Business Connect 12

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connect business


Thousands offer views on airport’s plans

chamber news features business news views interviews




University puts ‘Person-centred Practice’ at the heart of education

Business Connect is a joint Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian Chambers of Commerce publication. ALL EDITORIAL AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES: For Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Tel: 0131 603 5040 email: Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Moulsdale House 24D Milton Road East Edinburgh EH15 2PP

For West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Tel: 01506 412909 email: West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Alba Centre, Alba Business Park Rosebank, Livingston EH54 7EG

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Thousands offer views on airport’s plans



Capital team takes on Rob Roy Schiehallion’s Shadow


Chief Executive: Linda Scott




The 2016 Midlothian & East Lothian Business Awards are open for entry!

Chief Executive: George Archibald

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Thousands offer views on airport’s plans to change flight path

Contents Chamber News Premier Partners Members News Members News Members News Members News Business News Ask the expert Business News

Pupils show they are simply the best

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Big Interview


Members News


Chamber Feature


Members News


Chamber News


Members News


Business News


New Members


Member Close Up


Premier Partners

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The 2016 Midlothian & East Lothian Business Awards are open for entry! n Best Employer for Students & Graduate

The 2016 Business Awards are back and with two new categories, including Small Business of the Year and Excellence in Customer Service, this year’s Awards are set to be bigger and better than ever.

The Chamber Business Awards recognise and reward business success across Midlothian & East Lothian with a range of specialist categories to meet the needs of any organisation. Entry to the Awards is free and this year’s categories include: n Business High Growth & Innovation n Best Family Business n Best Green Business n Best Company for Youth Engagement n Social Enterprise of the Year

Recruitment n Small Business of the Year n Excellence in Customer Service n Local Business Hero n Networker of the Year

From raising your profile to boosting staff morale and from showcasing your successes to simply being heralded as the best in your county or sector, there are many reasons why you may benefit from entering the Chamber Business Awards this year. Here are some of the winners from the 2015 Business Awards: Icon Fabrications who design, fabricate and install steel and metalwork structures won the Best Business High Growth and Innovation award. The Best Company for Youth Engagement went to Dobbies Garden Centre whose Lasswade team was involved in a volunteer programme and work placements including working with local schools. The Social Enterprise of the Year was Midlothian Sure Start who provides a community-based family service aimed at giving children the best start. The Best Employer for Students and Graduate Recruitment was MacTaggart Scott, a privatelyowned engineering company providing solutions and supports for Naval Defense and marine industries.

George Archibald, Chief Executive of Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We had an exciting response from Mid and East Lothian businesses for these awards last year, and reading some of the nominations, proves that there is an exceptionally strong spirit of enterprise within the region. “There are some fascinating success stories to be told and, what is perhaps more surprising, is how committed many businesses are to making a positive impact on their communities. The Awards are now open for entry until 7th September 2016 and winners will be announced at our prestigious Business Exhibition and Awards Dinner on Wednesday 26th October at the Brunton, Musselburgh. To enter and for more info Visit





QMU puts ‘Person-centred Practice’ at the heart of education

A Scottish university is putting ‘Person-centred Practice’ at the heart of education in an effort to make positive and lasting changes to the country’s health and social care sector. Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Musselburgh, East Lothian, which already has an internationally renowned Division of Nursing, has launched Scotland’s first Masters degree in ‘Person-centred Practice’. Person-centredness is a concept that is focused on placing ‘the person' at the heart of decision-making in the health and social care sector. To do this effectively requires a commitment to understanding how the context of care impacts on the individual, the team and organisational experience. The Centre for Person-centred Practice Research at QMU aims to be a world leading centre for research and development in person-centred practice with a focus on innovative new knowledge in health and social care. The Centre has a focus on research that enhances service users experiences of care across a variety of care settings.


The new MSc Person-Centred Practice is designed to meet the professional needs of practitioners from all disciplines working in a variety of different health and social care settings. The programme will appeal to practitioners, policy-makers and other research users in the health and social care field including those of gerontology, dementia care, public health, long-term conditions and palliative care. The new development reinforces NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government’s strategic priority of delivering personcentred care. Working in partnership with people, carers and families to deliver care which meets their needs is a vital part of their 20/20 Vision for Health and Social Care. QMU has developed a Masters in Personcentred Practice Framework with a suite of course routes which place the values of person-centredness at their core. These routes offer health and social care practitioners with the opportunity to build upon their experience and develop an understanding of the knowledge and evidence that positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of persons, groups and populations. Bill Lawson, Programme Leader for the MSc Person-Centered Practice at QMU, said: “We’re proud to be taking a lead in putting person-centred practice at the heart of higher education in Scotland and internationally. Our new programme aims

to enable practitioners from different work backgrounds to contribute to the health and well-being of persons, groups and populations in a way that is consistent with the values of person-centredness. Teaching staff include internationally renowned person-centred practice academics; Professor Brendan McCormack (Head of Division of Nursing) at QMU and Professor Jan Dewing (Sue Pembrey Chair in Nursing) at QMU. Commenting on the new MSc PersonCentred Practice, QMU’s Professor McCormack, said: “The new innovative programme is paving the way for a new strategic direction within the Division of Nursing at QMU and has already seen the University create a new research centre for person-centred practice earlier this year. For more information on the MSc PersonCentred Practice at QMU and to apply, visit: or E: blawson@qmu. For more information on the Centre for Person-centred Practice Research at QMU, visit: knowledge/centre-for-person-centredpractice-research.aspx




State-of-the-art Training Centre in Edinburgh With more than 40 years’ experience in delivering quality training courses and exceptional state-ofthe-art conference and meeting facilities, GTG Training is the perfect option for all your business needs.

Based on Queen Anne Drive, Lochend Industrial Estate, GTG Training Edinburgh is right on the doorstep of Edinburgh Airport. The facility was opened by record-breaking cyclist, Mark Beaumont and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 2015. The move came after the centre already had 20 years’ presence in the city’s Sighthill area. The state-of-the art facility offers flexible space ideal for conferences, events and meetings, designed to host events of varying sizes. The 220-seat theatre-style conference suite is ideal for large events and ceremonies and there is an additional seven rooms of varying sizes designed for meetings and training. Work has recently been completed to increase the room offerings from five and two boardrooms have been added. The Wallace room is suitable for up to

eight delegates and the Gall room can accommodate six delegates. Both of these new rooms benefit from natural daylight and air conditioning.

West Midlands and caters for every aspect of automotive technical and transport training in addition to business skills and computer and IT training.

Rooms for hire are suitable for all types of presentations thanks to the equipment available such as Wi-Fi, dry marker board and flip charts, projectors and screens as well as top of the range audio equipment. GTG can provide lunch and refreshments as part of the hire from the onsite café.

Located close to major road networks GTG is the ideal location for guests travelling near or far and for visitors travelling by car a large free onsite car park is available. In close proximity to the centre is accommodation options from budget to 5-star hotels with easy access to the full range of bars, restaurants and visitor attractions the city has to offer. For more info -

Edinburgh GTG mirrors the two other GTG Training sites situated in Glasgow and the

Countdown commences for Restoration Yard and Fort Douglas summer opening Dalkeith Country Park’s new retail, food, drink and wellbeing space, named the Restoration Yard, is set to open its doors on Monday 25 July. More than £7million has been invested in the new offering by the park’s owner, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the redevelopment has created around 50 new jobs. Alongside the renovated Stableyard, the new 1,000m2 Fort Douglas playground, opens on the same day, will take pride of place in the heart of Dalkeith Country Park.


of additional activities is currently being developed by Visitor Services Manager, Andrew Elmer.

The impressive adventure playground features a network of high-rise walkways, balance blocks, log walks, jungle climbers, jumping disks, climbing walls, balancing boards, suspended tyres, basket swings and tube slides.

park’s previous Stableyard area as well as a glass-walled restaurant space looking out across the river Esk. The Restoration Yard’s exciting concept has been developed in partnership with Amanda Pratt, designer and previous owner of Ireland’s leading retail and food experience, Avoca.

The Restoration Yard will feature two floors of shopping situated in the

The park’s walking and cycling routes have also been upgraded and a programme


Andrew said: “We already offer some fantastic activities including an actionpacked Bushcraft Survival workshop. We’re expanding the programme to include zorbing, arts and crafts and a bike hire service. Not only will the redevelopment reinvigorate the park and provide visitors from the local area and beyond with a truly unique experience; it will create a number of jobs in the local area.” “We’re confident the redevelopment, coupled with a brand new activity programme, will position Dalkeith Country Park as a must-visit destination for families across the region.” For more info www.



