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BusinessScotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce Magazine


Inclusive Economy and Growth ScotRail ushers in sleek new era Keeping it real for our visitors

Inspiring journeys through Release Scotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce

The greater the connections, the smaller the world. Discover over 400 destinations worldwide.








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Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Partners

Front Cover Image: Chris McConkey of Virgin Trains




Opportunities ahead for Scottish business Thank you for picking up the most recent edition of the Business Scotland magazine. This edition is packed with business success stories of innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation, showcasing the best of Scottish business.

Tim Allan

President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Over the summer, SCC Network welcomed the Parliamentary approval to expand Heathrow Airport and move ahead with the third runway, providing further links for businesses to connect with global economies and international markets. The project itself will provide immense opportunities to Scottish businesses as a way to export to new destinations as well as taking advantage of Heathrow’s many procurement opportunities. We have also welcomed the continued improvements made by ScotRail including a strengthening of the rail link between Glasgow and Edinburgh with the new Hitachi fleet of Class 385 trains. In Caithness, the investments extend to outer space, with the excellent news that the region will be the site of the UK’s first spaceport. These are certainly exciting times and it’s great to see our members pushing

the boundaries too. Following on from our trade mission to China, West Lothian Chamber hosted a trade mission to Ireland, looking to strengthen links with Irish business. Renfrewshire Chamber contributes to this edition and explores the values of a well-trained service sector, helping to drive the visitor experience in Scotland, and encouraging tourists to return to Scotland. Finally, I am delighted that we are able to showcase the talent and vision of the Release Scotland partnership - one that I am personally proud to support and back. This partnership is a unique employerled approach to supporting people with convictions into employment, making sure that businesses are tapping into the widest possible pool of talent. I look forward to more businesses backing this partnership. Enjoy this edition of Business Scotland!

Featured Stories and Contributors James Russell

Scott Prentice


Derek MacKay MSP

Kenny Richmond

Clyde Blowers Capital

Liz Cameron OBE

Inverness Chamber

Scotland’s Apprentice Convention

Malcolm Roughead OBE

Martina Chukwuma-Ezike

Papillon Design and Landscaping

Director of Career Information Advice and Guidance Operations, Skills Development Scotland

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work

Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Head of Business Development, ScotRail

Head of Economics, Scottish Enterprise

Asthma and Allergy foundation

Business Scotland



Chris McConkey’s inspiring journey and motivations I’m in an amazing job, working as an engineer in Virgin Trains’ Bounds Green depot. I work with some great people who I’m learning a lot from and I have the opportunity to progress further and gain promotion. The future’s brighter than it’s ever been. Three years ago, I was sent to prison for five months after pleading guilty to assault. I think prison changed me – I came out ten times more motivated than I have ever been in my life. Because of what I’d put my family through, I wanted to make up for the

Business Scotland


suffering I had caused. My partner at the time was amazing; she stood by me and gave me the confidence to push myself. When I first got out of prison I got a job labouring in a quarry. It was really tough work – it was a 60-hour week and when I wasn’t working pretty much all I would do was sleep. But I needed to get my family financially stable after being in prison so I kept my head down and got on with it. Before I went to prison, I’d served in the army, in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and was working in data cabling. A lot of the skills I learned have come in useful in this role I’m in now. I know what a torque wrench is and I know how an electric motor works. I had the basics and I can still use those skills. I thought doing labouring or becoming selfemployed would be my only options when I

left prison. I was thinking just keep working, keep the money coming in. I knew things were going to be difficult career-wise. I went to a few interviews where, as soon as I mentioned I’d been to jail, you could see in their faces this was going nowhere. Suddenly they’d changed their mind about filling the post or something else would happen and you wouldn’t get the job. It was really difficult to find companies who were willing to take you on. I first met someone from Virgin Trains when I was in prison and they held a recruitment day. We spoke about my offending and I felt like they put me at ease and made it comfortable to talk about what had happened. After that it was like a normal interview; we had some group exercises and talked about my career aspirations and


I know I have worked harder than I ever did before I went to prison because I want to make the most of this opportunity that I’ve been given. Chris McConkey Rolling Stock Technician with Virgin Trains

what I’d bring to the company. The only difference was I didn’t get to walk away at the end of the interview. Six months after leaving prison, I was taken on a management training apprenticeship and worked in customer service roles onboard and at stations on the west coast business, based in Glasgow. But then an engineering role came up on the east coast business at the Bounds Green depot in London and I applied for that. Working in different roles and understanding how they fit together has been really interesting. And travelling around the country, staying in hotels, visiting places I’d never heard of – it’s all been great for my confidence. From being in prison to working in a quarry to now doing this has been an amazing journey. I would say to employers who are thinking of hiring someone with a conviction: by all means question what the criminal record is but don’t write someone off. You won’t get someone more motivated than someone who has limited opportunities. I know I have worked harder than I ever did before I went to prison because I want to make the most of this opportunity that I’ve been given.

Release Scotland wants to make a difference and help people with convictions turn their lives around Getting a job is known to be one of the key factors in helping people with a criminal record turn their lives around, contribute to society and avoid reoffending. Yet previous research has shown that three quarters of companies in the UK would not consider recruiting someone with a criminal record, despite more than a third of all male adults in Scotland having a conviction in their past, and 9% of women. To address this challenge in Scotland, business leaders, charities and Scottish Government have backed the employerled partnership, Release Scotland, which aims to unlock the potential of people with convictions. Release Scotland aims to widen understanding of the benefits that people who have been through the justice system can bring to a business. The partnership offers helpful insights, real life examples and support, all of which help businesses to improve the diversity of their workforce and better represent the society we live in. By considering people with convictions for recruitment, employers can not only benefit from their ability to do the job but also tap into the added commitment that is often evident from somebody determined to clearly demonstrate their worth through work and their contribution as a citizen. The follow on benefit to society as a whole can also enhance the reputation of a business seen to be taking

an active and responsible role in helping Scotland become a better and safer nation. Major employers including Greggs, Virgin Trains, Timpson and Reed Global and business network, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, are taking an active role in the partnership, in a bid to demonstrate the positive role people with convictions can play in helping businesses succeed. The initiative is also backed by the Scottish Prison Service and government agencies to help people with convictions develop their potential in the workplace and contribute to a successful, growing economy. Through the www.releasescotland.com website, employers will be offered help with practical steps in the full recruitment process from application stage to interview stage to making the decision and creating a supportive work environment.

SIGN UP NOW releasescotland.com Follow the partnership on Twitter @ReleaseScotland

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Opening doors at Virgin Trains At Virgin Trains, we’ve been actively recruiting people from prison since 2013. We wanted to explore what sort of additional talent we could access by opening the doors to people with convictions. We started with the aim of recruiting just one person but have built on those modest beginnings to the point that this has become a regular part of our recruitment process. We now have more than 30 people working for our west coast business, hold regular recruitment fairs in prison and are looking at improving job training for people while they are still in prison. The programme we have in place has helped us identify people with talent, dedication and flair; people who have a passion for their work who are helping our business to grow. We’re always looking for people who embody Virgin’s commitment to amazing and heartfelt customer service and this programme has identified some of our best people. We know that this approach works, not just for us but for the communities we serve. It helps to end the destructive cycle of reoffending, ensures that people leaving prison are paying taxes and contributing to their communities and helps businesses thrive by identifying people with talent. We want other businesses to also benefit from this great source of talent and help their local communities at the same time. As well as recruiting people directly from

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prison, we want to make sure our business as usual recruitment processes are also welcoming people with convictions. Anonymity is a big help for people with convictions getting back into work. Colleagues with convictions want a fresh start and to break from their past. So we’ve adopted a policy whereby all recruits can choose whether or not to disclose their convictions, which offers them that opportunity. The relevant managers within the business will know about their background, and the choice of whether to discuss this more widely with colleagues is their own. Another step we have taken is to “ban the box” – ensuring people do not have to declare a criminal conviction on the job application form. We do this because we know that a lot of potential recruits will be put off from applying for roles if they have to declare the conviction history in advance. Instead we use the face to face interview as the time to talk about potential convictions and the circumstances around those crimes as well as their current situation. If we have any hesitations, we will say no. That doesn’t mean it’s a no from Virgin Trains

forever. In fact, we have colleagues who used their first unsuccessful interview with us as motivation to make a change. This was impetus enough for them to make changes and we hired them later down the line. We have checks in place to offer our customers and our people peace of mind. Some of these, such as a probationary period, are standard across all employees. Others are specific to the ex-offenders we hire. We make sure that their HR Business Partner is aware of their background so that they can provide additional support when needed. The HR team have regular catchups with each person on the programme. The topics of discussion vary according to what they would like help navigating through and the support they receive is usually advice for simple conundrums. Opening our doors to people with convictions has involved some big steps and we’ve learned a lot along the way. But we’re delighted with this approach as it has identified some amazing people who are now delivering a great service to our customers. And most importantly we are proud to have been able to offer a second chance to people who needed one.


Maintaining the Momentum It hasn’t even been six months since I came into post as Keeper of the Registers of Scotland. I already feel like so much has happened and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store for us.

Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Jennifer Henderson

Since joining RoS at the beginning of April, I’ve divided my time between getting to meet as many members of staff as possible, gaining a thorough understanding of exactly how the business works, and meeting some of our external partners and stakeholders who form an important part of the RoS extended family. I have also been undertaking some of the more official and public aspects of my role here. One of my first official duties as Keeper was the signing of Royal Commissions. That wasn’t a typical day at the office. The Commissions are hand-calligraphed documents that form the final element of Crown appointments such as Queen’s Counsel, Lords-Lieutenant and High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In many respects, the signing of the Commissions feels like a world away from the increasingly digital landscape we are working within, but it was a privilege to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors and add my signature to these important documents in this time-honoured tradition. I also delivered a keynote speech at the Law Society Scotland conveyancing conference in June. Openness, transparency, and accountability are just three of the values that sit at the heart of what I want to achieve as Keeper so I was delighted to be able to talk directly to a key stakeholder group about some of the challenges facing RoS. I was able to outline some of the actions I will oversee in order to address concerns that they had, as well as talk about what lies ahead for us. It felt positive to talk to our customers about the future of RoS as I see it beginning to unfold. We are focussed on the objectives in our published corporate plan. We aim to make ScotLIS – the platform of choice for land and property information by the end of 2018, which will help us take an important step towards realising our goal of becoming a fully digital business by 2020. We also intend to have made significant progress towards completion of the Land Register by 2021, in order to meet our 2024 Land Register completion target. A completed land

register will be a national asset for Scotland, making property transactions easier, faster and cheaper. It will provide a single, comprehensive, publically searchable, map-based record of exactly who owns what across the country. Scotland can be proud to be home to the world’s oldest national land register – the General Register of Sasines was 400 years old last year – and a completed Land Register will be a significant milestone for us, and keeps us at the forefront of land and property registration.

employer that values its staff. Our smart working environment, flexibility, and our commitment to equality across the business are just some of the ways that we nurture our team, and foster a healthy work-life balance. RoS is an outstanding example of an arms-length body in the Scottish Government that delivers efficiently on its core role and strategic objectives, while supporting wider Scottish Government objectives and I’m proud to be playing my part in that.

While those objectives are important and provide us with a focus, I want RoS to be known as an organisation that delivers outstanding customer service for all of our customers. I’ve been impressed by the way that we are leading the way with the introduction of digital services, and the ongoing work to ensure that we continue to find new ways of delivering the kind of services that our customers want. I also want us to demonstrate that we are a great

Maintaining the momentum will certainly keep us busy, but I’ve no doubt that we have the right team to deliver the exceptional services that meet the needs of all of our customers.

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Employment was an important step for me. I felt amazing – like I was on top of the world Sherie L opens up with Release Scotland about transforming her life through the Fresh Start initiative by Greggs Before I came into custody I was living at home with my mum, dad and little brother. I had a job, working part-time as a carer looking after the elderly and also in a bar. Life was good and I had a great group of friends and an active social life. One night in a flash, while walking home I made a terrible mistake that changed everything. That was the beginning of the nightmare, I went to my local police station and handed myself in. I was charged and went straight on remand. My life stopped there and I found myself 24 and in prison. I moved through the prison system and eventually, after a period of ten months, settled at HMP Drake Hall in Staffordshire. I was an absolute mess, I felt confused and I had lost everything and hurt everyone that I cared about. I couldn’t stop thinking about the people that I used to care for in my old job, they trusted me, and I had let them down. I just felt incredibly guilty. Once I had settled in the prison I decided that I had to stop hating myself and try and do something positive. Something worthwhile had to come out of this and I had to focus on making my life better and making the people I care about proud of me again. I put myself forward for all of the courses that I could including Maths, English, nails, hair & beauty, customer service and employability. I then successfully gained my open status and then began working towards being on the open unit which would enable me to find employment. Employment was an important step for me. I felt like I had lost everything because of my mistake and finding a job would enable me to give something back to my community. I didn’t want to feel worthless any longer, instead I wanted to build my confidence and focus on the future. My officer in the prison was brilliant; he didn’t give up on me and could see I wanted to make my situation better and helped me to find a job by introducing me to Greggs. I Business Scotland


was already aware that Greggs worked with the women at HMP Drake Hall and I had seen posters and leaflets around the prison about their programme called ‘Fresh Start’. My officer explained to me that Greggs would support me with employment when I left prison and go home and I started to feel more positive about the future. I had an interview for a placement which went really well and I was offered a placement to see how I got along in a local shop. After the placement, I became a permanent employee working across a couple of local shops. I felt amazing – like I was on top of the world and finally, everything started to feel normal at last. I love working at Greggs, especially the customer service side of things and the best bit is that everyone is just so welcoming. My family were so proud of me and that made me feel really proud too - I had achieved

something when I didn’t think I could. I am now approaching my release date and although I am very nervous, if I hadn’t had this opportunity lined up I would have come in with nothing and left with nothing. I am leaving prison with a home to go to and a job to support myself. Finally, I am proud of me. So the next steps for me? I love my role and I know that in time I could become a Manager. When I was younger, I was always told “Sherie will never do that!” and that’s all I have ever had off people. I don’t want to hear that anymore, sometimes I might struggle and it might take me a while to achieve something, but I am not being told that I can’t do something again because I can and, I know I will.


Inclusive economy: people with convictions

James Russell

Director of Career Information Advice and Guidance Operations, Skills Development Scotland

It is no secret that to recruit the best person for a job, you must think inclusively. By making assumptions about individuals due to their past, employers could be missing out on a wealth of talent, skills and knowledge which could take their business to the next level. Release Scotland’s work is emphasising this message – and it is my hope that employers get on board. People who are released from prison and don’t get into employment are twice as likely to reoffend as those who leave with a job lined up.

Getting into employment, however, can be a struggle. People with convictions are often overlooked in the job market and face a lot of stigma, but they have the potential to flourish in the workplace when given the chance. To meet Scotland’s ambitions for inclusive growth and productivity, recruiters need to widen the net and make sure that their company is open to all. By employing a person with a conviction, everyone benefits. It gives employers a more diverse workforce, as well as access to skills and experience. Individuals, on the other hand, get a chance to move on from their past and seize the opportunity to work and progress. For people leaving prison who perhaps lack skills and experience, there is support out there.

and turn their careers around – and these are open to everyone. Our services are delivered with a wide partnership network, including Community Justice Scotland and this ensures that our customers receive the right support, at the right from the most appropriate individual or organisation. Our careers advisers, working across the country, can offer tailored advice and guidance for people hoping to enter the job market or change career paths, giving them the tools they need to succeed. From apprenticeships to adult learning programme The Big Plus, there are ways in which people with convictions can turn their life around and give themselves the skills they need to flourish in the world of work. By investing in skills in this way, we are giving people from all walks of life the chance to fulfil their ambitions – and building a stronger economy for Scotland.

At Skills Development Scotland (SDS), we deliver and support programmes which give individuals the opportunity to upskill

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DYW Glasgow shows there’s #NoWrongPath For many young people, their academic performance at school can be seen as career-defining. Exam results day thus carries a stress and emotional strain that can weigh heavily on the minds of young people, as they look to make their way into the world of work. As pupils across Scotland received their SQA exam results, the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Glasgow team, hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, looked to spread a positive message for pupils receiving their results, celebrating those who were happy and supporting those who were disappointed. In 2017, DYWG created the #NoWrongPath campaign, which was designed to demonstrate that there are an endless number of nontraditional routes to promising and fulfilling careers. The hashtag prompted thousands of people to share their career journeys. The stories highlighted the colourful career journeys which people had travelled after leaving school. The success of the campaign was recognised when it

won Best Use of Social Media Award at the 2017 at The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards. This year, those who supported the campaign included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, Still Game actor Scott Reid and many others. The 2018 campaign gained a staggering 28.5 million impressions with over 11,000 contributors – double that of last year - as the hashtag trended across a number of different social media sites in the UK. It was reignited later on in the month as English pupils received their GCSE, AS Level and A level results. The campaign was also supported by other Chambers of Commerce across Scotland which play host to a DYW group. The overarching message is that where we go when we leave school is a point in our journey, not our ultimate destination. Glasgow’s further and higher education establishments are committed to Lifelong Learning and offer a range of courses from access courses to post graduate

qualifications for the continuing learner. Out with formal education, vocational learning continues to expand with over 26,000 people starting a Modern Apprenticeship last year. Regardless of where you start, very few people stay there. The average time a millennial is expected to stay in a job role is 2.2 years, meaning they will have approximately 20 jobs over their working career. As Sheryl Sandberg put it: your career is a jungle gym, sometimes you go up, sometimes sideways and sometimes down, but very few people stay still. It’s important that young people know at a very daunting time that there are a wide range of options available to them regarding their futures, and that the mapped path is often not the only one. It is never too late to alter your career path, and it is especially not too late when someone is just leaving school. For more information on the #NoWrongPath campaign, visit www.dywglasgow.com/ nowrongpath/

The 2018 campaign gained a staggering 28.5 million impressions with over 11,000 contributors – double that of last year - as the hashtag trended across a number of different social media sites in the UK. Business Scotland



If you run a family business, are your decisions rational? In any business, decisions need to be built around a sound balance of reason and emotion. Sometimes, however, decisions made in family businesses may seem a little irrational when compared to other businesses. Decisions may be wellintentioned financially, and suit the family, but will often have been adjusted in order to reconcile some of the issues which arise from personal interests and relationships. I have more than forty years’ first-hand experience of these kinds of pressures. Not only did I work in our family business when I was very young, but I have also worked with family businesses for most of my professional career. Many of the family businesses I work with have struggled to answer two key questions: n where do we want to go with our business? n and how are we going to get there?

When a business is managed and run with family or friends, it can sometimes be difficult to define a clear sense of direction as several people, with different levels of influence, will have different views on what the business should be doing.

Alistair Tait

The family businesses with which I work find it very useful to have an independent and objective adviser who takes the time to understand the views and aspirations of the various interested parties, and helps pull them together to agree upon a clear set of objectives and a clear plan of action. If you’d like to know more about how I could help you and your business please get in touch. There’s no charge for an introductory meeting. I trust that my experience, underpinned by my professional qualifications, will help your business to become more rational, more focused and more successful.

HELPING FAMILY BUSINESSES TO SET CLEAR OBJECTIVES AND ACHIEVE THEM We start with two key questions: 1 Where do you want to go with your business? and, 2 How are you going to get there? We then work closely with all of the key people in the business, using our tried and tested business development process, to answer them in detail.

TURN THE BUSINESS YOU HAVE INTO THE ONE YOU WANT info@tedl.co.uk | 01683 300 118

Visit www.tedl.co.uk to find out how we can help you develop your business.

www.tedl.co.uk | info@tedl.co.uk | 01683 300 118

Business Scotland



New partnership set to boost marine awareness West coast ferry operator CalMac has teamed up with 14 conservation bodies in a bid to better protect the environment it sails in. The company’s new Marine Awareness Programme outlines specific actions it will take to help passengers get the most from the environment they are travelling through and to better understand the wildlife in its area of operations. CalMac’s managing director, Robbie Drummond said: ‘Knowledge is a major part of protecting the environment for future generations. By finding out what wild resources we have, we are in better position to take steps to help conserve them. Our commitment to the monitoring, education

Knowledge is a major part of protecting the environment for future generations. By finding out what wild resources we have, we are in better position to take steps to help conserve them.

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and information sharing activity outlined in this Programme will help ensure we continue to build knowledge about the seas we sail.’

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, MARINElife, ORCA, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

‘The marine environment we work in is among the most diverse in the world, supporting over 6,500 complex and 40,000 single cell species of plants and animals.

Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation

The new partners at the launch of the Marine Awareness Programme Our seas are among the richest in Europe for marine mammals. Scotland holds about 70% of Europe’s population of grey seals and 35% of common seals along with numerous species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and seabirds.’ Actions outlined include using CalMac vessels to undertake marine biodiversity monitoring, passenger engagement and education to raise marine environment awareness with both visitors and locals and to facilitate better information sharing between conservation agencies. CalMac’s 14 partners are Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, British Trust for Ornithology, Capturing Our Coast, Field Studies Council Millport,

‘CalMac understands how important the environment we work in day to day is to our communities. The natural environment and the wildlife within it are central to attracting visitors and helping to grow the economies within the areas we serve. ‘We want to help stimulate this economic growth wherever we can by delivering reliable services that people want to use. However, it crucial that we balance this with protecting the very environment that is the driver of this growth. Our new Marine Awareness Programme is a first step in this direction,’ added Robbie. CalMac’s 33-strong fleet sails to 26 island and remote mainland destinations. Last year the company carried more than 5.3 million passengers and nearly 1.4 million vehicles. There is more information and regular updates on the Marine Awareness Programme website.


Award Winning Rail Freight Provider Freightliner is an established, award-winning rail freight provider with businesses in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the Middle East. As a leading provider of intermodal and bulk freight haulage, with depots and terminals spread nationwide, Freightliner operates services across the entire UK rail network, moving over 770,000 containers per year, providing a safe, reliable and cost effective rail freight partnership. With each freight train removing 76 Heavy Good Vehicles from the UK’s congested roads, Rail freight has a key role to play in meeting the government’s environmental targets with every tonne of freight moved by rail reducing CO2 emissions by 76% compared to road haulage. Freightliner’s Coatbridge terminal is the busiest container terminal in Scotland. Every day the terminal handles overnight container trains serving the UK’s key deep sea ports

of Felixstowe, Southampton, London Gateway and Liverpool to ensure the best of Scotland’s products are transported to world markets. In addition to this, the terminal also handles two domestic container services to and from Daventry in the West Midlands loaded with goods for the rest of the UK and northern Europe.

Opened in 1968 on the site of a former coal yard, Coatbridge has become a vital hub for the movement of containers in Scotland, and plays a vital role in supporting Scotland’s exports by connecting Scottish businesses with markets all over the world. Around 25% of Scotland’s exports pass through Coatbridge.

Award winning rail freight haulage

To see what Freightliner can do for you, please contact: enquiries@freightliner.co.uk +44 (0)207 200 3974 www.freightliner.co.uk

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Once upon a turbulent time ... Two not-so-young publishers moved to Inverness and set about adapting their skills to the Scottish publishing scene. Seeing a gap in the market for a series of regionally focused photographic books, they set about the task of photographing selected areas of the country. The year was 2007; yes, the year the financial storm clouds were gathering ahead of the catastrophic crash of 2008. This was not a good year to launch a new business but, against the odds, enough books were sold to keep going and in the face of this rough weather, the fledgling Ness Publishing achieved lift-off. Founder Colin Nutt concocted a scheme for covering the whole of Scotland with our ‘Picturing Scotland’ books. This originally envisaged a series of 20 titles, but today it numbers 36 books and there is indeed a Picturing Scotland title for every part of the country.

whom will then make their own visit.

