Business Comment 15

Page 1

Introducing David Birrell our new man at the helm

february/march 2012

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feb/mar 2012

It is a privilege to be asked to lead a great institution in a great city. For over 225 years, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has looked after its members and promoted the city, through the ups and downs of economic history. In a career promoting household brand names for Unilever, I have worked in different countries and cultures around the world. Returning home to work in Edinburgh, and lead its Chamber, is very up-lifting. I am also fortunate to inherit a strong team and look forward to working with all key Stakeholders who have been unanimous in their praise and support for the Chamber, its role and purpose. Of course, I’m aware that we have some work to do- as a city, as businesses and, clearly, as a Chamber of Commerce. Our business has not been immune from the impact of the recession; providing us with a better understanding of the challenges many of our member businesses are facing in the current environment. Edinburgh’s economy has proved remarkably resilient to these challenges, largely a result of its competence and leadership in a variety of sectors- from tourism to life sciences, renewables to creative industries, professional services to public sector. Moreover, our quality of life, enriched by our flagship Festivals, positions us as a ‘global city’ in which to live, work, invest. There are opportunities aplenty for us to pursue. The Chamber has provided great leadership in co-ordinating the campaign to win the Green Investment Bank for the city, a decision will be made by UK Ministers by the end of February. We’re also active in un-locking the potential of renewable energy and offshore wind, with a welcome announcement from the Scottish Government in January that an Enterprise Zone for renewables will be located in Leith; and another, for life sciences, in the bioquarter. As we pursue new investments and partnerships, however, we never forget that our core business here is supporting you, our member businesses, by providing the best events, the best services, the best representation and the best value of any business membership organisation in Scotland. That is my absolute priority and commitment to our members.

David Birrell

chief executive


03 Introduction / contents

04 CEO appointed to lead Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce


19 60 seconds

22|23 The Interview

05 Road to investment

24|25 When footballing passion means commercial success

07 Capital view

37 In the spotlight

41 Ask the expert / get with IT

44 Getting started

08 Green Light for Cowgate Regeneration

13 Be the best

47 New members

15 Going international

49 Partners in enterprise

50 Movers & shakers

16|17 Inspiring connections

Business Comment is an Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce publication. All editorial a n d g en eral en qu iries: Edinburgh Chamber Customer Services Team Tel: 0844 736 2992 email: Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Capital House, 2 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SU President: Robert Carr Chief Executive: Ron Hewitt BUSINESS COM M ENT EDITOR Sharon Duncan, Tel: 0131 221 2976 Email: P RODUCTION & DESIGN Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2385 ADVERTISING Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2345 FEATURE EDITORS John Dean & Francis Griss DISCLAIM ER

Distinctive Publishing or Business Comment cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Business Comment.

cover imag e: Tuskite Photography

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CEO appointed to lead Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new Chief Executive to lead its resurgence as one of the most effective business organisations in Scotland. David Birrell, a former Unilever executive and a qualified Chartered Accountant, has taken up his post in the first week of 2012 and is eager to pick up the challenge. He said: “The Chamber is a fantastic institution and Edinburgh is a fabulous city. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the organisation at such a critical time in our economic history. More than ever, we need support for businesses to be at the heart of our plan for recovery and growth in the Scottish economy, with the Chamber movement at its heart.


“Members can be assured that everything we do will be with you interests as our absolute priority. I can reaffirm our commitment to represent your interests, save you money and bring you opportunity, so that renewing your membership each year is an investment, not a cost. I intend to meet members at every opportunity, listen to what you have to say and ensure that we are in tune with your expectations of us.” David Birrell qualified as a CA and spent his early career as an accountant with Scott Moncrieff before joining Unilever in 1985, fulfilling a number of UK and international senior management roles, including Vice President for Global Customer Development and a Director of Birds Eye Walls. From 2007-11 he was Strategy Director for the

McCurrach Group, a leading field sales service provider. Robert Carr, the President of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Board and Council of the Chamber were unanimous in their endorsement of David as the right person for the job at this time. The Chamber has faced a number of challenges and our city is facing a number of challenges. We are confident that David possesses the skills, experience, acumen and ambition to lead the Chamber and its members into a new period of prosperity and growth. “He brings with him a tremendous range of qualities and capabilities which will serve both the Chamber and the city of Edinburgh well in the months and years to come.”

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Looking for angel investors? Then get on the road to investment The Road to Investment is a training programme that was developed and taken forward by John Hughes of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and Howard Flint of Linc1 in the spring of 2011. The delivery of the programme was made possible through financial support received from City of Edinburgh Council and European Regional Development Fund as part of the Business Gateway funding package. Momentum and inspiration for the programme has evolved over a number of years in response to a clear need to better prepare growth companies in advance of their meetings with Business Angels. The objective of the programme is very simple. To provide the investees with sufficient knowledge in a range of subjects to enable them to become more professional and credible in their dialogue with the Angels. By achieving this objective the relationship between investee and investor will be more informed and meaningful and ultimately, more fruitful. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for Angel Finance from a growing entrepreneurial sector supported through Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise’s Growth Pipeline and Account Management services. As more strong companies come forward, they apply for SMART and Innovation grants which require matched funding from the private sector. Bank funding at this early stage is not available and will not materialise until sales orders are achieved. However, to fully recognise the role of debt finance, a dedicated session on bank funding has been included with Business Gateway Growth Advisor David Chisholm delivering.


With the growth in Angel syndicates (up from 2 in 1996 to 25 in 2011) matched by the outstanding success of Scottish Enterprise’s excellent SEED, Co-Investment and Venture Funds, the opportunity for investees to attract Angel finance has increased. When this Scottish investing community is further boosted by recent and large increases in tax relief via the Enterprise Investment Scheme (from 20% up to 1/4/11 rising to 50% on 1/4/12) for Angels investing in SMEs and the continuing 100% Capital Gains exemptions for shares held for over 3 years, there is a pressing need for investees to be more professional in their preparation for pitches to the Angels. The Pilot Road to Investment Programme ran from April this year till June and the concept was successfully tested with a cohort of 12 growth companies. The programme involved a range of partners and associates coming together to design and deliver the pilot, and was supported under the Business Gateway contract. Subjects included: financial forecasting; company valuations; pitching styles; licensing and ecommerce as a route to market; contract and licensing law; intellectual property protection. The pilot concluded with a session titled a ‘Day with the Angels’ when Howard Flint of Linc invited Angels to judge pitches from the delegate companies. The next Road To Investment programme starts on Feb 14th and completes in mid March. LINC Scotland is the national association for business angels in Scotland, with a membership network of hundreds of investors including those operating individually, many of the best known groups and syndicates, and a number of significant private officesant private offices. 0131 221 3193


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Scotrail introduces business Direct This Winter sees the launch of ScotRail Business Direct – an exciting new service that permits businesses and organisations to work directly with us to purchase rail tickets, identify cost saving opportunities and help us improve the overall value clients derive from travel budgets. ScotRail Business Direct offers a host of benefits including fee-free transactions – so no hidden booking fees, postal charges*, or Ticket on Departure costs, dedicated account management and support team, and 3rd party ticket collection from any station with a self service ticket machine.You can even upload company travel policy, allocate purchases to specific cost centres, and utilise an intuitive Management Information (MI) suite. Save favourite journeys, upload traveller details, including travel preferences and choose to have confirmation of booking

references and journey details sent directly to the travellers email or mobile, making it much easier to use rail for business travel. The online self-book tool is further complemented by our specialist Scotland based telephone support team, ensuring continuity and reliability. And if you’re planning an ‘away day’ or simply have to get a group of people from A to B, then you can enjoy preferential group rates, with discounts ranging from 20% to 50%**, and that even includes our Caledonian Sleeper.

ScotRail operates 95% of services within Scotland, including the Caledonian Sleeper Service, an overnight service conveniently linking over 40 Scottish towns and cities with London Euston, in the heart of the city. To find out more, call 08450 700908, or visit *Standard postage only. Next Day Delivery incurs a ÂŁ6 fee. **Subject to date/time of travel and availability.

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capitalview central taxis - a drivers’ co-op delivering service to edinburgh Edinburgh is known the world over as being Scotland’s unique capital city. It has everything that a resident, worker or visitor could hope for and I am proud to call Edinburgh my home. As a taxi driver and Chairman of Central Taxis, I get to experience the best of what Edinburgh has to offer. The fantastic sights, friendly people and show stopping events, all of which help to set our city apart from other capitals. Central Taxis has been part of the fabric of Edinburgh since its formation in the 1960’s. The business was founded by 33 like-minded Edinburgh cabbies as a members’ co-operative. They wanted to create a business which was owned and controlled equally by the people who worked in it. As the city has adapted and grown, so too has the business. Today, Central Taxis is Edinburgh’s largest taxi co-operative with over 400 members, each of whom has an equal share in the business and an equal say in how it is run. The Edinburgh taxi industry employs approximately 5,000 people in the city, around the same as the Scottish Government and twice as many as Lothian Buses. The demand for good quality and affordable taxi travel has increased year on year and my hope for

the future is that the taxi trade in Edinburgh becomes more recognisable as a serious business player and employer. I feel that it’s important to immerse the business in all issues that affect the city. We take part in debates and policy groups which discuss the city’s transport needs, tourism and economy. We have also recently joined the Chamber’s Partners in Enterprise network; a strategic alliance of businesses and large corporate organisations, located in and around the city of Edinburgh. Our collective goal is to influence the business and political agenda in Scotland. The last 12 months has seen the business make a dedicated and real effort to understanding its impacts on the environment. We have updated and implemented our environmental policy, embarked on becoming Scotland’s first CarbonNeutral® black taxi company and are now in the process of developing and implementing an environmental management and quality management system to ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001 standard. Many people don’t realise the impact their journey has on the environment, and our aim is to protect the city and Scotland by putting measurable goals in place to reduce our carbon footprint.

bill Purnell Chairman of Central Taxis

Our values and brand ethos reflect our heritage and our commitment to the city. We are local, dependable, efficient, green and most importantly........friendly! Overall, Edinburgh is a fantastic and fascinating city to live and work in. Not many people get the chance to experience so much of the city in one day and there is nothing I like more than driving and showing people around the places I love.

edinburgh companies honoured Four Edinburgh companies were given accolades at the British Chambers of Commerce business awards ceremony. Nick Price, Managing Director of Bright Purple Resourcing, was voted Scotland’s Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by BT Directories, while Dublcheck Cleaning

Edinburgh won the Excellence in Customer Service Award, sponsored by AXA PPP healthcare. Business Stream collected the Excellence in People Development Award and Jurys Inn picked up Scotland’s Sustainability Award, sponsored by the British Standards Institution. Nick Price, whose Bright Purple Resourcing is based in Rose Street, left school at 16 with no qualifications and 34 years later is at the helm of a leading, specialist recruitment

company. Dublecheck Cleaning, in Clayhills Park, Balerno, is another success story, developing a strong reputation within the commercial cleaning market. Business Stream, of Lochside View, was singled out for its investment in its people who have helped to build the water and waste water services company, while Jurys Inn in Jeffrey Street won its award for its ‘reuse, reduce and recycle’ approach, which has delivered considerable savings and made a positive impact on the environment.

