatethatScotland’sannualshareby thatpointwillbenearly£1.5bn.

Nicola Campbell added: “Itisasignificant increaseandsomebusinessesmaynot yetbefullyawareoftheimplications. Thereisconcernthatthescaleofthetax increasealongwithrisinginterestratesand inflationarypressureswillrestrictinward investmentopportunitiesandinturngrowth.

“The tax burden on business has become higherthanwehaveseeninthelast2 decades across the board, from NIC to CorporationTax. Mygreatestworry thoughistheimpactonownermanaged businesseswhocan’tinvestintaxplanning astheyneedtheprofitstopaythe household bills.”

Nicola Campbell concluded: “With an increase on this scale it is more important than ever that companies across Scotland actively manage their corporation tax liabilities. Cash and liquidity are critical for every business so we would encourage owners and directors to take full advantage of available tax reliefs, including the following examples:

1. Maximise the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) of £1m

2. Claim R&D tax relief

3. Maximise pension contributions

4. Maximise staff benefits and invest in staff well-being

5. Buy electric vehicles

If you have any questions on the Corporation Tax increase or utilising any of the reliefs mentioned above, contact Nicola Campbell, or call 0141 886 6644


UK Government CT projected receipts publications/corporation-taxcharge-and-rates-from-1-april2022-and-small-profits-rate-andmarginal-relief-from-1-april-2023/ corporation-tax-charge-and-ratesfrom-1-april-2022-and-small-profitsrate-and-marginal-relief-from-1april-2023

The fabric of the business community. 7

West Showcases Advanced Manufacturing Centre

This month, West College Scotland was delighted to welcome small and medium manufacturing companies from across Scotland to their Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMC) in Paisley.

During the event, companies learned about the suite of free, short upskilling courses available to them, ranging from training in Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), and 3D printing and scanning. The aim of their AMC is to create a regional skills hub, increasing SME access to expertise, equipment & skills and prepare and connect them to other advanced manufacturing training, including that on offer at the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) in Inchinnan.

To find out more, please visit or make an enquiry at

West Supports The Bettii Pod

West College Scotland has been successful in obtaining funding from the Scottish Funding Council through their Innovation Voucher Scheme to support employer The Bettii Pod.

The Bettii Pod Ltd is on a journey to create the world’s first installed menstrual cup cleaner. Bettii’s would be installed within the cubicle of away from home toilets to enable women to clean their reusable menstrual cups and discs quickly and privately. It is estimated that 75% of women are interested in trying reusables but only 15% make the change.

One key barrier to menstrual cup adoption, as highlighted within a 2021 UN report which cites cups as the most environmentally friendly reusable option, is access to private cleaning facilities. Bettii aims to address this issue, increasing consumer confidence in trying menstrual cups, raising the profile of all reusables in general and subsequently reducing the devastating impact of single use, 90% plastic period disposables.

WCS is using its specialist staff to support employer in establishing the quickest, cheapest and most error free ways in which the pods could be installed in both types of toilets. The purpose of a Standard Innovation Voucher is to encourage new first time partnerships between a company and a university or further education college.All SMEs, social enterprises and third sector organisations with main company operations in Scotland can apply for a voucher if they are partnering with a Scottish University or Further Education College.

To find out more please contact us at

Supporting Scottish Apprenticeship Week

In the first week in March, the College also led on several events and activities to support Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023, showcasing the range of award-winning Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships the College supports. Working with over 700 apprentices and 100 regional employers, West College Scotland is the recognised primary training provider in Renfrewshire and the west region, offering a suite of apprenticeships in areas as diverse as Health and Social Care, Engineering, Automotive Skills, Creative and Cultural Skills, Transport and Logistics, Management, Construction, Pharmacy Services and Hospitality and Tourism. The College supports apprentices of all ages and work with employers to promote equal opportunities for recruits, with a specific focus on promoting apprentices to underrepresented groups (including women into STEM apprentices). Modern Apprenticeships (MA) training is fully funded through Skills Development Scotland (SDS), with zero training costs for an employer. The funding pays for vocational qualifications, core skills development and, where applicable, academic qualifications that underpin the apprenticeship. They can offer a dedicated apprenticeship team to steward apprentices through their work-based learning, and support employers ensure their apprentices thrive in their workplace. As an approved apprenticeship centre, the College is involved with a wide range of awarding bodies and sector skills councils, ensuring their apprentices receive relevant, up-to-date skills. To find out more, please make a direct enquiry to:

8 Business Matters Spring 2023

Scotland’s first Dementia Friendly Shopping Centre

THE Braehead Centre is literally rolling out the red carpet for people living with dementia when they visit the popular shopping mall.

Braehead was recently named Scotland’s first Dementia Friendly Shopping Centre for their on-going partnership with the national charity, Alzheimer Scotland.

As one of several ways Braehead is making life a little bit easier for people living with dementia to visit the centre, management has placed red mats at the mall’s entrances instead of black mats, as that can appear as a hole in the ground to someone with dementia.

Staff at the shopping and leisure destination have also been trained by the charity as Dementia Friends, so they can make life more comfortable for people living with dementia when they visit the centre.

The Alzheimer Scotland Purple Alert app has been downloaded on to staff phones and linked to the Braehead Centre’s control room, as a vital tool in finding someone with dementia who is lost.

And one modern wash hand basin tap in each toilet has been replaced with a traditional pillar tap, as it is more recognisable to someone with dementia. Signage in the centre has also been placed at eye level.

Staff from Alzheimer Scotland were given free mall space to let visitors to the centre know about the many services they provide and how they can help people with dementia, their carers and families.

Anne McWhinnie, from Alzheimer Scotland said: “Hats off to Braehead for everythingtheyaredoingandbeinghugely supportive.Theyarenowofficiallythefirst DementiaFriendlyShoppingCentrein Scotland.

“We’rereallyexcitedaboutwhatBraehead isdoingforusandit’sfantastic.Arecent surveywecarriedoutshowedthatpeople livingwithdementiastillwanttogoshopping andBraeheadwillgivethemapositive experiencewhentheyvisitthecentre.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “We aim

tomakeeveryone’svisittoBraeheadas comfortableandsafeaspossible.

“Andwe’lldoallwecantomakesurepeople withdementiacanenjoytheshops,cafesand restaurantslikeeveryoneelsedoes.

“Thestaffhaveenjoyedtheirtraining fromAlzheimerScotlandgainingmore awarenessofwhattheycandotomake lifeeasierforpeoplewithdementia,their carers,familiesandfriendswhenthey come to Braehead.”

Alzheimer Scotland’s 24-hour helpline is available by calling 0808 808 3000

The fabric of the business community. 9 122207 - BH Dementia Ad 130x180mm v1 SA.indd 1 18/10/2021 15:23

Arnold Clark opens the largest BMW dealership in Scotland

The largest BMW dealership in Scotland has officially opened in Hillington Park, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The state-of-the-art showroom is the result of an £18 million investment from Arnold Clark and is now a flagship location for both BMW and MINI. Its launch follows last year’s announcement that the company was rebranding Harry Fairbairn branches as Arnold Clark, with the aim of uniting the brand across all franchises to provide customers with a seamless and consistent car-buying journey.

The new two-storey branch, located close to Arnold Clark’s flagship Renault/ Dacia/Alpine branch and Head Office, has 45 prestige BMW and MINI vehicles on display across its two levels. A further 150 Approved Used vehicles are on show in the branch’s outdoor forecourt.

As Europe’s largest independent car retailer, Arnold Clark’s aim is to provide customers with the ultimate car-buying experience, integrating both the physical and digital experience when purchasing a new car. The centre is therefore designed

with BMW and MINI’s high standards in mind – from its large forecourt to its premium interior.

As well as a wide range of models on offer, the new centre features a dedicated M Zone and a MINI John Cooper Works Zone – which focus on the motorsportinspired BMW M range and MINI’s high-performance John Cooper Works range, respectively – allowing visitors to get to grips with the latest BMW and MINI technology.

And with the goal of bringing servicing and aftersales under the one roof, there is also a 28-bay workshop in which every technician is trained to the highest BMW and MINI standards. With valet parking

available, this new state-of-the-art drive-in service facility is accessible via a covered customer service driveway and links through to the showroom, giving customers a fresh experience when they arrive to drop off their car and allowing them to take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi and a relaxed café area as they wait on their vehicle.