Lothian Broadband Networks - bridging the digital divide Can you remember the dark days of ‘Dial-up’? Ten minutes to download a high-res image of your dad’s cat because he always sends you the full file. Those things should be a memory now, a thing of history, from a time when S Club 7 were in the charts. Superfast broadband is pretty much expected now, and not just in towns and cities. Some consider it a Human Right even. You need that speed for your business, your children’s homework, for streaming music and TV. You want a fondu set, you want to buy it now. Fast internet speed adds value to your property and is as important, if not more, than transport connectivity or schools. The Lothians are just a stone throw from the technology super-hub of Edinburgh. You can see the capital from even a modest hill. Yet much of this area is considered rural, with poor or very poor internet and is highlighted in the map drawn up by Community Broadband Scotland (CBS). These rural communities are in danger of falling behind. So, let’s introduce ourselves. We are Lothian Broadband Networks Limited. Our origins can be traced back to a community broadband group for the village of Garvald, tucked away in the folds of the edge of the Lammermuir hills. That was more than a decade ago, and we have since grown into a privately owned company, based in Humbie. Humbie is a typically beautiful village in the heart of East Lothian. It sits just a few miles from Edinburgh. A wonderful place to live and work, with a great community and typically challenging internet speeds.

areas. For customers in landscape shadows we try to work with local landowners to install repeaters to relay the signal around the obstacles. Lothian Broadband Networks are bringing local communities and businesses into the digital age. Helping them compete on the World Stage in the global market. Downloading a huge file of a photo of your dad’s cat and everything else in-between. It all helps to keep rural areas vibrant and very much alive and working. To find out more about Lothian Broadband Networks, contact us on 01620 698001, or visit us online at

Lothian Broadband won the tender to build and operate HumbieNET, the area’s own fast broadband solution, that covers Fala, Humbie and the surrounding countryside. Local businesses are now reaping the benefit of fast internet connections. No longer do the people here need a phone line to link to the web. Bill Gates famously promised communication at the speed of light. Well, we are pretty much there. Sit in the Humbie Hub cafe and log on to the free WiFi and you get a great cup of coffee and the web at extremely fast speeds. Our Fixed Wireless system works on the basis of line-of-sight. It uses specific frequencies of the radio spectrum to transmit the signals through the air. We can distribute the signals around the landscape with relays and access points. Lothian Broadband has been busy building their infrastructure of masts and base stations across East Lothian and into Midlothian. The prime mast overlooks Haddington. Other masts get the signal out to the more remote

Superfast broadband in rural areas No phone line required

01620 698001 -





NSD Digital Printing Open Day

NSD International is the trading name of The Simpson Label Company, a Dalkeith based printing company specialising in the production of high quality self-adhesive labels. Established in 1858 the company continues to supply a mix of customers ranging from artisan local producers to multinational household names. They recently held an open day for their customers to showcase the digital printing capabilities of their latest investment; a Hewlett Packard 7 Colour Digital Press. The digital press is considered to be the market-leader narrow web printing solution for digital label production, delivering high productivity, wide versatility and intelligent colour automation.

Customers were able to hear from NSD suppliers about innovations in inks and materials that would provide additional options in their packaging offerings. A tour of the factory culminated in a live demonstration of the HP Digital press.

The open day also provided the opportunity to introduce customers to other printing solutions that NSD is able to offer such as peel and read labels, on pack promotions, tags and its unique food coding label system for food safety Labellord.

While the company still provides traditional printing through its conventional printing process it is the short lead times and minimal set up costs which make digital printing the ideal solution for smaller production runs. This was demonstrated at the open day where customers were asked to pose for the camera and their ‘smiling faces’ were printed digitally onto self-adhesive labels which were presented to them at the end of the open day.

For more information or to make an enquiry about your label and digital printing requirements please contact where the team will be happy to help.

Gilmerton House - a stunning exclusive use venue


Where better to consider holding your next event, than Gilmerton House in East Lothian. Home to the Kinloch family for over twelve generations, this 5-star luxury private retreat offers an exceptional level of accommodation and service.

With extensive grounds it is also an ideal location for many outdoor activities. Our dedicated team will ensure that we cater for your every need and create as relaxed or as formal an occasion as you require. Fully inclusive tailored packages are available.

Gilmerton House offers 10 luxury bedrooms and a selection of public rooms for dining, relaxing or meeting. Combined with our professional and experienced service, the house is a very flexible venue and suited to any private or corporate event.

Exclusive hire of Gilmerton House overnight for 20 guests, starting from ÂŁ3,500.00 including VAT per night. For further information, please contact: Fay Angus-Knowles - General Manager, T: 01620 880 342 E:




Growth… or overtrading? All the signs are right. Impressive sales figures, short term profits are good and business appears to be booming. Sometimes, however, these do not necessarily indicate ongoing success!

How to avoid overtrading n Maintaining accurate management

accounts that will alert you to the warning signs of overtrading. n Adopting practices such as Just In Time

Overtrading – what is it and why does it happen? The above signs can also be an indicator of overtrading. Overtrading occurs when businesses expand their operations too quickly, resulting in cash flow issues because too much capital is tied up in raw materials, finished goods or work-inprogress. These cash flow problems can be further exacerbated by the need to invest in new assets to facilitate growth, such as premises, vehicles, machinery, computers, etc. Overtrading businesses eventually face liquidity problems and/or run out of working capital.

Here, small business expert Carrie Campbell, Partner with awardwinning accountants Thomson Cooper, looks at identifying overtrading and how to avoid it.

The warning signs What to be aware of n Rapid growth in business development

and sales. n Cash flow problems or short of working

capital. n Having many unpaid creditors. n High level of interest / debt servicing


stock control systems to help reduce capital tied up in stock and free it for up use in more effective ways within the business. n Manage cash flow by trying to put

together a cash flow forecast, monitoring and maintaining it.

How to promote healthy growth There are many ways of telling whether your growth is healthy through a review of your profit and loss statement or balance sheet. Calculating the percentage growth of sales and comparing to the percentage growth of earnings. If sales are growing faster than earnings, that could be bad news. The bigger the gap, the more potentially ‘unhealthy’ the growth. If you’d like to discuss anything I’ve covered here please feel free to email me at or call 0131 226 2233 and we can meet up. I can help you set up and interpret effective management accounts and cash flow forecasts as required. My first consultation is free.

n High gearing ratio. n Overstock or slow movement of






Capital team takes on Rob Roy Schiehallion’s Shadow The Capital Document Solutions Rob Roy team undertook the Schiehallion’s Shadow, raising money for The Martin Currie Rob Roy Charitable Foundation. The challenging Schiehallion’s Shadow comprised a 16 mile “walk” from Pitlochry to Kenmore followed by a 56 mile cycle from Kenmore to West Loch Rannoch and back to Kenmore. The Martin Currie Rob Roy Charitable Foundation was run by staff of the Edinburgh-based investment management business. Their main event was the Martin Currie Rob Roy Challenge which is held annually in June and since it was launched in 2006 it has seen hardy entrants raise almost £3m for a variety of worthy charities. It is now one of the most successful fundraising events held in Scotland. The Rob Roy Challenge annual charity partner for 2016 is Mercy Ships. With the 2016 Martin Currie Charitable Foundation (MCCF) the charity partners include Breast Cancer Now, Cyrenians, Maggie’s, Marie Curie and Mercy Corps.

Team Capital: Mark Harvie, Paul Calvert, Gordon Affleck, Gary McLennan, Andy Wood and Gary Allan who completed the full course – Schiehallion’s Shadow.

Mark Harvie said: “We are thrilled with the level of support that we have received from family friends and colleagues and we hope that the fundraising will make a difference to the charities who will benefit from this year’s event”.

Festival and this year they have teamed up with Monchyle Mhor. The festival included food & drink, music, kids entertainment, a market and to end the day their legendary fireworks display commenced at 10:30pm.

At the end of the strenuous day the Rob Roy Challenge was followed by the KenMhor

Close Brothers Asset Finance wins Freight Industry Times Award Close Brothers Asset Finance’s Transport division has been crowned Multimodal Performance winners at the Freight Industry Times Awards 2016. The award recognises companies and individuals that have delivered an outstanding contribution to the sector and its customers, achieving outstanding levels of service. Winners are recognised by both customers and the sector as leaders in their field. Colin Swanston, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted and very proud to have won this prestigious award, which is recognition of the leadership role we play in the Transport industry.



“This is also reward for our continued focus on placing customers first and developing long-term partnerships that allows us to offer unrivalled levels of service. The fact that our customers voted for us means a great deal, and to be recognised by the Freight Industry Times is a great accolade and we are thrilled to have been named as winners.”

Close Brothers Asset Finance can work with you to provide finance, helping to spread the cost of purchasing new assets or even releasing much needed working capital from your current fleet or equipment. If you want to discuss possible finance options please contact us on 01355 572 370



Red Teaming – A New Paradigm for Improving Decisionmaking in Business The term Red Teaming and the processes it uses may be familiar to some of you. It is likely, however, that the majority of business managers and leaders have either not heard of it, or misunderstand what it is. Put simply, Red Teaming is a process for improving decisionmaking and avoiding costly mistakes.