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Green Light for Cowgate Regeneration The Planning Committee of the City of Edinburgh Council unanimously approved the SoCo Proposals to regenerate the site of the 2002 Cowgate Fire. Described as the ‘gaping wound in the heart of Edinburgh,’ the developers Jansons brought forward the proposals to create a mixed use development that includes a major new hotel, and new shops on South Bridge. After unanimously agreeing the overall proposals, the Planning Committee voted 8-5 to reinstate some of the details that formed part of the proposals that were included in the public consultation over the summer this year. The Committee agreed to include classical details in the ‘gable’ on South Bridge. Commenting on the outcome Andy Jansons, Managing Director of Jansons Property said: “I am delighted that the Council has given the go ahead to our proposals to invest £35 million in the regeneration of the Cowgate. This is a clear sign that the city is keen to


secure the right kind of development in the city centre. Work will start on site early in the New Year and we are determined to deliver a development of which we and the city can be proud. To deliver consent for a major scheme within 7 months is a clear sign that Edinburgh is open for business.” We have a consent and we hope that everyone will share our view that this is a positive final chapter to the story that began in 2002 with the Cowgate fire.” Graham Birse, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said “at last we’re making progress with this important site. The Chamber has been advocating a solution that fulfils all of the criteria in the world heritage environment and the Jansons proposal does just that.”

Chamber hails opportunity for edinburgh to ‘make its mark’ Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the announcement of two new enterprise zones for the city, declaring they represent an opportunity for the city to make a global impact in renewables and life sciences. Chief Executive David Birrell said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Edinburgh- to position Leith as the UK and European hub of the emerging renewables sector- and the bioquarter as a global hub for life sciences. “Naturally, we welcome the announcement today. We now want to study the details of the package on offer to companies locating in the enterprise zones and play an active part in promoting our offer to investors across the world.” Graham Birse- 07813 604830

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Jobs are the cornerstone of edinburghs’ economic strategy The strategy pledges: n Focusing efforts on capital projects with the potential to make the biggest impact on job creation in the city n Delivering Council-wide development plans for each of the four priority investment zones - the City Centre, South East Edinburgh, the Waterfront and West Edinburgh n Supporting and enhancing the vibrancy of Edinburgh’s town and local centres, taking in Corstorphine, Gorgie/Dalry, Morningside/ Bruntsfield, Tollcross, South Clerk/Nicolson Street, Stockbridge, Leith Walk, Leith Central and Portobello The City of Edinburgh Council’s economic strategy for 2012-17 is committed to the creation or safeguarding of 20,000 jobs in the city by 2017. The strategy was developed with input from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Edinburgh Business Forum. Tom Buchanan, Coverner of the Economic Development Committee, said: “We want our residents to be proud of Edinburgh – a confident, creative and inspiring city, powering growth and jobs for Scotland, a city whose quality of life and commitment to sustainability draws talent and investment from around the world, a city where the public, private and third sectors collaborate with common purpose and, ultimately, a city which puts the people of Edinburgh at the heart of its economic success.”

n Work with other organisations to promote Edinburgh as a destination for new investors n Stepping up business support. The Council already supports almost 5,000 start-ups and existing businesses per year n Work with a range of partners to help unemployed people into work or learning; the Council has helped nearly 5,000 people into work, education or training since 2009.


Tom Buchanan

According to the report, Edinburgh is a successful, resilient city which responded swiftly to the global financial crisis, and with the help of the Edinburgh Action Resilience Network, came through the recession better than other UK cities. However, there remain major challenges, one of which is unemployment which is rising and set to worsen. It is estimated that the number of people looking for work in Edinburgh will grow by an average of 1.2% per year but job supply will grow by 0.3%. By 2018 there could be up to 37,000 more people looking for work in the city than there are available jobs. The Council’s strategy says: “New investment is badly needed but there is less private sector funding available since the global economic downturn and the Council’s resources are at full capacity. Innovative solutions are needed to unlock a physical investment funding gap of at least £1.3 billion.“ With public sector spending expected to result in substantial job losses, the Council is looking to the private sector, particularly SMEs, to create employment. It agrees that business support needs to be directed more towards developing entrepreneurial and management skills.

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    

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SecurITy ImPLIcaTIONS: cLOuD cOmPuTING As an information security professional I am often asked about the Cloud, in particular “Is the Cloud safe?” and “Should I use the Cloud?” For me the starting point should be: “What data do I want to put in to the Cloud and how important is that data to me in terms of confidentiality, availability and integrity?” The answers to these questions, combined with an appreciation of the risks associated with using the Cloud will then enable you to decide if using the Cloud is for you. More importantly it will allow you to manage the risks involved. This approach will enable your business to meet its objectives whilst managing the risk to an acceptable level. Cloud basics What is the Cloud? Well in short it is a great marketing gimmick. There is no one individual such thing as the ‘Cloud’. The Cloud is a term used to describe multiple


service offerings such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). All these are characterised by the use of ondemand provision, rapid ability to scale and are based on payment solely for the amount of resource required at any given point. Cloud provision often makes use of shared virtual services for the storage and processing of data. Organisations can implement their own ‘Cloud’ or can partner with an external supplier to use the external party’s infrastructure. The basic premise is that you only provision the services required to meet your needs and that you can then grow and shrink this as required, with the organisation only paying for the resource consumed.

David Stubley Director, 7 Elements

Key risks What are the key risks presented by using the Cloud? For me the key risks and some of the issues that an organisation should explore when looking at the Cloud break down as follows: What legal jurisdiction will my data be held within? As an organisation you should be aware of how legal requirements to disclose data may be affected by the geography of where the data is stored. If you are based in the UK and use a US based Cloud provider, consider the impact on your organisation if the US courts enforce disclosure of your sensitive data. Where the Cloud is used to store or process sensitive personal data, there may be an impact on your compliance with the required

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regulation (Data Protection Act,) which you will need to fully understand and mitigate. Will your Cloud provider place your data in multiple geographies without your knowledge? Different geographical locations mean different legal jurisdictions, which will have an impact on your legal and regulatory requirements within each of those regions. This may restrict the type of data that can be stored or processed or limit how the data in question can be transferred between locations. The ability to encrypt data will also be impacted within certain locations due to export restrictions. Who else may have access to my data? Many Cloud services are based on the use of shared services / Multi-Tenancy solutions. The benefit to the end user is reduced costs, but this can also lead to security concerns. The data may be at risk of attack from another user of the same Cloud service due to the architecture in use. Consideration should be given to how the Cloud provider has limited the possibility of data compromise. Will my data be destroyed securely? As discussed earlier, the idea of the Cloud is that you can grow and shrink your resource requirement. When the data on disks is no longer needed then it will need to be destroyed.You will need to gain assurance that this has been destroyed in compliance

with your organisation’s standards, that the next user of that environment will not accidentally gain access to your data and that you have met any regulatory requirements. What level of availability do I require for my data? The Cloud sells itself as always being there. The data is ‘in the Cloud’, so you will always have access to it. However, the Cloud brings its own impact in relation to your organisational Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery approach. Consideration should be given to scenarios where the Cloud provider fails or your ability to connect to the Internet fails. This may render the data unavailable. What other unintended consequences need to be considered? The list above is not exhaustive and there will be other issues specific to your organisation that will need to be explored to enable you to make an informed decision about using the Cloud. There will also be further unintended consequences that the Cloud will introduce and as many of these as possible should be identified to enable a robust risk managed approach to be undertaken. An example of one unintended consequence is that Cloud services are based on the concept of paying for the service required and on the flexibility to grow and shrink the required resource on demand. Many

providers have an automatic provisioning system that enables you to manage the demand and will bill your organisation automatically. Consideration should be given to the security of this approach, focused on who can authorise the provisioning, how costs can be limited to an acceptable level. If there is a flaw within the provisioning system then there is a risk that this can be circumvented and result in malicious / fraudulent use. This could result in large unexpected financial bills or legal action being taken against your organisation for storing illegal data that was maliciously uploaded. Bringing it all together The Cloud offers a cost effective and flexible approach to manage your data storage and processing requirements. However, the Cloud is no different to the wider challenges of managing an organisation’s data securely. With these unique opportunities, unique risks will arise. A sound understanding of these risks will enable an organisation to assess if the Cloud is right for them and if it sits within the overall organisational risk appetite for data security. Risk areas identified can then be used to structure any assessment of potential providers to ensure that they can meet your requirements and that the contract will legally enforce this.

7 Elements is an independent and passionate security consultancy dedicated to working with our clients to help them secure their organisations. We provide expertise in the field of technical information assurance, with a focus on security consultancy and testing. Everything that we do is informed by our technical credibility, gained through the delivery of expert security testing. This provides us with a deeper understanding of where an organisation’s approach to information security can fail and where improvements can be made to develop policies and procedures that actually meet an organisation’s business objectives. For more information please call us on 0131 208 1772 or visit

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Bethebest The Power of Goal-Setting – Writing Them Down! 2. Write down your personal and business strengths, and your development areas.

Goal-setting is a consistent part of a successful persons “toolkit”. If you set yourself goals, how do you increase your chances of achieving them? In this article, Bryan Leslie, Owner of Abacus Coaching Ltd, explains how to set yourself up for success through powerful goal-setting.

3. List everything you want to be, do and have at some point between now and the end of your life. 4. Put timescales against each of your “wants.”

“In training courses I deliver I ask delegates if they set themselves personal goals. Almost everyone says “yes.” I then ask if they write their goals down and have a process for reviewing, updating and celebrating them. Almost everyone says “no.” The people that say they do write their goals down are always the people that say they did actually achieve them, or at least make significant progress toward achieving them.