Highlights? April 2014 stands out as the month when Picturing Scotland sales passed the 100,000-copy mark. Four-and-a-half years later, sales reached 200,000, meaning that the books had contributed £1million worth of retail value to the Scotland’s tourism economy. OK, that’s a tiny part of this sector, but we hope that the books are doing their bit in providing ongoing promotion of Scotland: they enable people to ‘take Scotland with them’ and share it with others, some of

How have the books done so well? This is where, I trust, the story becomes relevant to a wide cross-section of Business Scotland readers. As well as being well produced and widely accepted by the ‘obvious’ areas of the retail trade, innovative sales and marketing ideas have greatly extended their range and areas of use. Predominant in this field is the ability to add a customer’s branding to the books, meaning their property/venue/business adorns the outside of their copies, adding a

promotional dimension to that business, as well as better sales. This has opened up new markets such as hotels – see below and www.nesspublishing.co.uk/book_jackets/ . As well as offering external branding, we can provide internal personalising of the books that enables them to tie in with any kind of event held at hotels, country houses and conference centres, from weddings to corporate events. So, if your business is anywhere on the tourism spectrum, Picturing Scotland books could be profitable for you ...

New Minister pays Fife Chamber a visit Fife Chamber of Commerce met with Jamie Hepburn MSP on Tuesday (31 July) to provide an update on business conditions and priorities in Fife. The recently appointed Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills visited Marine Harvest Scotland’s Rosyth headquarters, where Chamber members welcomed Mr Hepburn and discussed Fife’s business economy and future opportunities. Discussions covered a number of key topics, including: raising awareness of indemand business skills and opportunities, so young people can make informed

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market workforce may bring following Brexit, including how best to build and encourage a capable domestic workforce. Fife Chamber Vice President Brian Horisk, who chaired the session, said: “Mr Hepburn has only been in his new post for a number of weeks, so this was an important early opportunity for Fife business representatives to make contact, opening up a dialogue to discuss the region’s business and employment priorities. educational and career choices; creating greater parity between academic and vocational study; recruitment challenges, particularly finding and recruiting staff with technical and specialist skills and knowledge; and preparing for potential challenges a reduction in available labour

“With specific ministerial responsibilities covering employability and skills, fair work, and youth employment, Fife Chamber will seek to maintain a close and positive working relationship with him to ensure the best possible outcomes for the region.”


Executives Stretched…leadership training with a difference! Employees from all over Scotland were put through their paces at Exercise Executive Stretch during a weekend of leadership training at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh. Over 50 participants from a range of businesses took part to gain first -hand experience of the Reserve Forces and learn about the many valuable transferable skills which Reservists bring to their civilian employers. Arriving on Friday afternoon, the participants were fed and watered by the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry – the Army’s newest combat regiment – before learning some basic drill and cooking skills to prepare them for the challenges ahead. A night in the barracks was followed by the shock of a 5am Reveille on Saturday and the teams headed out into the Pentland hills where the hard work began! Activities included a gun run with 105 Regiment Royal Artillery, gap crossing with 71 Engineer Regiment, minefield vehicle extraction with 154 Regiment RLC and a message decryption lesson courtesy of 32 Royal Signal Regiment. The teams also took part in emergency evacuation from a sinking ship, courtesy of the Royal Navy. After a long day, the teams were then taken to their accommodation for the night – a woodland – where they were taught how to create a shelter, organise their kit and prepare their rations. Expert advice was provided by 6 Scots and a dry, if chilly night under canvas was had by all. Day two was another early start and the teams returned to Redford Barracks for their toughest challenge yet; an energy sapping stretcher run and assault course. The focus was very much on teamwork and, encouraged vociferously by their army instructors, the teams pushed, pulled and carried each other over the finish line to huge cheers from their employers and friends. Once they had got their breath back, the teams had a welcome hot shower and change of clothes in time for the closing ceremony and prize giving. Col Toby Gaddum, Commanding Officer SNIY praised the participants for their hard work and

enthusiasm, and thanked the many service personnel who had put so much time and effort into making the event such a success. A buffet lunch was provided to round off the weekend, and the buzz and laughter as the teams mingled and congratulated each other showed how much everyone had enjoyed the weekend, with lots of new friendships and business contacts having been made. Ron Macgregor from the Highland Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association, one of the organisers of the event commented, “The aim of Executive Stretch is to demonstrate to employers the wide range of skills that Reservists can bring to the workplace, and for their employees to have the opportunity to develop their leadership and teamwork skills in a unique training environment. It is a great experience for all concerned

and the teams taking part have really done themselves, and their employers, proud.” The civilian employees who took part gained a huge amount from the weekend. “Brilliant…fantastic….amazing!” were just a few of the words used to describe the event with teams praising the army instructors who helped them complete the command tasks. “The whole weekend was challenging in lots of ways,” said one participant,” but it gave me a real insight into what reservists do and I learned a lot about myself over the weekend.” If your business would like to find out more about engaging with Defence, employing Reservists, Veterans or Military Spouses, or about working with Cadets please contact Highland RFCA hi-reed@rfca.mod.uk for more information about how you can get involved.

Business Scotland



Award winning business property in Central Scotland Based centrally in Clackmannanshire, Ceteris has 13 business locations spread across Central Scotland offering over 260,000 sq ft of serviced offices, industrial units and workshops. Clackmannanshire has benefitted greatly from recent infrastructure improvements, a new train station and the Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Regional Deal promises transformational change for the area.

With over 150 tenant businesses (employing almost 1000 employees’) choosing our property portfolio, we take seriously our responsibility as landlord to deliver the very best in customer service, to manage sustainable, environmentally friendly buildings and to offer additional services such as our free, informative and timely workshops and events. Indeed, in 2017 both the Alloa Business Centre and Cooperage Way Business Village were awarded Gold Level accreditation from Keep Scotland Beautiful National Awards for Environmental Excellence whilst, in recognition of our commitment to the environment, we were finalists in The VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards. Our programme of added-value tenant events have recently included Modern

Apprenticeship & Recycling information sessions, Defibrillator Training and a workshop on how to Combat Cybercrime. The location is stunning; strategically located in the middle of Scotland, Clackmannanshire lies between the majestic Ochil Hills and the River Forth providing the perfect business base, less than 9 miles from Stirling and no more than a 40 minute drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres.

Our varied portfolio includes modern, custom built offices alongside renovated historical buildings full of character. We can offer town centre locations, bustling business parks or beautiful, tranquil views across countryside and the aforementioned Ochil Hills. Clackmannanshire is growing, call us to find out how Ceteris property can benefit your business.

BUSINESS PROPERTY RENTAL Offering customised serviced offices, industrial units and workshops in business parks across Central Scotland. All-inclusive, flexible and cost-effective leases include utilities, reception, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, meeting room hire, car-parking, refuse and recycling.

T: 01259 721454 E: property@ceteris.co.uk

Visit ceteris.co.uk for more information

01259 721454 | property@ceteris.co.uk | ceteris.co.uk

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A modern approach to ecological consultancy Ellendale Environmental undertakes ecology and environmental surveys as part of its consultancy work across the UK, with demonstrable experience in both the public and private sectors. Their roll call of clients is impressive, including Balfour Beatty, Scottish and Southern Energy, Savills and McGregor Construction, amongst others. Founded in the wake of the recession, it’s telling that they’ve gone from strength to strength even in challenging times. Repeat business and personal recommendations form the greater part of their work, which speaks volumes about the quality of their output and the high regard in which they are held by their clients. Their portfolio of work encompasses projects of all sizes, including major infrastructure, utility, development, construction and residential schemes, yet they are equally at home in small-scale projects too. One day you may find them at work on an energy-related scheme, another in an architect’s office, the next surveying someone’s back garden. “Each project is the most important project to us,” explains Stewart Parsons, Founder and Director of Ellendale Environmental. “No matter what the size of the scheme, we will give it the same care and attention. “We carry out a thorough assessment for each client and make our recommendations based solely on what we find. It is a nononsense approach which our clients appreciate, delivering steadfast results and practical solutions for them. “Planning authorities have a legal duty to protect and enhance biodiversity, so we work with clients to prevent their project from having any detrimental effect on biodiversity, and where some impact is unavoidable, to advise them on the most effective mitigating steps to take.

Each project is the most important project to us, no matter what the size of the scheme, we will give it the same care and attention.

“We are proactive and solution driven in our work, always understanding the constraints our clients are working within and finding a practical way forward for them, helping them to obtain the planning permission they need. “Our work includes baseline surveys which determine the characteristics of an area, preconstruction surveys, species and habitat surveys, plus onsite monitoring and mitigation. We have also undertaken consultations with statutory consultees such as The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the RSPB.” One challenging project in which Ellendale has been involved saw the replacement of 220km of overhead transmission line between Beauly and Denny, supported by 615 400kv steel towers, which were replacing over 800 pre-existing 132kv towers. The Ellendale team worked with Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks and Balfour Beatty as part of the onsite ecological and environmental management team, assisting them in working within the environmental constraints onsite. Their expert guidance enabled the construction work to continue uninterrupted, whilst ensuring the wildlife and habitats were protected, thereby protecting the client too. Another notable scheme in which Ellendale were involved was the flood alleviation scheme at Almondbank, worth an estimated £14.7m. Providing advice and support at the construction site to both Balfour Beatty and Perth and Kinross Council, Ellendale’s expertise ensured the project was compliant

with all relevant environmental legislation, enabling the project to progress and local wildlife to be protected. Stewart’s advice remains that the sooner they are involved in a project, the better, yet this isn’t always possible and sometimes they’ve stepped in to assist with a complex planning issue at a much later stage. One such project was a residential housing scheme at Oaksey, North Wiltshire, where the work of a previous consultant had twice been challenged in the planning process, including at a crucial appeal. Ellendale Environmental took up the reins, progressing the project to a new planning application - which was successful. We’ll let the client, James Woodhouse, take up the tale here: “Ellendale Environmental were recommended to me after two failed attempts with other ecologists. They supported me on a complex and challenging planning application in the Cotswolds. I found them extremely professional, easy to work with and experienced. “They had a passion and deep understanding of ecology whilst being able to work pragmatically with me on my respective project. They delivered for me and the environment!” Protecting the environment is a priority, yet even in the light of this, difficult planning projects can be brought to fruition if the right steps are taken and one company treading the right path is Ellendale Environmental. www.ellendale-environmental.co.uk Info@ellendale-environmental.co.uk

Business Scotland



Using Rail to Support Your Supply Chain With road transport the most common way to move cargo within the UK, you may question why you would need to consider any other method. Providing flexibility and door-to-door service, road is a great solution. However using only road excludes one of the most reliable and environmentally-friendly ways to move freight. As the challenges facing road transport increase, it’s becoming ever more important to diversify and use other transport methods. With the build-up of congestion on the motorways and a shortage of 45,000 HGV drivers, that is set to increase, of which the impact will be felt further in the coming years, its vital that supply chains build resilience by using rail as a viable alternative. Rail freight has been popular since its introduction in the 1800s and in recent years has become more widely adopted by shipping companies, container operators, retailers and some of the UK’s top brands. The benefits it provides allow users to create efficiencies in their supply chain whilst increasing resilience. This has been seen by those taking advantage of the rail connections at Teesport, a deep-sea port located in the North East of the UK. With regular rail services to Scotland and Felixstowe on a daily basis, port customers are expanding their supply chain to support further growth. Owned and operated by PD Ports, Teesport has 26 vessel calls a week from Europe to further afield providing a gateway into the North. Many of the world’s largest shipping lines visit the Port, connecting it to major ports including Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Japan and Gdynia. This connectivity coupled with an onsite intermodal terminal has seen Teesport become recognised by those importing and exporting from Scotland as a hub into the UK. Using rail to move their cargo to and from Scotland allows these cargo owners to benefit from cost-savings, reliable services and a reduction in carbon emissions. As supply chains get squeezed to reduce

costs, rail offers the opportunity to make savings without compromising on quality. Rail freight is a cheaper way to move cargo around the UK with a container being transported by rail up to Scotland from Teesport costing 40% less than the same journey by road. As well as being more cost effective, rail provides structure and reliability. With a strict timetable to keep, customers know exactly when their cargo will be collected in one port and arrive at the other allowing for the growing use of rail for time sensitive deliveries. In using rail freight, cargo owners reduce their impact on the environment with a reduction of 76% CO2 emissions compared to road. The increased use of rail is better for communities with less visual and noise pollution and the reduction of congestion on the roads resulting in 1.6 billion fewer HGV kilometres every year.

With rail’s popularity on the rise, PD Ports is continuing to increase its services to meet customer demand. Operating amongst a busy container operation, seeing 490k TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) a year, the rail terminal is set to add a second train service to Scotland late 2018 and a further connection to Manchester in early 2019, with additional services being considered in line with market demand. Using road and rail together within your supply chain could offer the best of both worlds. Rail provides reliability and cost-savings over long distances whilst road delivers flexibility for the last mile. Introducing rail could provide a number of potential benefits and as the challenges within road transport become further exacerbated, now is the time to see what rail could do for you.

With rail’s popularity on the rise, PD Ports is continuing to increase its services to meet customer demand. Business Scotland



Strathleven Regeneration - Significant impact on regional economy also include Aggreko, Whitbread, Costa, Euro Garages and Jaconelli’s Fish Restaurant. Private sector investment in Lomondgate has exceeds £112m since the project launched.

The most recent of a series of independent impact assessments carried out by Peter Brett Associates, has found the Lomondgate regeneration project being delivered north of Dumbarton has helped create over 700 full times jobs and £414m for the region’s economy since 2007.

The last 23 acres of land remains available but the SRCIC board is looking for something really special.

Much of Lomondgate is now a thriving mixeduse development featuring commercial, retail and residential space. One of the site’s earliest tenants was BBC Scotland, which has built production facilities where filming of River City and Still Game takes place. Working with the construction company Walker Group of Livingston, Strathleven Regeneration CIC in a ‘profit for purpose’ economic regeneration company. It was launched to regenerate the former J+B whisky bottling plant where several hundred jobs had been lost. “We are delighted with the way our partnership has made such an impact, achieving key performance indicators way ahead of those the board dared to dream of when we were getting started” said Steven

Szostak SRCIC’s Project Director. “This is an important indication that smart working between private and public partners, with no public sector revenue and operating with a commercial focus can achieve really significant socio-economic contributions back into our target communities” The 100-acre site sits at the gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park but is within half an hour’s drive of Glasgow city centre and airport. Current occupants

“With 11 million people using the site’s A82 roundabout every year, maybe we were missing a trick with the tourism and leisure sector. So in addition to working with any employment creating relocator - we are now focused on attracting destination businesses keen to be part of Scotland’s resurging tourism market.”

Contacts: Strategy, regeneration background and board vision: Steven Szostak at SRCIC on 01389722282 or steven.szostak@ strathleven.org Site enquiries: Paul Broad at GVA on 0141 3046382 Or for further information or visit: http:// www.lomondgate.com/

The Digital Development Loan is provided by the Scottish Government to enhance the Digital Capability, Capacity or Skills of Scottish SME’s Apply Online for a £5,000 - £50,000 Interest Free Digital Development Loan.

www.digitaldevelopmentloan.org Business Scotland



ScotRail ushers in sleek new era ScotRail’s upgrades and improvements for the nation’s commuters continued in earnest at the end of July, as the new Hitachi fleet of Class 385 trains began ferrying customers between Glasgow and Edinburgh, thus beginning the next phase of the franchise’s delivery for Scottish rail travel which is more comfortable, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Scott Prentice

Head of Business Development, ScotRail

The new electric trains set off on the morning of July 24, ushering in a new era of sleeker and more modern train travel that starts between Scotland’s two largest cities, but that will soon be benefitting other parts of the country. ScotRail has invested £475 million in new rolling stock and it has now begun to come to fruition. The new trains follow on from the electrification of the Glasgow-Edinburgh via Falkirk High line part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Plan (EGIP) - that Network Rail Scotland has spent £858 million on, all of which combines to be the most significant investment in Scotland’s railways since the Victoria era. The trains will increase capacity on the route by 44 per cent at its peak, as part of a wider increase across Scotland that will see the whole new fleet providing 100,000 extra seats per weekday once the entire project

Business Scotland


is complete. The Glasgow to Edinburgh journey time will be cut to 42 minutes (the standard time previously was approximately 52 minutes) providing an economic boost by even more closely linking the nation’s two main financial hubs. They will also be more sustainable and energy efficient than previous trains, further cementing the environmental benefit of ScotRail’s link between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Travelling by train is the most environmentally friendly mode of public transport, and the new fleet compounds that, as the improvements in capacity and reduction in journey time should encourage motorway users to choose the train instead. The trains themselves are brand new. They’re more spacious, cleaner, and will increase the comfort of commuters which will make the train journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh more attractive still. The continuation of the project will see the stock rolled out to other parts of Central Scotland, which will free up trains to create more services for areas around the country. The economic benefit from EGIP will create infrastructural benefits for other parts of Scotland, which will see upgraded stations at

Glasgow Queen Street and Aberdeen. From the new station at Aberdeen there will be reduced journey times and more services to Inverness. These improvements are already radically altering the railway network in Scotland, for the better. Scotland’s trains will be quicker, more regular, more eco-friendly, and more comfortable to commute on. The benefits will be felt all around the nation, and ScotRail is excited for its customers to experience this new era on Scotland’s railways.


Dunbartonshire Chamber raises a glass to burgeoning drinks industry Scotland’s Food and Drink Sector is worth more than £13.5 billion annually and supports 115,000 jobs via 17,000 businesses. The drinks industry leads the way with Scotch whisky now accounting for more than 20% of all UK food and drink exports. Dunbartonshire is quickly setting itself out as an important hub for established global drinks businesses, new distillers, brewers, exporters and festivals. Damon Scott, Chief Executive of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce is enthused by the activity in the area: “I think these are really exciting times for the sector in Dunbartonshire. All of our drinks industry

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members are characterised by ambition, growth innovation and drive.”

WORLD CLASS The biggest player in the area is Chivas Brothers, part of Pernod Ricard, who are currently rolling out a £50m investment in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment at their Kilmalid site in Dumbarton. Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO at Chivas Brothers at the time, welcomed the granting of planning permission in October of last year:

capitalise on the opportunities this brings. “With an 80-year history in Dumbarton we’re proud to be investing and expanding in this community and look forward to progressing the project to the next stage.” With a new CEO in Jean-Christophe Coutures, a surge sales in China this year and work underway to create the world-class operation by the end of 2019, the outlook is looking very positive for Chivas Brothers and for the local economy.


“Today’s decision marks the beginning of a hugely exciting new era for our business and through this investment we will deliver our ambition to achieve excellence in our operations, enabling us to develop and grow our portfolio of iconic and global brands.

Loch Lomond Brewery started life in Euan and Fiona Maceachern’s kitchen in Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond.

“It’s an exciting time in the industry, with Scotch growing in value and volume and exports increasing by 4% last year, and our expansion will enable us to lead the way and

Now, having brewed a number of awardwinning beers including CAMRA Champion Beer of Scotland in 2017 and SIBA Supreme

A desire to brew beer and create a family business that would allow the whole family to get involved was started in 2011 in Alexandria.


Cask Champion of the UK in 2016, Loch Lomond Brewery has rebranded to include a range of new beers in cask, keg, bottle and can. With international orders on the rise Euan and Fiona have ambitious growth plans to double production, invest in their team and facilities and open their first taproom on the banks of Loch Lomond. To help make this happen they recently set up a successful crowd-funding campaign over-funding their initial £350,000 target by £150,000 to raise half a million pounds. This will enable them to move ahead with their plans much more quickly.

STILL GAME In the west of the county, the somewhat older Auchentoshan Distillery, established in 1800 and owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers, already attracts those on the whisky trail to Dunbartonshire to enjoy tours and tastings. Just down the A82 the Loch Lomond Distillery’s original site dates back almost as far to 1814. These two distilleries continue to build upon the region’s rich heritage to put Dunbartonshire well and truly on the map with the award-winning Loch Lomond Group recently agreeing a prestigious, five-year partnership with The Open, golf’s original championship for its Loch Lomond Whiskies brand.

FROM MICROCHIPS TO MICRO BREWERY Inspired by the rich local history of the area and the raw ingredients that Scotland provides, IT professionals, Andrew Jarvis and Iain McLaren’s Lennox Brewery is the most recent addition to Dunbartonshire’s craft ale industry. Andrew and Iain, also a West Dunbartonshire councillor, hope that their new venture heralds a new era of beer production in the town that has a heritage of brewing which was an important industry in the mid-19th Century. As well as brewing their craft ale using locallysourced products Lennox Brewery are taking an eco-friendly approach to create as little waste as possible and re-using by-products of the brewing for other procedures.

IN-GIN-IOUS Mark and Alison Hazell settled in Scotland nearly 20 years ago after finding their dream house, “The Jaw”, a 300-year-old miller’s cottage nestling on the shores of Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie. They now run a successful micro-brewery and, more recently, launched their own small batch gin. Their business journey began after Mark

took voluntary redundancy from an IT company when the opportunity arose at the beginning of 2014.

for ‘collectors items’ such as limited-edition bottling, oddities and even a closed or silent distillery bottling.

Having undertaken extensive research on the brewing industry in the West of Scotland, Mark decided to set up a microbrewery to supply craft beer and so “Jaw Brew” was born. The beers were well received and a strong trade was built up over the next couple of years with Mark and Alison attending various trade shows to market Jaw Brew beer.

A 300 acre site in Kirkintilloch was recently secured for the development of a new distillery incorporating a visitor centre with enough land left over to grow and supply the barley needed to produce the new whisky.

They noticed that not only was demand for gin on the increase, but that the same customers who were buying Jaw Brew were also interested in buying gin. Before long a strategy was developed to increase the offering to their existing customer base and attract new ones and, in 2016, they launched the first of theiraward-winning Hazell & Hazell gins. Work is now underway to create a new distillery at The Jaw, to realise growth plans and take the business into its next stage of development. Mark and Alison have also been heavily involved in the development of Milngavie’s Beer Festival which has become a key event in the Dunbartonshire calendar.

IN THE SPIRIT Spirit of Alba is an independently run family business based in Kirkintilloch and set up by Dr Jim Hopkins. The company was established in 2015 to raise awareness of the fascinating and innovative world of whisky. With customers all over the world, Spirit of Alba specialises in the retail of Scotch and a variety of other choice spirits. As well as offering an accessible range of products the company also caters for the growing demand

Spirit of Alba is also the company behind the highly successful Gin & Whisky Festival that was launched this year to celebrate Kirkintilloch’s whisky heritage – epitomised by Kirkintilloch-born, Rita Cowan, who became known as “The Mother of Japanese Whisky”. Meanwhile in Milngavie co-owners of the popular Finsbay Café-Bar-Restaurant, including former Scotland and Warriors rugby captain Al Kellock and businessman, Billy Milligan, recently launched their very own Caulkers Dark Rum – a celebration of Clyde ship building and West Indian rum trade.

THE NEXT ROUND? Commenting on future prospects Damon Scott adds: “Dunbartonshire has been a bit of a hidden gem but there is a real momentum growing with a number of notable businesses making the decision to locate here during my 2 years as Chamber CEO. They are attracted by the relatively low cost-base coupled with easy access to Glasgow and Renfrewshire and good transport links to the M8 and the airport which is only 10 minutes drive.” For further information, membership or if you would are considering locating or investing in Dunbartonshire contact Damon Scott, damon@dunbartonshirechamber. co.uk, +44 (0)141 280 0272 or visit www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk

Business Scotland



Scotland has a proud history of innovation and invention

Scotland has a proud history of innovation and invention, it’s part of our national DNA. From James Watts’ revolutionary improvements to the steam engine, to John Logie Bairds’ pioneering development of the television, Scotland is rightly reverent of our entrepreneurial heritage.