A must-go destination for any BMW or MINI customer in the country, the opening of the new branch has also created a raft of new jobs in the area – from vehicle technicians and vehicle preparation staff to sales and administration – while effectively bolstering Arnold Clark’s presence in Hillington Park.

Callum Rankin, Arnold Clark BMW and MINI Franchise Manager, said: ‘We’ve been delightedtoofferaspecialistserviceto our BMW and MINI customers for more than16years.Ourexpertsalesemployees andtechnicianshavetheknowledgeand experiencetoofferadviceandservice ofthehighestlevel,andournewflagship branchistheperfectexampleofthe premiumexperienceweaimtoprovide.”

10 Business Matters Spring 2023

Proactive approach grows logisitics sector

One of the world’s leading global logistics providers has expanded its business operations at Hillington Park with a move into a 17,728 sq ft, modern industrial unit increasing the overall size of the logistics sector operating from the estate.

DB Schenker, which already operated an office function on the estate, supports industry and trade through land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. Its new warehouse at Evolution 202 on Mossland Road was previously home to OSL Rail, a large multidisciplinary engineering business working within the railway sector. It will now support DB Schenker’s air-freight & freightforwarding operations as well as being a new home to its existing administration team.

Derek Aitken, senior asset manager at Hillington Park explained: “We were alreadyawarethere wassignificant interest from occupiersforlarge, modern industrial unitsatHillington Park,includingsome alreadybasedinthe Park. When OSL advised us that it no longerneededitsHillingtonpremises weagreedtojointlymarkettheunit andveryquicklywewereabletoagree termsthatmettheexpansionplansof anexistingoccupier,DBSchenker.

“Ourproactiveleasingstrategyhas helpedbothDBSchenkerandOSL achievetheirbusinessobjectives. OSL exiteditsleaseearlyandDBSchenker

securedaprime,modernwarehouse facilitywhichfitteditsexpanding businessrequirements. Frasers Propertysecuredalonger-termlease commitmentfromahigh-profileglobal business,resultinginasatisfactory outcomeforeveryone.”

For more information on DB Schenker please visit:

The fabric of the business community. 11 Already 50% LET New high spec industrial & logistics units 6,805 - 12,562 sq ft TO LET M8/J26 Glasgow, G52 4JG Large secure yards Energy-efficient LED warehouse lighting BREEAM Very Good accreditation Internal office accommodation 0141 226 1000 0141 204 3838 New high spec industrial & logistics units 6,805 - 12,562 sq ft TO LET Energy-efficient LED warehouse lighting Internal accommodation 0141 204 3838

ChatGPT: What’s all the fuss about?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since just before Christmas, it’s likely you’ve heard of ChatGPT: the generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chat-Bot that, in January this year, acquired a million daily users in just five days. (By comparison, it took Facebook 10 months to reach this milestone). So what is ChatGPT, and why is it a big deal for small businesses?

ChatGPT: the benefits

The main draw of ChatGPT is its ability to produce a long-form piece of content in a few seconds, based on prompts that you feed it. Given that the average blog piece takes around four hours to write manually, it’s easy to see why this is so appealing.

AI writing tools are not new: Jasper and Grammarly have been around for a few years. What ChatGPT offers, however, is the ability to remember what you have already asked, and build on the conversation. You could prompt it for a bullet point list of five ways to use social media to help with your new business, and in your next prompt, to provide more detail and specific examples based on point three. You could then ask it to create a series of tweets, each one focusing on a specific point. And so on. It’s incredibly versatile.

The conversational style makes the tool very easy to use – it’s a similar experience to using a chat bot on a company’s website, except that its answers are much more specific and detailed, drawing from a vast repository of sources.

ChatGPT: the drawbacks

As attractive as these features may sound, however, there are drawbacks too.

• It can’t tell fact from fiction

The GPT technology used by ChatGPT and Google’s new competitor Bard, works by recognising patterns in language and replicating these patterns in the text it produces. However, it can’t analyse the text for accuracy: so if enough of its sources misreport something, it will simply repeat this misinformation in the content it produces.

An error in an ad for Bard attributed the first pictures taken of an exoplanet outside our solar system to the James Webb Space

Telescope. In fact, they were taken by a different telescope. A mistake like this might seem innocent enough – even if it wiped $100bn off Google’s share price –but what if it were an article giving health advice, or reporting the news?

• Outputs tend to be generic

Even ChatGPT’s biggest fans will admit that it doesn’t produce the best quality text. While grammatically correct, sentences tend to be repetitive and unvaried, and it’s difficult to capture a specific tone of voice. Most content produced by ChatGPT will need a human editor to bring it to life before it’s published.

Should I use ChatGPT or not?

The fact is, AI-generated content isn’t going away, and future versions of ChatGPT and other tools will be even better. It’s already a helpful tool for research, idea generation, and helping to structure or summarise content.

Just be careful about going “all in” as

it stands. Its drawbacks are significant enough that we wouldn’t recommend just copying and pasting ChatGPT content onto your website or social channels without thoroughly checking and adapting it first.

Good advice is to ‘use it as an input, not an output’ – using what it gives you as the starting point for your own creative writing and marketing messages, rather than just using the output as given without improving on it. Remember that it’s written by an algorithm, and often lacks personality, colour, and relevant examples – and don’t forget that ChatGPT knows nothing of the world since beyond 2021.

Treat it like any other business tool: use it only to the extent that it’s helpful. For many small business owners, it will hugely improve the speed at which content is created. For content specialists (such as expert marketeers or PR advisors) it’s unlikely to take their jobs – just yet!

For more help with AI or any aspect of your digital marketing, get booked onto one of our Artificial Intelligence for Small Business webinars, or talk to our team.

12 Business Matters Spring 2023
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In 1994 Kooltech began distribution of Mitsubishi Electric’s full range of Air Conditioning products. Today this product range has become a market leader and Kooltech are proud to be labelled “Mitsubishi Electric’s Exclusive UK Distributor”.

We are known by the industry to provide technical and cost effective solutions from initial selection of equipment and quotation

through to after sales support from our technical applications and engineering team. Kooltech has also developed a range of bespoke Air conditioning products offering consultants, contractors and end users efficient and sustainable Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning systems.

Our expertise has now extended to provide Sustainable Heating Solutions. Building owners and facilities managers of commercial buildings face increasingly tough standards and legislation to ensure they prioritise carbon reduction on our journey to net zero. Embracing modern heat pump technologies offer an opportunity to reduce emissions and heat buildings in a more sustainable and efficient way.

For further enquiries please email:

Kooltech Ltd, Strathaird, Mossland Road, Hillington Park, Glasgow G52 4XZ Tel 0345 034 4180

Kooltech partner with Carbon Neutral Britain™ to measure and offset our carbon footprint, and to become a Certified Carbon Neutral Business. These are the first steps for Kooltech and we aim to reduce our emissions wherever possible and not just offset.

14 Business Matters Spring 2023
YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE: Business Solutions Delivered Milne Craig is a leading provider of integrated professional services. We are: Registered Auditors Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers Chartered Independent Financial Planners Restructuring Specialists Official Sage Business Partners Book-keeping Specialists Payroll Practitioners ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Tel: 0141 887 7811 Email: Web: A great relationship starts by meeting face to face. Give us a call and allow us to tell you more. Kooltech – “Decades of experience in making buildings more energy efficient and sustainable”

Data-driven approach to solar PV for businesses in Renfrewshire

Having recently achieved carbonneutral status on our brand-new office premises in Hillington, Lochlie Construction Group are now offering renewables solutions as part of our core business. Our in-house trade teams are now fully trained and accredited to offer air source heat pumps, electric vehicle charging points, solar PV and battery storage. With energy prices at record highs and net-zero at the top of many businesses’ agendas, our in-house solar PV modelling service offers a quick and straightforward appraisal to identify whether solar is an appropriate solution for your business. Using your own consumption data, we can produce a comprehensive model to forecast your potential yield, carbon savings and financial savings, as well as a forecast payback period.

We are currently offering this service free of charge to local SMEs as Managing Director Douglas Aitken explains, “We have made a significant investment to be able to offer data-led modelling as an inhouse service to our customers, following our own difficult road to installing solar PV. The information that the appraisal report can provide is invaluable for businesses who may be researching the viability of renewable technologies, or indeed seeking funding having already made their decision.”

“The feedback we have received has beenoverwhelminglypositive,andIwould encourageanyonewhoisconsidering solarPVtogetintouchwiththeteamto chatthroughwhatwecanoffer.Wehave alreadyworkedwithanumberofmembers of the Chamber to arm them with the data theyneedtomakeaninformeddecision.”