5. Identify your top three one-year “wants.” 6. Write your “wants” as an effective goal statement. 7. Set two actions for each goal (one to do within 21 hours, one to do within 21 days).

“So is achieving your goals as simple as writing them down? It’s not the be all and end all, but it is a vital component. The vast majority of people that set goals have great intentions, but don’t actually follow-through on them.

Bryan has a seven-stage process for setting goals:

Writing them down helps keep them in the front of your mind, and direct you to take the necessary action to achieving them.”

1. Review the previous 12 months; write down everything that went well for you, and everything you’d like to have done differently.

Bryan Leslie

To get a copy of the full goal-setting process, please contact Bryan by email or call 07919 385777 and he’ll arrange for a copy to be sent to you.

Chamber Member wins two industry accolades at bfa hsbc Franchisee of the Year awards Ian Cain, NBC Bird and Pest Solutions’ Edinburgh franchisee, has been crowned Scotland’s bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year for 2011, and secured the overall UK Bronze Award. One of 14 exceptional finalists, Ian has successfully built up a specialist bird and pest control company, with 11 employees and 30 working birds of prey. The award was given in recognition of his commitment to ethical business and environmentally responsible wildlife management; and for building and retaining a portfolio of high end customers across Scotland. His company has performed high-profile urban bird control projects for a range of local and national companies including National Galleries for Scotland, Savills, Forth Ports, Bredero Shaw, local housing

associations, bp and the Scottish Parliament; and delivered comprehensive pest prevention and pest control services for commercial clients in Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. He recently completed Scotland’s largest ever bird proofing project as part of the Aberdeen harbour redevelopment. Mr Cain said: “With a career history focused around the environment and occupational health and safety, my commitment to providing environmentally friendly, ethical services to our clients has become a core element of the business. The whole team is thrilled to achieve this fantastic recognition of all our hard work and we are looking forward to further developing the business.” Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising, HSBC, commented: “It was a pleasure to witness so

many enterprising business people who are excelling through planning, perseverance, innovation and creativity. Ian has used his background in health and safety in the oil and gas industry to build a successful business and is an inspiration to small businesses across the UK.”

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Businessnews Pandas’ impending arrival ‘good for city economy’ Tian Tian

Edinburgh Zoo’s new pandas are proving a real hit with the public. Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived late last year from Ya’an in China as part of an international programme involving zoo owners the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). They arrived following an agreement signed between RZSS and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Organisation, allowing for the gift of two pandas to Edinburgh Zoo. Both pandas were born in 2003 and it is hoped that they will breed during their time in the

city. They have already proved popular with the visitors who have flocked to see them in their specially-constructed enclosure.

The zoo also saw 95,000 hits to its pandacam over Christmas after it went live on December 23.

Research shows that zoos in Atlanta and Adelaide achieved a 70% increase in visitors in their first years of hosting giant pandas. Edinburgh Zoo conservatively estimates that the giant pandas will bring in an extra one million visitors during their 10-year stay.

Live video cameras – or ‘panda-cams’ as they are known – are placed in strategic locations around the new enclosure, allowing internet users to view them throughout the day.

There are plenty of commercial spin-offs. Although, the exact impact on the city economy is not yet known, the presence in Edinburgh of two giant pandas is expected to provide a major economic boost to the city. It has already dramatically raised its profile.

The panda-cams follow Edinburgh Zoo’s phenomenally successful ‘penguin-cam’ which went viral during the bad weather of November 2010. More than 200,000 viewers logged on worldwide to watch the penguins frolicking in the heavy snow, becoming overnight sensations.

An indication of the economic impact is that the zoo sold 6,000 cuddly pandas over the Christmas holidays alone. It has various toy pandas on sale and Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Perfect mementos of a visit to see Tian Tian and Yang Guang, our cuddly toy pandas have been flying off the shelves at Edinburgh Zoo and through our online shop.”

Yang Guang

The Bo’ness Hillwalking & Touring Company Grangemouth Road, Bo’ness EH51 0PU Tel: 01506 828999

The Bo’ness Hillwalking and Touring Company organize small group trips, maximum 6, around Scotland. These trips include fully guided “Bag a Munro” Days (certificate on completion) and Glencoe Hidden Valley Days. A qualified Mountain Leader with assistant guide will accompany the group on these trips. We will provide you with quality waterproof clothing, hats, gloves and rucksack. We also offer Trossachs, beautiful Perthshire and Forth Valley sightseeing tours in all new luxury vehicles. WE CAN ALSO ARRANGE BESPOKE TOURS TAILORED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS.


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Goinginternational Understanding your Export Documentation When exporting goods, documentation is always required, and failure to understand the documentary requirements and legislation can cost time and money, and also impact on customer relationships. Every day in the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce International Office we work with businesses to process their documents and ensure that they are accurate and timely. Our highly qualified staff will help to make

sure that you get it right first time, and having a friendly efficient person on hand to help can make the difference when you are trying to meet a deadline. We work with a wide range of companies, from multi nationals with extensive export portfolios to small specialist businesses who may only export occasionally. We are also in a position to provide ATA Carnet documents which allow companies to take samples of goods into overseas markets, for conferences and trade shows, with minimum Customs intervention.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce can offer in-depth courses or training tailored to your staff.

Exporting can mean dealing with different legislation and procedures depending on the countries you are shipping to, and being able to access all this information and find out requirements prior to exporting can make all the difference to your efficiency.

If you would like to find out more about Exporting Documentation courses or our Documentation service then please contact us on 01506 497 667.

Larry Walls, Certification Officer, says “export documentation is a cornerstone of all export shipments. It is vital that the required paperwork is completed on time and accurately using the most efficient methods available.”

Concern over ‘tartan tat’ merchants He says the clan societies and the trading standards authority need to work together so regulations can be put in place to prevent misinformation, mislabelling and ultimately the miss-selling of traditional Scottish goods.

Public relations company Whoosh PR is backing clan experts after they warned that the miss-selling of traditional Scottish merchandise is damaging the Scottish economy. Clan expert Rodger Moffet, CEO of ScotClans, is warning that there are tough times ahead for traditional ‘clan’ businesses unless something is done.

Roger said: “The miss-selling of clan-related goods, over the internet and on the High Street, is tarnishing the worldwide Scottish brand. Our highland wear is famous all over the world, with proud Scots showing off their clan-related products in every corner of the globe. However, how many of these proud Scots are actually wearing the genuine article?” Michael Donaldson, Scottish Account Director of Whoosh PR, said: “If something is not done about this many businesses could fold, forcing many people out of work. We need people, particularly from abroad, to have confidence in the Scottish product.”

Rodger Moffet

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Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby Union Chief Executive discussed the challenges of managing an institution such as the SRU and focused on the challenges both on and off the field.



In the stadium – rugby player Ross Ford papped prior to training with Chief Executive of Edinburgh Rugby, Craig Docherty and Mark Dodson of Scottish Rugby Union


Edinburgh Rugby logo


Catching up before the event kick off: Anne Thomson and Susan Young of Aon Risk Solutions and Lorna Moffat from stay Edinburgh Apartments - Townhouse


Chief Executive Mark Dodson presenting on the future of Scottish rugby

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

Breakfast Connections – Scottish Rugby

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05 06


07 08

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

‘Google with us’ at dinner – Premier Series Dinner Ian Morgan, Head of Financial Services at Google UK, joined us for the December Premier Series Dinner. Ian discussed how the UK has become the biggest market for Google outside the US and the most advanced in terms of e-commerce and online advertising spending.


The George Hotel looked stunning during the festive period


Ian Morgan, Head of Financial Services at Google UK


Ellie Maizel and Barbara Kidd of Children 1st share a laugh with John Scott Davidson from St James’s Place and Lorna Paterson of Expense Reduction Analysts


Ian Morgan and Edinburgh Chamber President Robert Carr smile for the camera


Claire Livingston and Jarrien Griffiths of Jurys Inn, soaking up the festive atmosphere

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Inspiringconnections upcoming events Pandemonium and monkey business Wednesday 29 February 2012 | 5.30pm - 7.30pm Come along and help us welcome Edinburgh’s most anticipated new residents - The Pandas! Join us for a drinks and canapés on the Bodongo Trail, where the energetic monkeys will keep us amused while we network, before heading on a private tour of the Panda enclosure to see how they are settling in. Location Bodongo Trail, Edinburgh Zoo Fee £25.00 (Chamber members and member guests) £50.00 (Non-members)

how to - Tendering Thursday 8 March 2012 | 8.30am - 10.30am

edinburgh chamber of commerce business awards Thursday 29 March 2012 | 7.00pm - 11.00pm Speakers Fergus Ewing MSP, others tbc It’s Olympic year! And Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is working hard to identify the winners in its midst. We’re launching our inaugural Business Awards to identify the brightest and best business talent amongst our members.You can find out more about awards by contacting the events team at events@ Our winners will be in the spotlight at a glittering dinner on March 29 at Prestonfield House Hotel, when we’ll be joined by the Business Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP for an evening packed with entertainment and excitement. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate success in business, book your place now!! Location Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh

Speakers Anne Farr, Rothera Group


Think about your last tender. Was it easy to produce? Did it concisely contain all the information the readers wanted? Was it easy to score? Did it displace the competition? Did it win? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are potentially wasting resources and letting your competition win needlessly. Anne Farr, Rothera Group, will lead you through the essentials of tendering so that your next bid is successful. Irrespective of whether you are tendering in the public, private or third sector you will get top tips to make your life easier. No matter if you are an SME or a global multinational you still have competitors. Rothera Group’s experience will be freely available to you in this interactive session, ensuring you make best use of your valuable time.