Liz Cameron OBE

Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

The television remains one of the most popular sources of entertainment, and although Watt’s engines have somewhat waned in popularity, academics have recently been exploring resurrecting his design with modern improvements. In the modern era, Scottish businesses innovate across an even broader range of activities. Businesses such as BrewDog established an inventive crowd funding model which helped propel them to compete with brewing giants, and cities such as Edinburgh are rapidly becoming leaders in the applications of FinTech and cyber security. Scottish firms continue to demonstrate that we are not running out of steam any time soon. Whilst the UK’s exit from the European Union has thrown up some uncertainties,

Business Scotland


one clear positive has been amplified by the referendum and the subsequent negotiation process; the need for the United Kingdom and Scotland, to focus on substantially improving our exporting performance. SCC has been working in partnership with the Scottish Government to unlock the potential of Scotland as an exporting nation. Our ambition to open up the Chinese market to more Scottish companies has been achieved through our established B2B connections. The opening up of our dedicated Scottish Trade Office in Yantai, our formal engagement in the Silk Road Business Council and our direct approach with Chinese business leaders, will turbo-charge Scotland’s exports to China. Following our recent trade visit to China, Scottish firm Premiership Experience brokered a multi-million pound deal, exemplifying the opportunity for businesses that leverage Scotland’s assets such as our culture, sporting heritage, food and drink and tourism experience. A joined-up UK-wide approach is a critical component to the mix of selling Scotland. That’s why we welcomed the UK

Government’s recently launched export strategy, which aims to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%. We have long called for policymakers to place exporting at the heart of economic strategy, and we welcome the combination of advice and support, access to finance and digital support, as a practical way to encourage and develop more exporters. These are practical steps to be praised, and if applied with the private sector at the heart, will lead to an increase in exports, and create more jobs and resilient businesses. Scotland is a sleeping giant in terms of exports. Sectors from technology to education, to engineering and hospitality are all world class. Together, government and the private sector working in true collaboration can usher in a new generation of exporters, which sees Scottish business take its rightful place as a world leader in exporting and innovation. First published in the Herald, 4th September


Keeping it real for our visitors

Malcolm Roughead OBE Chief Executive, VisitScotland

It has never been easier for travellers to choose their holiday destination. Competition amongst destinations is fierce and in to this mix are the changing tastes of visitors. The “Instagram generation” is seeking a visitor experience that is both immersive and unique – and in particular, one that can be captured and broadcast to the delight (and envy!) of their social media followers. However, in amongst all of this, one word is key – authenticity. Consumers are searching for authentic experiences and the ability to immerse themselves in the local culture. They are looking to combine the traditional tourism experience with something special. VisitScotland’s Insight team has highlighted this trend for several years. But what is meant by true authenticity, which is a

fluid concept and subject to individual interpretation? To one person it is the rural landscape, traditional music and heritage; to others it is contemporary urban culture and multiethnicity which defines modern living. For Scotland it could be the well-known icons such as castles, lochs and Highland vistas or the contemporary shopping experience of Glasgow, Edinburgh’s international festivals and windsurfing off Tiree. We need to consider that authentic experiences are being developed within the minds of visitors before they arrive at a destination. In particular, there is a real desire for honest authenticity – whether it be discovering traditions or interacting with locals. Food and drink, particularly access to local produce, is an important element of the visitor experience, especially in conveying this sense of authenticity. At the heart of it all, however, is the connection with real people – and to this end, the industry is already adapting. Airbnb debuted its Experiences range in 2016, whereby hosts can share their passions and interests with visitors from around the world.

hosting experiences, which range from kayaking with Scottish wildlife to making shortbread with a professional baker and learning to cook with a top food blogger. Last year VisitScotland embarked on its own ambitious project to convey that authenticity. Scotland: Life brings together social media influencers with real Scottish people. Social media influencers have been getting a true insight into what it is really like to live, work, study and play in Scotland through the eyes of the people that have made the country their home – from a scallop diver in Mull to parkour athletes in Edinburgh, Harry Potter fans to an Outlander herbalist. It comes as research shows the strength of social media influencers and their power to drive conversations and engagement, with many millennials trusting influencers nearly as much as they trust their friends and family. This approach has proved popular, with 27 pioneering videos, co-produced with US and UK social media influencers, having been watched 13 million times on YouTube and Facebook. Tourism businesses need to be aware of customer perspectives and keep offering something unique and genuine.

This year the company brought this new addition to Scotland with Edinburgh – the first UK destination outside of London –

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Sitting Comfortably – Alpha expands its reach in Scotland The Alpha Group, which specialises in office and educational furniture and layout design, has expanded its reach across the Scottish market with the launch of its new showroom in Glasgow. Formerly in the city’s West Regent Street, the company recently opened its state of the art office and showroom in a new 11 storey development in Finnieston with panoramic views of the Clyde. Alpha Scotland provides the Scottish market with expert advice on how well designed and furnished spaces can positively impact productivity and engagement whether in the office or classroom. It also works closely with the well-established architecture and design community to leverage its experience in the commercial furniture market.

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Alpha Scotland was born from the successful acquisition of the Steelcase business in Glasgow by the Belfast based Alpha Group. Alpha Scotland actively works in all the major cities in Scotland with a team of 12 people and has delivered a number of major projects for clients including Scottish Power, Cigna and Total, amongst others. The Scottish Power contract to design and fit out its new global headquarters in Glasgow was the largest contract in the company’s history with office furniture being provided for 2,000 employees. The company has also experienced significant growth in the education sector within the Scottish market. Alpha Scotland has recently completed major projects including the recent refurbishment of key learning spaces at the University of the West of Scotland’s new £110m campus in Lanarkshire, as well as projects for The University of Glasgow and Edinburgh University.

Alpha Scotland Chief Executive, Paul Black, said: “The team at Alpha Scotland specialises in creating environments that encourage more effective working. With our expanding footprint in Scotland and growing international expertise, we are in a strong position to secure more contracts across Europe and indeed the world. The business has experienced year on year growth of over 50%, with 2018 being one of our busiest years to date. “Another important focus for our Scottish division is the education sector, we have a growing portfolio of some of the country’s top universities and schools that we have brought our expertise to. Universities in particular are increasingly modernising their facilities to attract students outside of the UK and Alpha is well placed to deliver on this growing demand for modern, functional education spaces.”

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Tel 0141 225 5170 www.alphascotland.com e hello@alphascotland.com Alpha Scotland is part of the Alpha Group @AlphaGrpOffice

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Evaluating the impact of trade & investment support Kenny Richmond

image © Scottish Enterprise and McAteer

Head of Economics, Scottish Enterprise

A recent evaluation examining the impact of international trade and investment support for companies in Scotland has found a significant economic return for both trade and inward investment activity. Evidently this is good news for business, workers and the Scottish economy, but many companies with growth potential are still unaware of the benefits of trade and investment support. We know that increasing productivity in Scottish companies is vital to securing sustainable economic growth, creating better quality jobs and raising wage levels. And we also know that increasing exports and attracting companies to invest in Scotland are key to raising productivity performance. Indeed, evidence shows that exporting activity can raise a company’s productivity levels, because they need to be innovative and efficient to compete in overseas markets, and the knowledge and ideas they pick up in through trading can help them improve their business performance further. On the inward investment side, foreignowned companies in Scotland pay higher wages and tend to be more innovative and productive than Scottish-owned ones and there can be knowledge spillovers from inward investors to Scottish companies that can raise their productivity. So, if we want to secure sustainable and inclusive economic growth, we need to get more Scottish companies exporting and increase inward investment to Scotland. However, there are a number of perceived barriers that can prevent companies from exploiting the potential benefits of selling overseas, and prevent foreign companies from considering investing in Scotland.

Overcoming barriers to trade & investment For example, companies can overestimate the costs of entering new markets and underestimate the benefits. Key challenges include a lack of managerial time, limited knowledge of overseas markets they may be interested in and a lack of contacts. Our support focuses on addressing these

Business Scotland


challenges, helping to ‘de-risk’ the prospect of exporting. For example, we can help companies recruit specialist exporting skills via our International Manager for Hire programme. This aims to address the biggest barrier to entering new markets: management resource in terms of both time and skills/knowledge. We also have a comprehensive programme of overseas events and trade missions which provides information on new markets and allows businesses to test potential export demand, while our field staff and in-market sector specialists can provide invaluable expertise, insights and contacts. For inward investors, the top three reasons for investing in Scotland are the skills base, building on a successful existing operation and availability of wider public sector support and funding. The good news is that Scotland excels at attracting inward investment. The latest EY Scotland Attractiveness survey, which provides a useful insight on how Scotland is performing, recently highlighted another record year for Scotland in attracting FDI projects. And, once again, Scotland has been named as the top performing location in the UK outside London for FDI. This illustrates the quality of our skills base, connections and other assets such as joined up public sector support, but we must continue to build on the international reach and connections that exist across many parts of our economy to attract even more new inward investment. The evaluation indicates that barriers to investing in Scotland are lack of awareness of the opportunities and strengths we have (e.g. skills and research base) and the support available. Provision of funding, and the availability of further support to help growth, were found to be key factors in attracting investment to Scotland. However, inward investors stated

that no level of support would overcome a lack of skills/talent. Among existing investors, support is often needed to help compete with other parts of their group, for example to bridge or offset any financial gaps reflecting higher costs of operating in Scotland. The integrated programme of tailored support was also found to be key to supporting businesses to trade and to invest in Scotland. In other words, it’s not just about the funding, but also about the skills, expertise and knowledge of business growth advisors and specialists.

Economic impact The evaluation found that international trade and investment support delivers real benefits to companies and the Scottish economy. Companies said that support helps them take forward plans quicker, better and to a greater scale than they would have done otherwise. The evaluation shows that, as a direct result of support, companies have increased their exports by £630m in recent years and created 1400 jobs in Scotland. A further 10,000 jobs have been created by inward investors, which in turn yield supply chain and consumer spending benefits, supporting an additional 8500 jobs. The evaluation endorses our approach to trade and investment and found that the economic gains (eg. increased economic output and tax revenues) of providing trade and international support, far outweigh the costs of support. By building on this successful approach and by working with our partners, we can help even more ambitious companies to target new markets and attract new investors to Scotland, for even greater economic impact.


Opportunities abound in Aberdeen Investment is paving the way for new business opportunities in the Aberdeen area. Major investment projects mean that this economic powerhouse will be better connected than ever before and provide better facilities than ever before - making it an even more attractive base for your business. Aberdeen Harbour is set to benefit from a £350million investment that will transform the port’s facilities. Four new ‘super quays’ will be created in the South harbour area, increasing capacity and providing facilities for larger vessels.

road. Better connections, improved journey times, less congestion, less pollution and improved safety are just some of the benefits emanating from this project, which it is estimated will bring an additional £6billion to Scotland’s North East economy.

Already Aberdeen Harbour holds the distinction of being Britain’s’ oldest existing business, with a history stretching back almost 900 years – and during that time it has shown the ability to adapt and improve to meet changing needs – and that ability remains today. The harbour investment will create 1,400 metres of new quay - meaning the harbour is set to flourish even further – providing better facilities for existing and new customers.

The Aberdeen City Centre master plan has been much mooted and it is well underway, the £1 billion vision outlines 50 economic, environmental and social projects that will deliver more business opportunities, greater prosperity and a better quality of life for those in the city. Broad Street has already benefitted from a £3.2million investment, turning it into a key event space which has already been utilised this summer.

Today the harbour handles in excess of 25million tonnes of shipping and 4million tonnes of cargo every year which together generate over 1.5 billion for the regional economy, whilst supporting approximately 12,000 full-time jobs. An independent study, commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, however, estimates that the development will generate an additional £1 billion per annum to the economy by 2035, and will create an additional 7,000 equivalent jobs. The harbour isn’t the only part of the region’s infrastructure to benefit from investment, for a £745million improvement project is underway on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty

Over on Union Street, a five-year building improvement programme for historic properties on the street is taking shape - already an empty shop has been transformed into a restaurant and more buildings will benefit. This restoration work has been made possible by a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) grant, jointly funded by Aberdeen City Council and Historic Environment Scotland (HES), while the Business Improvement District, known as Aberdeen Inspired, has also provided £50,000 for the Union Street CARS. Sitting at the heart of the Union Street restoration is the multi-million-pound transformation of the Music Hall, which

will enrich the artistic life of the city, bring more people into the city, thereby supporting other businesses in the area and providing opportunities for local businesses to become a part of their supply chain. The Music Hall could also provide a great venue for your next business conference. More projects in Union Street are set to go ahead – regenerating this historic area and transforming Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare, which is great for the local community and great for business too. Elsewhere in the city, the Marischal Square £107million development is providing state of the art office space, which could benefit your business, as well as coffee shops, restaurants and a public space with gardens - transforming the heart of the city for business and for leisure too. We’ve written before about the renaissance underway in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and it is gaining momentum. Already this year, Aberdeen has been recognised by the UK Powerhouse study as the ‘best performing city economy in Scotland’. Yes, this granite city may be known for the significant part it plays in the oil industry – but its economy is diversifying with the life sciences, recreation and life sciences becoming increasingly important. Don’t miss out on the opportunities this vibrant city could provide for your business too.

Business Scotland


Photograph © Muse Developments

WELCOME TO THE ABERDEEN CITY REGION IS ONE OF OPPORTUNITY; AMBITIOUS, INNOVATIVE, DYNAMIC AND TALENT RICH. A REGION PROUD OF ITS HERITAGE AND INVESTED IN ITS FUTURE. Renowned as a Global Energy Hub it is a vibrant, entrepreneurial region in Scotland’s North East, home to a unique mix of business opportunities and specialist skills across various sectors including energy, technology, life sciences and food and drink. More than 20% of Scotland’s top businesses are located in this region which is taking great strides to ensure that it continues to compete on a world stage. Aberdeen is in the midst of a transformational journey designed to drive an economic renaissance, bringing benefits to the region, Scotland and the UK overall now and for generations to come. More than £9billion of public and private infrastructure investment is due to be delivered before 2030, marking an exciting time to be part of a region with a reputation as a genuine world class business location.

Aberdeen is primed for business - and the INVESTABERDEEN team is on hand to welcome you here. Contact

T: +44 (0) 1224 522940 E: enquiries@investaberdeen.co.uk Twitter: @Invest_Aberdeen Web: investaberdeen.co.uk

Supported by


North East Companies Growth Through Collaboration As the North East rebalances to adapt to changing market conditions, the economy increasingly depends on success and growth across a range of sectors– including IT, food and drink, tourism, life sciences and discrete manufacturing. Recognising these market trends, and the importance of adjusting to them, leading Aberdeen-based SAP® (Software Applications Processes) consultancy, Absoft, has spent the last year focussing on diversifying the business sectors it supports. Not only has Absoft successfully diversified out of a largely energy focussed customer base – but the firm’s Commercial Director, Don Valentine, is confident that the firm is now in a great position to help ambitious local companies to digitally transform their businesses and help them flourish. Don says: “Over the past few years, we have worked hard to secure work across the UK in the discrete manufacturing, transport, IT services and local authority sectors and it’s been very successful.” So successful, that Absoft has recently announced contracts worth over £2.2 million in the past six months, resulting in an increased headcount of 10%. Don continued: “The varying contract scopes are balanced across a range of industry sectors and a cross-section of our services including a mix of merger and acquisition activity, operational optimisation, system support right through to supporting customers adapt to the new GDPR regulations. “ One key recent win for us is the implementation of the next generation business systems solution, SAP S/4HANA for Aberdeen based, agricultural manufacturer, Marshall Trailers.” Based on the very latest technologies, SAP S/4HANA represents a step change in business IT systems. Its easy-to-use user interface, accessibility from mobile devices and lightning fast data processing speeds differentiate it from competitors. “The coverage of the solution meets the needs of our diversified customer base by providing functional support for; finance, sales, purchasing, production, maintenance,

Absoft Commercial Director Don Valentine with Marshall Trailers Managing Director Charles R Marshall and Sales Director Charles P Marshall outside Davidson House, Absoft’s Bridge of Don HQ

warehousing, HR and logistics. The upshot is that our customers have one system, one integrated set of data, and a single version of the truth. It’s totally scalable too – you can start with finance only and switch-on other modules as your business grows.” Absoft can implement S/4HANA into the customers’ dedicated computing centre or into the cloud, depending on the customers preference. Important to Don, Absoft and its customers, is that all these benefits are available in a system which can be ready for operational use in as little as 12 weeks. He continues: “SAP has typically been viewed as only an option for companies with large numbers of employees and high turnovers. This just isn’t the case anymore. Advances in technology and accelerated implementation approaches mean that S/4HANA is absolutely an affordable option for ambitious smaller companies looking for a system to streamline and optimise business activity to achieve commercial goals.” One company with such ambition is Marshall Trailers, Scottish manufacturer of agricultural machinery. Marshall’s business growth plans led to the firm engaging Absoft to help them digitally transform their business by implementing SAP S/4HANA. Charles Marshall, the firm’s Managing Director, said: “We needed a solution to support our production growth targets whilst managing costs. We researched several solutions and concluded that SAP was the only system that gave us the functionality that we might need not just now but into the future. Knowing of Absoft’s track record and experience in SAP, we knew we were in

safe hands when we selected them as our implementation and support partner. “ “As we aim to grow revenues, it was important to us that the solution we selected could be tailored to support our processes and we took the decision to invest in SAP S/4HANA. Now, we’re at a point where every time we hit a new process requirement we find it is there in the system already and we just need to switch it on. It’s exactly the support we wanted. “ We are confident that SAP S/4HANA, along with Absoft’s ongoing support, will be key in helping us achieve future objectives.” Don concluded: “Offering tailored solutions to growth-oriented businesses operating across a range of sectors is certainly one area in which we foresee further business success – and represents another stage of growth for Absoft. It’s an exciting time – not only for our team, who are relishing these projects, but for businesses that recognise that digital transformation are key to future success.” Headquartered in Aberdeen, Absoft is a leading SAP® specialist with a proven track record of project delivery since 1991. A SAP accredited Partner Centre of Expertise, SAP Value-Added Re-Seller (VAR) and provider of qualified SAP solutions, Absoft provides SAP ERP implementations, process optimisation, M&A transition and SAP support services across multiple industries. For further information, visit: www.absoft.co.uk

Business Scotland



BECOME A MEMBER OF THE 1822 CLUB TO SUPPORT THE MUSIC HALL TRANSFORMATION. Help us re-establish this very special venue at the heart of cultural and community life in Aberdeen. For detailed information about the full range of 1822 Club packages contact Leah Gourley, Director of Marketing and Communications at leah.gourley@aberdeenperformingarts.com

Business Scotland



Why we should all practice Risk Management As a result of 37 years’ experience working on major capital projects I have become convinced that a significant factor leading to enterprise success is the application of Risk Management methodology. So much so that I have spent the past 9 years coaching Major Oil and Gas companies such as Shell, Premier Oil, Repsol Sinopec, Nexen, Total and Spirit Energy in the use of risk management tools and facilitating risk workshops. Risk Management processes have now become embedded in almost all UK major energy organisations with most employing their own risk managers. The methodology is applicable to any project, organisation or enterprise. Nevertheless, many companies have not yet discovered the huge advantages it offers: n Reduced unexpected costs n Better informed and more believable business plans n Increased likelihood of targets being met. n Reduced consequences when unexpected events occur There are also some less tangible benefits: n Improved communication n Helps individuals assess risks considering company goals n Focusses attention on most important issues n Leads to a common understanding and improved team spirit n Demonstrates a responsible approach to stakeholders Not only do Risk Management processes protect against internal and external threats, they encourage exploitation of opportunities. Risk management is not necessarily about avoidance of risk, it is about understanding your risks, making sure time and energy is spent on areas that deliver greatest return and it is about learning from past experiences. Risk management processes need not be complicated, in fact in many organisations they are best kept simple. It is most important that there is commitment from management and staff and that there is an appetite to introduce actions that will

Paul Foy

better protect and align with aims of the enterprise. In the long term, introduction of a risk culture means that new risks are intuitively dealt with quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, formal tools such as a risk register provide the ability to demonstrate to stakeholders that a responsible approach is being taken by properly managing risk exposure. The risk register is commonly used to support strategic decisions and influence business plans.

carried out. Aggressively manage the risk register. Hold regular meetings with action owners to ensure actions are taking place. Where difficulty is experienced, offer assistance or reallocate.

6 Steps to Reduce Risk Exposure and Increase Probability of Success.

Like all new ideas, implementation of a risk management culture must be done skilfully otherwise it may not become established. Using management of change techniques, Value Performance will train your employees, coach your organisation through the process and provide required tools. It will be done in such a way that, once embedded you will wonder how you managed without Risk Management.

Step 1. Define Goals. If not already defined, clear goals are written down and constantly referred to. Step 2. Identify Risks. Identify what may hinder or prevent goals being achieved (threats) and what could help reach them (opportunities). This is best carried out initially in a workshop environment where ideas and fears can be shared. It is so important that this process is skilfully facilitated. Personal bias is common. Strong personalities can overbear others and people may try to avoid difficult issues. Good facilitation and follow-up one-to-one sessions normally resolve these issues. Step 3. Prioritise. Evaluate each risk for probability and impact. There may be a cost effect, loss of business or reputation and it may cause delay to an important deadline. Opportunities are evaluated for manageability (how easy is it to implement) and potential benefit. Step 4. Mitigate and Exploit. Establish strategies designed to protect against biggest threats and exploit best opportunities. Allocate risk owners.

Step 6. Review. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? Are you in a better place risk wise? How much has been saved? Using your new found learning and experience it’s time to take a fresh look at goals and begin the process again.

About the Author Paul Foy is director of Value Performance who provide high value coaching, training and workshop facilitation in the areas of lessons Learned, conflict resolution/ arbitration, decision making and planning, specialising in qualitative and quantitative risk management methods. Paul lectures in Risk Management at The University of Aberdeen, is a chartered engineer, holds a MEng, an MSc in Project Management and a degree in Psychology. For more information and to contact Paul Foy visit www.valueperformance.co.uk or find him on Linked-in.

Step 5. Monitor. Agreed actions must be

Business Scotland



West Lothian Chamber of Commerce supports the strengthening of the Scotland-Ireland Business Link West Lothian Chamber of Commerce were delighted to host their first trade mission to Dublin, in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI). The trade mission took place from 24th-26th April 2018 and welcomed delegates from across Scotland, who were all interested in the future prospect of doing business in Ireland. A new partnership between City West Hotel and West Lothian Chamber of Commerce allowed delegates to be hosted within this fabulous venue. The businesses attended a welcome drinks reception within the impressive Mezzanine of the City West Hotel, who were our hosts and sponsors for the evening. Businesses then attended the Market Briefing morning session which welcomed key speakers from South Dublin Chamber; South Dublin County Council; Scottish Government; Irish Academy of Public Relations and West Lothian Chamber of Commerce. Following on from the Market Briefing, delegates attended one-to-one meetings which were organised in advance of the visit. To round off this highly successful trade mission, guests were welcomed to a Networking Reception within the British Ambassador to Ireland’s Residence. Delegates enjoyed a welcome speech from Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to Ireland and John Webster, Head of the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub in Ireland, who spoke of the encouraging relationship which is developing between Scotland and Ireland. This was a fantastic event which allowed for new business connections to be made, relationships to be built and ambition to be raised on the opportunities available for doing business in Ireland. With a total of 12 businesses in attendance of the trade mission and an impressive 120 attendees at the British Ambassador to Ireland’s Networking Reception, the trip proved a huge success for all businesses involved. One of our members, ESL Services, who attended the trade mission stated: ‘We recently attended an event with WLCC and South Dublin Chamber where we made contact with a company based in ROI who are negotiating with us to collaborate in them carrying out Sales in both ROI and NI.’

By supporting and developing new connections, as well as building an understanding of the support available when looking to do business in Ireland, this trade mission has provided various success stories for our delegates and West Lothian Chamber of Commerce look forward to hosting more trade missions, in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), in the future.

Future International Plans With such a successful visit, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce’s plans for the future are to continue to develop their international service to support all Scottish businesses in exporting through offering events, developing partnerships and hosting trade missions. By signing our MOU with South Dublin Chamber, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce are committed to developing more connections with the Irish market in the future.

Linda Scott, CEO, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce commented that: “From feedback, delegates were very positive about the trip and found it ‘innovative’ and ‘encouraging’ for their businesses. With such a successful outcome, it proves that working in collaboration can be highly beneficial and we look forward to further partnership work to continue to strengthen the Scottish-Irish business link.” If you would like to get involved with the international services offered by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce or would like to find out more about future planned trade missions available to Scottish businesses, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: E-mail: amy.connell@wlchamber.com Tel: 01506 414808

From feedback, delegates were very positive about the trip and found it ‘innovative’ and ‘encouraging’ for their businesses. With such a successful outcome, it proves that working in collaboration can be highly beneficial and we look forward to further partnership work to continue to strengthen the Scottish-Irish business link. Business Scotland



Largest recycling plant in the UK opens its doors Brewster Bros’ new state-ofthe-art facility in Scotland’s central belt is now fully operational

construction and demolition waste materials and optimise material recovery.

Brewster Bros, a family-run business in Livingston, is officially launching the largest recycling plant in the UK. The plant, featuring a CDE state-of-the-art wet processing system, will provide waste management services and recycled aggregates to builders, construction companies, concrete product producers, ground workers, civil contractors and utility contractors from its new high-tech facility in Scotland’s central belt.

The company takes over from an established family-run recycling business, Henry Gillies. Thanks to increased investment, Brewster Bros forecasts an annual turnover of £3m at the plant, which will boost the local economy and provide further job opportunities on top of all 20 job roles retained from the previous owner.

Investment in the £3.8m recycling centre includes a £2.1m spend on high efficiency CDE equipment, with a capacity to recycle 400,000 tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste per year. This new facility supports the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Strategy ‘Making Things Last’, which aims to secure 70% recycling of construction and demolition waste by 2020. The plant can process and recycle soils and rubble collected by Brewster Bros’ fleet of tipper lorries from construction sites into high value sand and gravel - reducing waste disposal costs for Brewster Bros’ customers while maximising waste recovery. The wet processing system was specifically designed to process difficult

Due to its Quality Management Systems, Brewster Bros is an accredited supplier of Zero Waste Scotland’s Aggregate Quality Protocol Directory.

Scott Brewster, Director at Brewster Bros, said: “It’s an exciting day as we officially launch the UK’s largest recycling facility of this type. Our number one aim is to treat and recycle construction and demolition waste as a resource, ensuring zero waste to landfill. “Through significant investment into state-ofthe-art recycling techniques provided by the plant supplier CDE, we are looking forward to shaping the future of the recycling industry across Scotland and beyond. This new plant should act as a game-changer for the construction industry, by saving money for our customers and ensuring they can dispose of their construction and demolition waste in a cost-effective and sustainable way.” Linda Scott, Chair of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brewster Bros is focussed

on being the industry leader in terms of how construction waste recycling looks, not only now but also in the future. This plant is the largest of its type in the UK and it is a great indicator of their commitment. “It’s fantastic to hear about the future economic benefits this plant will bring to the local area and we are delighted that Henry Gillies is being taken over by another familyoriented organisation that will not only save jobs for local residents, but also create future employment opportunities.” Stephen Boyle, Strategic Programme Manager for Construction, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “In Scotland the construction sector is responsible for producing nearly half of the country’s waste, and recycling construction and demolition material has a key role to play in minimising that. “By recycling, we can keep materials out of landfill and in high-value use for longer, reducing the need to quarry finite virgin material and helping the environment. But what the launch of the Brewster Bros recycling plant shows is that by recycling effectively we can also generate investment and create new jobs, which is great news for Scotland.” All recycled materials from the plant will come with a UKAS accredited quality certification and conform to the requirements for the BREEAM Sustainability Assessment Method for Construction.

Business Scotland



B2B 2018 - Business Matters in Renfrewshire Renfrewshire Chamber held its 8th Annual B2B event recently at the Lagoon, Paisley. Sponsored by Paisley.Is, the new destination brand for Renfrewshire the event attracted 50 exhibitors and was attended by over 400 people on the day looking to network, win new business, learn and share ideas. Six well attended free seminars took place on a range of relevant hot topics. The six seminars were: n “Paisley.is: how your biz can benefit” with the Paisley.is team & Renfrewshire Council n “Anti-Social Media” with NSDesign n “Start up in Renfrewshire!” with Business Gateway & Invest in Renfrewshire n “How to win business using LinkedIn” with fatBuzz

n “What you need to know about GDPR” with MacRoberts n “Leadership – hoping isn’t good enough” with bfpeople Commenting on the event Chamber Chief Executive Bob Grant said “Thank you to all our exhibitors, speakers and attendees at B2B 2018. The largest free business event in the area is always a great opportunity to promote your business, network and learn from others.

We aim to return for our 9th consecutive year in 2019 and encourage all businesses and local organisations to support the event.” To view the images please visit the Chamber facebook page at facebook.com/ RenfrewshireChamberofCommerce

New training scheme will help Paisley welcome the world Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, said: “This is a great opportunity for businesses in Renfrewshire to get involved to provide the best experience possible for visitors while helping upskill staff in the area. We know that businesses want help to improve their services and customer offer and this is a fantastic opportunity to put our best foot forward.”

A new customer service excellence training scheme has been launched to ensure Paisley is primed to welcome visitors to its events and attractions in the coming years. Customer experience is a key part of any visitor’s impressions of a place and the new Paisley Welcomes programme will provide enhanced training to those coming into contact with visitors. The Paisley Welcomes programme is an online module which covers both customer service training and information about Paisley and Renfrewshire. The training is open to individuals as well as businesses. Interested parties are encouraged to register for the online module as the first 2,000 people to sign up will be able to complete it free of charge as Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Enterprise are helping to fund the scheme. A wide range of users can benefit from taking part – from school leavers wishing to develop their skills through to front of house staff who are often the first point of contact for visitor questions.

Business Scotland


The overall aim is to create a consistent customer experience, but it will also encourage cross-selling leading to visitors staying longer and spending more, and create repeat visitation. Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Paisley Welcomes skills development project offers a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to showcase the very best of Paisley and Renfrewshire and is one of the pillars of the Visitor Plan. The project will also support the delivery of a number of key strategic priorities over the next three years – including the Paisley 2021 Legacy Plan and the Renfrewshire Events Strategy.”

The programme is based on the Glasgow Welcomes best practice, and will support the drive for destination development. The Glynhill Hotel and Leisure Club General Manager, Graeme Gibson, said “We will be putting our staff through the Paisley Welcomes training. The more economically vibrant the area is the greater the opportunities are for us as a business. It will enable us to engage with other businesses as well as upskill our team which will in turn help grow the local economy and we will benefit as a natural result of that.” To find out more please contact Renfrewshire Council Tourism Officer, Andrew McKean via email at andrew. mckean@renfrewshire.gov.uk.


ROCCO AWARDS 2018 open for entry. Paisley.is announced as Main Sponsor. The ROCCO’s, now in their 15th year, are open for entry and are Renfrewshire’s premier business event. The Chamber is delighted to announce that Paisley.is has been confirmed as main sponsor for Rocco 2018. Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, said: “I am delighted the new destination brand Paisley.is will be supporting this year’s ROCCOs event. “The annual awards are a fantastic showcase of the diversity of businesses operating across Renfrewshire and the creativity and entrepreneurialism that have put Renfrewshire firmly on the map as a business destination of choice. “We have had great support for Paisley. is from the business community and from the chamber and believe we now have the strongest possible platform to sell the benefits of doing business in Renfrewshire throughout the world. “What makes our proposition so powerful is the strength and profile of our business community and it is a pleasure to be able to honour the best of the best at the 2018 awards.” CEO Bob Grant commented “We are delighted to welcome Paisley.is as main sponsor for Rocco 2018. The ambitious brand highlights our strengths as a commercial location and demonstrates Renfrewshire is open for business. Thank you to all our category sponsors, without their support, the ROCCO’s would not be possible. I encourage businesses & organisations from all sectors to consider entering in 2018. Winning a ROCCO is a great achievement and competition is always fierce. There are 17 categories including two new awards for 2018; Developing the Young Workforce and Excellence in Tourism. You have plenty of time to enter the Rocco’s however please don’t leave it to the last minute. You can enter as many categories as you wish, and if you are planning to attend please book early, the ROCCO’s sell out every year well before the event.” The ROCCO’s are free to enter for members based anywhere plus nonmembers that are based in Renfrewshire. The 17 categories this year are:

1. ROCCO Award for Excellence in Customer Service – sponsored by the Scottish Leather Group 2. ROCCO Award for Developing the Young Workforce (West) - sponsored by DYW (West) 3. Excellence in Manufacturing – sponsored by University of the West of Scotland 4. ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology – sponsored by Creation IP 5. ROCCO Award for International Trade – sponsored by Glasgow Airport 6. ROCCO Award for Invest in Renfrewshire – sponsored by Renfrewshire Council / Invest inRenfrewshire 7. ROCCO Award for Most Promising New Business – sponsored by Business Gateway 8. ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year – sponsored by Rolls Royce 9. ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year – sponsored by The Malcolm Group 10. ROCCO Award for Excellence in Tourism – sponsored by Paisley.is 11. ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year – sponsored by West College Scotland

Champion – sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & The Royal Bank of Scotland 14. ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business with 5 or less employees – sponsored by intu Braehead 15. ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business <25 employees – sponsored by Renfrewshire Council 16. ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 employees - sponsorship available 17. ROCCO Award for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business – sponsored by the Paisley Daily Express (nominations open end of August) The awards are open for entry until the 14th September. Shortlist will be announced end September and the winners announced at our awards ceremony on Friday 16th November at The Normandy Hotel hosted by Fred MacAulay. On the night a charity raffle will support 2 charities including St Vincent’s Hospice For more info and to enter / book a table – please visit www.roccoawards.com The social medial hashtag is #2018Rocco

12. ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year – sponsored by Diageo 13. ROCCO Award for Community

Business Scotland



Successful summer for Europe Direct North Highlands & Islands These outreach events offered an important opportunity for the team to talk with members of the public directly, making them aware of the service on offer and that people can drop in or call to ask questions about Europe, European matters or Citizens Rights.

Over the summer months, the EDIC team have been promoting the service to the counties of Caithness, Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland by visiting the regional agricultural shows which are always a popular event in the area’s social calendar. EDIC representatives attended five shows covering over 300 miles in total. Bags were packed full of information, a prize draw suited to each location, free goodies and waterproofs, just in case! The EDIC team were thrilled to see so many people and pleased to engage with approximately 200 people on their concerns around Brexit. The majority of people were concerned about the potential impact on the UK economy, and the team will be doing their best to relay these concerns back to the European Commission and UK Government. There were also several European nationals worried about their rights to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Business Scotland


The office is open from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday and the EDIC team are firm believers that there is no such thing as a silly question. They can’t promise to know all the answers, but have access to experts and will do their utmost to support individuals, communities, and businesses to navigate through these uncertain times. Thankfully, the heatwave that hit the UK this summer didn’t miss out the North Highlands and the waterproofs stayed in the car!

To keep up to date with EDIC, or to contact them digitally, you can find them on Facebook facebook.com/edicnhi and on Twitter @edicnhi.


The Lufthansa Group in Scotland. Lufthansa, part of the Lufthansa Group, is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious airlines as well as the first European 5 star airline. The airline is widely known for its premium services. Lufthansa has recently invested in introducing and upgrading a wide range of products and services, including our Signature Service in Business Class on our long-haul services. The Lufthansa Group comprises Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and SWISS. It is the airline group with the largest network in the world. We offer well-timed, easy transfers from Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as numerous UK and Irish airports via the efficient hubs of Vienna, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva and Zurich to over 400 global destinations. Additionally, March 2018 saw the further expansion of Glasgow for Lufthansa. Lufthansa now operates a new daily flight from Glasgow to Frankfurt flying 7 times a week and has even expanded its Glasgow to Munich service to 5 times a week. All flights will be serviced with the Airbus A320 family. Announcing the new flight, Andreas Koester, Senior Director Sales UK, Ireland & Iceland, Lufthansa Group said: “This new daily service opens up a huge number of business and leisure opportunities to Scottish passengers. Not only does it provide access to one of Europe’s financial capitals, but it also introduces new options for onward travel to hundreds of worldwide destinations. Passengers are now able to travel to both Frankfurt and Munich, giving them more flexibility and increased connections to numerous destinations in our large, multihub network. We have been able to increase Lufthansa’s flight offer at Glasgow from a single weekly service to 12 flights a week in just 6 months. This level of growth is almost unprecedented and underlines the

importance of Glasgow Airport within the Lufthansa worldwide network.” Furthermore as a business customer you can reward your business travel with our Lufthansa PartnerPlusBenefit programme - a loyalty programme that’s all about rewarding you and your company for your business travel. It is designed to make your travel budget go further while giving some great benefits along the way. After all your hard work, we believe you deserve to be rewarded. So how does it work? Each time any colleague of your company travels with one of the airline partners – any Lufthansa Group carrier plus Air Canada, United, TAP, LOT and ANA - your company will earn BenefitPoints. These can be exchanged for a range of exclusive benefits that will make business travel easier and more budget friendly, like award flights, upgrades, hotel eGiftcards, limousine transfers or carbon

offsetting. You can also exchange them for business, office and lifestyle accessories in our online WorldShop. You can even swap them for cashback - very wallet friendly. PartnerPlusBenefit is the first programme of its kind, letting you collect rewards for flying with a total of 10 airlines. And with so many flights covering well over 500 worldwide destinations, building up your BenefitPoints is easy. Together the Lufthansa Group offers customers the best possible combination of all travel options. By harmonising our schedules and having joint airport facilities we create a seamless travel experience with a large, modern and environmentally friendly fleet, and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

This new daily service opens up a huge number of business and leisure opportunities to Scottish passengers. Business Scotland


BMW Business Partnership

DRIVING LUXURY. LEADING BUSINESS OFFERS FROM DOUGLAS PARK. BMW 730d xDRIVE AUTO. MONTHLY RENTALS FROM £478. (Plus £2,871 initial rental)* For more information or to arrange a test drive†, call us now or visit www.douglasparkbmw.co.uk Similar offers available on Personal Contract Hire.

Hamilton Bothwell Road ML3 0AY 01698 303700

Glasgow Kyle Street G4 0HP 0141 333 0088

Stirling New Kerse Road FK7 7RZ 01786 474477

Official fuel economy figures for the BMW 730d xDrive Auto: Urban 47.9 (5.9/100km). Extra Urban 64.2 (4.4/100km). Combined 56.5 (5.0/100km). CO2 emissions 151g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions.

Douglas Park Limited is a credit broker. *Business users only. *Prices exclude VAT at 20%. Prices shown are for a 36-month Contract Hire customer maintained agreement, with an annual mileage of 8,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 12.99 pence per mile. At the end of your agreement you must return the vehicle and vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable. Available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. The amount of VAT you can reclaim depends on your business VAT status. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. Hire provided by BMW Group Corporate Finance. BMW Group Corporate Finance is a trading style of Alphabet (GB) Limited, Alphabet House, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. We commonly introduce customers to BMW Group Corporate Finance. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice. BMW (UK) Ltd, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. Registered in England and Wales 1378137. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit broking activities. Douglas Park Ltd, trading as Douglas Park is an Appointed Representative of Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited, FRN 308476 of 14 Bothwell Road, Hamilton, ML3 0AY, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited permitted business is Insurance Mediation and to act as a Credit Broker. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers including BMW Financial Services to assist with your purchase, who may remunerate us for introducing you to them. †Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.


North Highlands shoots for the moon with satellite base

The North Highland economy is set for a major boost following the announcement of a £17.3m funding package to create the UK’s first spaceport. The project, to be based at Melness in Sutherland, is set to support around 400 jobs and cement Scotland’s position as a frontrunner in the global space sector. This investment has been secured following a successful lobbying effort by the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, which brings together public agencies and key private sector bodies – including Caithness Chamber of Commerce – to address the socio-economic effects of decommissioning at the Dounreay nuclear site. The site is planned to house a vertical launch facility for the next generation of small rockets, which will launch micro-satellites into polar orbits ideal for purposes such as communications and earth monitoring. This new breed of satellites – more of which are built in Scotland than anywhere else in the world – have led a boom in the space industry, as their relatively cheap launch

This project has the potential to deliver high-value employment and opportunities for the local supply chain and we look forward to them getting involved in the construction and operation of the site as well as the manufacture of components.

costs have enabled many businesses, charities and academic organisations to access space for the first time. While plans for the spaceport are still at an early stage, significant investment has already been made by the UK Space Agency into the project, and the ambition is to see the first launch from the site by 2020, with between five and ten launches per year thereafter. Speaking about the announcement, Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: “This news represents a welcome investment in the North Highlands, and a vote of confidence in the ability of the area to deliver a project of such national significance. Scotland has long been at the forefront of the UK space industry, and it is exciting to know that the North Highlands will play a key role in the industry’s future.

“Members of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership have worked hard to bring this opportunity here and they should be congratulated on the part they have played. The Chamber has also been lobbying UK Government to make them cognisant of the wider picture so that when these kinds of decisions are made, they have the opportunity to maximise any investment already made in the region. “This project has the potential to deliver high-value employment and opportunities for the local supply chain and we look forward to them getting involved in the construction and operation of the site as well as the manufacture of components. It also has the potential for spin-offs. However this doesn’t just benefit the North Highlands, this is also a win for Team Scotland, with opportunities for the wider Scottish supply chain.” Business Scotland



Are you ready for Making Tax Digital? From April 2019 onwards all businesses registered for VAT and with a turnover of £85,000 or above, must maintain their VAT accounting records and submit their VAT returns digitally. For some businesses, the changes will make little difference to how they keep records but for others, the changes will have a greater impact. For those not yet familiar with what Making Tax Digital (MTD) will mean for their business, be assured there is still time to make certain your records are compliant. Advice is available to assist you in preparing for the changes, whether you wish to outsource your bookkeeping completely, require assistance updating your systems or training in how best to use them. If you are already using a cloud based accounting software package, then this will likely to be compliant with the new rules. If you are using a desk top based accounting package, then this is likely to be MTD compliant but only if you are using the latest version of the software available. For those using manual written records, then significant changes to record keeping will need to be made as records must now be kept digitally. As well as ensuring you are compliant with the new Making Tax Digital legislation,

Business Scotland


digital bookkeeping can have other benefits including allowing you to manage your financial records “on the go” and providing a more efficient and accurate accounting function for your organisation. Cloud-based accounting systems are far more cost-effective than you may anticipate, with some digital platforms available from as little as £10 per month and in some instances even less when purchased through your accounting advisor. Making your VAT systems digital is achievable for the deadline, but time is of the essence. However you keep your financial records, whatever the systems you use or the support you require, help is at hand. Contact Lorna Wyllie at Wylie & Bisset LLP for advice, training or to outsource your bookkeeping completely on 0141 566 7000, email lornaw@wyliebisset.com or log on to www.wyliebisset.com and sign up for one of our free MTD Seminars.

Lorna Wyllie

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Providing Loans to Help Start or Grow a Business in Scotland DSL is an official delivery partner of the Start Up Loans Company and the only provider of Scottish Microfinance Fund loans on behalf of the Scottish Government. We are accredited to lend using the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Interest rates fixed from 6%, no charges or hidden fees. No penalties for early settlement. In the 2 years to end June 2018 we delivered:

Loan Product Features:

n More than £4.2m of loan funding to start-up and growing SMEs and social enterprises.

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n 252 loans

n Competitive interest rates from 6% per annum n No early repayment fees or no hidden charges

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n Over 550 jobs

Contact us now to see how we can help you achieve your business goals. Several loan options available.

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Business Scotland




Identifying the right career path for your future is not simple. It is made harder when there are economic issues to combat, from struggles in the oil and gas industry to high youth unemployment. Exceptional opportunities don’t come by often. MARTIN WELSH’S SUCCESS STORY In February 2016, St. James’s Place Wealth Management opened the doors of its Academy in Edinburgh, offering the opportunity for driven individuals from diverse backgrounds to become wealth advice professionals; working in one of our established practices or creating their own successful wealth management business. Martin Welsh applied for a position with the St. James’s Place Academy in Edinburgh when he was facing redundancy in the oil and gas industry – and hasn’t looked back.

If you have drive, an aptitude for building strong relationships and the ambition to succeed in starting a new career as a wealth advice professional, then the Academy at St. James’s Place Wealth Management is the place to develop your potential. While some Academy joiners have come from a background in financial services, others have previously worked in teaching, engineering, recruitment, professional sport, the armed forces or the legal profession. The Academy seeks individuals with a successful career track record who are looking for a new challenge, want to take control of their working lives, and are keen to create value for themselves and for their families.

“I underwent a number of interviews, had to produce a business plan and pass an industry exam before gaining one of the very sought-after places at the Academy. I had to pass another 5 external exams to gain my Diploma in Financial Planning – a requirement now to give advice, with only 26,000 others in the UK qualified to do so.” “I actively encourage others to consider the move to join such an amazing company and love to share my positive story to help motivate others to make the career move”.

“The St. James’s Place Academy provides individuals with an unrivalled opportunity to pursue a career in financial services. The proven training programme offers structured guidance on building a successful wealth management business, and valuable skills development. It comes with the support of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, a FTSE 100 company with over 25 years of expertise in the industry.” John Noble, Academy Head of Business – Edinburgh. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER YOUR PLACE AT ONE OF OUR UPCOMING OPEN EVENINGS, PLEASE VISIT WWW.SJPACADEMY.CO.UK/EVENTS

The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in the UK represent St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 4113955. SJP10577 (08/18)

We think outside the boundaries to support businesses across Scotland Our dedicated local relationship team understands your industry inside out â&#x20AC;&#x201C; helping you achieve your ambitions. Contact Andy Hall on 07917 504 226* or Alan Maudsley on 07900 737 017,* or visit barclayscorporate.com

*Please note: this is a mobile phone number and calls will be charged in accordance with your usual tariff. Barclays Bank PLC is registered in England (Company No. 1026167) with its registered office at 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702) and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Barclays is a trading name and trade mark of Barclays PLC and its subsidiaries.


Understanding the value of your business There are many reasons for valuing private business whether you are considering investing, selling, transferring an interest in a business, setting up a tax efficient employee ownership scheme or looking to resolve a dispute. essential to arriving at an appropriate value. In relation to the valuation of private businesses there are three principal methodologies; Dividend Yield valuation which is often used to value minority shareholdings. For interests in small unquoted businesses, where payment of dividends has been inconsistent in the past and cannot be assumed with any certainty in the future, a dividend-based valuation would not be appropriate. A Net Asset Valuation which is more applicable to investment companies than ongoing trading companies. However, net assets can be used as a useful cross check to an earnings based approach for trading businesses where the relevant owner is such that the owner could affect the winding up of the company. The most common approach for valuing a profitable trading business is an earnings basis which uses the future maintainable earnings of the business, to which an appropriate capitalisation factor (i.e. Price Earnings ratio (“P/E ratio”) or EBITDA multiple) is applied to determine the value.