Businesses interested in booking their free solar appraisal or just finding out a bit more about how the technology works can contact Claire McBlain on 0141 212 0000 or email

The fabric of the business community. 15

Renfrewshire connected to the fastest, most reliable internet services available in the UK

Thousands of homes and businesses across Renfrewshire can now benefit from the fastest, most reliable internet services available in the UK now that CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has completed work in a number of areas in the region.

Renfrewshire is one of a growing number of locations in the UK to benefit from CityFibre’s £5bn Gigabit City investment programme which will bring new and better broadband infrastructure within reach of up to eight million homes and businesses nationwide.


Once work on the full fibre network is completed later this year, almost every home and business locally will have access to full fibre services and a choice of up to five internet service providers (ISPs) offering some of the fastest and most competitive broadband packages available in terms of both data and price.

David Cannon, CityFibre’s Area Manager for Renfrewshire, said: “Wehavebeenrollingoutourfullfibrenetworkacrossmuch ofRenfrewshiresinceSummer2020andarekeenthatasmany homesandbusinessesaspossiblebenefitfromour£40million investmenttoaccessworld-leadinglevelsofconnectivity.”

Unlike copper-based ‘fibre broadband’ services available today, full fibre networks use 100% fibre optic cables to carry data at lightning speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This makes the more reliable than conventional copper

networks and gives users consistently faster speeds for upload and download (up to 1,000 Mbps), plus near limitless bandwidth so everyone at home can work, study, stream or game simultaneously.     Residents wishing to give their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build, check availability in their area and which ISPs are available to them at

For updates on the build and when we’re heading to your area, visit:

16 Business Matters Spring 2023
your business profile? YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE:
David Cannon, CityFibre’s Area Manager for Renfrewshire
Built from scratch, with the latest full fibre technology, this is a digital network like no other. Giving communities and businesses in Renfrewshire the fastest most reliable broadband for generations to come.

GAs helping global medical company create a talent pipeline

University of the West of Scotland’s Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) are enabling Terumo Aortic, a global medical device company, to create a pipeline of talent from new entrants to future leaders.

Working in partnership with University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Terumo Aortic has introduced two UWS GA programmes (Engineering Design & Manufacture and Business Management) in engineering and business support roles.

Terumo Aortic, said: “We remainsteadfastlycommitted toofferingopportunitiesfor currentandfuturecolleagues to benefit from the Graduate Apprenticeshipprogramme. Thebusinessisalreadyseeing hugebenefitsfromthose Associateswhohavecompleted, orarecurrentlyundertaking, their studies and looks forward toofferingtheseopportunities tomorecolleaguesmoving forward.”

To find out how your business can benefit from GAs please visit www.uws. or get in touch at

The fabric of the business community. 17
For more info email or visit develop the talent pipeline your business needs GRADUATE APPRENTICESHIPS

New members

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Chamber staff, we would like to welcome onboard the following new members.

Gordon Foley Consulting

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Consultancy

Ian Gordon 07545318267

Topgolf Glasgow

Entertainment Destination

Hannah Wright 0141 674 9314

Roar Connections For Life Ltd


Cassie Forbes 0141 889 7481

Targeting Innovation Ltd

Digital and Innovation Business Consultancy

Janine Marriott 0141 248 6516

Kellie Alexander t/a Euphoria

Mental Health & Exercise Coach

Kellie Alexander 07383506189


Business Club/Events

Vinnie McWilliams


Bike Shop & Service Centre

Ian Stokes 01505 610198

MortgageWise (Scotland) Ltd

Mortgage Broker

Paul Kelly 0141 231 2150

TG Industrial Services Limited

Commercial Cleaning Service

Andy Anderson 0141 842 1189

Liz Connolly Elected to The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Liz Connolly, Chamber Past President and Principal of West College Scotland has been invited to join The Royal Society of Edinburgh as a Fellow. 91 Fellows have been elected to join The RSE from across the sciences, education, the arts, business, and public life. Liz will join the RSE’s current Fellowship, which comprises 1,800

people recognised as being some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners in their field working in or with organisations in Scotland today.

Liz said “I’mreallychuffedandhonoured tobeinvitedtojoinTheRoyalSocietyof Edinburgh. Ilookforwardtosupporting the valuable work and contribution the RSE makestoourcommunity”

Tweetiepie Media

Digital Marketing Agency

Lizzy Todd 01475 603280

Core Facility Services Ltd

Energy, Waste, IT, and Estate Services

Keith Barlow 0141 4284317

Axis Prop Ltd t/a Map Property Property Services

Michael Paton 01475 648800

The HR Practice Ltd

HR Consultancy

Fiona McKee 07500 071915

18 Business Matters Spring 2023

Chamber Pictures

Up and Coming Events

Chamber Connect: “The 5 ways my clients have increased their sales with fewer customers” with Mark Bradford. Thurs 20th April 10am-11.30amChamber Business Centre, Glasgow Airport. FOC members

Chamber Connect: with Natalie O`Hare from BeyondHR covering: Menopause and the workplace, introduction to handling grievances in the workplace & when to discipline or when to dismiss.

Thurs 11th May 10am-11.30am FOC members, Normandy Hotel

Renfrewshire Connect

Thurs 18th May. 10am -4pm, Lagoon Paisley. 50+ exhibitors, 6 free seminars. To exhibit £150+ vat members, £250 + vat non-members

TRANSFORM: Digital with Gary Ennis from NSDesign

Tues 6th June, Tues 13th June & Tues 20th June. Sessions delivered online 10am-12pm. Free for members

Chamber Connect: Skills for Growth Reviews for Renfrewshire SMEs with Skills Development Scotland.

Wed 21st June May 10am-11.30am FOC members, Glynhill Hotel .

Chamber Golf Challenge 23rd June, £300 per 4 ball includes breakfast, golf, lunch & goodie bag. Shotgun start 8am3pm. Raffle for Accord

ROCCO Awards 2023

Friday 17th November at the Normandy with Host Fred MacAuley

The fabric of the business community. 19 Follow the chamber: See our events section on our website: • 0141 847 5450
Burns Speaker John McEvoy Pupils from Linwood High with Derek J McNab Diageo Site Director Paul Marsella March Lunch President Derek J McNab Chamber AGM 22 Retiring Directors John McConnell & David Flint with Tom Johnstone Liz Connolly presents Derek J McNab with Chain of Office March Lunch Glynhill Sandy Wedderburn Burns Piper
Claire Hasting Burns Singer

Thursday 18th May 10am-4pm, Lagoon Paisley


Free to Attend

Renfrewshire Connect is our annual networking event open to all. Free to attend, the event is packed with value for SMES, Staff, students and startups alike.

Learning Sessions

Join us for expert discussions, covering topics ranging from Advertising and Artificial Intelligence to Leadership, Management and Mental Health.

Over 50 Exhibitors

Connect with companies from across Renfrewshire and beyond.

Connect with exhibitors in following sectors:

• Business Services

• Construction & Property

• Digital Media

• Economic Development & Business Support

• Education & Young People

• Finance & Legal

• Hospitality

• Manufacturing

• Recruitment & Human Resources

• Sales & Marketing

• Third Sector & Volunteering

Sponsored by:

Seminar 1

10:15am-11am Regeneration and business support with Renfrewshire Council

Seminar 2

11.15am-12pm: Gary Ennis from NSDesign –“How Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help your Business Marketing”

Seminar 3

12.15pm -1pm: Sky Adsmart - “The Power of TV Advertising for Business of All Shapes and Sizes.”

Seminar 4

1.15pm-2pm: University of the West of Scotland. Dr Christian Harrison - “Leading during the times of Crisis.”

Seminar 5

2.15pm-3pm: Brian Costello from Headstrong“Stopping the Business of Burnout”

Seminar 6

3.15pm-4pm: Gary Ennis from NSDesign“The Dangers of Social Media”

Book Now for Renfrewshire Connect

The day is free to attend and open to all businesses, schools, pupils & students. There is a charge to exhibit – please contact the Chamber (£150 + vat members, £250 + vat non-members)

To book your free place to attend please go to

Twitter hashtag is #renfrewshireconnect

20 Business Matters Spring 2023

Renfrewshire Chamber and Coats PLC are first corporate partners for Paisley Museum transformation

Renfrewshire’s leading business networking organisation are throwing their support behind the transformation of Paisley’s Museum into an international-class visitor destination.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce have agreed to be one of the first two corporate partners of the museum, due to reopen next year after a radical £45m redesign and refurbishment.