£120.00 (non-members)

£90.00 (Chamber members and member guests)

Location Royal College of Surgeons, Nicholson Street, Edinburgh Fee £20.00 (Chamber members and member guests)

The Events team

£40.00 (non-members)


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60seconds Name: ricky Kapoor company Name: The edinburgh collection Limited Website: q A

In five words or less, what do you do? Commercial Director for The Edinburgh Collection

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How long have you been a Chamber member? The Old Waverley Hotel has been a member for a number of years although recently we joined as The Edinburgh Collection Ltd which incorporates The Howard, Channings, Old Waverley Hotel and Holyrood apart Hotel.

q A

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Why did you join? I felt it was important to support a well reputed and recognised, industry body and also reap the benefits of networking with fellow members. What services do you use? We attend networking events, Premier Series Dinners, business briefings and we have also set up a 20% discount at our restaurants via Chamber Connect for all Chamber members to take advantage of.

q A q A q A

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What’s the best business/benefit you have won through the Chamber? It is difficult to quantify as there are many qualitative benefits too. Networking with other local businesses is key. Are there any additional services or information you’d be particularly interested in? Specialist Training Courses in the Hospitality sector at various levels. If you were telling another business person about the Chamber, what’s the first thing you would say? Become a member as you will definitely get a return on your investment. Although the more you put in the more you will get out! Where do you read your copy of Business Comment? Generally on the train or in the airport lounge as I travel extensively back and forth to London.

arts & business strikes out on its own Arts & Business Scotland (A&B Scotland), which is celebrating 25 years of successful partnerships between commerce and culture, has agreed to devolve the Scottish operation and set up A&B Scotland as an independent Scottish charity. Jane Ryder, previously Chief Executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, will chair the new Board. Other Board members are Lucy Bird, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh Ltd and previously Director of Marketing and Development at The Sage Gateshead; Rhona Brankin, former MSP and Scottish Government Culture Minister; Barry O’Dwyer, Deputy Chief Executive,

Prudential UK and Europe; Simon Sharkey, Associate Director, National Theatre of Scotland, and Douglas Smith, Scottish Chairman of CB Richard Ellis. Since the Scottish office of Arts & Business UK was established in 1986, it has engaged with more than 1,300 businesses and invested more than £7 million into the Scottish arts sector through Government-supported sponsorship schemes.

Jane Ryder, new chair at the 2011 Arts & Business Scotland Awards

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Theinterview sPeCiAl FeAture

Sense of collaboration underpins success It would be easy to assume that anyone working in the construction sector is gloomy about the outlook for the next 18 months given the dire warnings of recession. However, that is not the case with Alex MacLeod, Operations Director, Skanska Construction Central & Regions, who sees opportunity despite the predicted tough times for the sector. The reason he is optimistic is down to a mixture of innovative thinking within the public sector despite its financial strictures and to the potential presented by the renewables revolution in Scotland. Alex has plenty of experience of the challenges faced by the construction sector. Originally from the Highlands, he attended Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. A qualified civil engineer, he started his career in private practice with Blyth and Blyth in Edinburgh and having worked extensively in the sector for several major companies has been with Skanska for eight years. He is currently responsible to the UK Board for Skanska’s construction business in Scotland. He sees the role of the public sector as crucial in ensuring that construction comes through the recession, not least through the Not-for-Profit Distribution scheme. A refined version of PFI, the scheme allows the public and private sectors to work together on major projects such as schools and hospitals with any potential surplus profit reinvested in the asset. Alex said: “I am optimistic about the construction sector in Scotland. Although public spending has been reduced and capital funding is scarce, I am encouraged by the approach taken by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Futures Trust through the not-for-profit distribution scheme and other innovative funding models.


alex macLeod,

Operations Director, Skanska Construction Central & Regions

“I think the scheme is a positive as it allows profits to be re-invested in the community, in a school or a hospital, for example, while at the same time providing work for businesses.

we see the private sector turning round. In the meantime, we need the public sector to continue investing in improved infrastructure.”

“I think that the construction industry really does need a continued investment from the public sector because I believe it may be twelve to eighteen months before

Another reason for his optimism is the green revolution being experienced in Scotland, something which instinctively appeals to Skanska because it is based in Scandinavia,

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where renewables have been a way of life for years. It has brought that expertise to the UK, significantly increasing its presence since the end of 2000 and now employs 4,600 staff in the UK, undertaking around £1.3 billion worth of work each year. By combining its experience of construction operations and those of its Infrastructure Development Business Unit, the Stockholm company has become a UK leader in private-public partnership schemes including green projects. Indeed, its commitment meant it was named as the UK’s greenest company in the Sunday Times 2010 Best Green Companies Awards. Alex, who recently joined the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce as a Board Member working to support the local business and community in Scotland and heads up the Renewable Policy Group on the Built Environment. He believes that Skanska’s collaborative approach serves it well in the renewables field, not just regarding projects as contracts to be won but rather ventures in which to invest. He said: “I think renewables offers a fantastic opportunity for Scotland and we view this as an opportunity to not only deliver

but invest and own and operate renewable assets. Skanska business model is split where eighty per cent of its work is construction related and the remaining 20 per cent is development. “Scotland has a real opportunity to take advantage of its natural resources and we are particularly interested in the potential of offshore and onshore wind as well as heat from waste and biomass technologies. “It is something in which we want to be involved, not just in terms of securing construction contracts but also developing projects. Skanska’s business strategy has always been to identify those projects in which is can invest its own funding. “I think marine and tidal energy technologies are a little further away at the moment. The technology is not quite there yet and the conditions in which it will have to operate can be very rough but it will come.”

“We see a lot of work in the area of existing properties. Green Retrofitting is becoming more prevalent to make sure that buildings have a reduced demand for energy. Existing estates are a larger contributor to global warming than the generation of energy and we see great demand in tackling that issue.“ The success of all its projects, green or otherwise, means drawing on expertise across the world. Alex said: “Skanska thinks global. We take the view that the market is mobile and we need to transfer the knowledge and skills round the group. For instance, we are currently working on a major PFI hospital project in Stockholm and our team in the UK has experience which can be used in that project. Thus we have circa 30 people over there and the same is true when we need people to come here to work on projects.”

Skanska also sees potential growth in working on existing buildings. Alex said: “We do not just see the potential in new build projects and the supply of green energy but also in ensuring that the existing estates improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint

“Scotland has a real opportunity to take advantage of its natural resources and we are particularly interested in the potential of offshore and onshore wind as well as heat from waste and biomass technologies.”

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business&sport sPeCiAl FeAture

When footballing passion means commercial success Football is in the lifeblood of Edinburgh and having two Scottish Premier League clubs is important for the economic prosperity of the city. BC asked Hibernian and Hearts how they benefit Edinburgh. hibernian - living up to a heritage of innovation For Hibernian, the watchword is, and always has been, innovation as the club works to remain on a sound commercial footing in tough economic times. And while the retail and corporate hospitality side of things have proved challenging, the club has seen an increase in both advertising and sponsorship.

“For instance, the corporate hospitality side of things has all but gone because in a recession it is the first budget to be cut so we have worked hard on improving the offer for supporters and seeking up upgrade hospitality offers for season ticket holders and families.”

The main success was the announcement in March that drinks company Crabbie’s had agreed to a three-year sponsorship deal with Hibs, an agreement that reflected an important part of the city’s history; founder John Crabbie formulated his original ginger wine while in Leith. For Hibs Managing Director Fife Hyland, such deals strengthen the viability of the club, which he believes is crucial for Edinburgh, as, he acknowledges, is the health of arch-rivals Hearts. He said: “It is important that the city has two successful football clubs because of the confidence it creates in people. It is the same anywhere with a football team; if the team is doing well there is confidence.

Hibs Managing Director, Fife Hyland

“Hibs makes an important contribution to the economy of Edinburgh. We employ more than 100 full-time staff and 300 temporary staff on match days, and the stadium is one of the key entertainment venues and attractions in the city.”

“Our retail side has also been hit. Retail suffers in a recession and that is reflected in the football club but we have seen an encouraging increase in advertising and sponsorship. I was very pleased with the deal with Crabbie’s.”

Fife believes that the club has to continually adapt to changing circumstances, particularly the effects of hard economic times.

Hibs also work hard generating income from activities away from the field. Fife said: “We run a business centre and work with the public sector and private businesses to offer the likes of conferences and exhibitions. That is important because every pound we earn

He said: “We have a heritage of innovation at Hibs and we need to continue that to take account of changes.


can be ploughed back into the football side which sees the side playing better, providing entertaining football and attracting more people to the games.” One of the biggest piece of encouraging news for the Scottish Premier League was the recently signed five-year contract extension with Sky Sports and ESPN for the live rights to matches. The new agreement will run from season 2012/13 and some suggestions indicate it could net top-flight clubs about £80m. However, for all it raises the profile of the sport, Fife Hyland does have reservations. He said: “It is good news for Scottish football in terms of a long-running partnership that raises the game’s status, but there is a concern, one that we have expressed before, that it impacts on kick-off times. Feedback from our supporters indicate that they are concerned that it changes the tradition of playing games at 3pm on a Saturday. The TV company has signed up and the majority of clubs have agreed but there may be scope to address that within the agreement, and we will continue to discuss a consistency to kick off times with the SPL and the broadcasters.”

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hearts - looking with confidence to the future David Southern, Managing Director of Hearts, said: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club has been a crucial part of the Edinburgh economy since its formation in 1874. However, it is in the past decade that the true worth of the club to the economy could best be demonstrated. A hat-trick of notable occasions sums up the multi-million pound worth of the club to the city and its residents. “The visit of footballing giants Barcelona in 2007 to play Hearts at Murrayfield Stadium attracted a crowd of 57,857 and generated in excess of £7 million to the city’s economy based on figures calculated by economic specialists DTZ. Hearts’ success in 2006 in achieving a second place finish in the SPL and qualifying for the Champions League also generated millions of pounds for the city through increased spending by foreign visitors from countries including Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Czech Republic. Hearts’ regular Europa League participation also shores up the sporting credentials of Edinburgh as a key tourist and footballing destination. In 1998, Hearts’ Scottish Cup win - the first time the Scottish Cup had returned to the city since the club’s last success in 1956 - saw over 250,000 people celebrate from the High Street down through Princes Street and then on through the localities of Haymarket, Dalry and Gorgie bringing a huge boost to the finances of businesses in the surrounding areas.

thousands throng to the most atmospheric stadium in Scotland.” Asked about the biggest challenges ensuring Hearts remain economically viable, he said: “The club is in a period of transformation both on and off field. On field, Hearts is like so many other football clubs in that it will focus predominantly on youth development and bringing the brightest young talent through into the first team. By doing this the

“This must be addressed and Hearts wants to play its part in that development. Currently, we are in talks with City of Edinburgh Council and other partners about creating a new purpose-built stadium in the west of the city not far from the existing Tynecastle Stadium. “We envisage a new 20,000-plus capacity stadium with state of the art facilities in order to attract the best players, supporters and business partners to a club and city that seeks to be the best at what it does. We are confident that this can be delivered and would be very interested to hear from other city institutions about how we might be able to create partnership opportunities that provide long-term benefits for everyone involved in the project.“ Asked about the recent SPL television deal, he said: “The new improved television deal is significant. It represents a vote of faith from one of the world’s largest media corporations. Despite current economic challenges, however, it should not be forgotten that the SPL attracts more viewers per head of population than any other league in Europe.

David Southern, Managing Director of Hearts,

club can, in time, benefit when good players are sold on to other larger clubs in England or across Europe securing valuable transfer revenue. “The club has an excellent record in this respect having shown net transfer gains in nine out of the last ten years. “The club is also currently working successfully in reducing the squad size and player salary bill to a more appropriate level. Off-field operational efficiencies are being established with successful partnership deals secured with SRM, our retail partner, and Saltire, our catering partner. New facilities will also ensure that the club is well placed for the years ahead.

“And on an annual basis more than 300,000 people attend games at Tynecastle bringing in regular steady income to shops, restaurants, bars and other businesses in predominantly west and central Edinburgh. Local transport companies also enjoy the income boost as

long-term effect on the potential future success we have as a city in developing the sports stars of the future.

The Hearts v Hibs derbies are now second only in viewing terms to the Old Firm games on Sky/ ESPN and provide an excellent advert for football in the country with packed stadia and also many city dwellers making their way to friends or family to watch the game at home or in the city’s pubs or social clubs. The deal won’t change the face of the game but it will underwrite a lot of the work being done by SPL clubs to bring through some of the best young talent in the country. It will also provide a key selling point for existing and new sponsors to support the game in this country. “

“Principally the club is focused on delivering a first class football venue for the city. Edinburgh is way behind other UK cities, including near neighbour Glasgow, in terms of its sporting infrastructure and this will have a damaging

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Easter Road Stadium, the home of Hibernian Football Club, offers some of the best contemporary facilities in Edinburgh for both business and Social events. Situated just 35 minutes from Edinburgh International Airport, 10 minutes from Waverly Train Station and within easy reach of all main driving routes in and out of the City Centre Easter Road Stadium is the ideal venue for your conference and meeting needs. With up to 14 rooms we can accommodate between 10 and 300 delegates. All rooms benefit from natural daylight and many have views over the pitch.

Tel: 0131 656 7075 email: BC issue 15.indd 26

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Landmark case could give retailers a welcome boost A landmark rating appeal in Fife has provided Edinburgh retailers with encouragement to appeal against the last round of non domestic rates valuations. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has been campaigning since 2011 against the revaluation of business rates conducted in April 2008, when property values were at their highest, but applied from April 2010, after the market collapse. Now an appeal case in Fife has led to Assessors up and down the country having to re-consider their position. The case, which was heard before the Fife Valuation Appeal Committee in early October, was taken by a consortium of surveying firms led by Colliers International and other rating agents. The appeals centred around whether a Material Change of Circumstances “being the fall in rental values “of retail properties in 2009 could now be reflected in the 2010 Rateable Values which were arrived at on the basis of rental levels as at April 2008 before the decline in rents occurred. The Arguments The Fife Assessor argued that the legislation governing the entry of subjects in the new 2010 Valuation Roll did not allow them to reflect the reduced Rateable Values that were given effect to on 1st September 2009 via the Lands Valuation Appeal Court in an earlier case on the 2005 Revaluation figures of the same subjects. The Ratepayers argued that the Legislation did allow for falls in rental values in 2009 to be considered a Material Change of Circumstance therefore the Rateable Values that were given effect by the Lands Valuation Appeal Court effective Sept 2009 should be carried forward into the 2010 Revaluation figures. The Decision The Committees decision, issued last week, found in favour of the Ratepayers. The committee stated material falls in rental values that happen after the Tone date of April 2008 should be considered a valid ground for a Material Change of Circumstance appeal against the current Rateable Values. Appeal Rights The Fife Assessor has the right to appeal the decision to the Lands Valuation Appeal Court. Implications Whilst the case related solely to Kirkcaldy it was acknowledged as a test case with the principle that was decided upon applicable to other Material Change of Circumstance appeals across Scotland. Now Edinburgh’s retailers are considering whether they too may have grounds to appeal, especially now that there is solid case law to support their case. Michael Apter, the Chairman of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s Property Policy Group, and Managing Director of Paper Tiger and Studio One, said: “We have always nursed a sense

of grievance that the revaluation was manifestly unfair, as it added significantly to business costs at the very time that margins were being squeezed. However, the Assessor was not prepared to listen to the argument that a revaluation conducted at the top of the market may no longer be valid after a drop in values of 20-25%. “The result of this case from Fife means that many of our members will be taking advice on the matter.” Peter Muir, Director and head of rating for Scotland of Colliers International, said: “The legislation governing the setting of Rateable Values is complex and work on this case has been going on for months. We hoped the Assessors would agree with our views that it would be illogical to ignore the recessionary effects on rental values for this Revaluation. This we felt was especially the case as the Material Change of Circumstance definition was changed in 1984 to allow for appeals against material falls in rental values, indeed other Assessors have taken into account the 2009 rental levels in their 2010 Revaluation Figures. After discussions it became clear the Fife Assessor felt they were correct and a case would need presented before the Fife Committee to decide. Colliers worked with other agents in presenting evidence to the Committee which exhibited scenarios where the Assessor’s interpretation of the law presented the possibility of extremely prejudicial situations arising where one retailer could be paying disproportionate rates liabilities to a neighbouring (perhaps competing) retailer with an identical property. The Assessors interpretation meant this could happen and would be unable to be challenged. That to me was absurd and absurdities in my professional opinion should have no place in a fair business rates system. I am delighted the Committee has agreed with our representations. The decision if left unchallenged or upheld at the Lands Valuation Appeal Court provides a timely boost for retailers in Kirkcaldy and for the future vitality of the Mercat Shopping Centre and High Street. This will also have positive implications for the Scottish Commercial Property market. Not only will it benefit occupiers via lower occupational costs but it will help Landlords in making empty properties more affordable and could therefore help stimulate letting activity.” Edinburgh Chambers retail policy group was due to review the Fife case and consider its own position on the 25th January.

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Be Prepared For PAYE Real Time Information Are you aware of the major changes coming soon with the PAYE system? If not, you are not alone, in a Sage survey from 2011 76% of small firms admitted to having no knowledge of the forthcoming alterations. The PAYE system has been in place, largely unchanged, since its inception in 1944. Over the next two years HMRC is planning substantial changes to the reporting regime behind PAYE. HMRC is now introducing the concept of ‘real time information’ (RTI) where employers will be required to provide information about tax and other deductions to HMRC each time an employee is paid. This new system will affect all employers, large or small and will affect all employees whether full time, part time or temporary.

“The government believes that RTI will improve both the UK and tax welfare systems.” RTI is also a key component of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) plan for the introduction in October 2013 of the Universal Credit system. Carol Flockhart continues “Universal Credit will replace the current benefits structure. DWP will use RTI to award and adjust Universal Credits to take account of employment and pension income.”

Why the change?

The system will be mandatory for all employers by October 2013.

The new system is being introduced to provide more accurate and up to date information on employees and pensioners. Carol Flockhart, Business Support Services Partner at Chiene + Tait Chartered Accountants, comments:


When is the new system being introduced?

From April 2012 the system is being piloted by software developers and volunteer employers to ensure it is thoroughly tested and issues resolved by April 2013. Employers and pension providers will need to start

submitting RTI from April 2013, with all employers using the system by October 2013. Although the deadline for implementation of RTI is tight, HMRC has indicated it must happen in this timeframe to tie in with Universal Credit implementation. What is the current system? At the moment payroll is processed, employees are paid in accordance with their pay frequency and then a monthly or quarterly payment of PAYE and National Insurance is sent to HMRC. Employers provide information about an employee’s pay, and the tax and National Insurance deducted from that pay, to HMRC after the end of the tax year via an employer annual return. These year end returns must reach HMRC by the 19 May after the end of the tax year to which they relate. This means that the PAYE system

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is always operating in arrears, because at no time during the tax year does HMRC know anything about employee earnings. How will RTI work? Instead of supplying information once a year after the end of the tax year, employers will need to provide information to HMRC every time an employee is paid, whether that is weekly, fortnightly, 4-weekly, monthly or payments at any other frequency available. Every time a payroll is run, the payroll software will collect the information required by HMRC and send it using the BACS facility, Government Gateway or internet channel. With BACS, RTI information will be sent to HMRC at the same time as their net pay instruction is made for employees. What are the benefits of RTI? No year end payroll returns are required as employers will submit the information progressively throughout the year. Employers will need to continue to produce P60 forms. It should reduce the frequency and size of under and over payments of both tax and tax credits.