Gordon Steele, Corporate Finance Partner, Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP

Whatever your intention, fully understanding the value of the business in question is an important and useful exercise, allowing you to make the right decisions. When considering the value of a business the first thought of any Valuer should be to consider the legal contracts

which exist between the owners of a business be that, Company Articles of Association, Shareholders Agreement or any other formal agreements. These legal contracts can be complex, however a full understanding of any requirements or conditions set out in these documents is

At AAB we have a dedicated team of experts who can prepare valuations for companies, partnerships and sole traders. We understand that each business is unique and because of this they each require a bespoke valuation service, tailored to their requirements. To deliver this, we combine our specialist valuation skills with our commercial and market knowledge gained on the back of advising numerous clients on the sale of their businesses. The right blend of sector experience and professional judgement makes a difference to what can be a controversial and complex subject. Whether you are looking to create, unlock or understand the value of your business – our team are here to help.

The correct formula for your business ANDERSON ANDERSON & BROWN LLP


Business Scotland



New City Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland

The City of Edinburgh and its’ surrounding local authorities were boosted by news recently of the signing of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, which will see major new investment into Scotland’s capital and the south east of the country. The Deal, which aims to accelerate growth and is designed to drive productivity while reducing inequalities and deprivation, was agreed by Councils from Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian and the Scottish Borders, as well as Scottish and UK Government, and in partnership with universities and colleges. It will see

Much credit must be given to all involved in achieving this milestone. We must now all continue this collaboration to ensure the Deal delivers the successful and inclusive economy we all desire.

Business Scotland


investment totalling £1.3 billion for the region, which represents a quarter of the Scottish population and is an estimated contributor of £33 billion a year to the wider Scottish and UK economies. Signing the deal on 7 August, Prime Minister Theresa May discussed the aim of establishing the region as the data capital of Europe, with the creation of five datadriven innovation ‘hubs’ at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. The region’s super-computing facilities will also be upgraded to provide a unique facility for high-speed data analytics. Experts from the two universities will collaborate with industrial partners on databased projects in the public, private and third sectors. The Data-Driven Innovation initiative aims to increase the contribution of university research and in-demand graduate skills to the region’s economy, launching more spinout companies, attracting startups and established businesses, and driving public and private sector investment. Collaboration with business in the region will be key to the delivery of the initiative, and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is

working very closely with the Data Driven Innovation project team at the University of Edinburgh to help build these links. Other key elements of the deal include: A proposal for a new concert hall with a build budget of up to £20m, aiming to create a world-class facility and strengthen Edinburgh’s status as one of the world’s most important cultural hubs. A planned £120m of designated funding to upgrade the Sherriffhall Roundabout to the South of the City and implement other infrastructure recommendations as laid out in the West Edinburgh Transport Appraisal. Plans to radically improve housing in the region, with a commitment to building a significant number of homes focused on seven keys sites – Blindwells, Calderwood, Dunfermline, Edinburgh Waterfront, Shawfair, Tweedbank and Winchburgh. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Liz McAreavey said on completion of the deal that “Much credit must be given to all involved in achieving this milestone. We must now all continue this collaboration to ensure the Deal delivers the successful and inclusive economy we all desire.”


Event first for apprentices

Cameron Smith

Employers are being urged to get behind Scotland’s first apprentice convention. Scotland’s Apprentice Convention is set to take place on 8 November. Hundreds of apprentices from across the country will gather at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

He said: “Choosing the apprenticeship in place of a subject offered me a chance to get an insight into the world of work which traditionally wouldn’t have been possible through school.”

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is organising the event for current apprentices. The Convention aims to create a sense of pride and community among apprentices whilst supporting their ongoing development as professionals. On the day, attendees will hear from inspiring speakers, gain invaluable new skills and create new contacts with other apprentices from all over the country. SDS Director of National Training Programmes, Katie Hutton, said: “Apprentices and their employers know the benefits of working, learning and earning. “By supporting the event, employers can help inspire the next generation of apprentices.”

Cameron chose a Foundation Apprenticeship in place of a subject choice at Broughton High School as he wanted to gain practical experience of the workplace. Foundation Apprenticeships are designed for pupils in the senior phase of secondary school and combine school and college learning with work experience. Delivered by Skills Development Scotland, Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed in partnership with industry to provide workbased learning in growth sectors such as engineering and digital.

Employers can register their apprentices to attend the free event at: www.registerforevent.co.uk/ScotAppCon. More information on apprenticeships.scot.

Pupils can choose to take a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside other school subjects and completion leads to a qualification at a similar level as a Higher.

Wealth of experience through Foundation Apprenticeship

There is an ambition to achieve up to 5000 Foundation Apprenticeship starts by the end of 2019.

A work placement with an Edinburgh financial services firm Scotia Wealth Management has helped Edinburgh pupil Cameron Smith map out his plans for the future.

With 12 different options to choose from, Cameron decided upon Financial Services, delivered through Edinburgh College.

The 17-year-old said: “It was definitely a good decision – I’ve really broadened my knowledge of the financial industry.” Earlier this year, Cameron spent a week on placement at Scotia Wealth Management, which he says has been incredibly valuable experience. He said: “I really enjoyed my time at Scotia Wealth Management, I learned a lot. It’s really good to be able to practically implement what I’ve learned at Edinburgh College. By putting it in to practice, I feel like I’m learning it more thoroughly.” The apprenticeship has not only given Cameron knowledge of the financial industry but also helped him decide the career path he wants to follow. “This experience has helped me decide my future career goals and I’ve been able to narrow down my final decisions about what I want to do after I leave school.” When he leaves school next year, Cameron hopes to study Business Management at university, with the end goal of running his own business.

Business Scotland


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New National Performance Framework agreed In June the Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed to the new National Performance Framework. A document that sets out ambitions for the country and how we will measure progress towards them. the economy this year by 64%, as part of our £2.4 billion investment in enterprise and skills. We have the most competitive business rates system in the UK and we are supporting sectoral and business growth, by for example delivering of the National Manufacturing Institute (NMIS) and the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, which is a first step to NMIS, will open later this year and the Building Scotland Fund, which is a precursor to SNIB, will support £150m Investment in our economy over the next 3 years. Scotland has huge economic potential and we are well placed to take advantage of the economic opportunities that come from our established strengths and innovation and technological change.

Derek MacKay MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work It also renewed our purpose, “To focus on creating a more successful country with opportunities for all Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.” This provides a clear, focused mission that will be an enabler and catalyst for actions, within government and beyond. In my new role as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work I am determined to make this vision a reality Combining the finance and economy portfolios into one Cabinet position, supported by Ministers for Business, Trade and Finance and Digital Economy will provide a cohesive platform to ensure that the government’s finance, tax and business support functions are aligned to better deliver sustainable economic growth. The new ministerial team means business. As a ministerial team we have a strong platform to build upon. As a government, we have increased our investment in

One of those advantages is our internationally recognised brand. We are a destination of choice for tourism and our exports from food and drink to oil and gas, and from manufacturing to financial services are of the highest calibre. Another of those advantages is our size. In many ways we are an optimally sized country, with an accessible, nimble government where it is easy to get the key players into the room to make sure decisions are taken and opportunities are not missed. That’s why I’ve spent the days since being appointed to my expanded brief listening to experts in business, trade unions and civic life. It’s not always fashionable to listen to experts, I value it, and like the evidencebased approach to decisions and will look to build consensus wherever possible, not just with businesses and with trades unions, but across political parties too. Every political party in Scotland wants to see our country succeed, to have a strong economy with good, well-paying jobs. While we will often disagree on how this should best be achieved, I believe there is scope for far greater collaboration. Our Parliament should be sending a clear message to the world that Scotland is open for business. As Finance Secretary I have had to work to build consensus to ensure that the Scottish

Government’s budget gets cross party support. I want to carry that engagement forward into my work to support the Scottish economy. While robust debate is part and parcel of democracy the public rightly expects their politicians to work together for the good of the country. We have faced criticism for the number of strategies that we have, but in my view this reflects the complexity of the modern economic environment and our desire to find bespoke solutions. It’s not the number of strategies that matters, but how effective they are and what they achieve. That is my focus; purposeful actions to deliver sustainable inclusive growth. It’s well reported, despite the fundamental strengths of Scotland’s economy our GDP growth has been, and is predicted to be below trend, however the opportunities are there to accelerate growth. Actions on population growth, participation in the labour market and productivity are essential, and require UK government to play their part too, or to give the Scottish Parliament the tools to address them. Where we have the powers we will continue to use them to best effect. Our drive on internationalisation, infrastructure investment, innovation and Fair Work is gathering pace and our business tax policy is purposefully designed to accelerate growth. I will continue to meet and listen to business and trade union leaders to focus our actions on business growth, jobs and Fair Work. While most of the attention following from the publication of the Sustainable Growth Commission was what it had to say about the economy of an independent Scotland, it also had a number of recommendations on what we could do boost the economy using the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament. This will form a key part of my thinking as I look to use every lever at our disposal to boost Scotland’s economy. We want Scotland to be the best place to live, work and invest. We are a government committed to growing the economy in a sustainable and inclusive way. Scotland has huge economic potential and we are determined to work with business to unlock it.

Business Scotland



Making recycling work for you WasteSwitch Ltd is a waste management training, operations and consultancy business with a proven track record delivering services throughout Scotland and beyond. Founded in 2015, their portfolio includes:

n A substantial increase in recycling rates across Scotland. n A significant reduction in the contamination of high-value recyclable materials. n Removal of recyclable commodities from non-recyclable waste streams.

n Comprehensive waste collection and disposal services

n A truly circular economy where the value of materials is utilised in Scotland, bringing benefits to the people of Scotland in the form of revenue and employment

n Regulatory & legislative training n REHIS approved staff training provider - business waste disposal, entry and intermediate levels n Holistic waste management consultancy

Training is crucial

n Corporate governance and risk assessments

To meet the requirements of waste management regulation moving forward, whether at home or at work, a real cultural change is required and for this, training is the answer.

n Site waste management audits & proposals

Experts on hand Together with the Moray Chamber of Commerce, Elgin Business Improvement District and Business Gateway, WasteSwitch Ltd, recently hosted a successful breakfast seminar where they advised businesses on the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly waste management possible. Helping businesses to meet waste disposal legislation and save money too.

Already an accredited training provider, WasteSwitch Ltd propose launching a new campaign aimed at 4 key areas: Modern Apprentices, educational establishments, communities and social enterprises, and private businesses.

WasteSwitch Ltd has a real passion for what they do and they are equipped to play an instrumental role in bringing about the cultural change necessary to increase recycling rates and reduce waste, helping to create a circular economy in Scotland. For more information on how to make recycling work for you and bring about a cultural change in your organisation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; call WasteSwitch Ltd on 0800 6890222.

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Business Scotland

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Torness celebrates 30 years of generation In May 1988, New Order and Bananarama were in the charts, Celtic beat Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final to take the double and Torness power station first started supplying low carbon electricity to the grid. On 25th May this year the EDF Energy station, near Dunbar, celebrated its 30th birthday. On that day it passed the milestone of generating 248.5TWh of electricity. That means that over its lifetime it has produced enough electricity to power more than 63.1million homes and has avoided more than 85 million tonnes of CO2 in comparison to the same amount of gas generation. Each year it produces around a quarter of the electricity needs of Scotland. Workers at the station have been taking part in a range of celebrations and commemorative activities to mark the birthday. The station’s visitor centre held a free exhibition showcasing photos and memorabilia from the last three decades. This included photos and video of construction and the official opening by then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. But the story of Torness is about so much more than the electricity it produces. We are

proud to be part of the local community; our operations contribute around £45m a year to the East Lothian area. Most of our workforce lives locally and just as they continue to put money back into the local economy, we continue to invest in our links with small businesses and local charities. Each year we welcome thousands of people through the doors of our visitor centre, including pupils from many of the area’s schools. We have a committed group of staff who support Edinburgh International Science Festival and SmartSTEMS events and work with pupils at local schools to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM. This work has been recognised by the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce which awarded Torness its

Commitment to Youth Development award. The station has a dedicated workforce of around 550 full time staff and 200 contract partners. We also have 26 apprentices, many of whom grew up nearby, who are building their skills in engineering and can look forward to a brighter future following the announcement in 2016 that the station would be able to safely operate until at least 2030. Torness station director, Robert Gunn said: “Torness is a very special place. I am extremely proud of everyone who has made this milestone possible. We have a team of people who are totally committed to making the power station safe and successful and who are looking forward to many more years of safe low carbon electricity production.”

Business Scotland


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H-Fang China

CBC complete sale of Cone Drive to Timken Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC) was proud to complete the sale of precision motion control expert, Cone Drive, to The Timken Company this month. Since acquiring Cone Drive in 2012, CBC had repositioned Cone Drive from an industrial gearing company operating largely out of North America to a leader in precision motion control technology with operations on three continents. The successful acquisition of H-Fang, based in Jiangyin, China, in 2014 represented a key milestone in achieving this geographic expansion of the business.

The sale of Cone Drive to Timken represents the next chapter in the rapid development of the business and we would like to wish the teams at Cone Drive and Timken the very best of success for the future.

Cone Drive

Under CBC’s ownership Cone Drive’s sales increased by 50% to over $100m, their total employees have more than doubled to approximately 500 and, by broadening their product range through both acquisition and organic development, they have accessed crucial fast growing markets such as robotics, automation and renewable energy. We were delighted to help Cone Drive as they grew and improved, and we believe it is evidence of the abilities of both of our organisations that it went from strength to strength. CBC Partner, Dougie Hawkins, commented: “The sale of Cone Drive to Timken represents the next chapter in the rapid development of the business and we would like to wish the teams at Cone Drive and Timken the very best of success for the future.

Over the past six years it’s been a pleasure working with Kurt Gamelin and the team at Cone Drive and we’re extremely proud of the progress the business has made under our stewardship. We look forward to seeing Cone Drive continue to innovate and develop over the coming years.”

About Cone Drive Cone Drive is headquartered in Traverse City, Mich., and has manufacturing operations in the U.S. and China. The company has a global customer base and employs approximately 500 people. The business produces a broad range of highly customizable precision drive products that include Cone Drive® and H-Fang® branded high-torque worm gears, harmonic solutions and precision slew drives.

Business Scotland


Gallagher – A profile of the community insurance broker with global reach Gallagher, specialists in risk management and commercial insurance solutions, are investing in Scotland with an ambitious growth strategy. 2017 saw Gallagher achieve one of its most successful years to date and 2018 is surpassing that achievement.

of Gallagher’s global strategy so we are always on the lookout for quality broking businesses to join the Gallagher family, to complement our current offering. This can be through the additional specialist expertise they bring or their geographic footprint.”

With just under 500 staff based in Scotland, Gallagher is already one of the largest brokers in the country. It also has one of the widest footprints, with eight regional offices that not only service the major business hubs of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, but also stretch to Dumfries, Ayr, Fort William and even the Isle of Skye. Across these offices, Gallagher caters for a wide breadth of clients, from large corporate organisations to SMEs, and a multitude of sectors, including Construction, Haulage, Charity, Risk Management, Golf, plus Oil and Gas.

Acquisitions are important to Gallagher, which has grown its USorigins to become one of the largest insurance brokers in the world and employing more than 27,000 people worldwide. And yet, despite its size Gallagher is proud to remain a community broker which includes a Scottish branch network that has been in place for over 50 years.

Looking to 2019 Kenny Hogg, Regional Managing Director of Gallagher in Scotland tells us: “As a community broker first and foremost, we already service the whole of Scotland through our existing business locations. But acquisitions are a core part

“Our pride in servicing the local communities and our investment in our people and core business practices have led us to be recognised as a World’s Most Ethical Company by The Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012 and to date, we are the only broker to be acknowledged in this way. That’s the Gallagher Way and it has been since 1927,” concluded Kenny.

Aberdeen, 56 Queens Rd Aberdeen AB15 4YE

Ayr 1st Floor 40 Dalblair Road South Ayshire KA7 1UL

Dumfries First Front Floor Suite 24 Nith Place Dumfries DG1 2PN

Edinburgh 5th Floor 97-105 George Street EH2 3ES

T: 01224 622 868

T: 01292 614 438

T: 01387 249 444

T: 0131 257 777

Fort William 1st Floor 68 High Street Fort William, Inverness-shire PH33 6AD

Glasgow 3rd Floor Spectrum Building 55 Blythswood Street G2 7AT

Inverness Duncan House Western Inshes Place Inverness IV2 5HZ

Isle of Skye Bank of Scotland Buildings Somerland Square, Office 11 Portree (Isle of Skye)Highland IV51 9EH

T: 01397 705 858

T: 01412 853 300

T: 01463 236 276

T: 01478 613 373


©2018 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. | ajginternational.com “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® for 2018. Ethisphere Institute, March 2018. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55, Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. FP454–2018 Exp. 09.05.2019.


Effectively managing your risks to best protect your business translate into clear and present threats to your business. Anticipating these threats is your key to best practice, a healthier bottom line and an enhanced commercial reputation. Risk Management and planning can cover various business areas including: n Health and Safety n Business Continuity n Fire safety n Crisis Management n Fleet Management n Security n General maintenance Risk in business is a given. Having insurance against those risks offers some protection, but it’s how well you understand the risks you face and how to mitigate them that makes the real difference. Nicholas Kerry, risk consultant at UK insurance broker Gallagher, explains how a risk management strategy can help to manage those issues and takes a closer look at a key risk area for all businesses: health and safety. It is a fact that organisations face a multiplicity of risks, and the more risks you can identify and offset, the better protected your business will be to cope with the unexpected. Increasingly, it is legislative requirement or regulatory compliance that is driving firms to identify, plan for and mitigate the risks they face. On paper it’s a chore; in reality it can be a serious challenge, especially if you lack the resources or technical knowledge you need to optimise your risk exposure. No organisation wants to fall foul of regulators or lose the confidence of its customers or people – especially when the consequences of an incident can mean damage to sales, loss of trading ability or even imprisonment. A well planned and alert risk management strategy gives clarity to the varied risks you face and how they

Health & Safety risk management One of the key risk areas affecting all businesses and organisations is health and safety. Managing health & safety at work has been a legal requirement since 1974. Done right, good health and safety risk management will support your business, not stifle it. Creating a robust strategy to mitigate these risks can help to reduce the likelihood of health and safety claims and improve your defensibility. It’s important that you understand your legal obligations as they relate to your industry and business, and develop solutions which are fit for purpose. Whilst the easier option may be to utilise generic systems and templates, it’s important that a risk management strategy is tailored to your business. A key exercise for organisations to undertake when creating their health and safety risk management strategy is to first undertake a risk assessment. To do this you need to think about what might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. Businesses should: n Identify the risks – ask what can harm people in your workplace n Who is at risk – identify who is at risk and how n Adding controls – looking closer into each

risk, decide what appropriate controls are in place, what the gaps are, and what you need to do to bring those controls in line to offer the desired protection n Record you risk assessment – make a record that you can refer back to and present as evidence, should it be required n Review – businesses are constantly evolving and changing, and so do risks, so make sure you regularly review and update your assessment.

Specialist IOSH Training The Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), Regulations 7 and 8 require employers to appoint competent persons to assist them in meeting their legal obligations for the health, safety and welfare of employees (and also anyone else who may be affected by the employer’s activities). As accredited trainers for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Gallagher delivers a three-day ‘Managing Safely’ course which provides managers, supervisors and staff with the skills they need to manage effective health and safety programmes and the tools they need to recognise potential issues in their organisations. The course covers content including: n Introducing managing safely n Assessing and controlling risks n Understanding your responsibilities n Identifying hazards n Investigating accidents and incidents n Measuring performance. The next course will be held in Glasgow from 24th-26th October 2018. Good risk management needn’t be complicated. If you’d like to discuss your business’s needs or you’d like to register to attend our ‘Managing Safely’ course, please contact Nicholas Kerry: T: 0114 233 3204 E: Nicholas_kerry@ajg.com W: www.ajginternational.com

One of the key risk areas affecting all businesses and organisations is health and safety. Managing health & safety at work has been a legal requirement since 1974. Done right, good health and safety risk management will support your business, not stifle it. Business Scotland



Bridging the Generation Gap The spread of ages across the workforce – now often covering up to four generations as older workers retire later – has been cited by many companies as an increasing source of workplace tension according to new research. The recent ‘Future Chemistry’ report on workplace issues, compiled by Burness Paull in conjunction with clients across the UK, found that companies with longerserving employees were “rolling their eyes” at the rights being given to staff such as the opportunity to take shared parental leave. Younger workers expected a better worklife balance and faster career progression, so some organisations were offering them management training at a much earlier stage in order to keep them engaged and to prepare them for future roles within an organisation. Other organisations that had questioned their younger staff found they just wanted higher pay and not other benefits, such as healthcare or pension contributions. It was noted that part of the explanation for so-called ‘millennials’ being less interested in additional benefits – such as shared paternity leave or pension entitlement – was the fact that they were reaching important milestones later in life than previous generations, such as leaving home or starting a family. This

was attributed to the higher cost of living, especially in cities such as London. While at present millennials were understood to be interested in the social contribution being made by their companies, including charity work, some participants identified this as being linked to them making major decisions later in life. Millennials were then expected to revert to more traditional behaviours as their lives changed. Yet discussion about millennials revealed that the blanket term was being used to cover at least two distinct groups: one that wanted to know what a company could do for them and who would move on within, say, nine months if they weren’t satisfied; but also a second – younger – group that had returned to a more traditional outlook of demonstrating what they could offer to a company in order to be recruited or retained. For both groups, making information available online to job applicants was judged to be essential, especially with millennials seeking wider information about a company’s ethics and environmental policies before applying for roles. Posting such information was also seen as important for increasing the diversity of the workforce within a company.

So how can businesses bridge the generation gap? Many companies said they were bringing younger and older staff together to pass on skills and knowledge. An interesting example to break down the barriers between generations was the use of “upward

mentoring”, with younger people mentoring older people on how to use technology and, in the process, getting to better know and understand each other. “To foster an environment where all generations feel engaged, more opportunities must be created for interactions amongst colleagues who may have complementary or indeed conflicting views and experiences,” explains Jennifer Skeoch, employment partner at Burness Paull LLP. “Employers must balance the need to ensure all workers feel respected with the clear need to create an honest forum in which questions can be asked and challenges to stereotypical views can be made, without fear of repercussions. “Within that process, employers could seek to ensure that the “banter” - which many employees view as being a crucially important aspect of their working life – can be retained, without alienating other colleagues. Employers who have a clinical and sanitised culture will no doubt find that engagement levels decrease, so a balance must be struck, and an open and honest atmosphere will go far in achieving that.” She added, “Employers trying to secondguess what the so-called millennials want now, or may want in the future, should be mindful that a fluid approach will be required: it may be that flexible working and few benefits are attractive for those of the younger generation, but as they progress and reach more traditional milestones the traditional concepts of job security and family friendly benefits will likely become important again.”

Business Scotland



Inverness Chamber Chief Executive Calls for Closer Ties Between Parliament and Business The Scottish Parliament has been urged to work more closely with the business community to help address issues where the country needs to improve. The Parliament turns 20 next year and the advice to the ‘mere youth’ was offered by Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, during a Holyrood reception to mark the organisation’s 125th anniversary.

Almost 50 guests, including MSPs, Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Charlotte Wright, representatives from chamber groups from across Scotland & UK and members of the wider business community, attended the event, which was sponsored by Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing. Mr Nicol, who led an Inverness Chamber delegation, including president Liam Christie, at the reception, told the gathering that much had been achieved during the Parliament’s two decades, but there are still areas for improvement.