The concept of Red Teaming as a means to improve decision-making in business is a relatively recent development that has gained particular traction in the USA and Canada. Rooted in military and intelligence analysis, the concept originally expanded into other spheres of government use before being adopted by the business community. While the IT industry has been at the forefront of the use of a form of Red Teaming to test security issues, there is so much more to Red Teaming than security penetration testing. True Red Teaming gives business leaders and their people a set



of unparalleled analysis, creative thinking and testing tools designed to assist with decision-making, problem-solving and project management at all levels within a business. The term ‘Red Team’ comes from the Cold War practice of US officers taking a Soviet, i.e. ‘Red’ perspective. (The Soviets did the same thing and called it a ‘Blue Team’). US officers would ‘think red’, in an attempt to expose weaknesses in their own plans and systems, rather than mirror-image US thinking onto the Soviets. More recently, Red teaming has developed into a carefully structured process, and is now based on a number of core techniques; these techniques are used in a structured and logical manner, systematically checking assumptions and the quality of information that forms these assumptions, while applying creative thinking and rigorous challenge to ensure the most robust solution.

What do Fighter Pilots have in Common with Business Managers and Leaders? Understanding the implications of what is happening in any given situation is crucial in so many walks of life. If we were to use one term to describe what Red Teaming can offer a business, it would be ‘to improve Situational Awareness’. We passionately believe that Red Teaming can improve Situational Awareness. But what is Situational Awareness? Simply put, it is knowing what is going on around you – What is happening?

What does it mean? What should I do about it? Fighter pilots and other military personal have used the term for decades. They live and breathe it. Without it, they would lose the fight, literally. In everyday situations, all aircrew require Situational Awareness in order to conduct their tasks, and to fly safely. The better they are in gaining it, the more effective they are in achieving their aims and staying alive. This might appear exaggerated, but the same processes and skills required to gain Situational Awareness used by fighter pilots are pertinent in business and can be taught. Fighting Edge was formed in 2014 by three former Royal Air Force officers and aviators – Kenny Reeves, Colin Wills and Anthony Horrigan. We use our many years of experience flying in F-4 Phantoms, the Tornado F3 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, to deliver unique guidance on the use of Red Teaming to gain Situational Awareness and consequently make better decisions. This experience was honed and refined over many years, being applied daily not only in a supersonic fighter cockpit, but also in the analysis of both rival and friendly forces, the development of new and innovative tactics and procedures, and the rigorous testing of ideas and information. Our Red Teaming experience extends to several other government departments, such as Defence Intelligence and the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory. Both these organisations are at the forefront of using Red Teaming as a fundamental tool to test assumptions and hypotheses, helping


advertorial To that end, Red Teaming helps you to see the whole system, to understand the internal and external influences, to expose the assertions and flawed assumptions that can wipe out a risk budget or even bring a project to its knees. It looks for gaps in evidence, misconceptions masquerading as truth, and hidden opportunities as well as threats and risk. To make the best, most informed decisions, you need to have an understanding of how all of the above can impact on every strategy, concept, plan and project you undertake. Red Teaming provides the tools and techniques to achieve that.

to mitigate or avoid poor decisions. We passionately believe that the Red Teaming techniques used by fighter pilots and other military personnel are as pertinent to businesses as they are in this dynamic environment.

Cognitive Bias Good decision-making is fundamental to business success, whether in strategic development, investment, procurement, project planning or daily operational delivery. Yet a recent report from an IBM Global Business Survey revealed a shocking statistic that 59% of all major projects fail to deliver on time, budget or quality, with 15% failing completely, often with catastrophic results. All planning and decision-making is vulnerable to a large number of common pitfalls, including unchallenged assumptions, confirmation bias, groupthink and deeply ingrained mind-sets, all of which increase the chances of flawed judgements and mistaken forecasts. As individuals, much of our behaviour is driven by stereotypes and preferences that operate automatically and unconsciously. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all tend to favour one thing over another. When you are aware of it, you are conscious of the fact that you are biased and may try to address it; when you are unaware, you’ll believe you haven’t made up your mind and can be trusted to treat both things equally. Since businesses and organisations are made up of individuals, each with their own conscious and unconscious biases, those institutions in turn are subject to


0203 151 1556 those same biases, often reinforced by the conformity inherent in most organisations. Red Teaming seeks out and challenges those flaws, delivering reliable analysis, innovative solutions and rigorous scrutiny to allow for better, more informed decision-making.

Cognitive bias encompasses the intrinsic thinking errors that we all are prone to make in processing information. These mistakes prevent us from accurately understanding what is going on around us, that is, gaining Situational Awareness; this is even when we have available all the appropriate data and evidence to form an accurate view. Cognitive bias is intrinsic to any decision-making; any system of acquiring information that attempts to establish facts must include processes that look for bias, otherwise it is fundamentally unsound.




FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE your hotel of choice…..


The Dunmuir Hotel is one of Dunbar’s leading hotels and we are proud this year to have achieved the Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award - one of only 10 hotels in Scotland. Also the Wedding Dates Wedding Venue (East Lothian) Award and the Best Bar None Gold Award.

At the end of last year we were delighted to welcome Paul Sellers as Head Chef. Paul has revamped the menus at the Dunmuir Hotel, creating an exciting selection of dishes that offer something for everyone.

He works with a lot of game and fish, and his signature dish is beef medallions The 1902 Bar & Grill have established a fine accompanied by the new purple heritage reputation for the quality of the cuisine potato. The menu changes to reflect the and service. There’s also a licensed outdoor seasons, and produce is locally sourced area for relaxing when the sun is shining. wherever MC16061709_Advert_PRINT.pdf 1 24/06/2016 09:13possible.



Our Goldenstones Suite is ideal for those small or large events up to 150 people and is totally self-contained. We have our own car-park and Dunbar is served by a direct rail service to and from Edinburgh. Call now on 01368 862033 or e-mail



Experience sharing for engineers of the future is a key investment for business growth Established in 1992, CPA Engineered Solutions Limited occupies large industrial premises in the very heart of Scotland’s industrial belt and we are proud of our rich heritage, woven from the steelworks, coal mines and shipyards of this nation.

Our most valuable asset is our people and our strongest passion is customer service. Originally established to provide planned maintenance and repair services for industrial compressed air equipment, the company won business from some of the World’s largest companies many of whom are located in West Lothian. Driven by a management team with a strong desire to succeed, the Company quickly expanded into other product lines wherever clients demanded a solution to a production or manufacturing challenge. Product innovations include; airknife drying systems, HVAC high power germicidal UVC emitters and, more recently, HVLS energy recovery fans and low energy ventilation systems. Our energy saving air barriers are manufactured in-house to a Canadian design and are specified to operate in the toughest conditions.

responsibility in the chain of actions that ensures we “pass the baton” in dealing with the needs of our customers.

We operate a genuine 24-hour emergency helpline where enquiries are handled by our technical helpdesk. Out-of-hours calls are directly connected to our on-call engineers. At all times customers can be assured that they will be connected to the right person. That customer relationship is key and every member of the team understands their

With a broad Mechanical and Electrical capability, our engineers are time served in their field and this is augmented by a robust programme of continuing professional development. Many of our people are DipCAM graduates holding the BCAS Diploma in Compressed Air Management. As an organization, we are BCAS-Airsafe,


We pride ourselves in our people focused culture where our dedicated Account Managers are supported by technical product specialists, each highly knowledgeable in a specific range of equipment, its applications and solutions. We have our own in-house design capability which supports the engineering output and where solutions to client challenges are be engineered from the drawing board forward. A well-established skills development programme has upwards of 4 apprentices progressing through training at any one time. We believe that the transfer of skills from our experienced engineers to our next generation is critical and they represent a key investment in the future of the business.

Refcom/Fgas and SafeContractor accredited. Testament to our commitment to the development of our people are some statistics from our personnel records where over 20% of our team have over 15 years’ service, almost 30% are under 25 and the average age is 37. We have invested extensively in skills development within IT and our industry leading Total Access Database monitors our day-to-day business but for customers it provides real-time, on-line reporting of worksheets and equipment histories via our secure web portal, giving guaranteed compliance, day or night. We firmly believe that it is not our premises, products, stock or even our customers that make us special. It is our people; they are driven by the challenge of change and improvement, by innovation and development and by a desire and passion to succeed.




Company announces development of site including student accommodation, block management, commercial property and residential lettings. With this comes the stability, knowledge and experience to provide your ideal office and workspace solution. Where commercial workspace is concerned, Omnia Offices has the business aim of providing flexible commercial workspace to companies and organisations of all sizes who choose not to be tied down by standard leasehold agreements.

Omnia Offices have announced their development of a new wing at Systems House within the Alba Business Park.

Jackie Plumb, Regional Manager for Omnia Offices said: “We are really excited that we are able to offer such high quality offices to supply the demand of small businesses in the area. Due to the great location and services on offer, we are confident that this is a superb opportunity for start-up businesses that may need flexibility.”

Alba Business Park offers a mix of flexible business space close to Livingston centre within an attractive parkland setting with mature woodland and water features. Ideally situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow, there is convenient access to the M8, Livingston North and South Railway Stations with Edinburgh Airport just a 15 minute drive away. Systems House is a purpose-built office building which has flexible, open-plan office accommodation. It is in a desirable waterside environment, and tenants benefit from the wide range of amenities on and off site. As Omnia have offices available of all sizes, they are thrilled to provide an offering for businesses of all sizes who may wish to have an office in this prestigious location at an obtainable cost. It is a professional, welllocated and designed working environment for business, staff and clients. Serviced offices are a real alternative to

traditional leasehold office space. Omnia Offices gives you flexible accommodation that’s tailored to your business needs, whether your business is up-sizing, downsizing, opening a satellite branch or just looking for a more flexible arrangement. With a number and range of purpose-built office blocks, there are Omnia buildings in city centres and business parks across the UK. Formed in 2004, Omnia Offices are part of the Omnia Property Group, which works across all areas of the property market

“We are really excited that we are able to offer such high quality offices to supply the demand of small businesses in the area. Due to the great location and services on offer, we are confident that this is a superb opportunity for startup businesses that may need flexibility.”

Work at £4million Linlithgow Partnership Centre gets under way Work has started on a new £3.9 million Partnership Centre in the heart of Linlithgow. Contractor and West Lothian Chamber member Maxi Construction has been appointed to undertake the full refurbishment of the town’s County Buildings and turn them into a modern Partnership Centre. The existing Grade B listed building will be fully refurbished to allow a range of different uses to be accommodated. Plans are to relocate a number of facilities in the completed building including; Linlithgow Library, Customer Information Services, Local History Library, Family History Society, Annet House, St Michael’s Day Centre for the elderly. There will also be accommodation for Police Scotland who will be relocating from the nearby police station. Caption for photo (attached) West Lothian Council Leader John McGinty is pictured (left) handing the key for the building to Barry Simpson, Construction Director, Maxi Construction Limited





Outsourcing – the benefits Delighting HMRC, your bank and Companies House You can sleep easy at night knowing that you are complying with all your statutory obligations at HMRC and at Companies House. Plus it’ll be a lot easier to persuade lenders to finance you as you grow and develop the business.

Paying your employees on time every time and dealing with RTI and auto enrolment stuff Your employees are probably one of your biggest assets. Outsourcing your payroll function means salaries are processed accurately and on time and you don’t have to worry about all the red tape arising from RTI submissions and pensions auto enrolment responsibilities.

Gaining greater access to a qualified skill base

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eh22 eh22 3fb 3fb You can sleep easy at night knowing that you are complying with all your statutory obligations at HMRC and at Companies House. Plus it’ll be a lot easier to persuade lenders to finance you as you grow and develop the business.


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Your bookkeeping will be carried out to a consistently high standard by well qualified staff. Plus you’ll get regular management accounts prepared on time, tailored specifically to your needs.

dedicated account manager

Your headache of having to hire and retain good quality bookkeeping and payroll staff disappears. Plus there’s no downtime or costs for sickness or holidays.

Carol Wright is a Partner in Springfords LLP, accountants and business advisors to SMEs, with offices in Midlothian and West Lothian

dedicated account manager

Reducing your HR burden

Springfords have an increasing number of clients for whom we provide a complete outsourcing solution. If you would like more information about this service then please contact Carol Wright at or call her on 0131 440 5000.

people people

With advancements in technology over the past few years, efficient and economic outsourcing of your accounting and payroll function is now possible for all businesses, large and small. So what are the benefits of utilising an external team of accounting staff and payroll experts?

three three offices offices

Edinburgh: 0131 440 5000 • Livingston: 01506 242 002 • Falkirk: 01324 227606

Edinburgh: 0131 440 5000Email: • Livingston: 01506 242 002 • Falkirk: 01324 227606 Email:





The Private Rented Sector in 2016 Predictions are that by 2025, 7.2 million households will be renting – almost 1 in 4 of the UK total. If this is indeed the case, there will be more people renting privately than owning with a mortgage. As such, the Private Rented Sector is set to keep growing over 2016. With increased growth, comes increased regulation, and landlords have certainly felt the force of this over the last couple of years. The penalties for non-compliance range from hefty fines, to loss of rent and criminal proceedings being brought against landlords. It is therefore essential that you are ticking all of the regulatory boxes, or that you have a reputable letting agent dealing with this for you.



Regulations include Energy Performance Certificates; Landlord Registration; Landlord Gas Safety Certificates; Electrical Installation Condition Reports; Portable Appliance Testing; Smoke and Heat Alarm installation; Legionella Risk Assessments; House in Multiple Occupation licenses if applicable. There are also requirements to meet the Repairing Standard. There are further challenges ahead for landlords and investors with the introduction of the 3% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT); the buy to let tax changes; and the end of the 10% wear and tear allowances. There are also the proposed changes to the way tenancies are run with the new Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill.

let portfolio. This should enable mortgage interest to be offset against income. Investment focus may switch to higher yield investment types, such as cheaper properties in less good parts of towns. The Private Rented Sector remains a powerful asset class for investors - rents are at an all-time high, voids are at an all-time low, and with some careful strategic planning landlords will be able to reap the rewards from their investment. Speak to the experts and plan ahead – The Key Place are qualified and very happy to advise. Linda Bendle, The Key Place, 6 Bank Street, Penicuik, EH26 9BG. 01968 674601;; www.

This is certainly not a time when landlords can stick their heads in the sand and hope that everything will be OK. For now, being a landlord is all about planning and strategy. There are ways around the tax changes for savvy forward thinking landlords which will allow them to profitably grow their portfolios in coming years. Those with no mortgages or small mortgages will be unaffected by the tax changes and so will continue to generate income, whilst those with larger mortgages can set up a company through which to run their buy to


HOW WE HELPED JOHN develop his own oil company Braw Beard Oils is a rapidly growing personal grooming brand that’s selling across the globe. Having developed a strong range of products, owner, John Jackson, turned to Business Gateway to help hone his marketing strategy. Four years on from its launch, Braw Beard Oils has secured a host of fans including Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst, and MMA fighter, Robert Whiteford. Support from Business Gateway has helped John develop a social media strategy that’s built brand awareness, driven online sales and secured distribution worldwide.

Business Gateway’s social media support has proved invaluable. John Jackson, Owner, Braw Beard Oils

How we helped: • 1 to 1 business support • Global connections • Social media training • Networking opportunities

To grow your business, call 0131 516 5035 or visit


Travel Time regulations – your questions answered What’s recently changed with travel time legislation? A European Court of Justice ruling on travel time means that the time travelling to and from the first and last appointments in a given working day should be regarded as working time. Under this ruling, employees with no fixed office can count the travel time towards their 48 hour working week.

Which employers are most likely to be affected? Employers who employ predominantly salaried workers with no fixed office shouldn’t see a change in their wage bill, but care providers, firms with sales reps, and trades companies are most likely to be affected.

What are the key issues for employers to be aware of? Organisations from a wide range of industries may be in breach of not only European Working



Time Directive (WTD) Law, but also quite possibly National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) laws if salaries drop beneath these rates as a result of increased working hours. We have seen no challenge on breaches on NMW or NLW related to travel time and WTD yet, but it may come and employers should be aware.

Weighing up potential pros and cons, will the travel time regulations help SMEs? Care providers operating within an already over-strained industry are expecting this ruling and legislation to further inhibit their ability to perform the services they provide. The population is ageing, the National Living Wage has been introduced and working time changes could add a further level of complexity to organisations that employ staff that directly visit the homes of clients.

when over their 48 hour working week. And considering car accidents often occur from over-tiredness, we could see a positive impact here. However, adding the disruptive potential of travel time regulations to the other recent developments in employment legislation, this could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some smaller employers, demanding significant changes to the way that they operate. It’s now more important than ever to record accurately the number of hours that your employees work and how they travel and for how long. Ian Pilbeam, Owner/Director of The HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians can offer you further help and advice 0131 297 7545.

Health and safety is also a consideration. Travel time regulations should limit workers driving



Clear Mortgage Solutions join MAB to expand in Scotland Since its foundation in 2006 by Dominic Taddei, Clear Mortgage Solutions (CMS) has grown from a small family start-up to an established business across Scotland and the UK. With a new head office in Edinburgh’s New Town, a loyal client base and buoyant local market, Taddei and his team are set to become a leading broker after recently joining with Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB). Managing Director and founding partner, Dominic Taddei said: “Joining Mortgage Advice Bureau is a really exciting time for us; providing access to innovative technology systems, a highly respected brand, market leading support and knowledge, with our customers benefitting from the widest choice of lenders and products available via intermediaries. “We are really proud of what the team have achieved over the past decade. The ethos of the company hasn’t changed since day one, which is consistently delivering an impeccable level of service. We’ve got a great infrastructure and a solid client base, however the incredible opportunity we now have to leverage the MAB brand means that we’re going to be able to escalate our growth to the next level.” As Scotland’s local mortgage adviser, their service speaks for itself: “They helped with the mortgage from start to finish, and I always knew where we we’re in the mortgage process thanks again guys, 5-star service,” says Mr Kennedy and Ms Smith.

If you are looking for a new mortgage or get you and your family protected, get in touch with the team today 0800 652 6649 or email

Green Ticks BS8555 is an affordable UKAS accredited Environmental Management System. The Green Ticks Scheme has been designed by Bright Green Business to offer support on implementation, inspection and maintenance requirements of BS 8555:2003. Green Ticks will assist you to comply with legislation, reduce utility costs, boost your competitiveness, meet supply chain obligations and manage environmental risks. Bright Green Business Network aims to encourage environmental sustainability amongst Scottish businesses. Through our Network, we are building a community of like-minded businesses and individuals who are committed to developing a sustainable future. Our objective is to support financial sustainability while encouraging green practices. The Network keeps you up to date with the latest environmental news, legal updates and events across Scotland, whilst providing fantastic opportunities to promote and develop your business. For more information: email: phone: 0131 603 5040 @Shadegreener



Green Ticks inspections are certified by a UKAS accredited body.




Thousands offer views on airport’s plans to change flight path The airport is the busiest in Scotland and has experienced more growth in the past three years than it did in the ten years prior to that.

In particular, the strong levels of growth the airport has experienced since 2013 resulted in the airport handling more than 11.1 million passengers last year. However, to ensure they can handle growth whilst maintaining service levels they need to make more use of airspace and that means extending flightpaths over areas like the Lothians. To gauge public opinion, the airport has launched its consultation under the title Let’s Go Further and thousands of people have already offered their views. Director of Communications Gordon Robertson said: “Our airspace was designed in the 1970s when our airport had about one million passengers per year. Today we carry one million a month. “That means that, in order to expand, we need to develop our space but we acknowledge that such a move could have an effect on people which is why we have embarked on our biggest ever consultation.” Regulations that cover modernising airspace means that the airport is obliged to engage in an Airspace Change Programme (ACP). This ACP involves a two stage consultation process, firstly for 14 weeks up to 12 September when they are gathering views from the public.

The results of this initial consultation will help guide the design and development of potential future flight path options which will be presented in a second consultation stage scheduled to commence on December 16. Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive Gordon Dewar, said: “Our international route network has grown to become the envy of many similar sized European airports. The strong levels of growth we have experienced since 2013 resulted in the airport handling over 11.1 million passengers last year. “However, this constant growth in passenger numbers presents us with challenges. We need to modernise and improve Edinburgh Airport in a way that maximises the benefits across Scotland and minimises the impact on local communities. “The objective of the first stage of the consultation is to gain responses from the public that will help us inform the design of any potential future flight paths. We want everyone to know they have the opportunity to have their say on the positioning of potential future flight path changes. “Over the coming days, weeks and months our initial consultation will involve a leaflet drop to over 640,000 doors, will be highlighted via our vast social media reach, targeted through advertising to a TV audience of at least 900,000 as well as an outdoor advertising campaign in arterial



routes across Edinburgh and in national and local newspapers adverts. We’ll also be engaging with community groups to help us have discussions in local communities. “We are absolutely committed to undertaking a robust and meaningful consultation process; to give stakeholders even greater confidence we have commissioned the Consultation Institute to conduct a Quality Assurance of our consultation process. “This time last year we were criticised – justifiably in some cases – for not engaging thoroughly enough with our neighbouring communities before running a flight path trial. “We’ve learned our lessons and this time round will do all that we reasonably can to ensure that everyone has their say on the future growth of Edinburgh Airport.” Already, thousands of people have responded to the Let’s Go Further consultation. Gordon Dewar said: “The consultation process is going well and we are encouraged by the quantity and quality of the responses to date. “We want to encourage even more people to respond in order that we can have a clear understanding of the views from all those with an interest in this issue. “It is vital that as Scotland’s leading airport



Gordon Robertson Director of Communications

we offer both those directly impacted by any potential changes and those beyond the Edinburgh and surrounding area who have an interest the opportunity to have their say in how we update and modernise to allow us to keep delivering the best possible international connectivity for the country. “We are absolutely committed to delivering a robust consultation process and have


invited community councils to work with us to ensure that our consultation methods enable local people to participate.” According to Gordon Robertson, the airport’s expansion will have a significant beneficial effect Scottish businesses.

the wider economy. The airport supports 6,000 jobs directly but 23,000 indirectly and we put just short of £1bn into the economy a year. Our expansion will benefit businesses across Scotland, including in the Lothians.” You can offer your views at

He said: “We need to expand to accommodate our growth, which benefits




Get moving with Business Gateway In addition to one to one support the advisers can also point businesses to a wealth of free online advice and specialist guides on that will help them plan for growth.

Free workshops to help you get moving

Business owners across Edinburgh and Lothians can access expert advice to give their businesses a boost. From exporting, helping to source finance, marketing and customer care to HR, new product development and planning for growth, Business Gateway offers a programme of online advice, free workshops and one to one support that can help business owners make the right decisions.

A network of professional advisers Business Gateway has a network of professionally trained advisers who can give much needed, on the ground, support and advice to businesses with growth potential. The advisers, many of whom have run their own business or held senior positions within industry, have the skills, practical experience and network of valuable contacts to help business owners achieve their objectives.



Business Gateway’s free workshops are targeted at all stages of business development and take place throughout the year in a variety of locations across Edinburgh and Lothians. The workshops are run by experienced business advisers and cover a range of topics including online trading, selling internationally, social media, recruitment and marketing amongst many other subjects.

Business Gateway helps tech business plan for growth One business that has been supported by Business Gateway is Lothians procurement company, Procure Wizard. With a host of high profile clients and a recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation under its belt, the business is now looking to the future, with an ambitious expansion planned over the next few years. Using its dynamic online purchasing portal, the company (, which was started in 2009 and helped to

grow by Business Gateway, has modernised the procurement cycle and helped the likes of Macdonald Hotels, Gleneagles, Social Bite and Chester Racecourse increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Founder William Gorol now has ambitious plans to double the size of his business, which employs 25 people at offices in Loanhead, Edinburgh and in Liverpool, by 2018. “The Queen’s Award is really exciting for a young business and a real recognition of our biggest asset – our employees,” said William. “When we started up, it was clear that technology could add much-needed profit improvement whilst simultaneously reducing labour intensive and manual processes. We now have almost 10,000 active users who between them send over £12 million a week in purchase orders and invoices via the portal. “When we were looking to scale the business we turned to Business Gateway for advice and potential financial support that would help us develop a fresh marketing strategy; improve sales capability through recruitment and route to market improvements; and improve the company’s product range through the development of foreign currency and language versions. Their input has been invaluable to us.” To find out how Business Gateway can help you, visit or contact your local office on 0131 516 5035


PRODUCING UNDER PRESSURE PNEUMATIC PIPE STOPPERS FOR OVER 40 YEARS AND ACTIVE IN 58 COUNTRIES MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS OF LINE STOPPING & BYPASS SOLUTIONS FOR GAS, OIL, WATER & BESPOKE APPLICATIONS. Sarco Stopper has a worldwide reputation for innovative line stopping & bypass solutions. Producing under pressure stopper bags for over 40 years, including the only Kitemark GIS/E4 Gas Bag in the world to suit Ferrous & PE Pipelines.Sarco has also produced and pioneered the Hydro® Stopper Bags to deploy with the award winning WASK Aquastop and Hydrant Wizard pipeline isolation equipment for water mains.



Proximity to Edinburgh and national and international transport links Ambitious economic development aims – to make East Lothian the best place in Scotland to live, work and do business East Lothian Works – single point of advice and support to help you locate, recruit and grow One of the fastest growing populations in Scotland Strong food and drink sector, tourism and hospitality industry, sports-based businesses and manufacturing Great housing and schools options plus a university with strong links to business Sunniest climate in Scotland with beautiful coast and countryside and world-famous golfing opportunities


Weslo Property Management We are a subsidiary business of Weslo Housing Management. We offer management, maintenance and letting services to landlords in West Lothian and Falkirk. Our goal is to provide good quality homes within the Private Rented Sector to tenants of varying demographics and to drive standards up by working with landlords to ensure that their rental properties meet the required standard for letting in Scotland.

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We are in the process of developing a Tenant Patriciate Group , this will give our tenants in the Private Rented Sector the opportunity to work with Weslo Property Management to ensure we are delivering the service our tenants want and this will give tenants a platform to voice their concerns in which to express ideas and suggestions for the wider PRS. Weslo Property Management was recently crowned the best letting agent in Scotland at the ESTAS by our tenants, this is a fantastic achievement and one that should give our landlord clients comfort knowing that their tenants are being offered the best possible service whilst renting their property . Having good quality tenants who are happy and are willing to engage openly with their agents reduces the risks of rent arrears, void and anti-social behaviour.

Weslo Property Management are giving landlords the chance to earn £100 cash back when signing up to our Weslo100 campaign. WE'RE MOVING OFFICE, LOOK OUT FOR FURTHER DETAILS Tired of current letting agent? Now is the ideal time to swap and

take advantage of Weslo100.

Call 01506 639168 E:

T & Cs apply, see website

We’ve moved to 133a Glasgow Road, Bathgate, eh482qn.

Here’s Debbie and John, securing a new HR Manager. Before contacting us Debbie and John used to spend a lot of their time managing HR issues. And their team. And their clients. And their budgets. And staff training. Then they would get on with their day job. There was never enough time in the day. We have around 70 consultants who are friendly and approachable. They work across 20 sectors for clients across the UK. They’re experts at handling any people-related needs you have. Be like Debbie and John and contact us: Email us at or chat online to an expert at Our purpose is to save you time and money.

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4/5/16 5:30 PM




Norton House – enchanting mix of the old & new

Built in 1840, the house was always intended as a traditional country retreat, removed from the bustle of the city. Yet, despite the air of peace and quiet, the property has some truly world-class connections. Edinburgh is just a 20-minute drive and the international airport a mere ten minutes away. Connected yet secluded, traditional and modern, refined but never stuffy, it is this mix of contradictions that makes Norton House such an inspiring destination. Originally the 55 acre estate was a family home to the Usher family the famous whisky brewers of Smiths Glenlivet Whisky who are famously linked to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Throughout the main house you will find the initials of John Usher above the entrance to the house and the fireplace at reception.


the indulgent afternoon tea is available in our Drawing room overlooking our picturesque lawns. Ushers is an award winning 3 AA Rosette restaurant open Wednesday –Saturday, March – December.

conferences, meetings and team building events. With leisure club both for the individual and corporate memberships. the award winning spa has 5 Bubbles and 6 treatment rooms.

However, now in 2016 a Hand Picked Hotel, Norton House Hotel & Spa is a 4 Red Star Hotel with 83 bedrooms, 14 conference and private event spaces and two restaurants with a health club and spa.

The bedrooms at Norton House Hotel and Spa are an enchanting mix of the old and new. For a taste of the past, look into the main house with its original suites, period features and panoramic views. For its contemporary offerings, see the west wing, where additional Executive bedrooms and suites offer the ultimate in indulgence. Every one of these stylish rooms offers Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service and turndown. Also expect deep baths with unique Hand Picked toiletries…

Norton House caters for all functions such as weddings and private dinners as well as

The Brasserie restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if that wasn’t enough


Norton House is the ideal venue for your special occasion. Its private dining rooms offer classic style and elegance creating the right ambience for your event or party. The ambience of the room also makes it an ideal private dining venue for celebrating Christmas, anniversaries, birthday parties, engagements or family get-togethers. The Head Chef will create a special menu just for you using only the finest seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. For events held at Norton House, they offer quiet, spacious rooms, advanced technology and on the spot support: in the peaceful Scottish countryside they have created a world class base for business meetings and conferences in Edinburgh. With its excellent transport links and individual style, Norton House is a great venue for everything from conferences and presentations to team building and parties. nortonhouse



Liz Cameron OBE, Director/Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Coping with uncertainty in a post referendum world Well, they say a week in politics can be a long time. If the last week(4th July) is anything to go by, all of us have faced unexpected challenges. We cannot browse online or attend a meeting, without the shock and unexpected result of the EU Referendum featuring at the top of the agenda. The topic is being discussed and debated in our personal lives, and for those of us who have young adults in the family, observing an immense sense of frustration, anger and disbelief. We are all looking for answers, with uncertainty as to what the questions should be. The list grows by the day. It will be some time before the full implications of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union become clear. For over 40 years, the EU has subtly, and in some cases not so subtly, integrated into the veins of our infrastructure. Unpicking this will be a painstaking process but both business and our Governments will require to do this in a methodical way if all of the opportunities and challenges presented by Brexit are to be tackled. The Chamber Network adopted an impartial stance in terms of a Remain or Leave vote, recognising that our members had differing views, however all three surveys indicated the majority of business wished to remain



part of Europe. We also sought the views of members on the key issues at various stages of the debate. This intelligence can now be utilised and used as part of future negotiations. This will be our starting point. We have political uncertainty, but our message to the political parties is clear – sort it out and quickly. This is the time when our country needs strong leadership with party politics being put aside. So let me turn to, what next? I am forever an optimist, but also a realist. Our Chambers in Scotland are focussing our energy towards solutions, identifying new business models and developing an infrastructure which will enable business to continue to preserve jobs, growth, invest and do what we do best – “trade”. They say we should always learn from our history. In the 17th Century, the founding principles of why business leaders established Chambers of Commerce throughout Scotland and across the world, was to form a vehicle through which “free trade” could take place globally. We are doing just that – already, we have formed a Scottish Business European Advisory Group; we have signed new Scottish Business to Business Trade Agreements with our European Chamber Network, and will lead business discussions with government Ministers here in Scotland and

at Westminster. We will ensure that those responsible for negotiating our new Trade Agreements are clear about what business expects and needs. In summary, continued access to open trade and especially for Scotland, a free flow of labour in and out of our country. Scotland would not have functioned without the skills of labour coming in and out of Europe. Our relationships and partnerships with Europe will change but can create opportunity. Business is founded on trading opportunities; these will not disappear. I have been greatly encouraged so far by both the Scottish and UK Governments in terms of engaging with the business community. All politicians must now revisit and where appropriate change policies which hamper business competitiveness, it is within their power to do so now. Practically, the Scottish Government has a golden opportunity with devolution to explore ways in which they can support business, preserve jobs and promote investment. That is their challenge. However, whilst renegotiating an EU deal, it is important we still run the business of government and focus on the skills agenda, supportive taxation, business rates review, infrastructure investment and ensuring Scotland remains “open for business.”


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Want your business to grow? Talk about it! It’s an old adage that it’s good to talk and for Malcolm Currie it holds as true as ever in his work helping businesses to liaise effectively with their staff. Run by Malcolm, a former trade union negotiator, Strathesk Resolutions specialises in bringing together managers and their staff to come up with innovative solutions to challenges facing their companies. He said: “Mention industrial relations to most people and they will think of the days when trade unions and companies were frequently in dispute with each other but it has changed dramatically over recent years to be much more than “us and them”. “Today, industrial relations is more about bringing managers and their staff together to work in partnership to develop their businesses. “It’s about good communication. We help find ways to resolve conflicts for both sides and encourage managers to trust and listen to their staff. “To achieve this, we draw on years of experience working collaboratively and constructively to achieve the right outcome to complex workplace situations. “

Malcolm founded Strathesk Resolutions less than a year ago after more than a decade working as a Trade Union Negotiator. During that time he worked with employers in the private, public and third sectors, developing expertise in collective bargaining, dispute resolution and tackling complex individual cases. Now he and his team take the same approach into the work undertaken by Strathesk Resolutions. Malcolm said: “We deliver straightforward solutions that encourage and develop relationships based on understanding, cooperation and trust.

Malcolm has advised, coached and mentored organisations, teams and individuals to attain their goals or to work smarter and more effectively together. A trained facilitator and accredited mediator, his record is one of success, having helped organisations as diverse as aircraft engineering, academic research institutes, heritage bodies and charitable trusts to establish effective workforce consultation mechanisms to ensure greater company performance..

“Our open and honest approach ensures fairness to all sides whilst guaranteeing that the needs of both the individual and the organisation are properly considered. By adopting such an approach, managers and staff can work together to come up with ideas that benefit their company. “Ensuring that people talk to each other is important, particularly in the kind of uncertain economic times which we are experiencing now. “Having worked with trade unions for years, we understand the need for clear and concise communication, whilst influencing and negotiating in an expert manner. “During my years as a trade union negotiator I only had one case that ended in a full Employment Tribunal, and that was because the company had a policy not to agree. I was

Today, industrial relations is more about bringing managers and their staff together to work in partnership to develop their businesses.


able to resolve all of the others without the need for a tribunal.”

You can contact Strathesk Resolutions at or call Malcolm on 07736068787




Cracking the Consistency Code Everyone wants to know what the magic word or spell is to make your business a success. The honest answer is actually all about you and your commitment (and sometimes just a little bit of luck). However, there is one golden (and simple) rule any business owner can use that will help drive their company to succeed, and might just bring some luck with it.

The rule I like to call Consistency. What I mean by consistency is really very simple. You don’t have to be the best at something or provide a more premium, super-duper service compared to your competition. What you need to ensure is your service and your employees are always reliable and constantly delivering the same level of service, every single time, for every single client. Look at it this way, we don’t go to Pizza Express because we know we are going to get the most authentic pizza outside of Italy, we go because it’s convenient, reliable, and we know exactly what we are going to get. It’s this same thought process that you want your business to be known for. You want it to be seen as the Pizza Express of your industry – the reliable, knowledgeable, go-to and really delicious service. OK so maybe “delicious” doesn’t apply in your industry, but for the sake of your business’ success and maximising profits – and your own sanity – being able to get consistent, predictable, reliable results from each and every one of your employees is a must. Achieving consistency doesn’t take much but it does mean you have to be honest with



yourself. You might have a sales team that seems to be getting some serious successes, but if you look closer, are these successes down to a couple of members of the team outshining the rest? Sure, you might be getting the results but will your prospects get the same quality and attention to detail regardless of who picks up the phone? Imagine the seamless and wonderful opportunities available to you if everyone was singing from the same sales sheet. Sounds like the dream doesn’t it? But it doesn’t take much for it to be a reality.

Control Your Wild Horses Just like the wild horses on the Great Plains, your sales team can be tamed, and this is all down to discipline. If you feel motivation is dipping in your team, the discipline card always comes in handy. This isn’t about punishment, this is about addressing any negatives before they becoming problems. You’re all trying to meet a certain standard, so if you feeling this is slipping away, reassure the team, boost morale, and make sure any issues are dealt with quickly.

A Watched Clock Never Moves Don’t forget that, for all the truth in the old adage that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” that doesn’t mean the people building it weren’t pushing themselves to the breaking point. So have some patience with your team, appreciate what they are doing. and work out how you can make life easier for them. It might be delegating more work or helping them with their organisational skills. Just have a little patience, set a time frame,

and you’ll reap the rewards sooner than you think.

May The Focus Be With You Make sure you staff remain on track every step of the way, don’t let them visit the dark side, and become distracted from not only the task at hand, but the overall goal of the business. That goes for you too. Remember the 20/80 rule, 20% of your tasks are responsible for 80% of your success. So that 20% is your golden ticket, if you struggle with consistency across your entire business, at least make sure that small percentage runs like a well-oiled machine. When it comes to business we all want more results, more profit and more happy clients. I think the key to achieving this is consistency. It will create the reputation and identity you want, while also leading to some exciting and outstanding successes for you, your company, and your team. If you have any questions about how OpenCRM can help you achieve consistency heaven, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. Find us at or drop us a line at

Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems


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Specialists, Purdie Worldwide. A family run business since 1960, you can always expect a professional quality of care and service you would expect from an award winning quality based removal company. Formerly Matt.Purdie & Sons, Purdie Worldwide’s headquarters in Blackburn, Central Scotland is home to over 40,000 square feet of storage solutions available for rent in the form of containers, self store rooms or just a mailbox.

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and always with a smile. They understand how stressful a move can be for any family, and whether it’s just simple storage run or a relocation project, every job is treated with the same quality of care and service. So if you’re Email: in need for a simple move, document storage, or you fancy clearing out Email: Web: Web: the attic, why not contact today for a free no obligation quotation, our : 01506 652792 Tel:us01506 652792 Tel: 01506 652792 knowledge and expertise comes free.


Entering new markets – winning work without cutting prices

Writing bids, proposals or tenders isn’t most people’s idea of a good time, but doing it well is vital for business success when entering new markets. What’s more, if your tenders are better than your competitors’ you don’t need to cut prices to win. See how to improve from this case study from Rothera Group, a local company which specialises in training companies throughout the UK to win work. Their clients become selfsufficient and don’t have to rely on bid writing consultants.

The Challenge A recruitment agency, employing five staff, had a strong reputation for delivering services to a relatively small client base. They had established relationships with these customers and most business came from repeat engagements. The agency wanted to expand into new geographic areas where formal proposals were required. The two key staff had no experience of preparing proposal documents although they were extremely customer focused. They were used to dealing with clients informally by telephone or email.

The Process Two half-day workshops were delivered, together with four hours post-training support. Within the first workshop, the



company explored ways of identifying new markets and finding tender opportunities, as well as the benefits of having a strong library of tender material. Techniques for filtering potential opportunities were covered as well. At the end of the workshop, the trainees were tasked with developing a basic bid process prior to the next session. They were also asked to draft samples of the library materials. In the second workshop, writing techniques were practiced and critical feedback given. The company tested and refined the processes which had been developed in the first workshop. The library materials were reviewed and further tasks set to finalise the materials.

Anne Farr

Rothera Group has a return on investment calculator on their website which allows you to see the tangible benefits from investing in training. They also offer free monthly top tips to help you make your bids successful. Contact Anne Farr at: Tel: 01506 203325

Finally, the post-training support took the form of ‘hand-holding’ during the preparation of two live tenders in new areas. Both tenders were successful.


What if you could use your business property to reduce your tax bill? You can by speaking to a specialist Cavetta Consulting help our clients in identifying and obtaining tax relief, on items contained within their business property, in the form of Capital Allowances and Land Remediation Relief. We offer our clients the benefit of an experienced team which has over 25 years between them of working with a leading international property consultancy, whilst at the same time being able to offer fees which are realistic in the Scottish market and represent value for money on a par with anyone in the market.

We advise individual clients, occupiers, accountants and surveying practices of the tax savings available covering all parts of the property life cycle. Our Directors regularly travel throughout the UK, and even further when required to visit our clients and their properties. We work alongside (not instead of) your accountant in maximising this under claimed tax relief. We use our knowledge of buildings and specialist knowledge of the Capital Allowances Act to identify and properly value items qualifying for tax relief that are not immediately apparent

from the fixed asset register, invoices or construction tender documents. Since starting our practice in 2015 we have identified items qualifying for tax relief of over ÂŁ16M on projects ranging from fit outs of retail units, new developments and property purchased over 20 years ago.

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Pupils show they are simply the best Once again West Lothian’s schools have shone through, impressing judges and guests at the finals of the Mitsubishi Electric PumpIt Up Challenge with their innovative and impressive presentations. Now in its third year the challenge to secondary school pupils is to find an alternative use for a heat pump. This year’s winner Armadale Academy flew to victory with their Heat at Height idea to use warm air from aircraft engines for internal heat and de-icing the wings. Followed closely by joint runners-up Inveralmond Community High School and James Young High School. The finals ceremony was held on 13th June at Howden Park Centre, with over 200 guests, including Mr Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh and Ms Ishigami, Consul Deputy Head of Mission of Japan in Edinburgh. We were also delighted to have attending Mr Sumida, President, Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe along with Hannah Bardell MP, Angela Constance MSP, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Provost Tom Kerr and other representatives of the local council, business and education. Everyone commented, with pride, on the excellent quality of the presentations and

the enthusiasm of the finalists from all eleven West Lothian secondary schools. Consul General, Mr Matsunaga was one of the judges and impressed with the standard of ideas which included a heated kennel, a stretcher that could be cooled down or heated up, a heating system in a maternity unit operated by a hospital morgue and a heater and cooler for a greenhouse or reptile house. He said: “Scotland has a wonderful history of inventors, the first Ultrasound was developed here, this nation has John Logie Baird, James

Watt, so many inventions and I am sure that at this final we have seen the future Steve Jobs as their ideas have been so impressive.” It is hoped the project will assist budding engineers with developing various skills that could be beneficial to future career choices, especially in engineering, manufacturing and technology. Linda Scott, CEO for West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “This competition is all about encouraging Scotland’s younger generation to think outside the box and come up with clever and innovative ideas that give them a greater understanding of technology and engineering. “Ultimately, we are looking to help our younger generations learn and develop new skills and competitions such as these are great for this because they tap into a number of different skill sets such as creativity and teamwork” Rodney Ayre, Senior Department Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Air conditioning Systems Europe Ltd, said: Again this year the Pump It Up Schools challenge has shown the great pool of talent that is being developed within the West Lothian Schools, the ideas generated and the presentations shown help to emphasise the need for more collaboration between Schools and Businesses to support the development of the Academies and our future employees. Events such as these provide a platform where schools can get first-hand experience of manufacturing, renewables and in benefit to Mitsubishi Electric, the air source heat pump.