Currently where an employer takes on a new starter without a form P45, the employer must complete a form P46 and send it online to HMRC. Under RTI the P46 form will no longer exist but an employer will still have to ask a set of questions similar to those on P46 and these details will be submitted via RTI when a new employee starts work. It should result in more accurate student loan deductions. What should you be doing now to prepare for RTI? Although April 2013 may seem some way off, there are things that employers can do now to prepare for the introduction of RTI. Carol Flockhart advises,“Check that the information you hold on employees is accurate. The quality of the data submitted will be key to the success of RTI. It is crucial that all employers provide four pieces of key information on each employee – full name, actual date of birth, gender and National Insurance number.

implementation. The last thing you want is to have any last minute system issues and find yourself in a queue with other employers waiting to upgrade their system. Ask your payroll adviser for help and support on what you need to do to mitigate against the change. Your accountant or payroll bureau should be fully up to speed on RTI and what you need to do, to be prepared.” For more information on RTI or on any payroll matter the Chiene + Tait payroll team is ready to assist. Please contact Neil Cameron, Payroll Manager or Carol Flockhart, Partner by email payroll@ or call 0131 558 5800. Free information on Chiene + Tait payroll services can be found at

Speak to your payroll software provider to ensure your software is up to date pre RTI

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sPeCiAl FeAture

customised qualifications offer the perfect match Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) offers employers the chance to develop customised qualifications matched to their own training needs. To complement their credit rating and endorsement services, SQA can develop awards tailored specifically to what employers need: to help them meet regulatory requirements; to demonstrate workforce competence; or to bridge a gap where a traditional off-the-shelf qualification is not available. Customised Awards are competence based and designed to allow the customer flexibility in the design, content and format of the qualification. Support is provided by SQA staff for the development of the qualification, the creation of the award on SQA systems and the design of the certificates. The assessment material is developed by the customer, while SQA


validate the award, provide quality assurance and issue commemorative certificates. Sue MacFarlane, Head of Specialist Awards and Services at SQA said: ‘Our Customised Awards can be used to formalise procedures and boost employee confidence, but they can also be used to demonstrate to clients and customers, particular areas of expertise that a business or employer has, and how those skills differentiate them from their rivals.’ ‘Like our other qualifications, Customised Awards are designed to improve an individuals work-related skills and knowledge, and define the standards of competence required of a business’ employees. We work with our customers to develop qualifications that are a perfect match to their requirements.’

enthusiastic about this service. ‘Developing our e-learning course Understanding Drilling Equipment as a customised award has undoubtedly given Aberdeen Drilling Consultants a platform to reach global markets by virtue of the international standing and reputation of SQA. Customised Awards allow organisations the flexibility to design training that fulfils their requirements whilst ensuring it is benchmarked against an internationally recognised standard.’ For more information about SQA’s Customised Awards, visit

Craig Duncan, Operations Co-ordinator for Aberdeen Drilling Consultants was

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Automatic enrolment – What it means to you When you think about 2012, what do you think of? Possibly the Olympic Games being held in London? When I think about 2012, I think about people being enrolled for the first time into a workplace pension. Beginning next October for employees of the biggest companies, and gradually including workers in the smallest firms– this change will have a massive effect on saving in this country. Here is what we are doing and why. Eleven million of us will live to be 100. We are now spending around a quarter of our lives in retirement.Yet at the same time, we as a society have never been saving less for our later lives. Currently, only one in three workers in the private sector is contributing to a workplace pension.Young people often prefer to save for a house instead of a pension. And the end result is that people simply are not prepared for their retirement and could find themselves poorer as a result. Clearly something needs to be done. We know that people want to save, but too often it becomes something to think about another day. And as we all know, the sooner you begin to save, the better. This is why every employee over the age of 22 and earning above the PAYE threshold – that’s over £7,475 (2011/12 tax year) a year –

will be put automatically into a workplace pension. If the company you work for has a pension scheme already, then you could be enrolled into that scheme. If not, then your employer will have to pick an appropriate pension scheme. We have made that easy for them by creating NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) as a low cost, easy to use option, which is run on a notfor-profit basis and designed especially for people new to pension saving. Having a pension means that you will be expected to pay into it. We will start small, with 1% of your pay going into the pension, and it will eventually go up to 4%. And yes, we realise that in these tough times, every little bit counts and a 4% reduction in your pay packet will seem like a lot. But the key to workplace pensions is that your employer will have to contribute as well. And we will also help, by giving you an additional 1% in tax relief. This will mean that eventually you will be putting 8% of your pay aside for your retirement.

These changes will make it as straightforward as possible for you to get saving for your retirement. Saving will be automatic, you will put money aside, and your employer will contribute too. The basic State Pension will always be there, and these changes will ensure that people have to opportunity to save on top of it for the lifestyle they want in retirement.

More information can be obtained on future-pension-reforms/auto-enrolment employers/7-steps.aspx

Depending on how much you save now, this may seem like a lot or it may seem like not enough.You will of course have the option of contributing more to your pension as you earn more, and it’s important to remember that you will have the option of opting out at any time. If you feel saving isn’t right for you, we will not force you. However, after three years, we will come back and try again. Hopefully, it will be the right time for you to save.

Young people often prefer to save for a house instead of a pension. And the end result is that people simply are not prepared for their retirement and could find themselves poorer as a result. Clearly something needs to be done.

Steve Webb Minister for Pensions

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“The biggest change in Pension Legislation in a generation…” The implications of the Pension Reform on employers are imminent and far reaching. Here John Davidson of St. James’s Place Wealth Management tells us how St. James’s Place Wealth Management is helping business owners prepare for this. Forward planning is crucial Most employers know that Pension Reform is on the horizon but have little idea about how radical the changes are or when they are affected. So a quick recap…

and how this legislation will affect them in terms of both costs and additional resource required to meet new extensive reporting duties. Complimentary Pension scheme audit

From October 2012 each employer has a staging date based on the number of employees on their PAYE on 1 April 2012. This is the date that all employers with employees in the UK need to start:

■ When you need to act, i.e. your staging date

1. Automatically enrolling ‘eligible jobholders’ into a pension scheme

■ Review your existing pension scheme to

2. Making contributions on their behalf

The complimentary audit will identify:

■ How many of your employees qualify

as ‘eligible jobholders’ and must be automatically enrolled on your staging date establish if any changes are required and how to meet your on-going reporting duties

3. Confirming which scheme is being used with the Pensions Regulator

■ If there is no existing provision, advise you

4. Communicating certain information to employees

■ Calculate the costs in terms of additional

Know when and how you need to act Understanding how and when your business will be affected is complex and necessitates professional advice. That is why John offers Edinburgh business owners a complimentary pension audit to help them understand when

when and how to set up a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme (QWPS) pension contributions John Davidson is a Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management John is based locally and is inviting Edinburgh City Chamber Business Comment readers to request a complimentary pension audit.

For more information, call 0131 303 0031 or email

“John offers Edinburgh business owners a complimentary pension audit to help them understand when and how this legislation will affect them” The Partner represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the title ‘Partner’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.



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sPeCiAl FeAture

autism Initiatives in Scotland

Autism Initiatives Scotland (part of Autism Initiatives UK) has come a long way since beginning in 2004. From developing the One Stop Shop in Edinburgh (for adults with Asperger syndrome), we have provided support to over 800 people with autism. However with 1 in 100 people in the UK living with an autism spectrum condition, there are still many people we can help. Our strength is our specialist approach which is based on using highly trained and supported staff to deliver an autism-specific service which can make a real impact and improve the lives of people with autism and their families. We have a reputation of being a flexible, innovative service provider, offering a range of high quality services. We work closely with Local Authority, Health and other professionals to tailor each service to the needs of the individual person with autism. We now provide a range of supported living, day activity and other services across Scotland and more recently have started a number of Social Enterprises. our social enterprise businesses It is estimated that less than 15% of adults with autism are in full-time employment, but most are willing, able to work and have significant untapped talents and skills. Therefore we increasingly use the facilities in our Social Enterprise businesses to offer a variety of employment opportunities and experiences in real work settings. These currently include: gallery on the Corner Our art gallery and craft workshop which specialises in promoting art produced by people with a disability in the heart of the fine art district of Edinburgh. The Gallery on the Corner offers creative and retail opportunities for young people with autism. Currently 10 people are gaining real work experience and employability skills in both creative art production and retail. 34 Northumberland Street, EH3 6LS

Eamon Callaghan, volunteer at the Hermitage, helping plant our tree saplings.


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Alan Lucchesi, creative apprentice at the Gallery on the Corner with one of his recent commissions

the Hermitage The Hermitage is our golf course and activity center at Braid Hills, Edinburgh which includes the Hermitage Café and Hermitage Shrubs, our horticulture project. The peaceful location in the Braid Hills is a great place to enjoy the views with a cup of tea in the café or play a round on our inclusive golf course, designed to be accessible for children, families and people of all abilities 11 Braid Hills Drive, EH10 6GZ Café on the Corner Our newest Social Enterprise is at 24 Hill Street, Edinburgh where service users are involved in the delivery of a high quality morning and lunchtime take away and seated café service. Due to open in spring, we are in the process of renovating the environment and we look forward to your custom. How you can help 1. Be a customer of our Social Enterprises 2. Volunteer opportunities If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, either as an individual or staff team, we have plenty for you to get involved with. Businesses including Standard Life, Pagan Osborne and KPMG have helped to improve our services at staff volunteer days. From painting and decorating to tree planting we have group opportunities to suit all skills and team sizes. 3. Fundraising activities (Golf day etc.) From shaking a bucket at one of our Six Nations collections at Murrayfield, to dancing a jig at our ceilidh; you can show your support by helping out or simply attending any of our fundraising events For further information on Autism Initiatives Scotland please contact us: Email: Phone: 0131 551 7260 Charity Number: SC040905 Company Number: 2436777

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Sir Robert McAlpine is proud to be helping shape a new future for Scotland through projects including the delivery of a new stadium for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Scott House, Mid New Cultins West One Business Park Edinburgh EH11 4DH


Tel: 0131 458 4255 Fax: 0131 458 4254 Email:

Edinburgh International Conference Centre Expansion

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Inthe Inthespotlight Company name: Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers Who? Adam Hardie, director of Business development Website: 1. What were you doing between 10 and 12 this morning?

6. Where do you stand on work/life balance?

Meeting with an exciting technology business that our firm is supporting in a multitude of ways – challenging the business growth strategy, managing their accounting function, assisting with tax efficient investment into the company, getting R&T Tax Relief, raising growth funding and introducing potential strategic partners.

7. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I work as hard as I can in the time that I have – but I work to live not live to work.

2. What do you see as your job’s biggest challenge?

My passion is skiing which I sadly don’t do enough of; I play golf whenever I can and enjoy gatherings with good friends. I am a family man, watch my children play a lot of sport and spend significant time behind a steering wheel!

Unlocking the expertise and knowledge of 470 people in our firm to help develop and grow every new client.

8. What qualities do you need to see in your employees?

3. What do you consider your biggest business triumph? Setting up, running and selling my own small business.

4. do you have any money-saving business tips?

Surround yourself with like minded “can do” people (including accountants and business advisers) who can help you deliver on your business goals and save you money through effective tax planning.

5. What do you believe are the 3 key stages on your career ladder?

12. Any business (or other) projects you would like to plug? In professional services business development you are only as good as the team around you. After 12 years in Big 4 and medium sized accounting firms, I believe that the team around me at Johnston Carmichael is first class.

13. other than your current position, what would be your dream job?

Phenomenal client focus and passion for doing a great job

Waxing skis in an Alpine village and or opening cold beers on a remote Caribbean island.

9. in business, is it more important to be liked or successful?

14. Who (living or dead) would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?

Building strong business relationships is fundamental in business development. To build strong business relationships you need to be liked. Do this well – then it will help you to become successful.

Sir William Wallace, Barack Obama, John McEnroe, James Braid and Brigadier Alastair Pearson CB, DSO & Three Bars, OBE, MC, TD.

10. What is the one piece of advice you would give to others trying to reach the top?

15. outside of business, what is the most important thing in your life? Inspiring my wife and children to achieve their goals.

Create your plan and make it happen.

1. Keep learning – develop knowledge and understanding.

11. Who is your hero?

2. Keep pushing – strive to do as well as you can and to make things happen.

I don’t have any heroes but there are many in business and in sport who I admire and respect.

3. Always deliver - on everything that you say you will.

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Scottish businesses paying the price for inflationary coincidence The falling inflation rate is adding further weight to the case to mitigate the planned rise in Scotland’s business rates bills this April. Following today’s news that CPI inflation had fallen to 4.2% and RPI inflation had fallen to 4.8% in December, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

Edinburgh students’ stateside coup Two Edinburgh Napier students have beaten off their American peers to land a top sales award. Kenny Miller and Louise Bailey, together with their lecturer and sales coach Tony Douglas, took second place at the Russ Berrie International Sales Challenge in New Jersey. The Capital team took on 30 universities from across the US at the three-day event, where top sales students met with representatives from major corporations. The competition was designed to help students develop their sales skills. Louise, 20, who is from Stirling and is studying marketing management, said: “We didn’t expect to get anywhere close to that level because we were competing against American students who are studying sales as a degree. It was an


exceptional experience and something I’ll never forget.” Kenny, 29, a fourth year law student from Dalgety Bay, added: “When I saw the university advert looking for students to participate in the competition I thought it looked like a fantastic opportunity, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. It was a remarkable experience to compete against top American sales students, and was particularly satisfying to do so well.”

“The Scottish Government is planning to increase business rates for firms across Scotland by 5.6% in April – a figure based on last September’s inflation rate. It is now clear that by the time this business rates increase is implemented, real inflation will be at a much lower rate and the Scottish Government will be taking much more money from businesses as a result. “According to the Scottish Government’s own figures published after the Draft Budget, it was expecting to take an additional £115 million from Scottish businesses this year as a result of inflation. RPI inflation at that time was 5.2%, but it was September’s RPI rate of 5.6% that was ultimately applied, meaning that Scottish businesses will actually be paying some £123 million extra this year – £8 million more than the Scottish Government had budgeted for. However these latest inflation figures suggest that businesses should only be paying an additional £106 million this year, with that figure set to fall further as the months go on. “With the Scottish Budget still at a draft phase, there is still time for the Scottish Government to apply a fair rate of increase in this year’s business rates and minimise the financial burden on Scotland’s hard pressed businesses.”

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Modern conferencing in a historic setting Our comprehensive facilities at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh range from lecture theatre to meeting rooms, Great Hall and Georgian suite Choice of spaces for conferences, meetings, dinners and receptions for 3–300 Full AV support including video conferencing Stylish central Edinburgh location at 9 Queen Street Please contact us on 0131 225 7324 or

Scottish charity no. SC009465

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Igeomatics Solutions Limited


find us on

n 3 phase & commercial electrical work n Electrical Inspecting / Testing n Lighting & Power - External


Suite 45 196 Rose Street Edinburgh EH2 4AT

Tel: 0131 2582521

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n Lighting & Power - Internal n Power Showers and Pumps n Bathroom Installations n Plumbing Repair & Maintenance n Bathroom, Kitchen and WC Plumbing

MSF Electrical 125/8 Stenhouse Drive, Edinburgh EH11 3NG

07817 270023

We have a mag for that... If you would like to promote your organisation in Edinburgh Business Comment please contact Distinctive Publishing on 0845 884 2334 or email


BC February/March 2012

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Asktheexpert Q: How do you convert more tenders into wins? A: To answer that, you need to understand

“What is a tender?” It is a way for a potential buyer to compare and select suppliers. It is not a copy of your sales material. Producing a tender document which secures you work or funding can be intellectually challenging and needs careful consideration. Your tender document should: • be customer facing • address the potential buyer’s requirements • sell your capabilities • displace the competition So how do you do this? Preparation is key. You need to ask strategic questions. This is a critical step that many businesses omit. “Does it sit well with our business? Do we have the skills, experience and resource to fulfil it?,“Are we better than the competition?” and “Will it give us the profile and profit we want?.” IfBryan you answer Leslieno to any of these questions, then step back. You will have made a logical business decision that this work is not for you.

Strong strategic thinking and a commercial approach are crucial throughout the tender preparation. Choosing to pursue the tenders that closely match your business objectives and skills will increase your chance of winning them. If you have decided to proceed, then follow each step below and move closer to converting your tender into a win. Your first step is to look at the tender from the buyer’s point of view. Read between the lines and assess “What are they really looking for?”, “How can we support them?”. Second, build your solution. Having identified the buyer’s needs, build a powerful methodology using an experienced team. Third, learn from industry best practice and apply it to your business. Identify the strengths of your business that competitors do not have. After doing these three steps, start collating your evidence and writing your tender response. Be practical with a structured approach. Cut the waffle.

Why not take two minutes to review your current approach to tendering? The self-audit questionnaire “How Good Are You?” will identify areas of improvement for you. Remember, in tendering, there are no prizes for second place. If you would like to complete the “How Good Are You?” questionnaire, please email: or call 0131 221 3191. Anne Farr, Rothera Group Ltd, T: 01506 203325, E:

GetwithIT By Bill Magee

Scottish Business Technology Writer of the Year

Catch ‘Bill’s Daily TechPost’ on Twitter @billamagee A multi-layered Edinburgh connection ensured the success of a groundbreaking Energy Tech seminar held within the leafy Knightsbridge confines of the Embassy of Iceland in Central London. Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change (Carbon Innovation) combined with Capital city law firms like Dundas & Wilson and Biggart Baillie, along with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Carbon Masters from Edinburgh Technology Transfer Centre plus the University of Edinburgh (and yours truly). The event was staged by CarbonZero IT, a highly innovative organisation which with its partners provides renewable energy-based IT capacity and supporting services to meet the management needs and control costs incurred of carbon emissions.

Founder American Paul Halsey says that for CIOs the primary business challenge has always been to do more with less. “In addition the emerging role of de facto manager of a firm’s carbon footprint has become reality for many.” Today’s computer-intensive applications are consuming massive and increasing amounts of electricity ~ generated, primarily, with carbon-based energy making IT one of the largest global contributors of greenhouse gas emmissions. What his organisation does is off senior

management additional carbon management options to deal with the operational, financial and brand risks that these developments represent. “The fact remains that prudent steps should be taken now to prepare for what is a new and evolving low carbon economy,” he advises. CarbonZero IT’s website is hosted on a server located in Iceland, with reduced operating costs of between 25-40 per cent. Impressive! Contact: Contact me:

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INCREASED STYLE. Our corporate offers appeal to both company car drivers and your company balance sheet. With low CO2 emissions, class leading efficiency and performance courtesy of BMW EfficientDynamics, could this be the car driving your business forward?



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To view our full range of BMW Corporate offers visit or come along to our dealership.

Peter Vardy Edinburgh 19 Seafield Road East, Edinburgh EH15 1ED 0131 276 2058 BC issue 15.indd 42

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Our dedicated local business manager can lead you through the range of models, legislation, and vehicle specifications; helping you select the most cost effective package for you or your business. Leaving you free to get on with your other work.



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· Payment Profile 6+23 · 19” M Alloy Wheels · M Aerodynamic Bodystyling · Novillo Leather Upholstery · Bluetooth · M Sport Seats · 420 BHP · Xenon Headlamps · Navigation System

To view our full range of BMW Corporate offers visit or come along to our dealership. Official Fuel economy figures for BMW Range: Extra Urban 70.6-26.4 mpg (4.010.7 1/100km). Urban 52.3-12.4 mpg (5.4-22.71/100km). Combined 62.8-18.6 mpg (4.5-15.2 1/100km) CO2 emissions 119 -366g/km. BMW EfficientDynamics reduces BMW emissions without compromising performance developments and is standard across the model range. Information correct at time of going to print. All finance is subject to status and available to over 18s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. We can arrange finance and hiring facilities for you. 116d based on 10,000 miles per annum, excess mileage charge of 8.45p per mile. 320ED based on 10,000 miles per annum, excess mileage charge of 11.1p per mile. 640d SE based on 8000 miles per annum, excess mileage charge of 18.75p per mile. M3 Coupe based on 8,000 miles per annum, excess mileage charge of 16.5p per mile.

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Gettingstarted Name: Steve christie business name: brightspace Start up date: 9th march 2011 Website: q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? Having our very first client tell us what fantastic work we did for them in creating their identity, website and marketing material and actually recommending us back to Business Gateway. They were originally a referral from Business Gateway so that was really satisfying!

q6: What has been your lowest moment? There honestly haven’t really been any low moments...yet! There have been some real stresses and strains but nothing that ever made us feel we did the wrong thing starting Brightspace.

q1: tell us a bit about your business? Myself and my business partner Andy set up Brightspace, a graphic design consultancy, in March 2011. We work with clients of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, to create and develop all aspects of their brand and marketing materials, both on and offline.

q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? Unlike a lot of design companies of our size, we deliver highly creative design work with a solid commercial focus. We work with clients to discover who their audience is, then help them create powerful brands and marketing material to reach that audience and generate revenue.

q3: What motivated you to set up in business for yourself? The shared belief that we could do it better than the company we worked for at the time, so we decided to put our money where out mouth was. It was honestly the best decision we’ve ever made.

q7: in terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years?

honorary Doctorate for ron hewitt Former Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Ron Hewitt has been presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from Heriot Watt University for his contribution to business and the city of Edinburgh. The citation recognised his “outstanding contribution to the development of Scotland’s economic wealth including, through his leadership of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and advancement of the reputation of the city of Edinburgh as a leading centre for enterprise and investment.”

I’ll be delighted if in five years we have a team of five or six talented designers and web developers, a good mix of clients and Brightspace has become known for developing highly creative and effective brands and marketing material.

q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? I’ve got two tips really. Use the services that Business Gateway offer as much as you can, we’ve found them extremely useful and the networking opportunities for all businesses are excellent. Secondly (shameless plug coming up!), come and talk to us as early as you can if you’re starting up, getting your brand right from day one is vital in giving your company the right image to compete effectively.

q4: What do you like most about working for yourself? Without a doubt it’s having complete freedom to be able to shape the company and take it in any direction we want. Every decision is on our head and that’s really exciting and daunting in equal measure.