Firstly, he suggested, there is too much of a ‘Central-Belt focus’ in Holyrood. St Andrews-born, Falkirk-reared and Edinburgh University-educated, he understands the area, but has since worked and lived elsewhere. “In doing so I have experienced the dynamic innovation and entrepreneurship which exists beyond the Central Belt, particularly as those parts of Scotland have had to overcome the challenges of being distant and having fewer people. “We have huge natural resources as a nation and most of that lies outwith this locale. Most of our stunning natural beauty and

“Since we developed the program, we have been able to offer women the support they need to start and grow their businesses, and accounts for women business owners have increased dramatically.” Business Scotland



wildlife, which attracts tourists from across the world, exists in places that many people in the Central Belt have never visited.” Mr Nicol, who marked ten years with Inverness Chamber this year, making him the longest serving chief executive in the Scottish chamber network, raised particular concerns about transport and IT infrastructure in the Highlands. He said the road network, largely outwith the Central Belt, needs a significant upgrade. Whilst welcoming the Scottish Government’s commitment to dual 80 miles of the A9 Perth-Inverness trunk road to dual carriageway by 2025, he reminded the audience that half way through the timescale only five miles (6 per cent) has been dualled. At the same time, nothing has been done on the commitment to upgrade the A96 Inverness-Aberdeen route. He repeated his assertion that the Highland Main Line (HML), the Inverness-Edinburgh rail route, remains ‘not fit for purpose’. “We are aware of how much has been invested in the rail infrastructure across the Central Belt and, indeed, to upgrade rail connectivity between the Central Belt and London, resulting in much improved journey times. It would therefore seem reasonable for us Highlanders to aspire to travel at the same speed between Inverness and the Central Belt?”

“It has since proven to be BA’s best performing domestic route. The number of flights have this year been increased by 40 per cent and I am working to improve this even further.”

ambitions”, said Mr Nicol. “The chambers across Scotland and the UK comprise the most effective and strongest network of businesses and our connectivity to similar networks across the globe is unsurpassed.”

If the HML received the same level of funding, journey times would be halved, he suggested. Instead, a three per cent reduction is expected once refurbished 40year old rolling stock comes onto the HML.

Mr Nicol also urged the government to ‘do the right thing for our businesses’ and completely remove Air Departure Tax (ADT) or Air Passenger Duty (APD) for the benefit of international trade and national economy.

But he said, the successes do not hide the fact improvements can be made locally and that there are too many examples of things taking too long to change or the solutions are unacceptable.

The shortcomings in surface travel, makes air connectivity so vital for the Highlands, Mr Nicol continued. Inverness Chamber of Commerce has been at the forefront of the campaign to increase services to Heathrow.

He added: “Transport and digital connectivity will long be on our agenda I suspect. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and robotics, some of our future influence will be in areas we can’t imagine today.”

“The case made by Heathrow has been compelling, not just for Inverness and the Highlands, but for the whole of Scotland. This vital airlink was re-established two years ago, largely because of my personal input and our campaigning as a chamber of commerce.

The audience heard the important role played by Inverness Chamber of Commerce in connecting businesses, lobbying for better services and offering advice and support to members. It also delivers the Scottish Government’s employer-led DYW Regional Group for Inverness and Central Highland, which aims to bring about real and lasting cultural change for the benefit of the region’s young people, their parents, teachers and SME’s which make up the bulk of the Highland’s business community.

“In such a small and well-formed business and civic environment, too many of us seem to have an appalling capacity to operate within deeply ingrained silos. Neither do we set high enough standards for ourselves, our organisations and our civic space.

As part of the Scottish and British chambers network, it ensures the Highlands has a strong voice in Holyrood and Westminster. It also offers a range of international trade services, consultancy, bespoke support and advice aimed at helping Highland businesses to grow internationally. “Indeed, I firmly believe that the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and British Chambers of Commerce made up of their respective local chambers are uniquely and strongly placed to help both the Scottish and UK Governments to achieve their international

“I cannot help but apply these self-same sentiments to this Parliament and indeed the nation of Scotland. We are doing well but I strongly believe we should, and could, be doing so much better.” He concluded: “The Parliament must have a closer working relationship with business in Scotland. The debacle over business rates over the last year has demonstrated clearly that there is much room for improvement. The SCC network has proven, and will continue to do so, that we can deliver for our politicians and public sector partners in a way that no-one else can. “I recently stated my strong belief that to move the Highlands and city of Inverness forward, all of us in business and the civic space need to have high personal and organisational ambitions. “The same applies to Scotland and this Scottish Parliament. All of us need to demonstrate strong leadership and we need to collaborate, perhaps in a way we have never done thus far.”

Business Scotland



Papillon Design and Landscaping

Not only has Angelique Robb swapped her native Louisiana for Aberdeenshire, but ten years ago she changed from employee to entrepreneur and changed her business from oil and gas to bespoke garden design and landscaping. Papillon Design and Landscaping is a high-end garden transformation business, mainly serving residential clients. The company charges between £1,000 to £5,000 to conceptualise and design the landscaping and planting of (mainly) Aberdeenshire gardens, and are now the sole UK supplier of the French-made Biossun bio-climatic patio covers and pergolas. They also can build the gardens themselves or project manage the garden build. Says Angelique: “It was the first business I have run myself, and after 10 years I had 11 employees and it still wasn’t thriving so it was quite a stressful time for me. Although I was raising my prices every year I was struggling to achieve a profit, as I was constantly being impacted by quarterly

Business Scotland


bills. I realised that you have to have the confidence to charge enough to achieve profitability, and we were going too far to meet our clients’ expectations of prices. “We sized down a bit and I had to let some people go but it still wasn’t working, and my accountants couldn’t really advise me on how to project forward. I went to mentoring to help keep my sanity!” For a year-long period five sessions, Angelique’s mentor was Charles Edmond, a veteran accountant from Henderson Loggie. Holding a broad skill set from advising on the auditing and financial planning aspects of his profession to become a general business adviser. Prior to this, he had mentored eight different businesses. Charles Edmond explains: “As someone who had done quite well out of being in

the business, I saw mentoring as a way of giving something back by sharing all that experience. On top of that, I’m really interested in what people are trying to do business-wise and helping them to achieve that. I find it interesting, I feel I can contribute, and it lets me see so many different types of business. Because I started up my own business and went through all the problems that it involved I have first-hand experience on what issues start-ups face and can understand how people run into difficulties. It’s much easier to talk about if you’ve done it yourself.” Papillion Design may have been his first garden design business but its problems were not new to him. “Basically Angelique’s company had various ongoing staffing issues that were clouding


about cutting through that and working out what the crucial elements that she needed to deal with. I gave her the framework to focus on what needed to be focused on and tried to persuade her to take the emotion out of it.” “In the course of our sessions, she went through all kinds of emotions, happy, sad, angry. She was really quite indignant about how people had treated her but she learned to stand up for herself!” “The journey for her was education. That transition she had made from a big company environment to small business was a pretty rapid learning curve. Suddenly all the issues landed on her desk, there wasn’t anyone to hand them to.” As Angelique describes it: “Charles asked a lot of questions that helped me think about the business more objectively. That was

how it helped, I would do homework and we would talk about it, I guess there wasn’t much more to it than that. He was coming in cold and that helped me focus, look and plan ahead. Although the business has already changed since he stopped mentoring me I feel more confident because of his mentoring.” Now that her business is on a better trajectory, Angelique is able to concentrate on the long-term project of raising the profile of the business. Making it clearer to people that a high quality, labour intensive work is a premium service “People don’t yet realise how expensive gardens are to get right. We are on a mission to educate people and not suffer in the face of people’s inaccurate expectations about the amount of work involved.”

Charles asked a lot of questions that helped me think about the business more objectively. That was how it helped, I would do homework and we would talk about it, I guess there wasn’t much more to it than that. He was coming in cold and that helped me focus, look and plan ahead. Although the business has already changed since he stopped mentoring me I feel more confident because of his mentoring.

Business Scotland



Employability and Young People Young people in our communities are four times more likely to be unemployed than older people. Many young people are struggling with the transition between education and employment, lack of adequate skills/work-readiness, poorly written CVs, confusion in choosing career paths and lack of confidence. Over the last 8 years we have worked with about 120 young people offering them work experience placements and volunteering opportunities and supported them towards paid employment in places such as the NHS, Bank of Scotland and Enabled Scotland.

provide CV checks, job referrals and mock interviews once the young person has been invited for an interview for a paid position. Most importantly, we provide emotional support, encouraging young people to believe in and understand their abilities.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation signed a partnership agreement with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, acting through Jobcentre Plus to provide ongoing work experience opportunities for young people. We work alongside coaches and advisers at Jobcentre Plus to take on young people for work experience placements lasting between eight and twenty-four weeks. Before taking on any young person, we conduct interviews. Once the young person has been assigned a role, we provide full induction and training, mentoring and pay for external training courses including ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). While on the job, we carry out monthly performance reviews to find out how the person is progressing and what additional support that could be offered. We also

The organisation also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, which focuses on unemployed young people aged between 16 and 29, particularly those who are more disadvantaged in the labour market. The organisation has also entered into a service level agreement with Robert Gordon University to provide placement opportunities for social work students and provides volunteering opportunities for students from Aberdeen University to ensure more young people across the north east are supported to be work ready.

Business Scotland


Asthma and Allergy Foundation is a peopleled organisation, relying heavily on the strengths, skills and experiences of our service users, staff, partners and volunteers

who play a crucial role in the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work. The organisation is mostly staffed by young people who work as volunteers and some of the volunteers suffer from asthma. These are people who understand what it is like to live with asthma and always go above and beyond to offer help to the people we support. Working hand in hand with staff, these young volunteers enable people with asthma and their families to access support quickly when they need it. The organisation wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be where it is if it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for these amazing young people who bring huge effort, commitment and contributions to the work of the organisation. The burden of asthma on children, young people and their families cannot be over emphasised. Asthma affects more than 35,000 people in the Grampian area and there are 368,000 people with asthma in Scotland, including 72,000 children. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation, which recently opened an Asthma Support Centre in Dyce, is the only organisation of its kind in Scotland whose sole aim is to reduce these


figures. The charity ensures that everyone who turns to them for support gets the help they need so they or their loved ones can live a healthier, active and symptoms-free life.” Sean Ambrose, from Aberdeen, recently completed a work experience placement with Asthma and Allergy foundation, and currently works as Continuous Improvement Technician with Marathon Oil Corporation. Sean was originally trained as a Health Promotion Officer and was further trained as a Project Co-ordinator with the foundation. He said “Overall, my time at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation was memorable, and I was made to feel valued and treated professionally by both my peers and my supervisor. I developed key skills such as teamwork and communication skills and received both moral support and constructive professional advice regarding career decisions. Martina was fantastic. She would always listen, offer moral support and give great advice regarding my future career decisions and helping to develop my CV.” Martina Chukwuma-Ezike, Chief Executive of Asthma and Allergy Foundation said “As an organisation, we believe employability skills form part of the answer in supporting young people into employment, ensuring young people are supported to take ownership of their own skill development, build confidence in themselves, while providing necessary training and mentoring as well as encouraging young people to believe in their abilities. I am delighted that we have been able to help many young people gain vital skills, giving them the opportunity to be gainfully employed and make meaningful contributions to our economy.” When asked about the kind of advice he could offer to young people considering volunteering or taking up a work experience placement, Sean said “I think it is extremely helpful for young people to take up a work experience opportunity with this great organisation as it assists an individual to develop key transferable skills and professional working relationships with others in the same environment or associated businesses.’’ The charity, which relies on donations to enable it to continue to provide support to the local community, also runs several education and engagement programs and provides bespoke asthma awareness training sessions for companies and organisations to help employees learn more about the condition. Particularly on how to recognise the symptoms and provide care when needed. For more information about the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, please call (01224) 973001, email: info@asthmaandallergy.org.uk or visit: www.asthmaandallergy.org.uk

CONFIDENCE FOR LIFE AT DURHAM SCHOOL For more than 600 years, Durham School has been at the heart of education in the North East, giving its pupils the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed in the future. One of the top schools in the country, Durham School’s mission is to provide a complete education, instilling in its pupils an aspiration for achievement, a respect for others and a Confidence for Life. This leading independent co-educational school educates girls and boys from ages 3 to 18 in a caring and supportive atmosphere, where inspirational teaching and outstanding pastoral care combine to help each child achieve their full potential. A traditional British boarding school with a modern international community, Durham School encourages pupils to take full advantage of everything a busy, co-educational school has to offer, living life to the full as part of a community in which the individual flourishes. The school offers boarding for pupils aged 11-18 from the UK and abroad. With flexible options available, children can choose to be a full boarder or just stay through the week.

Overall, my time at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation was memorable, and I was made to feel valued and treated professionally by both my peers and my supervisor. I developed key skills such as teamwork and communication skills and received both moral support and constructive professional advice regarding career decisions.

Durham offers a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including the Combined Cadet Force, rowing, music and drama as well as a wide variety of trips and excursions. Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin said: “We welcome children from all around the globe and because we are a relatively small school, we can give each pupil the opportunity to shine in whichever activity they choose. “Our dedicated and highly-trained staff spend time with each child, understanding their individual characters and gently encouraging them to try new activities and take part in new ventures. It is this approach which helps them flourish, compete in the modern world and gain Confidence for Life.”

To see for yourself why Durham School has been leading the way for more than 600 years, why not come to our Open Morning on 6th October 2018 or book a personal visit by contacting our Admissions Team on 0191 731 9270 - www.durhamschool.co.uk

Business Scotland




Independent College of Higher Education Dundee, Scotland

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Arabic Language Islamic Economics & Finance Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies Business & Management (subject to approval)

All of our courses are fully SCQF credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

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Discover Diversity in Dundee almcollege.org.uk

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Why Dundee?

Why Al-Maktoum?

Dundee is a 90-minute drive from Glasgow and has been named by the Lonely Planet as one of the top European cities to visit in 2018.

Established in 2001, Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education is a unique, independent, research-led centre of excellence for students and staff of all religions and none.

The £80 million V&A Museum of Design, part of a billion-pound waterfront development, is a major attraction at home and overseas. Dundee has been named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design, a prestigious recognition of the contribution the city has made to design and innovation. Scotland’s sunniest city, it is the fourth largest in the country and home to around 147,000 people. Dundee always ranks highly in national quality of life surveys as well as a low cost of living for students. As well as Al-Maktoum College, there are two universities and one other college in Dundee – as many as 45,000 students from all over the world can be there during term time. Dundee is a flourishing and renowned centre for life sciences, computer games, research, the arts, business, education, hi-tech manufacturing, telecommunications and tourism, and enjoys a thriving cultural scene.

Funded primarily by the Al-Maktoum Foundation, it is the first HE establishment of its kind in Scotland, promoting multiculturalism and greater understanding while building bridges between communities through its promotion of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Al-Maktoum’s campus provides everything you need to make your time as a student as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. The main building is located close to the city’s two universities and a short walk from the City Centre. This makes it a perfect location for students as there is student accommodation, shops and social activities nearby. Al-Maktoum College courses are open to students from a variety of backgrounds and at the end of the course you will be awarded a recognised qualification, accredited by the SQA. You can use these qualifications to enhance your applications for employment or university study.

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Al-Maktoum College offers qualifications in Arabic Language, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Islamic Economics.


Study options Full time – 7 months Part time – from 12 weeks (1 semester) up to 3 years Flexible learning – classes are offered in the daytime, evening and as an intensive summer school

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lifeSKILLS Centres Short Course About Our Courses

lifeSKILLS has been delivering high quality, employer facing and client centred training for over 10 years and we offer a wide range of short courses, including hospitality, retail, customer service, social care, administration, health and Beauty, security and construction training. We have an extensive footprint and existing infrastructure in 22 of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland.

Funding All our courses are eligible for an Individual Training Accounts (ITA’s). ITA’s are for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and who will benefit most from this support. Individuals can apply for an ITA if:

n They do not have a degree or above, are not undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, training through the Employability Fund or Modern Apprenticeship n They are not participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme n They must also have an income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on benefits SDS Individual Training Accounts give up to £200 towards the costs of learning or training for eligible learners. For detailed eligibility criteria, please contact a member of our team or alternatively visit: www.myworldofwork.co.uk

Construction Courses CSCS HS&E Test and Card and two free re-sit (including materials) Self-Study & Test Day - £175.00

REHIS Health and Safety and Green Labourer's Card One Day plus & Test Day - £150.00




Once both examinations have been passed lifeSKILLS will then apply for the Green Labourer’s or Skilled Card on behalf of the candidate.

On successful completion of this REHIS Health and Safety award candidates can then apply for their Green Labourer’s Card.

On successful completion of this REHIS award candidates can then take the next step to booking their CITB Health, Safety & Environment test.

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) have made changes to obtaining a Green Labourer’s Card. These new requirements were introduced in July 2014 and state that along with the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test, a QCF qualification (or alternative) must be achieved in order to apply for the Green Labourer’s Card.

Group course Max 12 participants

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) have made changes to obtaining a Green Labourer’s Card. These new requirements were introduced in July 2014 and state that along with the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test, a QCF qualification (or alternative) must be achieved in order to apply for the Green Labourer’s Card.

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REHIS Health and Safety, CSCS Test and Green Labourer’s Card and one free re-sit One Day plus Self-Study & Test Day - £200.00 Group course Max 12 participants The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) have made changes to obtaining a Green Labourer’s Card. These new requirements were introduced in July 2014 and state that along with the CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test, a QCF qualification (or alternative) must be achieved in order to apply for the Green Labourer’s Card.

A world leading business school on your doorstep Our MBA and Masters programmes are consistently ranked among the best in the UK – and around the world. As 2016 Times Higher Education Business School of the Year within a leading international technological University, we understand the importance of global thinking. We introduced the first one year full time MBA to the UK in 1966 and we continue to introduce innovative business programmes, and bespoke executive education, to suit the demands of an evolving business world. Our acclaimed MBA programme can be studied on a full time, part time or flexible learning basis which means you don’t have to give up the day job – or travel far – to get a world class MBA. Applications for our MBA programme are still being accepted for our September and October 2018 intakes. To find our more visit:






Robert Gordon’s College pupils are part of a global digital community At Robert Gordon’s College independence, innovation and curiosity is encouraged from the start allowing children to learn to make decisions for themselves. This prepares children for the ever changing world with resilience to cope with challenges they may meet on their journey. Gordon’s pupils are part of a global, digital literate community who benefit from international opportunities with partners around the world offering knowledge sharing and pupil exchanges. Robert Gordon’s College has partnered with the British International School of Houston to offer families a smooth transition process when relocating to and from the cities and enhance the experiences of their shared pupils, parents and staff. The schools share many values and educational links including partnerships with Massachusetts Institute

The Sunday Times Schools Guide awarded Robert Gordon’s College Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Year 2017​

of Technology (MIT) in Boston and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) teaching approaches, as well as exceptional practice in the performing arts of drama, dance, music and art.

The tradition of academic success is underlined by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education commenting that “Learning and teaching is of high quality and there are examples of outstanding practice. Children and young people enjoy learning and respond very well to the caring ethos.”

ScientistsPlus, the Corporate Partner Programme at Robert Gordon’s College, enables companies to support science education where pupils work with visiting scientists, technology advisors and industrial mentors on investigative work and research projects.

The impact of a Gordon’s education has been realised through the successes of many of Scotland’s entrepreneurs who have gone on to have successful careers, establish leading businesses and are now helping to inspire the next generation.

The high quality teaching and broad, action


Opportunity and Choice

Business Scotland


packed curriculum enables children to reach their potential academically, socially and emotionally. The opportunities are phenomenal whether it be clubs, trips, competitions or the range of specialist subjects. Pupils have access to The Craig Centre for Performing Arts, The Wood Foundation Centre for Science and Technology (the UK’s largest school teaching facility for Science and Technology), an onsite swimming pool, and 39-acre Countesswells Sports Fields.

TRANSFORM YOUR FUTURE GLASGOW MBA Realise your true potential with our world class, one year MBA. Learn practical skills with 1:1 focus, in a triple accredited business school. glasgow.ac.uk/mba #GlasgowMBA Adam Smith Business School is triple accredited by


Once Upon a Whisky – Connecting people, cultures and whiskies from a different perspective Scotland’s whisky tourism industry makes a significant contribution to the economy with numerous visitors arriving from countries around the world to partake in the tours each year. One person treading a different path when it comes to building a business on this whisky heritage is entrepreneur Camilo Gómez, Director of tour company ‘Once Upon a Whisky’. Camilo’s tours take a different approach to most, drawing on popular culture to deliver a unique visitor experience.

small enterprise, providing a mobile cocktail bar for special events. I also found a role as an Ambassador for William Grant & Sons – the largest independently owned Scottish whisky company – in this capacity, I visited Scotland a number of times and my interest in the whisky industry grew stronger.

“I want to invite people to come to Scotland to engage with Scotland’s whisky culture – it is the best in the world,” explains Camilo. This might not seem so surprising a statement until you understand that Camilo’s journey to become a part of this world-renowned industry began not in Scotland but in Colombia.

“These two facets of my work, complemented each other enormously, meaning I had experience of setting up a small business and working for a larger corporation, plus both enhanced my knowledge of a product I had grown to love – whisky.

“I studied business administration at the university in Colombia – after which I went on to work for a number of companies including car manufacturers and drinks companies. I always knew I wanted to do something related to the business world but I was itching to have my own project. “I went to New York to study mixology – the art of mixing cocktails and I started up a

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spark and I knew that ultimately I’d want to work for myself, so after a few years, and having got to know Scotland through my work – I decided to enrol on the MBA at the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School. “The Glasgow MBA was the perfect fit for me, giving me an excellent grounding in strategic thinking, leadership and entrepreneurial skills – helping me to develop the skills necessary to succeed in business.” The cohort of students on the course is kept small, with 30 to 40 students on the MBA each year, making for an excellent learning experience which is delivered through tutorials, interactive workshops and discussions. A calendar of social, networking and guest speaker events is also organised to enhance the student experience still further. The small intake of students means that the needs of each student can be catered for, as Camilo explains, “each student is assigned a mentor and great care is taken in finding the right mentor for each student – mine was a key figure in the whisky industry. “In addition, all students on the Glasgow MBA have access to a brilliant careers advisor who

Business Scotland


goes the extra mile to improve your career situation, it is a personalised service which is extremely valuable in setting your career on the right track. The mentoring and careers advice available on the MBA is outstanding. “The Glasgow MBA helps different people in different ways and this is its strength. As well as providing students with the knowledge and skills to set up a business, the MBA provides you with the means to re-orientate or make a step change in your career – like taking on a leadership role, for example. “The flexibility of the Glasgow MBA was particularly valuable, as it provides students with the opportunity to specialise in a particular field such as finance, marketing or strategy – an opportunity that few MBA programmes afford.” “Studying for the Glasgow MBA was a lifechanging experience for me. “Not only is Glasgow a well-regarded university and the campus is wonderful too. The location of the university in the West End of the city is ideal, it is a artistic, and hipster area, with fantastic restaurants along with beautiful architecture and parks, all of which provide a great quality of life. “Glasgow is a multicultural city and so too is the MBA, over 15 different nationalities were represented on the course with students from North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Meeting people from different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures was an important part of the whole experience. “I visited a couple of distilleries during the MBA and focused on them in my case


studies, before writing my dissertation on the whisky industry. It was during this time that I realised that the whisky industry was going through a transformation and that this presented me with an opportunity. “Where once the emphasis was on the age of whisky, the assumption being that the older the whisky, the better it was, now that perception was changing. “There was a lot of innovation within the industry in terms of the whisky itself, the flavours created and the marketing used to promote it – bringing whisky to a new and younger audience. This evolution of the industry provided me with an opportunity to set up a whisky tour business that took a different approach. “I wanted to reach out to a new audience and pique their interest in Scotland’s whisky culture and so, with just my laptop, I set up my own tour business. Now I am working every day, leading whisky tours in Glasgow and Edinburgh. As a Colombian, living and working in Scotland, perhaps I bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

“My company’s name - Once Upon a Whisky – was chosen because on each tour I tell a story. I integrate quirky and curious facts into the tours which show how the Scottish national drink has influenced directors and musicians throughout history. I focus less on the production of the drink and more on its links to popular culture and in this way I’ve engaged a new audience.

marketing to promote it and set up the strategic alliances I needed with hotels, restaurants and whisky companies to make it a success.

“We also arrange bespoke tours and corporate events, tailored to the needs of the individual client. I also like to organise special events that pair whisky with food, with some unlikely combinations proving exceedingly popular. Doughnuts and whisky served up at a film viewing was a particular hit.

It is clear that Camillo’s venture is going from strength to strength and that he has added new impetus to the whisky tour industry - it will be interesting to see where the tale of ‘Once Upon a Whisky’ takes him next.

“I set up my company last year and the university has been instrumental in its success – the MBA careers advisor and continued to support me even after I had completed my MBA. I find great inspiration and support in the network of friends, mentors and contacts that I made there.

“Visit Scotland and People Make Glasgow have been instrumental in bringing visitors to the region and have been very supportive of my venture too, inviting me to events and involving me in the tourism forum – helping me raise the profile of my business. “

“In the future, I’d like to organise more special events,” says Camilo “and I plan to branch out offering tours in more cities in Scotland and further afield. There is great potential for tours that utilise local food and drink in other parts of the UK too.”

“The skills I learnt on the MBA enabled me to set up my own company, to undertake the digital

The Glasgow MBA was the perfect fit for me, giving me an excellent grounding in strategic thinking, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Business Scotland




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0141 342 5494 | theglasgowacademy.org.uk The Glasgow Academy is an educational charity registered in Scotland: Charity Number SC 015368


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We deliver employment related services and Modern Apprenticeships throughout the West of Scotland and Ayrshire, with offices in Dumfries, Stranraer and Kilmarnock. The company has been operating since 1997 and has developed a strong reputation for delivering high quality training and skills development programmes on behalf of Government agencies, individuals, local authorities and Third Sector organisations. We work on the basis that one programme does NOT fit all and build flexibility into our programmes to deliver services that meet the needs of the individual and their journey into employment, personal and career development. This approach is reflected in our positive results and high

achievement rates. Ensuring that we meet needs of learners, employers and funders. Our dedicated staff are one of our main strengths, with each one being chosen not only for their experience but also their approachable, friendly and non-judgemental attitude to all learners. This means that each learner will receive a warm welcome where they will be supported to achieve their career aspirations. Local employers are essential to our success and we work with employers across all sectors to assist with recruitment, design and deliver bespoke training and access funding and recruitment incentives. We value these relationships and very proud of the repeat business we receive based on this.

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Business Scotland


Qualified to Succeed

Alasdair MacRae, Head of Business Development and Customer Support, SQA.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is committed to improving the prospects for learners and employers in Scotland. Working together with industry leaders and businesses, we can help meet the country’s skills needs.

Photography by Neil Hanna Photography

People may remember the exam certificates that they received at school, yet school certificates are just the tip of the iceberg for SQA. Many SQA qualifications are awarded outside the formal classroom setting. Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are focused on training and development for those already on-the-job, while National Progression Awards (NPAs) can help people into the world of work and Professional Development Awards (PDAs) can aid them in developing their skills in professional settings. The initial idea for a qualification can come from many different places — from customers, members of staff, industry bodies or even the Scottish Government. Once the idea has been reviewed, and we decide to go ahead with the development, a qualification design team is created. This team includes representatives from schools, colleges, employers, trade bodies and sector skills councils. SQA is a non-departmental public body and we are proud to be at the heart of the education and skills system in Scotland. We develop qualifications that reflect Scotland’s economic and cultural needs and also create qualifications to help to protect more niche skills. “At times, it can be difficult for employers to predict skills gaps and we need to be a step ahead of that process,” Alasdair MacRae, Head of Business Development and Customer Support, SQA explains. “It’s predicted that young people will now have multiple careers and some are already employed in roles that didn’t exist as recently as five or ten years ago. Technology will have a significant impact and people are already talking about a fourth industrial revolution, marked by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet of things.” The digital technology sector is forecast to grow twice as fast as the Scottish economy by 2024, as indicated in recently published research by SDS and the Digital Technologies Skills Group. There will be people currently within the digital technology sector who want to further hone or broaden their digital skills, and those from other backgrounds who want to move into new digital tech careers. Recent examples of high-profile cyber security breaches have driven demand for more formally

recognised training and qualifications in this area. At SQA, we are helping by creating new qualifications to support the ICT sector such as coding and cyber security. “Dundee & Angus College has established a code academy using our qualifications, which is helping to bridge that skills gap,” Alasdair says. “It’s establishing links between local schools, universities and businesses. “Schools are providing these opportunities too. Kyle Academy in South Ayrshire has been instrumental in developing the SQA’s NPA in Cyber Security – that’s the first cyber security qualification available to school-age candidates anywhere in the UK and provides pupils from fourth year to sixth year with the opportunity to study areas including digital forensics, data security and ethical hacking. “We have also been working closely with Code Clan who offer a 16-week intensive course that teaches coding to people who have no previous experience. It’s recognised by employers and leads on to jobs at the end of it.” Where off-the-shelf qualifications aren’t available, SQA also offers a customised awards service to create bespoke qualifications for employers. Recognising employees’ achievements with qualifications rather than just offering training can help to both motivate and retain members of staff. Every business working with SQA has a dedicated account manager – one point of contact who will take the time to get to know them and how they work, and who understands the particular challenges in their area. SQA’s account managers advise organisations on the best possible journey for enhancing workforces in a range of sectors. Working together, they can continue to give Scotland a happier, more productive, more reliable and more skilled workforce. To find out more about SQA’s business development team visit www.sqa.org.uk/businessdevelopment email mycentre@sqa.org.uk or call 0303 333 0330


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Business Scotland


MYSECTOR an easy search for qualifications

MySector is an interactive area on SQAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website which allows you to browse available SQA qualifications by sector and by qualification level. Find the ideal qualification for your future. www.sqa.org.uk/mysector


From Lochaber to the world… At a recent Lochaber Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast, Charlotte Wright, CEO of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, highlighted ‘internationalisation’ as one of their key priorities for growing the economy of the Highlands. It’s all about encouraging businesses to expand their horizons and explore the potential of international trade in goods and services. Tapping into new markets can bring incredible opportunities for growth. Here in Lochaber, we have a diverse range of Chamber members whose businesses trade their goods and services internationally – from whisky and marine aquaculture equipment to commercial diving training courses, we’ve got many inspiring examples of how companies of all sizes can do great business beyond these shores. We caught up with some of our member businesses to chat all things exporting and ask what they felt was the most important things to know when developing your business internationally.

Chris Jones of Norfab Equipment From their base in Fort William, Norfab equips everyone from shrimp farmers in Latin America to salmon farms in Atlantic Canada and bass producers in the Mediterranean. Chris’ company specialises in down-toearth solutions to the daily challenges in the aquaculture sector, they are renowned for designing and building high quality ready-touse and bespoke equipment for fish farming. Chris highlighted the importance of marketing to his business – and credits local website designers, Hotscot, for ensuring his website is optimised to show up prominently in online searches. Attending trade shows and making personal connections is also a key part of marketing the business. Chris said, “Being part of the Chambers of Commerce network has really helped me in my business, making it much easier to secure EUR1 forms and advice in technical trading matters.” Chris also highlighted the vital importance of making sure you have a thorough understanding of all the costs involved and that it’s well worth shopping around for the best shipping agent for different international areas. And his key piece of advice: always ensure you receive payment (preferably in sterling) before you dispatch your products.

Business Scotland


Colin Ross. Managing Director of Ben Nevis Distillery

Colin Ross, Managing Director, Ben Nevis Distillery Founded in 1825, Ben Nevis Distillery has been owned by Nikka Whisky Distilling Company of Japan since 1990 so the distillery has traded internationally for many years. Although most of the whisky distilled in Fort William is destined for Nikka, the distillery also sells bottled single malt and casks of mixed malts to customers as far afield as Ukraine, Taiwan, Spain and New Zealand. Managing Director Colin Ross says, “Confidence in your buyer is key. We’ve found that it’s worth taking the time to build strong business relationships. Many of our customers are more like friends, returning year after year to buy from us so we get to know and trust them.”

Steve Ham, Commercial Director at The Underwater Centre The Underwater Centre is the world’s leading subsea training and trials centre, specialising in providing commercial diving and ROV pilot training and subsea equipment trials from its base by Loch Linnhe. Rather than physical products, the Underwater Centre exports its services to the global market but the principles of international trade remain the same. It’s about knowing your markets, making the effort to forge strong connections and being very clear on what you are providing.

Steve says, “We’ve found that the range of support available through HIE and Scottish Development International has been extremely useful – from advice and workshops to helping with support for overseas trade missions.” “You’ve got to understand your market and get a feel for the people and culture you’ll be dealing with. We’ve recently visited Japan – this strengthened an existing business relationship and created new business connections. We’ve also seen a trade mission to Mexico bear fruit recently, with contacts made leading us to do consultancy work there and now bringing a Mexican company to do a significant amount of training with us in Fort William. What does Steve think are the key things to consider? “Be prepared to work to overseas timescales: phoning or skyping late at night comes with the territory; and be prepared to translate important information to meet your


customers’ needs. We developed the capability to deliver our courses in other languages specifically to satisfy what we identified as a real need in the international market.”

Quick tips for success So, if you’re inspired to find out more or you’re ready to dip your toes in international waters, remember these quick tips for success: n Know your market and build strong business relationships

n Ensure payment (or have a guarantee such as a letter of credit) before supplying goods or services n Make sure you’ve got a thorough grasp of the paperwork n Take advantage of the help available through HIE, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network Good luck! Bonne chance! Viel glück! Buona

fortuna! ...., Buena seurte! Held ogg lykke! Join us on Tuesday 13th November for an essential briefing on ‘International Selling and Brexit’ with Ewan Ramsay from HIE. This is part of a packed programme of informative and inspiring events that make up Lochaber Ideas Week, 12th – 16th November. Visit www.lochaberchamber.co.uk to find out more and book your tickets. More on this in the next issue…

We’ve found that the range of support available through HIE and Scottish Development International has been extremely useful – from advice and workshops to helping with support for overseas trade missions. Business Scotland



Opened in 2017 the purpose built, state of the art, Firth Pavilion at Seamill Hydro has been designed as the ultimate conference and banqueting destination. The ÂŁ6 million development has made the most of the stunning coastal setting of the Victorian eighty bedroom hotel and enhanced it with all of the modern comforts and conveniences you would expect of a leading modern hotel. There is a choice of three sizes of conference room and a smaller break-out or meeting room so events from 2 to over 200 can be accommodated in comfort. Meeting rooms are set over two floors and all enjoy natural light and panoramic view of over 100 square miles and land and sea including the majestic mountains of Arran across the Firth of Clyde. The delegate experience is further enhanced by the superb quality of food and the dedicated service from our team of experienced managers and conference porters, who are always on hand to help. FIRTH@SEAMILLHYDRO.CO.UK | 01294 822 217 Ext. 200 | SEAMILLHYDRO.CO.UK/WORK


Seamill Hydro Hotel The Firth Pavilion at Seamill Hydro Hotel on the Ayrshire Coast opened in 2017 following a six million pound project, which not only produced a stunning venue but also transformed the entrance of the Victorian hotel. The hotel boasts eighty four bedrooms from the simple standard rooms to the indulgent and impressive Glen Rosa suite, one of Scotland’s most spectacular hotel suites, with stunning coastal views to match. Delegates can also enjoy the elegant sea view Orangery restaurant and casual Aura lounge bar, both popular with residents and locals alike. Any stay at Seamill Hydro wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the large indoor pool and air-conditioned gym, where you can workout to stunning sea views. The Firth Pavilion has been designed to be the ultimate conference and function centre, whether you are planning a small casual meeting with just a couple of delegates or an AGM of over two hundred there is a beautiful and comfortable room to meet your needs. With over sixteen kilometers of high speed network cable the elegant interiors disguise

a state of the art building bristling with technology. Room automation technologies allow the control of window blinds, lighting and the impressive range of audio visual facilities. The Firth Suite, the impressive, large ground floor suite features an entire wall of glass to maximise the views of the Clyde coast and the distant hills of Arran. The large stage offers a state of the art laser projector with exceptional clarity and definition, even if it is necessary to use it while the room is still lit. Further to this, additional screens can be placed around the room, all of which can be controlled to display the same or different content. Audio can be delivered through the integral ceiling mounted speaker system which has been carefully designed to ensure a consistent volume across the entire space or through the stage mounted, performance specified PA system. For a more theatrical presentation, all of these technologies can be combined along with the professional lighting and haze systems to make a spectacular impression. The first floor accommodation has been intelligently designed to offer either two spacious meeting rooms, suitable for parties of forty or fewer, or one large space for larger groups. Each of the rooms feature a large picture window framing the spectacular sea view, which can also slide effortlessly open to reveal a large balcony. The first floor is accessed by lift and the

imposing feature staircase, there is also a service lift and purpose built delivery entrance should there be a need have bulky items delivered to your meeting space. Although there is no stage upstairs the space continues to offer market leading technologies for video conferencing, audio visual distribution, collaborative meetings and room automation. The Pladda room is also found on the first floor and offers a perfect space for smaller casual meetings or interviews with inviting soft seating and large display. There are a range of catering options for events held at the Firth Pavilion. Buffets are a popular option from many smaller meetings and are served from the specially designed servery in the first floor foyer. Food is delivered fresh and hot from the service kitchen on the first floor with table served meals being served from the dedicated and specially designed ground floor kitchen. When booking a meeting, conference or event at Seamill Hydro you will be offered the service of a dedicated professional coordinator, who will discuss your needs with you and communicate with you throughout the planning phase of your event, ensuring the operations team understand your needs and your event is a stress free success. For more information about conference and meeting facilities at Seamill Hydro visit the hotel’s website at www.seamillhydro.co.uk.

The hotel boasts eighty four bedrooms from the simple standard rooms to the indulgent and impressive Glen Rosa suite, one of Scotland’s most spectacular hotel suites, with stunning coastal views to match. Business Scotland



Galileo Restaurant Refreshingly different hospitality at the Races

Book online at perth-races.co.uk

Business Scotland


Just Rock Up

The Scottish Event Campus just got a wee bit better. A new contemporary space to host your meetings at Scotlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national event destination. A bright, modern space, creating the perfect environment to educate and share. State of the art technology, nourishing food, all the benefits of an experienced event team, and situated in the heart of Glasgow. All you need to do is turn up. To find out more about how to host a meeting for 100 delegates or more, please do drop us a line, Glenda.Carlyle@sec.co.uk or Emma.Richards@sec.co.uk. Alternatively, you can pop in for a site visit. The kettle is always on.

+44 (0)141 275 6232 | secmeetingacademy@sec.co.uk | sec.co.uk/secmeetingacademy


New Quarter as venues undergo destination rebrand The commercial business at one of Edinburgh’s most illustrious institutions is evolving to meet with the expansion of its venues and to consolidate all aspects of the business. Formed following the 500th anniversary of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), the College’s Commercial Enterprises was launched in 2006. Now, Commercial Enterprises – which started out as just three people and is now more than 100 strong – will rebrand to ‘Surgeons Quarter’ to mark the expansion of the organisation. When it launched it was tasked with making the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, with all the profits being invested

back into the College, to train surgeons and surgical trainees who deliver life-changing skills and improve patient outcome to every corner of the world. To reflect the new destination brand, the collection of buildings situated around the historic Hill Square, owned by the College, will also become known as Surgeons Quarter. The rebranding will allow for the area to be a recognised destination and to highlight the scale of the venues within it.

Scott added: “It’s an exciting time for us. After great success and growth in our first decade and into our second, ambitious but essential rebranding is the next logical step” The College is best known for its magnificent Playfair Building, dating back to 1832. Other venues include the King Khalid Building, formerly St Michael's Church, which has been transformed into an outstanding 158-seated auditorium.

Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director at Surgeons Quarter, said: “We wanted to create a coherent brand that encompasses all the venues to a single destination area.

The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland, providing training and supports research to advance standards of care for the future.

“Each building is so unique so the rebranding should help us achieve a single theme that highlights the scale of each building.”

Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the College Campus, which includes arts and conferencing venue Surgeons’ Hall. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.

In parallel to the rebranding, the commercial arm’s four-star Ten Hill Place Hotel will be unveiling its grand expansion from 77 rooms to 129.

A VENUE FOR ANY OCCASION 0131 527 3434 surgeonsquarter.com events@surgeonsquarter.com

Business Scotland


0131 662 2080 tenhillplace.com reservations@tenhillplace.com


Book an event for minimum 40 residential delegates between 1st June 2018 taking place by 31st March 2019 and have your choice of one complimentary option from the following: • Prosecco drinks reception (1 glass per person) • Upgraded tea/coffee break with a ‘Scottish Twist’ • Scottish piper on arrival of group or prior to Gala Dinner • Two suite upgrades (subject to availability) • Sorbet course with dinner • Personalised bathroom amenities (amenity drop during their stay)






FAIRMONT.COM/STANDREWS For bookings contact rfp-sab@fairmont.com +44 (0)1334 837000

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at DUNKELD HOUSE HOTEL 2018 Party Nights – Festive Lunches Christmas – Hogmanay

01350 727771 dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk

Business Scotland



When being hospitable pays off In an age that seems increasingly reliant on technology, corporate entertainment remains a key business tool. The main reason is that it helps companies to maintain personal relationships with their clients. In a fast-moving age dominated by the Internet, texting and Cloud Computing, the personal touch remains highly valued because it is often when client and customer are together, and relaxed, that business is done, that relationships are forged and deals struck. Creating that kind of environment takes many forms. For many companies, it often revolves around sporting events, a trip to the races, a day at the cricket or perhaps a meal followed by watching a football match. However, there are other options for the more adventurous, daytrips, teambuilding events, extreme sports challenges, or for the more cultural, events such as trips to the theatre or to take in a show. They may be diverse events in nature but the key to them all is that they represent time spent away from the office and a sense that the company staging the corporate


hospitality truly values those whom it has invited, that their presence is seen as important. Those companies that are prepared to invest

in corporate entertainment do so if they can see something to be gained from showing clients and staff alike that there is life after work. And that can pay dividends.


carlisleevents@thejockeyclub.co.uk 01228 554 700

Business Scotland



HR Plus – Anderson Strathern’s solution to employers’ legal problems Lawyers can be expensive. It’s true. And for many purposes, it’ll be disproportionate to call in the lawyers. However, employers do need quality legal advice from specialists who are regularly arguing cases in the Employment Tribunal. Taking advice from people who have never actually run an Employment Tribunal case is tantamount to taking driving lessons from someone who has read the Highway Code but has never driven a car. So, a solicitor who genuinely specialises in employment law – rather than someone who just dabbles in employment issues - should be used when employment advice is needed.

But lawyers are too expensive…. This is why we have developed a new service for employers - HR Plus. HR Plus deploys a range of employer and employment law talent and skills in a bespoke and proportionate way. Many clients do not have their own in-house HR professional or function, but would like ‘on the ground’ practical support to help them deal with employment issues which arise in the day to day, or where bigger issues suddenly emerge. Other clients may need an investigation to be undertaken by someone who is external to the organisation – for instance, for the purposes of demonstrating independence in the process or because their own managers are reluctant or maybe because their own HR teams are too busy at the time.

But lawyers are too expensive…. We recruited an HR Business Partner, Julie Tannahill to join our Employment Team. By embedding Julie into the employment

services we offer, we can deliver an HR consultancy service plus: Julie will have ready access to our team of specialist employment lawyers, as well as to the other specialists in the firm for areas such as GDPR, tax, health and safety and immigration. HR Plus will ensure that Julie delivers a joined up service. Already Julie has been instructed by clients to attend their sites to investigate alleged misconduct, to investigate grievances and to explore working relationships to identify where failure might be occurring. She has been seconded to a manufacturing client whose managers simply have not had time to conduct return to work interviews or to speak with absentees; which has reduced the number of individuals who are reaching trigger points. All of this has allowed Julie to be the conduit for legal advice and to translate that advice into practical action points which she can deliver for the organisation; and, most importantly, her presence there has allowed management time to be freed up to run the business. The service is of benefit to employers and employees. Employees see that the employer will not overlook those who are not, perhaps, performing or attending. Where particular support is required, that is identified at an early stage and is delivered. As well as this, Julie’s presence has been welcomed by recognised trade unions.

And it’s not too expensive…. Despite her professional qualifications and her years of experience, Julie is not as expensive as a lawyer. Fixed fee rates for days spent on site or for particular projects allow clients to budget. Producing witness statements or investigation reports can, if preferred, be done from our offices.

And despite sitting in an open plan office among a bunch of lawyers, Julie is a personable individual! She quickly builds confidence with the shop floor and with senior managers. She enjoys travelling to client sites throughout the country and getting her sleeves rolled up. She can do work on an ad hoc or on a regular basis. Our HR Plus service is a key resource to a number of our clients but it’s one which we haven’t crowed about so far. When we were asked to write a piece on Talent and Skills, we immediately thought of Anderson Strathern’s HR Plus service. Lawyers may be a necessary evil, but they can be used sparingly. Our HR Plus service means practical professional HR support, backed by the lawyers only as and when needed. Meaning it is not too expensive! We would be happy to have a no obligation conversation about our HR plus service and introduce you to Julie and the lawyers who support her. Andrew Brown

Julie Tannahill

Please contact Andrew Brown at andrew.brown@andersonstrathern.co.uk or on 0131 270 7938 or 07912 120920 or contact Julie Tannahill at julie.tannahill@andersonstrathern.co.uk or on 0131 625 8024 or 07770 686238.

Business Scotland



New President takes office at Inverclyde Chamber Gavin McDonagh, managing director of Holt Leisure Parks Ltd, has taken over as president of Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce, a role he will hold for the next two years. The business organisation’s AGM and BBQ at Gourock Golf Club was the setting for the presidency handover from Linda Scott, who works with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Ltd (TGCS). She was the first to serve in the post as it changed its name from Greenock to Inverclyde Chamber in June 2016. Born and bred in Inverclyde, Gavin is based at Kip Marina and has worked with Holt since 1982 as company accountant, company secretary, financial director and, ultimately, managing director. He has been an integral part of the expansion of the Holt group of companies including holiday parks, marinas,

Business Scotland


farms, fish farms, even a BAFTA winning film and TV company! Anne Campbell, assistant principal of West College Scotland, becomes vice president. Her faculty covers health and social care, childhood practice, social science, science, maths, sport and learner development. Previously, she occupied various roles during her 13 years with James Watt College. “Inverclyde Chamber provides valuable services along with a range of networking initiatives to businesses of all sizes,” said Gavin, who has been a board director since 2014 and becomes the 127th president since it was established by Royal Charter in November 1813. “I’m delighted to be taking on the role of president for the next two years, serving this dynamic, member-led organisation, which exists to support the local business community and specifically its vibrant network of member businesses.

The Board and I are aware of the economic times that we are enduring and the hard work that will be involved in the coming years; however; with working proactively with Scottish Government, Westminster, Inverclyde Council and Scottish Chambers of Commerce, we can ensure that we will derive the best returns and outcome for our membership. Thanks to Linda for the past two years and we hope to build on all her hard work. Commenting on the handover, Linda Scott said: “It has been a great privilege to hold the post of president over the past two years. As I continue to serve on the board as immediate past president, I wish Gavin all the very best in his two years in office as president.” The AGM was followed by a family BBQ at Gourock Golf Club, where members, family and friends also enjoyed entertainment from Scotland’s only virtual reality party provider, VR Party Scotland.


Europe’s fastest growing airline GENERAL INFORMATION

Scotland is also directly connected as part of the ever growing Eurowings network with direct flights to Düsseldorf whilst the stunning city of Edinburgh is connected to Cologne, Düsseldorf and Munich.

Eurowings operates from 10 UK airports to 9 destinations in Germany and Austria. With London’s Heathrow Airport being its largest operation offering seamless connections to important German business centres such as Düsseldorf. At a time when other airlines are reducing passenger comfort, Eurowings is proud to promote its greatest USP; legroom! Eurowings offers 32’’ in the first 12 rows on its A320 fleet and the first 10 rows onboard the A319 fleet, which means that Eurowings offers the best economy short-haul legroom in Europe, while still offering low fares. Since April this year Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiary is the first Low Cost carrier to offer a full flat Business Class Service on 5 of its intercontinental routes from Düsseldorf: New York, Fort Myers, Miami, Punta Cana and Cancun. From the UK the new BIZclass can be tested on connecting flights via Düsseldorf from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

PRODUCT Whatever your budget, Eurowings has a product offering that meets every passenger’s requirements. The BASIC fare, for the price conscious customer, Eurowings offers a flight only fare with a difference, compared to other low cost carriers, guests on Eurowings can still collect miles. Looking for a little more comfort? The SMART fare offers just that! Choose your preferred seat, enjoy an inclusive snack & drink, travel with one 23kg bag whilst at the same time still collect your miles. For maximum comfort Eurowings also offers BIZclass across the short haul route network. This premium offering includes a seat in the first 3 rows of the aircraft with the added benefits of a free adjacent seat, 2 x 23kg bags, à la carte catering, lounge access, security fast track and priority boarding. Furthermore, next to the already mentioned best economy leg room - Eurowings also offers on-board Wi-Fi and on-board entertainment.

NETWORK Eurowings has over 10 bases across Europe which includes; Austria, Germany and Spain. The biggest base is Düsseldorf with more than 90 routes and 40 based aircraft, closely followed by the airlines head office city of Cologne. Other German bases include Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Whilst in Austria Eurowings operates bases from both Vienna and Salzburg. Most recently Palma de Mallorca has become the first Eurowings base in a non-German speaking country, clearly marking the airline’s ambition for more pan-European growth. In 2017 Eurowings grew by over 30% and has continued to do so during 2018 after taking over parts of Air Berlin. This year it means Eurowings has grown by a further 8 million passengers by adding around 80 new connections and +30 aircraft across the fleet. From the UK, Eurowings is proud to offer 26 direct routes from 10 UK airports connecting 9 airports in Austria and Germany. London Heathrow is connected with regular daily flights to Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart, whilst from Birmingham, the heart of the UK, passengers from across the Midlands can fly directly to Düsseldorf or Vienna. London Stansted has 5 Eurowings routes: Cologne, Hanover, Munich, Vienna and Salzburg. In addition the British cities of Manchester and Newcastle, Newquay and the beautiful channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey are also connected to Düsseldorf.

In 2015 Eurowings started its low cost long haul operations from Cologne, which subsequently were expanded to Munich and later Düsseldorf. In April 2018 the inaugural flight between Düsseldorf to New York took place, which was the first low cost flight featuring a full service complete with a full flat business class seat. The long haul, full flat BIZclass is now offered on 5 routes from Düsseldorf direct to New York, Fort Myers, Miami, Punta Cana and Cancun. Additional long-haul destinations also on offer from Düsseldorf for winter 2018/19 will also include Bangkok, Havanna, Varadero, Cuba and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

BIZCLASS The introduction of Eurowings’ intercontinental full flat BIZclass marks a big milestone in aviation history being the first low cost airline to lead in this innovation. Apart from the 1.98m flat bed, BIZclass offers outstanding comfort incl. 64’’ seat pitch and 180° banking angle, intuitive and easy handling of the seat, additional stowage space, an individual in-flight entertainment system with a significantly bigger 15-inches monitor and an adjustable armrest which offers more space for the shoulder region whilst lying down. What’s even better for Eurowings guests in BIZclass is that the catering won’t let you down either! From green Twinkies (Milchschnitte) to Poke Bowls it is the Eurowings vision is to bring passengers a fresh new approach that moves away from the conventional and traditional legacy carriers. Most notably recent cooperations with young and stylish partners are rounding up this cool, but still classy service: Craft Beer from Crew Republic, trendy wines from Geile Weine, tasty Lakrids by Johan Bülow or calming and refreshing mint tea by pukka.

Business Scotland



Dynamic learning for a diverse workforce Whilst many employers place an emphasis on experience when looking for candidates to fill roles in their organisation, there are tangible benefits to employing young people. Younger workers can be fast learners, highly motivated, and can adapt very quickly to change. The work of Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire has been vital in demonstrating how varied the options are for school leavers looking to make a mark in business. DYW Ayrshire has looked to increase the employability skills for the aid of young people who will soon have to make choices about their future. DYW tapped into the versatile

nature of Ayrshireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school age population with a wide variety of projects that school pupils could engage with. These projects ranged from cyber security, to upcycling, to giving pupils the opportunity to run their own businesses within the confines of their schools. All had a large range of units available that could help pupils gain vital skills that will be directly applicable in a number of working environments. Having experience of professional skills will also give pupils flexibility when considering their careers options at the end of their time at school, and could make the idea of entering the workplace immediately seem

The work of the DYW in Ayrshire has been vital in preparing pupils for the working world and for adding to their versatility as potential employees. Business Scotland


more attractive than further study at a college of university. Another one of the projects that DYW aided students with was a horticulture programme, where pupils were given the opportunity to design and create a garden for the Royal Horticultural Society Pop-up Garden Competition. The pupils flourished due to the challenge and ended up receiving a silver award. The success of this project has inspired an increase in the number of pupils working towards SQA qualifications in Rural Skills. The work of the DYW in Ayrshire has been vital in preparing pupils for the working world and for adding to their versatility as potential employees. Over 900 young people have been supported their innovative projects. They have also facilitated 1288 employer engagement partnerships which has generated 65,265 pupil interactions. The work of DYW is aiding soon-to-be workforces in having as wide a skill range as possible to make them effective employees. For more information on the work of DYW Ayrshire and to view their full end of year report, visit http://www.dywayrshire.com.


East Renfrewshire Business Awards 2018 – Winners Announced Following months of anticipation, we can now unveil the winners of the East Renfrewshire Awards 2018, which showcased the region’s best businesses. Over 150 guests attended the most prestigious night in the local business calendar at the Busby Hotel. Hosted by Jennifer Reoch, the guests were also entertained by Edward Reid. The event, hosted by East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, also raised over £1000 for local charity Include Me 2 Club. Audrey Ross, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said: “Once again we are delighted to be this year’s principal sponsor of the East Renfrewshire Business Awards and the category sponsor

of the ‘Developing East Renfrewshire’s Young Person’s Workforce Award’. “Being involved gives our business the opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the East Renfrewshire area as our plan to deliver new developments at Barrhead, Neilston and Maidenhill in Newton Mearns progresses.” “The winners have impressed the panel of judges and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone –they are all an incredible showcase for their drive, spirit and commitment to the local area.” John F Hamilton, ERCC Chamber President said ““East Renfrewshire businesses are vital to the economy; generating jobs, increasing spend and enabling growth. It’s inspiring to listen to and recognise these successful companies’ stories and achievements at the 2018 Business Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists and thank you once again to all our sponsors.”

East Renfrewshire businesses are vital to the economy; generating jobs, increasing spend and enabling growth. It’s inspiring to listen to and recognise these successful companies’ stories and achievements at the 2018 Business Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists and thank you once again to all our sponsors.

The 2018 Winners are Developing East Renfrewshire’s Young Workforce Award sponsored by Taylor Wimpey West Scotland o George Leslie Ltd Family Business Award sponsored by East Renfrewshire Council o First Floors (Scotland) Ltd Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by The Avenue Shopping Centre o The Uplawmoor Hotel Most Promising New Business Award sponsored by Business Gateway East Renfrewshire o T30 Fitness Training Community Impact Award sponsored by CALA Homes West o George Leslie Ltd Independent Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce o First Floors (Scotland) Ltd East Renfrewshire’s Best Business Award (10 employees or less) sponsored by Work East Ren o T30 Fitness Training East Renfrewshire’s Best Business Award (11 employees or more) sponsored by George Leslie Limited o Creature Comforts

Business Scotland



Creating opportunities for Young People Wendy Maltman, Creative Director at the Malting House Design Studio in Dundee, has long been passionate about creating opportunities for young people, and in particular, female design students. This summer, she has put her words into action and been delighted with the results. As she explains, ‘My passion is to support women in the creative sector; to empower them to establish their own careers and encourage them to build resilience to overcome the challenges that many women face throughout life. Whilst there are a great number females training as designers, many drop out of their creative careers, failing to progress and reach their potential in senior roles and that’s something I’d like to address.’

Business Scotland


Having set the successful graphic design business firmly on a growth trajectory this year, Wendy decided that Summer 2018 was the right time to take on an intern to add to her existing team of three. An awardwinning graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design herself, it was to her alma mater that she turned first, looking for a bright and creative student to join her in the Malting House studio, in the heart of Dundee’s cultural quarter. The excellent

portfolio of Iona Sorbie, a 3rd year student in her twenties, caught Wendy’s attention and Iona joined the company at the end of May for a three-month paid internship. Iona worked on a number of key ‘live’ projects over the summer including page layout work for an NHS magazine with a print run of 70,000 copies, and promotional materials for the Association of Scottish Businesswomen, including print design and motion graphics. Wendy was impressed with


impressed with Iona’s work ethic and employability - it’s great to have that blend of ages and shared skills in our studio.’ For Iona too, the internship proved positive and provided lots of learning opportunities. ‘I met lots of different clients and got an insight into the world of business. I learned about the importance of planning at the start of a project rather than rushing in and also the need to review my work regularly, particularly before presenting to a client.’ Iona’s hard work and the way she picked up new skills easily, such as using design software Adobe Spark and After Effects. Overall, Wendy found the experience to be positive in several ways: ‘From a business point of view, having Iona working on client projects allowed me more time to focus on other key areas of my business such as finance and marketing which are vital for our continued success. Also, I was really

Having had such a positive experience with Iona’s internship, and with a marketing strategy set to boost business, Wendy has decided to add a Junior Designer position to the team on a permanent basis and welcomed recent graduate, Bryony Ogilvie, to the role in August. Originally from Edinburgh, Bryony was keen to make her home in Dundee after studying at art college there since 2014 and was delighted to accept the offer to work in the

thriving business. Although she has only been at the studio for a matter of weeks, Wendy has already been impressed with the young designer’s approach to work. ‘I knew Bryony had glowing references from her tutors at college, but the reality of a fast-paced commercial environment can test the brightest young minds. However, since Bryony’s arrival she has shown great adaptability, all-round creative thinking and has gelled with the existing team’. Reflecting on her recent experiences of recruiting young people, Wendy says, ‘While my goal is to build a studio that will employ and support women of all ages, I am delighted to have provided opportunities for exceptional young women like Iona and Bryony at key stages in their careers. They bring so much to the workplace and provide a fresh, new perspective to our work which in turn helps us to develop unique and memorable solutions for our clients.’

Having set the successful graphic design business firmly on a growth trajectory this year, Wendy decided that Summer 2018 was the right time to take on an intern to add to her existing team of three. An award-winning graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design herself, it was to her alma mater that she turned first, looking for a bright and creative student to join her in the Malting House studio, in the heart of Dundee’s cultural quarter. Business Scotland



More than just a great place to shop Gretna Gateway is the first major shopping centre as you enter Scotland; with over 50 stores and restaurants and an annual footfall of over 2.3 million people. In the run up to the centre’s 20th anniversary next year, Gretna Gateway have been focusing on their place in the community and aiming to lead the way on environmental awareness within Dumfries and Galloway. This year, Gretna Gateway have focused largely on sustainability and recycling with only 0.71% of all the centre’s waste going to refuse derived fuel. On site, waste is segregated between glass, cardboard, wood, metals, plastics and the latest incentives include recycling both cigarettes and chewing gum. There’s a visible presence of this, with bins made from 100% recycled materials and wall-mounted Gum Drops to encourage customer involvement. Gretna Gateway have also brought in four bee-hives to aid pollination of local gardens and farms. The aim is to also include schools and young bee-keeping clubs with education programmes to encourage an enthusiasm for taking care of the local environment. There are also plans to install bird and bug boxes and plant wild flowers within the centre.

Business Scotland


Gretna Gateway has a genuine desire to reduce the centre’s impact on the local community and have recently been announced as winners of a Green Apple Environment Award in an international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities and will collect their award in November.

The future is Green for Gretna Gateway. To find out more about what’s on in Gretna, visit www.gretnagateway.com


From small acorns… Founded as recently as 2013, Ogilvies of Haddington may well be proof that from small acorns mighty oaks grow, for they are a fine furniture and cabinet makers that are making their mark in Scotland and further afield. As well as one-off furniture commissions, the skilled team design and build highquality handmade cabinetry that endures, for kitchens, studies and wine cellars, for example. Their growing success is all the more intriguing given founder Ewan Ogilvie began his career in accountancy, before retraining at a local furniture school and building the business up gradually over the last five years. “Customers can visit our workshop and see their furniture take shape, everything is made right here in our workshop in East Lothian,” explains Ewan. “We always strive to make a better product and use higher quality materials than any other company you’ll find. Each piece of furniture is designed from scratch, then crafted with a fine attention to detail.

“Provenance is important to us and our customers, so we use materials sourced from Scotland wherever possible. Sometimes we’re able to say from which particular tree a piece of furniture has been made – this is our ideal, as it adds to the resonance of the piece. “We are proud to be Scottish, and the .scot domain emphasises our identity and helps us to stand out from the crowd on the internet too.

“On a practical level, the .scot domain is a good fit for our business because it makes our location clear to customers, helps us to find other local businesses and for them to find us. “Scotland has a tradition of excellence in arts and crafts; the domain helps us to connect with other people in our field and work together to raise the profile of the Scottish furniture building industry.”

“Having a .scot is extremely important as it sets us apart from the huge number of .co.uk & .com websites.” - crafting.scot

THE DOMAIN FOR SCOTTISH BUSINESSES Get yours: www.dot.scot | #OutstandingScotland Business Scotland




Scottish Chambers of Commerce Strathclyde Business School, 199 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0QU T: 0141 444 7500 E: admin@scottishchambers.org.uk 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: info@agcc.co.uk www.agcc.co.uk Chief Executive - Russell Borthwick IPresident - John Brebner Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry The Mezzanine, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2PL T: 01292 678 666 F: 01292 678 667 E: enquiries@ayrshire-chamber.org www.ayrshire-chamber.org Chief Executive - Val Russell President - Graeme McKinstry Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd Inverdruie House, Inverdruie Aviemore, PH22 1QH T: 01479 810200 E: office@visitcairngorms.com www.visitcairngorms.com Chief Executive - Mark Tate President - Angus McNicol Caithness Chamber of Commerce Naver Business Centre Naver House, Naver Road Thurso, KW14 7QA T: 01847 890076 E: info@caithnesschamber.com www.caithnesschamber.com Chief Executive - Trudy Morris Chairman - Stephen Sutherland

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Eskdale House, The Crichton, Bankend Road Dumfries, DG1 4UQ T: 01387 270866 E: admin@dgchamber.co.uk www.dgchamber.co.uk President – Tom Armstrong Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Whitecrook Business Centre 78 Whitecrook Street, Clydebank, G81 1QF T: 0141 280 0272 E: admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk 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: info@dundeeandanguschamber.co.uk www.dundeeandanguschamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Alison Henderson President - Ian Collins East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Barrhead Foundry Main Street, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, G78 1SW T: 0141 887 6181 E: info@eastrenchamber.org.uk www.eastrenchamber.org.uk President – Laura Molloy Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce 40 George Street, 2nd floor Edinburgh, EH2 2LE T: 0131 221 2999 F: 0131 261 5056 E: info@edinburghchamber.co.uk www.edinburghchamber.co.uk Chief Executive – Liz McAreavey President - Scott Black

Fife Chamber of Commerce John Smith Business Centre, 1 Begg Road John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy Fife, KY2 6HD T: 01592 647740 E: info@fifechamber.co.uk www.fifechamber.co.uk 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: info@forthvalleychamber.co.uk www.forthvalleychamber.com www.stirlingchamber.co.uk Chief Executive – Michelle Cook President Lynn Blaikie Glasgow Chamber of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 2121 E: chamber@glasgowchamberofcommerce.com www.glasgowchamberofcommerce.com Chief Executive Stuart Patrick President - Jim McHarg Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Room 5, Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA 15 1HD T: 01475 806824 M:07939 272787 E: enquiries@greenockchamber.co.uk www.greenockchamber.co.uk Senior Executive Officer - Margaret Moran President - Gavin McDonagh Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce


Inverness Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan House 31-33 High Street, Inverness, IV1 1HT T: 01463 718 131 E: info@inverness-chamber.co.uk www.inverness-chamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Stewart Nicol President - Liam Christie Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead St, Hamilton, ML3 7DP T: 01698 400 219 E: info@lanarkshirechamber.org.uk President: Sean Walls Lochaber Chamber of Commerce 15 High Street Fort William, PH33 6DH T: 01397 705 765 E: membership@lochaberchamber.co.uk www.lochaberchamber.co.uk 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: info@melcc.org.uk www.melcc.org.uk Joint Chief Executives - George Archibald and Keith Barbour Moray Chamber of Commerce Suite 7, Elgin Business Centre Maisondieu Road, Elgin, IV30 1QP T: 01343 543344 E: info@moraychamber.co.uk www.moraychamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Sarah Medcraf President Carol Stewart

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Saltire House, 3 Whitefriars Crescent Perth, PH2 0PA T: 01738 448 325 F: 01738 450 402 E: info@perthshirechamber.co.uk www.perthshirechamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Vicki Unite President - Ross Graham

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Scottish Chambers of Commerce Strathclyde Business School 199 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0QU T: 0141 444 7500 E: admin@scottishchambers.org.uk www.scottishchambers.org.uk @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: info@renfrewshirechamber.com www.renfrewshirechamber.com Chief Executive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bob Grant President â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Tom Johnston

Production & Design Distinctive Group 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 6UF Telephone 0191 5805990 production@distinctivegroup.co.uk www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce 27 North Bridge Street, Hawick, TD9 9BD T: 07771 865 758 E: communications@borderschamber.com www.borderschamber.com 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: chamber@wlchamber.com www.wlchamber.com Chief Executive Linda Scott President Billy MacLeod

Advertising John Neilson Commercial Director Telephone 07813 874970 john.neilson@distinctivegroup.co.uk This publication is also available as an ebook at: www.issuu.com/distinctivepublishing


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.

Business Scotland



Are you the best in the business? Then it’s time to reach for the Stars! Entry to the 2018 Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Star Awards sponsored by Binn Group is now open and the search is on to find the area’s most outstanding businesses. The prestigious business awards are set to recognise and reward the cream of local companies – both large and small – whose impact and performance have helped to keep Perthshire at the forefront of Scottish business. Celebrating all aspects of the local business world, the area’s premier Awards will highlight the real “stars” across our leading sectors including tourism and leisure, food and drink, retail, innovation, customer service, commitment to the community and exporting. Perthshire Chamber of Commerce also recognises the value of emerging talent and individuals who have proved outstanding in their particular sector will have a chance to shine in the apprentice and employee of the year categories. Entries are now being invited for all the award categories and the search is on for the best in the business with the area’s most prestigious title - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Of The Year 2018 - up for grabs. So businesses are being asked to “reach for the Stars” before entries close on Monday 24th September. Industry leaders, Chamber directors and sponsors from the business world will then help unearth the shiniest Stars in one of the country’s most robust judging procedures. Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite is looking forward to another outstanding event. And she urged businesses of all sizes to take the time to enter and encourage others to do likewise. “Each year we unveil yet more emerging and established ‘stars’ in our midst,” she explained, “and our robust judging and interviewing process offers the perfect opportunity to impress. It also provides a perfect marketing and PR vessel for businesses highlighted throughout the judging process. “To be judged the best at what you do is a real accolade for businesses,” said Vicki. “To take home a Chamber Business Star

Business Scotland


This year’s Star Award categories are:

9. Contribution to Sustainability Award

1. Developing the Young Workforce Partnership Award

10. Beyond Scotland Award

2. Employee of the Year Award

12. Independent Retailer of the Year Award

3. Apprentice of the Year Award 4. Most Promising New Business Award 5. Excellence in Customer Service Award 6. Excellence in Business Innovation Award 7. Commitment to the Community Award 8. Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award

11. Business Growth Award

13. Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award 14. Employer of the Year Award 15. Business Leader Award This annual celebration of the best in the business world always proves a spectacular night out. Tickets can be booked in advance by contacting the Chamber office on 01738 488325 or by email to events@perthshirechamber.co.uk

is a true sign of quality and excellence – something that abounds in the companies operating at all levels in this area.

The awards will come to a glittering climax at a black-tie dinner at Crieff Hydro on Friday, November 23.

“As the definitive local business awards, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards continue to attract, showcase, applaud and reward those companies and individuals who are making a difference.

The spectacular event will be hosted this year by Star stalwart journalist Maureen Young and TayFM’s Stuart Webster.

“Every year we see some truly remarkable contenders and I hope we can showcase some real Stars at this year’s awards dinner.” The Chamber is delighted to welcome back leading Scottish waste management company Binn Group as their main Star Awards event sponsor for the third of their three years sponsorship. Reflecting on the “outstanding success” of the awards, Glenfarg-based Binn Group’s Chief Executive Allan MacGregor said they were proud to continue their support for such a key business event. “The shortlisted entrants and category winners presented a really positive and impressive picture of businesses in Perth and Kinross,” he said. “I respect those many businesses who work hard and invest time, money and effort to succeed and Binn Group is glad that the sponsorship we provide helps offer a platform for their achievements to be shown to the wider business world. “The Business Of The Year title and the accolade carries a real punch in the business world. Anyone taking home a Chamber Star really has something to be proud of and a useful promotional tool for their business.”

Drinks on arrival will be followed by the awards ceremony and a fantastic dinner. Look out too for some fundraising fun before dancing into the wee small hours to Groove Culture. Your business could be a real Star in 2018! And it couldn’t be easier to enter! A simple “one question” on-line form with a maximum 750-word answer can be submitted. Either log-in and submit your entry today, or take a note of the question and compose your 750 words in your own time. Then simply copy and paste into the answer box at your convenience. Find out more about each category and apply directly by visiting the Chamber website at www. perthshirechamber. co.uk. Entries close on Monday 1st October.

In which category could your business shine? Businesses across Perthshire and Kinrossshire are invited to enter a maximum of two categories. Businesses DO NOT have to be a member of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce to enter. Members - £70pp + vat For table bookings of 10 or more - £65pp + VAT Non-members - £75pp + VAT For table bookings of 10 or more - £72.50pp + VAT Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Profile for Distinctive Publishing

Business Scotland 13  

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

Business Scotland 13  

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

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