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Why an app makes sense By Sharon Comrie, Improve Communications I have a website, why do I need a mobile app? This is the most common statement we receive when talking about mobile business apps for small to medium sized businesses. Followed by, we couldn’t afford to get one developed! Apps are no longer just for big companies like Virgin Media and Sky News. The mobile trend is upon us and businesses need to understand the impact of smartphone users in order to drive sales and engagement in years to come. Yes, it’s true you can get an app fully designed, coded and can literally do anything you wish, but it will cost you the price of a brand new car…. But there are affordable options for businesses if you know what to look for. Business today need to think about building a mobile strategy that goes beyond just a mobile-friendly website. You need to consider all digital platforms and communication channels to encourage and keep up with the new wave of the shopper. Did you know that the average mobile user can spend more than two hours a day on their mobile device? Many of our clients have taken the step and are already ahead of the game in their marketing strategy.



But why would an app help your business? How often do you sit at night and want to get a quotation, book a T-off time, order clothes, arrange a viewing of a property? Your business would be open 7 days a week 24/7 while you sleep and clients are browsing You know you seen what you wanted but can’t remember the web address and you need to take to Google to search again? An app sits on the mobile, is visible and your brand is there ready to click How many times have you had to search on Google for a business address, opening hours or how to get there just as you set off to drive? The app in 2 clicks gives you all this including live map access You have a great offer to communicate but print takes a few days, adverts can be costly

and you need to pick and choose what to spend your budget on! With an app you can send an offer or update quickly and free to a mobile user as a notification Just check your purse/wallet, how many loyalty cards do you have? Too many, usually an app has it built in and creates loyalty to your product and brand If a friend recommends a product, service then you are more likely to engage! An app promotes sharing In business we always strive to be one step ahead of the competition, so showing that you are up to date with technology and making it as easy as possible for clients to engage with you from their mobile is key. If you wish to talk about a mobile app for your business from just £150 we would be delighted to hear from you.



Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber members learn ‘How to Bid and Win!’ What is the thinking behind marginal gains? The idea of marginal gains is that you break down everything that impacts on performance and then improve every little thing by 1%, the cumulative effect helps you soar above the competition. What are the similarities between cycling and bidding? n Need to prioritise – you can’t go for everything n Understand where and how you can

improve performance n Decide what you want to win and when n Break down everything and improve

every little thing by 1%

Did you know? The public sector in Scotland puts £11 billion of goods and services out to tender annually – yet, 75% of SMEs do not bid for the tendered work. There are also substantial opportunities available in the private sector. It was against this backdrop that Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce invited Andrew Morrison, Managing Director of Lothians based AM Bid Services Ltd to deliver his ‘How to Bid and Win!’ presentation for their Breakfast Club attendees on Thursday 24th March. Speaking about his successful How to Bid and Win! presentation, Andrew said: “It can be quite daunting for a company to respond to Pre-Qualification Questionnaires and Tenders. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort. Securing a long-term contract with the public sector - a client who always pays - can be a catalyst for business growth. AM Bid Services stands ready to help businesses, large and small, with the bid process and ensuring that their bids are as good as they can be”.

process and jargon has given us confidence that this area could have great potential as a value stream to our expanding business”. Michael Morton, Plant Manager, Pentland Precision “I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew’s “How to Bid and Win” presentation at the recent Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber Breakfast event. Andrew’s background as a buyer of services within the public sector means that he is well placed to be able to help navigate SMEs around the many obstacles that exist in the process”. Cynthia Guthrie, Joint Managing Director, The Guthrie Group

What bidders can learn from the GB Cycling Team

n Pay attention to the details n Hire an expert - it worked for the GB

Cycling Team! How to get Bid Ready! n Register for opportunities n Request bid documents n Review Policies and processes n Prepare Staff CVs n Case studies / references and testimonials n Consider Community Benefits n Make sure website is current, relevant and

compelling What’s the bidding benefits to you at the finish line? n Long term contracts n Secure income stream n Positive knock-on effect – one piece of

work leading to other work. n Most importantly…. BUSINESS GROWTH!

Now over to you, here’s How YOU Bid and Win!

How to Bid and Win! was a real WINNER with Breakfast Club attendees…. “The How to Bid and Win! presentation certainly opened our eyes at Pentland Precision to the opportunities with engagement with Public Contracts Scotland. As a small company we previously thought the hurdles to entry were too high until we attended the ‘How to Bid and Win!’ presentation. The simple explanation of the


For more information on the services AM Bid Services provide in order to help you Bid and Win! see the website www.ambidservices.

Sir Dave Brailsford

Bidders have much to learn from the world– beating approach which Sir Dave Brailsford took with the GB Cycling Team. This focused on ‘marginal gains’ and was transformational when put into practice.

Andrew Morrison




West Lothian Almond Engineering Michelle Seymour 01506 410880

I Multiply Resourcing Kirsty MacKenzie 0131 603 7747

Oakbank Products Ltd Robbie Corbett 01506 412937

Capital Cleaning Services Moreland McDiarmid 01506 440333

IntoWork Limited Heather Fleming 0131 475 2600

Party at the Palace Peter Ferguson 0131 629 6003

Cavetta Consulting Lois Stirling 0131 610 0056

Jackie Cormack Make Up Artist Jackie Cormack 07801 948252

RHT Group Tony McLachlan 01738 447090

Central Fleet Solution Ltd Stuart McNally 01506 639400

Julie Ellam Julie Ellam 07711 919451

CGH Creative Chris Hamilton 07843 856922

LR Quality Training Ltd Linda Reilly 07911 267543

Dacoll Ron MacFarlane 01506 815000

Maxi Construction Claire MacKenzie 01506 442233

First Group East Ltd John Gorman 01324 602200

New Day Therapy Laura Ferguson 07946 573962

Solve HR Limited Stephanie Robinson 0131 300 0433 The Centre, Livingston Jennifer Bruce 01506 432961 enquiries@thecentrelivingston Wildflower Wines Alan Chapman 01506 844220

connect business

Welcoming all our new Members to Mid, East and West Lothian Chamber of Commerce





Midlothian and East Lothian ActionCOACH/McEggleton Ltd Daniela Grendene 0131 564 0446 Business coaching firm

Dunmuir Hotel Philip Mellor 01368 862033/07557 907606 Hotel, Restaurant, Function suite

Lindhope Consultants Peter Sanderson 07980 562 240 Chartered management acccountants

Astute IT Alan Mason 0845 260 5054 IT Support and services

EAE Ltd Glen Bennett 0131 440 9444 Leaflet and poster distribution specialist

Lindsays Solicitors Hayley Ross 0131 656 5646 Full-service legal firm

Brand Satellite Giles Etherington 01896 208088 Branding services

Factotum Partnership Solutions Limited Karen Yates 07472 696025 Supporting personal & business growth & development

Brightwater Roger Green 0131 510 6902 Competitive tariffs on water & waste water services and advice on reducing usage and water efficiency Crummock (Scotland) Limited Derek Hogg 01875 823222 Civil engineering and road surfacing contractor


Happy Days Nursery Christina Walters 07889 337053/07713 435516 Children’s Nursery and childcare Indigo Rising Anthony Ogley 07585 374852 Leadership Coaching and Consultancy

Moonbeam Therapies Karen Hooton 07712 835998 Therapies Networking 4 You Sharon Ritchie 07714 986851 Connecting Business NSD International Emma Downie 0131 654 2800 Manufacturing of self-adhesive labels, Wholesale of tags Pentland Precision Ltd Gordon Hardman 0131 448 2224 Specialist engineering solutions provider





Archie Meikle

Name: Linda Scott Position: Director, Axcess Training & Recruitment Chief Executive, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Website:

What are the main activities of your business? We run a training and recruitment company aiming at encourage businesses to develop existing staff or recruit future employees with transferable skills and train them in-house. Are you enjoying what you do every day? Very much so. I love meeting with people. Through Axcess I help them get the best out of their career or move into careers they have not considered before. With the Chamber it is all about supporting business to grow and develop. As a business person describe your three main qualities: Relaxed, innovative and driven What has been your most satisfying moment in business? This to date was when I had my catering company and held an event at Gosford House for 500 travel agents from all over the world to show case what we can do. What advice would you give to young women interested in starting and advancing in a career in business? Don’t think of yourself as a woman in business just think of yourself as a person in business.

What advice would you give to others who trying to be a success at business? Never give up on your ideas many of the world’s greatest business achievements were seen as not a good idea by many. So believe in yourself and believe in your product. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Probably still in business of some sort or another, I love going to work

What do you see as your job’s biggest challenge? Finding the right candidates for the right people and doing it better than our competitors. If you could turn the clock back, what would you have changed about your business career? I would have learned more about running a business, the boring parts like the accounts, margins, profit and loss etc. before starting out on my own. The best idea in the world will not work if you don’t have these things right. What’s your favourite way to unwind?

What motivates you? Success but success can mean many things.

To spend time outside with my horses and family




Flying beats the train every time.

If it’s a choice between taking a plane or train to London, there is no better choice than flying from Edinburgh: • 5 London airports v 1 London train station • Over 50 services a day

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• A 90 minute flight v over 4 hours on a train

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