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Mobile Apps

make your customers appy

Developing apps for mobile devices is one of the best ways of engaging with customers and prospects. It demonstrates that your products and services are slick and contemporary while delivering a wonderful user experience. The complexity involved puts some people off — the time, the technology, generating new content — all are common challenges, but it can be straightforward if you have the right team to guide you. At Wyoming we’re working with apps every day of the week; building them, embedding them into campaigns HUK JVTT\UPJH[PUN [OLPY ILULÄ[Z [V [OL ^PKL ^VYSK VM smartphone and tablet users. Your customers are engaging with your competitors through their apps — why not with you? 180x110_PointBusinessLeisure_Jan12_v2.pdf




Contact Nick Price at Wyoming – 0131 225 9533 or visit us at


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The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies:

Independent control crucial for green revolution

5K Your Way

Reform Scotland bases its views on the country’s natural resources, academic research talent and the energy companies already based in the country.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Ancestral Consultants Bryan Leslie Coaching Decorative Lady DySIS Medical Limited Engineering Development Trust Gemma Wilson PR Haven, The Indigo Printing Services J+F Johnston Ltd Jerwan LETMEEAT Michael O’Shea MS Society My Best Deal Nordic Outdoor Reform Scotland Sam Shortt Consulting Limited Scotwork Selecta Service Point Shaw Trust StayEdinburgh Apartments - Townhouse The British Assessment Bureau Your Australian Business

Scotland could earn £2 billion a year exporting electricity and become a world leader in new-energy technology, a leading think tank has forecasted. But, it says, the country will realise its full potential only if energy policy is fully devolved from Westminster to Holyrood.

Becoming a world-leader would be a realistic possibility if the Scottish Government’s ambition of reaching the 100 per cent renewable target by 2020 is met, the organisation says in its report Powering Scotland. Reform Scotland also proposes that all of Scotland ’s nuclear power stations be phased out at the end of their natural lives because, unlike other forms of energy production, Scotland does not have a competitive advantage in nuclear energy. Energy powers should be formally devolved to Holyrood so that the Scottish Government can formulate a policy that meets the country’s needs, the think tank proposes in a 15,000-word research paper produced by economist and Reform Scotland Trustee Graeme Blackett, Chairman Ben Thomson and Director Geoff Mawdsley. While Westminster has theoretical responsibility for energy policy, the Scottish Government has an effective veto through planning powers which created something of an impasse. With the right policies and drive, Scotland could become the biggest exporter of low carbon electricity in Europe , the report authors believe. For that to be realised, a significant majority of the electricity generated in Scotland , - between 50% and 75% - would have to be met from low carbon sources by 2030 so that enough electricity is generated from renewable sources to exceed Scottish demand.

acceleration of renewable energy generation by increasing the 2020 renewables target to 100% of Scottish electricity demand. A large proportion of that target can be achieved by wind power - on-shore over the next few years and increasingly off-shore as 2020 approaches. The Scottish Government should set longer-term targets to encourage investment and to signal that the country is an attractive location for the development and deployment of new and emerging technologies. “Following the devolution of energy policy to the Scottish Government, we would support a policy environment that encourages innovative, ‘low carbon’ sources of energy to accommodate new and emerging technologies that can make a significant economic development and environmental impact, including carbon capture and storage.“ Proposals to support further growth include, according to the report:n Increased support for research and development n A strategy for skills provision from universities and colleges n A framework for renewable development eg. port, testing and manufacturing facilities n Accelerated planning arrangements for renewable projects n Investment in domestic grid to facilitate an increase in new electricity generating capacity, distributed across Scotland n Support for a wider European grid to facilitate a competitive Europe-wide market in electricity supply n Access to grid at prices that do not discourage investment The report concludes: “As a result of Scotland’s natural energy resources, the strengths of the university research base, the energy companies based in Scotland and a favourable policy environment, Scotland could become a world-leader in new energy generation technologies.”

Mr Blackett said: ‘The Scottish Government was right to encourage the further

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Businessnews More than 100 graduates benefit from intern programme

Ashleigh Wilson

A graduate internship programme set up by the Centre for Scottish Public Policy (CSPP) as a pilot last year has now delivered more than 100 opportunities for Scotland’s graduates to experience paid work.

opportunities which give them much needed experience at the start of their working life. The key difference with the ‘Adopt an Intern’ programme is that all our graduates are paid during their internship.

The majority of participants in the programme achieve full- time employment as a direct result of their internship experience.

“This Programme is making an impact by opening the door to employment and providing SMEs, the opportunity to add bright and enthusiastic graduates to their workforce.”

CSPP’s Adopt an Intern programme has been so successful in its first year that it has now received a substantial increase in funding from the Scottish Government to develop the initiative further in the year ahead. Joy Lewis, Programme Manager, said: “With the on-going economic challenges, it is now more difficult than ever for our talented graduates to find suitable, paid work

The 100th graduate on the programme is Ashleigh Wilson who is working with Operation Youth Advantage Plus (OYA+) in Glasgow. For further information, contact

UK Business School launches world-class online MBA A new online MBA from a leading Edinburgh Business School will be one of the most technically advanced in the world. The Business School at Edinburgh Napier University has launched the online version of its MBA which, unlike other online MBAs on the market, can be used on all digital and mobile platforms, including the iPad and tablet computers. The new programme’s content emphasises the significance of leadership and emotional intelligence, the legal consequences of business decision-making and the importance of financial and management analysis.


Mammed Bagher, a former investment banker and Programme Director of the Edinburgh Napier MBA Programme, said: “At a time when budgets are tight, many people need to earn while they learn to develop their careers. “This new online MBA is one of the most technically advanced in the world, by enabling student access to their learning environment at any time and any place. “We aim to create great business leaders who want to better the communities and companies in which they work by showing them how to use their emotional intelligence within their businesses environment, whilst addressing the legal, financial and managerial consequences of decision-making.”

Mammed Bagher

BC February/March 2012

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Partnersinenterprise Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is delighted to welcome Central Taxi’s as one of our latest “Partners in Enterprise.” The Partners in Enterprise network is a strategic alliance of serious business players and large corporate organisations located in and around Edinburgh. Whilst this strategic alliance represents the interests of those companies individually and collectively, it also influences the business and political agenda in Scotland. Bill Purnell, Chairman of Central Taxis, said: “As a local Edinburgh Business, we are hugely proud to be involved in the chamber’s Partners in Enterprise network. We have been members of the Edinburgh Chamber for over 10 years and by taking this next step and becoming a Partner in Enterprise, we hope to be able to get involved and help steer business policy and decisions within Edinburgh and the wider Scottish business community”. Graham Birse, Director of Policy and Communication at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “Central Taxis are the type company who are the backbone of this Chamber of Commerce- local, dependable,

efficient and friendly. They are part of the fabric of the local business community and prepared to work in partnership with us to support a private sector resurgence in this great city. We are delighted to be working

with Bill Purnell and his team as they develop the quality of their service and give something back to the community they serve.”

Find out more about our Partners in enterprise on our website: in the ‘About us’ section.

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Graham oversees communication The Chamber of Commerce has completed the re-structuring of its senior management team, with Graham Birse assuming responsibility for all external communications and brand management. As Director of Policy and Communications, Graham will oversee all communications with members, stakeholders, government and the media.

rugby boss seeks improvements

elena shows business acumen

Mark Dodson is bringing about numerous changes in his new role as Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby, the governing body for the sport at all levels – throughout Scotland .

Independent business advisors Acumen Accountants and Advisors (Acumen) have appointed a new associate in the firm’s Edinburgh office.

Having made his name with the Guardian Media Group, Mark joined the organisation in September last year and has also underlined his commitment to make the two professional teams – Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors – his priority.

New role for Kirsty Gillespie Macandrew has made a significant addition to its Energy team by recruiting Hazel Tait from Scottish & Southern Energy as a partner. Kirsty Macpherson, the head of Gillespie Macandrew’s Energy, Climate Change & Natural Resources Group, said: “Hazel’s recruitment is an important one for the firm. She adds to the team’s expertise in renewable energy and, in particular, we welcome her experience in the development of offshore energy projects.

New role for Susan harkins

Neil joins up

New challenge for Liz Liz McAreavey has a new role with the Chamber. She joined as Director of Development in January 2010 and in October 2011, took on the role of Director of Operations responsible for The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Edinburgh Business Development Limited and Chamber Developments Limited. She will be looking at how the Chamber continues to be the most relevant business membership organisation, increasing its value to members in these challenging times.


Elena Barns has taken on the role following four years with the company. She will be responsible for running the Edinburgh office and driving forward business development opportunities, as well as continuing to provide tax advice to her existing client base of individuals and owner managed businesses.

Neil Lafferty has been appointed to the board of Edinburghbased global recruitment firm Bright Purple where he has been promoted to the role of Group Sales Director. He joined the company as Sales Director in June from Rise Recruitment, part of Murray Capital. Prior to that he was with ASA International, which he joined in 1997 at the start of his career in the recruitment sector.

marine post for Genevieve

Susan Harkins was recently promoted to Manager of Edinburgh Business Development Susan has worked at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce for 8 years starting as a Business Adviser, for the past three years she has managed a range of projects and contracts for EBD including Business Gateway.

Genevieve Shaw has joined the Edinburgh office of WA Coastal & Marine, the UK’s leading provider of heritage services to the marine sector. Genevieve will have principal responsibility for marine geophysical survey across Scotland. She has already undertaken a significant amount of work on renewables and offshore developments and will be exploring the potential for terrestrial geophysical survey in the Scottish market.

BC February/March 2012

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Freephone: 08000

289 789

Email: Web:

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We provide free professional advice and guidance for safeguarding your premises, staff and customers. All our Door Stewards are fully trained, SIA Licensed and fully insured for your peace of mind All our Door Stewards are skilled in drug awareness, conflict management, first aid, customer service and remain alert and vigilant at all times to address any situation that may develop.

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Supervised access can also be provided to Contractors, Surveyors, Deliveries and Collections. Our very visual, Security Warning Boards can be displayed around the exterior of the premises to act as a permanent deterrent

BC issue 15.indd 51

GLASGOW 0141 244 0179

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