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BusinessScotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce Magazine


Scottish Chambers of Commerce opens new trade office in Yantai, China Building a better future with Foundation Apprenticeships How Mentoring is boosting Scotland

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Top Scottish entrepreneur, Tim Allan, appointed as President of SCC

My place to be: sofa 22H.

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Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Partners

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A PROMISE BY THE NATION. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

So why not publicly declare your commitment to our Armed Forces by signing up? In doing so you would

join the 1500+ UK companies who have already shown their support. Signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) is straightforward and sets companies on the path to have their pledge recognised through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). This scheme incorporates prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, granted in recognition of pledges to support defence and the Armed Forces Community. The ERS awards culminate annually with ceremonies

to recognise the efforts of the Silver and Gold Award winners. For Scottish employers the Silver Awards are held at Edinburgh Castle. AFC signatories and members of the ERS may be invited to take part in overseas exercises with Reservists in locations as diverse as Norway, Croatia and Cyprus as well as exercises based in the UK. They are also invited to participate in bespoke events. Collectively, these highlight the wide range of skills – including leadership, team-building, assertiveness and decision-making – taken back by Reservists to their civilian employers for free. For more about the AFC and what it means for you, go to You can also contact Ron Macgregor, the Regional Employer Engagement Director at Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, to find out how to get involved. Call 01382 631026 or email

Exercise Hairspring participants with Royal Marines Reservists in Norway.

Proudly supporting those who serve.


Collaboration more important than ever before Doing business in Scotland has not been without its uncertainties over the past few years, to say the least. A 2014 referendum on independence that was difficult to call right up until the last moment; a 2015 UK General Election that produced a majority that few expected; a 2016 Scottish Parliamentary Election that saw the Scottish National Party lose its majority and the Conservatives replace Labour as the main party of opposition; and the 2016 EU Referendum that confounded all the polls and put the UK on the exit route from the EU. Now, we are in the midst of dealing with a snap general election, taking place in June 2017. Of course, that is not to say that Scotland is not without its uncertainties already. We are embarking on long and detailed negotiations with the EU over the terms of our future access to the European Single Market and it will only be after the UK leaves the EU that it would be able to formalise new trade deals with other countries. In addition, we are no clearer about the long-term future of EU nationals living and working in Scotland, UK nationals living and working in the EU, or about what our future inward migration strategy might look like.

Liz Cameron OBE

Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

As we enter the General Election period, Chambers of Commerce will provide a clear and focused business voice and we intend on playing a leading role in ensuring Party Leaders and candidates have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of business. So Brexit is a reality, a General Election is underway, oil revenues are not what they were,

and the political complexion of Scotland has changed significantly. But let’s also look at the success stories. This edition profiles the great work businesses in Scotland are doing and pioneering. From Clyde Blowers investment in the USA, to Glasgow Chamber’s work in Milan and Manhattan, to the award-winning businesses in West Lothian to the success of Business Mentoring, we are all collectively playing a strong part in maintaining and driving business growth in Scotland. I am also delighted that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has contributed to this edition, outlining her recent trip to the USA and what our future economic and cultural relationship will look like with the USA. What is clear, is that collaboration between private sector, public sector and Government has become more important than ever before, especially as we navigate through these uncertain times and translate that into success for our economy and local communities. Finally, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Tim Allan as the new President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce. Tim’s wealth of experience in the private sector and in his additional interests, will bring great value to Scottish Chambers of Commerce as we take on the big challenges and opportunities facing our economy.


Contributors Nicola Sturgeon

Neil Amner

Ian McConnell

Damien Henderson

Malcolm Roughead

Charandeep Singh

Leslie Evans

Clare Alexander

Jacquelyn O’Brien

First Minister

Scottish Affairs & Media Manager, Virgin Trains

Permanent Secretary, Scottish Government

Director, SCC

Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Head of Workplace Innovation, Scottish Enterprise

Business Editor, The Herald

Head of External Relations, SCC

Business Support Executive, SCC

Business Scotland



Scottish business take the initiative on international trade Hosting the 24th Annual Business Address, Scottish Chambers of Commerce celebrated another year of business success with keynote speakers including Nora Senior, Chair, SCC, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive, Heathrow Airport. Nora Senior, highlighted the importance of business leadership and collaboration in her final speech as Chair of SCC, and outlined the Chambers’ priority to create a unique Scottish model of international B2B outreach that can withstand changes to the international trade regime brought about in the process of leaving the EU. In the spirit of collaboration and securing business growth, Nora Senior welcomed the announcement from the First Minister to support a private sector led approach to improving Scotland’s exporting performance, with SCC focusing on building permanent trading alliances

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between Chambers in Scotland and the international network of Chambers, and to support new business-led trade missions. Nora Senior added that our future as a trading nation now depends on business and government working together to answer some of the tough questions about how best to reimagine, rebuild and deepen our business, cultural, social and economic relationships around the globe. The First Minister credited the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network’s reputation on a national and international level saying: “The membership of the

Scottish Chambers of Commerce, more than 11,000 companies, already has ties to more than 180 countries and so are ideally placed to make new overseas links with businesses and Chambers, which will complement the activities of Scottish Development International. “This will act as a boost to the resources already committed by the Chamber Network and will contribute to our shared efforts to boost internationalisation.” Email: to book your table or call us on 0141-204-8316


Book your table for the 2017 Annual Business Address, taking place on Thursday 7th December 2017 at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow.

The membership of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, more than 11,000 companies, already has ties to more than 180 countries and so are ideally placed to make new overseas links with businesses and Chambers, which will complement the activities of Scottish Development International. Business Scotland



Scottish Chambers of Commerce announces new President Top Scottish entrepreneur, Tim Allan, appointed as President of SCC Scottish Chambers of Commerce announces the appointment of Tim Allan as its new President, taking on the role from Nora Senior who stands down after four years in office. Tim Allan will serve in the non-exec post from April 2017 to March 2019. Tim Allan is the Chief Executive of Unicorn Property Group, an award winning Scottish property company and is the Founder and Director of Motor Fuel Group, the second largest independent fuel retailer in the UK with more than 370 stations, turning over £2bn per year. Tim also serves as Member on the Court of the University of St. Andrew’s and was previously President of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and Chair of Young Enterprise Scotland. Tim is a recipient of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Commenting on his appointment as the new SCC President, Tim Allan, said: “I have long been a proud advocate of the role Chambers of Commerce play in Scotland and around the world and it is a great honour for me to take on the role of President during this critical time for the business community. Across Scotland, businesses are working hard to grow, to keep jobs secure and tap into new markets, and I look forward to utilising my role as President to champion the needs of business and showcase the contributions we make to Scotland’s economy.

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“The core part of my role will be informed by tackling the key challenges facing the economic landscape of our country: navigating through an uncertain and ever-shifting investment environment, the need to create a flexible, skilled workforce suited to a modern economy and increasing Scotland’s exporting performance. I look forward to working with both the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that they provide a platform for the Scottish business community to grow. In turn, Scottish Chambers of Commerce will share business insights with the decision-makers to ultimately ensure that business growth and securing a solid economy are at the top of our Governments’ agendas.” Nora Senior, outgoing President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “It has been a privilege to serve as President over the past four years during a time of change and turbulence for business. During my time as President, my business priorities focused on making it simpler for companies to do business internationally, to bring business and education together in true collaboration and raise the profile of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce as a global business network. I believe there has been a significant positive shift in each of these areas with a number of key initiatives now underway led by the Chamber Network in Scotland. “I am proud of the progress we have made for our young people in Scotland through

the Developing Young Workforce groups, the increased opportunities for businesses to trade overseas through the international Chambers of Commerce Network and growing our B2B support through Business Mentoring, which now has over 1,000 experienced business people acting as mentors for ambitious businesses. These are important initiatives which will have a positive impact on business development, skills and economic growth. Chambers of Commerce are a strong representative voice for business and I look forward to SCC going from strength to strength under Tim’s leadership.” Nora Senior is Executive Chair of global communications company, Weber Shandwick, which has over 126 offices in 81 countries. Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Tim’s wealth of experience in the private sector and in his additional interests, will bring great value to Scottish Chambers of Commerce and we look forward to working with Tim as we take on the big challenges and opportunities facing our economy. “On behalf of the Chamber Network, I would like to thank Nora for her spirit of dynamism and entrepreneurialism, which played a pivotal role in achieving key wins for the Scottish business community, particularly in skills and international trade.”


Wholesome family food Susan Hoyle, a leading family business lawyer and tax specialist at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie, poses interesting questions about why family businesses dominate the food industry in Scotland, and what is the recipe for a successful family business? The food industry is dominated by family businesses, and in Scotland many family food firms have become household names including, Walker’s Shortbread, Baxters of Speyside, Mackie’s Ice Creams, Nairns and Tunnock’s. This roll call of family businesses poses the questions such as why do family businesses flourish in the food industry? Or is the food industry one in which family business are more likely to flourish? Not withstanding it takes a huge amount of initiative, hard work and determination to start a business, could it be because of the relatively low barriers to entry? Many successful family businesses have, literally, started on the kitchen table preparing and selling a favourite family recipe or, as with Mackie’s Ice Cream, using up surplus milk from the family farm. Many others, for example, Baxters of Speyside or Walkers Shortbread, started with a single shop and a vision and grew from there into much larger businesses. It could be argued that harnessing the family vision across the generations may also be simpler in the food industry. For example, a family business can put its own products on the dining table, which is a very visible and powerful means of sharing and communicating the family vision. When it’s your name on the bread wrapper or on the milk carton it certainly does makes a difference.

Some might say that in a food industry, it may also be easier to bring the next generation into the business at a younger age as, for certain jobs, the skill levels needed to be a productive worker can be lower. We often hear second, third and fourth generation family members saying to us “I started working in the warehouse/on the production line/on the farm in my school holidays. That gave me an insight into the business so it seemed natural that I would take over.” Then there is the trusty hallmark of heritage. Food and family are inextricably tied together so it’s hardly surprising that family businesses refer to their history in their marketing to emphasise concepts such as “wholesomeness” and “trust”. Trust is bedrock for all food businesses as consumers need to be able to trust that a particular foodstuff is wholesome, safe and good to eat. In modern society, studies into consumers’ behaviour show they are more likely to trust a business, which demonstrates its family heritage than they do a faceless corporation – even though the family business can, like Unilever, grow into a top performing multi-national. So what is the recipe for a successful family food business? In many ways, what appears on the tin is the easy part. In fact, family businesses are incredibly complex structures with many layers of power and control, with family issues and business

challenges completely and inextricably intertwined with the overall performance and profitability of the business. Ensuring a successful and rewarding long term future for both the business and the family, requires a lot of planning, organisation, dialogue and effective leadership. The successful ones are those who are united in their shared purpose, mission and values; and who are able to adapt the basic ingredients of their family business across the generations to meet changing demands, trends and challenges. If latest figures are anything to go by, it’s a winning recipe for significant numbers of family businesses. The Scottish food and drink sector is now the single biggest contributor to the Scottish economy, generating a turnover of around £14.4 billion. Family businesses are the engine room behind this vital growth sector, creating jobs, wealth and a world-class reputation for Scottish food and drink. As a Scottish independent law firm which specialises in advising and supporting family businesses, we are immensely proud to see family businesses thriving in Scotland. Susan Hoyle is a Partner at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP and heads up Family Business Solutions, the family business consultancy arm of WJM. Susan can be contacted by emailing

Law for your Life - Law for your Business 302 St Vincent Street Glasgow G2 5RZ Tel: 0141 248 3434 Fax: 0141 221 1226

The Capital Building 12/13 St Andrew Square Edinburgh EH2 2AF Tel: 0131 524 1500 Fax: 0131 524 1529

The Green House Beechwood Park North Inverness IV2 3BL Tel: 01463 234 445 Fax: 01463 224995

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Scottish Chambers of Commerce opens new trade office in Yantai, China New alliances created with key developing cities in China as part of trade visit. Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) has announced the official opening of a new International Trade Office in the city of Yantai, China, as part of a trade mission by a Chambers’ delegation to explore new trading opportunities and links with business, education and government organisations. The formal opening ceremony was hosted by the Vice Mayor Madame Zhang Bo, together with senior officials from Yantai Municipal Government. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for trade engagement and partnership, designed to achieve an effective channel for exchange of business between Scotland and Yantai. The Scottish delegation, led by SCC’s new President, Tim Allan and CEO Liz Cameron, comprised Presidents and CEOs from Chambers throughout Scotland: Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Dundee & Angus, Glasgow, Edinburgh and West Lothian. They were accompanied by senior business executives, including entrepreneur David Valentine of Valentine International, and former SCC Chair Nora Senior, UK Chair of international PR company Weber Shandwick, who have had a presence working in China for over 25 years. During the trade visit, which was six months in the planning, SCC held a series of productive meetings with senior business

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people, highly influential politicians and local government officials including Vice Governor Wang Shujian, as well as national ‘think tanks’ bodies in Beijing, Yantai and Jinan in the Shandong Province President Tim Allan commented: “The Chinese economy continues to grow at a faster pace than western economies and the rate of growth within new cities such as Yantai and Jinan opens up the potential for Scottish businesses to promote and sell goods and services which Chinese businesses Chinese businesses and consumers want and need. That demand, together with a more recent policy of ‘opening up’ to new trading partners and overseas alliances by the Chinese, presents a myriad of opportunities for Scottish businesses to capitalise on. “The aim of our mission was to strengthen relationships and increase engagement with existing and new contacts in sectors where there are direct B2B or knowledge-share opportunities for Scottish companies. Yantai is a city of 7 million and SCC’s base in Yantai will enable us to plan a comprehensive approach to exploiting the many opportunities in Yantai and further afield.” Shandong Province represents the third largest economy in China with a population of over 97 million and a GDP in excess of 6.3

trillion yuan (£0.7 trillion). It is China’s best wine growing region accounting for over 25% of all wine production. Yantai is the biggest trading port in North China and in 2016, the city imported over $19 billion (£14.7 billion) of goods and services. The city of Jinan is home to one of the first national high-tech business incubators and since its foundation in 2002, it has incubated more than 1,000 small and medium sized science and technology enterprises. It focuses on cultivating fast-growing sectors such as biomedicine, ecommerce, energy, environmental protection and new materials. Key sectors for Scottish interest to meet key economic needs in the Chinese target cities include: electronic information, robotics and artificial intelligence, pharmaceutical, bioscience, R &D, manufacturing, engineering and smart technologies, energy including upstream and downstream products and services, logistics, agriculture, food and drink, and indeed football management. The accelerated growth of consumers in Shandong province also opens opportunities in consumer goods, recreation and tourism services, financial and professional services and education. Chief Executive, SCC, Liz Cameron OBE said: “This exploratory visit is part of the


new partnership which was formed between Scottish business, through our extensive Chamber network, and the Scottish Government to utilise the world-wide connectivity of the business community. We now have a deeper understanding of how we can achieve the best exchange for business, where the opportunities exist for Scottish organisations and how we can best pursue these. “We have also identified several potential opportunities for inward investment into Scotland and will be working with Scottish Government and SDI as well as other trade

organisations to explore these and leverage the momentum of change within China. “Our next steps will be to undertake a deep dive of companies based in Scotland who have products, skills and expertise which have the potential to be exported to the Shandong Province area. Our aim is to add impetus to the Scottish economy by assisting companies who have not previously thought about exporting to grasp the potential that international trade offers. “The new more open trading environment in fast growing cities such as Yantai, Jinan and the wider Shandong Province, together

with the practical advice and direct B2B links Chambers now have within this market, will facilitate more effective trading partnership opportunities for Scottish businesses and educational institutions.” SCC intends to return to Shandong Province later this year to conclude discussions on further Memorandums of Understanding and explore new ways to foster co-operation between the two countries. Chambers in Scotland have already led trade missions to Italy, Iceland, Iran, Germany and the US, with further country visits planned this year to a number of key destinations.

We now have a deeper understanding of how we can achieve the best exchange for business, where the opportunities exist for Scottish organisations and how we can best pursue these. Business Scotland



First Minister visits USA Nicola Sturgeon First Minister

As First Minister it is my priority, especially in the aftermath of Brexit, to strengthen our existing ties with international partners and seek new opportunities for collaboration. It is important we offer reassurance that Scotland is an open, outward-looking country and an attractive place in which to invest, live, study and travel. This was the purpose of my recent visit to California and New York. The US is one of Scotland’s most important sources of inward investment, accounting for 36% of inward investment projects and nearly 16% of our international exports, also making it our second largest export partner. However there is endless potential to do more. There are major opportunities for Scotland’s technology sector in low carbon innovation, university collaborations and start-ups, which were a key focus of my engagements in California. Scotland’s universities are a huge part of our success and while in California I took part in an engaging discussion with business leaders and academics at Stanford University on enhancing our joint expertise in photonics. The university, one of the most prestigious in the world, is working in partnership with five Scottish universities to strengthen the economic and scientific impact of photonics in California and Scotland, ensuring a strong connection between research and entrepreneurial activity. In addition I met representatives from investment company Par Equity, which alongside opening its first US office in San Francisco launched a $125

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million fund to support Scottish health technology companies to expand into the US, providing new opportunities to deliver a transformation in healthcare solutions. I also took the opportunity to follow-up recent engagement in Scotland from Apple and Tesla, concentrating on the potential for collaboration across the use of digital technology to deliver personalised, proactive and self-managed care; and to further develop Scotland’s sustainable energy initiatives and reinforce the strategic importance of energy storage technology to Scotland’s wider energy strategy. It is my key priority to ensure the government I lead does all it can to unleash the economic potential of women, and we have a well-established relationship with social enterprise Investing Women. In California they hosted a roundtable discussion with a number of Americanbased angel investors specifically interested in supporting women-led start-ups. Our focus was to promote investment in Scotland’s women entrepreneurs in advance of a delegation of female CEOs travelling to California later this month. I was also pleased to confirm the doubling of our financial support for Investing Women, allowing them to expand their work which to date has helped create 60 jobs and over £2 million of investment. North America is our top destination for food and drink exports, valued at $1.1 billion in 2016 - more than double what they were ten years ago. Even by its own high standards, this industry is enjoying something of a golden age as more companies are trading in the US than ever before, but we know there’s potential for even greater success. In NYC I had the pleasure of joining a showcase promoting our food and drink offering to

senior US distributors. The event supported a number of Scottish companies who exhibited their products and I was pleased to welcome the news that they have recently secured £8 million of export sales to North America. If you have yet to try seaweed butter, let me tell you – it’s a revelation! It is ever more important to demonstrate that Scotland is an open and welcoming place to visit. To support our booming tourism industry we need to ensure there is more hotel capacity. In New York I met representatives of Marriott International to discuss their plans to increase investment in Scotland by opening seven new hotels and growing the number of rooms by almost 75 per cent. This is representative of the desire of companies to invest in the hotel sector in Scotland. Figures from January showed overall there are plans for 38 new hotels across the country and nine hotel extensions – a welcome boost to support and sustain the growth in business and leisure tourism. I was also pleased to announce another essential development for tourism - a European-first partnership between TripAdvisor and VisitScotland which is set to generate millions of pounds for Scotland’s economy. The partnership will see Scotland as a destination promoted to almost 70 million new potential visitors, generating a potential additional spend of £150 million. Scotland has strength and expertise across a variety of sectors and whether its food and drink, precision medicine, low-carbon technologies or digital innovation, I am committed to building on these successes and attracting more companies to invest and expand here. This visit established important links which I hope will benefit Scotland’s investment and trade capabilities in years to come.


Lufthansa – leading the way for Scottish travellers With a total of 45 flights a week from two airports the full service airlines in the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines) continue to lead the way for Scottish travellers.