They are joined by Coats - the world’s leading manufacturer in thread and structural components for apparel and footwear – more than 150 years after their founders gifted the building to the people of the town.

The museum was originally paid for by Sir Peter Coats of the Paisley-based global thread-making empire in 1871. Now, the modern Coats company are helping preserve that legacy for future generations through a gift to the Paisley Museum Reimagined fundraising campaign.

In doing so, both organisations are supporting Scotland’s biggest current capital heritage development, which –when reopen - will welcome 125,000 visitors a year, create 50 jobs, and boost the local economy by £79m over the next 30 years.

The museum has been redesigned by international architects AL_A, and construction work is well under way to create a new wing for the A-listed Victorian building, new entrance hall, terraced outdoor garden, and refurbishment of all four museum buildings, including the Coats Observatory.

The work will double the number of items which can go on display from the museum’s internationally-significant collections, with the local community

having co-produced displays bringing to life the stories of Paisley’s people, Pattern and global influence.

Coats grew from humble beginnings in 18th-century Paisley to employ tens of thousands in sprawling thread mills in the town, as they became a global empire. Their founders were famed for their philanthropy, having funded many of the town’s landmark buildings.

Although they no longer have a presence in Paisley, the modern company is still headquartered in the UK and employs 17,000 employees in over 50 countries around the world.

Derek J McNab, President of Renfrewshire Chamber, said: “Growing upinRenfrewshireIhavemanyhappy memoriesofvisitingPaisleyMuseum. TheChamberisproudtosupportthe redevelopmenttohelpsecurethat opportunityforfuturegenerationsto come.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber said: “We believe the museum transformation is a once-in-alifetimeopportunityforourgenerationto continuethelongtraditionofphilanthropic supportfromthebusinesscommunity.


22 Business Matters Spring 2023
Bob Grant (Renfrewshire Chamber Chief Executive), Chris Dearing (Coats Group Sustainability Director) Ellen Johnson (Coats Group - Director, Brand and Communications) and Marion White MBE (Trustee of Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd) and Derek J McNab (President of Renfrewshire Chamber).

financialgiftinrecognitionoftheincreased economicactivityandvisitornumbersto Paisleyandthewiderarea.I’dencourageall otherbusinessestoexploretheopportunity theprojectrepresents.”

Christopher Dearing, Coats Group Sustainability Director said: “Having ScottishheritageandworkedforCoatsfor thepast25years,itisgreattohaveCoats’ honouringtheirheritageinPaisleyand providingfinancialsupporttowhatwillbe aworld-classfacilityandwelcomevisitor attraction for the town.”

James Lang, chair of Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd and director of Renfrewshire-based Scottish Leather Group, said: “Wearedelightedtowelcome ourfirsttwocorporatepartnersandthat both Coats PLC and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce can see the benefits the projectwilldeliver.

“ThisinvestmentwillsafeguardahugelyimportantpartofPaisleyandScotland’s richsocialandculturalheritagewhile generatingexcitingopportunitiesforlocal businesses and communities.”

It is the flagship project in Renfrewshire Council’s once-in-a-generation investment in Paisley’s cultural venues, including turning Paisley Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue, a new home for library services on the town’s High Street,

and upgrades to Paisley Arts Centre.

Each venue will be operated by OneRen, the local charitable trust in Renfrewshire providing culture, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives.

The search is now on for other companies to sign up as corporate partners of Paisley Museum Reimagined. For a gift of £20,000, which can be made over three years, they will receive:

- Permanent recognition on donor walls, plus PR and brand opportunities

- Private access to the museum during construction and re-opening, exclusive stargazing experience at the Coats Observatory, and a VIP tour of Paisley: The Secret Collection, the first publiclyaccessible museum store on a UK High Street

- Chances to support Paisley Museum’s educational programme which will reach more than 9,000 children a year, plus bespoke volunteering/placement opportunities for your staff

For more information on how to get involved, or to discuss bespoke opportunities for your business, visit or email information@

The fabric of the business community. 23

London Business Visit 2023 15th

May – 18th May 2023

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) is pleased to invite applications for delegates from Scottish businesses for SCC’s annual London Business Visit.

The annual Scottish Chambers of Commerce London Business Visit is established as Scottish business’s premium political and commercial networking and influencing forum in the capital. These visits offer companies from Scotland unrivalled access to top Westminster politicians and city business leaders.

The 2023 Business Visit will take place from 15th – 18th May 2023 and will offer delegates the exclusive chance to meet global and national business leaders, Ambassadors, international business owners and participate in roundtables as well as attending the British Chambers of Commerce Global Conference.

This year’s visit will help you identify new markets and supply chain opportunities, provide international advice to support market entry and export initiatives and access our global network.

Powers reserved to the UK Government in these areas are vitally important to Scotland’s businesses and the wider Scottish economy and SCC will cover a range of business issues including infrastructure, investment, and international trade during this visit.

Cost – £500 + VAT

• Please note that numbers are restricted for the London Business Visit.

• Delegates will be required to pay their own travel and accommodation costs.

• SCC may be able to offer discounted rates at some London hotels.

• BCC Global Conference ticket of £120 + VAT is included in the price.

15th May -

24 Business Matters Spring 2023
18th May
• Ideal for meetings, interviews, training, seminars & workshops • 4 rooms, space for 1-20 people • Free wifi & free parking • New LED screens - HDMI & VGA ports • Catering available • Price guarantee Glasgow Airport Business Centre c/o Renfrewshire Chamber Bute Court, St Andrew's Drive Glasgow Airport PA3 2SW 0141 847 5450 Rooms available for hire at Glasgow Airport Customs brokerage you can trust, from your local Chamber of Commerce ChamberCustoms delivers a customs declaration service for UK importers and exporters: • A high level of compliance and assurance for customers • Confidence on tariff and data entry to remove fiscal risk; backed by the technical expertise of the market leader in this sector • A wealth of international trade experience and expertise from across the trusted Chamber of Commerce network UK. For more information contact Laura Connor or Bob Grant

New President Derek J. McNab Announced by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce

Mr Derek J. McNab has been named as President of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce following Ms Liz Connolly’s completion of a two-year term of office. He is Managing Director of Mabbett, the leading planning, design, environment, engineering and safety consultancy and a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde.  Derek has served as a director since December 2017 and the chamber board also welcomes new director Mr Ronald Leitch, Operations Director from Glasgow Airport.

Chamber President Derek J. McNab said “I am born and bred in Renfrewshire, soIamveryproudtobecomethenext President of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.Ilookforwardtoworkingwith myfellowdirectors,theChamberteamled byBobGrantandJillCarrino;andallour memberstosupportRenfrewshire‘Grow andProsper’.CongratulationsLizConnolly forasuccessfultermandforpassingthe ChainofOffice,youhavesetahighbar.“

Immediate Past President Liz Connolly said “It has been an honour to take up the role of President at the chamber for the past two years and I wish Derek every success as he leads the board and chamber through our next phase of development. I trust he will enjoy the role as much as I have.”

Chief Executive Bob Grant said “The staff and board warmly congratulate Derek on his election as President. Having successfully grown Mabbett with his team to a multi-site, award winning business, his expertise will be of great benefit to our members. He understands the challenges of operating an SME in the current climate.  In addition, we extend a warm welcome to Ronald Leitch from Glasgow Airport. His election to the board maintains our strong relationship with the Airport and supports the crucial role it plays in both our local economy and prosperity of the city region. We owe a debt of gratitude to Liz Connolly whose strategic expertise has been a great asset in our work to refresh the chamber

strategy & operations supporting our members in the years to come. I’m delighted Liz has agreed to continue as a board director. “

Annual Member Survey 2023

Thank you to all Chamber members who completed our Annual membership survey. We received over seventy responses and your feedback will help the chamber team plan for the coming year.

= highest score

The fabric of the business community. 25
2023 2021/22 2020 2019 2018 Don’t use / not relev. Poor Satisf. Good Excell’t % Good / excell’t % Good / excell’t % Good / excell’t % Good / excell’t % Good / excell’t Our events (Networking lunches, Pitch & Roll etc) 12 1 4 21 33 92% 98% 97% 96% 96% The ROCCO Awards 25 2 1 18 25 93% N/A 94% 90% 91% Our Services (HR, Legal, Health, etc..) 41 0 9 12 9 70% 92% 90% 87% 87% Export Documentation and/Or Chamber Customs 55 0 4 4 8 75% 94% 85% 88% 89% Business Mentoring 43 0 4 3 21 86% 93% 97% 87% 84% Business Centre / Meeting Rooms 51 1 5 9 5 70% 87% 84% 86% 74% Business Matters magazine 7 0 10 29 25 84% 89% 92% 89% 90% eNews (email bulletin) 9 1 9 32 20 84% 90% 92% 91% 86% Website 12 1 11 24 23 80% 76% 87% 88% 83% Social media (facebook / twitter / Linkedin etc..) 23 1 5 21 21 88% 73% 86% 83% 80% Access to lobbying support 54 0 2 4 11 88% 93% 88% 88% 82% Our connections via SCC / BCC 46 0 2 12 11 92% 89% 82% 86% 80% The Chamber team 5 0 2 7 57 97% 98% 100% 100% 98% The Chamber Board 21 0 3 10 37 94% 85% 96% 95% 91% Opportunities to network, learn and promote biz 11 3 7 19 31 83% 89% 91% 90% 85% Our customer service 6 0 0 18 47 100% 92% 97% 94% 94% Membership price 0 0 12 29 30 83% 83% 84% 87% 75% Overall how do you rate the Chamber 0 0 3 27 41 96% 98% 96% 97% 94% Response count Average across all: 86.4% 89.0% 90.0% 90.0% 85.0% Response count: 2018 = 84, 2019 = 75, 2020 = 70, 2021/22 = 53, 2023 = 71
Derek J. McNab Ronald Leitch

Closing the loop of a truly Circular Economy

Our customers recognise the need to generate commercial, social and environmental value. This has resulted in a demand for higher levels of performance in these areas. The requirement for simple landfill diversion has been replaced with an expectation for our services to contribute to a circular economy, create more sustainable supply chains and benefit the communities in which we operate.

When it comes to considering the best approach to waste management, businesses have come a long way in a short space of time. Value for money, reliability and compliance are of course hugely important but these alone are no longer enough.

Customers are looking for an increased level of data insight, engagement and a consultative approach that can support them in moving their businesses forward.

Our relationships with customers, across a range of sectors, extends beyond simply collecting waste.

Sustainable Solutions Partner

Enva is increasingly considered a ‘sustainable solutions partner’, offering services that support carbon reduction and playing a proactive role in developing a

truly circular economy. Our customers now know that it makes good commercial and brand sense to improve their sustainability credentials, and our job is to help them achieve this goal.

At Enva we have a broad range of skills and solutions that allow us to assess and implement the best, most sustainable, resource management options for our customers. Our efforts are increasingly focused on creating virgin-equivalent secondary resources derived from the waste materials we collect and manage. This allows us to satisfy the desire of our customers to extend the life of the materials they no longer need and push their waste focused activity further up the Waste Hierarchy. It also enables us to provide our growing base of manufacturing and industrial customers with the supply of raw materials they need for their own processes and operations.

The overarching message is that we are helping accelerate the move from the linear (take-make dispose) model to a more sustainable way of living.

Understanding the waste journey

The starting point of our customers’ journey is always one of discovery. Providing an understanding of how their

waste is produced enables us to set about reducing or eliminating it altogether. Our customer portal – MyEnva - was developed to do just that.

MyEnva provides the insight needed to monitor and guide waste reduction activity, while keeping track of key data points such as cost, material types and volumes and carbon footprint.

From long-established relationships to newly formed partnerships, our diverse and growing customer base is realising the commercial and environmental benefits delivered through Enva’s approach to sustainability.

We don’t simply collect waste, we transform it!

Our 2022 Sustainability Report demonstrates how we have saved eleven times more carbon from sustainably managing customers’ waste than we have produced from our own operations. Read more at:

For an initial discussion on how Enva can transform your waste, contact our team. Email, visit enva. com or call 01505 321 000 - we’d be happy to transform your waste!

26 Business Matters Spring 2023
Ask our team about MyEnva Customer
– instant access to waste
environment matters Renfrewshire Skip Hire For instant skip availability, pricing, online bookings or further info please scan QR code. 49 Burnbrae Road, Linwood, PA3 3BD Fast turnaround Recycling advice and support Zero waste to landfill solution Bin, Bag and Skip collection services Save £££’s on your waste costs CALL 01505 321 000
Cost effective business waste collections
The fabric of the business community. 27 Cost effective business waste collections environment matters Renfrewshire Skip Hire For instant skip availability, pricing, online bookings or further info please scan QR code. 49 Burnbrae Road, Linwood, PA3 3BD Fast turnaround Recycling advice and support Zero waste to landfill solution Bin, Bag and Skip collection services Save £££’s on your waste costs CALL 01505 321 000 Chamber Golf Challenge 2023 Fri 23rd June 8:00 am - 3:30 pm Schedule • 8am breakfast – Hot Rolls • 9.00 am tee off – Shotgun start • 2pm lunch / raffle • 3/3.30pm depart Prizes for: • Best team • Best individual score • Nearest the Pin • Longest Drive Cost is £300 per 4 ball including golf, breakfast, lunch and goody bag per player – playing this year at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club, Golf Course Rd, Bridge of Weir PA11 3HN Raffle this year will be raising funds for Chamber charity of the year Accord Hospice. To book please contact Bob Grant email or call 07702 909476 / 0141 847 5452

Active Communities

Not only does Renfrewshire charity Active Communities bring people together, with its brand new, state-of-the art building, it can support your business event too.

Active Communities is an awardwinning health and wellbeing charity in Renfrewshire. We change lives by supporting the community to be healthy, happy and better connected, reducing loneliness and isolation and supporting our communities through the cost of living crisis.

Last year we moved into Station Seven. The former Johnstone police station has been completely transformed and is now a modern, welcoming space with a variety of rooms available for hire. By choosing us every penny generated will support us to continue our vital work empowering our communities to overcome health, social and economic inequalities.

Inside the building, our light and airy training suite has two wall-mounted TVs and full AV set-up, ideal for presentations, with space for up to 25 people seated in a variety of styles. It is ideal for hosting board meetings, team meetings or training days.

Our smart and stylish ground floor Muster Room seats up to 10 around a boardroom-style table with a flat screen TV and full AV. We also have The Old Cell and the Nurture Room which are smaller and ideal for one-to-one meetings or counselling sessions. Station Seven also houses a 90m2 Main Hall which comfortably seats up to 80, and we are also fully equipped for hot-desking. The Shed is our unique and quirky metal clad

outbuilding which has its own facilities and is ideal for creative activities. It can host up to 20 people.

Station Seven is fully DDA accessible with a fully-equipped kitchen; an on-site car park and can offer reception and admin services. We also offer a a variety of fun or health and wellbeing experiences for your company training day, such as a silent disco, mindfulness or holistic therapies.

Active Communities is a charity with community at the heart of everything we do and we’d love to support your business event. Should you require further information please contact Business Development Manager, Amanda Moulson on amanda@active.communities

28 Business Matters Spring 2023
The fabric of the business community. 29

JW Filshill

Fifth-generation wholesaler JW Filshill marks new phase in its history as it relocates to a purpose-built distribution centre near Glasgow Airport

JW FILSHILL, one of Scotland’s oldest independent food and drink wholesalers, has completed its relocation from Hillington to its purpose-built distribution centre at Westway Park near Glasgow Airport.

The phased move kickstarts an exciting period of growth for the fifth-generation family business that supplies KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England plus national accounts including the Scottish Prison Service. It also has 1,600 independent customers.

Filshill, which last year ramped up investment ahead of its move to its new distribution centre with the acquisition of the independent Iain Hill Ltd wholesale business, has relocated its distribution centre and head office in order to futureproof the business.

Simon Hannah, Filshill’s chief executive officer, said that the new 120,400 sq ft depot at Westway Park will allow the wholesaler to increase its operational capacity and open more stores in Scotland and the north of England, from Wick in the far north to Doncaster in south Yorkshire.

“Operatingoutofthesebespoke premises,whichhavebeendesignedtoour exactspecificationaspartofour10-year growthstrategy,willimproveourefficiency andproductivityasweinvestinthelongtermsuccessofthecompany,protect future revenue streams and increase customer satisfaction,” he said.

“Weareanaward-winningwholesaler withambitiousgrowthplansandour newdistributioncentreputsusinan idealpositiontoachieveourambitions, expandtheKeyStoreestate,andwork inpartnershipwithourcustomersand suppliersformutualbenefit.”