A combined total of over 436,000 passengers travelling in and out of the country last year proved once again that discerning travellers appreciate the way Lufthansa has responded to the challenges of the travel market in the face of ever-increasing competition from low-cost airlines. To maintain the leading position in the market Lufthansa must be better than anyone else in terms of product, service and reliability. Lufthansa services recently recorded the best figures for punctuality in its history with over 85% of all flights leaving Frankfurt and Munich within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time. As well as providing direct links from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to Frankfurt and Brussels the services also offer the country’s quickest and easiest onward connections. Lufthansa’s network of over 280 destinations in 80 countries worldwide includes around 60 of the world’s key oil and energy markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

Lufthansa also continues to enhance the onboard experience for customers. In addition the traditional economy, business and some first class cabins the large number of Scottish passengers who take onward connections now have the added option of a high quality premium economy product on Lufthansa long-haul services. The new seat is wider and can be tilted further back so has increased personal space by about half compared to Economy. A separate wide armrest for each seat and a centre console between the seats also ensure extra privacy. The adjustable headrest can be folded at the sides and gives comfortable support. Height adjustable footrests from the second row and - for design reasons - leg supports with integrated footrest in the front row provide additional comfort. Premium economy passengers also benefit from twice as much free baggage allowance as in Economy Class with two pieces of luggage up to 23 kg each. An upgraded on board experience also allows them to

control the extensive in-flight entertainment programme with their own touch-screen (screen size from 11 to 12 inches - 28 to 30 centimetres). Each seat also offers a USB port and an electrical outlet so passengers can use their own devices. PartnerPlusBenefit provides business travellers with membership of the world’s biggest business travel reward programme allowing them to earn reward points on all booking classes. Members can earn and spend points on all ten airlines in the programme in one easy to manage account. No other similar programme in this country includes so many carriers working together in that way. Members are then able to choose from a wide ranging 13 options when redeeming loyalty points. These include award flights, upgrades, cash-back, hotel eGiftcards valid in over 100,000 hotels worldwide and airport parking.

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Demands of Modern Business Travel Despite living in the digital era, face-to-face and on-site meetings are still a crucial element in facilitating businesses and maintaining relationships. The demands of doing business in the modern world adds increasing pressure to companies when seeking solutions for their business travel needs, especially international air travel. Take a look at the top 5 necessities for any corporate traveller… Price


Companies are conscious of controlling their expenditures, when it once was the norm to travel Business class, many are now opting for lower cost alternatives. Hence, competitive pricing in both classes, Business and Economy, is the key deciding factor for the business traveller. Turkish Airlines offers exclusive Corporate Club programmes to businesses of all sizes, in Scotland with frequent discounts in both Business and Economy Classes with increased baggage allowance as standard.

The seasoned business traveller is all too familiar with the never-ending “road” from one destination to the next. Consequently, services on offer need to cater to this fact. Whether it be the food and amenities, transit facilities or customer service, business travellers now require service reaching above and beyond general expectation. All of Turkish Airlines flights offer delicious, complimentary on-board catering for every passenger. Customer Service is an integral part of all packages, with a dedicated team based at Edinburgh Airport. The awardwinning business lounge facilities designed for transfer passengers, features everything from suite rooms for longer layovers to luxuries including the in-lounge golf simulator.

Flexibility The need to make and change bookings on the go is now a necessity for businesses to keep up with the pace of changing circumstances. Rescheduling and cancelling travel plans at the last minute happens regularly, meaning airlines need to adapt to this new way of working. Plans change and the travel itinerary must adapt at a moment’s notice. Turkish Airlines Corporate Club programme offers flexibility with free re-booking, re-routing and, in some cases, even refunds.

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Ease of Access Connections from Scotland to the rest of the world have increased rapidly, enabling a new ease of access from Edinburgh to global destinations. Passengers require straight-forward itineraries, removing the hassle out of an already hectic schedule.

Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline and has departures from Edinburgh. Asia, the Middle East and Africa will all be at your fingertips.

No Strings Attached The modern traveller desires an extensive list of requirements. As a result, companies benefit from being flexible with their contracts and fluid with their offers in order to keep modern travellers loyal, pleased and comfortable. With no membership or exit fees, Turkish Airlines Corporate Club comes complete with Business counter checkin and lounge access in the membership country. To find out more and apply for the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club programme call 0131 333 1282 or email


With great change comes great opportunity Whilst an absolute break from the EU, aka a hard Brexit, would not have been the preferred option for UK Plc the clear directive by the Prime Minister has, at least, provided certainty on the direction of travel. But if one chapter of uncertainty has closed, another is about to begin. As Scotland awaits the triggering of Article 50 it must grapple with a fast changing political and economic environment as the UK effectively reinvents itself over the next few years. The prospects of a second independence referendum aside, Scotland is faced with a period of uncertainty. But with uncertainty comes opportunity and that is surely in our own hands? The UK economy needs to adapt during this period, and Scotland needs to redefine its relationship with the rest of the UK and develop our place in the world as an international trader. The Scottish economy must perform to the best of its ability and if anything must aim to outperform the rest of the UK. Should the Scottish economy stumble we will face further pressure on public spending given the transfer of taxation powers to Holyrood and changes to the block grant allocation. But, as we know Governments don’t create jobs – businesses do. It is also true to say that economies don’t adapt – once again businesses do. But Government does play a huge role in creating the environment to encourage innovation and change. ACCA (The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) believe that skills will

It’s vital that every opportunity is taken to up-skill the Scottish workforce in order to ensure Scotland is able to embrace the opportunities presented by increased digitalisation and AI.

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play a more important role than ever in underpinning the future success for the Scottish economy in 2017 and beyond: Skills are, of course, critical to achieving this change – particularly the development of a skilled but flexible workforce. As an employer of over 600 staff in our Glasgow Global Service Centre, ACCA itself utilises the skills of IT, marketing, customer services, business development and educational specialists to create the finance professionals the world needs. The need to address the skills gap within the Scottish workforce is more pertinent than ever. Whilst we fully welcome the focus on addressing the skills gaps in STEM industries it is also critical that other sectors are not forgotten. It’s vital that every opportunity is taken to up-skill the Scottish workforce in order to ensure Scotland is able to embrace the opportunities presented by increased digitalisation and AI. The priority for the coming year must be opening up pathways into professional careers, such as accountancy, for the next generation. Apprenticeships will play a key role here. Offering more apprenticeships and improving the visibility of alternative routes into professional careers for those who are unsure about graduate routes, will lay the foundations for a diverse, highly-skilled talent pool when we need it most. It is also important that today’s professionals hold a blend of hard and soft skills. ACCA’s flagship report of 2016 “Professional Accountants – The Future” highlighted seven of the key quotients of success that will be required in the profession in the future which are relevant to businesses of all shapes and sizes and in all sectors in the UK. The report found that shifting business expectations alongside globalisation and digital connectivity agendas would require accountants to ‘step out of the back room’ and develop the creative, emotional and digital skills to have a hand in shaping business strategy, particularly as companies

Craig Vickery Head of ACCA Scotland at ACCA

prepare for instability during Britain’s exit from the EU. Accountancy professionals must gear up for years of uncertainty and build upon existing competencies to offer trusted, technically advanced advice as businesses prepare to navigate changing trade relationships, new regulatory environments and put together reliable financial forecasts. With big changes comes opportunity. Professional accountants have a critical role to play in ensuring businesses are able to navigate the uncertainty ahead and seize the opportunities that will arise along the way.


Opportunities abound for masters of efficiency Switch on the news and you will either hear someone waxing lyrical about the prospects for a golden age for Britain or muted voices worried about the economy. Amid the debate and the noise we know that the majority of SME owners just want to get on with their business.

By Joanna Cashmore

Head of Sales, BFS Scotland

A big challenge facing businesses in Scotland is rising costs. With a fall in the value of the pound and inflation going up, rising costs are the biggest concern for a quarter of Scottish SMEs according to our Q4 SME Confidence Tracker. This is also reflected nationally with businesses struggling with rising costs having more than doubled over the past twelve months, increasing from 10% to just over a fifth (22%). This is clearly a problem that can’t be ignored for ambitious firms eager to grow.

Despite the challenges, Scotland’s SMEs are knuckling down and investing in their businesses. Our research also shows that half (49%) of Scottish SMEs are investing in their businesses. Rather than holding back on investments, SMEs should look at their finances and seek to unlock their cash tied up in their invoices. By unlocking untapped cash in invoices business can become more efficient. Making assets work harder improves efficiency, helping SMEs to grow more sustainably. Rather than let costs become a burden, Scotland’s businesses should think about the opportunities that they are currently missing out on, including the possibility of selling goods and services overseas due to a weakened pound.


As one of the UKs largest independent business funders, we are committed to building long-standing and valued relationships that go beyond funding and working capital support. CALL US ON 0808 231 9423



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Why keeping calm can help you guard against fraud

Technology is changing our lives, much of it for the better, but the sad truth is that the advances also present opportunities for fraudsters seeking new ways to exploit your business. However, according to Royal Bank of Scotland, a few commonsense measures can offer protection against the scammers, starting with understanding the risks and being vigilant when you are approached by people you do not know. According to the Royal Bank, there are a number of different types of frauds. Fairly common are ones involving a low value of less than £50. The most common is when goods or services, typically bought through eBay or Gumtree, do not arrive or are not as advertised. Sadly, a lot of scams are for much larger sums and are perpetrated when the fraudster builds up a relationship with the victim in order to gain access to a large amount of money. The fraudster often impersonates a member of the police or even a bank worker. Often, they pretend your money is at risk if you don’t act immediately. As soon as you transfer the money into their account, they transfer it away and recovery becomes almost impossible.

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Another scam concerns fake invoices which occur when fraudsters send an invoice or bill to a company, requesting payment for goods or services. The invoice might say that the due date for the payment has passed or threaten that non-payment will affect your credit rating. In fact, the invoice is for goods and services that have not been ordered or received.

for their PIN or full password, or ever make them feel pressured into making a decision. The trouble is, in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget this.

However, a few simple measures can help protect your business, which is why a range of financial institutions, including Royal Bank of Scotland, have backed the Take Five campaign by Financial Fraud Action UK Ltd.

The Take Five campaign recommends five actions:

Susan Fouquier, Regional Managing Director of Business Banking from the Royal Bank, said: “Banks and other financial service providers work hard to protect their customers. Last year, we stopped 70% of attempted fraud from happening but that means 30% did happen, costing victims millions. “However, preventing fraud does not need to be complicated. Indeed, many people already know the do’s and don’ts of financial fraud- that no-one should ever ask them

“Trusting people on their word is something everyone tends to do instinctively. If someone says they’re from your bank or from the police, why wouldn’t you believe them?”

1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password 2. Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic 3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting 4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right 5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret Susan said: “The important thing is to be cautious. Never disclose security details such as your PIN number or password. Don’t assume an email request or phone caller is


Scotland’s first fintech accelerator is launched A new specialist fintech hub, backed by the UK and Scottish governments will open its doors to entrepreneurs in May. The hub will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will operate from Entrepreneurial Spark at Royal Bank of Scotland’s base in Edinburgh. genuine – people are not always who they say they are. If you keep your wits about you, you can protect your business.

trading standards and other bodies to help you. Quick action is key to minimising the damage caused by fraud.

“Always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. By remaining wary you can avoid falling into the trap.

“Your first step must be to determine the scale of the problem. Talk to your team and make sure you have done everything right. Call your bank if you need help.

“You should always retain control of the situation. Don’t be embarrassed to question what you are being asked to do. You should not feel forced into doing anything.”

“And make sure that you are prepared for news leaking out about your problem. Maybe draft up a reassuring statement for the website and for the media if they get in touch, assuring customers that you are sorting things out.

The Royal Bank tries its hardest to prevent customers falling victim to scams. Sometimes when you’re making a transaction in the branch you may be asked a couple of extra questions to make sure bank staff are comfortable with the transaction. Little actions like this have helped prevent some customers transferring large sums to scammers and the bank will never phone you up and ask you to move money to a safe account or to ask for full password and PIN details. Susan advises: “It is important to remember that you are not alone. If you think your account is at risk then tell us. We’ll freeze your account so no funds can be transferred away and we’ll make the account safe for you. We will also work with the police,

“However, the overall message is that if you stop and think, you can usually keep your business safe in the first place.” To learn more about protecting your business, talk to your Relationship Manager at the bank or visit: corporate/ms/sc/online-security.ashx The joint bank initiative Take Five offers straightforward and impartial advice to help businesses protect themselves against fraud at

It will launch one year on from the opening of Entrepreneurial Spark’s dedicated space at Gogarburn and is set to become a centre of excellence for the burgeoning fintech sector, estimated to be worth up to £6bn to the UK economy. It will bring together industry leaders and networks and marry them with Entrepreneurial Spark’s tried and tested approach to build, grow and scale businesses. This will be a key milestone in Scotland’s journey towards its ambition of being a world leader in fintech and innovation. Fintech entrepreneurs will benefit from Entrepreneurial Spark’s hugely successful enablement programme as well as Royal Bank of Scotland’s tech expertise and networks. Entrepreneurial Spark partners KPMG and Dell EMC will also provide added jet fuel to the potent mix. The fintech businesses will be housed in Royal Bank of Scotland HQ in Gogarburn with access to the networks and expertise of the Bank’s staff and technology partners.

Business Scotland


Corporate Banking

Death of the password? With the average Briton having 118 online accounts registered to just one email address1, and the rapid introduction of biometrics, should we finally say goodbye to the humble password? With so many accounts all over the internet, users can be vulnerable to being hacked – especially if they use the same login details across different websites. Despite best practice, we are creatures of habit, and the re-use of passwords is an inevitable result of the all-conquering proliferation of the password.

Golden rules of password security Remember, Barclays will never contact you asking you to disclose your password details, and if you receive an unsolicited email that you believe to be suspicious you should forward it to and delete it immediately.

Five steps to safety 1. Always make sure a password is original and not used on other sites and applications 2. Create passwords that are difficult to guess. Most secure passwords will use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols

A better way? So, if a password is easy to use but potentially difficult to remember, what is easy to use and easy to remember? The answer is actually right in front of you – it’s your fingers, eyes and perhaps even your voice – in other words, biometrics. Throughout 2017, Barclays is rolling out the Barclays Biometric Reader for Corporate Banking clients to log in and to authorise payments. The reader uses an infra-red scanner to see the pattern of your finger vein – a finger vein pattern is much more secure than a finger print, and with high-value transactions at stake, it has the added security of ensuring that the finger being scanned is attached to a live human. So will biometrics usher in the death of the password? Maybe not, but we can expect an increase in biometric digital security for important and high-value assets, starting with your banking.

3. Never write your passwords down or store them in a way that they might be recognised by someone else 4. When online, always check your browser to see if the web page is secure – the URL will start with the letters https instead of simply http. The ‘s’ stands for secure 5. Never log in to, iPortal or other online banking services by following a link in an email. Either type the address into your browser or use a bookmark or search engine.

Jamie Grant Head of Scotland and Northern Ireland Corporate Banking, Barclays


For more information, visit our business fraud hub at

Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is registered in England and authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA No. 122702). Registered Number is 1026167 and its registered office 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP.


Being aware of your risks but doing nothing about them – that’s criminal!

Risk can be overwhelming if you run a business. Risk posed by fraudsters, threats from cyber criminals, increasing regulatory requirements and dangers posed by poorly managed financial systems or from inadequate day-to-day processes, they can all be bewildering. Add into the mix the increasing sophistication and knowledge of IT to support business activities then ask what has your business done to maintain risk knowledge and capability to keep pace with emerging threats? Businesses cannot be expected to be an expert in this field as they have the business to run but doing nothing is not an option. This is why it makes sense to call in expert help from Alan Stenhouse, whose business AST Risk Consultancy & Training Services Ltd draws on expertise developed over a long career advising companies in the financial sector. As an accomplished Senior Risk Management professional, Alan has extensive experience and said: “Risk is something that every business needs to take seriously but it is not something to be scared about. Yes, clearly there are a number of risks to consider but by taking a few simple steps, the level of danger can be dramatically reduced whilst adding real value to the bottom line. I have spent a career doing just that.” Alan is recognised as an expert in operational risk management, implementing effective governance and developing controls to mitigate and manage potential

interruptions to business operations. His specialisms include: n Helping senior managers to understand the risks to their business and accept where improvements are required n Delivering training to instil a culture of risk awareness thereby ensuring measures implemented are sustained and embedded n Advising on the management and security of records, data and assets n Chairing Gold-level Crisis and Incident Management meetings and overseeing continuity planning, testing and recovery strategies. n A proven track record in building, leading and motivating teams to achieve greater performance, skills in mentoring and coaching and acting as an advocate for professional development. Alan’s knowledge has been built up over a career in financial services developing and leading risk functions within Banks. His work has included helping to increase risk awareness during a period of expansion, creating Risk Management strategies and delivering awareness training to senior management.

He also spent time as a manager in charge of fraud prevention, responsible for the identification, analysis and mitigation of fraud across a retail product range. Alan led the analysis of credit card application fraud and introduced measures to strengthen vetting and security checks. As a result, monthly losses were reduced by 50% per month. His company covers a wide range of areas ranging from the delivery of training to develop Risk Management capability and business culture; risk evaluation, assessment and control; secure Information Management including Cyber, preventing fraud and ensuring business continuity in the event of disruption. He said: “In more than 30 years in financial services, I have seen that actively managing risks can add real value to the business. I have seen risk managed almost to gold standard, with dedicated resources and budget in place, but businesses at large don’t necessarily have this capability and that is where my business can assist.” Alan can be contacted at Web: E mail: Tel: 07969-050393

Business Scotland



Mind the Gap… The current overall gender pay gap for full time workers is 13.9% in the UK, and from 6 April 2018 anybody with access to the internet will be able to see how their employers size up. Gender pay reporting legislation means that employers with a staff of 250 or more will have to publish calculations showing the pay gap between their male and female employees on their websites. In this ‘name and shame’ scheme the objectives are quite clear, but will these be achieved? Arguably the lack of meaningful sanctions imposed for non-compliance will diminish the effectiveness of reporting. However, the biggest flaw is that it does not go to the root of the problem. Take the balance of work and private life. The impact of having children affects women’s careers in a way that means their salaries never fully recover whilst men are given promotion opportunities. Arguably, creating flexibility in the workplace allowing for men to take more parental leave would go much further to alleviating this issue. However, in the absence of a systemic overhaul, employers can certainly play

their part by both reporting on the gap and encouraging a culture change. In New Zealand, a study of 100 HR managers found that 97% of employers made sure that employees fully understand how to apply for pay rises and the relationship between promotion and pay. As New Zealand has the lowest gender pay gap in the world, this certainly seems worth a try. Donald MacKinnon Director of Legal Services Law At Work Kintyre House 205 West George Street Glasgow, G2 2LW Main: 0141 271 5555

Donald MacKinnon

Inertia. Isn’t it time to question why your business continues to put up with your existing employment lawyer charging eye-watering sums of money to provide fuzzy and non-committal advice when an equally qualified, more engaged and cost effective provider is out there? Hell yes, it’s time.

To find out how we are disrupting the market with expert, value for money advice, email or call 0141 271 5555 to arrange an appointment.

Client: LAW Business Scotland


Project: Brand Campaign

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Date: 07.02.17

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Have you heard of ScotLIS? Scotland’s Land and Information System is coming and it’s time to find out what it can do for you. Have you heard of ScotLIS? We here at Registers of Scotland (RoS) ask this as part of our User Research when speaking to customers. Their responses range from: “Yes, about 20 years ago...” And: “Is that still going?” To: “I saw a demonstration last year.” Scotland’s Land and Information System, to give the service its full title, has been a concept proposed and discussed for some years. The idea is sound, showing a range of complementary data layers on a map of Scotland. The execution, however, has never been simple. Following a commitment to ScotLIS by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, RoS made a great start to research and development in 2016. We are developing the online ScotLIS service, starting by displaying RoS data, but with the flexibility to add other “layers” to give context and share data from other sources. We are designing and developing a service that can be used by the public, as well as professional customers, making some RoS data freely available for the first time.

The new service makes RoS ownership information more accessible – an important new feature is map-based searching. We make sure we speak regularly to customers about our existing service as well as showing it to potential new users. Karen Alexander, the senior responsible owner for ScotLIS at RoS, said: “We have thought ahead and recognised that these days most people access the internet from their phones and tablets more than desktop computers. As with all government digital services, we are making sure it’s intuitive, usable and accessible to the widest audience possible. “The development team is using an ‘agile’ method to create the software: they work iteratively, getting feedback and responding to it throughout the process – not keeping it a secret until the end. This means that when ScotLIS is launched in the autumn, many people will have already seen and used it.

Experience Panel at contact-us/user-experience-panel-signup.” Professor Stewart Brymer OBE, WS, Brymer Legal Ltd, commented: “I am very pleased to see the concept of an easily accessible online portal to all important information relative to land and property being developed by Registers of Scotland. “This is the ideal complement to the Land Register. I would encourage active engagement with Registers in the development of the concept and look forward to seeing the first iteration later this year.” To read more about ScotLIS, please visit

“On that note, if you are tempted to get involved (without taking up too much of your time) you can register for our User

We have thought ahead and recognised that these days most people access the internet from their phones and tablets more than desktop computers. As with all government digital services, we are making sure it’s intuitive, usable and accessible to the widest audience possible. Business Scotland



HORIZON. Delta is committed to pushing the limits of how great travel can be. Whether you are catching an early flight to pitch new business or taking your next holiday, you deserve the best experience along the way. We’re honored to have been named Business Airline of the Year 2017 from Business Travel Awards and we vow to keep moving forward in the years ahead.



Politics, politics, politics… Charandeep Singh, Head of External Relations gives his communications insight into recent political announcements by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon & Prime Minister Theresa May. a success. Translating that into tangible support and then ultimately votes, will be up to each of the campaigns. How would a second Scottish Referendum differ from the first, in terms of the key messages and tactics?

From a comms perspective, how would you judge Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on plans to push for a second referendum? The announcement on 13th March certainly came as a surprise and most folk, politically engaged or not, were genuinely interested to hear what was being announced. I always find an interesting measure is whether people are talking about it on the commute home and following the news on their smartphones and I would absolutely say that the announcement was a popular topic on Monday - as well as that night’s dinner plans! From a PR perspective, the announcement got people talking and that’s

If the Scottish Referendum goes ahead, it cannot simply be a re-run of the 2014 Referendum - a second referendum would have to exist on its own merits and reflect current economic and social factors. Tackling the issues that voters are most concerned about should be at the core of any campaign tactics and that must also include those issues that did not have clarity in 2014 such as currency. I do think that a key element of future campaigns may well include what Scotland’s and UK’s place in the world will be and as leaders grapple with leadership on the world stage and some nations look inward, our desire to be more global must be balanced with the political and social mood of other countries. Will a second Scottish Referendum happen before the end of this decade, and if so, what will the result be? I do think - if it is to happen - that the Referendum will take place before 2020. The real question here is on the specific timing: will it take place before we leave the European Union or after, and the UK General Elections must be considered as well. Either

way, both sides are crafting their messages carefully and are dealing their cards with their political strategies in mind. Ultimately, it’s the voters that will deal the trump card. What do you think of Prime Minister Theresa May’s General Election announcement? The Prime Minister’s announcement to call a snap general election was a complete surprise. Whilst these surprise tactics may be new, it is an evolution of an age-old political strategy of controlling the message and setting the news agenda. For businesses and organisations trying to respond to these types of announcements, clear and focused messaging will help to get your perspectives out in the marketplace. When the General Election announcement was made, our ask was clear - that the voice of business must be heard. Time will tell whether the General Election focuses on the issues that will boost the economy and drive business growth or get caught up in political posturing. For SCC, we are committed to an open dialogue with all parties so that we can deal with the economic challenges that face our country and also take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. You can contact Charandeep on csingh@ or follow on Twitter: @CharandeepS1ngh

Business Scotland



Get your message out there! William Paterson

Communications & Social Media Executive

Before starting at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, I worked with several small businesses to develop their use of social media and the most common barrier to using it was a perceived lack of time, money and knowledge. This was interesting for me because social media is actually one of the most cost-effective tools out there to promote your company and put simply, no-one knows your business better than you so it’s time to start getting your messages out there.

You don’t need to be on every platform The key to doing a good job on social media is to invest your time. To start with, pick just one social media platform and use it for a set amount of time each day – you can post photos, reply to customer queries or upload promotional offers. Consistent posting and daily monitoring will help you understand how your customers interact with you on social media. Once you have a good grasp of one platform, then start exploring other ones

Business Scotland


too. At Scottish Chambers of Commerce, we focused on Twitter and then added additional platforms over a 12 month period and this helped us to manage content and also monitor analytics from each platform.

Don’t be pressured Do what’s best for your business and don’t be pressured into following what everyone else is doing. Social platforms are introducing new features all the time and it’s important to tap into these features with the customer in mind. For example, Instagram have introduced a feature which allows you to upload an album onto Instagram and this could be a great way for you to showcase a particular product with different features. Facebook has introduced its Live Video feature so you can broadcast at the tap of a button. These are all excellent features for businesses but the key is not to jump right in but instead to have a planned and well-thought out strategy of the purpose, objectives and goals of each feature. On Social, it’s always better to take your time and do it right.

Content, content, content So, you’ve done your research and now you want to drive up the number of followers you have so you better start posting every day at

least twice a day, right? Well, to begin with, no. Start off with a low frequency of posts with a high priority on the actual content that you want to put out. If you want to post a photo on a platform, make sure you take the time and take the ideal photo and spend just as much time thinking about the message attached to that photo – use the right words and don’t forget to use a relevant hashtag!

Make use of your smartphone You are wanting to create good high quality pictures and video content but that doesn’t mean you have to rush out and purchase an expensive DSLR camera, especially if marketing budgets are tight! Whilst these cameras are useful, your smartphone can be just as powerful for capturing high-impact photos, as long as you plan in advance and take your time to get the ideal shot. As well as taking the ideal shot, there are some great apps that you can download straight to your phone to edit photos and videos before you decide to publish them online. In the next edition, I’ll be writing about the power of analytics

Where else in the UK could you host a bespoke dinner in ‘The Space Zone’ with live Science happening around you, all fulfilled by an in-house team of experts?


AND EAT IT At Glasgow Science Centre we believe that from the first bite of your ‘Flying Saucer in a Spiral Galaxy’* starter, to the final sip of your ‘Milky Way’ cocktail, you should receive the best quality, service, and price in an unbelievably unique setting. Your guests will be in awe of the science experiences we can weave through your evening to really add value and ensure yours is a dinner with a difference.

All this doesn’t have to cost the earth, get in touch now to find out more about our unique events settings on 0141 420 5008.

Glasgow Science Centre 50 Pacific Quay | G51 1EA

Glasgow Science Centre is a registered charity: SC030809

*Handmade Langoustine Raviolo to you and I!



Collaboration key to boosting trade and investment Whether you work in the private, public or third sector, it is fair to say that we are operating in a more uncertain, complex and volatile environment. For me, strengthening and enhancing Scotland’s trade and investment and wider international links has never been more important, particularly as we navigate through the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Leslie Evans

Permanent Secretary

Business Scotland


Scotland has always been, and will remain, ‘open for business,’ with global exports, excluding oil and gas, up by £1 billion to £28.7 billion during 2015. Meanwhile, Scottish exports to the rest of the UK are up 4.4 per cent at £49.8 billion. While this is promising, businesses in Scotland, as elsewhere, have faced increased economic uncertainty in the months following the EU referendum result. To deal and manage with this economic uncertainty, we must evolve how we work,

so that Scotland can boost its economic performance. As part of this ambition, civil servants from across the Scottish Government and enterprise agencies, are collaborating with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network to improve our exporting performance and open-up more opportunities for SMEs in Scotland. In December 2016, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the support of the Chamber Network’s ambitious programme of boosting trade through stronger Chamber-to-Chamber links and business alliances. We recognise the powerful role that Chambers can play to increase and leverage its global connections, and I fully commend the drive and ambition of the Chamber leadership to respond proactively to the business challenges we face. In addition, we are working together to deliver the actions in Scotland’s Trade and


Investment Strategy and I am delighted that Nora Senior, past-Chair of SCC and Executive Chair of Weber Shandwick, was the first confirmed member of the Scottish Government’s Trade Advisory Board.

relations and enable greater collaboration on economic, academic and innovation projects. The Hubs will provide touchdown and meeting facilities for Scottish business people to meet, work and collaborate.

As part of the Trade & Investment Strategy, the Scottish Government has committed to the establishment of four strategically placed hubs in Dublin, Brussels, Berlin and London. The aim of the Hubs is to bring together the Scottish Government and its agencies, along with public and private partners, to promote trade and investment links, strengthen government to government

During my visit to the Dublin Hub and to Brussels, I saw first-hand how staff are providing dedicated support to build on preexisting trade, investment and cultural links between Ireland and Scotland, including facilitating greater cooperation between our industries and sectors.

various sectors including life sciences, digital, renewable energy and financial services. This engagement informs my intention for senior civil servants to maximise engagement and collaboration with Scotland’s business community. These are uncertain times, but effective joint working between the private and public sectors will support our shared ambition to increase trade and business investment and demonstrate that Scotland remains open for business.

Through these visits, I have heard directly about the concerns and opportunities in

Civil servants from across the Scottish Government and enterprise agencies, are collaborating with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network to improve our exporting performance and open-up more opportunities for SMEs in Scotland.

Business Scotland


In Angus, we have an appetite to assist and Business Angus is here to help.

In Angus, we have an appetite to assist and Business Angus is here to help. Angus Council’s Business team offers a one stop advice shop, whether it’s information on skills support, funding, company training, property or practical business advice. Working with business support agencies in the area, our partnership approach will ensure that relevant support is available to those businesses who require it. Talk to us today about how we can help your business grow. |

Business Angus |



Continuing success for Angus Shared Apprentice Scheme The Angus Shared Apprenticeship Programme (ASAP), as one of the first of its kind in Scotland, has achieved another positive outcome with the recognition of three of their apprentices. Painting and Decorating apprentice, Bobbi Watson is in the running for the New Entrant Painting and Decorating award at the Construction Industry Training Board’s Skillbuild competition. Skillbuild has been running for more than 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the Skillbuild winner in their chosen craft occupation. Joinery apprentices, Dylan Tyrrell and Rory McDonald’s work has also been recognised. Their outstanding work has seen them both selected as best in the class at Dundee & Angus College. ASAP is a private limited company run by its board of directors, which are represented by public and private sector partners and is supported by CITB, Business Angus and Skills Development Scotland. ASAP is aimed at small and medium size

companies who cannot commit to taking an apprentice for the whole 4 years of the apprenticeship. ASAP employs apprentices and places them with construction employers in the following trades; joinery, brickwork, painting/decoration and roofing/ slating. The company has been established to offer added value apprenticeships in a geographical area that is subject to low wage rates, high youth unemployment, and an industry skills shortage within the construction sector. It is an innovative way in which to deliver apprenticeships whilst companies operate within an economic climate of uncertainty. Based on ASAP model a bid has been submitted for a regional shared apprentice scheme as part of the Tay Cities Deal ( submitted to UK and Scottish governments on 1 March 2017.

For more information on ASAP contact Krystian Kolaczyk on 01241 438153.

Business Scotland



Exhilarating Japan experience Images © Ian McConnell

Ian McConnell Business Editor, The Herald

Within a few hours of landing at Narita airport, the Tokyo adventure starts with trying to work out how to order a bowl of noodles. It seems like it should be simple enough. There is a huge array of options, pictured on a vending machine at the front of a narrow noodle restaurant. However, it is difficult to tell the difference between the dishes. Pressing a button featuring one of the offerings produces no result, and the big question of how you actually get the noodles is difficult to resolve. Thankfully, a Tokyo resident who is waiting for his son is on hand to offer help to the tourists who have travelled halfway across the world, via Istanbul from Edinburgh with Turkish Airlines. The 1000-yen notes bearing the image of Mount Fuji go in first, you get a ticket, and you take it into the noodle shop. Once inside, the staff make the dishes, after a few questions about whether miso or soy taste is preferred, the strength of flavour, and the desired firmness of the noodles. The noodle shop at Chiyoda-ku in central Tokyo, it turns out, is pretty busy inside, packed with a mixture of late-night revellers and salarymen who look like they have spent many hours in the office. The experience sums up just a couple of reasons why Tokyo is so beguiling. It is, in so many ways, simply so different, providing a high-adrenaline culture shock for western visitors, much more so than many other Far Eastern cities. And there always seem to be locals on hand, more than willing to offer their help and sufficiently determined to get round any

Business Scotland


language barriers, in this huge, energetic and exciting, but also safe, friendly, polite and well-organised, metropolis. From the extreme energy of Shinjuku, in which the lights are so bright it seems like daytime rather than night, the designer outlets of Ginza, and the famously busy Shibuya Crossing to historic Buddhist temples such as Senso-ji and Shinto shrines such as Meiji-jingu, Tokyo has it all. If you are staying in one of the city’s myriad mid-size hotels, rather than one of the huge, gleaming international establishments, walking up the orange-and-white Tokyo Tower provides a good handle on the awesome scale of the city. From the first observation deck, you can see Mount Fuji in the distance. For anyone trying to fit a lot into a short period of time, or wishing to do some easy sightseeing while on a business trip, there are a range of oneday excursions to Mount Fuji. And, while on a clear day and in the morning light you might catch a pretty good view of Fuji-san from Tokyo, getting up close and on to the mountain is a fabulous experience. The subsequent drive through Hakone national park offers close-up views of Mount Fuji for hours and, on a clear day in winter, the snow-capped volcano is a truly spectacular sight. Further breathtaking views of Fuji-san and Lake Ashi are afforded from the top of Mount Komagatake, which can be reached by cable car. There is a striking, bright-red, Shinto shrine on top of Mount Komagatake. The Tosho-gu shrine at Nikko, the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan for more than 250 years until 1868, is also an easy day trip from Tokyo. It features depictions of the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkeys. There are also “imaginary elephants”, created by an artist who had never seen these animals but only heard stories about them. The shrine complex is, and feels, centuries removed from the bright lights of

Shinjuku and the perpetual motion of the Shibuya Crossing. However, Tokyo has plenty of historic offerings of its own, with the Senso-ji temple site at Asakusa tracing its roots back to the seventh century. A trip to a Kabuki theatre performance should also be high on the itinerary of those with a particular interest in history and the arts. A train from Tokyo station to central Kamakura, and a change on to the old-style Enoden line, will also take you back in time. The Daibutsu or Great Buddha at Hase at Kamakura, a huge bronze masterpiece dating back to 1252, has survived tidal waves, fires and earthquakes over the centuries. The beach at Hase, popular with surfers, offers the opportunity to chill out beside the waves. Returning to Tokyo, there are many posters to remind you that this is a city gearing up for the 2020 Olympics. There is a drive to make everything as simple as possible for visitors who might find the city daunting. In reality, however, it is not really daunting at all once you get into the swing of things, with an efficient, extensive and easy-to-use public transport system and so much to see and do. Turkish Airlines’ impressive and memorable business class service, offering culinary delights ranging from smoked salmon and grilled seafood to Turkish meze and desserts as well as the chance to get a good sleep on the flat beds in between watching Hollywood blockbusters, ensures plenty of energy to seize the Tokyo experience. The noodle shop machine confusion cannot be blamed on tiredness. And the attention to detail on the flight is a fitting preparation for the Japanese capital. Six days later, reflecting on the whirlwind visit over some sushi and champagne as the return Turkish Airlines flight leaves the bright lights of the Japanese capital far below us, what is without doubt is that Tokyo and its surroundings offer a truly exhilarating experience. And one which will endure long in the memory.


VisitScotland and TripAdvisor team up to put Scotland on world stage

A European-first collaboration between VisitScotland and TripAdvisor will see Scotland’s world-class tourism offering promoted to almost 70 million new potential visitors, generating a potential additional spend of £150 million.

Malcolm Roughead OBE Chief Executive of VisitScotland

The multi-year deal between VisitScotland and TripAdvisor - the world’s largest travel website with 390 million average unique monthly visitors - follows a successful pilot programme last year that highlighted the wonders of Scotland to the TripAdvisor travel community. The First Minister announced the collaboration in New York at Carnegie Hall on the final day of her visit to the US where she was promoting Scotland as a place to do business. Following the successful launch of VisitScotland’s first global brand campaign – the Spirit of Scotland - and investment in new technologies, TripAdvisor and VisitScotland will also collaborate on a joint marketing campaign in the UK. In addition, Scotland has also been named the preferred “test partner” for new destination marketing products in Europe,

allowing TripAdvisor and VisitScotland to work together to understand how the latest technology can be used to allow more people to discover Scotland.

What digital does today is speed up our ability to innovate and to grow our global share of the tourism market. We all need to be involved in this.

TripAdvisor is the biggest tourism website in the world based on visitor’s real experiences. This partnership will give us the chance to learn from those at the forefront of innovation while inspiring millions of potential new visitors. This collaboration will help us put Scotland’s regions, cities and unique experiences on the world stage and to grow our tourism industry for future generations.

At VisitScotland, our investment in our digital strategy over the next 18 months will ensure that we use our talented team to their full effect. We will innovate and deliver in new ways to potential visitors and in doing so put Scotland ahead of the competition. Other recent examples include the launch of our successful Virtual Reality app which allows potential visitors to experience key attractions across Scotland whilst they are deciding on or planning their trip.

VisitScotland is discussing with TripAdvisor, among others, how they might help grow their social tourism programme, enabling disadvantaged families across the country to take a much needed break, ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism sustain and reach all parts of Scotland.

Scotland has always been a world leader in tourism so it is a natural progression for us to lead in the use of digital, reaching more visitors, keeping our country a leading visitor destination.

As an industry, tourism has so much more power to reach our customers now and, I believe, some way to go to before we realise our digital potential. This partnership with TripAdvisor is another significant step along that path.

Business Scotland



Spotlight on the West of Scotland

Business Scotland



Cut your business energy costs and save today Resource Efficient Scotland, the programme from Zero Waste Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Funds, is cutting the utility bills of Ayrshire businesses by helping them reduce the amount of energy, water and material they use. Now, all businesses across Ayrshire are being encouraged to take advantage of the support available. Abbé Cusack, Resource Efficient Scotland’s local adviser for Ayrshire, answers some of your questions about the free service.

Abbé Cusack

Which businesses can use the service? Any business, large or small, can get support. Contact us to find out what level of support is available for your business.

Do businesses need to invest money to make energy saving changes? No. Simple no-cost changes can often lead to impressive savings. While bigger projects do require investment, Resource Efficient Scotland can also provide access to grants and unsecured, interest free loans to help SMEs overcome any financial hurdles to becoming resource efficient and enjoying reduced bills.

Have many businesses have used Resource Efficient Scotland in Ayrshire? Hundreds of businesses in Ayrshire have already benefited from the support provided by Resource Efficient Scotland. Over 100 organisations have had in-depth, detailed advice, which has identified, on average, savings of over £8,000 per business.

How do businesses in Ayrshire get in touch? Call me (your local implementation advisor, Abbé Cusack) on 01292 525516 or email

What are the simplest ways that businesses can make savings? There are lots of simple things that businesses can do to get on their way to making savings. Just recording meter readings regularly is a great start and can often highlight issues of wasted profits in a business. Simply taking readings at the end of the working day and again first thing in the morning can highlight energy and water being wasted when the site is empty. This can quickly identify equipment being left on or water leaks for example. Encouraging staff to be more resource efficient is another great quick win - and Resource Efficient Scotland’s free posters and stickers are a really helpful resource to help SME do that. There are lots of ways to save money on energy, and I would encourage business managers in SMEs in Ayrshire to take full advantage of Resource Efficient Scotland’s free support. That way they can find out what the quickest and easiest way for their business to save will be.