Mr Hannah said that the acquisition of Iain Hill, a wholesaler with a strong foothold in soft drinks, confectionery, snacks and other impulse products, had bolstered Filshill’s modern fleet of vehicles as well as strengthening its pool of experienced staff.

“Whilewearedisappointedthatthe pandemicandunforeseenplanningissues delayedourmovetoWestwayPark,we aredelightedtonowbefullyoperational as a business from what is one of the most modern and efficient food and drink distributiondepotsintheUK.


ofconsiderableplanningtocreatethe infrastructure that will enable us to recogniseourambitionsandwewilluse thefacilitytodriveunrivalledoperational efficiencyandpromotethekeenestprices asweaspiretobecomethemostfrictionless wholesaler in Scotland for our customers andsupplierstodobusinesswith.

“Incorporatingthehigh-levelskillsofour peopleacrossthebusinessandthemost up-to-datetechnologyandequipment, WestwayParkmarksthestartofanew phaseofajourneyfortheFilshillfamilythat startedinPaisleyin1875.”

The 16-metre-high warehouse – which has 211 solar panels covering 400 sqm of roof space – has 12 loading docks and an

innovative four-floor pick tower which can hold approximately 1,520 pallets and, in addition, standard storage racking with capacity to hold 8,650 pallets. Gravityfed live racking benefits from a semiautomated shuttle system which holds 1,155 pallets of Filshill’s fastest-selling products, generating significant operational efficiency.

Filshill, meanwhile, has developed the new distribution centre in adherence to its longestablished strategy around benchmarking its carbon footprint, identifying areas where it can positively influence a reduction in its carbon impact and work towards a net-zero emissions position.

In the last financial year, driven by Filshill’s environmental team, the company saw a reduction of 9% in its intensity ratio measure of carbon per case delivered. The new premises provide electric vehicle charging points and a wildflower garden is being created. Beehives are also being put in place.

30 Business Matters Spring 2023
Simon Hannah, Filshill’s chief executive officer

The distribution centre has also been designed with the comfort of staff in mind with internal office accommodation carefully created to make the most of natural light and provide colleagues with a comfortable working environment that will help boost both productivity and mental health.

Filshill’s 10-year strategy focuses heavily on engagement with its workforce on health and wellbeing, particularly with regard to mental health. “This remains at the heart ofourstrategyandwerecognisethatasa responsibleemployerweneedtodothisnot onlyforouremployeesandtheirfamilies butalsobecauseofthepositiveimpactit has on our business and our customers.

“Oursafety-firstcultureisacornerstone ofeverythingwedoandourworkforce retentionandabilitytorecruithasbeen positivelyimpactedbytheseinitiatives.The newworkingenvironmentatWestwaywill further cement this commitment.”

Filshill saw turnover increase to £200 million – up 4.4% from £191 million – in the year ending January 31, 2022. Operating profits increased from £2.3 million to £2.7 million while it recorded gross profit of £17 million with net assets growing to £17.1 million compared to £15.2 million the previous year, an increase of 12.6%.

The fabric of the business community. 31


The latest findings from a leading Scottish business survey by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC), confirm that the beginning of 2023 provided welcome respite for some sectors of the economy more so than others, after a difficult end to 2022.

However, this comes from a very weak base, and while confidence has generally increased, this is yet to translate into an overall improvement of business conditions. Most Scottish SMEs still report no improvement to sales, cashflow, and investment.

The survey also indicates that many businesses are still struggling in the face of rising cost pressures and high inflation, as well as continuing to face challenges regarding access to the labour market.


• INFLATION CONCERNS PERSIST: Concern over inflation remains high among all firms and has seen little movement over the quarter, with still around eight in 10 firms (82%) reporting increased concern from it. On a sectoral level, financial and business services was the only sector surveyed where a lower number of firms reported less than at least eight in 10 at 77%.


- 75% reported increased cost pressures from energy costs

- 70% reported increased cost pressures from labour costs, including salaries

- 55% reported increased cost pressures from fuels such as diesel and petrol

- 50% reported increased cost pressures from raw material prices

• CASHFLOW & PROFIT CHALLENGES: On balance, more firms reported a fall (43%) in cashflow than an increase (31%), reflecting the difficulties faced by notably the retail and tourism sectors. Across the entire survey, the manufacturing sector was the only sector to report growth for cashflow and not a contraction. Similarly,

the services sector was the only sector to report growth in profits.

• LESS FIRMS PLANNING TO RAISE PRICES: The number of firms indicating that they intend to raise prices in the next quarter has fallen slightly compared to the previous quarter. This remains high with still over seven in 10 firms (73%) stating that they will raise prices in Q2 2023.


Recruitment difficulties have seen a slight drop of five percentage points, from being reported by 52% of firms in Q4 to 47% for this quarter. Over half of all firms (57%) reported no staff changes over the quarter, with 57% again saying that they do not expect staff changes to change in Q2 2023.

Stephen Leckie, President of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“Thebeginningof2023hasseen improvementintheprospectsofsome sectorsoftheScottisheconomy,inlinewith recent economic data that has been more


“While we see the construction, services andmanufacturingsectorsreporting better results, we must note that this comes fromaverylowbarsetbythepastfew yearsofconstantandseeminglyneverendingchallengesforbusiness.Wealsosee theretailandtourismindustriescontinuing tostruggleinthefaceoftheseheadwinds.

“Thesurveyalsoindicatesthatmany ofthebigchallengesthatfacedfirmsin 2022arecontinuingtopersistin2023. Costpressurescontinuetorisealongside concernfromenergybills,inflation,labour shortages,alongsidegrowinguncertainty intheglobaleconomy.

“Thereisalargein-trayofissuesforthe new First Minister and his cabinet to work withbusinessestoaddress,tohelpputthe Scottisheconomybackontoapathtowards unlockinggrowthandinvestment.

“Wearereadytoworkwithgovernment tobringcareandfocusontothesepressing challengesfortheeconomy,thatmustcome withagileanddecisiveactionthatsupports firmsthroughtheuncertaintyahead.”

32 Business Matters Spring 2023
Stephen Leckie – President

Renfrewshire Council Updates:

Paisley Food and Drink Festival set to be a treat for the tastebuds

One of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals is set to return to Paisley this spring.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival will be a two-day taste sensation with more than 30 traders, licensed bars and a packed programme of live music, entertainment, and foodie-fun for all ages.

The extravaganza will take place in Abbey Close and Bridge Street in Paisley town centre on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April.

Vibrant independent street food market, Platform, is returning to this year’s event, bringing along a host of top street food vendors offering delicious dishes from around the globe.

A host of Renfrewshire favourites will be on hand to serve up a range of tasty treats, including Scozzese woodfired pizza, Porelli Loop and Scoop, Café Fairfull, Funky Fudge, Dark God rum and Two Towns Down Brewing.

Event organisers are once again teaming up with Renfrewshire CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) to host a dedicated Beer Tent as part of the festival grounds. The Beer

Tent will be located on Bridge Street with a wide range of cask conditioned ales and craft beers on offer, including vegan and gluten free options.

More returning favourites include Edin-Burgers, Brigston & Co. artisan hotdogs and Greek Street Food, as well as the Fizzbuz prosecco van and Rum Shack Caribbean bar, which are sure to offer a tasty tipple for the grown-ups of the group.

Visitors will also be able to tuck into fantastic fare from new festival faces, including sweet treats from Love is Churros, a range of global flavours at The Fat Flamingo, Dirty Bird fried chicken and mouth-watering spices from Free The Chilli.

The event will also showcase an array of top-quality artisan food and drink products to purchase and take home.

Plus, there’s lots of entertainment for the kids on Saturday, with the chance to sign up for free pizza and chocolate making workshops, as well as free face painting and fun games with Community Circus Paisley.

The festival’s Live Stage will host great music acts and entertainment, programmed

by the Rum Shack on Friday evening and Paisley’s famous The Bungalow music venue on Saturday. The Keg will also have a special Stage & Bar with a brilliant array of bands playing live music across the weekend.

Pauline Allan, Renfrewshire Council Events Manager, said: “PaisleyFoodand DrinkFestivalisoneofthebiggesteventsof itskindinScotlandandregularlyattracts visitorsfromallovertoenjoyeverything thattheeventandPaisleyhastooffer.

“Thisyear’sfestivalhasalltheingredients fortheperfectfoodieexperience–and wecan’twaittowelcomeeveryonealong fortwo-daysoffantasticentertainment, delicious street food and much more. Come ondownandjointhefun!”

To find out more about Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2023, please visit

The fabric of the business community. 33
Invest in… Jobs | Training | Skills | Recruitment Business & ICT Childcare, Social Care and Health Care
Service Creative Industries Construction, Manufacturing,
Security and Logistics

Renfrewshire Council Updates:

Renfrewshire Council budget builds a fairer Renfrewshire

Building a fairer Renfrewshire while supporting the Council’s financial sustainability was the central focus of the budget agreed today.

The £483.2million Renfrewshire Council budget brings together £5million in funding for people most in need through the Fairer Renfrewshire programme.

This includes more money for the Scottish Welfare fund and for Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau as well as a summer activity programme with a healthy meal for children and young people from low income families and a winter school clothing payment.

Significant investment in roads and footpaths also continues through a £6.7million boost as well as funds to improve road safety in Renfrewshire villages.

And a £1,000,000 fund will promote community collaboration and better wellbeing while supporting Renfrewshire’s net zero targets.

There was also a commitment to protect the ongoing five-year, £424.2million capital investment programme which includes transforming Paisley town centre cultural venues and improving transport links across the area.

A 6% Council Tax increase from 1 April 2023 was agreed alongside a below inflation 5% increase in service charges.

Balancing the budget is supported by £8.3million of savings and using up to £11million of reserves.

Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: “OurbudgetbuildsafairerRenfrewshire andsupportsthecouncil’sfinancial sustainability.

“Settingthisyear’sbudgethasbeen hugelychallenging,againstabackdropof thecost-of-livingcrisisandthecontinuing long-termimpactofthepandemiccreating

sustainedhardship inmanyofour communities.

“Like all households in Renfrewshire, the councilismanaging unprecedentedcost increases,toenergy bills, material and fuel costs, the cost of careandeverything frompayingour stafftothepriceofa school meal.

“Considerable serviceredesign has contributed to savingssupporting thisbudget,building on more than £160million saved bytheCouncilsince 2010 and we are acutelyawaremore difficult decisions are ahead over thecomingyears toprotectvital services.”

The budget also includes £450,000 in play areas and the expansion of the concessionary swim programme to pre-school children.

Cultural groups and organisations will benefit from £200,000 to replenish the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund which has supported 135 different creative projects in recent years.

There is also funds to increase the foster and kinship care allowance by 10%.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’reinvestingmorein children,youngpeopleandtheirfamilies, makingsureweputmoneyintothepockets ofpeoplewhoneeditmost.

“Fosteringandkinshipcarehasahugely positiveimpactonachild’sfutureandso it’svitalweacknowledgethevitalrolethey play.

“Replenishingthehugelypopularcultural fund,investmentinourvillagesandmore moneyforplayareasbuildsonsignificant investmentinrecentyearsbenefitingevery council area.

“Andweareproudtobeprotectingthe capitalinvestmentprogrammewhichis bringingnewjobsandopportunitiesand makingRenfrewshireagreatdestinationto live, visit, work and invest in.”

34 Business Matters Spring 2023
Iain Nicolson , Renfrewshire Council Leader

Renfrewshire Council Updates:

Paisley unveils scale and ambition of cultural thread that weaves through its refurbished museum

The scale and ambition of the work going into creating Scotland’s biggest cultural heritage project has been revealed for the first time.

The £45 million Paisley Museum will create a new, world-class museum space, shaped and focussed by, and for, the people of the town, celebrating its history and impact on the world, while creating a new community space that’s open and accessible to all. At its core, the museum will bring history to life, connecting it to today’s town and people, creating a vibrant and colourful new cultural thread, weaving together past, present and future.

While celebrating the area’s significant industrial past and the town’s importance, not least in textiles, weaving and exploring the origins and impacts of the famous Paisley pattern, the refurbished museum’s gallery spaces will increase by more than a quarter, with ambitious architectural and engineering interventions to welcome visitors to stunning indoor and outdoor spaces.

The museum refurbishment is funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland. The project is being further funded by a charitable fundraising campaign that has been supported by a number of trusts and foundations and corporate donors.

Kirsty Devine, OneRen’s Project Director for Paisley Museum Re-imagined outlined the scale, ambition and people-centred approach to the work. She said: “We’re deliveringScotland’sbiggestcultural heritageprojectandourambitionisto createaworld-classmuseumspace. Wecan’tdothatalonethoughandwe havebeenworkingwithawiderangeof communities-locallyandglobally-over thepastsixyearstohelpreimagineand redefine the museum and our collections. We’ve held conversations with around 70 localorganisationsandcommunitygroups whohavebroughtfreshanddynamic insightsintotheroleofthemuseumand our audiences.

“We’rebuildingamuseumthatisengaged withitscommunitiesinawaythatwill continuelongafterwere-openourdoors.

Thisrepresentsarealshiftinpractice for us and it’s one which will build a real senseofownershipandprideaswemove forward.That,forme,isincrediblyexciting.”

The museum will be at the heart of Paisley and Renfrewshire, creating a social and community hub; a multi-use building, located in the High Street and connected to its neighbours, as part of a wider, cultureled regeneration of the town.

Kirsty has led a team of expert content producers and collections specialists who have taken a radical and dynamic approach to Renfrewshire’s core collections. Working from the town’s Secret Collection – thought to be the UK’s only story located on a high street – the team have worked on over 100 story displays, featuring 1,290 objects, more than double what was on display previously.

With eight new public spaces, the new Paisley Museum will be filled with 60 digital displays and will be home to a new garden gallery, public courtyard, café and picnic areas. The Thomas Coats Observatory – the oldest public observatory in Scotland – will be open and accessible to the public, its rich and vibrant history as both civic timekeeper and a truly remarkable, 150-year-old weather station, available to all.

The museum will be a place where history does not stand still and long after it reopens, the team hope that by working with communities, the space and interpretation of the objects will continue to develop too.

The building redesign is by architects AL_A, whose previous work includes the MAAT contemporary museum in Lisbon and the Exhibition Road Quarter at the V&A in London. Amanda Levete from AL_A, said: “ThebriefforPaisleyMuseum is one of the most radical I’ve encountered. Paisleyhasaproudindustrialpastanda historyofinnovationandradicalthinking. Wehaveembeddedthisintoourdesign tocreateanextraordinaryplaceforthe communityofPaisley.”

Contractors, Kier Scotland, are on-site and progressing the build.

The entrance building in red glass will be one of the first design features the public see. It is contemporary, radical, unique to Paisley and brings colour to both the

inside and outside of the museum. It clearly announces a new way into the museum. Paisley museum will crown a significant investment by Renfrewshire Council in the town’s regeneration through new and refurbished cultural infrastructure. Before the museum re-opens in 2024, the magnificent Paisley Town Hall will be brought back to public use after a significant refurbishment. This will be followed by the opening of a new Learning and Cultural Hub, featuring the Central Library, in the middle of the High Street, and the refurbished Paisley Arts Centre which will welcome back new and emerging talent to audiences.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, culture lead for Renfrewshire Council and Chair of OneRen which will operate the cultural attractions, said: “PaisleyMuseumisthe jewelinourculturalcrown.Alongwiththe otherculturalattractionsbeingbrought backtolife,theseassetswillbesomething thatthepeopleofPaisleyandRenfrewshire canfeelrightlyproudof,providingjoyand inspirationforlocalpeopleandvisitors alike.Suchsignificantinvestmentis emblematicofourambitiontoseePaisley make its cultural mark.”

Paisley Museum – Fast Facts

There will be:

A new public courtyard bringing the museum out onto the High Street, a space for the Paisley community, and for events

• A new way in frames views of the historic galleries, celebrating John Honeyman’s original design

• New lifts and step free access to museum galleries on all levels of the building

• New galleries in the former library building and new connections into the museum

• A 26% increase in gallery space

100’s more objects on display and more digital displays than ever before Almost twice as many learning spaces

New community making spaces

New social spaces and digital hubs

New roofs and services for maximum environmental sustainability

• Restored historic fabric and finishes

• WCs on all levels, including a Changing Places room by the new entrance.

• A new shop

• A fantastic new café, opening onto and looking out across new museum gardens

• A new museum garden and woodland

• A new observatory garden with ramps providing step free access between the museum and the observatory.

Public access to Transit House (which defines Paisley’s very own Greenwich meantime) for the first time in decades.

The fabric of the business community. 35

Schools Updates: Johnstone High school GOES FOR GOLD!

Pupils and staff at Johnstone High School are celebrating after gaining Gold SCQF School Ambassador status.

The secondary school in Renfrewshire has become only the fourth school in Scotland, and the first in the local authority area, to reach gold level since the recognition programme was introduced.

Originally piloted in 2015, the SCQF School Ambassador programme offers secondary schools the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of the SCQF and the wider ways in which it supports learners. These include recognising wider achievement, developing senior phase learning pathways and demonstrating equality between vocational and academic qualifications.

The SCQF Partnership introduced the tiered recognition element of the programme in August 2020 to make sure that all the important work on enhancing learning pathways being done in secondary schools across Scotland is recognised, highlighted and celebrated.

There are three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) in the process, with schools required to upload evidence to demonstrate how they are meeting the criteria of each level.

To recognise its fantastic achievement, Johnstone High School has received a gold plaque to display in its main reception. In order to achieve gold, the school had to demonstrate that the SCQF is embedded in school practice and is offering a significant range of senior phase pathways.

The school has also dedicated a section of its website to the SCQF, and pupil and staff Ambassadors have produced a video to raise awareness of the SCQF amongst the school community, including parents

SCQF Partnership Development Officer, Donnie Wood, who manages the programme, said: “JohnstoneHighSchool hasshownfantasticengagementwiththe SCQFSchoolAmbassadorprogramme overthelast2yearswithbothstaffand pupilsattheheartofeverythingthey do.TheAmbassadorprogrammeisfully

embedded into the culture of the school andpupils,parentsandpartnersareaware oftherangeofqualificationsandskills youngpeoplecandevelopandachieve. Staffhavebeeninnovativeincreatingnew opportunitiesforlearnersandintroducing excitingqualificationsthatmeettheneed ofpupilsaswellasenhancingpartnerships withcollegeandlocalindustry.

Hugecongratulationstoallthestaffand pupilsinvolvedinachievingSCQFGold status,onlythe4thschoolinScotlandto reach this level.”

Head Teacher at Johnstone High, Lynne Hollywood, said: “Wearedelightedto receive the Gold award from the Scottish CreditandQualificationsFramework (SCQF)asitisrecognitionofthe commitmentofJohnstoneHighstaffto ensure our curriculum offer meets the needsofallyoungpeople.Italsorecognises ourwonderfulSCQFPupilAmbassadors whohavebeenraisingawarenesswith otheryoungpeople,andparents,aboutthe widerangeofcoursesandopportunities available in our school.

TheSCQFhashelpedustogetthe balancerightbetweenvocationaland

academicqualificationsforouryoung people,andasaresultofclosepartnership working,99%ofourleaversgoonto employment,apprenticeships,trainingor furtherstudy.”

Councillor Emma Rodden, Convener for Education and Children’s Services at RenfrewshireCouncil,said:“Promoting bothvocationalandacademicpathways equallymeansthatallpupilscanachieve theirpotential.It’sfantasticthatJohnstone Highhavebecomethefirstschoolin RenfrewshiretogainGoldstatus.The approachhasmeantpupilsarenowstaying oninschoolforlonger,theyarehappierand attainment has increased. This is because pupilsaregettingtherightcoursesthatsuit their needs.”

The SCQF School Ambassador Programme is free to join and open to any secondary school in Scotland.

If you would like your school to get involved, contact Donnie at d.wood@scqf. or have a look at the SCQF website at

36 Business Matters Spring 2023

Boss Girls in Business

The technology industry, for many years, has been intent on encouraging more women to join their workforce. Despite this, the percentage of women working in the sector is still just 19%.

This was the spur for Michelle Muirhead of DXC Technology to host a recent event where a group of 40 S3 girls from Park Mains High School toured the Bishopton site, carried out STEM workshops with female members of staff and enjoyed a “business” lunch (pizza!)

The event was extremely inspiring and was successful in helping these young women to envisage themselves in such a career.

My World of Work

Each year at Park Mains we identify a group of outstanding young people in S3 who become our My World of Work Ambassadors. This group deliver lessons to S1 & S2 classes about how to use this resource, which is a website that pupils use throughout their time at school to plan their future careers. This year, we have also visited our associated primaries to deliver lessons to P7 classes. Not only have these visits been fun and interactive, pupils were asked to focus on who they are and what they are good at, thereby allowing them to consider jobs they might enjoy when they leave school.

St Andrews Academy - Literacy in Art

Gemma Idundun is an NQT Art & Design practitioner at St Andrews Academy who has been working on a literacy in Art unit with a few of her S1 classes.

As a whole class project, the pupils write, illustrate and design the layout of a children's book based on food. Within the unit they look at the importance of

literacy, teamwork and fulfilling the roles to make the project successful. The pupils are reminded of real-life workplaces, working to deadlines and they have had fun in carrying out roles such as project leader, illustrators, authors, etc. Gemma also has Dolly Parton's Imagination Library on board who have eagerly agreed to look at the pupil's finished books and pick

a winner who will receive a class prize. The pupils are excited that 'Miley Cyrus's Godmother's charity' is judging their books. The unit has so far been a success and have loved watching their stories come alive, watching them take their roles seriously and democratically come to whole class decisions.

The fabric of the business community. 37


Scottish Apprenticeship Week, known as SAW, took place in March showcasing the apprenticeship family (Foundation, Modern and Graduate) and the amazing 1300 opportunities that are available to young people across Scotland just now. Thank you to all the Renfrewshire employers for their support during the week including Scottish Leather, DXC, Diageo, UWS, CGC, BA Maintenance (all in photo) plus Taylor Wimpey, NMIS, Howden, Caulders, West College Scotland, Swissport & Arnold Clark to name a few!

Check out our socials using hashtags #scotappweek23 & #unlockingpotential

If you have young people in your immediate or extended family encourage them to follow DYW West on socials as we share lots of info and opportunities to help young people all year round – and make sure they know about website.

If your organisation has apprentices or are planning to in the future, consider getting recognised by pledging your support to the Young Person’s Guarantee (see below). Indeed DYW West can help you market early careers opportunities to young people plus

assist with school engagement, talks & tours, mentoring young people, work experience etc. We are here to help and our services are free as we are Scot Gov funded from our base in Paisley at our host employer, West College Scotland.

DYW West are seeking employers in Renfrewshire to pledge their support to the Young Person’s Guarantee (YPG). If you are already involved in or are interested in any of the following 5 “asks”, you are supporting the YPG (and could get to use the YPG logo in your comms channels and be listed on the national YPG website).

Can your organisation support

The 5 asks are:

1. Prepare young people for the world of work (e.g. support a school, offer work experience, mentoring)

2. Help young people to achieve their potential (e.g. support those looking for work, CV prep, work experience)

3. Invest in a skilled workforce (e.g. offer apprenticeships –modern or graduate)

4. Create jobs, volunteering and training opportunities (e.g. Kickstart, volunteering, paid work experience / interns)

5. Create an inclusive and fair workplace (e.g. living wage, disability confident etc.)

Employers don’t need to support all 5. If you are interested please email and we can help you complete the form and support you on your journey to achieving the relevant asks (such as direct support from DYW or signpost / refer to partner organisations). Almost 900 employers across Scotland have so far pledged their support.

38 Business Matters Spring 2023

Fill their day with adventure and play

Puddle Lane is a new children’s nursery for 0–5-year-olds, based in the easily accessible location of Hillington Park on Edison Street.

Our indoor and outdoor play areas have children (and adults) in awe. Discover our open plan, free-flowing playrooms with a dedicated dining area and soft play. Outside, our nursery playground has space for little ones to run freely and delight at the sense of adventure while making friends. Children also learn about the wider natural world by planting flowers and fruits in the community garden.

Led by an experienced nursery manager and childcare team, children learn happily through play.

Arrange Your Visit Today

Call: 0141 891 4411


The fabric of the business community. 39 FREE, FUNDED PLACES AVAILABLE NOW * | PuddleLaneELCC | Open Mon-Fri: 7.30am – 5.30pm Puddle Lane Early Learning & Childcare Centre is a division of Kibbleworks: Scottish Charity No SC026917 Registered in Scotland No 158220 Registration Number CS2021000070 | *Up to 1,140 free nursery hours within Renfrewshire Council

Forecast checked. Helmet on. Let’s go.

Renfrewshire’s truly great outdoors couldn’t be easier to explore.

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