Active in Ayrshire With over 100 Ayrshire businesses having already benefitted from Resource Efficient Scotland help, here’s one of the businesses that’s made significant savings. Microtech Support is an IT support and maintenance company based in Kilmarnock. They were referred to Resource Efficient Scotland by Scottish Enterprise, as they were looking to upgrade their building and seeking advice on how to reduce their energy and water bills.

great deal of support to Microtech. The energy audit allowed us to address our energy efficiency and green footprint.” Small to medium sized businesses can get all of the information they need to know by calling the national hotline on 0808 808 2268.

A resource efficiency audit was completed in May 2016, which made recommendations including upgrading their single glazing to double glazing, updating their old gas central heating boilers and replacing old fluorescent lighting with LED equivalents. Since the audit was complete, Microtech has upgraded their windows and installed a new boiler with plans to take further action in the future. They are on course to save over £4,500 per year on their energy bills, and reduce their CO2 emissions by 22.5 tonnes per year. That’s the equivalent of 45 Highland Cows! Claire Doolan, Group Office Manager, said: “Resource Efficient Scotland provided a Business Scotland



The Engineering approach to integrated IT systems In the age of technology, it’s crucial that your systems talk to each other. Integrated systems save time and make companies more efficient. Most IT systems are developed separately, and often these don’t communicate with each other – that’s where Innovec comes in. Based in Ayr, Innovec delivers IT Support and Consultancy to engineering and manufacturing businesses across Ayrshire, Central Scotland, and the wider UK. The company, which started in 2009, works with everyone from small one person businesses to large multi-site organisations with several hundred employees. Their experience and knowledge of engineering and manufacturing allows them to meet the needs of businesses, from streamlining data entry systems to ensuring that production systems talk to each other.

Our IT services fit your business

This means that staff quickly get the crucial information they need to be productive.

Innovec can help your business thrive by:

One example was an engineering company that wrote all its sales data manually onto a whiteboard when, in fact, the business already had the information in their system. Innovec developed a tool to display this data on a large screen automatically, saving a lot of laborious work for the staff.

n Minimising IT problems with proactive support

n Providing access to experienced IT professionals

Innovec does numerous such jobs, linking systems so that data flows smoothly between them.

Innovec can support most modern IT hardware and software and provides services to help maintain them.

In addition, customers can access their IT helpdesk with any IT Support requirement, which is managed through to completion by a team of skilled engineers.

You can find out more by contacting Iain Wham, Managing Director, on 01292 427420

n Streamlining your systems

n Maintaining the systems you depend on to avoid unnecessary expense

Order Processing

Engineering and Design

Database Management


Backup and Security


Planning for Manufacture

Server and PC Maintenancce

MRP System Support

12 Alloway Place, Ayr 01292 427420

Business Scotland




Production & Shop Floor Control

Invest in East Renfrewshire

One of Scotland’s most desirable places to live, with a booming housing market and access to top performing schools, East Renfrewshire is also a perfect location for investment. Situated 20 minutes south of Glasgow city centre and connected to the M77, the area’s infrastructure and economy is benefiting from £44m of Glasgow City Region City Deal investment. The Invest East Renfrewshire team provides a one-stop-shop service to assist your business with: • Land, development opportunities and business premises • Business development with signposting to grants and funding • Recruiting and training staff Dams to Darnley Country Park is undergoing an exciting transformation with a visitor centre, wake board park and boardwalk in development. Contact us to discuss retail, leisure and hospitality opportunities. @investeastren 0141 577 3773


East Ayrshire is ready for business Invest in East Ayrshire and be part of something bigger. That is the message behind a new business investment campaign encouraging businesses to take advantage of the excellent support networks, people and connections in East Ayrshire by shining a spotlight on its assets. Invest East Ayrshire is a collaboration of business-focussed agencies and organisations, led by East Ayrshire Council and Scottish Enterprise, with a shared vision of encouraging businesses to start up, expand or relocate in East Ayrshire. East Ayrshire is home to around 120,000 people, who benefit from great transport links by road, rail, sea and air, excellent digital connectivity and is surrounded by some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. There are 3,000 businesses in East Ayrshire, including small family-run firms and large international organisations, collectively employing 46,000 people. Business survival rates have improved, unemployment has reduced and hundreds of young people have been recruited into Modern Apprenticeships. In addition to a robust infrastructure, businesses and their employees in East Ayrshire can enjoy an excellent quality of life, a strong sense of community, good educational opportunities and attractive, affordable housing stock. Traditional industries, such as textiles and engineering are thriving. Locally over 1500 people are employed in engineering and manufacturing, covering everything from traditional mechanical engineering to aerospace and marine engineering. Emergency One in Cumnock is the leading manufacturer of fire engines in the UK,

Invest East Ayrshire is a one stop shop for companies to tap into a wide network of assistance, giving them access to a wealth of advice and support to help them succeed.

Business Scotland


while the Scot Seat Group in Stewarton designs and manufacturers bespoke seating for marine, military, commercial and passenger vehicles. In the textile industry, luxury knitwear firm Lochaven International is the official supplier of Harry Potter merchandise. Employing over 4000 people in food production and hospitality, the local food and drink sector supplies fine, home grown produce. Woody’s Ice-cream, Dunlop Dairy who produce artisan cheese, Ethical Ales , a craft brewer , Everything Chilli, and Grants of Scotland, a long established haggis producer are just a few of our many and varied food and drink producers thriving and supplying national and international markets. East Ayrshire is also home to a range of unique businesses such as Olympic curling stone manufacturers, Kays of Scotland, and leading fabrication and specialist metalworkers Annandale Designs. East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive, Fiona Lees explains: “Invest East Ayrshire is a one stop shop for companies to tap into a wide network of assistance, giving them access to a wealth of advice and support to help them succeed. “Business support ranges from helping to find commercial property and recruiting, developing and training staff, to accessing funding to embark on new projects.” “The area has a hardworking, loyal, skilled workforce. Good employees lie at the heart of any ambitious and forward-thinking business community. Finding the right people for the job is essential - whether to expand an existing business, to set up or relocate here. The support we have available makes it easy to source the right people to drive success.” Partners include Entrepreneurial Spark, a free business start-up accelerator programme for new companies; The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme, which offers training, mentoring, funding and resources to help 18 to 30 year olds start their own businesses; and Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International, who can assist with national and international growth.

The area offers a range of commercial property solutions, including industrial units, offices, retail premises and land available for new developments. In Kilmarnock, the principal site, Moorfield Business Park, is zoned for industrial use and construction of speculative units of varying sizes is commencing this year. The former Johnnie Walker factory site is the focus for the Halo Project, an imaginative new retail, leisure and business park, while work is well underway on the development of the Ingram Business Centre in the heart of the town, which will offer flexible serviced office units for small and start-up businesses. In Cumnock, a new retail development on Townhead Street is providing a modern, stylish option for local retailers and further new units will be available for rent in winter 2017 with the redevelopment of the former Glaisnock Centre. East Ayrshire Council chief executive Fiona Lees said: “Everyone who lives and works in East Ayrshire already knows how fantastic it is - now we are ready to send the message beyond our boundaries that this is a thriving, exciting place to do business. This is a special part of the country, proud of its past and ambitious for the future.”

We can offer assistance with: n Property and land searches n Support to recruit, develop and train staff n Tailored consultancy support for business development n Workshops, training and events n Access to grants and funding

To speak to us about support available please contact 01563 578304 or Further information is available

Be part of something bigger 01563 578304 • • @invest_ea • Invest East Ayrshire • #investEA


North Ayrshire Council – a Partnership for business growth North Ayrshire Council is transforming our local economy with Partnership working at the centre of our approach. Since 2010 we have been systematically changing how we work with our local businesses. Our first Economic Development and Regeneration (EDR) Strategy created a private sector-led EDR Board and includes Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Ayrshire College and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

And we have set six clear objectives to achieve this:

The Board is one of our clear success stories in recent years, along with our pioneering approach to providing business support. Team North Ayrshire is a collaboration between the public and private sector to create a single conduit for businesses to get the right support when they need it. Whether it’s from the Council, Scottish Enterprise or Skills Development Scotland – we work as a single team providing services from funding for training to employability programmes. 220 local companies with strong potential for growth have benefited from this approach.

n Building the capacity of our communities to grow themselves

Even more evidence of our success is demonstrated from our 3 year ambition to create 450 new jobs. 2 years in, this target has been exceeded by over 100% with 926 jobs already established. This unique way of working is recognised as best practice by the Scottish Government and is being used as a model elsewhere. At the end of 2016, we refreshed our EDR Strategy, based on fresh thinking from our businesses. Our mission is to make North Ayrshire the most improved local economy in Scotland by 2025.

Partnership working is central to the development of an exciting new economic vision for Ayrshire which will raise the bar yet again in how we transform our economy.

Business Scotland


n Creating even better conditions for business – inclusive and diverse n Improving transport and digital connectivity n Maximising the economic and social potential or our islands and towns

n Linking our future skills and improving productivity through education n Tracking long term unemployment and raising incomes Creating an environment in which our world-class businesses, such as UPM Caledonian, one of the world’s leading paper manufacturers and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, can thrive is key. Investment in our physical infrastructure includes: n Upgrading the A737 link to Glasgow Airport, starts on site in 2018, and will open up the north coast area of North Ayrshire and improve access to Ardrossan - the gateway to Arran n £30m investment at Brodick Harbour, creating a state-of-the-art Ferry terminal

Chief Executive Elma Murray, North Ayrshire Council

Council. The IBRC has been at the forefront of making i3 arguably the most successful enterprise area in Scotland, as well as leading significant regeneration of our town centres in Irvine, Kilwinning, Saltcoats and Ardrossan.

n The roll out of superfast broadband to connect our businesses, communities, schools and college.

Partnership working is central to the development of an exciting new economic vision for Ayrshire which will raise the bar yet again in how we transform our economy. The Ayrshire Growth Deal (AGD) is a partnership between the 3 Ayrshire Councils, and public and private sector partners for the benefit of the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economies.

Irvine is home to i3, Scotland’s largest life sciences enterprise area. £10m is being invested in the Irvine Enterprise Area to provide new infrastructure and buildings, making the site even more attractive for further investment, creating the potential for around 2,000 new local jobs. Dave Tudor, Vice President of Primary Supply for GSK and Chair of the Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group, said: “The life sciences sector in Scotland could be worth £8b a year by 2025.”

Our Strategic Business Case was submitted in October 2016 to both Scottish and UK Governments outlining our ambitious proposals for significant investment in the Ayrshire economy over a 20 year period. We are considering the potential for a new single Ayrshire Enterprise Agency and will work with the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review as a ‘Regional Pathfinder’. We will examine how a regional partnership can stimulate local economies by taking an inclusive approach to economic growth.

At the end of March 2017 the hugely successful Irvine Bay Regeneration Company (IBRC) will be wound down and residual activity will be taken forward directly by the

We are at an exciting point in the next stage of our economic evolution, yet again confirming that North Ayrshire is the place to be - for business.

n A £15.5m investment proposed for Ardrossan Harbour, including marine infrastructure, passenger access, terminal and parking improvements

Enterprising North Ayrshire is here to help grow your business. North Ayrshire Council’s business team offers a one stop shop for advice on funding, property, training, skills and useful business advice. Our unique approach to business support can offer companies a bespoke service to help them realise their potential for growth.

Call our Enterprising North Ayrshire advisers on 01294 449944. @NAyrshire_biz |   North Ayrshire Council ENTERPRISING North Ayrshire

North Ayrshire Council Comhairle Siorrachd Àir a Tuath


Investment continues at Hillington Park With the completion of Evolution Court, a new £6million commercial development, and a rolling investment programme of property refurbishments, Hillington Park is reinforcing its longstanding position as one of Scotland’s key business parks. The three new build developments have been created using the Park’s Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) guidelines - effectively a preagreed planning permission, jointly approved by Renfrewshire and Glasgow City Councils.

Evolution Court - four industrial units ranging from around 18,000 sq ft to almost 24,000 sq ft - will appeal to the manufacturing and logistics & distribution industries due to their close proximity to the M8 motorway and it complements other new developments underway from Lookers plc and Ducati Glasgow, Triumph Glasgow and West Coast Harley-Davidson, which are all expected to compete in 2017. Jamie Cumming from Hillington Park said: “Alongside the new commercial properties that are appearing we are also continuing to invest in refurbishing our existing stock to reinforce Hillington Park’s reputation as a highly desirable place to do business. Its position next to the M8 and motorway

network, just a short trip to Glasgow Airport and home to two railway stations means that it is highly accessible to the many thousands of people who work here every day and to those customers who come to visit the hundreds of companies based on the Park.”

Jamie Cumming added: “The Park also benefits from a busy amenity centre including an award winning nursery and a range of high quality retail outlets. The Park’s gym and conference facilities are well used and add important value to the whole experience of being based here.”

Evolution Court Highly visible and accessible location - Glasgow M8 frontage


4 high quality industrial buildings


Av aila No ble w

17,728 to 23,950 sq ft To join us call the Hillington Park team on

0141 883 5760 Together, we are

Business Scotland



Our Visitor Centre is now open at Hunterston B Power station Come and visit us Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm

Why not book a plant tour? See for yourself how a nuclearr power station works. All plant tours require advanced booking and will also be available at the weekend, subjectt to availability and demand. All this is free of charge. If you would like to book a tour or get more information, please contact us: Telephone: 01294 826008 Email:

Ayrshire’s Only Independent School

Business Scotland



Luxury Interiors & Exceptional Facilities The Firth Pavilion has been designed to be the best conference and meeting venue in the region, offering executives an outstanding level of service, comfort, food quality and information technology systems. With over sixteen kilometres of high speed network cable and fibre optic internet access the Firth Pavilion is one of the most advanced conference venues in the country offering unmatched facilities for video conference and collaborative meetings. All of our conference rooms offer staggering views of the Firth of Clyde for parties from under 20 to over 200, are fully air conditioned and offer room automation allowing the remote control of the advanced AV, heating, lighting and window blinds. The large TorryLinn Suite can be divided to form the Iorsa and Kilmory Suites. If you are looking for a small intimate meeting or holding interviews the Pladda Room is the perfect space, offering a comfortable and relaxed alternative to a

Business Scotland


Image Credit: Jarvie & Jones:

formal conference room. Conference Packages Day Delegate Package Catering includes as standard: Mineral waters and fruit platter – replenished throughout the day On arrival tea, coffee, fruit juices, morning bagels and Danish pastries Mid-morning coffee break with cookies Individual freshly prepared bento-style

lunch box for all delegates from a choice of 3 options Mid-afternoon coffee break with cream scones and patisserie All IT equipment is included without additional costs, the range and quality of these facilities is market leading. Costs in 2017 n Day Delegate £35.00 n 24hr Delegate £130.00 n 36hr Delegate £160.00


Foundation Apprentice Connor Waldron

Building a better future with Foundation Apprenticeships

Wondering how you’re going to identify and recruit the next generation of your workforce? Well you’re likely to stand a better chance if you get involved with the Foundation Apprenticeship programme. Young people should be able to gain valuable work experience and industry recognised qualifications and skills while they’re still at school. So Foundation Apprenticeships have been designed by employers to do just this – they ensure you can build the skills your industry needs now and in the future. As Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “They are the chance to get a head start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and gaining the experience every employer looks for.” And that’s because Foundation Apprentices work on real projects with your staff. They bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to those tasks and they help young people build the skills your industry actually needs for the future. Young people also develop the soft skills – like problem solving in a workplace, working with others and communicating with people - that employers need and that come from quality work experience. So they’re better prepared for the workplace when they leave school, whatever career path they ultimately choose to follow. Foundation Apprenticeships are for young people in the senior phase of secondary

Business Scotland


school and are taken alongside other school subjects. Young people undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship spend part of their time in school, in college and in the workplace. They are designed to benefit young people and the economy by ensuring young people gain qualifications and skills that employers need and employers build the skills their industry needs and prepare future employees for the world of work. Currently available in ten subjects, including civil engineering, software development and financial services, Foundation Apprenticeships are linked to growth sectors of the Scottish economy meaning young people are getting industry experience and skills that are needed to secure jobs and a career in your industry. By August 2017 Foundation Apprenticeships should be on offer in every local authority area in Scotland with places currently being recruited for almost 2,000 young people. Our ambition is for them to be part of every school’s offer by 2020, giving many more young people the skills and experience that Scotland’s employers need. At SDS we are working in strategic partnership with the Chamber to promote Foundation Apprenticeships to employers.

We want as many employers to be aware of the opportunities they offer to young people and their businesses. And we want more employers to get involved and work with young people on their Foundation Apprenticeship giving you the chance to attract motivated young people who want a head start in their careers, and create a high quality skills pipeline for your business. The feedback we receive from young people, their schools and employers is overwhelmingly positive. As Maria Wilcockson, Apprenticeship Scheme Manager, Prudential said: “For Prudential, Foundation Apprenticeships act as a natural feed into our own successful apprenticeship programme, providing better trained recruits. It also provides us with a route via which we can support more young people gain the employability skills to get on in life.” If you are an employer and want to find out more about how Foundation Apprenticeships can help your business, please contact Garry Clark on or call 0141-204-8316


First in Scotland for vehicle emissions scheme The first scheme in Scotland to use NASA technology to monitor vehicle emissions has been launched. The Vehicle Emissions Partnership, which is made up of West Lothian, East Lothian, Midlothian and Falkirk councils, aims to reduce harmful vehicle emissions by educating drivers about the impact their cars have on of air pollution. They have undertaken a pilot scheme using state-of the-art remote detection Emissions Detecting and Reporting (EDAR) technology in sites in Edinburgh, Broxburn in West Lothian and are assisting with set up in Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire. EDAR uses satellite and laser technology to give a true picture of vehicle emissions, as well as recording license plate, speed, acceleration and temperature of the exhaust. Information recorded during the pilot will be shared between the local authorities involved, and Scottish Government agencies such as Transport Scotland and SEPA. Funding for the pilot project has been provided by the Scottish Government. Tom Burr from the Vehicle Emissions Partnership said: “We hope this EDAR pilot scheme will assess the benefits of the technology to help demonstrate to drivers the emissions emitted by their vehicles, and make them consider the impact of their actions on the environment. “Vehicle emissions data will be collected for every car which passes under the EDAR equipment during the trial in Edinburgh, West Lothian and North Lanarkshire. “This will provide a huge amount of raw data to help councils and agencies looking at areas such as fleet analysis, modelling and public awareness, helping inform plans to tackle the issues associated with vehicle emissions in the future.” The EDAR system has been developed by ex-NASA scientist and EDAR inventor, Dr. Stewart Hager. His firm

Hager Environmental and Atmospheric Technologies (HEAT) have already successfully used EDAR in America and England.

entire exhaust plume of a moving vehicle. The unmanned system collects data on various gases such as CO, CO2, NOx, HC and PM.

EDAR contains a multi-patented system of hardware and software, which allows for a multi spectral 3-dimensional image of the

Specialist temporary installation of the EDAR equipment has been carried out by Lochwynd.

We hope this EDAR pilot scheme will assess the benefits of the technology to help demonstrate to drivers the emissions emitted by their vehicles, and make them consider the impact of their actions on the environment.

Business Scotland



Business Scotland



How mentors are boosting Scotland’s competitive edge From film to architecture to design and games, Scotland’s creative sector has long punched far above its weight on the global stage supporting 60,000 Scottish jobs and boosting our global reputation for as a nation of innovators. The £5 billion creative industries are a critical element of Scotland’s wider knowledge economy, driving innovation as well as enriching the culture of cities and communities and attracting international interest and tourism.

expanding their horizons. With the majority being SMEs, there is great potential within many of our companies to take advantage of growth opportunities.

By their very nature, the creative industries are multi-disciplinary, partly due to the high number of graduates they attract and the combination of science, technology and business skills this fosters.

Susan started out providing graphic design services and now offers a full suite of products from branding and website design to printed products and event materials.

However, while global demand in the creative industries is growing, so are the number of other nations looking to expand their own creative economies. In today’s hugely competitive marketplace, in which customer demands are constantly changing, it’s essential that we build on our strengths and ambitions to make sure Scotland remains a global player. Investment in mobile connectivity, digital skills and infrastructure are all key enablers that will support creative businesses and increased backing from both Scottish & UK Governments will act as strong indicators of confidence in the industry. At the same time, we need our creative businesses to recognise the importance of

Susan Anderson, MD of Eikon Design, epitomises what can be achieved.

One of the key decisions she made during the growth of her company was to join Business Mentoring. Recognising the challenges of running her own business, Susan wanted an independent and experienced business person who could act as a sounding board for her ideas, challenges and future growth. Susan’s mentor had 30+ years of experience in a range of sectors including IT, sales and retail. Having taken a strategic look at her business and, with the benefit of her mentor’s expertise and guidance, she re-branded her company, streamlined her service offering and, most importantly, re-ignited her passion for the business. The result has been a 50% increase in profits

and the creation of a more sustainable and profitable enterprise. Our Business Mentoring service provides access to over 800 mentors across Scotland and by sharing our experts’ entrepreneurial experiences, gives businesses the confidence and know-how to develop and grow and as well as opening up a network of contacts who can open doors and inspire new thinking. Businesses that are generating a steady turnover with the potential to increase turnover growth by £200,000 or more over a 3 year period can apply for this fully funded service. To find out more about this service, the mentors and how mentoring can help your business to grow, visit

A Partnership between Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Scottish Enterprise

Our Business Mentoring service provides access to over 800 mentors across Scotland and by sharing our experts’ entrepreneurial experiences, gives businesses the confidence and know-how to develop and grow and as well as opening up a network of contacts who can open doors and inspire new thinking. Business Scotland



Unlock economic growth by mentoring women in business Jacquelyn O’Brien Business Support Executive - Women’s Mentoring, SCC

The importance of a Mentor reaches beyond just growing a business - it unlocks the true potential of an individual, it recognises their vision and helps to craft their purpose in business and in life. That’s why mentoring is one of the most effective tools which can guide the challenges and opportunities and navigate a path to success. Mentoring is a great opportunity to have an outside perspective, learn from the experiences of others, build on your skills and expand your network. These are some of the reasons why I believe the case for Mentoring has never been stronger. It makes economic, social and business sense.

Business Scotland


Some of the most globally recognised women in the world credit their personal growth and business success to having a mentor. Indra Nooyi, Chairwoman & CEO of PepsiCo, is one of the most influential business person in the world and has publicly said that she is product of successful mentoring, without which she would not have reached her successful heights in business. From a Scotland perspective, the need for mentoring more women in business is important from a social perspective and an economic one. In Scotland alone, only 20% of SMEs in Scotland are majority owned by women. If women started businesses at the same rate as men, it could contribute an additional £7.6bn to Scotland’s economy. The economic benefit alone is something we should all get behind but the social impact of a more diverse and balanced economy is core to securing a sustainable economy for the future.

That said, there are gender-specific barriers that we have to remove so that we can unlock the economic and social potential of mentoring. Take this statistic: a recent study showed that over 60% of women rate mentorship as highly important in advancing their careers, yet the same number reported they have never had a formal mentor. We also have to consider the perception of women-led businesses, the role of family, other barriers if any (?) and tackle them head-on. As Scotland’s largest international business network, we have made it our mission to unlock the economic potential of having more women in business and leading businesses. it’s a common sense approach to growing Scotland’s economy - let’s get behind it.


Left to right, Kathleen, Daniel, Jamie, CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan

CalMac apprentices celebrate a year of firsts as part of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week A group of three of CalMac’s current 19 apprentices, came together as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week on 7th March 2017 to celebrate a year of notable milestones for the company’s training programmes. The students were joined at the company’s Gourock headquarters by Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan, as well as CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester, and representatives from the company, Skills Development Scotland and City of Glasgow College. Manging Director Martin Dorchester spoke about the value that apprentices bring to CalMac: “I am extremely proud of the young people who have come up through our apprenticeship training; they are a genuinely strong addition to our teams across the network and have been welcomed by our crews.” CalMac weren’t only celebrating the success of their apprentices but also their new partnership with City of Glasgow College (COGC) which marks a landmark in the apprenticeship programme as it brings all elements of the apprenticeship programme to Scotland for the first time as previously apprentices would have to study at South Shields on Tyneside. Former engineering apprentice Megan MacDonald spoke about the new partnership with COGC: “Bringing the classroom element of the courses to Scotland for the first time has been a long-held goal of ours and I’m delighted the partnership with City of Glasgow College has successfully brought this to fruition” Talking about the partnership City of Glasgow College Principal and CEO, Paul

Left to right, hospitality apprentice Kathleen MacDonald from North Uist, deck apprentice Jamie Humphreys from Greenock and engineering apprentice Daniel MacIntyre from the Isle of Skye

Little said; “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Caledonian MacBrayne. City of Glasgow Colleges very much values the important role employers play in shaping our educational system to create a talent pool for recruiting the workforce of the future. By linking directly with the maritime industry our college offers a rich blend of personalised learning which not only focuses on the individual needs of our students but in turn makes a vital contribution to our nation’s economy.” Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates and highlights achievements and opportunities for young people around the country, as well as recognising employers who enable the training and the benefits such commitment

makes to the economy in the short and longer term. Since 2013, 40 apprentices have been part of CalMac apprenticeships – 90 per cent of those who have qualified have been employed by the company. The schemes have grown significantly in popularity and, in 2016, for the 2016-2017 intake, around 1,200 young people applied for just 30 available positions. The Merchant Navy Training Board – which recognises training programmes for professional mariners – has named CalMac as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers.

Business Scotland



The global transformation of Cone Drive, a Scottish-backed business When Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC), an engineering investment firm based in East Kilbride, acquired US-based Cone Drive in October 2012, the industrial gearing company was about to embark on a remarkable journey of rapid transformation into a globally integrated business with operations on three continents serving a wide range of precision motion control technology markets. At the time of CBC’s original acquisition, Cone Drive, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, was predominantly viewed as an industrial gearing company specialising in high shock load and torque dense double enveloping worm gear and servo drive technology. They had a commitment to both operational and engineering excellence, combining highly efficient manufacturing processes, excellent product development skills and a deep-rooted software development capability, which they utilised

Having operational excellence in both North America and China allows us to support and expand our customer base in both regions.

Business Scotland


to design and manufacture a wide range of configured and bespoke product solutions.

development opportunities and follow them through.”

In 2012, Cone Drive served a diverse range of industrial markets and had just dipped its toe into the solar power generation market. The business operated out of the US with no presence beyond that and virtually all sales were into North America.

CBC repositioned Cone Drive to become a leader in the industrial technology space, focussing on precision motion control technologies. There were three important factors in achieving this vision:

From Traverse City to Jiangyin, China! With a strong management team already in place, CBC sought to build upon the qualities that the company already exhibited - the commitment to operational and engineering excellence, the particular unique features of it’s product range and the opportunities that they could see for the company’s capabilities in wider markets and geographies. CBC Partner, Dougie Hawkins, commented: “We saw a strong opportunity to create a leading global player. Given the strengths we identified at Cone Drive and the latent growth potential within the business, we considered Cone Drive to be a sleeping giant. We just needed to invest in the right

1) Geographic Expansion: Due to Cone Drive’s success in their domestic market, CBC saw no reason, given its competitive positioning, that they could not replicate the success in other overseas geographies. 2) Product Expansion: CBC sought to broaden the range of product solutions that Cone Drive had in its locker to solve their customer’s multitude of precision motion control challenges. 3) Markets Expansion: By broadening their product portfolio and geographic reach, CBC wanted to open new and faster growing markets to the business, expanding the addressable market opportunity.


The acquisition of H-Fang, based in Jiangyin, China, in September 2014 represented a key milestone in the geographic expansion of the business. The acquisition provided Cone Drive access to the fast growing domestic solar and robotics markets and through H-Fang’s two manufacturing facilities in China, allowed Cone Drive to ensure it remained competitive in its now global markets. At the time of the H-Fang acquisition Cone Drive CEO, Kurt Gamelin, commented: “The addition of H-Fang to the Cone Drive business furthers our globalisation strategy and expands our precision motion control product portfolio, both key elements of Cone Drive’s longer term growth strategy. Having operational excellence in both North America and China allows us to support and expand our customer base in both regions.” However, the global expansion did not halt there. Cone Drive further invested in establishing a sales organisation in Europe,

expanding Cone Drive’s international presence across three continents.

A move into robotics Product expansion was achieved by a combination of acquisition and inhouse product developments. The acquisition of H-Fang introduced a range of precision slewing drives and precision slewing bearings to the product portfolio. Additionally, Cone Drive began developing another type of specialist gearing, their Harmonic Solutions product range, that was successfully launched in September 2016. The market dynamics of this product were particularly attractive as not only is it a critical component in the fast growing robotics market, the engineering and manufacturing technologies required to produce the product meant there were very few organisations in the world doing so. Through their expanded product capability and geographic reach, Cone Drive entered

new and fast growing motion control markets where they previously did not operate. They are now a global leader in high precision tracking solutions for the solar power generation industry and can offer a full suite of tracking solutions for all forms of solar power generation – PV, CPV and CSP. The development of the Harmonic Solutions range has opened up the fast growing robotics market in addition to medical robotics and satellite tracking markets.

Embracing automation Through an ambitious and successful repositioning strategy deployed by CBC, Cone Drive is now a global player in precision motion control technology markets. “Cone Drive’s repostioning has been well received by the market and the large opportunity pipeline that has been created supports growth well into the future. However, Cone Drive continues to innovate. The team has commenced development of their cycloidal drive, another technically challenging high precision product, deepening their capabilities in the robotics and precision motion control arena,” added Hawkins. The global trading brands of Cone Drive and H-Fang offer an extensive range of highly engineered precision motion control technology products, services, and bespoke engineered solutions that satisfy the most challenging requirements across the world. Having established itself as a leader in precision motion control technology on a global platform, Cone Drive is embracing the evolution toward increased automation, connectivity and real time performance analytics in manufacturing. The next stage for Cone Drive is to develop its wider sensor, electromechanical and mechatronic capabilities to offer customers the ultimate in precision motion control technology.

Business Scotland



Scotland’s businesses are ready to grasp the opportunities Liz Cameron OBE

Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Scotland’s economy is getting smaller at the same time as the UK economy as a whole is growing at a healthy rate. That is the snapshot from the Scottish Government’s calculations of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It would be wrong to read too much from one quarter’s set of figures and it is perhaps too soon to speculate about a Scottish recession, but the contrast between the performance of the fortunes of the Scottish and UK economies throughout the past two years is a major cause for concern that requires to be addressed by urgent government action. With the additional powers that the Scottish Parliament has gained, the capacity exists for Scotland’s politicians to deliver even more reasons to do business in Scotland, rather than anywhere else in the UK. Unfortunately, in its most recent Budget, the Scottish Parliament has decided upon a path of higher taxation. The business rates tax in Scotland for medium and larger businesses is 49.2 per cent, compared to a maximum of 47.9 per cent in England. Higher rate income tax payers in Scotland will from this week be paying up to £400 per year more than those earning the same salary anywhere else in the UK, and this additional burden could potentially rise to as much as £1400 per year if current policies are maintained. These kinds of policies send out all the wrong messages about building up a successful business in Scotland and retaining vital skills in our economy.

Business Scotland


During 2013 and 2014, both the Scottish and UK economies enjoyed healthy and consistent levels of growth, with Scotland recording an average quarterly GDP growth during that period of just under 0.6 per cent and the UK at just over 0.7 per cent. However, after outperforming the UK in the first quarter of 2015, the Scottish economy took a notable downturn, averaging growth of just over 0.1 per cent per quarter in 2015 and 2016, compared to a healthy 0.5 per cent for the UK as a whole. Indeed, the figures released yesterday show that Scotland’s economy has dipped into negative territory twice during that period – in the third quarter of 2015 as well as the fourth quarter of 2016. Why has this happened? Well, the point of divergence between Scottish and UK performance in 2015 matches with the point at which the fall in the price of oil became sustained and when oil and gas businesses began to downsize their operations, not just in the north east of Scotland but across the country. With half of the UK’s oil and gas jobs based in Scotland, the effect of the downturn was magnified in Scotland, where the sector forms a larger part of our economy than for the wider UK. This may explain the origin of the divergence at least, but it is more concerning in terms of what has been happening over the past year. In that time, we have begun to see some recovery in oil prices from the low point in January 2016 and there is consistent evidence to suggest that the problems besetting the UK oil and gas sector may be bottoming out, if not yet showing consistent signs of recovery. Yet throughout 2016, the Scottish economy has flatlined, recording no year-on-year growth at all between the end of 2015 and the end of 2016. During this time, the UK economy managed to return

growth of 1.9 per cent - a solid, if not by any means stellar, performance. This underperformance matters because if we are failing to produce additional value in our economy, then businesses will find it very difficult to sustain jobs and invest for the future. It is all the more concerning because growth is being experienced in the rest of the UK, making it a more attractive destination for investment. This is another reason why it is more important than ever to ensure that Scotland is seen to be a competitive place in which to do business and to invest. Scotland has much to recommend it as a business location. We have a great environment, some very talented people, rapidly improving connectivity and some of the world’s best colleges and universities. These are all factors that play a major part in enabling the success of our domestic businesses and in attracting new investment from overseas. However, we also need a supportive fiscal environment that encourages businesses to invest and grow. Businesses can understand why the Scottish Government seeks greater resources to invest in securing the future of essential public services, such as health and education, and in developing our national infrastructure and connectivity. The best way to achieve that growth in resources is to use its powers to support businesses and grow our economy, thus ensuring greater future revenues: more businesses, creating more jobs and generating more returns through the tax system. Unfortunately it is not yet clear that all politicians are in tune with that ambition. The Scottish Government’s policy on business rates is a case in point.


The contribution of business rates to Scottish Government revenues has risen from £1.8 billion in 2007-8 to over £2.6 billion in the current year. Not only is this an increase of almost 45 per cent, but the burden now falls upon only around half of business premises - the rest receiving relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Imposing a heavier tax burden on the businesses and the people we already have is not the answer, and will only hinder, rather than help, economic growth. Instead, government has a vital role to play in supporting businesses, fostering the creation of new enterprises and new jobs, so that more businesses and individuals are paying into the pot. That is the only way in which we will free up businesses to innovate, invest and recruit, enabling the sustainable growth in the wealth of Scotland and the revenues for government. If more proof were needed, the Scottish Government only needs to look at the experience of the Land and Buildings Transaction tax, where the decision to raise the burden on more expensive properties has not resulted in the scale of returns that were expected.

These recent tax increases are only part of the story. The UK Government has also added to the burden with its Apprenticeship Levy, the National Living Wage and new workplace pension arrangements. All of these measures may be well intentioned, but the cumulative effect can be challenging for some businesses to deal with, so need to be handled sensitively. The contraction in Scotland’s economy happened in the period from October to December last year – in other words before most of the latest tax increases had come into effect. Combined with the uncertainties around Brexit and Scotland’s constitutional future, it therefore looks likely that there may be further turbulence ahead for Scottish businesses. It is important though to focus on the positives and the opportunities to help get the Scottish economy back on track for convergence with the UK. We have an independent review of Scotland’s business rates due to report this summer and the Scottish Government will again have an opportunity to reform this tax in order to reduce businesses’ fixed costs and free up resources for investment and jobs.

It also needs to rethink its position on personal taxation, which could otherwise have a growing impact on Scotland’s ability to attract and retain the skills our economy needs. Many other positive things are happening. For example, the Scottish Government is making progress with its enterprise and skills review and this presents an important opportunity to reinvigorate the way in which Scotland’s public and private sectors can work together. Chambers of Commerce are also working with the Scottish Government to build international business to business contact to help generate gains in terms of Scotland’s exports. This week’s growth figures must signal a wake-up call to politicians across Scotland and the UK with an interest in Scotland’s economic wellbeing. Whatever other challenges our parliaments and governments may face – and there are many right now – it is clear that the task of getting our economy back on track must be their most urgent priority. Scotland’s businesses are ready to grasp the opportunities and, with the right support, we can deliver the successes. First published in Scottish Daily Mail

Subdued Scottish Economy needs clear steer from government Neil Amner

Chair of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Economic Advisory Group Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Indicator engages with five of Scotland’s key business sectors: Construction, Financial and Business Services, Manufacturing, Retail & Wholesale, and Tourism. These findings, released in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute show the position of businesses for the first quarter of 2017. In the wake of the surprising figures released by the Scottish Government earlier this month which showed that the Scottish economy contracted at the end of last year, all eyes will be examining these results for signs of Scotland’s economic prospects. Neil Amner, Chair of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Economic

Advisory Group, said: “In January, our survey warned that Scotland’s economy stood on a knife edge and these latest figures point to continued subdued performance in the early part of this year. However, the picture across the various sectors is less even than it was at the end of 2016, with the manufacturing sector recording very encouraging results, again driven by exports. The financial and business services sector has also rebounded significantly from its position at the beginning of 2016, though this is at least in part as a result of a significant improvement in the prospects of oil and gas service sector businesses from a low base. “The outlook for construction is again fairly flat and performance in both retail & wholesale and in tourism looks to be negative in comparison to the same period last year, though the first quarter has in the past proved to be a difficult period seasonally for both sectors.

retail and wholesale sector has reported its highest prediction of price rises since the third quarter of 2011: a time when inflation stood at over 5%. There are also worrying signs of declining investment trends, particularly in the tourism sector, which has suffered as a result of this year’s business rates revaluation. “Uncertainty is the word that is on everyone’s lips. Whether as a result of Brexit, the upcoming General Election, or the prospect of a Scottish independence referendum, it is certainly a feature of business life in Scotland at the moment. To help businesses to deal with that and to get back to investment and job creation, we need a clear steer from our Governments north and south of the border that business success is a clear priority. As we approach a General Election, we expect the political parties to pledge targeted tax cuts, potentially including a temporary cut in VAT, in order to bolster consumer demand.”

“Warning signs continue to be manifested in terms of higher prices; for example, the

Business Scotland



Optimism grows in the world of conferences and exhibitions Like the rest of the economy, the conferences and exhibitions industry has been through challenging times but the signs are that the sector is thriving. That was underlined by a report compiled by the Events Industry Forum and the Business Visits & Events Partnership, which suggested the future could be bright for the industry. It highlighted opportunities for growth in the UK Events Industry, which it suggested can grow from its existing ÂŁ42.2 billion to ÂŁ48.4 billion by 2020. Recent economic figures pointing to an upturn in business confidence will drive that even more, experts believe. So as business recovers, what are you looking for if you are trying to organise a conference or exhibition and need to select a venue? One of the key factors, according to industry experts, is a good location, somewhere that is easy to reach and attractive for delegates. When assessing the venue, other factors

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come into play as well. Can it cope with the numbers expected to attend, has it got a good meeting room, will it provide equipment like projectors and Internet access, are the staff friendly and flexible in helping you meet your needs? The good venues are the ones that can tailor themselves to providing the exact needs of the event organisers and are prepared to be flexible. Their staff are expert and able to bring often complex events together in a skilful way. Another approach for conference originators is to bring in a specialist company to do the legwork. The staff at these outsource companies will have encountered just about every problem presented by the process and take all the worry away from the company originating the event.

Linked to the conferences and exhibitions market is the need to offer corporate hospitality as part of the package and many conference and events organisers are integrating such attractions into their events. More and more companies are realising that the sector needs to offer as much value as possible and that is leading to a growing sense of innovation. One of the things that makes an exhibition successful is a sense that something is happening so it is useful to have staged areas for demonstrations and performances, or for companies to show their products at work. Such activities, with the interest they attract, makes an exhibition feel like it is alive. All good exhibitions have a touch of theatre about them.


ENLIGHTENING CONFERENCES AT EICC The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is an impressive venue for conferences, events and exhibitions. Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the EICC boasts innovative facilities which are fully accessible and incredibly flexible. Above all, our venue provides the perfect environment to inspire the vital networking and sharing of ideas which bring your event to life.

Contact us today to discuss the requirements for your next event. Edinburgh International Conference Centre | The Exchange | Edinburgh | EH3 8EE t: 0131 300 3333 e: w:


Inspiring space for creative thinking Renovations are now complete at the five-star Fairmont St Andrews. Taking inspiration from the surrounding area, the public spaces have been updated with a rich colour scheme and nautical elements including a lighting installation by renowned artist George Singer. With over 30,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space, it is the perfect venue for creativity, innovation and team building.






Day Delegate Rates from £55.00 per delegate FOR DETAILS CALL 01334 837 000 l EMAIL SAB.SALESDL@FAIRMONT.COM VISIT FAIRMONT.COM/STANDREWS

*terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.

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The versatile conference room can be configured as a board room or theatre arrangement, with a break out room and office for preparation. Duchally also offers tailor-made team-building sessions in association with partners, including clay-pigeon shooting, falconry lessons and fishing.

the perfect location for business and pleasure!

Delegates can energise themselves with time in the leisure centre or relax in the comfortable bar before retiring for the night in a luxury hotel room or one of the splendid lodges.

Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire PH3 1PN, Scotland

+44 (0)1764 663 071 | |

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CC0417 - 153843

Set in 27 acres of Perthshire parkland, CLC Duchally Country Estate, with its fine food reputation and warming Whisky bar, creates a unique atmosphere for corporate conferences and celebrations.


Not to be missed…Scotland Works 3 & 4 May The SEC is hosting Scotland Works, on 3 – 4 May 2017, a new two day event designed to support Scotland’s industrial, commercial and public sectors in running safe and efficient businesses and organisations. Fire Safety Scotland - Supporting the fire safety industry and wider community in Scotland.

Set to become an annual event, Scotland Works, will consist of six events, the established Health & Safety Scotland plus - Facilities Scotland, Fire Safety Scotland, Safer Logistics Scotland, Cleaning Scotland and Maintenance Scotland. Visitors will include senior managers, decision makers and purchase influencers from across Scotland’s industrial, commercial and public sectors. Scotland Works will be made up of an exhibition of over 300 market leaders showcasing the latest products and services, plus five theatres where a jaw-dropping 36 hours of free educational talks and panel debates, will be presented by leading industry experts covering best practise advice, policy and legislation. Commenting Tim Else, event director at Scotland Works says, “We’ve had an enthusiastic response from both visitors and exhibitors since announcing the launch of Scotland Works.

Maintenance Scotland - Committed to driving the highest standards in industrial maintenance and asset management. Facilities Scotland - Scotland's only independent event for the Facilities & Estates Management Industries. “Visitors to Scotland Works will have the opportunity to mix with like-minded industry colleagues, check out the latest products and services available and hear from experts and thought-leaders. “We expect a very successful inaugural event.” Registration, which is free, will give you access to ALL the co-located shows: Health & Safety Scotland - Scotland's only dedicated event for Health & Safety professionals.

Cleaning Scotland - Scotland's premier event for cleaning and hygiene service professionals. Safer Logistics - Providing logistics professionals with the tools and guidance to tackle safety hot spots. For more information or to register for free entry simply visit Opening hours are 9 – 4pm. For exhibitor enquiries contact or 01342 314300

Working together for a productive Scotland A major new event for Scotland, Scotland Works is designed to support the industrial, commercial and public sectors in running safe, efficient and therefore profitable businesses. Six events in one, each delivering a compelling combination of educational content and market leading suppliers.







hours of free educational content

outstanding speakers

Send your entire team! FREE visitor badges available online today

Register to receive your FREE visitor badge at

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Conference Centre Situated between Aberdeen and Inverness, the AGB Centre is based at the Moray College UHI campus in Elgin. This state-of-the-art Conference Centre is the ideal venue for meetings, seminars, corporate events, awards ceremonies, exhibitions and international conferences in a prestigious contemporary setting. Specialising in education, business and health related events, our dedicated Events team are here to help you - contact us today to discuss your upcoming meeting, event or conference: Email: Web: @AGBCentre

Board of Management of Moray College is a registered Scottish Charity, No. SC02105


Scotland’s Conference Centre for Digital Health It may be one of Scotland’s smallest regions, but when it comes to life sciences, education and tourism, Moray punches well above its weight! Situated between Aberdeen and Inverness, the Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health (AGB Centre) in Elgin has been designed to bring together the expertise in digital healthcare and life sciences within the Moray region and across Scotland. This innovative research, education and business hub is an alliance between Moray College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Moray’s healthcare provider NHS Grampian, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The contemporary building with conference centre sits within Moray College UHI campus and provides teaching facilities for the college, research offices available to businesses and also houses medical research and training rooms used by NHS Grampian.

The Centre’s state-of-the-art conferencing facilities provides an ideal venue for any conference, exhibition or corporate event. It is a popular and prestigious setting for training and seminars. With up to date technology and flexible accommodation we can offer you a range of different spaces to suit your event. The AGB Centre also provides opportunities for business start-ups working in the field

of digital health technologies and research, with our research offices available for lease. The exciting combination of academia, health care and business creates a stimulating environment encouraging innovation and knowledge transfer. Contact us today to discuss your upcoming events or if you would like more information about the Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health.


AT PERTH RACECOURSE REWARD | REFRESH | RE-ENERGISE Scone Palace Park, Perth PH2 6BB | 01738 551597 |

Business Scotland



Glasgow Makes It Global Moray Chamber Aids in the Development of Internationally Recognised Skills for Young People

Following last year’s trade visit by Glasgow Chamber to Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the signing of the international trade partnership with British Chambers of Commerce for Italy further events are on the cards in the coming months.

Moray Chamber of Commerce has recently played a proud role in enhancing relationships and assisting in the organisation of a unique two day WorldHost course displaying key partnerships between Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), local businesses and education.

Make it with Manhattan

The course saw over 75 pupils from across Moray’s 9 secondary schools group together to receive the same high quality training that was also provided for all the volunteers of the 2012 Olympics. The training the students received had previously reached over 1million people worldwide and therefore offered a skillset with international recognition. This particular event was aimed at students who showed an interest in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. This project also gave Moray Chamber of Commerce the opportunity to join forces with the two entities under their auspices; Moray Speyside Tourism (MST) and DYW to create an enterprising, community engaging programme. The two day course was very generously supported by Johnstons of Elgin alongside DYW and MST. The training instilled key customer service standards which are integral to employers within the Tourism and Hospitality industry. With this qualification being obtained already by over 10% of Scotland’s Tourism workforce, it is a recognised CV booster that should support the young people regardless of the industry they choose to work in. Willie Wood, HR Director of Johnstons of Elgin mentioned that “Whilst WorldHost training is aimed at the tourism and service sector, any

Business Scotland


If you want to make connections with businesses from the planet’s most exciting city, it’s time to get these dates in your diary. We are hosting a return visit of a delegation from Manhattan Chamber of Commerce on 24th and 25th May 2017. The visit will comprise of B2B meeting, networking and business connection events.

Make it in Milan

candidate who has this on their CV will be of interest to a potential employer. This is not just because of the quality of the training, but will also recognise their initiative in undertaking the training in the first place. “ WorldHost training has been extensively rolled-out in the area in partnership with MST. Elgin has already grasped WorldHost destination status with the rest of Moray hot on its heels. The Moray Economic Partnership is encouraging the initiative across Moray to achieve WorldHost Regional Destination status, to go hand in hand with both international trade and tourism links. Moray Chamber of Commerce continues to support its members in the development of key skills and partnerships such as this, for the enhancement of business both locally and internationally.

Our first business visit in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce for Italy, will be taking place on 5th and 6th June 2017. We will be taking a business delegation from Glasgow to Milan for a series of business connection events, meeting and networking opportunities. Our Key Sectors for this trip include • Clothing • Textiles, Fabric Design and Production • Furniture Design • Furniture Production – Wood and Cabinet Manufacture • Machinery – Parts for Oil and Gas, Valves, Auto and Pipe Manufacturing You can find out more information about Make It in Manhattan and Make It in Milan on our website or by emailing Elaine Rodger on elaine.rodgerglasgowchamber


SQA Journeys For Scotland’s future

Scotland’s future is our young people — the workforce of tomorrow. SQA qualifications prepare them for work, and give them the skills employers like you are looking for. Find out where SQA Journeys can take your business.

Business Development T: 0303 333 0330 E: W:


Why training is more important than ever Never has the need for training been more apparent for business. With the economy having undergone such dramatic changes, the necessity to train people in order to secure new employment or make them better employees in tough times is seen as absolutely crucial. Many business and economic support agencies have identified training as playing a key role in helping industry to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them as the economy slowly recovers. They argue that well-trained staff are able to better support their employer as well as identifying new opportunities. A training session can sometimes spark an idea that develops into a new product or maybe new way of working. Training falls into two categories, the re-training of people who have lost their jobs and the training of those already in employment but who wish to develop their skills further. Retraining unemployed people is important because many will be keen to get back into work and learn new skills if that is what required. They may, for example, have worked in a company that made

staff redundant but have skills that can be adapted to other businesses in similar sectors.

back on training is a false economy because well-trained staff are better able to meet challenges.

That is where training comes in and encouraging such people is crucial in the drive to create new businesses.

A key part of the training is teaching practical skills, everything from understanding changes in legislation to keeping on top of effective customer service but training companies also help employees recognise opportunities when they see them.

Many specialist training companies and agencies take things a step further, not just helping people to adapt their existing skills but instead teaching them new entirely ones so that they can find jobs in other fields. Gone are the days when someone did the same job for life, now people are accustomed to switching careers half way through their working lives and training allows that to happen. Another key role for training companies is helping those still in work to hold onto, and develop, their jobs by exhibiting more flexible skills. Training specialists point out that, even in difficult trading times, cutting

That could be anything from tapping into new markets to coming up with ways of making sure that their employer makes inroads into foreign markets. Sometimes, the opportunity to step aside from the day job and spend time in a training session can have dramatic outcomes. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of such an approach as their staff use their new knowledge to take advantage of opportunities in the market place. It is a message that is more important than ever.

Business Scotland


Professional Qualifications Accredited professional qualifications for all levels within your organisation Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) HNC Contracting Management HNC Sustainable Resource Management accredited by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) | 0344 248 0117 Andrew Carnegie Business School, Carnegie Conference Centre, Halbeath Road, Dunfermline KY11 8DY


Learning from the very best with the Institute for Management Studies One of the keys to succeeding in business is recognising how to access high quality learning and development interventions that help drive the individual, team and business forward. Which is why joining The Institute for Management Studies (IMS) makes such good sense. For a modest annual fee, organisations and companies can enjoy seminars and outstanding online learning resources held in Scotland and 24 other regions across the US and Europe. These sessions are led by truly world-class international experts in their respective fields at a fraction of the cost open public courses or private in-house events could realise. Graeme Wilkinson, who before becoming the Chairman of IMS in Scotland worked in financial services as a Learning and Development professional, has organised a stellar line-up of speakers for 2017, each one of which is an exceptional educator and published author in their given specialism.

The Institute for Management Studies has been operating successfully since being formed in the United States in 1974. Graeme is therefore building on IMS’ track record of an internationally-recognised and respected organisation which has for more than forty years provided its members with the most innovative, cost-effective and unequalled management development series available. Its growth is such that today there are 450 IMS corporate member organisations across North America and Europe, including many of the world’s largest businesses. About 20,000 leaders and managers attend monthly oneday IMS Leadership Masterclasses each year. In Scotland, the Masterclasses are staged at the elegant Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh for participants from 17 IMS Corporate Members, including Abellio ScotRail, Baillie Gifford, City

A Leader’s Guide to Building a High­Performance Workplace Dr Clinton Longenecker 15th June 2017

of Edinburgh Counci, Fife Council, Forth Ports, Glasgow City Council, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Water, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), Standard Life, Tesco Bank, The Scottish Government, , Webhelp UK and Wood Mackenzie. One of the biggest benefits for the members is that they are given the opportunity to gain access to speakers whose excellence is such that they can usually command large fees, but who can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost through IMS membership.

For more information please visit or contact Graeme Wilkinson at on 07796 938102

Motivation, Cooperation and Trust: Reaching for the Next Level Alan Zimmerman | 7th July 2017

This dynamic, interactive and hands­on learning experience will: provide specific tools to help leaders better understand the causes of managerial failure; equip managers to better focus their people and themselves on desired outcomes; help leaders effectively equip their people to perform at higher levels; demonstrate the importance of creating a working environment that fosters better results; encouraging managers to maximize people power and will make a strong case for developing both people and processes in a quest to get better results.

Unlike most motivational programs that do little more than explain the “why” of human behavior, this program shows you the “how.” You will learn specific communication skills to inspire productivity in others, build their trust, fuel their accomplishment, and assure their peak performance. When you give people the care they need, they produce the results you want. Instead of academic theory you will learn 30 specific, action orientated communication strategies to bring out the best in others now!

Relationship Management: Ten Skills Leaders Need to Get the Best From Others

The Power of Innovative and Strategic Thinking

John Daly | 24th August 2017

Kaihan Krippendorff 14th September 2017

What does it take to get the best performance out of people today? Personal Relationships! No longer can you just tell people what to do. Instead, you must informally seek and build commitment among your team members to do their best. In this session you’ll discover new, research based, techniques, which will help you do that. We’ll learn how successful leaders shape their work environments to achieve optimal performance, get others to feel proud of their work, show they value others’ contributions, offer feedback that really helps and cope with natural frictions that can arise when people work together.

All business leaders worth their low­salt lunch, regardless of their industry, will agree on one thing – that innovation a key driver of their company’s success. What they don’t agree on is how to ensure that innovation actually happens. After 27 years of providing innovation services to some the world’s most forward thinking organizations, Mitch Ditkoff has discovered the holy grail of moving the “innovation needle”. Storytelling. Yes, storytelling – the skillful communication of personal narrative that changes mindset, increases engagement, transfers knowledge and sparks commitment.

Business Scotland


SQA Journeys Developing the workforce of tomorrow

Business Development T: 0303 333 0330 E: W:

Developing the Young Workforce In January 2013, the Scottish Government set up The Education Working for All! — Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. Through extensive consultations with leading figures in education, business and equalities groups, the Commission outlined the importance of vocational education and its role in the Scottish education system. Developing the Young Workforce — Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy (DYW) includes the detailed plans, agreed with local government, to implement the Commission’s recommendations. DYW aims to improve the options available to young people, and reduce youth unemployment by preparing young people for the workplace, giving them the skills that employers need.

SQA Journeys SQA is a key partner for DYW. We are uniquely placed to support DYW because we already work closely with training providers, employers, colleges and schools, as well as local authorities and SDS.

We understand the needs of learners and employers. We can help one group to help the other, creating a more qualified, more motivated and more productive workforce. Our wide range of robust, relevant and respected qualifications link directly into DYW. They are designed and continually reviewed in partnership with industry to develop the workplace skills and experience needed in the real working world to make businesses more competitive and Scotland’s economy more dynamic. SQA qualifications sit at various levels, allowing the learner to move from one qualification to the next or to change paths at an equivalent level.

DYW Regional Support SQA Regional Managers are actively involved in all of the DYW Regional Groups across Scotland. Every business working with SQA has a dedicated Account Manager — one point of contact who will take the time to get to know you and how you work. We can provide the best possible advice and guidance for qualifications and skills development relevant at a local level relevant to you.

SQA Working with you Your Account Manager will advise you on the best possible journey for enhancing your industry’s young workforce. Working together, we can give Scotland a happier, more productive, more reliable and more skilled workforce. Find out where SQA Journeys can take your business.


JUMP INTO A CMI QUALIFICATION Certificate in Management & Leadership Diploma in Management & Leadership

Tel: 01324 403000 © Forth Valley College 2017. All information was correct at time of publishing, but may be subject to change. CM443

Achieve Project Management Success Accredited Project Management Programmes offered include: PRINCE2® APM P30® MSP® PRINCE2 Microsoft Project Programmes can be tailored to meet company needs. For more information, contact us on: 0344 248 0152

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Best of West Lothian Businesses are helping West Lothian to flourish. We have businesses in the region that are excelling at what they do, growing and creating jobs and having a positive impact in the community too. Here is a snapshot of what some of our award-winning members are up to. Turtle Pack A business going from success to success is the innovative Turtle Pack. Turtle Pack is a multi-award winning swimming teaching aid designed to revolutionise the way children learn to swim. Turtle Pack is a progressional swimming stabiliser which provides kids with free movement of both arms and legs, supports the swimmer in the correct horizontal body position, allows the swimmer to progress by reducing the buoyancy and is physically engaging, allowing children to learn through fun and enjoyment. Turtle Pack is now patent pending and EU trademarked in 28 countries. Over the past two years they have won numerous awards including Sports Innovation Challenge, Young Scottish Edge & Watt Ventures. They have also been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh – Enterprise Fellowship (sponsored by Scottish Enterprise). Turtle Pack are currently into the finals of the Wild EDGE Competition and Michael Harkins, Director recently won the Young Innovator of the Year’ category for the Made in Scotland Awards. Michael said, “It is a great achievement to be awarded Young Innovator of the year at the Made in Scotland Awards. I was delighted to have won and I would like to congratulate all the finalists for their amazing efforts. I am very passionate about my sport and I want to use Turtle Pack to encourage more children to learn to swim whilst having a blast"

Uuni Uuni is a family-run business, founded by husband and wife team Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland. The first Uuni outdoor oven was launched in 2013 and since then, a programme of innovative

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product development has allowed for the launch of Uuni 2S, the brand new Uuni 3 (which launched on 1st March 2017) and the upcoming Uuni Pro. Uuni experienced a successful and award-winning 2016 where Darina won the Shona Sibbald Woman in Business Award and Uuni won the Highly-Commended Entrepreneur & Business Start-Up Certificate. The success continued after having achieved 340% growth, (preceded by 235% growth in 2015), a trajectory which looks set to continue in 2017. After the success of 2016, Uuni launched an impressive crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £529,000 in five weeks, after revealing the brand new Uuni Pro oven via crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. The campaign launched at the end of January and surpassed their already ambitious target by an incredible 1,288%. Finnish-born founder and designer Kristian Tapaninaho said; “We have been absolutely blown away by the response and enthusiasm for Uuni Pro. We’re a family-run company with big ambition and it’s with the help of platforms like Indiegogo that we get to showcase our new products to our evergrowing community and be given the opportunity to spread the word, welcoming new Uuni fans to our channels.”

Food Creations Food Creations, another West Lothian company, recently won the top prize at the Scottish Wedding Awards. The company won Caterer of the Year South East and Overall Caterer of the Year 2017. The awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of those within the wedding industry. The catering business has been running for 10 years and has been gradually building an excellent reputation.

Simon Preece of Food Creations said; “This is a fantastic achievement for all our team. We would like to thank all of our staff, customers, suppliers and friends for all the support and business over the last 10 years. None of this would be possible without an excellent team. From behind the scenes to front of house this team has grown in numbers and in strength.”

School Engagement As well as succeeding at what they do, many businesses in West Lothian are increasing their school engagement to ensure the next generation of workers are skilled and informed about future career choices. In partnership with the Chamber, Mitsubishi have ran a secondary school competition for the past 3 years. This has proven to be popular with schools, getting third year pupils thinking about product development and design. Rosie Steele from Armadale Academy, last year’s winners, has won the West Lothian Provost Award for business links in the curriculum. This was awarded due to Rosie’s engagement with the creation of the project and idea of integrating businesses into the school timetable. Another project launched last year was Developing the Young Work Force West Lothian Regional Group who are creating more links for businesses to start school/ youth engagement. Recent businesses to take advantage of this opportunity are the Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, Hilcroft Hotel, Escape Recruitment, Fluid Engineering and Harburn Golf Club. West Lothian is thriving and this snapshot is a great demonstration of the talent, entrepreneurship and drive in the business community.


Breakthrough with Innovative Technology into Australia & Singapore Sarco Stopper Ltd a small Family owned & managed Manufacturing Business located in Broxburn, West Lothian, is a market leader for design and supply of innovative pipe line stopping and bypass systems for water, gas and other applications using water inflated Hydro® Bag Stoppers. Their “Aquastop”, “Wizard” & “Arctic Driver Systems” used extensively in the UK, permit repair and maintenance of distribution networks under pressure and avoid loss of supply to customers. These systems are also viewed as very important to minimizing leaks in distribution networks. The Company Technical Sales Director, John Menzies has made four trips to Australia in the last twelve months promoting, demonstrating and training for the first sales to Water Corporation in Western Australia who have made significant Investment in the equipment and recently announced that “The Hydrant & Mains Wizard” Systems received an award at their 2016 “Innovation & Recognition Awards.” Sarco Stopper has also recently sold its Water Systems into Melbourne and is active in negotiations with other large cities on the East Coast.

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Sarco Stopper is the only company to hold a British Standards Industry “Kitemark” Product Quality License for its range of under pressure stoppers for gas distribution mains and this is an industry first. In March this year, following participation at a trade show in Singapore, the company received its first orders for a new design of Gas Stoppers from the national gas distribution company PowerGas who will

soon visit the Broxburn Factory to see the facilities. The company remains committed to developing more innovative solutions to meet market demands and is fully supported by West Lothian Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise in its current expansion of facilities at its West Lothian Factory. For further information and enquiries see

DYW: West Lothian Think Box Developing the Young Workforce West Lothian is a seven-year programme aimed at strengthening links between businesses and education with the headline aim of reducing youth unemployment by 40% by 2021. Engaging with young people, parents, teachers and practitioners, partners and employers. Supporting teachers and practitioners to develop children’s and young people’s learning about the world of work and to provided earlier relevant, labour-market focussed career advice when young people need it

They have recently launched the DYW website which contains their Think Box: This is West Lothian’s unique platform for gathering ideas and suggestions from young people, parents, educators and businesses as to how DYW can best connect businesses, young people and education in the local area. The DYW are collating these ideas on an ongoing basis and will use these to shape their programme of delivery for the benefit of all involved, making sure that local needs and

demands are meet. Soon to follow on from the Think Box is their Online Portal, which is currently in development, and aims to be a “one-stop shop” portal of information which facilitates communication between businesses and education. The DYW Online Portal launching on the 1st June 2017 will be the tool that everyone in West Lothian, businesses, education and young people alike, will access to create and source meaningful opportunities.

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Opportunities for new talent Apprentices are a great way for employers to source new talent, while embracing equality and diversity will open up new opportunities to grow as a business. Apprenticeships are designed to meet the needs of industry and help businesses grow. Because they learn through experience, apprentices develop and refine their new skills to suit the business they are working in and the customers they serve. As well as hiring new people, employers can use apprenticeships to upskill existing staff. So not only do employers get engaged, motivated and more productive employees, the business has staff it needs to grow. There are more than 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities across Scotland each year, with over 80 different types available in hundreds of jobs.

Foundation Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for employers to spot talented, motivated pupils who could become future employees.

New Foundation Apprenticeships mean young people can also now start a Modern Apprenticeship at school and employers can prepare future employees for the world of work.

New Graduate Level Apprenticeships provide work based learning opportunities up to Master’s degree level for employees.

With a Foundation Apprenticeship pupils in S5 can complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship alongside their other studies, such as Highers or Advanced Highers.

From financial services and healthcare to construction and IT, each apprenticeship is developed by industry to suit their needs.

Foundation Apprenticeships take two years to complete with pupils spending part of the week out of school, getting handson experience at college and with a local employer in their chosen industry.

This means that apprentices can build valuable work experience from day-one and gain an accredited qualification which is recognised by industry.

With a Foundation Apprenticeship under their belt they leave school with an industryrecognised qualification which is set at SCQF level 6 (the same level as a Higher).

Not only do apprentices bring fresh ideas to the business, learning on the job means they get to know the business inside out and can apply their learning right away.

As well as gaining their qualification, Foundation Apprentices develop the soft skills – like time management, teamwork and communication – that come from quality work experience. This means they’re better prepared for the workplace when they leave school.

Employers are enthusiastic about apprentices – 96% say those who have

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completed a Modern Apprenticeship are more able to do their job, with 89% saying they would recommend an apprentice within their industry.*

Created in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sector, these apprenticeships combine academic knowledge with skills development to enable participants to become more effective and productive in the workplace. As they are in continuing employment, apprentices can directly apply their academic learning to real-life situations, all the while earning a salary. For employers, they are a great way to develop existing staff who can work towards a degree without having to take time off. Graduate Level Apprentices are able to access the same learning opportunities as those who go down the traditional route of direct entry into college or university and can progress to the highest level of professional qualifications with a range of entry and exit points from a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8)) to a Master’s degree (SCQF level 11).

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Do you run a business in or around Lanarkshire? New College Lanarkshire can help you add new skills, knowledge and experience to your workforce – whether to existing staff or new recruits. Contact us at or call: 0300 555 8080.

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Modern Apprenticeship working in Angus Modern Apprenticeships help employers to develop their workforce by training new staff, and up-skilling existing employees. For individuals, an MA is a job which lets them earn a wage and gain an industryrecognised qualification. Angus Council’s business team has worked with over 2,000 young people to help them achieve their Modern Apprenticeships. It is a partnership approach through the support of local employers, as well as departments within Angus Council, that has enabled the programme to achieve this success. The Business Angus team works with young people who are looking for support to help them find their first employment opportunity. It can also assist employers through the recruitment process when they are investing in the skills of a young person through the MA programme. An enthusiastic and well trained workforce is vital for the future economic success of

Angus and apprenticeships play their part in contributing to the skills required by businesses today . Modern Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of vocational areas, both within the council and with a number of private sector employers. Apprenticeships are mainly aimed at young people between 16 and 19, but anyone can become an apprentice. Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017 - from Monday 6 to Friday 10 March - celebrates the benefits that apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy. As part of this, Modern Apprentices supported by Angus Council are organising and delivering a two day event at the council’s headquarters in Angus House, Forfar. The apprentices will work together as a team to organise the event using their Business Administration skills learned from their time within either departments of Angus Council or local employers. For the event they have produced promotional material, contacted colleagues and staff and used their organisational and communication skills. All evidence generated from delivering the event will then be used and reflected within their qualification portfolio.

The apprentices will also be speaking to all visitors to Angus Council on the benefits of being a Modern Apprentice. In addition to current apprentices, previous apprentices are also being encouraged to take part to show a positive career progression route, as a number are now in managerial posts. Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017 is targeted at raising an awareness amongst young people who are about to leave school and make important career choices that will affect their future. It aims to inform local employers about the benefits and opportunities of employing a Modern Apprentice (MA) and explain what benefits they can bring to the business. The week is supported nationally by Skills Development Scotland and endorsed by the Scottish Government. Modern Apprentice opportunities for the council can be advertised throughout the year and young people are urged to sign up to www.myjobscotland/angus for alerts. If you are an Angus business interesting in finding out more about the Modern Apprenticeship programme contact Christina Dakers of the Business Angus team on 01241 438158 or by email at

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Lochaber Chamber of Commerce has high hopes for A82 improvements to be actioned following the June Summit

Following years of campaigning to raise the awareness of the poor condition and general unsuitability of the A82 for both business and tourism, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the summit announced by Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf to discuss the future of the second longest road in Scotland. The A82 links the central belt to the North West and Western Isles and is a vital artery for Scottish business all of whom are severely impacted by the lack of investment in this important infrastructure. Within the recent past, the only major investments along the length of the A82

Lochaber is a vibrant area of the Highlands which is experiencing high growth levels of tourism and business investment, it would be a shame if the forthcoming Summit this June falls short of expectations.

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have been two projects: the £9.2 million investment at Pulpit Rock which led to the removal of the ‘temporary’ traffic lights which had been in place for more than 30 years; and a £5million investment in a single carriageway by-pass around Crianlarich. Since 2007 more than £82 million has additionally been spent on maintenance. However, when compared to the current upgrades to the A9, which is only slightly longer and where a total of £3 billion is being spent, the A82 comes second by a long way. Lesley Benfield, CEO Lochaber Chamber of Commerce said that “whilst we welcome the discussion which the summit will bring, it is vital that action is taken, and taken quickly, to support the large businesses which operate in and around Fort William” she went on to say “Marine Harvest, BSW, Ferguson Transport and Shipping have all recently announced major expansion plans in the area. Additionally, the Liberty Smelter in Fort William, which is under new ownership, has development plans which aim to create a significant number of new jobs which will necessitate new housing as well as supporting infrastructure, and there

is a new retail park under construction. All of these will put the A82 under even more pressure.” Whilst the infrastructure around Fort William cannot sustain the increasing volume of traffic it is experiencing, the concerns relating to the A82 are not confined to the Lochaber region but extend right along its length. Lochaber, as The Outdoor Capital of the UK, attracts tourists from all over the world. The road is too narrow for both the volume of traffic and types of vehicles, and there are insufficient stopping places to either allow traffic to overtake slower moving vehicles, or to allow visitors to stop safely and appreciate the views. Lesley Benfield continued “Lochaber is a vibrant area of the Highlands which is experiencing high growth levels of tourism and business investment, it would be a shame if the forthcoming Summit this June falls short of expectations and there is a further delay in the relevant parties being able to take immediate action to improve the infrastructure so badly need. On behalf of our members we sincerely hope that the Minister will act accordingly”


Helping you enter International Markets Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has launched a wider International Programme of events and support. From our research we appreciate that some companies are already exporting but that there is an interest in gaining more information on international growing markets. As such, we have put together a selection of different international events and support. We host the Europe Direct Information Centre at our office on 40 George Street. We also offer International Documentation Services.

Taster events on new international markets For businesses which are either new to exporting or are already thinking of exporting we have developed a series of new market taster events focusing on a particular country in collaboration with International organizations/chambers and consulates.

How to enter a foreign Market? Generic sessions on the essential steps to take when considering entering a new foreign region

Overseas Trade Missions to new markets Coordinated overseas visits organised for a group of companies to meet potential buyers and/or agents exploring international business opportunities.

Inward Trade Missions International delegations visiting Edinburgh can meet organisations which could open up new connections. For more information on the above please contact Alexia Haramis Tel. 0131 221 2999 (option 1)

Europe Direct Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) is hosted at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and informs you about your rights and assists you in finding practical tips to help you move and work around the EU. We are part of a network of 16 centres in the UK, 500 across Europe which act as an interface between the EU and its citizens at a local level. We display and hold materials on a variety of topics on the European Union, which explains what the European Union does, and why it is relevant to the people of Edinburgh and the UK. We also host a number of local events providing networking and support. For further information visit our office or check out Email or @EuropeDirectEDI on twitter or on facebook

International Documentation Services The provision of correct, accurate and timely export documentation is a critical element in a successful international trade transaction. The Documentation Service of the Chamber offers a full certification service and is authorised to issue a range of documents such as: • Non Preferential Origin Trade Documents • Preferential Trade Documents • Legalisation • ATA Carnets • Document Processing For more information on the above please contact or Tel. 01506 497667

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Consolidation is the key to improving productivity The world is changing, we are all expected to keep track of a whole lot more information than ever before. Note that I didn’t say memorise. Instead of remember all the information necessary to do our jobs and keep our lives on track, we leave it to apps and systems to do the remembering for us. All we have to do is remember where we put which piece of information.

As we all know from the hours we spend throughout our lives searching for our keys, this isn’t the easiest thing in the world. To make this even more difficult for ourselves, we tend to silo information in different places, because some new tool or app or gadget is really good at storing the one type of data, but can’t store another, so then we have to get another app. There are so many tools out there, just waiting to help us organise one aspect of our lives, that we are always in danger of becoming overwhelmed by them. When you boil it down, we all forget to do things from time to time, but now we are forcing ourselves to have to hunt in more and more places to figure out exact what it is we’re supposed to be doing. And then we wonder why productivity—that business buzzword—is falling.

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The solution to this, in my mind, is simple: consolidation. Instead of having all your tasks divided up between your flashy, trendy apps, find a product that will allow you to keep the majority of your business data in one central location.

This means that, if one of our developers needs to find a piece of information about one of their projects, they’ve really only got two possible places to look: our CRM system and our internal messaging app. If it isn’t there, they know that it has to be in the code itself.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll never find a system that will do everything, but by finding something that will store 80% of your data and 90% of your processes, you’ll end up with a much more organised and streamlined team.

When you think that this information could instead be split across specialised task, project, contact, or document management tools, in addition to an internal messaging system and email, having three places sounds like a win to me.

For example, we use OpenCRM to manage just about every single thing that our business does: sales process, project management, technical support, HR, marketing campaigns, etc. But there are things that it doesn’t do: it’s not a phone system, it isn’t an internal chat product, and you can’t screenshare directly from it.

Yes our world is more complex now and yes this means that we all have to be masters of a variety of tools, but there’s no reason to make our lives more difficult by silo-ing information into half a dozen systems.

That’s not really a problem though, because it covers about 80% of our business processes. I then spent about six years finding a product to manage all of our communications and screensharing, bringing us to around 90% of my team’s daily activity being covered by two systems. The other 10% of our tasks are managed in dedicated products that are individual to their job role, i.e. accounting software, programs for writing code, etc. But even so, the specificity of these systems mean that most people only have between three and four places to look for the information they need.

To talk to a member of the OpenCRM team about how CRM software can benefit your brand, just call 01748 473000 or visit the website:

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


Green technologies provides glimpse of the future They are the technologies that are providing remarkable opportunities for business interested in investing in the green revolution. Over recent years, the country has been developing an expertise in renewable technologies which create energy without the pollutants associated with fossil fuel. Many of the workers who once worked in more traditional areas have turned their hand to new challenges. For instance, men and women skilled in the engineering industry have been able to turn those skills to solving the problems that accompany wind turbine technology and industrial chemists are coming up with new ways to reduce waste and generate ‘green’ power. Technologies include: Wind: The first renewable technology to really become in vogue, wind power is now moving onto the next stages in its development. Around this area can be found examples of companies supporting the work to press ahead with ever more efficient wind farms.

Tidal power: Sometimes also called tidal energy, converts wave power into electricity and has been developing in this country since the mid to late 1960s. However, it is only in recent years that the technology has started to attract more attention and, although not yet seen as a major source of energy, there are more and more projects under way. Solar: Generating power from the Sun is gathering pace as a popular renewable technology. It’s a genuine ‘sunrise industry’.

Based on the idea that the power of the Sun can be captured and transformed into electricity, solar power can operate on a large scale with huge panels or on a very small scale with ones that can fit on a house roof and heat the domestic water supply. Biofuels: The race to invent vehicle fuels that do not produce pollutants is what has created the biofuels industry. Biofuel is made from the likes of vegetable oils and wheat and is low on pollutants, which is seen as crucial because car exhausts are a major source of greenhouse gases.

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Free support to future-proof your business in the face of rising costs Over the next two years, the UK will experience a period of political and economic uncertainty. The prices of energy (and water and raw materials) are likely to rise unpredictably, which will impact the profitability of Scottish businesses. However, many business owners are finding ways to turn this uncertainty into opportunity by accessing free Scottish Government support to cut costs and achieve sustainable business growth. In the past it was just resource-intensive sectors that considered the volatility in energy costs to be the difference between meeting and missing profit targets. Today, however, this applies to all sectors. Businesses as diverse as corner shops, retail outlets, hotels, financial services, hairdressers and sports clubs are adopting strategies of continuous improvement to cut their overheads. And it is easy to see why. Reducing energy consumption is often the easiest and most immediate way for a business to boost its bottom line performance. Most businesses understand this argument, but many struggle to prioritise it. That is why the Scottish Government has made funding and free consultancy support available to Scottish businesses. With great results, Resource Efficient Scotland has already found over £42 million savings for Scottish organisations, and has provided £23.5 million in unsecured, interest-free loans to help businesses unlock savings. Businesses that adopt resource efficiency as part of their business strategy have an opportunity to not only unlock profit but also to safeguard against an uncertain future.

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To find out more about the support available for your business call the national hotline on 0808 808 2268.

Top tips to reduce your energy bills n Get staff involved - energy efficiency shouldn’t be the responsibility of one person – it takes a team effort. Why not set up a Green Team to get things moving and lead change? n Switch to LED lights - lighting can account for over 20% of energy costs – switching to LEDs can result in savings of up to 90%. n Put the office to bed – simply turning off equipment when it’s not in use can result in big savings. n Control of your energy bill – you can use heating and lighting controls to take account of shift patterns and different seasons. n Record meter readings regularly – this will highlight issues of wasted profits. Simply taking readings at the end of the working day and again first thing in the morning can highlight energy and water being wasted when the site is empty by equipment being left on or water leaks for example.

How Gala Rugby Club tackled energy costs Gala Rugby Club used a Resource Efficient Scotland loan to buy and install photovoltaic (PV) technology at its stadium, reducing its annual energy costs by nearly £6,000. The club benefitted from initial support from Resource Efficient Scotland in the form of an on-site assessment that focused on measures to reduce the costs for heating, lighting and water. In total, potential savings worth over £21,000 were identified through reducing energy and water consumption. Graham Low, President, Gala Rugby Club, said: “The loan we received for the PV panels has not only enabled us to save a lot of money, but is also a very visible sign of our commitment to reducing the Club’s environmental impact.”


“I am really impressed with the whole service that Changeworks Recycling offers; there is so much communication! It is such a prompt and fantastic service that they provide!’’ Alzheimer Scotland

Over 80% of all waste generated within an office environment can be recycled presenting a huge opportunity for you to reduce your waste costs! Receive a complementary waste audit and see how we can help your business. To book your FREE waste audit call 0800 694 0158 or email INFO@CHANGEWORKSRECYCLING.CO.UK


What are the VIBES Awards? “Promoting positive environmental actions”

There has been an increase in interest from businesses representing a number of different sectors, as well as those ranging from microbusinesses to very large organisations. We want to help you celebrate your success and gain the recognition that you deserve. This begins with the application process, and if you are interested and would like to attend a launch event in your area, then please register your interest at: vibes@

The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards are held every year to recognise and showcase best practice. The aims of the awards are to: n Promote efficient use of resources n Enhance the competiveness of businesses n Improve environmental performance n Support wider goals of sustainable development

Launch events are scheduled during April and May in:

The VIBES awards are presented at a high profile ceremony at the end of the year, allowing success to be widely recognised. The accredited awards scheme for Scotland The VIBES Awards are a partnership between a number of high profile organisations: n The Scottish Environment Protection Agency n The Scottish Government n Scottish Water n Scottish Enterprise n Highland and Islands Enterprise n Zero Waste Scotland n Energy Saving Trust n 20:20 Climate Group The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bright Green Business and Quality Scotland.

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Applications for 2017

Good for the environment and good for business In the current difficult economic climate, businesses that develop good environmental practices and reap the financial rewards of greater efficiencies are well places to weather the storm. The VIBES Awards welcome applications from innovative businesses that are working hard to take advantage of the opportunities that environmental best practice can offer.

n Edinburgh n Borders n Glasgow n Ayr n Perthshire

n Stirling n Fort Williams n Inverness n Aberdeen

These events will help with the application process and explain what information you should include. Details of the key dates are available on the VIBES website at key-dates/ You can also find out about the categories of award, case studies of previous winners and details of the application process on the vibes website

Applications open on 12th April and close on 26th May


NetRegs provides: n n n n n n n

Clear plain English guidance Sector specific information Environmental topics Legislation lists An environmental self-assessment tool E-learning tools A mobile APP

All free to use, and brought to you by your Environmental Regulator. NetRegs is a partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). NetRegs allows businesses to identify which regulations affect them, and give them straightforward guidance on how to comply. Beyond compliance, NetRegs suggest further good practices that can bring both environmental and business benefits.

See how others have navigated the maze of regulations

Keep up to date with legislation and good practice

NetRegs has developed a number of case studies of businesses. We focus on businesses that have made efforts to reduce their environmental impacts and have discovered business benefits such as reduced costs and increased turnover.

Check for new legislation on our Recently Added legislation sections. As well as lists of the key pieces of environmental legislation, we have a section that lists the new legislation from the past 3 years.

Case studies can be viewed on the NetRegs Case studies and Videos environmental topic. environmental-topics/casestudies-and-videos/

Subscribe to our free monthly email update and have it delivered straight to your inbox. This alerts you to any new pieces of legislation and any consultations being run by SEPA or the Scottish or UK governments. Sign up to the NetRegs update

NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) We are updating the old PPGs and relaunching them as GPPs. You can access up to date versions of GPP 2 Above ground oil storage, GPP 5 Works in or close to water and GPP 24 Stables, kennels and catteries. More will be added

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Forth Valley Chamber hosts Business Dinner Celebrity chefs Jean Christophe Novelli and Nick Nairn will head up a full programme of cookery demonstrations at Perthshire On A Plate this summer

Tasty offerings at Perthshire Chamber event Perthshire Chamber of Commerce is hoping to cook up another success as they prepare to host their annual Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) food festival. And this year the spotlight will turn on the “Auld Alliance” with French favourite Jean Christophe Novelli and Scotland’s Nick Nairn topping the bill at the two-day celebration of food and drink on 4th & 5th August 2017. Food and drink plays a key part in Perthshire’s economy and Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite said it was appropriate that the county hosted a major food festival to recognise both local producers and locally-based culinary talent. “Perthshire On A Plate provides an exciting and colourful platform on which to showcase the best of local food and drink,” she said. “This will be our second year as an integral part of the long-established popular annual Perth Show which – being an agricultural festival – is the perfect fit for us.”

“We hope to encourage relevant local businesses to host stands featuring their native foods and drinks which are incredibly popular throughout Perthshire. This could include stands from Polish, Chinese and Indian communities – or our twin cities in Germany or France - bringing an international flavour to the whole food festival.” POAP, supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), will again feature the popular “PopUp Restaurants” area where local eateries offer bite-sized samples of their typical menu favourites.

In addition to the two celebrity chefs, POAP will feature a full programme of demonstrations each day by local chefs and food experts.

Last year two of the producers showcased at POAP secured overseas contracts and Vicki emphasised the benefits of joining in the foodie fun.

“In addition to the Cookery Theatre, we will have a Food Pavillion where local producers can showcase and sell their individual lines,” said Vicki.

“Stands cost only £100 for the two days and it’s a very cost-effective way to bring your produce, restaurant or talent to the attention of a captive 10,000-plus audience passing through the showground.”

“Perthshire can boast a wide variety of top names from major producers to small artisan operations and they will feature alongside fledgling and evolving businesses.” Business Scotland


POAP 2017 will also focus on the diverse communities and their culinary cultures which make up Perthshire’s broad food offering.

Anyone interested in taking part in the food festival should contact Perthshire Chamber of Commerce on (01738) 448325.

Forth Valley Chamber hosted a Business Dinner with key partners, members and leaders in the region, to discuss key business issues and opportunities. Tim Allan, President of SCC, attended and spoke at the dinner, acting as one of his first engagements since taking on the role. Michelle McKearnon, Chief Executive, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce said after the dinner that “there are a number of issues our members are sharing with us, such as dealing with skills shortages and the impact of Brexit on retaining migrant staff. This is an overall concern for the business community and is of particular concern for the hospitality, hotel and tourism industry who are seeing the effects of Brexit & staff retention impacting their businesses already.” Tim Allan, President of SCC also shared his views and said that “skills shortages are a big issue in Scotland and an area we have to tackle headon to support businesses to grow. It is important that business has continued access to international talent as a way to deal with skills shortages and add an international dimension to a business but Governments must also support the development of a skilled workforce in Scotland as a long-term strategy.”


The airport that makes the 400-mile commute to London less stressful Nearly 850,000 passengers used London City Airport’s Scottish routes in 2016 – connecting Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen with the only airport actually in London. For an airport that welcomed a record-breaking 4.5 million annual passengers last year, that’s a significant proportion crossing the River Tweed at 35,000ft. While many of those travellers are on a fleeting business trip either north or south of the border, there and back in a day or overnight, for some, it is their weekly commute.

support via my business development activities are based in Edinburgh.” When in London, he stays in Limehouse in Tower Hamlets, meaning “with a fair wind, I can get from front door to front door in 3 hours.”

Board a British Airways or Flybe flight to Edinburgh or Glasgow (BA only) on a Thursday evening, and you may see some familiar faces week after week. They will often be members of the Scottish business community or London workers that rely on a presence in the UK capital city four days a week, before returning to HQ or their Scottish family home on a Friday – a weekly routine with an 800-mile round trip thrown in. So ubiquitous are these supercommuters that there’s even a nickname for them – a ‘Willie’ – ‘Work in London, Live in Edinburgh.’

Therein lies the chief advantage of London City Airport - its close proximity to the key business districts of Canary Wharf and the City of London means it’s just 13 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively, to get to and from the airport. That equates to less time in transit and more time put to good use.

Innes Hall for example, who is Business Development Director in the City of London, says he commutes through London City Airport “because my prospective client base is largely based in London and the surrounding area, however the team I

Rosemary McLennan, Director of the Scottish PA Network, whose community of PAs are responsible for the travel plans of hundreds of senior businessmen and women, said: “How you choose to use your time has a major impact on health and productivity, and that is why so many executives travelling between Scotland and London opt for the seamless and quick ‘door to plane’ experience. “Our PA members book London City Airport as its unique location, speedy check in,

and facilities, including the new Business Lounge, are perfect for the discerning business traveller.” Responding to customer demand, London City Airport opened a new landside Business Lounge in March, offering a premium customer experience at the reasonable price of £35 per person. Passengers travelling on any airline or ticket type can enjoy the discreet, quiet atmosphere of the Business Lounge, located in the Private Jet Centre, a short drive from the terminal in a private shuttle. It offers the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, with a complimentary selection of cold food, snacks, refreshments, and alcoholic beverages in the catered lounge. Free hispeed Wi-Fi, charging points, and luxuriously furnished surroundings mean that it’s ideal for passengers who want to catch up on emails and make the most of the time before departure, with the added option to hire a meeting room space. For the supercommuter, the Lounge may become the new home to some familiar faces. Business Scotland



Empowering your people Clare Alexander is Scottish Enterprise’s head of workplace innovation, and believes business leaders should be predisposed to see the power of their people.

Clare Alexander Head of workplace innovation

Globalisation and the fast-paced development and adoption of new technologies means businesses today have to take an increasingly flexible and innovative approach to the way they operate to ensure future growth. Recent research has shown that a peoplecentred approach to business practice results in a more motivated, engaged and happier workforce. This in turn leads to greater innovation and higher levels of productivity within the organisation. The approach, known as workplace innovation, not only helps create more empowered employees – it can also make businesses more efficient, productive and profitable. Figures show that, for companies that practice workplace innovation, staff turnover is over a fifth lower, while absences are reduced by nearly a quarter. One study showed that of the 6000 European firms surveyed, 68% saw a reduction in costs while 85% experienced increased sales. By encouraging workers to share ideas and suggestions, companies can not only

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improve staff satisfaction – they can also stimulate a broad range of benefits that extend throughout the business. But while businesses may recognise the potential of listening to their workforce, the crucial next step is identifying what ideas will work for the company. On 20 June Scotland House in London will play host to an event which aims to explore the potential impact workplace innovation could have on Scottish businesses, including achieving diverse economic and social policy goals. At the event I will highlight Scotland’s approach to creating fair work and innovative workplaces, as well as help stimulate fresh thinking and collaboration about innovation policy and productivity within an inclusive growth framework. Workplace innovation is already commonplace in many European countries, and we want Scotland to become an exemplar. We're keen to help businesses uncover new ways of working to make the best use of all resources – people, processes and relationships. For more information about workplace innovation support, visit

Scotland House - a new, innovative business hub located in central London - aims to present Scottish businesses with new opportunities, creating a platform on which to celebrate and showcase Scotland’s ambitious companies, world-class sectors and impressive research and innovation capabilities. For more information visit


Passenger numbers soaring Damien Henderson Scottish Affairs & Media Manager, Virgin Trains

In the 20 years Virgin Trains has been running the west coast service, we’ve seen our share of challenges. Not least of these was the closure of the route at Lamington at the start of 2016, cutting off one of two arterial rail routes connecting Scotland to England. For seven weeks, customers travelling between Glasgow and England had to take a scenic route via Kilmarnock and Dumfries to Carlisle – though our quick work with the ScotRail Alliance did at least avoid the need for replacement buses. Fast forward a year and we were ready to see in the Virgin Trains’ 20th anniversary year with a bit more to celebrate. The number of passengers crossing the border on our west coast route was again soaring, punctuality had hit a record high and we’d delivered our latest industry-leading innovation in the shape of BEAM: an entertainment app that allows customers to stream more than 200 hours of entertainment straight to their device. Our recent passenger figures confirm this success: in the 24 weeks to March 31, there

were just shy of 300,000 passenger journeys between Glasgow and London, up 28% on the same period two years ago. This followed the news over Christmas that our east coast route had seen one million passenger journeys between Edinburgh and London for the first time after seeing 8% annual growth. As with any story about business success, those headlines represent a lot of hard work by our people to deliver a service that customers want to keep coming back for. Our punctuality on the west coast route has improved a full eight percentage points since the start of privatisation, with 89% of our trains now arriving within 10 minutes of schedule. That sort of improvement doesn’t come overnight but has resulted from working in partnership with Network Rail and other industry partners since 2009. We’ve built a reputation for innovation, from delivering tilting trains to delay compensation that automatically goes into your bank account – without a form being filled. BEAM is the latest instalment in that legacy, allowing customers to instantly stream Hollywood blockbusters, TV box sets and documentaries while zipping along at speeds of up to 125mph.

made m-tickets available across all our west coast services. And we’ve made sure that price is no barrier by making £30 fares between Glasgow and London widely available for customers who can book in advance, ensuring that more of them choose train over plane. The upshot of all that work is that we’re delivering what Virgin is best known for: happy customers. The latest independent survey of this by rail watchdog Transport Focus found that 90% of customers on the west coast route were satisfied with the service. The only operator within the franchised long distance sector to perform better was Virgin Trains’ east coast route. That’s not to say we can rest on our laurels. If our 20 years’ experience of the railways has taught us anything, it’s that more challenges wait around the corner. But challenges are there to be overcome.

We’ve also doubled the booking horizon from the industry standard of three months and

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Airbnb boosts the economy Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 35,000 cities and more than 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions. From boosting Scotland’s economy by over £360 million to bringing in £3,600 a year for the average host Airbnb is helping to shape Scotland’s economy and tourism industry. Airbnb published a report on the 15th March 2017 which showcases the impact that Airbnb has had on Scotland, it shows the Airbnb community generated £361 million of economic activity in Scotland last year, including an estimated £293m of guest spending and £68m earned by hosts.

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From communities, local businesses and cultural venues. Scotland is seeing benefits from Airbnb, bringing both an increase in sustainable tourism and economic development. Home sharing helps hosts, families and individual households generate a little extra with 41% of hosts saying they use the income from sharing space in their home to help make ends meet. The report boasts that in the past year alone, 12,600 hosts welcomed over 802,000 guests to their homes across Scotland with the average guest staying for 3 nights and 87% of those guests stayed for vacation or leisure It’s clear that tourism plays a major part in the growth and suitability of Scotland’s economy with the Scottish Government hailing it as the country’s most important industry. The report was produced to help promote Scottish Tourism week were tourism organisers across the country came

together on 15th March for the national tourism conference. Speaking on the report Natasha Mytton Mills, Public Policy Manager for Airbnb, said: "The Airbnb community boosts the economy in Scotland by almost £1 million a day and transforms how guests experience this great country. Guests are increasingly looking for authentic travel experiences in Scotland and we are proud to see hosts on Airbnb help grow and diversify tourism while spreading benefits to more families, communities and local businesses."



Scotland’s oldest independent bottler

Interested In Whisky? Why not get in touch and take advantage of our expert knowledge and our 175 years experience. As Scotland’s oldest independent bottler we cherry pick the best casks for bottling and offer fun and informative tastings.

Situated on the Canongate at the bottom of the royal mile in Edinburgh, Cadenheads are Scotlands oldest independent bottler. We buy casks of whisky from the distillers and bottle it straight from the cask at full cask strength, we do not chill-filter or add colouring. We have an ever changing stock including bottlings from now closed distilleries and hold regular tastings. Please contact us for further information. We are also the bottler and stockist of Old Raj Scottish gin at 46% and 55% vol.

Email us to receive our stock list or bring this advert into the shop for a quick lesson (with dram). 172 Canongate, Royal Mile Edinburgh EH8 8DF Tel: 0131 556 5864 Email

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Scottish Chambers of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 8316 F: 0141 204 8371 E: President – Tim Allan Chief Executive - Liz Cameron OBE

Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce The Hub, Exploration Drive Aberdeen Energy Park, Bridge of Don Aberdeen, AB23 8GX T: 01224 343900 E: Chief Executive - Russell Borthwick President - Edel Harris Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry The Mezzanine, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2PL T: 01292 678 666 F: 01292 678 667 E: Chief Executive - Val Russell President - Graeme McKinstry Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd Inverdruie House, Inverdruie Aviemore, PH22 1QH T: 01479 780539 E: Chief Executive - Mark Tate President - Steve Oliver Caithness Chamber of Commerce Naver Business Centre Naver House, Naver Road Thurso, KW14 7QA T: 01847 890076 E: Chief Executive - Trudy Morris Chairman - Stephen Sutherland

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Hillhead House, The Crichton, Bankend Road Dumfries, DG1 4UQ T: 01387 270866 E: Chief Executive – Brian Richardson Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Whitecrook Business Centre 78 Whitecrook Street, Clydebank, G81 1QF T: 0141 280 0272 E: Chief Executive - Damon Scott President - Stewart Rennie Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce Unit 27, City Quay, Camperdown Street Dundee, DD1 3JA T: 01382 228545 F: 01382 228441 E: Chief Executive - Alison Henderson President - Colin Loveday East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Barrhead Foundry Main Street, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, G78 1SW T: 0141 887 6181 E: President: John F Hamilton Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce 40 George Street, 2nd floor Edinburgh, EH2 2LE T: 0131 221 2999 F: 0131 261 5056 E: Chief Executive – Liz McAreavey President - Scott Black

Fife Chamber of Commerce Evans Business Centre, 1 Begg Road John Smith Business Park Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HD T: 01592 647740 E: CEO – Alan Mitchell President – Peter Southcott Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Group (incorporating Stirling Chamber of Commerce) Suite 2, Scion House Stirling University Innovation Park Stirling, FK9 4NF T: 01324 665 500 E: Chief Executive – Michelle McKearnon Chairman – Justin Grace Glasgow Chamber of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 2121 E: Chief Executive Stuart Patrick President - Neil Amner Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Room 5, Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock PA15 1HD T: 01475 806824 M: 07939 272787 E: Inverclyde Chamber of Senior Executive Office Commerce Margaret Moran President - Linda Scott


Inverness Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan House 31-33 High Street, Inverness, IV1 1HT T: 01463 718 131 E: Chief Executive - Stewart Nicol President - Ross Thomson Lochaber Chamber of Commerce Station Square, Fort William Inverness-shire, PH33 6EN T: 01397 705 765 E: Chairman - Bruno Berardelli Chief Executive - Lesley Benfield Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Moulsdale House, Edinburgh College 24d Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2PP T: 0131 603 5043 E: Executive Director George Archibald President - Keith Barbour Moray Chamber of Commerce Suite 7, Elgin Business Centre Maisondieu Road, Elgin, IV30 1QP T: 01343 543344 E: Chief Executive - Sarah Medcraf Executive Director Margery A McLennan President Carol Stewart

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Saltire House, 3 Whitefriars Crescent Perth, PH2 0PA T: 01738 448 325 F: 01738 450 402 E: Chief Executive - Vicki Unite President - Mike McDairmid

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Scottish Chambers of Commerce 30 George Square Glasgow G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 8316 F: 0141 204 8371 E: @ScotChambers Like us on Facebook

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Bute Court, St Andrews Drive Glasgow Airport Paisley, PA3 2SW T: 0141 847 5450 F: 0141 847 5499 E: Chief Executive – Bob Grant President – Tom Johnston

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Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce Academy House, Shedden Park Road Kelso, TD5 7AL T: 07771 865 758 E: Convenor - Jack Clark Vice Convenor - Bruce Simpson West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Alba Centre, Alba Business Park Rosebank, Livingston, EH54 7EG T: 01506 414808 E: Chief Executive Linda Scott President Billy MacLeod

Advertising John Neilson Commercial Director Telephone 07813 874970 This publication is also available as an ebook at:


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

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Pictured L-R (back row): Laura Wilson (BAM Construction); David Watt (Arts & Business Scotland); Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs; Brian Inkster (Inksters Solicitors); Louise Quinn (musician); In front: Samuel Burkett (dancer, Y Dance)

New fund to promote Scottish arts, heritage and business collaboration Sector sponsorship of cultural activities, investing over ÂŁ7.5 million to help more than 500 creative projects throughout Scotland get off the ground. to all is their insistence of the huge benefits to their own business as a result of getting involved. A public opinion poll commissioned by Arts & Business Scotland to coincide with the launch of the new fund demonstrates the extent of these benefits to business. A majority of Scots say they would be more likely to buy goods and services from businesses that support arts and heritage projects in their local area. 69% agree it is important for businesses to support such projects in their local community while more than three in four Scots agree that supporting local cultural and heritage projects reflects well on businesses.

On 3rd April 2017, the new Culture & Business Fund Scotland (CBFS) was launched by Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. Evolving from the renowned NASG programme, the CBFS will continue to offer match funding for arts projects across Scotland, is bolstered with a new dedicated heritage strand and will allow projects to continue to receive funding during their second and third years. In the current economic climate, rising costs and shrinking budgets are putting pressure on arts and heritage organisations’ finances, making private sector sponsorship more important than ever. Programmes such as this have the important benefit of encouraging private investors to give generously to the cultural sector with the reassurance that the value of their investment will be matched by government support. As well as doubling the financial stimulus to qualifying cultural projects, allowing larger and more complex projects to get off the ground, this approach also

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amplifies the positive impact on business from being associated with these projects. Over the years, I have spoken to many organisations that have enjoyed fruitful partnerships with the cultural sector as a result of our NASG programme. Common

As many participating businesses will testify, supporting cultural projects isn’t just an act of selfless philanthropy. There are lots of good, hard-headed business reasons for doing it. With its new wider scope and longer term focus, I look forward to seeing the Culture & Business Fund Scotland deliver many more successful partnerships between business, heritage and the arts over the next year and beyond.


HORIZON. Delta is committed to pushing the limits of how great travel can be. Whether you are catching an early flight to pitch new business or taking your next holiday, you deserve the best experience along the way. We’re honored to have been named Business Airline of the Year 2017 from Business Travel Awards and we vow to keep moving forward in the years ahead.


INNOVATION CALL: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR WAVE ENERGY CONVERTERS - NOW OPEN! Advanced control systems have the potential to play a vital role in the realisation of cost-effective Wave Energy generation technology. Relevant technology transfer opportunities exist in many industrial sectors. Organisations from sectors such as Robotics, Mechatronics, Electrical Engineering, Aerospace, Automotive, Mining, Offshore and Sub-Sea vessel stability & manoeuvring could all make a valuable contribution. The brokerage event is planned for Friday 12th May in Edinburgh. Register here: The Call closes 12th June 12.00 mid-day. To find out more visit:

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Business Scotland 8  

Business Scotland is the media publication for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Business Scotland 8  

Business Scotland is the media publication for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce