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BusinessScotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce Magazine


Taking Brand Scotland to the world

Meet Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year SCC Network strengthens ChinaScotland relationship

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Donegal visitors wowed by Ayrshire Chamber Showcase

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Showcasing Brand Scotland to the world Scotland’s place in the exporting world is under spotlight in this issue of Business Scotland. As we begin 2020, it’s important to remember that it’s not just the start of a new year but a new decade. A hundred years ago, the so-called “roaring twenties” conjured a decade of prosperity, modernity and the advent of moving pictures. The question is, can we make the next ten years a bustling new jazz age in Scotland? We start with our main feature on the importance of tourism to Scotland both as an export in itself and as a support mechanism to Scotland’s exports. Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland champions selling Scotland as a brand, highlighting that since people often recognise key Scottish landmarks and objects as being inherently Scottish, it would be senseless not to take advantage of this. People around the globe are enthralled by the number of film and TV locations in

Scotland - historic fictions like Outlander have been filmed across Scotland, and likewise, a number of scenes in the Harry Potter film series – including but not limited to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured on the cover of this edition. Elsewhere in the edition, we celebrate businesses who are striving to strengthen the China-Scotland relationship; are pioneering environmental initiatives aimed to tackle climate change and plastic pollution; are showcasing our food and drinks industry – I’m particularly pleased to feature the business contributions of W Robin G Barr, Fmr Chair of A.G. Barr – and who are proving that Scotland is the place to be. It is clear to me that Scotland has the leadership, talent, and ambition to achieve. Let’s look ahead to the new decade as we continue to walk on the path of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tim Allan

President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Featured Stories and Contributors Charlene Wallace

Malcolm Roughead OBE

Evelyn Toma

Liz Cameron OBE

Damon Scott

Siobhan Divers

Hector MacAulay

Scott McCrae

Robin Barr

Chief Executive, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce

Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Scotland and Ireland Construction Business

Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Chief Executive & Vice President, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce

Managing Director, McCrae Training

Business Development Director of Strategic Projects, University of Glasgow

Communications & Events Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Fmr Chair, A.G. Barr

Business Scotland



Taking Scotland to the World Tourism is an important export for Scotland. Tourism also supports Scotland’s exports by giving tourists exposure to Scottish products which they may look to access back in their home countries – opening up potential new markets.

By Malcolm Roughead OBE Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Tourism showcases Scotland around the world, highlighting the very best that our country has to offer. It is also a pillar of Scotland is Now, the global marketing platform. At VisitScotland we’re always selling Scotland. For example colleagues have just returned from a Business Development mission to China, where events in Shanghai and Beijing included a Scotland on Screen media event showcasing the incredible film and TV locations in Scotland, using the Harry Potter anniversary as a hook, alongside the upcoming Bond movie. We were joined on the mission by 15 Scottish businesses representing some of the best experiences on offer to visitors to Scotland, including Johnstons of Elgin, the Nevis Range, Diageo and the Scotsman Hotel.

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As well as China, Business Development Missions run in our other key markets of North America, Europe, Australia and we are working with VisitBritain on a Mission to India in January next year. Businesses joining us can expect to reach the people they are targeting - either visitors, particular markets, or some of the major trade contacts. We make the arrangements, introduce them to the key people, then it’s over to them to do what they do best; namely sell your business. We also bring the world’s travel trade to Scotland each year at VisitScotland Expo. VisitScotland Expo is the business-tobusiness event for Scotland’s tourism industry, creating opportunities for businesses - including accommodation providers, visitor attractions and activity providers – to showcase their products and services to hundreds of tour operators and travel agents from all over the world. This year Expo was attended by 595 tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and travel media. Over 30 different countries were represented, including Japan, Brazil, Germany, China and the U.S, and buyers met with 300 Scottish companies - the

highest number of exhibiting companies in 20 years. A central part of our marketing of Scotland is our visitor portal which more than 20 million people access every year. VisitScotland.com provides everything that visitors need to know about Scotland when planning their trip to Scotland. Securing and supporting air routes into Scotland is also an important part of what we do. Increased access to Scotland brings not only more visitors, but more opportunities for trade and investment. By working with airport partners, Transport Scotland and SDI, we continue to ensure that Scotland is a destination which is easily reached by our visitors – whether on direct flights or via international hubs. When thinking about exports and international trade, tourism needs to be in the mix. We not only provide the shop window, but help to create the life-long love affair between visitors, investors, consumers and Scotland.


Donegal visitors wowed by Ayrshire Chamber showcase We had the pleasure of hosting a group of businesses who are all involved in food, drink or tourism in Donegal.

The Donegal Food Coast is an award winning initiative spearheaded by Donegal Economic Development working closely with the private sector. The visit allowed us to learn what has made them successful and also look at collaborations between the two areas. Whilst only here for two days they enjoyed a packed agenda and some of the best that Ayrshire has to offer. Chamber members were generous with their hospitality and time both on visits and at The Gathering which brought businesses

from both sides of the water together. Particular thanks go to our members The Gailes Hotel, Dowhill Farm, Culzean Castle, Souter’s Inn, AD Rattray, Braehead Foods and Cookschool, The Scottish Maritime Museum, History Tours, and Brownings the Bakers. This was a return trip from the area we had visited last year.

Florida and Georgia, USA. Please get in touch if you would like more information. Ayrshire members can participate in a national programme of trade visits and we circulate all details via our website as they become available. Together we’re working to put Ayrshire businesses on the map! #WellConnected

As part of our continued role in the Scottish Chambers International Partnership initiative, we are looking to join forces with other Chambers on visits to Sweden,

Business Scotland



Ambassador Liu Xiaoming with Michael Harkins, Founder of Turtle Pack

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming with Alan McNeilly and Shu Chen, INTO-Glasgow Caledonian University

His Excellency addressing the business community

Strengthening the ChinaScotland relationship Scottish Chambers of Commerce hosted an Exclusive B2B Audience with His Excellency, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK to talk about business connectivity, opportunities overseas and building relationships between Scotland and China. In December 2019, Scottish Chambers of Commerce hosted an Audience with His Excellency, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK. Taking place at Whitespace, Edinburgh, representatives from the engineering, retail and wholesaling, education and financial services sectors gathered for an afternoon of business to business networking and an opportunity to hear from His Excellency, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK. Scottish Chambers of Commerce President Tim Allan opened the event highlighting

There is enormous potential and a promising prospect for the mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and Scotland. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming

the opportunities available for Scottish businesses before introducing His Excellency who spoke about the many routes to overseas markets mentioning specifically Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the China Britain Business Council and Valentine International Business Connections. The Ambassador then went on to commend the increasingly close cultural exchanges between China and Scotland which, as a result of, has seen the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK more than double within the last five years. Across Scotland, there are five Confucius Institutes and 44 Confucius Classroom meaning there are more than 40,000 students learning the Chinese language. In proportion to its population, Scotland has more Confucius Institutes and Classrooms than any other parts of the world. Commending the number of people in Scotland looking to understand the Chinese language and culture, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said: “There is enormous potential and a promising prospect for the mutuallybeneficial cooperation between China and Scotland. It is my hope that the business leaders

Business Scotland


present today will seize the opportunities and explore new ways for cooperation. Together we will open up new prospects for China-Scotland cooperation and take the China-Scotland relationship to a higher level.” Ambassador Liu Xiaoming then took questions directly from the audience on a wide range of topics including how to make lasting connections and the importance of business to business networking as well as the latest political developments in Hong Kong. Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network is working in partnership with the Scottish Government to boost Scotland’s exporting performance. As part of our partnership, the Chamber Network in Scotland is expanding its international trade services and direct support to the Scottish business community and as a result are developing a range of Trade Missions for Scottish companies including visits to China, India and America. If you are looking to learn more about exporting, access new markets and are ready to take your product/service out to international markets, get in touch: call us on 0141-444-7500 or email international@ scottishchambers.org.uk.


Scottish Chambers of Commerce supports £3 million deal to make whisky in China Scottish Chambers of Commerce has hailed a plan to build a whisky distillery in Inner Mongolia worth more than £3 million to suppliers in Scotland. The deal follows a series of SCC-led events which welcomed business groups from Inner Mongolia to Scotland, under the SCC Network’s International Trade Partnership. David Valentine MBE, owner of Valentine International LLP, agreed a six-figure contract to manage the design and build of the region’s first whisky distillery on behalf of the MengTai Group Co, to be based in Orbos. Mr Valentine, based in Forfar, has said at least two other Scottish whisky equipment companies are in the final stages of coming on board with the project which is expected to be worth over £3 million. The agreement was reached after attending the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Convention with Scottish Chambers of Commerce President Tim Allan and Chief Executive Liz Cameron OBE. The Convention was the first time the bi-annual event was hosted in the UK, hosting around 3,000 Chinese and Chinese national business representatives from 80 countries. In addition to the business deal, SCC signed a business co-operation agreement with the Inner Mongolian General

Chambers of Commerce which supported the transaction. Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “This is great news for Scotland and an early win for our new International Trade Partnership programme which our Network operates in partnership with the Scottish Government. “These opportunities were identified as a direct result of SCC hosting a business group in Scotland from the Government of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. This visit very quickly resulted in the signing of a business co-operation agreement with the General Chamber of Inner Mongolia at a major global Chinese entrepreneurs convention in London last month. “This deal creates a significant opportunity for Scottish supplier’s worth over £3 million. We are confident of more investors coming to Scotland as a result. It is an example of what can be achieved by forging relationships and adding value and confidence between businesses across the globe.” Mr Valentine, who specialises in

establishing commercial ventures in China, said: “Working in partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to forge this relationship in Inner Mongolia was instrumental in bringing this opportunity to fruition. “The project will deliver a multi-millionpound export bonus for at least two other Scottish companies, still to be contracted, for the design and build of the distillery production equipment and for the supply of bulk whiskies. As the project progresses there will be further opportunities for skilled industry experts to oversee the operation during the initial phases of the development.’’ Ao FengTing, Chairman of MengTai, said: “My ambition is not just to produce China’s best quality whisky but one that is globally recognised in terms of world rankings. Scotland is the “home of whisky” and has the greatest expertise in terms of distillery equipment manufacture and know how. So, we are confident that Valentine International will deliver a world beating project for us in Ordos.’’

Business Scotland



Dundee & Angus Chamber hosts Business Roundtable with Ivan McKee MSP Business Leaders had the opportunity to have a frank and informative discussion with Mr McKee about opportunities and challenges of trading globally and gave their perspectives from a wide variety of sectors. Dundee & Angus Chamber hosted a discussion with several key global businesses and Ivan McKee, MSP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation and Scottish Government’s Directorate for International Trade & Investment.

network are working collaboratively to support the many stages of trading in overseas markets.

Sustainability. We’re delighted to be working closely with the Al-Maktoum College to realise mutual benefits.

Businesses in attendance heard about the Scotland: A Trading Nation plan for growing Scotland’s exports, the Export Champions programme and the rich data of the Export Performance Monitor - an interactive analysis tool and information produced to support the development of our new export growth plan.

Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce is leading the work of the Scottish Chamber network in Dubai and the UAE. Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce said: “This was a really valuable conversation with our members ahead of our team joining a senior delegation visiting Dubai to strengthen the links between the business communities of Dundee and Dubai.

“I’d like to thank all of the attendees for a their input...supporting our members in growing their businesses is a vital piece of the Chamber jigsaw and I really enjoyed the insights from all of the amazing work going on, on our doorstep!”

The discussion also focussed on the partnership support available for business to encourage their global ambitions, both in terms of trade but also inward investment. Scottish Enterprise, SDI, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Chamber

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“The team look forward to developing business to business opportunities in the region, and to returning in 2020 as the eyes of the world look to the Dubai EXPO, making many global connections and celebrating Innovation, Opportunity, Mobility and

The event took place in the stunning surroundings of The Jute & Co Space on the 4th Floor at Dundee One - a prestigious office building in the heart of Dundee’s Waterfront, with catering supplied by St Andrews Brewing Co, a local company with significant global ambitions.


Dundee & Angus Chamber explores Business Opportunities in Dubai Representatives from Dundee & Angus Chamber visited Dubai to explore opportunities for Scottish Companies in the UAE. During the trip, meetings were held with a selection of senior business leaders from the UAE, as part of plans for a multi-sector trade mission in 2020. Alongside discussions with H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, industry sector leaders and Global Scots, plans were made to help Scottish Businesses take advantage of current supply contracts into Dubai Expo 2020. Feedback from the sessions have been very positive with many areas to explore further such as technology, gaming, healthcare and food & drink. Dubai is ideally situated to take advantage of not only business in the immediate vicinity but as a gateway to the wider region and the many opportunities across various sectors. Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee & Angus Chamber said: “We are very proud to be leading this work for the Scottish Chamber Network to help all Scottish Businesses uncover the opportunities that exist to do business in the UAE. We look forward to working with SDI and our newly established connections including Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Global markets offer rewards for many different sectors - if anyone is interested, please connect with our International Trade team.” After it was announced that new Scottish Government funding would allow the Chamber Network to explore various new markets through carrying out inward and outward Trade Missions, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce chose Dubai as it’s

area of focus in an effort to strengthen the Sister City Connection between Dundee and Dubai.

of the visit to Dubai along with a delegation from Al-Maktoum College, Abertay University and the University of Dundee.

Chamber President, Ian Collins and International Trade & Events Assistant, Lauren McGurk led the business element

We are very proud to be leading this work for the Scottish Chamber Network to help all Scottish Businesses uncover the opportunities that exist to do business in the UAE

Business Scotland



Ofgem proposes new financial checks and tests for existing suppliers

Ofgem consults on reforms for existing suppliers to drive up customer service standards, reduce the risk of supplier failure and strengthen the safety net Fast growing suppliers will have to demonstrate to Ofgem they are able to serve additional customers effectively and meet industry obligations whilst remaining financially viable Ofgem expects competition and innovation which benefit consumers to continue after reforms are in place Ofgem is proposing new reforms for existing suppliers to drive up customer service standards, reduce the risk of supplier failure and strengthen the safety net. Increased competition in the retail market has benefitted consumers with cheaper deals, put pressure on incumbent suppliers to improve their customer service offering and brought in new and innovative players into the energy sector. But as in any competitive market some suppliers may fail to keep up with the pace of more competitive firms. Ofgem wants to ensure that if this happens customers are protected and the impact on the wider market is minimised. Building on the new entry requirements for new suppliers that came into force in the summer, the new rules for existing suppliers would let Ofgem request independent audits of suppliers’ customer service operations and financial status. As part of this, new checks would be introduced for growing suppliers before they hit certain thresholds of customer numbers requiring them to ensure they have the operational capability to effectively serve their customers. If they fail the checks, they would be stopped from taking further customers on.

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Ofgem proposes introducing further ongoing ‘fit and proper’ requirements for suppliers, to ensure those in senior management positions are fit to carry out their duties, and a new principle for suppliers to be open and cooperative with the regulator. All suppliers would have to assess their readiness for orderly failure by maintaining ‘Living Wills’ that would be scrutinised by Ofgem. Suppliers would have to set out what would happen in the event of their failure, including any barriers to an ‘orderly exit’. This could include the likely costs faced by other consumers, disruption to services for their customers and how they would ensure compliance with any relevant licence conditions. New rules would also be introduced to avoid disruption associated with supplier exit. These would ensure that, when a supplier fails, certain consumer protections around debt collection practices remain in place. Ofgem is proposing other reforms which would help minimise the costs of mutualisation4 for other suppliers in the event of supplier failure. Suppliers would be required to put in place arrangements to ensure that they would be able to cover a proportion of customers’ credit balances and government environmental scheme

costs if they failed. This would not affect the protections already in place to cover all domestic credit balances when a supplier fails. Ofgem expects competition and innovation which benefit consumers to continue in the retail market after all these reforms are in place. Mary Starks, executive director of consumers and markets, said: “Our regulatory regime needs to be effective and proportionate in protecting consumers, while continuing to facilitate competition and innovation. At this stage in the transition to a net zero emissions economy it is more important than ever that innovators can enter the market and prosper, driving benefits for consumers. “The new proposals will create more accountability in the market, require more responsible and appropriate behaviour from suppliers in the market and reduce the risk and costs to consumers associated with supplier failure. “In the event a supplier fails, the changes will also strengthen the ‘safety net’ and improve the experience of customers when they are transferred, so that consumers can be reassured that whatever happens they will be properly protected.”


Not such a bright idea Winter is setting in, and like the coming of all seasons now is the time that a few smaller energy suppliers struggle to survive. In a complex, highly regulated market with tight margins, it is no surprise. But for every small energy supplier that fails, there are several more that thrive. Small suppliers like People’s Energy perform strongly, because we place customers at the heart of their business. We focus on customer service and investing in our team members. Small suppliers like People’s Energy can be agile, unencumbered by decades of bureaucracy. Starting with blank sheets of paper, they can create cleaner customer journeys, cutting overheads and keeping costs down for customers. Companies like ours now rank among the best performers for customer service with Which?, Citizen’s Advice and Trustpilot. But sadly, the few that fail knock people’s trust in the ones that remain. We have seen some people shift back to Big Six, happy to accept worse customer service and higher prices for perceived stability.

Ofgem want to tackle the failure of small companies with greater regulation. We welcome moves to build trust in the smaller end of the market, but these proposals place huge costs and red tape on small suppliers, taking investment away from customer service and innovation. They may even drive some smaller companies over the cliff edge, which is what they hoped to avoid. At People’s Energy we believe that the energy sector is stronger with a mix of small, medium and big players. We wholeheartedly agree with the need to safeguard consumers better, and we want to work with Ofgem to improve their proposals, but whacking huge costs onto the smallest suppliers won’t fix the problem they are trying to solve, it may just make it worse.

Business energy tariffs for SMEs with 100% renewable electricity. www.peoplesenergy.co.uk 01313 701770

David Pike, Co-Founder, People’s Energy

We know that the world of business energy can be hard to navigate. It can be tempting to use a broker to help cut through the noise and secure a decent deal. Many brokers are great, but there are a number of rogue salespeople who can saddle small and medium businesses with bad energy deals, taking a sizable cut for themselves.

People’s Energy want to change that by offering clear and easy to understand business tariffs, cutting out the middle man and keeping costs as low as possible.

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Azuma arrives for LNER Aberdeen services

Credit: Jim Ramsay

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is celebrating the arrival of Azuma services on the East Coast route between Aberdeen and London King’s Cross.

Business Scotland



The inaugural southbound Azuma service departed Aberdeen on Tuesday 26 November 2019 before calling at Stonehaven, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee, Leuchars, Kirkcaldy, Inverkeithing, Edinburgh Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverley, and then continuing the journey to London King’s Cross.

in style and speed than with our Azuma trains.

Aberdeen is one of the first destinations in Scotland to benefit from the arrival of the world-class Azuma trains which are transforming travel for customers and communities along the East Coast route. The new bi-mode Azuma trains are replacing LNER’s diesel High Speed Trains (HSTs) which have served the Aberdeen route for about 40 years.

LNER was proud to launch Aberdeen’s new Azuma service with the train carrying the

LNER’s Anglo-Scot routes will also benefit from the first major change to be made to the trains, with the introduction of additional luggage space in each carriage. The modification will install additional floor mounted luggage racks for large luggage items where some non-reservable seats are currently located, offering extra onboard luggage storage while not inconveniencing any customers already booked to travel. LNER’s nine-car Azuma trains will be fitted with the new luggage space in the new year David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, said: “As one of our most popular routes, and Aberdeen being Scotland’s third largest city, we were proud to introduce our new Azuma trains, connecting Aberdeen with Edinburgh and London. “The Granite City is the gateway to the UK’s largest national park, the Cairngorms, as well as being surrounded by some of Scotland’s most scenic coastlines. It’s a magnificent destination all year round and what better way to get to and from Aberdeen

“We’re also pleased to be able to respond to customer feedback by increasing the space available for luggage onboard our longer distance services where customers typically travel with more luggage.”

As one of our most popular routes, and Aberdeen being Scotland’s third largest city, we were proud to introduce our new Azuma trains, connecting Aberdeen with Edinburgh and London. ‘Celebrating Scotland’ design featuring the striking LNER tartan. The tartan was specially commissioned by LNER in Scotland and incorporates colours that represent the East Coast route. LNER operates three services in both directions everyday between Aberdeen and London King’s Cross. An additional fourth service also operates on weekdays in both directions between Aberdeen and Leeds. The Azuma train, which was also introduced on the Inverness route in December, boasts some of the most innovative features of modern passenger trains, offering customers ergonomically designed seats as well as a traffic light reservation system making it even easier to identify available and reserved seats. The train also offers the very best in on-board catering for customers in First Class and Standard. Customers can also look forward to an extra 7cm of legroom in Standard Class with plug sockets and window blinds at every seat. LNER is replacing all 45 of the existing trains in its fleet with 65 new Azuma trains, which will be completed by June 2020.

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At Travelknowhow Scotland our goal is to help employees and employers to work together and start a conversation about how to make travel to and from work safer, less stressful and more sustainable. supports and contributes directly to the Scottish government’s 2045 net-zero target. Over 200 Scottish organisations are currently registered on the website.

www.travelknowhowscotland.co.uk is an online resource which offers organisations across Scotland FREE, easy access to a wide variety of travel planning solutions to develop and implement workplace Travel Plans and to engage with employees in order to start changing travel behaviour within organisations. Covering travel by both staff and visitors the website offers:

As we get into the swing of 2020, Travelknowhow Scotland can help businesses operating in and around the proposed Low Emission Zones to prepare themselves and their employees. As the roll-out of Low Emission Zones starts to take place, we can offer you practical advice and guidance to allow you to support and encourage your employees to look at the other options that will make their commute to and from work safer, less stressful and more environmentally sustainable.

You can also find us at

specialist travel planning advice;


specialist marketing advice to aid employee engagement;


practical hints and tips; and adaptable downloadable templates aimed at providing cost effective internal and external communications.

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This pilot project is an exciting collaboration between Ember Technology and Travelknowhow Scotland and is funded by Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund and the 7 Scottish Regional Transport Partnerships. We are working with a handful of businesses across Scotland to run this pilot. To register and gain full access to the all available resources, visit www.travelknowhowscotland.co.uk or contact us at info@travelknohwowscotland.co.uk

access to travel planning information and links to local resources;

Funded and supported by Scotland’s 7 Regional Transport Partnerships and Transport Scotland, Travelknowhow Scotland

and encourage employees to embrace more sustainable and active travel choices in their daily commute to work. RIGHT TRACK focuses on presenting viable travel alternatives based on the users current commuting behaviours and mobility profile. Behaviour change is stimulated by presenting personalised benefits, targeted content articles, commuting challenges, workplace improvements and social commuting.

Interested in taking part in a FREE pilot project ? RIGHT TRACK is a new travel behaviour application which aims to support


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Switch to cycling for the Workplace Journey Challenge The Workplace Journey Challenge kicks off in March with employers and employees from across Scotland being encourage to switch to more sustainable forms of transport. The sum total of these journeys will be used to calculate the winners but perhaps more importantly, show the positive impact the reduced car journeys has had on air quality, congestion and the economy. Green Commute Initiative’s cycle to work scheme can help incentivise employees to try cycling to work by offering them access to brand new bikes at a massive discount. There’s no £1,000 limit meaning any bike can be acquired through the scheme; road bikes, ebikes, cargo bikes and adapted cycles and trikes for those with mobility issues. As well as no spending cap, GCI’s scheme does not have any exit fees either. Whilst other providers charge 7%, making a massive dent in employee savings, GCI has an altogether fairer model, enabling employees to retain the bikes for just £1. This means employees make the maximum possible savings available to them; 32-47%, depending on their tax rate. GCI’s pay-as-you-go scheme, Instant GCI, is perfect for organisations who do not wish to register or commit to a supplier contract. Employees simply get a quote for the bike they want, enter the details on the GCI website and ask their employer to pay the proforma invoice. Once payment has been received, GCI will generate the agreements and, upon electronic signature, pay the bike shop and issue the collection voucher. It’s a same day or next day service. Check out our 5-star TrustPilot reviews. theteam@greencommuteinitiative.uk @greencommuteuk

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What can shared transport do for your staff and business CoMoUK is a charity working to maximise the public benefit of collaborative mobility, which helps create inclusive communities. CoMoUK supports all modes of shared transport including car clubs, bike share, ride share and micro-transit, as part of the solution to the impacts of travel. Shared transport is continually evolving and innovating; we work to support and ensure that new modes of transport work positively for the public. CoMoUK has worked in the shared transport sector for the past 20 years and has continue to grow and develop. CoMoUK ensures we have a continued breadth of knowledge and are experts in the shared transport sector. We look at shared transport, such as car clubs or bike share, as part of the solution to environmental impacts of travel.

What is shared transport? There are three main types of shared transport in the UK; car clubs, bike share and ride share. Car Club Car clubs allow you to access a car when you need it, on a pay-as-you-drive basis. Registering for a car club gives you access to a variety of vehicles in many different locations , booking the vehicle for as long as you need and only paying for its used. Bike share Bike share allows you to access a bike when you need it, paying only for the time you are using it. Registering for bike share gives you access to bikes across a city without having the expensive outlay of purchasing your own

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bike. Perhaps you want to try an electric bike or want to get back into cycling, bike share can be the ideal way to do this. Ride Share Ride share can also be called car sharing, car pooling or lift sharing and is when a person offers to share their car and that particular journey with another person or people. If you are the driver, then you can ask for a contribution to the cost of the journey. Ride sharing can be organised informally in neighbourhoods and communities or through formal ride share operators. Some operators allow closed ride sharing groups to be set-up for example within one office or company.

Why shared transport? Shared transport offers businesses the

opportunity to support their staff, the environment and the local community but it can also save organisations money. In the UK, businesses spend millions of pounds on grey fleets for staff travel. Swapping to utilising a car club rather than grey fleet can reduce this cost. Car clubs are already in most cities in Scotland this means, as a business, you could utilise existing car clubs. There is also the option of having a car club set-up specifically at office locations. If you used car clubs in tandem with bike share you can further reduce the cost of vehicle usage. Transport is now the single largest emitting sector and transport emissions have risen since 2013. Taking decisive action to tackle emissions in this sector, and crucially shifting away from single-occupancy private cars, is vital to reverse the deepening health


inequalities and environmental impact associated with the climate crisis. CoMoUK’s evidence base, now spanning a decade, demonstrates the ways in which shared transport is playing an important role in tackling climate change by reducing emissions, reducing congestion and helping protect public health by improving air quality. Car clubs are reducing the number of privately owned cars on the road, reducing journey numbers and reducing carbon emissions. As evidenced in CoMoUK’s Car Club Annual Survey for Scotland, car clubs can: Improve local air quality by using more environmentally friendly cars, which have significantly lower tailpipe emissions than the average UK car.

From CoMoUK’s latest annual survey of bike share members in Scotland it was found that: 24% of shared bike scheme users now use their cars less as a result of their membership. 58% of members said bike share schemes enhance public transport. 31% of members use bike share schemes to commute more than 3 days a week. As well as sharing modes such as car clubs and bike sharing, ride sharing and Demand Responsive Transport also have the effect of removing private cars from the roads and provide alternative forms of transport that may not be otherwise accessible. Ride sharing and demand responsive transport have a positive impact on air quality by:

Reduce CO2 emissions as 48% of car club vehicles are electric or hybrid models.

Reducing single occupancy car trips

Facilitate lower levels of car ownership and encourage travel by public transport, walking and cycling

Reducing vehicle emissions

Bike share schemes offer a flexible, carbon free, healthy and active form of travel, creating clearer streets and cleaner air. Like other forms of active travel, bike share has a range of environmental and health benefits but can also help tackle issues such as transport poverty, improve social inclusion and provide a gateway for people to travel more sustainably.

Reducing road traffic and congestion

Benefits for workplaces Supporting your Staff Having access to a car club vehicle for work travel gives staff access to vehicles when they need them and allows them to consider other commuting options such as cycling or walking Giving staff the opportunity to travel by bike can improve health and reduce sickness.

Bike share can reduce car use and cut emissions and encourage more active travel as an alternative to a private car without the need to own or store a bike.

Optimising your Business Swapping to using a car club rather than a grey fleet can reduce the cost burden to your company. Car clubs can be set up to suit your business needs.

Furthermore, e-bike share schemes are providing an alternative way of commuting to work, especially for longer journeys.

By utilising bikes to travel, journey times can be improved by avoiding traffic. As a business you would also have the

opportunity to consider reducing the number of parking spaces. Caring for the Environment Using car clubs and ride share can reduce the number of private cars on the road helping reduce emissions. In addition, the majority of car club cars are more environmentally friendly than your typical grey fleet car. Your business can help reduce emissions by encouraging staff to cycle. E-bikes can also be used for a variety of journey types and enables wider use of bikes reducing the need for cars for business travel.

Our Team At CoMoUK we are proud of our team of experts. We have several members of staff who are experts in specific shared transport options such as car clubs or bike share. In addition, there are team members who can help with marketing, project management and research. All of this ensures that we can offer the best support and advice across shared transport.

Interested in shared transport? If shared transport is something that you would like to explore for your business, then get in touch and we can help find the right option for you. On our website you can also find an toolkit aimed to engage you staff with shared transport and guidelines as to how to get involved with shared transport options. E: scotland@como.org.uk W: www.como.org.uk Twitter: @Como_uk

Business Scotland


A notable shift in focus is taking place around the world to minimise waste, pollution and the consumption of finite resources, improve sustainability, reduce environmental impacts and cut carbon emissions. This has led to the concept of the circular economy growing in prominence; a process whereby resources, which are otherwise deemed to be waste, are kept in use for as long as possible by either repurposing them into new products to be utilised in a new way, or by recycling. Reuse and recycling have been a cornerstone of the John Lawrie Group since being founded in the 1930s. Delivering significant environmental and monetary benefits to our customers during that time has been core to our existence.

We understand the value the circular economy model provides not only to our customers but the communities and environments within which we work, particularly when faced with tightening environmental legislation, establishing zero waste strategies and reducing carbon footprint. Having identified three decades ago that redundant steel tubulars from the

North Sea oil and gas industry could be used as a high-quality replacement for traditional piles, we have progressively developed this area of our business. To date, we have supplied over 2 million tonnes of steel tubulars for use as piling for housing, railways, highways and commercial projects, which has minimised waste, saved an equal volume of CO2 emissions and helped establish a more robust economy. Reusing steel casing pipe as steel piling demonstrates the innovative thinking required to fully realise the potential of the circular economy. In 2017, our innovation and commitment to reuse and recycling was acknowledged when we won the circular economy award at the VIBES - Scottish Business Environment Awards. Director Iain Laing explains how we are working to reuse and recycle materials. He says: “For a number of years now we’ve been taking tubulars from one industry, oil and gas, and putting them to good use in another, the construction industry, which are two majorly important sectors that fit into the Scottish Government’s reuse strategy launched in 2016.

E x per t




“One of the most recent prominent projects we supplied piling for was the new Aberdeen exhibition centre, P&J Live, where we supplied 22km of steel pipe. “The energy required to recycle steel is quite high, so by doing what we do we’re eliminating that from the process. For every tonne of steel that is reused there is an environmental saving of up to 0.96 tonnes of CO2.” The P&J Live Arena, Aberdeen’s new state-of-the-art conference, exhibition and entertainment complex boasts foundations made from 22,000 metres of previously used oil and gas pipe and casing which have been repurposed as foundation piles. We supplied 2,000 tonnes of pipe and casing safely recycled from the oilfield wells of Aberdeen’s major North Sea operators and supply chain companies to the project. Approximately 1,750 piles were installed throughout the six-month project. The circular economy is not just good for our business, it’s great for our clients and customers too. Knowing that the reuse of these products is making a difference to the environment is of great benefit to all parties.




Workplace health is as easy as a walk in the park Scotland’s national walking charity is boosting employee health and wellbeing with its new initiative for employers. Backed by the Scottish Government, Paths for All is working with employers of all sizes across the country to get staff more active, through walking.

“The advice from Paths for All was really helpful in getting us set-up, and the registration form only took a couple of minutes to fill out.”

From commuting to work on foot, to taking a break from the desk for a lunchtime walk, or going on a walking meeting, walking can be easily incorporated into the average working day.

Wills Bros recognised the need to get their workplace moving, knowing that the average working aged adult sits for 9.5 hours a day, with much of this being in the workplace. Spending long periods of time sitting have been linked with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and poor mental health; promoting active workplaces can help reverse this trend.

Research shows that employees who are more active during their working day are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more focused, so walking is not just good for health, it’s good for business. In autumn 2018, Paths for All launched an accreditation scheme for Scottish employers which recognises their commitment towards supporting their workforce to become more active. The Walk at Work Award gives workplaces the knowledge they need to create a walking culture in their organisation, helps employers provide the right facilities for employees to walk to work, and encourages staff to run initiatives to get employees walking. Wills Bros, a civil engineering company based in Motherwell, were one of the first workplaces to get involved. Kieran Doona, Health and Safety Manager said: “There was a real appetite amongst our staff at the beginning of 2019 to do more for their health and wellbeing, and walking was an obvious choice as it’s so accessible. “We came across the Walk at Work Award and it was a perfect fit. We read through the participation criteria which was really simple and well explained, and we identified areas we could champion within our own workplace.

Kieran added: “The modern office environment is highly reliant on sitting at your desk all day staring at a screen with little reason to walk around apart from taking a coffee or bathroom break or getting something from the printer. “We spend huge amount of our time at work and leading a largely sedentary lifestyle at a desk limits the opportunity for physical activity. Even taking a short walk is known to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce stress, and improves mood. Fitting in a walk during the working day provides a much-needed opportunity to clear your head and focus on something besides work, computer screens, social media, and mobile phones.” Walking more at work is also linked to positive mental health. Recent findings from UK workplaces reveal that half of all employees experience poor mental health at work, including stress, anxiety and depression. Regular walking can reduce the effects of poor mental health, particularly walking in greenspace.

Ian Findlay CBE, Paths for All’s Chief Officer, has urged all Scottish workplaces to take not only their employees’ health seriously, but the environments too. “In our current state of climate emergency, we’re offering Scottish employers an opportunity to take action against rising emissions. Encouraging a walking culture within a workplace could significantly reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint. “From helping staff plan safe and easy walking routes to work or to and from local public transport, to walking challenges and incentive schemes – our Walk at Work Award has been proudly presented to over 20 Scottish organisations already. “I would encourage every employer to consider signing up to our award and begin taking steps to improve employee health, whilst benefitting the environment.” If you are interested in helping Scotland lead the way in promoting active, healthy and green workplaces, visit www.pathsforall.org.uk/walkatworkaward to find out more.


Business Scotland



Connecting for International Growth – Glasgow Chamber of Commerce With the support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Chambers of Commerce we are continuing to build on our existing international partnerships and create new ones across the world. Over the past few years we have established partnerships with Chambers of Commerce in Manhattan, Nuremberg, Berlin, Milan and Turin, taking Scottish companies on business visits to create new opportunities and increase their presence on the global stage. Building on the success of these early partnerships, further funding from the Scottish Government will enable us to deliver a programme of inward and outward missions through until the end of March 2020. In the last quarter of 2019, we welcomed two inward missions to Glasgow. On Friday 4th October, we organized a programme for 20 delegates from Rotterdam. Representing some of the biggest Dutch construction companies, architects, transport consultants, and the maritime sector, their special interest lay in meeting Glasgow businesses who are also involved in these sectors. They were particularly interested in the circular economy and how circular principles are embedded in the construction sector. A visit to the new Innovation School at Kelvinside Academy, a meeting with the Scottish Maritime Cluster and the opportunity for business to business meetings with our members provided an interesting and inspiring day for all involved.

Business Scotland


Continuing a busy beginning to October, the Chamber then hosted a delegation of 45 delegates from the Greater Portland, Orgeon area. The delegation had been visiting cities across the UK on a best practices study visit. A key objective for the delegation was to understand how Glasgow is fostering vibrant innovation ecosystems including investments in research, education, workforce development, entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships. The delegation comprised urban and regional leaders from across sectors, including economic development, government, business, education and notfor-profit organizations. Specific sectors represented included travel and hospitality, transportation, construction, financial and legal services, energy and utilities. Our programme included our work on Circular Glasgow, an overview of the Glasgow economy and business to business meetings between our members and the delegates. The Lord Provost of Glasgow supported the programme by hosting a Civic Reception in the City Chambers – a fitting end to their visit to the city. We are currently pulling together a programme of visits to help you make those

vital connections to support the growth of your company and the Scottish economy so please look out for further information on our website and on our social media channels. We are working with partners including the Scottish Government, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and many others to ensure you have the support, advice and connections you need to either start trading internationally or access new markets. For more information on all our international trade development activities please contact Elaine Rodger on 0141 204 8332 or email elaine.rodger@ glasgowchamberofcommerce.com


An Edinburgh-Shenzhen success story November 2019 saw a delegation of six businesses from Edinburgh travel to Shenzhen for a 4 day trade mission organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, supported by the Edinburgh-Shenzhen Creative Exchange and led by Edinburgh Global Connections, to explore opportunities for Scottish-Chinese collaborations as part of their growing international business strategy. The Scottish delegation included businesses from the creative and technology sectors – HeeHaw and Freak Films while AMPM, Dentons, Hibernian Football Club and UKChina Silk Road also attended, representing the property and tourism sector; legal services; culture and sport sectors from around Scotland. On day one, a city orientation tour was arranged by the ESCE platform, where delegates enjoyed a busy programme of company visits which included Ergeng, I Carbon, Moreline, Merchiston Castle School, Decent, DJI and Silkroad.

China, a strong target market for the creative and technology sectors Day two saw the opening day of the China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) 2019. The CHTF brings businesses and talent from across China together to showcase their cutting-edge products which ranged from robotics to big data and facial recognition technology - among many others. Based at the Britain Pavilion, Scottish delegates attended the Fair, which was of particular interest to Colin Nesbit, Director of AM PM Properties Ltd, a property sourcing company who focus on investment and serviced accommodation. On the bilateral trade opportunities uncovered during the Fair, Colin said: “Suang has developed two prototype ‘pod’ accommodation units - we are looking forward to discussing potential collaborative options on how to take these to the UK market.”

China-UK connections: The B-2-B, core activity of the trade mission Later in the week, the delegation had the opportunity to discover the F518 Idealand incubator located in the area of Bao’an, in the West end of the city. Business delegates presented to an audience of more than 80 attendees and a guest panel, including the Shenzhen Creative Exchange Investments, Edinburgh Global, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Culture, Radio, Television Tourism and Sports Bureau of Bao’an District in Shenzhen city. The afternoon saw Scottish delegates kick off their B2Bs meeting sessions. B2B meetings represent the key activity for both the inward and outward trade missions in the frame of the International Trade Partnership 2 (ITP2) managed by Scottish Chambers of Commerce and funded by the Scottish Government until 2022.

Shenzhen connections lead.” said Heather Heys, Dentons. This mission was the latest step in a burgeoning relationship between the two cities, which goes back to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 and a visit to Edinburgh by Shenzhen leaders in 2017. The Edinburgh Chamber looks forward to connecting many more local businesses to international markets, with trade missions to Dublin, Munich, Philadelphia and Dubai planned for 2020. These are economies that have matched, or in some cases surpassed, Edinburgh’s development in recent years and a great deal of benefit in connecting our businesses to suppliers and customers in those markets.

Upcoming trade missions Dublin, Ireland – 4th & 5th March 2020 Philadelphia, USA – 21st to 26th March 2020

The importance of effective meetings

Shenzhen – 3rd week of May 2020 (TBC)

Throughout the week, Scottish businesses were in contact with a number of companies they visited during the mission and had the opportunity to meet again on the final day to further explore areas of collaboration. The early connections made during this mission have been very promising for the future, as HeeHaw and Freak Films already plan to return to Shenzhen early 2020.

Munich, Germany – April or May 2020 Dubai, UAE – November 2020 (TBC) Shenzhen, china – November 2020 For more information, please contact Lola Nicolas – lola.nicolas@edinburghchamber.co.uk

“It was a truly inspirational trip and I am very excited to see where the Edinburgh-

Business Scotland



Charandeep Singh voicing the Network’s concerns on rural connectivity

Scottish Chamber Network raise business voice at Business in the Parliament Conference More than 200 business representatives gathered for the joint Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament event. In November 2019, Scottish Chambers of Commerce were delighted to attend and participate in Business in the Parliament Conference (BIPC) 2019 - an annual conference which aims to facilitate engagement between businesses and politicians. CE’s and President’s from 11 chambers across Scotland were in attendance over the two-day conference from Caithness to Dumfries and Galloway, presenting the Chamber Network’s business priorities: exporting, climate opportunity and business growth. SCC Deputy Chief Executive Charandeep Singh asked a question on behalf of the SCC Network in the main debating chamber voicing the Network’s concerns on rural connectivity while SCC’s International Trade team hosted the International Business workshop; Alison MacRae, Glasgow Chamber presented at the Climate Change Workshop and Chamber Network members Miranda Clegg, Commercial Director of Vegware and Kieran Coyle, Managing Director of Premiership Experience

presented case studies at the International Trade workshop. This year’s theme focused on ‘Agents of Change’ and how Scottish businesses can lead the way with a series of speeches, discussion sessions, and workshops hosted by SCC, CBI, SCDI, Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Young Enterprise Scotland and Scottish Financial Enterprise. Delegates also heard from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Ivan McKee MSP and Robin Watson, CEO of Wood before participating in a cross-party panel Q&A session with

Kate Forbes MSP (SNP); Murdo Fraser MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party); Rhoda Grant MSP (Sottish Labour); and Liam McArthur MSP (Scottish Lib Dem). First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This conference is a chance to discuss what Government, Parliament and businesses can do together, to rise to the challenges and grasp the opportunities ahead of us. “Scotland is already at the forefront of key sectors, but we want to build on these strengths and help Scotland lead economic and technological change.”

This conference is a chance to discuss what Government, Parliament and businesses can do together, to rise to the challenges and grasp the opportunities ahead of us. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Business Scotland


Bleak times ahead for construction industry Kenny Craig, Partner in Begbies Traynor’s Glasgow office, discusses some of the challenges of handling insolvency appointments in this field. So a significant percentage of the overall contract value can be left hanging on one final payment, leaving the main contractor with a client problem and the subcontractor vulnerable to what is commonly known as ‘subby-bashing’.

With the sector still reeling from the collapse of Carillion in 2018, construction companies are continuing to face extremely difficult conditions. Our latest Red Flag Alert data, which monitors the UK’s financial health, shows that Scotland’s construction businesses were once again among the worst affected, with instances of advanced financial distress in the third quarter of 2019 rising by 30% since the previous quarter. There were also 3,600 instances of early distress, indicating more trouble ahead. As insolvency practitioners we know two things about the construction industry: never trade post-appointment; and debtor recoveries will be well below book value compared to other sectors. Why is this the case, and what are the implications when analysing or auditing the accounts of the average contractor or subcontractor? Typically the industry operates on a fixed price tender basis with contracts awarded by the client to the main contractor who manages the project but engages a number of specialist subcontractors to undertake much of the work. As the contract progresses, the scope of work can change for a multitude of reasons, and while the industry has improved greatly in the instruction and recording of such work, pricing and, therefore, payment remains highly contentious. It is a complex exercise at best, which combined with the number of players involved and resistance to paying over budget, contributes to the blame culture and combative approach which has been hard-wired into the industry for decades. Jobs won on competitive tender leave little room for manoeuvre, so subcontractors rightly expect to be compensated for unscheduled additional work at a premium. Such variations can also undermine the performance and, therefore, pricing of the original contract work. Even when correctly authorised and documented, if the price cannot be agreed it cannot be paid and so it tends to roll up until the end of the contract, along with retentions, other disputes and the final month’s certified payment.

This is where the subcontractor is offered a fraction of the balance sought in the Final Account with the promise of new contracts – the alternative being no payment and a long, costly legal action with no new work in the meantime or possibly ever again! Not a palatable situation in a low-margin industry with bills to pay, so the pressure to accept is massive. The main contractor has similar pressures with the client, but being able to pass the pain down to the subcontractor allows them scope to deal with the client in time. They may also argue that the subcontractor is overstating their claim. The problem for auditors can be where the directors fail to recognise the losses, carrying the unpaid or irrecoverable amounts as Work in Progress (WIP) or claims in the balance sheet. These tend to feature highly in the balance sheets of insolvent construction companies, despite having been passed by the auditors in previous statutory accounts. Even if valid, financially struggling companies are less likely to be able to fight their corner. The generic balance sheet term for all debtors and WIP is ‘sums recoverable under contracts’, which covers certified monthly payments (debtors), WIP, retentions and claims. Once a company goes down, all sums due are effectively a ‘claim’, certified or otherwise, as debtors seek to minimise their loss and genuine cost of disruption while exploiting the position for maximum gain, leaving our QS to pick up the pieces. This muddies the waters as to what was genuinely recoverable or not, with many subbies going to the wall and the poorer main contractors eventually running out of time. There was some reference to these issues in the Carillion aftermath, with one Scottish accountancy firm even calling for some sort of government clearance fund. In the meantime, anecdotal evidence is far from positive and it’s hard to see what new rules will be strong enough to bring about meaningful cultural change in an industry dominated by the paper mountain where adjudication, arbitration and legal action is so difficult. Rumours that the industry is awash with fictitious claims is worth bearing in mind when reviewing the next balance sheet.

For a free initial consultation, call us on:

0141 222 2230 or email kenny.craig@btguk.com

Offices across the UK. www.begbies-traynor.com Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales No: OC306540. Registered Office: 340 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY A member of the Begbies Traynor Group: Specialist Professional Services. www.begbies-traynorgroup.com


We want more companies to take advantage of the awareness and goodwill there is for “Brand Scotland” By Neil Francis

Director of International Trade and Investment Operations, Scottish Enterprise As the clock struck midnight on 1 January and the celebrations for 2020 began, the familiar sound of Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne would have been heard in countries across the world. The global recognition of The Bard’s most famous work always serves as a timely reminder of Scotland’s reach and the Business Scotland


international awareness of our country. And today, that global recognition is being enhanced by Scotland’s unique products, which are exported globally and known for their quality. At Scottish Enterprise we want more companies to take advantage of the awareness and goodwill there is for “Brand Scotland”, which is why one of our key priorities for 2020 will be enhancing our country’s international trading performance. We start from a positive position. In January 2019, the Scottish Government announced that Scotland’s international exports (excluding oil and gas) increased by £1.9

billion to £32.4 billion in 2017. These figures represented the highest annual growth in our international exports since 2011. In 2018/19, Scottish Enterprise supported £1.56bn of planned international exports from Scottish companies, well in excess of our original target. Whether it was a med-tech company selling into the US, an engineering firm with clients in continental Europe or a food and drink company exporting its worldclass product into the Far East, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International (SDI) offered technical advice and practical support that allowed businesses to reach their global potential.


Last year, our dedicated team held many engagements to make the exporting experience less daunting for firms. This took many forms, including hosting trade missions and exhibitions across the world for Scottish companies. For example, SDI organised a Scottish Pavilion at several highprofile trade events, including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And in November, SDI led a Scotland delegation to the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC). SDI highlighted the opportunities that continue to exist in the North Sea energy sector, promoted the world-class companies based in our country and explained how Scotland is leading the way to address the global climate emergency. Closer to home, Scottish Enterprise hosted ScotExport 2019, Scotland’s flagship exporting event, in Glasgow in November. More than 300 delegates attended ScotExport, which brought together experts, advice and knowledge sharing to help companies grow their international sales. We were delighted to be supported by several partners on this event, including the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the wider chamber network. Our 2020 calendar will be equally busy. We are already planning Scotland’s role at the World Expo in Dubai, where we will showcase our strengths across the

themes specifically focusing on trade and investment, culture and education and innovation. Other trade missions and opportunities will be announced throughout the year. All these activities are designed to encourage more companies based in Scotland to consider exporting and to ensure these firms gain the full benefits of trading internationally. It’s estimated that Scotland requires 7,000 extra exporters to match the bestperforming UK nations and regions. We also need to help existing exporters grow their international sales by broadening their horizons and targeting new markets. That’s why Scottish Enterprise’s Strategic Framework, Building Scotland’s Future Together, provides a real commitment to exports. For example, we will support Scottish exports worth more than £1.5bn, with a stronger focus on companies that offer the greatest potential to grow exports. Working closely with regional partners, including local chambers of commerce, we identify the needs of local businesses and agree a forward programme of activity to support businesses to take their first steps into internationalisation.

companies, as per the Scottish Government’s export plan, A Trading Nation. As part of this strategy, we are strengthening our network of overseas in-market trade experts by adding up to 15 in-market specialists focused on the 15 countries that make up two thirds of our export opportunities, and in the sectors that offer the “best bets” for growth. We are also strengthening our GlobalScots a worldwide network of entrepreneurial and inspirational business leaders, dedicated to supporting Scotland’s most ambitious companies - in these countries, and seek to build on the strength of Scotland’s alumni network and the wider Scottish diaspora. Specifically, we are looking to increase the current number of GlobalScots from 700 to 2,500. Cultural icons such as Robert Burns have given Scotland an unrivalled platform when it comes to global awareness. Our reputation across the world for the quality of our products and the services our people provide is already in place. Through our commitment to exports, Scottish Enterprise will continue our efforts to supporting companies trading internationally, allowing even more global communities the opportunity to sample the very best Scotland has to offer.

We will also target specific markets that offer the greatest opportunity for Scottish

At Scottish Enterprise we want more companies to take advantage of the awareness and goodwill there is for “Brand Scotland”, which is why one of our key priorities for 2020 will be enhancing our country’s international trading performance. Business Scotland



Wilsons Auctions is breaking new ground Exactly one year ago, Wilsons Auctions made history when it became the first private auction company to run a public auction of cryptocurrency seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

By Aidan Larkin

Asset Recovery Director, Wilsons Auctions A world-first, it heralded the start of regular ‘crypto’ auctions held on behalf of its government and law enforcement clients in the UK and further afield in Europe. Asset Recovery Director Aidan Larkin said: “We are now the global market leader in the auction of seized cryptocurrency. That’s quite an incredible feat for an independent auction house, now in its 84th year. “However, we are simplifying the process of selling and buying cryptocurrency, making it readily obtainable, like any other asset we have the expertise in realising.” Wilsons Auctions was established in 1936 by William J. Wilson. Beginning with a single auction house, it has grown significantly since his son Ian assumed the reins – it now has 18 sites and it is the largest independent auction company in the UK and Ireland. Its base in Scotland opened in Dalry, Ayrshire, 20 years ago and is run by Ian’s son, Gareth Wilson. The company as a whole has more than 400 members of staff and wields a hammer total in excess of £300m a year, gleaned from the 2000 or so physical, online and offsite auctions held annually. Wilsons Auctions has the ability to auction everything from cars and vans, land and property, plant and machinery to aeroplanes, supercars and designer handbags, watches and jewellery. And now, it is an established purveyor of cryptocurrency. Working on behalf of government bodies, law enforcement agencies and insolvency practitioners as it does, having full coverage across the UK and Ireland is of great benefit to clients. Wilsons Auctions has returned more than £100m to the public purse in recent years. A former investigator with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Aidan is very conscious of the important role the company plays in realising important assets. Aidan said: “Whether we’re auctioning Bitcoins, designer trainers, a five-bedroom property, Rolex watches or supercars, we endeavour to realise as much money as possible for our clients. “We are playing a significant role in helping our clients return money to victims of crime

Business Scotland


or fund local community initiatives, so it’s nice to know we are genuinely making a difference.”

interest of 700 bidders from 69 countries and the final sum realised was above that day’s Monero market value.

Over the past two years, Wilsons Auctions has been recognised at the national Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency Awards held in London, winning awards in innovation and technology and seeing off competition from some of the biggest banks and IT companies in the land. “We are definitely breaking new ground with this innovative service,” he said.

“Being able to offer this secure solution to clients and remove the risks that can be associated with trading with unregulated virtual currency exchanges has been a welcome addition to our award winning auction service, as well as giving new and experienced investors the opportunity to buy cryptocurrencies from an established auction house,” he added.

They are also opening up a form of trade previously only afforded to the very wealthy. He said: “When cryptocurrency was previously seized in America, for example, the US Marshals Service managed the sales in quite a restrictive way.

The key to the company’s longevity and success is its ability to anticipate the changing needs of customers combined with its ongoing investment in innovation and infrastructure. Designing the secure solutions needed to overcome the complex challenges involved in disposing of seized cryptocurrencies is a good example.

“If, say, the assets were valued at £10m, they might divide that into two Lots of £5m, which means only bidders of certain wealth can aspire to take part. “We have modernised that approach with an affordable, secure and transparent solution. For example, we would divide the £10m pot into 300 Lots or 500 Lots and then advertise them around the world. “If one Lot is £1,000 worth of cryptocurrency, for example, suddenly it is accessible for many more people.” In the first cryptocurrency auction last January, 167.7 Monero coins were sold on behalf of the Belgium Federal Government. Prospective investors were able to see the live price of each Lot, allowing them to bid with confidence. The auction garnered the

Part and parcel of the international advisory service Wilsons Auctions provides for law enforcement and government agencies, Aidan attends asset recovery conferences and events all over the world. He makes a point of sharing his expert knowledge too. “We provide training to customs agencies, the judiciary and asset managers wherever we are,” he said. “We ask ourselves ‘how can that government get best value and how can we help them achieve the best outcome?’ For me, that’s what makes the job so rewarding.” www.wilsonsauctions.com

You know your business. But we could be the missing piece that takes it to the next level. Connect with us at bgateway.com




The importance of customer service Customer service is also a major consideration for businesses shopping around for a new provider. Customer advice, support and issue resolution all play an important part in the customersupplier relationship, and it pays to research which water suppliers are getting it right. Reviewing customer feedback is very important, and services such as Trustpilot have become key in the quest to find water suppliers that have a proven track record in excellent service.

Why bother switching water supplier? By now, most businesses in Scotland are aware that they can choose their water and wastewater supplier.

If you’re a business in Scotland, switching your water supplier will likely mean cheaper bills, better customer support and a range of other valuable services – and switching is simple! Do some research on the suppliers available to you, find a better deal, and let your business reap the benefits!

Since 2008, the water market has been open in Scotland for businesses to shop around, but for many the benefits are still unclear and the question remains – “Why bother switching water supplier?” It may seem like some major undertaking, but the truth is that there is very little hassle in changing your water supplier. You could save your business time and money with the water supplier of your choice. The main reason to switch is simple: you could significantly cut your business water costs. With the deregulation of the water market, suppliers now offer very competitive prices for water and wastewater services, as well as lots of other benefits. Just as you want to find the best deal for your energy supplier, you can also find a better deal for your water services.

How to choose your business water supplier When shopping around for your business water supplier, you need to be sure they’re working for you and that they can support your business for years to come. To help you find the right supplier, consider asking the following questions to ensure your provider is focused on your business interests.

Switching to Castle Water is proving hassle free. Honest, helpful and professional advice.

Can your customer service meet my needs?

But the benefits don’t stop there. Water suppliers know they must provide more than just better pricing to win customers, which means many suppliers are providing value-adding services that will help your business to become more water efficient and further reduce your business costs!

Look out for suppliers offering these great value-adding services: • • • • •

Water efficiency auditing Leak detection and repair Solutions for recycling and reusing wastewater New connections, including large sites and multi-sites Provision of private water supplies

Linda, Dumfries & Galloway

Every water supplier should be able to provide you with detailed statistics regarding their customer service levels. Average call answering times will give a good indication of how responsive their customer service is. Independent, third-party review sites can also give a good indication of the overall satisfaction levels amongst their customers.

How can you help me reduce my water consumption? Your water supplier should be actively helping your business to reduce its water consumption and cut its water costs. There are a wide range of practical and often simple ways that businesses of all sizes can reduce their water usage, such as:


01292 231020

• • • •

A water efficiency programme can pinpoint areas where consumption can be reduced Rainwater harvesting can provide another source of water for selected use around your business Water efficient toilets and taps can be installed to save money over time Automatic meter reading can give a real-time view on usage to highlight leaks and/or overuse

Great customer service Whether you choose to contact Castle Water by phone, email or instant webchat, the Castle Water team is ready to welcome you with exceptional customer service – and answers calls within an average of 33 seconds.* Castle Water also has more 5-star Trustpilot reviews than all other water suppliers combined. Our Truspilot page can be found at uk.trustpilot.com/review/ castlewater.co.uk

How can I be sure your bills are accurate? Ask your supplier how they calculate your bill and how often they read water meters. Find out if you can submit your own additional meter readings. For wastewater and trade effluent customers, ask your supplier to provide a detailed breakdown of all the aspects of their bill. These bills can be complex, so make sure your supplier has a good understanding of all the required elements.

Will your company still be around in a few years? Since January 2018, 13 UK utility providers have gone bust, affecting over 700,000 customers. You are entitled to know whether your water supplier has the financial stability to be able to support your business for years to come. What is their market share? What were their profit and loss figures last year? What is their credit score? The answers to these questions can help you determine the stability and longevity of a water supplier.

How do I know I’m getting the best deal with you? Perhaps the most important question. Ask your supplier what they’re doing to make sure they’re getting the best deal for you. Ask about their track record, pricing structure and what they do to provide discounts for their customers. Some water suppliers are tied to the wholesaler in their area, meaning they’re less likely challenge the wholesaler about unfair pricing. Independent suppliers, with no links to wholesalers, can often be more robust in the defence of their customers.

Can you tell me about the laws I have to comply with? Water and wastewater management can include legal compliance that needs to be adhered to. Your water supplier should have a detailed understanding of all the necessary paperwork that needs to be completed for your business to be compliant. Ask your water supplier what consent your business needs for its water and wastewater uses.

Independence By being wholly independent, Castle Water has an excellent track record of working pro-actively with network owners, challenging their decisions and driving improvements. Castle Water has saved millions for its customers, and 100% of any savings made are passed back to you.

Financial stability With financial pressures causing problems for many other utility suppliers, Castle Water has the financial capacity to support its strategy for growth with a highly credible bank group.

What Castle Water will do for your business Cut your costs Castle Water keeps its prices as fair as possible so that you can enjoy greater savings.

Reduce your consumption We’ll help you find water efficiencies to protect the environment and meet your targets.

Take accurate meter reads Castle Water has a strong team of local meter readers ready to read your business water meter. These reads will be used to produce accurate water bills for your business.

Provide self-serve tools

The benefits of choosing Castle Water

Castle Water knows many customers prefer the option to manage their own account. At castlewater.co.uk, customers can pay their bill, submit a meter read and set up a Direct Debit. Customers can also get quick and free advice on implementing water efficiency measures for their business.

About Castle Water

Complex requirements

Castle Water is committed to providing you with great value water services at a competitive price with excellent customer service at its heart. It’s fast-moving, entrepreneurial and has a raft of expertise and resources behind it. Castle Water is proud of its place as the UK’s leading independent water supplier and can guarantee:

Take advantage of Castle Water’s range of add-on extras, from automatic meter readings and solutions for recycling and reusing wastewater to leak detection and repairs. Castle Water can provide all this and more through its network of trusted, industry-leading partners.

Switch today and benefit by being with the UK ’s leading independent water supplier.

*based on 338,886 calls answered from 31 March 2018 to 31 March 2019.


We must step up the fight in the battle for equal pay Nearly ten years since the Davies Review, the government-backed project which set ambitious targets for representation of women in the board room, the ONS report reveals that women in high-paying managerial, professional and senior official roles are falling behind their male counterparts in pay.

By Dr Liz Cameron OBE

Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Nearly 50 years since it became unlawful to pay women less than men for equal work, the so-called gender pay gap persists like an unwelcome stain on our economy. It was disturbing to see that the – painfully – slow progress being made towards narrowing the gap in the last decades went into reverse last year. Since 2013 the median pay for women had been eking ever closer to that of their male counterparts. But figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicated that in the year to April 2019, the gender pay gap for full-time workers rose to 8.9 per cent - up from 8.6 per cent the previous year. It could be that the small reversal is not statistically significant, but it is still a worry. Progress on the last seven years in particular has been glacially slow. The areas of employment where the gap gaped should also send warning signs about recent efforts to see women promoted and supported in the workplace.

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Although the 30% Club campaign group and the Hampton-Alexander review, which succeeded Davies, have reported significant progress towards targets of having 30 per cent or more women on board roles on FTSE350 companies, the ONS figures show a significant anomaly. The wage gap for senior women – particularly those over 40 – has risen from 13.9 per cent to 15.9 per cent.

A broken pipeline The ONS said that women over 40 are more likely to work in lower-paid jobs and, compared with younger women, are less likely to work as managers, directors or senior officials. There’s a problem here which shows that while targets are being met, the talent pipeline looks broken. If companies are going to benefit from diversity in leadership roles – and research has repeatedly shown us they do – then women in their 30s and 40s should be the focus of work patterns and leadership programmes that suit them. In Scotland, SCC works with the next generation of businesswomen in leadership roles through our partnership, Future Female Business Leaders. Facilitated through SCC, in partnership with senior women in business and the Association of Scottish Businesswomen, the goal of the mentorship programme is to enable everyone to reach their potential and to grasp business opportunities here in Scotland and internationally. However, the ONS figures show the wage gap is not restricted to professionals and senior roles. Drilling down into the job role-level statistics, even jobs that are dominated by women have a gap. For example, receptionists – the friendly face at the front desk is a woman 91 per cent of the time. Yet men in the role make nearly £4,500 more per year. The wage gap is

also significant among part-time workers, which tend to be lower paid than their fulltime counterparts and are largely made up of women.

Incentivise upskilling Businesses in Scotland need to attract and retain the talent they require. Focus on the talent pipeline in recent years has necessarily been on young people – with a robust system of apprenticeship opportunities now available for 16-to25-year-olds across Scotland. This is something we should be proud of. However, our members persistently highlight that skills development mustn’t end at 25. Access to people is one of the biggest issues facing our business communities. Firms of all sizes and sectors are grappling with skills shortages, falling productivity and the changing nature of the workplace. We require the development of opportunities to support and incentivise businesses in training, upskilling and re-skilling as well as developing the adult workforce (those over the age of 25) already in work. Recent research found a 39 per cent increase in the number of employees requesting flexible working arrangements compared to two years ago. Flexible working initiatives are the foundation stones to creating modern working environments that are suitable and attractive to all employees, including women. This in turn will enable firms to recruit from a wider, more diverse talent pool and retain workers who might otherwise leave the business. Employers must identify and remove all barriers to training and career development opportunities to support women into senior level positions and enable parents and carers to thrive in skilled roles. We also need stronger government initiatives to break down the wider barriers. Ensuring access to quality, affordable childcare, better careers advice for young people, and funding for high quality apprenticeships and technical education would go a long way to helping women across all sectors.


Businesses in Scotland will need to dig deep to embrace the upheavals the coming era brings We should acknowledge the great work of many of our public and private services personnel who have been at the coal face working exceptionally hard throughout the festive season on behalf of us all.

By Dr Liz Cameron OBE

Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce If you are anything like me, the break provided a period of relief, but also an opportunity to reflect, and begin to plan for 2020 and beyond. As part of our reflections, my experience has taught me we also need to learn and be honest and open in relation to what has not quite gone the way we thought; or adopting revised strategies and actions to avoid costly errors as we plan for our future. It is a brave person who truly reflects and has the courage and leadership qualities to change the direction of travel enabling our dreams, goals and ambitions to be surpassed whatever role we perform in our communities. On reflecting, 2019 has been a bruising year, with a dramatic finish provided by the first winter general election in decades. This came after years of uncertainty that followed in the wake of UK’s vote to leave the European Union combined with the growing trade war between USA and China, resulting in yet more increases to the cost base for many Scottish businesses. Add to this the turmoil wrought by the banking crisis and subsequent recession of the previous decade, and you have a recipe for an underperforming economy and an appetite for better conditions. Businesses in Scotland will need to dig deep to embrace the upheavals the coming era brings. Thanks to Brexit, these include an urgent need to internationalise and target new markets for sales and growth. As old trade rules are scrapped, businesses

demand a seat at the table where they are being rewritten. During this time, Scottish and our partners across the UK business community, have been battered and are crying out for some much-needed consistency, regularity and razor-sharp focus on domestic policies and priorities for business. While the election bolstered Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government with a significant mandate to ‘get Brexit done’, we all recognise we have a massive mountain to climb. It is certainly ambitious to conclude all we need to achieve by the 31st January, but is it not better to ensure we “get it right for business” - I will leave that to the “professionals” and our Scottish parliamentarians who are returning to Westminster this week to ensure that Scottish business interests are at the forefront of all discussions and decisions. Compromise and leadership will be key attributes in achieving success. As we all begin to plan our 2020+ business strategies and plans around what is still a period of massive uncertainty, we must create and grasp as many opportunities as possible. The new broom at the UK Government has promised “spreading opportunity to every corner of our country and levelling the playing field” – great! We have also been promised a rebalancing and increase from UK Government departments to support Scottish Business – great! Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network are ready to embrace and work to develop this across every part of Scotland. Turning our attention to the work of the Scottish Government at Holyrood. Our First Minister has announced SG will proceed towards initiating the process of conducting a second Independence Referendum. SCC

is an apolitical membership network, therefore, will await with great interest what this means and how it will support Scottish business to enable us to grow our economy, jobs and wealth. Let’s be clear to all our political representatives at Holyrood – businesses cannot continue to absorb further additional costs to doing business here. In reviewing a number of draft policies, some of which are under “consultation”, however if adopted, have the potential to impact on our employment market, jobs, productivity and growth. Many of which will also impact on many of the Scottish Governments own strategic economic plans. We have a unique opportunity in Scotland working with Government and Business together, but there needs to be a reality check on the economic impacts of many of the policies which are currently being drafted, considered and worse still – potentially adopted. 2020 must be the year when both governments refocus and balance their energy, expertise and support to domestic priorities for the long-term. Significant aspects of our competitive edge are in their hands. They must put jobs and business high on their list of policy and operational priorities, committing to a major clamp down on the rising cost of doing business. As always – I will finish on an optimistic note - we have the leadership, we have the talent, and we have the ambition to achieve. Businesses are very resilient, agile and we move fast. Let’s all gear up to support one another on what is going to be a journey of bumps, but we are also innovators and can build our own path.

Business Scotland



A question of balance “The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.” That was the opinion of Doug Engelbart – inventor of the mouse and pioneer of the internet and modern GUIs. A grand claim, perhaps, but there’s no denying the pervasive influence of digital technologies on our world in the last century. We have seen phenomenal advances in our ability to manufacture more accurately and efficiently, communicate instantaneously and share knowledge across the globe. AI is making inroads into healthcare, transport, education and other sectors, reducing the effort required from the humble human in day to day life. Mobile technology in particular has changed the way we interact with the world and all of these new digital assets. Having been fortunate enough to work in digital technologies since the late 80s from the early days of Hypertext (HTML to most of the world), DVD and Digital TV and into early mobile technologies, experiencing the pace of change has been astonishing. The biggest change however has been in how we interact. In the 10 years since we started emobix as a software development business, we have seen the smart mobile device go from an enterprise tool to the indispensable appendage it is today – providing effortless access to communications, entertainment, banking, news and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s the portal to our digital world. The mobile is now an extension

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of our existence, for better or worse. The nature of the interaction with devices, systems and individuals across the globe using this mobile communicator is a true feat of collaborative design and engineering.

It’s all good

These advances in digital technologies have brought us great benefits. We can take an MIT university course remotely, interacting with top lecturers and doing videoconference workshops, monitor our homes remotely when we’re away using networked video cameras, or order a new TV and have it delivered next day, tracking it all the way on our phones using live map updates. We’ve never had it so good… or have we? The inexorable drive for more, faster, cheaper and the continual focus on revenue growth is unsustainable and out of kilter with the increasingly pressing goals of sustainability and social responsibility. The increasing demand on our limited resources is concerning. Looking at global population graphs and wealth distribution it’s clear that simply focussing on revenue may not be the most important metric for business in the coming decades.

Digital futures

Technological innovations aimed at better performance, efficiency or new capability are all laudable. Bill Gates once said “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time”. I would agree wholeheartedly with that perspective, but with a focus on maintaining and enriching the fabric of our society rather than just facilitating greater consumerism.

Balancing the need for revenue generation with a socially and environmentally responsible approach to business may seem like a difficult task, but we have some great technologies and tools at our disposal to help enable that. Our public sectors such as education and healthcare continually struggle for funding, and are heavily dependent on physical resources; people, buildings and other assets. Managing access to and effective utilisation of these assets is an ongoing problem, and funding issues will continue to grow due to increased demand on the services they provide. Finding ways to maintain quality of service while reducing overheads is an inevitable part of that process

No problems, just opportunities

We have an opportunity to help ease these headaches by collaborating closely with experts from each sector, taking a more holistic approach to service delivery and processes. SMEs have a key role to play, for example collaborating to define and develop open platforms allowing greater flexibility, security, capability and interoperability, with initiatives such as the iCAIRD AI collaboration between University of Glasgow, NHS and private sector partners. It has been an exciting and successful initial decade for emobix developing mobile digital solutions in various sectors and we’re looking forward to some exciting collaborations in the next 10 years. The future’s bright. The future’s digital. Pete McLaughlin MD at emobix limited, Glasgow www.emobix.co.uk


Tales from a small company Starting your own company can seem like a daunting task. After nearly 10 years of running emobix, I can honestly say don’t worry about that. Starting it is easy. It’s keeping things going you need to worry about! Many start-ups go down the well-trodden path of idea-pitch-funding-outsource followed by either ‘Hockey-stick curve success’ or ‘Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’. It can be hard to predict how things will go – Fortune, unfortunately, does not always favour the bold, despite the rumours.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

So, what’s the chosen path for a selffunded start-up with a less boom-or bust approach, looking to develop its own products but in a slightly more modest fashion, sustainably with organic growth? Good question. I don’t have the answers sheet, but here are a few observations based on a decade at the coalface.

Invest yourself

Not financially. Ok, that’s not quite true – you will need some funding unless you can bootstrap the business, but more importantly you’ll need to be committed, both mentally and physically. You’ll find all kinds of activities needing attention and soaking up your time, in addition to what you thought you’d be doing. From office space to utility providers, HR and procedures to PI insurance. Company accounts to HMRC’s plethora of requirements. It’s a steep learning curve. Figure out what you need to do, or if you don’t know, figure out how to find out what you don’t know. There’s help out there, from your local business support groups to your local Chamber of Commerce. Go talk to people.

Work to your strengths

Figure out what you’re good at, but more importantly what you want to be doing. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the machinery, reacting to everything that comes in and failing to spend enough time on your goals, assuming you’ve defined some. Just because you’re capable of doing something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. Focus on the important.

Get some help!

One of our key strengths keeping a small business going through some difficult times has been our ability to cover most challenges ourselves, keeping overheads down and giving us confidence that things were being handled well. Conversely that

can be a weakness in terms of business development as it takes time away from your key goals, often significant amounts of time or frequent urgent interruptions. Figure out where you want to spend your time and find good partners to help you handle the rest, whether it’s accountancy, web design and maintenance or recruitment.

Do the right thing Be honest and transparent with your team, your customers and your partners. Honouring commitments and going above and beyond to help your clients work their way through the unknowns will reward you in the long term – more so than charging whatever you think you can get for a quick win. Provide a good working environment for your team and encourage participation in the company with opportunities for growth. Try to ensure they have some stability and visibility of how the company is doing.

Get the message out there

You may already know how to market your company and sell your products or services effectively. We certainly didn’t; our business ran almost exclusively on referrals and repeat business from within our existing network. Figuring out your goals, your audience and how to reach them is essential. There are various sources out there who can help you figure out what you need to know; take advantage of that, as it’s a long and winding path if you don’t. Last but certainly not least, enjoy it! There’s a world of opportunity out there and starting a new business can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you’ll have. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, make the most of the challenge. You won’t regret it. Pete McLaughlin MD at emobix limited, Glasgow www.emobix.co.uk

Hold some reserves to keep going in difficult times if you can – you have to be in it to win it. Running a business close to the wire can be precarious, and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Business Scotland



Websites that multiply possibilities for your business The huge rise in the number of people choosing Wordpress for their website laid the foundations for Glasgow-based IT company Buttered Host. Founder Gill Wilson said: “Websites need maintenance, but it’s so often the case that those built on Wordpress in particular end up being left to their own devices.

I want to get to know and understand a business – their hopes and their aspirations – and only then can you serve them effectively and help them reach their goals.

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“The main thrusts of my business now are helping clients maintain their websites updating both the content and the plug-ins, so security of the website is assured – and redesigning websites as companies grow.” During her 20 years in the IT industry, Gill’s roots as a web programmer have given fruit to jobs in a number of commercial companies, as well as Glasgow University. “I worked in a department doing healthcare research,” she said. “Thanks to that and the fact my first degree was in physiology, I’ve got several healthcare clients – I speak their language.” Gill works predominantly with small to medium-sized enterprises, with the latter being her ideal customer. “They tend to understand the value of what I do,” she said. “I do work with start-ups too though. One of my original start-ups has just come back to me and now I’m supporting their website as they grow.” Often her working relationships begin with a telephone call inviting her in to basically ‘interpret’ the market. “I explain what is available out there and compare packages for them - I put it into plain English for them.

Founder Gill Wilson

Her bread and butter is site maintenance and the ongoing relationship that requires. “I’m not interested in doing one-off jobs and never seeing that person again,” she said. “I want to get to know and understand a business – their hopes and their aspirations – and only then can you serve them effectively and help them reach their goals.” www.butteredhost.com

“Honestly, people just sigh with relief and say ‘take it, do it!’”




1Are you a Scottish Company? Do you want to improve your



company’s digital capacity, capabilities or workforce skills?


Why not apply for a Digital Development Loan?


• Interest Free

• Up to 5 years repayment terms


• Loan amounts from £5k - £100k • No early repayment fees

0 10

Business Scotland




Check eligibility and apply online at www.digitaldevelopmentloan.org

New Year’s Cyber Resolutions In my last article I wrote about the importance of companies adopting the governments cyber essentials scheme. This was aimed at organisation that were starting a security programme. For those that are more mature I wanted to focus on some key security principles that should be considered in your cyber strategy for 2020. Cyber Training. There is continued growing evidence that training your staff on cyber security can have a real effect on reducing the risk to your organisation. Cyber risks won’t be solved by technology alone. The human side of the equation is vitally important. The large majority of attacks continue to be delivered via email. Users should be confident in identifying and reporting suspicious emails as well as be aware of how to handle and transfer sensitive information. Training platforms are evolving as well with intelligent software platforms that learns how individuals learn and personalises the experience to each person automatically. The personalised experience is based on their attitudes, confidence, knowledge and behaviour. These platforms are also now directed towards SME’s as well as corporate companies. Regulated sectors such as Banking, Financial and legal have seen a bigger adoption with sectors such as Construction and Manufacturing also adopting security awareness programmes. Threat Intelligence provides organisations with an understanding of hacker’s techniques that could be used against an organisation. It is often a misconception that hackers need to run advanced techniques against organisations to compromise them. The reality is that many hacks are

preventable. If only the organisation had identified the vulnerability and simply addressed, it. We witnessed this regularly in 2019 across our new customers that we onboarded. There is often a weak understanding of their vulnerabilities that our publicly visible. It remains one of the most effective controls you can implement in your security programme. Asset Management is acknowledged as the foundation of any security programme. Essentially you can’t protect what you don’t know. However, what we are seeing is the convergence of more and more systems connected to company networks that the company has no visibility of. This can be anything from CCTV to vending machines and in one recent case a coffee machine. The internet of things (IOT) will allow an ever more connected business for the better. But organisations should have a real time view of their network and be able to identify any unauthorised devices connecting onto their network. Context is always important, and these principles can have different priorities dependent on the organisations size and structure. But it’s also worth companies considering their growth plan and ensuring as they grow these security principles are embedded. Trying to apply these retrospectively can be considerably more

For more information visit www.macyberuk.com or contact mo@macyberuk.co.uk

expensive and resource heavy than adopting at an early stage. We wish you a secure 2020 from the team at MA Consulting Ltd and we remain available for any support your company may require.

Mo Ahddoud Interim CISO / Security Consultant / Board Advisor

Mo Ahddoud is the managing director of MA Consulting Ltd a cyber security consultancy focussed on helping companies protect themselves against cyber threats. He is a security expert who last served as the Chief Information Security Officer at SGN, which manages and operates over 74,000 km of gas mains and services in Scotland and the south of England. Prior to coming to SGN, Mo acted as the International IT Security Lead at NBC Universal. His professional history also includes leading companies like IBM, BAE Systems, and a ten-year tenure as an officer in the British Army. His depth and variety of experience across public and private sectors gives him a unique insight into all angles of cybersecurity


R&D tax credits – totally brilliant – but not just walk in the park, in the sun The Big Picture - increasingly contributing to business innovation By Terry Toms, RandDtax According to the latest figures on R&D Tax claims published by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in October 2019, and projections from those, it is likely that there will be in excess of 50,000 R&D Tax relief or Tax Credit claims worth more than £5Billion covering the year to March 2018. Over the last five years the largest rises have related to claims from SMEs where claim values have risen each year by over 20%. For year ending March 2018, we estimate that SME Claims will have increased by roughly 25% on previous year. Yet, our experience suggests that many companies are still missing out on this vital funding by not claiming or underclaiming. The financial benefits involved and the opaque nature of the Guidelines on claiming mean that taking advice from experienced specialists will pay dividends, in both ensuring that your company receives the full benefits they are entitled to claim, and that those claims are secure.

If you have already claimed for a number of years, ARE those claims secure? We were recently asked to help a large software company (still SME). They thought they had been claiming successfully for seven years, then HMRC questioned their latest claim. HMRC suggested that percentages of time claimed for staff on R&D work did not seem realistic given the Guidelines. The company had thought that because HMRC had processed the claims they had “approved” them. Approval is not part of the self-assessment regime. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to claim correctly. Voluntarily this company reduced the claim by 20%. HMRC then asked them to review ALL their previous claims with the same diligence. The cost was massive.

There are TWO main aspects to claiming R&D Tax relief or credits

The starting point, the most challenging and complex aspect of claiming is understanding HMRC Guidelines. AND how these are applied in your industry sector, and in the area of science or technology

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25% of claims in Manufacturing in 2017-2018 £5bn the estimated final amount claimed in 2017-2018

Over 300,000 claims since the schemes started in 2000 £26.9bn in tax relief claimed since the schemes started

Almost 1/5 of the total benefit from the schemes were claimed in 2017-18

Some more interesting statistics

24% of claims in Information and Communication in 2017-2018 23% of claimants in 2016-17 were First Time Applicants

in which the R&D work has been done or attempted. People apply their own definitions of R&D, which may well differ from the HMRC Guidelines and the laws on which they are based. The Guidelines help companies establish what R&D work can be claimed and where the R&D begins and ends. The rest is a more straight forward exercise of gathering the qualifying costs, which are, of course, also subject to specific HMRC Guidelines.

We work closely with more than 400 firms of practicing accountants to bring our specialist expertise to help their clients For many accountancy firms we act as their R&D Tax department. In our last financial year, our 35 specialists advised and assisted 685 companies make 783 claims, and we have helped with around 4,000 claims over the last seven and a half years, gaining in excess of £128million for 1,200 companies.


Some Tips on selecting an R&D Tax Consultancy service provider percentages of qualifying costs. There are many good reasons why our policy of being “Fair and Flexible on Fees” is in the best interests of clients.

Ensure that you understand exactly what service Consultancies can provide and their Terms of Business. Not all consultancies are equal in capability, expertise or in the service they provide. In some cases, Consultancies will indicate that they do NOT give tax advice. Strange, but true. Some will not give you a copy the claim details for approval before submission to HMRC and some will not return fees paid if there is an HMRC request for money back, at some time in the future. Some will give very direct assistance with claim narratives and gathering costs, while some expect you to do all or most of the work yourselves. We are a “Full Service Provider” and will reduce fees if there is part of the service you do not require. To what extent are different R&D Consultancies being genuinely “Fair and flexible on Fees”? Typical Percentage Fee rates of between 20% and 40% or more of benefit are charged by many leading Consultancies. We differ, and In the last year, our fees ranged from 1.75% to maximum 18% of client benefit. Often, we will charge a fixed fee based on the split of work being done on the clam by the client and by ourselves. We feel that the industry custom of quoting “percentage fees” rather than “fixed rates” based on share and amount of work can be unfair to clients, and is potentially NOT in the interests of other taxpayers. Where percentages are used, be careful, as some Consultancies quote percentage of benefit gained and other are quoting

Work with specialists who have good expertise in your industry sector, are represented on the HMRC R&D Tax Consultative Committee and operate to the very highest level of ethical standards. This will often mean that they must question you in detail to ensure compliance, which is much less arduous than facing later HMRC enquiries. In a recent case, after the scoping exercise involving a medium sized claim for an innovative technology company, the Finance Director commented “Your charge is one third of our previous provider, and yet they questioned NOTHING”.

Testimonials Mvine Limited “We thought our R&D Tax Credits were well under control. However, RandDTax were able to show us exactly how to get everything we were entitled to, and when we were entitled to it. As a company investing heavily in developing very ambitious, intelligent customer service IT portals it was very rewarding to find that the UK government would give us tax credits in cash equal to roughly 33% of our qualifying R&D spend. This has been a great help and I would be very happy to recommend the RandDTax team to any company investing in innovation. Our normal tax advisers do a great job for us for most areas of tax, but when it comes to R&D Tax Credits it pays to engage dedicated, highly experienced specialists.” Frank Joshi, MD.

Sales pitches such as “we will maximise your claim”, “we can make an uplift on the claim you have already made” or “We push the envelope on claims”, should be viewed with extreme caution. Clearly, claiming companies should receive everything they are entitled to claim. Make sure YOU understand the Guidelines and what you claim does not cause you any lack of sleep. Your chosen specialist should ensure that you understand the HMRC Guidelines and how they apply to your business. Overclaiming tax relief or tax credits is not a victimless crime. Money does not grow on trees.

Please get in touch for a FREE assessment

Condies – Chartered Accountants “We have worked with RandDTax for close to four years and many of our clients have benefitted from their services. They are especially good at recognising, scoping and describing qualifying R&D while our clients are often unsure of the valid interpretation of all the technical HMRC rules and guidelines. RandDTax help make the claim process simple, secure and fast. We found that on average, R&D specialist consulting firms will charge between 20% to 35% of tax recovered or tax credits paid, whereas the RandDTax charge is much lower – so great value for money.” Ian Condie, Senior Partner.

Terry Toms - RandDTax 01483 808301 terrytoms@randdtax.co.uk www.randdtax.co.uk

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Gold mark for top IT firm Leading IT and Communications specialist ITWORX has topped off an already very successful year with a national award. ITWORX was awarded Partner of the Year for UK & Ireland at DattoCon19, Datto’s fifth annual European partners conference attended by more than 850 managed service providers from 25 countries.

can achieve with the right technology. ITWORX has been collaborating with Datto since 2013 to provide its clients with marketleading Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solutions.

Each year, the Golden Datto awards are presented to the best of the best among Datto’s partner community. “Our partners are critical to the small and medium-sized business community, and we’re proud to honor the top performing partners with the Golden Datto awards at the event each year” said Rob Rae, Vice President of business development at Datto.

Alison Stewart, Commercial Manager with ITWORX, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by Datto at this level. ITWORX further strengthened its competency and expertise in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, having achieved Blue Partner status through the Datto Global Partner Program in 2018. We are proud to have been the first IT company headquartered in Scotland to achieve this top tier partnership level, joining the top 5% of Datto partners worldwide.”

As the world’s leading provider of IT solutions delivered by managed service providers (MSPs), Datto believes there is no limit to what small and medium businesses

With statistics continuing to show the risk of

cyber-attack on the increase, ransomware protection remains at the forefront of many business owner’s security roadmaps. Our team of highly skilled engineers work closely with the Datto team in supporting business globally to ensure all our clients remain protected with optimum data recovery solutions. “In one call to the ITWORX service desk,” she said, “our engineers can have your business systems back up and running in significantly less time than traditional methods, resulting in minimal downtime and commercial impact in the unfortunate event of an attack.”

E-Max Systems: Manufacturing software solutions that deliver E-Max ERP software manages all the critical elements of manufacturing and engineering, from initial enquiry through to invoicing, so you can deliver quality items on time, every time, at minimal cost. Packed with functionality rarely seen in off the-shelf packages, E-Max ERP enables you to bring together and streamline your core business functions, saving you time, money and resource. And because we understand every SME is unique, we’ve created flexible software that works with you, so you don’t need to change your successful processes to benefit from E-Max ERP.

To find out more about what E-Max ERP can offer your company Call us on 0141 644 4424 or Email us at jason@emax-systems.co.uk

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Don’t get caught in the rain! Headquartered in Aberdeen with regional offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Mother Technologies Ltd is a well-established IT and telecom services provider. The firm has 20 members of staff and an annual turnover of around £2.5m. The majority of its customers are small to medium-sized businesses with completely outsourced IT support functions. Companies are increasingly choosing to farm out their IT departments, opting instead for all the comfort and support vouchsafed by a Cloud services provider. But they need to look before they leap, warns Steve Redhead, managing director of Mother Technologies, because the devil is so often in the detail. “Right now, we are finding that people are getting caught out big time by the Cloud,” he said. “By that I mean they are being wooed by headline figures which appear to be attractive, but don’t necessarily reveal the full picture or the full impact of what they are about to do.” Frequently advertisers offering Cloud services only highlight one element, or the element they are trying to promote, rather than everything the customer really needs to consider if they are moving to the Cloud, perhaps because the whole service isn’t within the remit of the would-be provider. And the big one, the hidden cost that can suddenly emerge from the shadows, is the cost of actually connecting to the data centre-cum-host that is no longer on their own premises. They are going to have to multiply their connectivity ten-fold in terms of capacity and in terms of resilience. However, customers often haven’t been advised about the need for a strong

There is one particularly good piece of news for those thinking about migrating to the Cloud some time soon and that is the Government has set aside just short of £68m worth of support. Around £52m of that had already been paid out by the end of October, but that means there are still millions left in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. In a nut shell, companies preparing to make the move can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 to offset the cost of the leased line installation. “In our experience,” he said, “when we are applying for the vouchers for our customers we are getting the full £2,500 almost every time and that’s a good saving in anybody’s book.”

connection and hence haven’t budgeted for the significant cost involved. They are left to figure that out for themselves. “Here at Mother Technologies, though, we are a solutions company with IT, telecommunications, the Cloud and connectivity in our portfolio and as such, we support them from data centre to desktop – and we are always, always up front about how much that is going to cost,” he said.

The arguments in favour of migration are compelling. For starters, it replaces capital expenditure with a steady drip of monthly outlay that, while not necessarily being a cheaper alternative in the long run, allows businesses to keep their money in the bank. Steve said: “Every three or four years businesses have huge spends to replenish hardware, and then there’s the large sums needed for back-up facilities and break fixes, the type of thing that happens unexpectedly… “So it’s no wonder that so many businesses are saying ‘to hell with this’. They don’t want to have to look after a huge amount of tech. “They want to outsource all that to a support centre, rent the equipment and have one flat figure they can budget with.”

Steve Redhead Managing director of Mother Technologies www.mother.uk.net

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Effective GDPR awareness training for your business is essential

Human error is to blame for 88% of UK data breaches – not cyber-attacks as most think. And 37% of those are caused by sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient - mostly via email. iCaaS offers training as part of their comprehensive software solution as they know how important it is to minimise the risk of data breaches to avoid fines and reputational damage. Get GDPR savvy in under an hour with the easy-to-use software solution. The startling statistics on data breaches were gathered from a Freedom of Information Request by risk providers Kroll, to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) the data watchdog. The personal data covered included heath, financial, employment and criminal record information.

To achieve this, it is important to establish effective training programmes for employees and implement technologies that secure the most sensitive data, no matter where it is kept.

Anyone processing personal information on behalf of an organisation must undertake at least basic data protection awareness training for the organisation to comply with the law. The GDPR applies to all organisations within the EU and also those based outside the EU who offer goods and services to EU citizens or who monitor EU citizens behaviour within the EU.

What these astonishing statistics shows is that the message is simply not getting through to businesses about the dangers of ignoring GDPR.

Risks of not training staff By failing to train staff in GDPR, businesses run the risk of falling foul of the ICO, who have the powers to impose hefty fines.

How iCaaS can help minimise risks

And it’s worth remembering that it’s not only customer-facing staff who should have effective training to limit slip-ups in data protection – but also all staff in businesses

The GDPR states that organisations must adopt appropriate policies, procedures and processes to ensure compliance or risk large fines.

The training awareness course offered by iCaaS provides users with online video ‘awareness training’. There will be a short multiple-choice exam at the end of each

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who handle personal data should have adequate awareness training.


Ignoring GDPR and not providing effective training for your staff leaves your businesses vulnerable to data breaches. Our software provides the perfect solution.

Nicola Hartland, iCaaS CEO

module with easy-to-understand questions. The complete training management includes: user management; training status; full reports with scores and progress and a GDPR training audit trail. A regular programme of awareness training allows your employees to keep on track with the requirements of GDPR. Article 39 and 47 of the regulation places security awareness training of employees as a central goal. The training courses provides up-to-date GDPR Awareness Training which is always kept updated when new guidance is issued by the ICO, helping to future-proof your company’s GDPR compliance. The iCaaS GDPR online awareness training course is designed to be simple and easy to use. We provide you and your staff with a comprehensive online training resource around GDPR. You will learn the key facts surrounding the regulation and provide your business with a complete online audit trail as standard. All this is delivered via the training management system. Minimise the risk of data breaches with effective training to avoid fines and reputational damage. Our GDPR awareness training is a comprehensive online course made up of 9 training video modules. At the end of each module you will be asked two simple questions from a pool of multiple choice questions to make sure you have understood clearly what you have learnt. The course is used to train all employees around GDPR and provide annual GDPR refresher training. The engaging and professional content is delivered to employees and is easy-to-understand. Employees can be provided with access to the training from the management console where you can ensure that training has been completed and analyse exam results, creating an audit trail of your staff GDPR training. Access to the iCaaS GDPR awareness course is priced at £17.99 a month. This includes access to the training management software which allows you to enrol nominated staff, report on their progress and create a body of evidence

required when demonstrating compliance to the ICO. Included in the monthly price is two training tokens, allowing two members of staff to access and complete the training course. Additional tokens can be purchased depending on the number of employees that require GDPR awareness training.

About iCaaS

iCaaS CEO Nicola Hartland said: “Ignoring GDPR and not providing effective training for your staff leaves your businesses vulnerable to data breaches. “Our software provides the perfect solution.” Hartland was running her own business when she discovered there was nothing else on the market offering a suitable GDPR solution After investment of more than £1.3 million from a range of investors and more than two years of research, the company launched an advanced software model. Hartland managed to raise the investment while maintaining a majority share in the business, which is valued at more than £3 million. Hartland says: “When I started my own business, there was just nothing available on the market to help me with GDPR. So I set about finding my own solution to the problem.”

What can businesses do?

A recent paper by Osterman Research reports that less than half of organisations train their employees on GDPR. Just 42% of organisations train their employees. Companies across all sectors, inside and outside the EU, had to meet the GDPR’s stringent data privacy and security requirements. Making sure that all employees have GDPR employee training is a key feature of the requirements of the regulation.

Businesses must also prioritise awareness and ongoing training to ensure that everybody in the organisation knows how to handle data securely. It’s almost impossible to make a network completely secure and unbreachable and that is not what GDPR requires of companies. But what can be done is the ability to minimise the risk of human error. Undertaking awareness training also creates a feeling of ownership of the needs of GDPR compliance, making it a whole organisational exercise. Crucially, businesses risk losing customer trust if they are prone to data breaches and cannot be relied upon to handle and maintain their personal data securely and in a responsible manner. The lack of training increases the risk of human errors that can lead to data breaches. It is better for companies to prevent breaches instead of simply reacting when they do. Businesses need to make sure they not only implement effective GDPR training as a priority for staff but also make sure it is ongoing, practical and relevant to their organisation. iCaaS has formed strategic partnerships with companies including IRIS, Nominet and ICPA and offers an excellent value-add benefit for their customers and an additional revenue stream for their business. Russell Haworth, CEO & Executive Director of Nominet said: “iCaaS offers a unique solution to a complex problem. We decided to partner with iCaaS because they offer a sophisticated yet easy-to-use software that manages and maintains GDPR compliance for businesses of all sizes” For further information go to www.myicaas.com

There are practical steps that businesses can take to ensure they are aligned with GDPR requirements. It’s important that everybody in the organisation knows how to handle data securely and know what to look out for when it comes to the threats to the network.

Business Scotland



The hidden element of operational resilience The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) are placing greater demand on insurance services to manage cyber risk and ensure compliance with operational resilience regulations. Intqual-pro, a global leading cyber security specialist, are urging insurance firms to raise cyber security awareness – a common oversight of resilience. The threat presented by cyber attacks is nothing new. In 2014, Andrew Gracie, Executive Director, Resolution, Bank of England, highlighted the need for more effective cyber risk management at the British Bankers’ Association Cyber Conference. “The capabilities of these actors, and thus the nature of the threat, are rapidly evolving – barriers to entry are low in cyber space and attacks are readily scalable. Low level attacks are now not isolated events but continuous. Unlike physical attacks that are localised, these attacks are international and know no boundaries.” And in 2017, the risk of cyber was explored by Charlotte Gerken, Director, Supervisory Risk Specialists, at the Operational Risk Europe 2017 Conference.

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“The cyber threat is particularly and peculiarly challenging and clearly of increasing concern to all of us. The chart from the Bank’s H2 2016 systemic risk survey shows 28% of firms citing cyber attacks amongst the most challenging risks they have to manage.” With a clear indication of a need for increased cyber security skills and awareness, Intqual-pro are encouraging firms to sign up to their initiative, Cyber Stars. The specialist training provider stated. “It is common-place to have defences for physical attacks or environmental risks – such as a robbery or flood – but when it comes to cyber threats, we rely too heavily on system infrastructure. Whilst these systems have significant importance, the leading cause of successful cyber attacks (around 90%) is human error. As humans we are vulnerable and this, unfortunately, plays to the advantage of

a cyber criminal. These malicious actors can easily find valuable information about an organisation or individual online and manipulate it to create a sophisticated cyber attack, which many would not have a second thought about. Now more than ever, it has never been more essential for us to be cyber aware.” The Cyber Stars Initiative was developed by Intqual-pro in 2014 and has since seen organisations from all stretches of the globe sign up. Unlike other cyber security awareness programmes, Cyber Stars offers a sustainable solution in an ever-evolving threat landscape. To learn more or to find out how to join the Cyber Stars Initiative, visit www.intqual-pro.com/cyber-stars or contact cyber@intqual-pro.com.



CGI unveils scheme to reforest land in Scottish Borders to tackle climate change Technology firm CGI has revealed a new UK-wide initiative – No Planet B – to plant one tree for every UK-based employee. CGI’s new UK-wide initiative, entitled No Planet B, will see 5,500 trees planted in the Scottish Borders – one for every CGI worker in the UK. Coinciding with National Tree Week, the scheme to reforest land is in partnership with Forest Carbon and the Borders Forest Trust. Lindsay McGranaghan, CGI’s Business Unit Leader in Scotland, planted the first of thousands of native trees and shrubs – including Birch, Oak, Rowan and Willow – on former farmed land owned by Borders Forest Trust at Talla and Gameshope Estate, near Tweedsmuir, Peeblesshire. Lindsay said she was “extremely proud” that the Borders – where CGI has one of its four offices in Scotland – had been chosen as the ideal UK site to plant the 5,500 trees. Lindsay was joined by Michael Herron, Leader of CGI UK’s Government Business Unit and senior leader responsible for Environmental Issues in the UK, Corporate Social Responsibility Lead Philippa Green, James Hepburne Scott, co-founder and director of Forest Carbon, and Andy Wilson, site officer for Borders Forest Trust. Site officer for Borders Forest Trust, Andy Wilson said: “(The) Trust bought the 1800 hectare Talla and Gameshope Estate in 2004 with the aim of ecological restoration on a

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landscape scale. The first phase of this was completed in 2019 with 45 hectares of native broadleaf woodland. We are delighted that CGI has contributed to the second phase of this programme.” Michael Herron, CGI senior leader responsible for Environmental Issues in the UK added: “It’s really important that we make climate change our business and, as a corporate body, do everything we can to help tackle it. As well as supporting our environment, trees do so much for the wellbeing of our communities, our clients and our members.” James Hepburne Scott, of Forest Carbon, who are working in partnership with CGI and the Borders Forest Trust said: “Forest Carbon has been creating new woodlands in the UK on behalf of companies since 2006. We make sure the right trees are planted in the right place. We are delighted that CGI has chosen to plant 5,500 native trees in the Borders, and hope more firms will get behind forwardthinking initiatives like these that offer tangible social and environmental benefits.” The move followed a consultation by Tara McGeehan, President of CGI’s UK Operations, who asked its UK workforce their opinion as to the best way to show CGI’s commitment to supporting the environment and tackling climate issues. CGI’s members

backed the idea to plant a tree for each of CGI’s 5,500 UK employees, thereby offsetting the carbon emissions from the firm’s flights to and from the UK for 2018. Tara said: “We are proud to support National Tree Week and encourage communities across the UK to get planting trees to help the environment. Many thanks also go to Forest Carbon as well as the Borders Forest Trust for helping us secure the perfect site to plant our 5,500 trees for our 5,500 UK members.” More than 2,500 saplings have also been made available for members to plant in parks, schools, care homes and nature reserves they have nominated as part of the scheme. So far, nearly 70 members have applied, and more are being encouraged to take part. Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, said “Protecting the environment is one of our core priorities at the Council and I am delighted our IT partners at CGI are undertaking this very generous gesture to contribute to our beautiful landscape in the Scottish Borders.”


Moray Chamber Members collaborate on initiative to recycle local plastic waste One simple way to express the concept of a circular economy is that it is designed to reduce the demand for raw materials in products; to encourage reuse, repair and manufacture by designing and selling products and materials to last as long as possible; and to recycle waste and energy to maximise the value of any waste that is generated. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, our human footprint in the natural world has never been more significant. Plastic pollution across the globe can no longer be hidden in the poverty-stricken communities of third world industrial ghettos. It is attacking our lives with ferocious disregard of class or culture and we are wearing, breathing and eating polymer everywhere we turn. However, it is not the material that is the problem but the way we manage it. Moray Reach Out a ​ nd ReBOOT are both social enterprises who provide training and employment opportunities for vulnerable people in the local area. From an idea hatched back in 2016 by respective business managers Shona Radojkovic and Lee Mcgrath the R ​ ​each O ​ ​ut A ​ ​nd ​R​eboot (Plastics & Waste) Project - ROAR - has been running since February 2019.

ROAR i​s looking at ways the plastics collected by both organisations can be recycled into products made by their service users and sold back into the local economy. The project has funding from ​The Scottish Rural Network​and Moray Reach Out to conduct an 18-month feasibility study on the potential to develop sustainable goods from recycled plastics that support reducing waste, littering and the carbon footprint. Moray Reach Out has a well-established ​ PET 1​and ​HDPE 2​plastic collection from local businesses in Moray and ReBOOT accumulate ​ABS​plastic as a waste stream from their computer and IT hardware recycling services. With thanks to a generous donation from The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation, Moray Reach Out has been able to purchase an industrial granulating machine. Similarly, ReBOOT has had support from ​Berry Burn Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise,

and now has a small extrusion and 3D printing set up in operation. Ideas are in full development and the addition of a compression heat press is underway which will add to the process and design possibilities currently being investigated in the project. Ultimately ROAR aims to recycle local plastic waste streams into long life items that capture and transform local waste. Crafted by local people with learning difficulties and mental health illness this circular economy business model would provide increased opportunities in creativity, training and workplace skills. The production of quality recycled products available to customers in Moray Reach Out and ReBOOT retail outlets would further encourage lifestyle choices which reduce plastics consumption on a personal level. For more information on Moray Reach Out, visit www.morayreachout.org.uk For more information on ReBOOT, visit www.reboot-forres.co.uk

Crafted by local people with learning difficulties and mental health illness this circular economy business model would provide increased opportunities in creativity, training and workplace skills.

Business Scotland



World’s First Hemp Sunglass Line Receives £25K Funding from Business Loans Scotland As part of a wider funding package, Edinburgh based Hemp Eyewear, plan on utilising the loan to launch their handcrafted range of sunglasses into the market. build a sustainable future using hemp as the main material while developing high quality plastic-free products.”

Founded in September 2014 by Product Designer and Managing Director Sam Whitten, Hemp Eyewear manufacture the world’s first hemp fibre eyewear in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the industry creating eyewear products from harmful plastics, Sam sought out to showcase hemp as an eco-material that is extremely sustainable and diverse and following this, has developed leading edge sustainable technology which can used as a replacement for plastics in some applications. Over the past 5 years, Sam and his team refined and tested each product before launching these into the market and once finalised, Hemp Eyewear were ready to put the manufacturing infrastructure in place to start production. To support this, the company initially used crowdfunding as a means to raise capital where consumers could pre-order Hemp Eyewear products in advance and with the funds raised, Sam was able to invest in specialised machinery to develop the business’s manufacturing facility in Edinburgh.

Offering loans from £25,000 to £100,000, Business Loans Scotland have supported over 30 Scottish SMEs with funding to grow.

With further growth plans for the business, including ramping up marketing efforts and developing an e-commerce website, Sam turned to Business Loans Scotland for additional funding and received a £25,000 loan to support the business through this growth period.

Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added: “I am delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support Hemp Eyewear with a £25,000 loan to support their increased sales and marketing efforts. We are passionate about supporting start-up and growing Scottish businesses by providing essential funding to fulfil their growth aspirations. I look forward to watching the business prosper and seeing many more consumers turning to Hemp Eyewear for their optical needs.” For more information on the funding available through Business Loans Scotland, visit www.bls.scot

Speaking of Hemp Eyewear’s products, Sam said: “Hemp is the most sustainable, ecofriendly and diverse crop on earth, but not many people know about it. Our vision is to

I am delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support Hemp Eyewear with a £25,000 loan to support their increased sales and marketing efforts. We are passionate about supporting start-up and growing Scottish businesses by providing essential funding to fulfil their growth aspirations. Andrew Dickson, Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland

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New Vision, New Village RPMI Railpen (Railpen) has announced a £7m investment programme for Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, to transform the destination into Caledonia Park, Scotland’s premier designer village. Designed by Urban Edge Architecture, RPMI Railpen’s plans include installing timber façade treatments to the units, adding canopies and enhancing the public spaces at the destination. The investment will complement the line-up of much-loved world-class brands, which includes Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Radley and Nike. The revitalised Caledonia Park has been carefully designed in a blend of heritage and contemporary Scottish architecture, and landscaped to seamlessly reflect the regional surroundings and native species.

The structures have been revitalised in natural textural materials including recycled stone paving and locally-sourced granite, with cohesive and considered finishes throughout. Adding to Caledonia Park’s offer are adidas, Reebok, Levi’s and The Cosmetics Company as the latest wave of brands commit to the destination. Caledonia Park’s regional status will be further boosted by an oasis of worldclass food and drink in the Dining Quarter, with a focus on local produce via a Caledonia Park Farm Shop. Boasting excellent connectivity to key motorways, and accessible to a significant catchment, Caledonia Park is a regional hub that outperforms national and regional benchmarks, with year-on-year sales growth for the last six successive quarters. Matthew Howard, Head of Property Asset Management at RPMI Railpen, commented: “Caledonia Park will be a vibrant hub for retail and dining in the heart of Southern Scotland. We have seen outstanding performance to date, and the refreshed offer and re-branding will bring a new level

of momentum for the village. The strategic regeneration meets our core investment themes and lays the foundations for longterm growth.” The investment programme at Caledonia Park is due for completion in autumn 2020, although the re-branding is being implemented immediately. RPMI Railpen’s revitalisation of the destination coincides with the UK Government’s £394m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, involving significant and sustainable investments in the region surrounding Caledonia Park. These include developing South of Scotland tourist attractions, the Stranraer Marina, the River Tweed Walking and Cycling Route, and the creation of a landmark sculpture situated at Gretna – the Star of Caledonia. The investment in the area is expected to deliver an extra four million tourists and £1.1 billion to the economy. Located in an area of natural beauty, free from the freneticism, hustle and hassle of city shopping, Caledonia Park is Scotland’s Premier Designer Village

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Kevin Boyd Managing Director, Scotland

Success Stories Selected transactions from the past year.

Cadherent Ltd

Engineering design and visualisation services COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE AND WORKING CAPITAL FACILITY

GT4 Group

Label Manufacturers FUNDING GROWTH

Contact us today

0330 123 1740 ScotlandRBC@shawbrook.co.uk

We've been working with clients, their advisers and sponsors to provide funding for a variety of great businesses across Scotland. From our Business Centre in Glasgow we're able to deliver the support that we believe matters most: sector specialists who can speak the language of your industry; a deep knowledge of the local market; and a more human approach to decision making, which doesn’t rely solely on anonymous scorecards. So if you’re looking to work with specialists who understand every business has its own unique story, I'm pretty sure we can help.

Asset Alliance Group

Borders Distillery

Commercial Vehicle Provider FUNDING GROWTH


Monarch Transport Ltd

Renfrewshire Electronics Ltd


Technology and Management Solutions Supply Chain REFINANCE AND WORKING CAPITAL FACILITY


Kelly Wright and her team at The Refillery, Edinburgh

Stuart Yuill with recent DSL recruits Mark Lagan & Paul Toner

Kevin Paterson of Utopia Café, Inverness with DSL Loan Officer Murray Marshall

Providing loans to start-up and growing businesses in Scotland since 1993 A not-for-profit lender extolling the virtue of responsible finance, DSL has always stood out from the crowd. DSL Business Finance Ltd, to give you its full title, was established in Glasgow in 1993 to provide loans to start-up and growing businesses in the West of Scotland. And the figures are impressive. Since the Millennium it has distributed £18.5m, supporting 1500 budding entrepreneurs and 4000 new jobs in Scotland. DSL’s annual loan disbursement in Scotland stepped up significantly – rising from £1.5m in 2016 to £4.5m in 2019 – after it became Fund Manager for the Scottish Government’s Scottish Microfinance Fund and the Digital Development Loans scheme. It is also the only Scotland-Headquartered Delivery

Partner for the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loan Scheme. In turn, DSL’s team has increased from four members of staff to 11 to meet the demand. The fact DSL can tap into four different funding streams, including a kitty of its own, means clients have the luxury of choice. Executive director Stuart Yuill said: “Yes, there are a number of options we can draw on for someone seeking start-up or growth funding – that does make us quite different to the marketplace at large.” “We also have very good links with support agencies right across Scotland, through the Gateway and Elevator networks, and we know about a lot of rural and legacy funds that we can help clients tap into as well.”

DSL has very experienced staff who, between them, cover the whole of Scotland, including the highlands and islands. Each applicant is allocated a dedicated loan officer to guide them through the process. They are the most reassuring of people, as confidence-boosting as Stuart Yuill himself. “Irrespective of the uncertainty that is perceived to be out there at the moment, a lot of good businesses start up in difficult times,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a reason not to start out in business. If the business planning is sound and the owner has drive, passion and acumen, then it most likely will succeed.” www.dsl-businessfinance.co.uk

“Our aim is simply to do the very best we can to help our clients start-up and grow their business on a sustainable financial footing.”

We also have very good links with support agencies right across Scotland, through the Gateway and Elevator networks, and we know about a lot of rural and legacy funds that we can help clients tap into as well. Business Scotland


We’re the bridging loan experts. Have a client who needs funds fast? Think of us. For decades, we’ve provided more than 59,000* personal and commercial bridging loans worth £5.9bn*. No matter how complex the case, we’ll work fast, apply a flexible, common-sense approach, putting you and your clients first.

Using short-term lending to secure that can’t-miss opportunity Planning is everything in business. But every now and then, an opportunity you hadn’t planned for comes out of the blue and it’s just too good to miss. But how do you move fast on a great opportunity if you don’t have the cash ready? Specialist lender Together has spent the last four decades helping businesses grow and thrive, with commercial loans and shortterm finance designed for the pace of modern commerce. They

At start-up “ Cash flow can be challenging when you’re just starting out, so short-term finance could help you get out of the planning phase and up-and-running quicker. Bridging loans can help with stock, infrastructure costs and general trading costs until the cash starts rolling in. And because you can borrow over 12 months – and in some instances can choose to make no monthly payments at all – it could be the ideal option to give you some financial breathing space in those tricky early days.”

particularly specialise in bridging loans – a great option if you can pay it back in the short-term – and use experienced underwriters, not tick boxes, to make a common-sense decision. Steven Clark, Together’s Regional Development Director for Scotland, works with business professionals to connect them – and their clients – to finance at various points of the business lifecycle, as he explains:

In a cashflow crisis “ When you’re waiting on a customer to pay their bill and you’ve got a big outlay on the horizon – like your tax bill – it can be incredibly stressful. Or perhaps you’ve landed a big order and need cash to buy raw materials or pay extra staff to get the job done. If you know the money’s coming and just need cash to plug the gap, a bridging loan could be the answer.”

To grow your business “ If you’re converting a building, you can find yourself in funding limbo because it’s partway between residential and commercial, and if there’s a spanner in the works you could run out of working cash. Short-term finance can help fund one-off costs and gaps between current and future value, and can be repaid when all that hard work pays off.”

Got big plans for your business? Give Steven a call on 0371 705 1605 or visit togethermoney.com/steven Any property used as security, including your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. *Includes unregulated and regulated bridging loan applications over 34 years.


Making time for relationships in the ever-changing world of SME Funding The importance of human interaction and interpersonal relationships are the two top trends driving the financial brokerage industry. That’s according to the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).

By Paul McGinnes

Head of Reach Commercial Finance Scotland Recognising the importance of relationships between lenders and clients is nothing new to us at Reach Commercial Finance. In fact, with our vastly experienced team, we’ve built a leading business on the back of it and the trust it engenders. As the bespoke brokerage division of Leonard Curtis, based on Glasgow’s Waterloo Street, Reach is now a 12-strong UK-wide team that works across all 18 Group offices, within an organisation of over 200 professional services advisers. We make sure we fully understand clients’ requirements from the outset, that we’re close to funders and continue to strengthen ties with introducers in Scotland and across the UK. The strength of those relationships gives us, as independent advisers, the time and ability to find the most appropriate solutions, of which we have many options to choose from, due to our wealth of expertise and contacts. At a time when brokers must diversify their offerings to meet much wider financing needs within an increasingly fast-paced and ever-changing environment, we’re constantly developing our alternative lending portfolio.

Access to funding

SME access to funding to help them grow is more important than ever. They’re the lifeblood of the Scottish economy. With numbers reaching a record high, small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Scotland stand at almost 360,000 and provide an estimated 1.2million jobs. This accounts for 99.3% of all private sector businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment, and 41.5% of private sector turnover. Scottish companies looking to expand whether they want to access new markets, increase production capacity or acquire competitors - invariably need to look for external finance to help them realise their ambitions. To ensure that they receive the best finance options for their business, it’s recommended to partner with a specialist professional. This saves them

Paul McGinnes

time, streamlines the process and ensures suitable financial solutions are put in place.

Alternative finance

While mainstream banks dominate in terms of the overall volume of small business lending, the amount of finance secured by SMEs from the alternative finance market has increased in recent years, a trend that looks set to underpin SME sector growth here in Scotland. At Reach Commercial Finance demand for products such as invoice finance, asset finance, property finance and cashflow loans is increasing as well as becoming more deeply integrated into the Scottish SME lending infrastructure.

A business based on trust

As a commercial finance broker we have built our business on trust which helps Scottish SMEs overcome critical hurdles. The clients and lenders we work with trust our knowledge and network to secure the most flexible deals at the most cost-effective rate.

How we work

We’ve always invested a great deal of time at the outset to ensure we fully understand clients’ issues. It’s an approach that sets us

apart from the majority of intermediaries out there. We don’t just issue a name and a number to a funder. Instead, we take the time to truly get to know clients and lenders so we’re able to find the most appropriate solutions for the swiftest most successful outcome. With this approach, we continue to add value and develop relationships by continuously evaluating client portfolios and industry statistics. By thoroughly analysing client requirements and being a trusted connection between borrowers and lenders we ensure that the best links are made between the two. That’s how we have over 500 live clients in our portfolio, expect to hit the 600-mark soon and how we’ve completed more than 500 transactions raising more than £250million in commercial finance over the last three years. To find out more about our approach to securing lending for Scottish SMEs, click here. For testimonials from some of our clients and partner lenders, click here. Contact Paul McGinnes, Head of Reach Commercial Finance Scotland, at paul@reachcf.co.uk and via LinkedIn.

Business Scotland


Audi on demand Book an Audi from 1-28 days. Whatever the occasion. Book at uk.audiondemand.com

Audi on demand. Book an Audi for your business. Agility. Flexibility. They may be the business buzzwords of the age. But that’s exactly what driving an Audi on demand for business gives you: access to a choice of premium, luxurious cars, without any of the associated fixed costs. Available at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Audi Centres, the Audi on demand concept is simple. A fleet of selected Audi models at your disposal, available to be booked and driven from 1 to 28 days. Being an on-demand service, the immediate benefit to the business driver is the absence of any kind of commitment. No tax worries; no maintenance costs; no long-term contracts.

Just the Audi you want, for the period you want. Whether you’re driving just for the day, the whole 28, or any number in between, everything is included in your fee: fully comprehensive insurance, unlimited mileage and 24-hour roadside assistance. There are no add-ons or hidden charges. That kind of certainty is matched by the flexibility of choice of cars available. From the compact A1 to the exhilarating A5 Cabriolet, every kind of need is catered for. You may need something practical with a large boot, like the A6 Avant, to carry items to a meeting.

If your team needs to come with you, there’s the luxurious, seven-seater Q7. Or, if you and a client are heading to the golf course, there’s the impressive S5 Sportback. The complete Audi on demand range is available to see online: just decide and book. The Audi you choose is the Audi you’ll get, guaranteed. And, because you’re likely to be busy, it can even be delivered to you free of charge, if you’re within 30 minutes’ drive of either Glasgow or Edinburgh Audi Centres. Agility and flexibility: when it comes to driving an Audi for business, Audi on demand certainly offers both.

Glasgow Audi

Edinburgh Audi

G52 4UB glasgow@uk.audiondemand.com 0141 565 6439

EH11 4EJ edinburgh@uk.audiondemand.com 0131 475 4489

Book at uk.audiondemand.com

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Avanti West Coast unveiled as name for new railway partnership FirstGroup and Trenitalia’s West Coast Partnership heralds a new era of innovative high-speed rail services Avanti West Coast has been unveiled as the name of the new InterCity West Coast rail franchise. Avanti, Italian for “Forward!”, reflects the partnership’s mission to deliver an innovative railway service that is “ready for today and fit for the future”.

Fares and ticket types will be simplified with mobile tickets and smartcards introduced. Stations will be improved with refreshed waiting rooms, better customer facilities, more car park spaces, and greater accessibility for those who need it.

invest in, and improve, rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country.”

FirstGroup and Trenitalia have taken over the operation of InterCity West Coast rail services, paving the way for a more comfortable, reliable and greener service.

The Partnership will also pave the way for a new era in high speed rail in the UK in the coming years, working with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.

Linking London to cities and towns across England, North Wales and Scotland, the Avanti West Coast logo - a bright orange triangle - symbolises the geographic extent of the 400-mile long route that serves cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as London and North Wales.

Speaking at the launch of the new brand, Steve Montgomery, Managing Director of First Rail, one of the UK’s most experienced rail operators, said:

“It’s an amazing honour to partner with FirstGroup. After our entrance into the British market in 2017, this marks another step in our ambition to play a positive role in the UK rail industry, in which we see a great future. Avanti West Coast is a strong, progressive and dynamic brand that reflects our commitment to providing our customers with an exceptional service. We are thrilled that the name Avanti has been chosen to represent these values to our customers and pays tribute to our expertise in transforming Italian railways.”

Under the new West Coast Partnership, First Trenitalia is committed to delivering a range of passenger enhancements for InterCity West Coast services and passengers will benefit from more trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services. The 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished with 25,000 brand new seats, more reliable Wi-Fi and improved catering. By 2022, there will be 263 more train services every week to more places and a fleet of new trains introduced.

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“Today marks the start of a new era in highspeed rail services - one that will generate national prosperity and pride. Avanti West Coast enshrines the type of forward-thinking operation we intend to run, that’s ready for today and fit for the future. “We are very pleased and proud to be working with Trenitalia, a strong partner who is committed to playing an increasing role in UK rail and has many years of expertise in the high-speed sector in Italy. “We are committed to our customers and over the next few years, we will work with our industry and local partners not only to

Ernesto Sicilia, Managing Director, Trenitalia (UK) Ltd, said:


Inverclyde Shares Tourism Goals with VisitScotland Chief Executive Visit Scotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead visited Inverclyde as part of his 2019 Listening Tour. Malcolm met CalMac’s managing director Robbie Drummond before travelling to Kip Marina in Inverkip to meet Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce (ICC) president and Managing Director of Kip, Gavin McDonagh, and Kip marketing manager Kevin Blamire. In the afternoon, Malcolm met with Directors from Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to discuss the ambitions of local businesses in the tourism industry within Inverclyde. ICC Directors also had the chance to discuss the implications of the planned Ocean Terminal Building on the Greenock Town Centre and expressed the concerns of local tourism businesses regarding the need for a more cohesive offering from the area and outline tourism strategy. Malcolm then visited Inverclyde Council, where VisitScotland heard about the plans, issues faced and opportunities for the region with a particular focus around cruise tourism and Year of Coast and Waters 2020. As part of the Glasgow City Region Deal investment, £15 Million has been secured

to develop a new cruise terminal facility in Greenock, which is forecast to see around 100 cruise ships per year visit Inverclyde from 2020. Greenock Ocean Terminal will house a permanent museum and restaurant dedicated to the work of renowned local sculptor George Wyllie. The new terminal is estimated to attract £26million extra spending to the economy, according to Inverclyde Council. The visit concluded with a visit to the New Chocolate Company in Port Glasgow, which is the only chocolatier to receive a Five Star Quality Assurance grading from VisitScotland. Malcolm said: “This was an excellent opportunity to speak to key members of Inverclyde’s tourism industry and learn more about their upcoming plans, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face.

region to make the most of Scotland’s next themed year. “ Reflecting on the visit, ICC President Gavin McDonagh said: “On behalf of Inverclyde Chamber, I would like to thank Malcolm for coming to meet with my fellow Director’s and allow discussion of the opportunities and challenges for local tourism-related businesses in Inverclyde. “The new cruise terminal development offers some exceptional opportunities for the area, but this opportunity must be capitalised on by local traders and businesses.” Malcom concluded: “At VisitScotland, we want to champion collaboration and promote local areas to ensure the positive impact of tourism is felt across the country, including Inverclyde.”

“I was pleased to see a real appetite for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, and I look forward to our continued work with the

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Old Loans Inn named Hotel of the Year for third consecutive year at SGTW Awards The Old Loans Inn near Troon in Ayrshire was named Small Hotel of the Year for an unprecedented third consecutive year at the 2019 Scottish Golf Tourism Week Awards in St Andrews.

Janette Mitchell and Eddie Thomson from SimpsInns receiving the Best Small Hotel Award for the Old Loans Inn from David Connor, Golf PR Manager VisitScotland

The luxury SimpsInns property was recognised once more for excellence in hospitality and quality of service and continues to be a firm favourite with both international and domestic visitors to Ayrshire. “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award for the third consecutive year,” enthused SimpsInns owner Malcolm Simpson. “To have been named Small Hotel of the Year once is very special, but to win for the third straight year is simply sensational. “The Old Loans Inn enjoys a great reputation and this repeated success is testament to the ongoing hard work and effort by the team at the Old Loans Inn who ensure all guests enjoy a warm welcome and memorable stay in the heart of Ayrshire.” As part of Scottish Golf Tourism Week (SGTW), the glittering awards ceremony took place at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews where Scottish broadcaster David Tanner hosted the event supported by VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and PSP Media Group. A who’s who of the Scottish golf industry was on show to recognise excellence in product and service across a range of categories. The 20-bedroom Old Loans Inn faced stiff

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competition in the Small Hotel of the Year category but came out on top against The Golf Hotel (Crail), The Red House Hotel (Blairgowrie) and Kinettles Hotel & Spa (St Andrews). Another SimpsInns property, The Gailes Hotel was shortlisted in the Hotel of the Year category (21-50 bedrooms) which was won by the internationally renowned Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen. Open venue Carnoustie was the headline winner of ‘Scotland’s Best Golf Experience 2019’. The eight-time Open venue was shortlisted alongside Gleneagles, Trump Turnberry and Kingsbarns, winner of the award in four of the last five years. The Scottish Golf Tourism Awards are determined solely by public vote, which registered a record 40,000 votes when voting closed at the end of September 2019. Scottish Golf Tourism Week attracted “more than 100 leading tour operators from across the world to experience Scotland’s diverse golf product”. It has become an integral part of the ambition drive to grow the value of the golf tourism industry in Scotland from £286 million in 2016 to £300 million by 2020, according to organisers.

“I would like to extend my thanks to all the businesses and tour operators who have come together from across the world to make Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2019 a huge success,” said Tom Lovering, director of Scottish Golf Tourism Week. “The event is now firmly established as Scotland’s key golf tourism legacy event, showcasing the very best of the country’s golf product to a global audience and creating lasting benefits for the economy as a result.” The Old Loans Inn and The Gailes Hotel continue to fly the flag for Ayrshire. The SimpsInns properties are two of the most recognisable hotels for visiting golfers to Ayrshire and key suppliers within this tourism sector.


Cycle carriages for Scotland’s scenic railway Designated carriages for bikes and large sporting equipment are to be introduced on one of Scotland’s most scenic routes, a first for the UK rail industry. As part of the pilot, ScotRail is transforming five Class 153 trains to carry up to 20 bikes to enhance existing services on the West Highland Line, providing custom designed racks to accommodate bikes, sporting equipment and large items of luggage as well as more seats for customers. The trains will also support winter sports in Scotland during the winter months, accommodating large bulky items such as ski bags and rucksacks. Modified by Brodie Engineering in Kilmarnock, forming part of the firm’s expansion plans, the carriages will receive a full interior and exterior refresh including installation of free WiFi, at seat power sockets and a refurbished toilet with controlled emission toilet (CET) tank. This unique project supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to economic development through active tourism and improved transport connectivity, getting more people to make active travel choices

This innovative pilot is the first of its type in the UK and we’re delighted to have come up with something truly bespoke for Scotland and the West Highlands.

and providing opportunities to do so. The first refurbished Class 153 carriage is due for delivery early 2020 and will be gradually rolled into service on the completion of staff training. ScotRail Project Manager Tom Smith said: “This innovative pilot is the first of its type in the UK and we’re delighted to have come up with something truly bespoke for Scotland and the West Highlands. “We are continually looking to enhance the experience our customers have when travelling on our trains, and the introduction of these carriages will be a welcome boost for cyclists and those in search of outdoor pursuits. “This project will support tourism, and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland’s most scenic railways.” Transport Scotland Director of Rail Bill Reeve said: “This unique initiative will provide an affordable and accessible way to access the great outdoors and support more

people to make active travel choices whilst delivering wider economic benefits for Scotland. “It’s a very exciting time and we are another step closer to realising our ambitious Programme for Government commitment.” Brodie Engineering Business Development Manager Jim Thomson said: “Everyone is absolutely delighted that, yet another ambitious and exciting project is coming to life here at Brodie Engineering in Kilmarnock. “Vehicle modification design is a core competency for our talented in-house engineering team and our highly skilled production team have extensive experience with Class 153s and the similar Class 155s, which we’ve been modifying for Northern over the past two years. “The ability to design and manufacture on the same site really sets us apart from our competitors.”

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Scotland’s Specialist Eye Care Service Set within BMI Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow (Scotland’s largest private hospital) Eye Care Scotland is a dedicated and fully comprehensive service for eye health and eye surgery. Through the multi-skilled team of 16 Consultant Ophthalmologists we provide services for a wide range of patients and can perform more than 30 different surgeries and treatments.

All of our local Consultants are highly experienced in the full spectrum of eye health issues and are supported by dedicated Nurses, Practitioners, Optometrists and Orthoptists, meaning our patients are fully supported throughout their entire journey with us. Our purpose-built facility is fully equipped with modern diagnostic and surgical technology to provide a high quality service for our patients. Our range of services include: Laser Eye Surgery Lens Exchange Surgery Implantable Contact Lenses

Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery aims to correct errors of refraction (focus) in the eye, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses and helping people lead an active lifestyle more easily! We are the only provider of laser eye surgery in Glasgow from within a hospital environment, meaning patients can rest assured of a high-quality care programme from their initial consultation through to the completion of treatment. Both LASEK and LASIK surgeries are available and prices for both start from £695 per eye.

Child and adult squints

All patients also benefit from a free initial consultation with our experienced Practitioners and Optometrists to assess their suitability for surgery.

Eyelid Treatments and Surgery

Lens Exchange Surgery

Cataract Surgery Corneal Cross Linking and Transplants

Glaucoma Services

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery involves replacing the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) and is performed mainly to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. If a person is over 40 years of age and has a glasses prescription higher than the natural range for laser eye surgery, they are likely to be suitable for RLE. Like laser eye surgery, they will also benefit from a free consultation to assess their suitability for surgery and prices for RLE start from £3,000 per eye.

Enhancing Your Organisation’s Employee Benefits Package At Eye Care Scotland we partner with a range of local employers, from SME

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organisations to Large Corporate businesses to provide their staff with a 10% discount off the total cost of laser eye and lens exchange surgery. This could mean a saving of up to £720* We also provide patients with flexible finance options that include 12 months interest free credit (0% APR representative) or a medical loan facility for spreading the cost of surgery up to 5 years through a fixed term monthly payment plan with Chrysalis Finance. Patients choosing this option simply apply online and receive instant decision, with no deposit required. Visit https://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/ paying-for-treatment/flexible-finance for more information.

Find Out More or Book an Appointment

To find out more about any of the services we provide at Eye Care Scotland you can call 0141 303 1421 or visit www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/eyecarescotland If you would like to enquire about the discount offering as a potential staff benefit for your organisation please contact our Sales & Marketing Manager on 0141 303 1480. *Saving based on bilateral lens exchange surgery using multifocal toric lens at £3,600 per eye (total £7,200 for both eyes, 10% discount = saving of £720).


Innovative aid helping joint replacement Patients in the North of Scotland who need a knee or hip replacement can now have their operation with the assistance of a robot, thanks to the installation of the Stryker Mako system at BMI Albyn Hospital in Aberdeen. There are over 700,000 people in Scotland living with some form of arthritis which results in pain, problems with reduced mobility and an impaired quality of life which can eventually lead to the requirement of a hip or knee replacement (Arthritis Research UK) This robotic-arm will be used by surgeons to offer patients across Scotland an alternative which gets people back on their feet more quickly than traditional methods of joint replacement surgery. BMI Albyn’s investment in this innovative practice is further cementing its reputation as a centre for orthopaedic excellence.

What is the Mako Robotic Arm?

Robotic assisted surgery, allows surgeons to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than is possible with conventional techniques. However when you hear ‘robotic-arm assisted technology’ it is important to understand that the Stryker Mako roboticarm doesn’t actually perform the surgery. Surgery is performed by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who uses the Mako system to pre plan the surgery and by guiding the robotic arm is able to precisely remove diseased bone and cartilage and place the implant to within a millimetre of the desired position.

Stuart Storrie, Executive Director of Albyn Hospital and Mr Mitchell, MBChB, Dip SEM FRCS (Tr & Orth), Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, BMI Albyn Hospital

Since 2007, more than 200,000 procedures, including total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements have been performed around the world, using the Mako technology and now people across the North of Scotland can experience its benefits, at Aberdeen’s own BMI Albyn Hospital.

What benefits does the Mako Robotic system bring?

The Mako system offers a higher level of alignment and positioning of the hip or knee implants during surgery, compared to traditional methods. As a result, many Mako patients experience a speedier recovery and reduced post-operative pain, meaning they can make a quicker return to an active lifestyle, whether it be walking the dog, getting back on the golf course or back to work. These benefits are achieved by utilising a pre-operative CT scan which allows the surgeon to plan each patient’s exact requirements before and during surgery.

What is the opinion of the surgeons?

Stryker Mako Robotic Arm

“Robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery is an exciting development in Orthopaedics. As it allows for more accurate implant placement it has the potential to improve patient outcomes in terms of quicker recovery time, less postoperative pain and improved function. The introduction of the Mako robotic assisted system to BMI Albyn has been a great advantage to the patients of the North of Scotland.”

“As surgeons we strive to achieve the perfect joint replacement. The Mako robotic arm allows us to achieve this on a much more consistent basis. Mako undoubtedly allows us to perform joint replacements with far more accuracy than was possible with conventional techniques. Patients undergoing Mako assisted joint replacements have been shown to have less pain and better early function postoperatively” “The use of the Mako robotic assisted surgery will revolutionise how we undertake hip and knee replacements with significant improvements in patient outcomes. Robotic assisted surgery is based on a pre-operative CT Scan, which accurately maps the individual patient’s anatomy and therefore during surgery we know exactly where the patient’s bony landmarks are and where the prosthesis should be placed within a millimetre of the desired position”. To find out more information about Stryker Mako hip and knee joint replacements at BMI Albyn, Aberdeen, please call: 01224 577400 or visit: www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/robotics/albynhip or https://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/ robotics/albyn-knee 21 – 24 Albyn Place, Aberdeen www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/albyn

Business Scotland



Guests enjoying Lochaber’s Women in Business Lunch

Lochaber Ideas Week provides a packed week of inspiration! Lochaber Ideas Week once again provided a packed week of inspirational events in and around Fort William in November. are no limits on topic and we’ve been amazed by the breadth and depth of subjects covered by our invited guests over the years. The lecture was set up in memory of our longstanding MP, former Liberal Democrat leader and one of Lochaber’s favourite sons, Charles Kennedy.

From Monday 18th to Friday 22nd November 2019, the town was buzzing with daily events that brought the whole business and wider community together, with over 800 people booked onto events throughout the week. The week was a whirlwind of interesting and insightful events for the business community and the team at Lochaber Chamber were delighted with the attendance numbers and positive reactions from attendees – many of them active members of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, but many also from the wider community. That’s what Lochaber Ideas Week is all about – bringing the whole community together to celebrate ideas and inspiration, whether they’re in business, retired, at school or college – we offer a warm welcome to everyone who wants to take part. We introduced two new events for 2019 – our first-ever ‘Net Zero Business workshop’ saw businesses learn from experts and other businesses about practical steps to work towards Scotland’s challenging netzero deadline. Expertly facilitated by Diane Duncan, Low Carbon Lead for Highlands & Islands Enterprise, this valuable workshop started the ball rolling with advice and next steps for businesses.

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Kingshouse, Glencoe buffet

We also held our first ‘Women in Business’ lunch with special guest speaker Sarah Heward of the Real Food Café in Tyndrum. Almost 70 women came along to enjoy a networking lunch and hear Sarah’s unflinchingly honest account of the real journey she’s taken to become one of Scotland’s most inspiring businesswomen. Her honesty and resilience were truly inspirational. The flagship event of the week is our annual Charles Kennedy Lecture, when a distinguished guest is invited to deliver a speech on a subject of their choosing – there

Over the past few years we’ve been lucky enough to hear from Lord Jim Wallace, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Lord John Thurso and Alastair Campbell. This year Lord David Steel of Aikwood carried on the tradition by delivering a thought-provoking lecture on the need for a written constitution in the UK. His speech was followed by a lively and high-level Q & A session where Lord Steel took questions from a very well-informed and thoughtful Lochaber audience. Around Lochaber in 80 Tables, the everpopular speed-networking event was fast, friendly and frantic – in a good way! With lots of new faces along this year, it was great to see so many new connections being made. One new member of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce was very impressed with the format and atmosphere, saying that this was the best and friendliest networking event he’d ever been to!


Lord Steel delivering his speech on the need for written consitution in the UK

We ran three professional development seminars during the week to bring specialist business training with an inspirational slant – We’re all Creative on Monday morning got everyone buzzing with ways to ‘think different’ in how they approach business, no matter what their industry or role. Small steps to BIG success with Olympian and former diplomat Cath Bishop gave the attendees expert insight and provided practical steps into improving team performance through unlocking the power of small improvements to the ways we work. Go for your goals: High performance seminar inspired delegates to make the most of their potential and also get the best out of their teams. We were pleased to be able to bring these high-level seminars that are normally only available in major cities to the West Highlands for the week. Thursday’s Tourism Summit saw a great turnout from businesses who came to share a day of inspiration in stunning surroundings

Mike Dennison, Sustrans addresses the Lochaber business community

at the Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe. Over 100 delegates learned about the value of bikefriendly tourism and the DOs and DON’Ts of social media for business from professional mountain-biker and brand ambassador Hannah Barnes, and photographer Brodie Hood. After a delicious lunch, the Chamber laid out their new destination strategy for Lochaber, Carron Tobin from West Coast Waters introduced collaborative promotional opportunities during 2020: Year of Coast and Waters, and Cat Leaver, Director of Brand Scotland drilled down into the key drivers for Scotland’s long-term success in a competitive international market. Stephen Leckie, Chief Executive of the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels rounded off the day with a flavour of what it takes to stay at the top of the hospitality game and shared the new vision of the Scottish Tourism Alliance. It was a day of real insight and inspiration for everyone who joined us in Glencoe.

sumptuous Gala Dinner that brought our member businesses together for a sociable meal, followed by an inspirational speaker and the jaw-dropping and very funny magic skills of Edinburgh-based magician Kevin Quantum. We’d like to offer our huge thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters: Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Ferguson Transport & Shipping, HWEnergy, Liberty Group, BSW Timber, Scale AQ, MOWI, Lochaber Times, Nevis Range, BAM Nuttall, West Highland College UHI and Kearney Donald Architects, Glencoe Activities, Kingshouse Hotel and the Moorings Hotel. We’ve already started planning for the next Lochaber Ideas Week and look forward to bringing even more exciting and inspiring events to Lochaber in November 2020.

We rounded off the week in style with a

Fife Extends its International Team and Relationships Fife Chamber has added to its international capacity with the recruitment of Morag Durie, who has joined the team as Export, Office & Event Administrator. Morag’s roles include validating exports documents for local businesses and working with the Chief Executive to grow the chamber’s Fife International event programme. Morag brings a wealth of experience in customer service and event management from her long history in the hospitality sector. Speaking about her new position Morag said: “I am delighted to join the professional team at Fife Chamber. They do a fantastic job for our members and exporters and I am excited about contributing.”

recognition of our many successes over the last four years and a statement of our intent to make Fife an even better chamber of commerce in the years to come.”

Morag Durie

Fife International took another big step forward when Barbara Quick, the German Consul in Edinburgh, had a very productive lunch with members, who were keen to discuss the latest business and economic trends in Germany and what that might mean for their future opportunities to do business in Europe’s biggest economy.

Chamber President Brian Horisk said: “The appointment of Morag brings the team to seven, which is the largest it has been for many years. It is a

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Employers strike Silver and Gold Scottish employers had their support for defence and the Armed Forces Community formally recognised during recent award ceremonies in London and Edinburgh.

The organisations have been awarded Gold or Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) awards by the Ministry of Defence. Among other criteria, the ERS Gold Award recognises organisations that proactively advocate and support Defence, communicating their commitment both internally to employees and externally to the wider community, through established policies and examples of support. Gold Award holders demonstrate significant support for Reservists, enabling them to fulfil their annual training and mobilisation commitments. Silver Award holders demonstrate support for Defence, employing at least one Reservist, and actively communicating and upholding a positive stance to their employees via established HR policies and procedures. Silver Award holders support Reservists by showing flexibility to plan for and allow them to fulfil their annual training and mobilisation commitments. The awards culminate annually with prestigious

ceremonies in London (pictured, below) and Edinburgh to recognise the efforts of the award winners. Gold winners in the Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (HRFCA) area were: Aberdeenshire Council, IED Training Solutions, Knockhill Racing Circuit, Police Scotland, Stirling Council and West Dunbartonshire Council. They received their Gold certificates during a celebration held at the National Army Museum in London. Silver winners in the HRFCA area were: Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, EVi Charge Points, Fife Chamber of Commerce, High Life Highland, Scottish Water, SFB Consulting, and Sport Aberdeen. They received their Silver certificates during a ceremony at Edinburgh Castle. To find out how you can join these organisations in supporting the Armed Forces, contact Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors in Dundee. Call Jim Dickie on 01382 631026 or email hi-reed@rfca.mod.uk. Call Roy McLellan on 01382 631022 or email hi-reed2@rfca.mod.uk To find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme go to www.hrfca.co.uk.

The ERS Gold Award winners at London’s National Army Museum. From left: Knockhill Racing Circuit, IED Training Solutions, Aberdeenshire Council, Stirling Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, and Police Scotland.

The ERS Silver ceremony was held at Edinburgh Castle.

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter presented the Gold Awards.

The National Army Museum was a fitting venue for the Gold Awards.

Proudly supporting those who serve.


The Herculean contribution the Army makes to the life and soul of Scotland often flies under the radar But Brig. Robin Lindsay, commander of the 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland, has the figures at his fingertips. “We make a very significant contribution not only to the broader defence of the nation, but to the prosperity of Scotland too,” he said. The Army’s very presence in Scotland, with its 4000 regular and 4000 reserve troops and the ministrations of 1100 civil servants, contributes to the wider defence presence in Scotland, which is worth £1.64bn to the Scottish economy. In addition, defence has generated another 10,000 jobs in the private sector too.

the week, but reservists are encouraged to undertake a two-week period of military training each year as well.

The worth to the wider community of all the extra training, knowledge and experience reservists and regulars returning to civvy street take with them is harder to reflect, but there are figures for that too.

The army is one of the biggest providers of training in Britain - indeed, it is the biggest provider of apprenticeships. At any one point, up to 15,000 people will be on one of the 40 apprenticeship schemes run by the army.

“The value of training to employers is £8,000 a year per individual, and for young officers that rises to about £22,000 a year. “For an employer, that’s the value in terms of the training their employee has received. It means Army Reservists come with a significant number of additional meta-skills in the areas of leadership, decision-making, collaboration and management. “They are also frequently exposed to situations that take them out of their comfort zone, which stretches them and creates adaptability, a valuable commodity for employers.”

Brig. Robin Lindsay imbue,” he said, “a confidence that is earned over time by overcoming challenges, making a positive impact and seeing themselves achieve.” The benefits extended well beyond army life. The confidence gained lasts for life and regulars and reservists alike took it with them, into the businesses that employed them. Brig. Lindsay said: “There are many benefits for those who have an Army Reservist on their workforce.

The current army recruitment campaign, branded Army Confidence 2020, highlights another quality so often possessed by service personnel.

“Chief among them is that it allows employees to upskill, to burnish their leadership and thinking skills, and to enhance their ability to work as part of a team.”

“The campaign serves to illustrate the sort of confidence that military service can

The majority of Army Reserve training takes place on weekends and after work during

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“Many employers, particularly in the public sector, see the value of that to their own work force and give reservists additional leave to take part,” he said. “Other reservists will simply take annual leave to do it.”

“I think the army is genuinely an engine for social mobility and in a manner I don’t think we communicate enough,” he said. “I think the way in which we provide education and training is a unique selling point for both personnel and employers, but I don’t think many people realise just what a big contribution the army makes to society today.” Besides the defence role the 51st Infantry Brigade fulfils on home soil, it also provides assistance to the civil authorities when there is a need. In recent years, this has included supporting the hosting of the Commonwealth Games and helping communities in the grip of Arctic weather. It has an overseas role to play too, assisting in stability operations in Sudan, Iraq, Cyprus and the Arabian Gulf, to name but a few.

COLLEGE SIGNS ARMED FORCES COVENANT South Lanarkshire College has become the latest organisation to show its support for UK Defence by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. Responding to demand from students, the College has introduced tailored guidance and support for Reservists and Veterans, and created an online presence for part-time service and ex-service personnel which provides information on applying for courses and links to the student handbook. SLC Principal Stewart McKillop said: “We acknowledge the importance and value of the training and experience that is accrued during military service and want to recognise those skills during our recruitment processes.” Hugh Devlin from Lowland RFCA – the organisation which manages relationships between employers and Defence in Scotland – commented:

“The pledges the College set out are some of the best that I have ever seen. I am very impressed with their desire to become a Defence-friendly employer, their enthusiasm and their determination to get maximum benefit.” 4,500 employers, including more than 400 Scottish organisations, have already signed the Armed Forces Covenant. Show your support and sign the Covenant today at:




Inverness Chamber sponsorship backs local media Inverness Chamber of Commerce is supporting local media in its area by providing sponsorship for a major industry awards event. The Chamber is sponsoring a new category of Best Business Story of the Year in the Highlands and Islands Media Awards, which celebrate and reward excellence in print, broadcast and online journalism. The awards will be presented on 7 February 2020 in Inverness at the annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball, the largest gathering of media representatives from across the huge geographical area. The Press Ball is being held for the 32nd consecutive year since being revived in the 1980s. It is attended by journalists and PR managers, as well as politicians and leaders of public and private sector organisations, from Shetland to Argyll and from Moray to the Outer Hebrides. Stewart Nicol, Inverness Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “Business relies on local media to promote success and campaign for change. We wanted to demonstrate our

Highlands and Islands Media Awards winners 2019

support for our media colleagues and also help efforts to maintain high standards in local journalism. “Inverness Chamber of Commerce believes

a vibrant and challenging local media is important. Therefore, we are delighted to become a sponsor for the 2020 Highlands and Islands Media Awards.”

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Discover your global employability Improve your global employability by studying for a master’s degree in Islamic Finance in Dundee.

The University of Dundee in collaboration with Al-Maktoum College offers three different master’s courses in Islamic finance to help you enhance, change and expand your career. • MSc Islamic Finance • MSc Islamic Banking and Finance • MSc Islamic Banking, Finance and International Business Designed for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in any subject and are now looking to specialise their studies within the financial sector. Scholarships of up to £10,000 are available. Tuition fee information and entry requirements can be found online at dundee.ac.uk/study/pg/Islamic-finance

Apply now for January 2020 E admissions@almcollege.ac.uk T +44 (0) 1382 908070


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Study at Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education Discover Dundee

Why Al-Maktoum College?

Dundee is situated one hour north of Edinburgh and was named the ‘Best Place to live in Scotland’ by the Sunday Times 2019. The £80 million V&A Museum of Design, part of a billion pound waterfront development, has become a major attraction, drawing national and international attention.

Established in 2001, the College’s vision for high-quality teaching and learning, enriched by a multicultural perspective, makes for a rewarding education experience.

Named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design, Dundee has received prestigious recognition for the contribution the city has made to design and innovation.

Its goal to build bridges between communities through intellectual debate, and the promotion of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies has resulted in a diverse, friendly and international approach to teaching and studying. This approach makes the College a somewhat unique establishment in Scotland and the UK today.

Referred to as Scotland’s sunniest city, it is the fourth largest city in the country and is home to around 147,000 people. As we all Al-Maktoum College, there are two universities- Dundee & Abertay- making the city a heavily student populated area, with as many as 45,000 students during term time.

The College campus provides everything you need to make your time as a student as enjoyable and stress- free as possible. Ideally located within walking distance of Dundee student accommodation, shopping centres, supermarkets, public transport and much more, the College is very much at the heart of the City.

Dundee is a flourishing and renowned centre for life sciences, computer games, research, the arts, business, education, hi-tech manufacturing, telecommunications as well as tourism, and enjoys a thriving cultural scene.

The College focuses on lifelong learning through academic, technical and customised programmesrecognised by the SQA and QAA. These qualifications can enhance individuals applications for employment as well as continued study at university level.

The College is in a unique position to help individuals looking to expand their prospects, make a career change, or to progress on to further academic qualifications.

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Apply now for 2020 ABERDEEN


Open to individuals from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, we offer specialist courses in: • Arabic Language • Business • Islamic Studies

• Islamic Banking & Finance • Management & Leadership

Introducing Masters Programmes

The College in collaboration with University of Dundee, are pleased to announce the launch of three unique Masters programmes in Islamic Finance; Islamic Banking and Finance; and Islamic Banking, Finance and International Business. Full information at: almcollege.ac.uk/study/courses/islamic-bankingfinance








Fees & Funding

Information on fees can be found here: almcollege.ac.uk/study/fees There are also a range of scholarships and bursaries available: almcollege.ac.uk/study/available-bursaries

Apply now for 2020 Apply online:


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Step into a strategic role Aneesh Batra was looking to propel his career forward when he applied for an MBA. In this issue, Aneesh explains why one particular course stood out from the crowd and how it took his career to the next level. “Soon after graduating, I took up an internship with a brokerage firm, before becoming a Senior Research Associate at a market intelligence firm. Having worked for a few years, the idea of studying for an MBA took root as I was looking to accelerate my career and take up a more strategic role. “An MBA is a huge commitment to make, especially when you’re self-funding, so ensuring I made the right choice was paramount and I considered my options carefully. Whilst researching courses, I contacted several business schools and talked to alumni, soon one MBA stood out from the rest – the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School. “As one of the most established MBAs in the world, the university has a robust track record in delivering the course, but in offering the course today, the faculty do far more than draw on their outstanding reputation. “In making enquiries about the MBA, I was impressed with the time and consideration the team at Glasgow took in answering my questions. I found the team at the Adam Smith Business School consistently and repeatedly go the extra mile for their students.

“Keen to receive external endorsements for the MBAs I was considering, I also contacted alumni of various business schools and the feedback I received about the Adam Smith Business School was overwhelmingly positive. “Former students had great things to say about their time at Glasgow and about the impact the MBA had on their career. These findings reinforced the impression I’d received through my work as I’d been impressed with the skill of the Glasgow MBA graduates I’d encountered. “Having received three MBA offers, I chose the Adam Smith Business School because it was the most well-rounded course and the one about which I’d received the most positive endorsements. Before long I was on my way from Delhi to Scotland. “An MBA is not something to be undertaken lightly. It’s a demanding course which runs over two years in some countries, so the one-year courses in the UK are particularly intensive. Yet I still found time to enjoy myself. “Glasgow is a friendly city which has a distinct vibe. When I’m at home, I describe it as the Mumbai of Scotland. I was

overwhelmed by how welcoming everyone was both within the university and without. You can walk into a bar in Glasgow and strike up a conversation with someone which simply wouldn’t happen in some cities. “A great place to live and study, Glasgow provided me with ample opportunity to explore my interest in music too. You can go out any night of the week and find a bar playing the music that you love. There are lots of open mic nights too. Sometimes a friend and I would sing for a free drink, but mindful of the demands of the course, we usually opted for a cup of tea! “You can walk everywhere in Glasgow and although I never grew to love the weather, I did love the architecture and sometimes I felt as though I was walking through a movie set. The university buildings are particularly stunning. “The MBA itself was very different from my earlier experience of education which had been book-based, where you studied a topic, crammed for an exam, then sat the exam. Courses at the Adam Smith Business School are based on a model of learning which is strikingly different and there is a lot more opportunity for debate.

The methodologies we learnt in managing business challenges have helped me in my subsequent career. The Glasgow MBA taught me to look at potential problems in a different way, to stay calm, to think through a problem, to look at it objectively rather than emotionally and to always have a plan. Business Scotland



careers guidance, advice on CV writing and interview technique, the mentoring that students receive is outstanding. “The small yet diverse intake, means students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, providing a wealth of insights in class. Given the course attracts students from around the world the multi-cultural environment on the MBA is hugely beneficial. It changed my outlook completely. “I learnt a lot from the students for whom English wasn’t their first language. They taught me to listen effectively and to hear more. I realised it’s the idea not the medium that’s important and this gave me a better appreciation of the value of diversity in business. This in itself has been central to my ability to build good working relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and to lead a multi-national team, as I do today. “Finding solutions for real problems is what the MBA is all about. Students are encouraged to relate the theory they learn to their work experience, bringing it alive and making it relatable. By doing this, you learn from your experiences and see how you might have done things differently. “Working as consultants with businesses on real-life problems was another invaluable aspect of the course, meaning all the students have tangible experience of putting into practice the theory they’ve learnt. “The methodologies we learnt in managing business challenges have helped me in my subsequent career. The Glasgow MBA taught me to look at potential problems in a different way, to stay calm, to think through a problem, to look at it objectively rather than emotionally and to always have a plan. “A fantastic experience, which was extremely enriching, the Glasgow MBA was an investment worth every penny as it propelled my career forward. Glasgow changed my mindset in a lot of ways, but more than anything it taught me to look at the bigger picture, enabling me to take on a strategic role. “Before finishing the course I’d found a new job despite the economy being in one of the worst downturns of all time. About 18 months later I moved to American Express Global Business Travel, where I’ve worked for nine years in a variety of roles. Today, I lead a team located across Asia and the Pacific, managing commercial relationships for the business.

Aneesh Batra

“The high level of interaction between the faculty and students is possible due to the small intake on the MBA, meaning each student receives a lot of individual attention. Where some universities accept hundreds of students on to their MBAs, Glasgow takes a

different path, accepting around 30 students on the course each year. “This small cohort makes a huge difference to the quality of the student experience. From helping students make the most of their time at the university to providing

“Looking back, I see my life in three distinct phases, pre-Glasgow, my year at Glasgow and post-Glasgow. The friendships and network you make during the course inform everything you do afterwards, they are invaluable.” www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/ businessadministration/

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MBA STUDY at RGU We offer two internationally recognised and industry connected MBA programmes, a general MBA and a specialist MBA in Oil and Gas Management. Both degrees are highly applied and practice-driven to hone your skills and support your career development. You’ll participate in our acclaimed Leadership Week event, take control

of a business in an online simulation, and apply your learning in a Consultancy Project to bring value for a client organisation. Our study modes include full-time on campus or part-time online, so you can gain your MBA alongside your career.

Apply now for September 2020.

Apply at www.rgu.ac.uk/mba


Online Dangerous Goods Training Are your staff involved in the transport of goods classed as dangerous by air, road, sea, rail, or inland waterway?

General Security Awareness Training (GSAT)

EU and international legislation states that all staff directly or indirectly involved in the transport of goods classed as dangerous by air, road, sea, rail, or inland waterway, must receive training appropriate to their job. Choose FTA’s cost-effective Online Dangerous Goods training programme, aligned with UK CAA and EASA-OPS requirements.

Online courses available:

1 Introduction to Dangerous Goods by Air, Road, and Sea – overview for management and staff. 2 Dangerous Goods by Air for Cargo Staff and Airport Ground Handling Staff (ICAO/ IATA Cat. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 14)

and staff of designated postal operators in categories b and c. 3 Dangerous Goods by Air for Passenger Handling Staff and Security Screeners (ICAO/IATA Categories 9, 12 and 15). 4 Dangerous Goods by Air for Flight Crew Members, Load Planners and Loadmasters (ICAO/IATA Cat. 10 and 16). 5 Dangerous Goods by Air for Crew Members (other than flight crew). Book your course at


EU and DfT legislation states that all airport staff requiring an airside staff pass must first complete a General Security Awareness Training (GSAT) course. FTA’s online GSAT course uses clear spoken language, pictures, text and videos, making it easily understood by second-language speakers. It features professional film sequences, taken at a major UK airport, and provides a glossary of abbreviations and technical terms.

Course coverage:

The threat to aviation Security in the aviation industry The trainees role Recognising and reporting suspicious behaviour Access control and the screening point Book your course at


Business Scotland



Can you afford not to be coaching? Do you work in people management? Are you an accidental manager? Looking for a career change? Find out how coaching can help you master the skills you need to perform at the top of your game.

Gina Lodge

CEO, Academy of Executive Coaching

For many organisations, the people they employ are the most valuable assets they possess, but some are still on the starting blocks when it comes to understanding the full importance of investing in developing their employees. People development is not just about training and in the current economic and politically uncertain climate, training may not provide the best return on investment and deliver the desired. A coaching approach, however, can offer business leaders and managers of all levels the sustainable opportunity to build a highly skilled and motivated workforce who are ready to face the challenges and opportunities the future brings. Embedding coaching into your company’s philosophy can help improve performance from top to bottom and bottom to top, set goals, and deliver long-term benefits for the employees, the business and customers. If you work with people but aren’t using coaching skills in your management style or team development, you could be putting a cap on your, your colleagues’ and employer’s potential.

A strategic impact for HR professionals

At the heart of every organisation lies its working culture and for coaching to be truly effective, it must be entrenched in your people management strategy. Modern and progressive workplaces need a coaching mindset to cultivate growth, innovation and value creation and HR practitioners can lead the way when it comes to transitioning to a coaching culture. HR professionals who can leverage their own skills as internal coaches will play a central part in helping line managers, senior executives and team leaders to develop coaching skills themselves. Bolstering the effectiveness of your talent management

efforts, coaching skills and conversations should be applied company-wide to enable employees at all levels to grow and meet the organisation’s evolving needs.

Becoming a better manager

Famously, back in 2008, Google ran an internal review called Project Oxygen to establish what makes a great manager at Google. The tech giant was keen to determine what the most important qualities were that these managers possessed so they could be incorporated into its manager development programmes. Being a good coach came out top. And as Google has continued to review and finesse the project’s findings, ten years on coaching skills is still number one on its list of behaviours. What’s more is that the nine attributes it identified such as empowering the team/not micromanaging, creating an inclusive environment, being resultsorientated, having good communication skills, supporting career development, having a clear vision and being able to collaborate are all underpinned by using a coaching approach. While old management styles die out, more needs to be done with Harmonic’s 2018 Future of Global Work survey, finding that one of the most significant people challenges facing organisations right now is that managers lack coaching skills. Positive work cultures are built upon staff members being coached, not managed. Coaching works and pays huge dividends such as increased satisfaction and improved

I bring my coaching to every piece of training, facilitating or talk that I do. I make people aware of how effective coaching helps grow people, creates safe environments, develops leaders and generates revenue.

performance. There’s a healthier turnover to be enjoyed from a rise in productivity too.

Thinking about a career leap?

Coaches come from all walks of life and many have made the full-time career switch because they are driven by the desire to so something more meaningful. Coaching is naturally a good fit for anyone who has had a background in HR, learning and development, consultancy, training or who has led a team in a corporate environment but retraining or upskilling to become an independent executive coach takes time, investment and dedication. Aspiring coaches can choose a number of different pathways when starting their professional journey, but expectations are high when it comes to working with organisational clients. Credentialing with one of the industry’s professional bodies is a must if you want to demonstrate commitment and best practice to potential customers.

Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching 10 March – 17 June 2020, Edinburgh Enabling you to become a qualified coach or to develop the deepened skills to better manage others, this triple-accredited programme explores coaching’s key principles, develops your style and equips you with all the necessary skills to get started. www.aoecscotland.com

Peter Waggott, AoEC Practitioner in Executive Coaching, Scotland graduate

Business Scotland



Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year 2019 A talented teen has netted the title of Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year after saving hundreds of thousands of pounds for his seafood manufacturer employer. Nineteen-year-old Jordan Fairlamb was named top apprentice at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, hosted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) at the Caird Hall in Dundee. Jordan was hooked on apprenticeships after learning about them from his SDS careers adviser, taking a Supply Chain Management Modern Apprenticeship with Dawnfresh Seafoods straight from school. A thriving Scottish SME, Dawnfresh handle around 150 tonnes of fish per week, specialising in salmon and trout.

Business Scotland


The Lanarkshire-based firm supply top supermarkets such as Marks and Spencer and Asda while meeting a strong export demand from the USA, Japan and Europe. Jordan’s role involves being responsible for the day-to-day ordering of salmon for the Bothwell Industrial Park business, managing stock worth £1.8million. His value, potential and proactive ‘can-do’ attitude was quickly spotted by bosses. Jordan’s initiative included avoiding £60,000 of costs for the firm by single-handedly solving a customer’s packaging issue and

finding a solution to save £100,000 of stock. Jordan said: “Once we were aware that there was an issue, I spent over two full days at a storage facility stripping down 55 pallets of stock to adapt the packaging. Then I had to go back and do my ‘normal day job’. It was tiring, but worth it in the end.”

Progression to Graduate Apprenticeship Jordan has progressed in Dawnfresh to be the company’s first Graduate Apprentice by embarking on a four-year Honours degree in Business Management from Strathclyde University’s Business school.


Jordan explained: “Doing my Modern Apprenticeship was the perfect platform to opening up further opportunities. “Now, my Graduate Apprenticeship means that I do one day a month in uni, then the rest of my course is done online, with about 15 hours a week studying. I feel that’s the best way to learn. “My Modern Apprenticeship was about demonstrating that I could do something in practice, but I’m now learning about the theory and how to apply that in different situations through my Graduate Apprenticeship. “Recently, I did a case study and analysis of my own company. I learned about Ethical Theories in Business – and then I had to apply this to my workplace. It helped me understand how ethics are important in food production. “With the Graduate Apprenticeship I get the combination of the theoretical approach and policies but also the reality of what that looks like for my company.” More and more Scottish employers are turning to Graduate Apprenticeships to meet their critical skills gap, with over 400 employers now choosing to invest in Graduate Apprenticeships. Employers are tapping into the range of frameworks available, from Cyber Security to Design and Manufacture, which are designed by employers and mapped to the skills needs of business. Helen Muir, HR Director of Dawnfresh and member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board sees Graduate Apprentices as helping provide the skills critical for the future success of the business: “We see Graduate Apprenticeships as a strategic focus in developing our future leaders. “It is a real advantage to have Jordan going through his Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management at Strathclyde University, while continuing to work with us,” said Helen. “We have seen the value already, as Jordan’s commercial awareness has improved, and he is more conscious of external impacts on the business. It is exciting to have

I joined the Network to make a difference. It’s good for people at school to know that there are options through apprenticeships - a route that was highlighted to me when I was at school - and hopefully I can be an example to show how it can lead on to great things. apprentices of Jordan’s calibre at Dawnfresh - he has a fantastic work ethic and desire to improve himself.”

Sharing his apprenticeship story But Jordan’s involvement with apprenticeships goes beyond his own job and his studies. As an active member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, he also takes time to provide apprentice insight into the policies of work-based learning, with the aim of promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to other young people, parents and teachers. “Some of the meetings I’ve attended have allowed me to feedback on the design of websites, or even the right sort of language for campaigns on apprenticeships” he explains. “It’s important that when policies and ideas are being developed, that there’s input from the people it will affect – the apprentices.” Jordan’s involvement with the Advisory Board has meant that he’s been instrumental in helping to build a new national, cross-sectoral initiative - Scotland Apprentice Network – to help connect schools with employers. “The Network is all about allowing apprentices like me to go out and speak to school pupils, making their subject choices, and tell them about my personal experience.

“Joining the Network has been great for me – it’s given me the chance to meet other apprentices, to see different ages, types of jobs and find out what they do. “Also, as a member, you receive free training which helps build your CV further. I’ve already had courses on building your LinkedIn profile, Mental Health First Aid and most recently, Career Management Skills.” “I joined the Network to make a difference. It’s good for people at school to know that there are options through apprenticeships - a route that was highlighted to me when I was at school - and hopefully I can be an example to show how it can lead on to great things.” For more info on Graduate Apprenticeships, visit: https://www. apprenticeships.scot/for-employers/ graduate-apprenticeships/ Scotland’s Apprentice Network is open to past and present apprentices across Scotland: www.apprenticeships.scot/ network Find out more about the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and its Apprentice Engagement Group. www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/ what-we-do/apprenticeships/thescottish-apprenticeship-advisory-board/

Business Scotland



Graduate Apprenticeships: adapting to a rapidly changing world Meeting Scotland’s critical skills needs through Graduate Apprenticeships

Hector MacAulay

Managing Director, Balfour Beatty’s Scotland and Ireland construction business

Balfour Beatty has a long history of developing talent and its workforce through employing apprentices. Modern apprenticeships are a key part of the building blocks of our talent pipeline, however now there are also opportunities with foundation apprenticeships, creating work-based learning pathways for senior phase school pupils, and Graduate Apprenticeships offering jobs with workbased learning up to degree level. At Balfour Beatty, Graduate Apprentices nurture their skills and add real value to some of our most high-profile projects in Scotland. We currently have two based on North Scotland projects: Linkwood Primary School in Elgin and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. We also have one graduate apprentice currently on a rotational placement within the Technical Services team which allows them to experience and learn about different roles and departments within Balfour Beatty. We offer a variety of Graduate Apprenticeships, covering Civil Engineering, Construction and the Built Environment as well as IT disciplines. Where an employee shows an interest in another subject, we make every effort to support this. It is vitally important for us to create opportunities through apprenticeships and we believe lifelong learning is key to leaving a sustainable, lasting legacy through our projects in Scotland. Employer perceptions are shifting and no longer are apprenticeships simply the domain of school leavers, or for nonacademic subjects. Balfour Beatty are also a proud member of ‘The 5% Club’, founded by our CEO Leo Quinn – The 5% Club is a UK, employerled initiative focused on the recruitment of people into “earn and learn” placements to increase the number of apprentices and graduates. It’s about allowing young people to improve their career prospects, while equipping Scotland, and the whole of the UK, with the skilled people we need to safeguard our economy. The current regional Scottish figure is 8%.

Addressing critical skills needs One of the great things about Graduate Apprenticeships is that they directly

Business Scotland


address the critical skills requirements of our business now, and in the future. Significantly, for us, they provide skills that are appropriate for the world of construction. The way they do this is that courses are industry led – so they are designed by employers and aligned to the skills that businesses will use and need. Apprentices are equipped with a good blend between learning received at university and the practical knowledge learned in the workplace - it’s a win-win situation for everyone. It’s no news that there is a skills shortage in Scotland, and I can see Graduate Apprenticeships as having a crucial role is addressing this. Their development is centred on the sectors that have a need for highly skilled jobs. The skills shortage isn’t an issue that’s going to go away in the short or long-term. The current political climate is having an impact on the availability of skills, and changes to Scotland’s demographics are putting more pressure on the working age population. The pace of technological change means our workforce needs both flexibility and resilience.

Future proofing our industries It is therefore encouraging to see the choice of frameworks growing – it has more than doubled from six, back in 2017 when they were first introduced, to fourteen. The appetite for Graduate Apprenticeships is certainly there – the feedback and research show this – and satisfying this will help future-proof our industries and workforce. The world of work is continually changing at

a rapid pace, and employers and skills are challenged to keep up. Graduate Apprenticeships are firmly part of Scottish Government policy and strategy commitments for the future. Scottish Government’s Future Skills Action Plan, Youth Employment Strategy and Economic Strategy set out a clear commitment to Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships and their part in building a world-class work-based learning system. But there’s always more that can be done.

Demand outstripping supply of Graduate Apprenticeships We would like to see more Graduate Apprenticeships available throughout Scotland. I can say with confidence that a simple increase in places available would be beneficial to the construction and infrastructure industry. I am confident that this would also be the case across other sectors too. Through our work within Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, I can see that, employers, both large and small, are desperately seeking highly skilled, qualified people. A Graduate Apprentice will combine the taught, theoretical aspect of a role with the practical, business-mindset gained from that vital exposure to the job, making this an attractive route for people carving out their career path, and employers alike. Government and legislators should see this as an enormous opportunity. A change in the system is underway. Now, with universities and colleges onboard and the permeating benefits that can be felt by everyone involved – and the Scottish economy – there should be nothing standing in the way of creating more Graduate Apprenticeships.


Employers urged to support Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 will celebrate the diversity that makes work-based learning good for individuals, employers and the economy. Co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland, the Week will take place from 2-6 March with a theme of ‘Talent Without Limits’. Scottish Apprenticeships create opportunities for everyone no matter their background and for every business no matter its size or sector.

The Week aims to challenge outdated and limiting views of apprenticeships and who they are for. During #ScotAppWeek20, activities and events will take place up and down the country and employers and learning providers can get involved by showcasing the diverse range of apprenticeships, who they are for and their talented Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices. For more information about Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020, support to get involved and to register an event or activity taking place during the Week, visit the campaign webpage www.apprenticeships. scot/scotappweek

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Robert Gordon University – a leader in the provision of work-based learning Robert Gordon University (RGU) has a long-standing reputation for its extremely close links with business and industry. This close collaboration allows the university to develop a demand-led curriculum which is tailored to the needs of employers. RGU continues to implement innovation in industry-focused teaching and professional development, and is proud to continue to lead the way in work-based learning, taking the university to the workplace with its Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) offering.

David Bowman, Graduate Apprenticeship Mentor and Lee Forsyth, Graduate Apprentice, Aberdeen Football Club

GAs have been developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with employers and industry and the further and higher education sectors. GAs are a new way for individuals to get qualified up to Master’s degree level while in paid employment. They are designed by employers and offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees. Drawing on its expertise of working with employers, RGU was one of the first universities in Scotland to deliver GAs and continues to be at the forefront of workbased learning having expanded its offering across a range of disciplines in construction, engineering, business management, IT and accounting. The university has already delivered successful GAs in partnership with more than 150 businesses in a range of sectors, covering the length and breadth of Scotland and recently announced a new round of degree level GAs, with 175 fully-funded places being offered for 2020. Professor John Harper, Principal of Robert Gordon University (RGU), commented: “Graduate Apprenticeships represent a major step-change in learning, and were introduced to address future skills shortages in key areas. As we move into the fourth year of offering GA opportunities, it is clear these provide a solution to many business needs, equipping workforces across Scotland with

Partnering with companies across Scotland has allowed us to co-develop and support this new model of learning.

Business Scotland


the expertise and skills to navigate changing working landscapes.”

exchange ideas and experiences with their peer group and tutors.

The university’s innovative model reflects the importance of RGU’s approach in engaging employers to design the degrees based on the value of the workplace as a learning environment. The majority of the learning is done in the workplace, minimising time away from the organisation and making it accessible no matter of location. The graduate apprentices benefit from a new type of learning, putting what they have learned into practice immediately with support from both their employer and the university. The employers also benefit in a number of ways, from being able to plan for their skills needs in a new way and develop existing staff with emerging and transferable skill sets, to improving employee retention by supporting and investing in their development.

“As a transformational work-based learning initiative, GAs fit with RGU’s strengths and ethos, showcasing our ongoing commitment to develop the workforces across Scotland with the essential expertise, tools and innovative skills to navigate changing working landscapes and fulfil the needs of industry.”

Professor Harper continues: “Partnering with companies across Scotland has allowed us to co-develop and support this new model of learning. A blended learning approach, supported by our virtual learning environment, with online lectures, discussion forums and access to course materials, is used. This is complimented by a number of on-campus sessions at the university’s Garthdee campus, where students can

RGU provides GAs in Accounting, Business Management, Construction and the Built Environment, Data Science, Engineering: Design and Manufacture, Engineering: Instrumentation, Measurement and Control, and IT: Management for Business. To find out more about how RGU can partner with your organisation to shape the workforce in line with business demands, please contact gaemployer@rgu.ac.uk or visit www.rgu.ac.uk/ga.

International Enterprising Leading Local Strathclyde The final word in business education

Strathclyde Business School is a top business school within a leading international technological University, recently named UK University of the Year in the prestigious Times Higher Awards 2019. As a long-established, pioneering business school, we understand the business needs of organisations, from SMEs and start ups to global players. With seven international centres, we know first hand the importance of global thinking 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.



Teesport launch new gateway for growth A significant investment into a new automated gate system is helping ensure that Teesport, owned and operated by PD Ports, continues a substantial growth rate in its container volumes. PD Ports launched the automated gate system as part of an ongoing multi million pound investment in world class technology that will enable the port to support future international trade growth across the North of the UK. The new system is designed to handle increasing demand for services at Teesport, now the UK’s fifth largest container port, as a gateway to global markets. Handling an average of 26 vessels a week and 30 million tonnes of cargo a year, Teesport is the UK’s northern gateway for global shippers serving worldwide markets including Scandinavia, the Baltics, the Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, France and Poland as well as handling monthly arrivals from Japan. Container volumes at the port have grown by 12 per cent annually for more than eight years, even during the recession, compared to an average growth in the container industry of between two and three per cent.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman, says that the port is “growing exponentially at a rate well above the rest of the industry.” “We’ve gone from being a small gateway container port only a decade ago to being the fifth largest container port in the UK,” says Hopkinson. “But we also recognise that to continue growing, we need to adopt the very best processes and systems.” The automated gate is the third phase of technological investments at Teesport, following previous investments in the Navis system, which employs artificial intelligence to build up information about the way containers flow through the port and uses it to manage processes while improving efficiencies for port users, as well as a new and advanced vehicle booking system. The automated gate will further help Teesport retain industry-best average gate-to-gate times – how long it takes for a vehicle to arrive, unload, reload and exit the terminal – even as volumes increase. “At about 30 minutes, our average gate-togate times are excellent in comparison to most other UK Ports,” Hopkinson continued. “Haulage contractors picking up or dropping off containers at our port can now use an app to pre-book their load in, and arrive at an automatic portal that uses camera technology to scan the container number. The driver has a smart card he swipes to then be let straight into the terminal to offload before heading out again.

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“The port’s continued investment, which has exceeded £1bn in the last decade, will not only benefit our customers directly but it will positively impact the wider region and contribute to making the North of the UK globally competitive.” The automate gate has been welcomed by Teesport’s customers, who are sharing the benefits of a slicker, speedier system. The system was successfully tested with PD Ports’ own fleet of more than 30 vehicles before being rolled out to selected hauliers prior to launching. With its excellent multimodal connections and recent technological advancements, Teesport is now well positioned to handle more of the northern export and import market that has traditionally gone through major container ports in the south and south-east, supporting a bright future for Teesport and the North of the UK. Teesport’s Intermodal Rail terminal, which opened in 2014, offers more direct connections to Scotland than any other port in the North with two daily services running to Grangemouth and Mossend. The second of these services, officially named the Teesport Express, was launched in 2019 after a seven-figure sum was invested by PD Ports to meet customers’ transportation needs for goods coming into Teesport from the Continent. Timed purposely with the arrival of the P&O Ferries service, the rail service guarantees maximum efficiency for customers moving cargo into Scotland.

CONNECTING SCOTLAND TO THE WORLD VIA TEESPORT FREQUENCY AND RELIABILITY POSITION TEESPORT AS A GLOBAL GATEWAY TO SCOTLAND Teesport offers more direct daily rail connections to and from Scotland than any other port in the north of England, running two daily services to Grangemouth and Mossend. With 26 vessel calls a week, Teesport allows shippers to move cargo with ease, complemented by intermodal rail connections.

For more information and to start realising the benefits of rail freight, please contact our commercial team. T: +44 (0) 1642 877000 E: enquiries@pdports.co.uk W: www.pdports.co.uk



A prosperous and inclusive economy lies at the heart of Argyll and Bute Council’s priorities and this is reflected in the Argyll and Bute Outcome Improvement Plan 2013 – 2023 that has been agreed with the Scottish Government. With new opportunities and challenges now presenting themselves through a number of economic drivers, such as the urgent need for business innovation and investment, increased mobility in the workforce, a rising living wage, rapidly changing digital technology and new public sector interventions such as the emerging Rural Growth Deal. There is now a compelling need for a new Argyll and Bute Economic Strategy that focusses on Argyll and Bute’s key priorities, and takes account of the resources Argyll and Bute Council have available including working with our strategic partners. To find out more information, please visit:


Argyll and Bute Council has welcomed the announcement of a £50 million Rural Growth Deal as a ‘transforma�onal vote of confidence’ in the area. The Council has been championing a deal for Argyll and Bute with the UK and Sco�sh Governments, based on a number of projects developed with public and private sector partners. Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, welcomed the announcement. “This scale of investment is a transforma�onal vote of confidence in the future of Argyll and Bute. This area has fantas�c natural resources, an innova�ve, skilled workforce, and public and private sector organisa�ons commi�ed to its future success. Our next step will be to work with the Sco�sh and UK Governments to priori�se how we put this investment to work for Argyll and Bute.” Along with its partners, the council had designed proposals to deliver success across Argyll and Bute, based on three key drivers: A�rac�ng: Addi�onal skills, training and learning opportuni�es; new residents, visitors and businesses; Growing: Doing more of what works; making more of our natural and built resources; Connec�ng: Our high value business sectors with na�onal and interna�onal business markets; our local economic successes with na�onal strategic priori�es.

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Mentoring – an invaluable service for business owners



Scott McCrae

Evelyn Toma

Managing Director, McCrae Training

Business Development Director of Strategic Projects, University of Glasgow

“Being mentored has enabled my business to grow, my staff to develop, along with my level of self-awareness and strategic focus to improve significantly.” When Scott McCrae (SME Business Owner) first met with Evelyn Toma (Business Mentor), McCrae Training was in a period of growth, however the growth was restricted.

support in the next steps towards growing his business – asking questions like how do we take the business where we want go, what should we do next and when and in what markets?

There was limited capability for increasing the number of staff McCrae Training required and Scott was aware that his commitment to the growth of the SME Business had resulted in him micromanaging the business during the period of growth.

As a result of this, Scott joined the Scottish Business Mentoring Program run by Scottish Chambers of Commerce. The programme manages Scotland’s largest peer-to-peer business mentoring support network, matching growing businesses with an experienced business mentor from SCC’s National Mentor Pool of over 1,000 knowledgeable business individuals.

Scott, who has run McCrae Training for eight years from start-up in December 2011, recognised that operating the business from 2011, to having a team of 16 people in 2018, was a great achievement however being a perfectionist, he was falling into the trap of doing too much by himself and found himself requiring

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Through the programme, Scott was matched with Evelyn Toma, Business Development Director of Strategic Projects at the University of Glasgow, who advised Scott on the importance of being strategically focused, having a strong

level of self-awareness and continual development. Looking back on the process, Scott credits Evelyn with transforming his mindset and approach to running the business. “Evelyn was fantastic at getting me to step back, reflect and act more as the conductor of an orchestra to ensure I delegated tasks, clearly communicated and allowed my team the scope to perform in the roles I employed them to complete which has in turn allowed my business and most importantly my team to grow. “My style of leadership has been adjusted to accommodate staff at all levels in my business and we now have regular meetings where we each share information on how the business is performing, keys areas of focus and the contribution of all staff members to the success of the business.” Though Evelyn operates in a different sector to Scott, it is the approach to business which Evelyn has that’s impacted McCrae Training so positively. Over the 12 months in which Evelyn mentored Scott, they met face-toface four times, each meeting lasting 90 minutes. In advance of their meetings, Scott sent Evelyn a progress update and agenda for what he wanted to discuss during their next meeting. “With the strategic direction and support of Evelyn, my team and I have


implemented new processes, procedures and controls over a 12-month period and our client base has increased by over 40%. In turn as the business has become more profitable, we have invested in our people, plant, equipment, premises and above all increased our staff numbers. Without the mentoring programme, I would still have grown my business, but to a lesser degree and the growth in turnover, profit and staff development would not have been as positive. Evelyn made me reflect and re-evaluate the company’s previous performance and helped me to focus on the areas that I needed to improve on to enable scalable and manageable business growth.” Scott praised the programme, the process of selecting a mentor and his end-result, recommending the programme to business owners who require the support to take

their business to the next level of growth and development. “Joining the Business Mentoring Programme has been a fantastic experience which has enabled my business to grow, my staff to develop and my level of selfawareness and strategic focus to take my business from strength to strength. I cannot thank Scottish Chambers enough for providing my business with the opportunity to receive such an invaluable service.” Evelyn said: “I am delighted that my support made such a difference to Scott and his business. I received world class leadership training during my career at Motorola and was able to put that into practice on a much smaller scale at the SMEs that I have run.  It is a pleasure to be able to share this approach and experience with other business leaders.” To find out more about mentoring, visit scottishbusinessmentoring.co.uk

Evelyn was fantastic at getting me to step back, reflect and act more as the conductor of an orchestra to ensure I delegated tasks, clearly communicated and allowed my team the scope to perform in the roles I employed them to complete which has in turn allowed my business and most importantly my team to grow.

Business Scotland



Elements of Taste at Glasgow Science Centre Stand out from the crowd in a world-class venue offering 17 diverse and interesting spaces to accommodate events of all shapes and sizes. Our new catering brochure, Elements of Taste, has now launched at Glasgow Science Centre with exciting options that are an integral part of the guest experience. Elements of Taste comes with new options such as feast platters, fork buffets and sharing style service, farm feast, seafood feast, field feast and the stag afternoon tea. We have also refreshed our breakfast, finger buffet, canapés and bowl food sections. Our fork buffets were so popular we created a brand new fork buffet menu that uses fresh and local produce! Feast platters you ask? We can provide a fabulous smorgasbord, giving you the option to pick at your leisure. They are similar in size to a finger buffet and offer an even greater catering focal point. Lastly, our sharing-style service gives guests an opportunity to break the ice, mingle and get to know each other. The menu includes delights such as Irn-Bru pulled pork with pickled baby onions, Host A Roast with a designated carver at your table and

interactive desserts where you can construct cheesecake or build a fruit tart. So long as we have prior notice, our chefs can cater for a wide variety of dietary requirements.

Contact our events team today to book your next event at Glasgow Science Centre: corporateevents@glasgowsciencecentre.org

TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION CENTRE The University of Strathclyde’s flagship research hub offers flexible, award-winning conference and meeting facilities for up to 600 delegates, all year round. Located in the heart of Glasgow, we’re within easy reach of transport networks, hotels and the bars and restaurants of the vibrant Merchant City..

SAVE 20% on venue hire when you quote ‘ScotCham’* www.strath.ac.uk /conferencingandevents 0141 553 4148 conferenceglasgow@strath.ac.uk

*Offer applies to enquiries made before 29th February 2020 for meetings taking place not later than 30th May 2020

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We’re passionate about ideas and creativity so we’ve filled our venue with exciting technology to engage audiences, encourage networking and inspire world-changing ideas Contact us to talk about your next event t 0131 300 3333 e sales@eicc.co.uk w www.eicc.co.uk EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE


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Blair Castle nestled in the Perthshire Countryside is the perfect away day venue for team building and celebrations. 90 minutes from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness and with direct train routes it is very easy to access. The castle is flexible and has a number of options for meetings, incentive groups, gala dinners and product launches. The ballroom holding up to 230 people for large celebrations has open fires and great acoustics and offers a warm atmospheric room for the grandest of celebrations. In contrast the Banvie Hall is a glass contemporary space perfect for product launches and drinks parties and also acts as a holding area for the ballroom, an easy space to transform for any occasion. The Library offers a traditional boardroom that can seat up to 12 comfortably, a great room to meet before going out into the estate for activities.

games, clay pigeon shooting and falconry displays can be done on the private West Lawn with the Castle as the backdrop. Or go further afield into the hills on over 40 miles of waymarked trails where treasure hunting and orienteering can be arranged.

The immediate Castle gardens and wider estate offers various spaces for outdoor teambuilding activities. Traditional highland

Julias@blair-castle.co.uk – 01796 481 207 more information found at www.blair-castle.co.uk

All events at the Castle are bespoke and accompanied by catering tailor-made to your specification. From welcome bacon rolls to a 3 course sit down dinner the possibilities are endless. If you are looking for a unique venue with Scottish Heritage running through its veins then Blair Castle is the place for your next event. For a bespoke quote contact the team today:



Blair Castle makes an exciting alternative to hotels and conference centres with the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor spaces to suit any event. Situated 90 minutes from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness it is right at the heart of Scotland. The Castle ballroom is an easily adaptable space for celebratory events, meetings, product launches and team building events. Use the private castle green for team building activities such as falconry, mini highland games or clay pigeon shooting. Go further afield on the estate and use the shooting range, extensive walking trails for orienteering, take a tractor tour round the farms or join up with onsite Segway Ecosse for a Segway tour of the local area. All events are tailor-made to your specification so dont hesitate to get in touch to discuss your next event.

Tel: 01796 481207 Julias@blair-castle.co.uk www.blair-castle.co.uk

Business Scotland



Reflections on 2019 at Dunkeld House Hotel 2019 a year of growth within the corporate sector at Dunkeld House Hotel. A year that saw a significant increase in local corporate meetings within our smaller, more intimate meeting rooms with a noticeable rise in speciality corporate conferencing within the medical and educational sectors usually accompanied by a glitzy gala dinner in our 200 seater, river-side marquee. We hosted luxury brand product launches, university balls, and medical conferences, corporate retreats, reunions and public sector conferences. Working with companies who value a work and play balance for delegates, time permitting, even just a simple lunch can be created into an experience! Enjoying the outdoors, for example, the forest and wildlife with onlocation barbeques in summer, falconry shows, archery and clay pigeon shooting lessons, create a meaningful hours’ break

in the day keeping the mind active and engaged. Collaboration with local companies on our 280-acre estate allows an offering of unique experience based activities for delegates. Currently into our fourth year of private ownership after our completed ÂŁ3.5 million renovation, Dunkeld House Hotel is an established value driven, experience based, luxury product. Our reputation for service excellence and speciality event management continues to soar with our onsite Events

team to manage each step of the process from inspiration to execution. Dunkeld House Hotel, a four star country house hotel nestled within a 280-acre estate, an unrivalled location within the Perthshire area, just 90 minutes north of Glasgow and Edinburgh. We look forward to hosting your 2020 Meetings, Conferences and Events. events@dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk www.dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk 01350 727771

Conferencing - Meetings Corporate Events Team Building Award-winning 4* Country House Hotel in the heart of Perthshire.

01350 727771 / www.dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk Business Scotland



EVH ROOM HIRE Looking for a venue for a meeting or event, but want something different? Look no further. Based in Sauchiehall Street in the heart of Glasgow city centre, our fully refurbished Rennie Mackintosh-influenced loft space offers something a little different to the norm. Betty’s Room boasts natural daylight and has a fully integrated AV set up offering:

Wall mounted projector, screen and laptop Lectern with integrated microphone n Hearing loop n Skype (free calls) n n

And much more. Interested? Take a look at our dedicated website where you’ll find full information on our two rooms and how to book.

www.evh.org.uk •

0141 352 7435

CORPORATE EVENTS AT HAMILTON PARK www.hamilton-park.co.uk Hamilton Park, Bothwell Road, Hamilton ML3 0DW Hamilton Park - Corporate 185x120.indd 1

01698 283 806

enquiries@hamilton-park.co.uk 16/12/2019 15:47

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We are the champions! Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce is enhancing its activities by creating a bank of “Chamber Champions” from within its membership. Following a strategic review, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce made the decision to add value to its membership by establishing itself as a “Stakeholder Organisation”. Chief Executive, Damon Scott, explained: “During my time as CEO we have seen an increasing number of businesses expressing a willingness to put something back into the Chamber for the greater good. As a chamber we also recognised the value of being both led and supported by our membership. “One of our key aims has always been to build a real “business community” in Dunbartonshire. The term “community” is often over-simplified as a way to describe people working in businesses and we know that being in business can sometimes be a lonely experience regardless of size. We try to emphasis the value of being part of a community defined by shared values and interests and work hard to connect businesses to build relationships, communicate and offer each other advice and support. The landscape is flooded with networking organisations driven by sales and, whilst of course we want to encourage referrals, we see them as outcome of the relationships that our members build. We have found this to be a much more sustainable approach with more informed referrals being made, based on a level of trust and understanding having been built up. “We have also seen an upsurge in businesses recognising the value of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is helping us as a chamber. There are businesses that see CSR as a benefit of financial support via our sponsorship opportunities as well as those that contribute in-kind to support our membership and activities. We are delighted that our members genuinely want to give something back, but we are also keen to highlight the benefits to their business in terms of CPD and the message this sends out to their customers about what type of business they are. Community Engagement

Images courtesy of Angelica Fraser Photography

and CSR Policies are also often an integral part of the public sector procurement process.” On the back of this interest, Dunbartonshire Chamber recently set up a new “Chamber Experts” Programme, that brought together a group of specialists willing to give up their time and share their knowledge with other members and partners. A series of themed surgeries are planned for 2020 along with workshops and seminars as well as ad-hoc advice facilitated by the chamber. Plans are also underway for the group to support the chamber’s own mentoring programme to provide advice to another member of the chamber on a regular basis for up to 12 months. The “Chamber Experts”, along with the wider membership, will also help to support Dunbartonshire Chamber’s new skills development programme, “Building Bridges” by providing mentoring and advice for schools’ enterprise and skills initiatives. Additionally, member businesses are supporting Building Bridges by undertaking outreach work at local schools, attending careers days and hosting school visits – with more than 300 schoolchildren given access to local companies to find out more about career opportunities as a result of the first “Schools2Business” Week. Another key programme that is becoming increasingly member-led is “Dunbartonshire Women in Business” that is now being headed up by chamber member, Mary Ann Smith, of Kingsmith Property Group. Mary Ann recently hosted the launch of a new networking event in Bearsden organised in partnership with fellow member,

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Café Crème. The sell-out event featured another chamber member, Alison Bell, of the Frill Factory, who gave an insight into being “commercially creative” along with professional blogger Emma McMenemey. Damon Scott said: “It is fantastic that we have members like Mary Ann, Geraldine Dillon of Café Crème and Alison Bell who are prepared to join our growing pool of “Chamber Champions” and invest their time and expertise to enhance what the chamber is already doing. As a smaller chamber it expands our capabilities, adds value, raises our profile and builds our membership as we continue to reach a wider audience. It also makes a lot of sense to involve the membership in both leading and shaping our activities, it means we get continuous feedback to help us plan effectively and it means there is a real authenticity and credibility about everything we do. The feedback from the event was really positive and we have already had follow-up discussions with Mary Ann about helping to deliver a range of events and activities in 2020 as well as how we connect and build the network.” To find out more about more about the Chamber Champion Scheme, to get involved or for sponsorship opportunities email champions@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk or phone Damon Scott on 0141 280 0272. To find out more about Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce visit www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk


From humble beginnings to an annual revenues of £10m – Forth Valley Chamber Member Candle Shack’s Story Candle Shack is a luxury candle manufacturer and supplier of candle making supplies and equipment. Established in 2010 by husband and wife team, Duncan and Cheryl MacLean, the business remains family owned and is based in central Scotland. Cheryl and Duncan - like most entrepreneurs - started in a garage, with a melting jug, some old coffee jars and £1500 in savings; but quickly fell in love with the craft. After tinkering around at Sunday markets for a year or two, they gave up their day jobs, packed up their belongings and moved from Bristol to Larbert in 2012 with their two children to ‘have a go’. Since then, they have grown somewhat and now employ over 50 staff and occupy 63,000 sqft of space at West Carron Works, Falkirk. All candle manufacturing takes place in West Carron, where state of the art technology and artisan craftsmanship combine to produce candles for some of the world’s leading luxury brands, including: Fornasetti, Anya Hindmarch, Votary and dozens of others. From humble beginnings in their garage, Cheryl and Duncan have become well respected within the home fragrance industry. Cheryl is currently President of

the British Candlemakers Federation and Duncan sits on the technical committee. The business has also recently been accepted into the Association of European Candle Makers (AECM); a forum for larger candle manufacturers within Europe. One of the keys to the company’s success has been the relentless pursuit of innovation. In addition to making candles, the company has created custom wax blends made from non-GMO plant based materials, wax melting tanks that can be used in the home and is now developing software that utilises machine learning to help small candle makers to produce safer candles. The business will also be running candle making courses and hopes to open a Factory Shop around April 2020. The other thing Duncan and Cheryl are passionate about is building engaged communities. They have an online Facebook Community Group of over 5,000 candle makers who support each other and provide advocacy for the business. This is an excellent starting point for anybody interested in making their own candles at

home, or starting a Candle Business. Candle Shack, a member of Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, has created almost 50 jobs in the last 5 years and plans to recruit at least 20 more people in the next 2-3 years and achieve annual revenues of £10m by 2022. The business also supports a multitude of small Scottish start-ups, helping them to develop high quality products and create jobs in local communities up and down the country. In fact, Candle Shack currently supports over 6,000 small home fragrance businesses across Europe. To learn more about candle making, join the Facebook Community Group – Candle Shack Community - or pop along to West Carron from April and attend a course. To find about Forth Valley Chamber membership, visit forthvalleychamber.co.uk/ or call 01786 448 333.

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Putting West Lothian Businesses Central Stage Entrepreneurship and innovation were celebrated at West Lothian’s premium business awards in the luxurious Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel, Uphall on Friday 29th November 2019. These awards celebrate the success and achievements of local businesses – the Chamber of Commerce hosts the awards with support of our sponsors to highlight and recognise West Lothian as a region full of unlimited potential ensuring all businesses can grow and achieve excellence with the determination of its people. The power of business success was highlighted by our keynote speaker Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive and Director of Scottish Chambers, who expressed great delight at the gathering of so many businesses who are working to make not only West Lothian a great destination for business but Scotland as a whole using the Chamber network to grow and support business activities. This year’s winners truly represent the hard work that goes into making a business successful while showcasing commitment to excellence, prime examples of what makes West Lothian a true hub for business. We are delighted to announce our worthy winners from the Business Excellence Awards 2019: The Best Business Award sponsored by West Lothian Council Business Gateway was presented to an exceptional business that demonstrated consistent growth and investment, showing true business excellence and long-term commitment to the local economic growth. This year’s winner was The Glenmorangie Company, based at Alba in Livingston. The company which employs over 100 staff was awarded the title of Best Business for their principles of innovation and sustainability to drive continuous improvement across all aspects of the business. Over the last 10 years, production at Alba has went from strength to strength and significant expansion plans are underway. Another outstanding local business is incovo who were awarded the Business Growth Award sponsored by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce. Founded in 2002, incovo is an independent Scottish business specialising in telecommunications and print solutions. Chris Thomas, appointed CEO in 2016, has revolutionised the business whilst earning himself a place on the shortlist for the Institute of Directors ‘Young Director of The Year’ award. The Innovation Award is a new category sponsored by The Glenmorangie Company who within their own organisation embrace values that encourage both pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit. The judges selected Livingston based Elite Control Systems as the winner for their innovative approach to solving their client’s unique problems as well utilising the upskilling of their team for Elite’s business growth plan.

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West Lothian has a culture of supporting entrepreneurship and the Business Start-Up Award sponsored by West Lothian Council Business Gateway recognises a good role model for other start-up companies. Michael Harkins, Founder of Turtle Pack took his passion for teaching children to swim and created an innovative, fun and safe swim aid which has now gone global. Also showcasing entrepreneurship was our Highly Commended Start-Up Business, Spring Solutions Ltd who seen a niche in their market and took steps to address it. Shin-Etsu Livingston have sponsored the Environmental Champion Award again to recognise local businesses who are innovative and sustainable in managing the environmental impact of their organisation. This year’s champion, The Glenmorangie Company, was recognised for their commitment to creating a culture of sustainability for their processes, places and people. Also recognised was Paterson Arran for their continued investment in environmental projects and Brewster Brothers Ltd were commended for encouraging waste reduction and recycling. Recognising that our young people are key to the local economic development, the support offered by businesses is applauded by the Developing the Young Workforce West Lothian Regional Group through the sponsorship of the DYW Regional Employer Award which was presented to Veolia who have established strong links with the local schools to deliver inspiration events including the Circular Economy Challenge for primary schools. Also supporting young people in the area is Angela Moohan, founder of The Larder Cook School and she was presented with the Shona Sibbald Woman in Business Award sponsored by the Sibbald Group. Angela’s commitment and drive with the support of her team has

realised true success for the organisation and importantly young people in West Lothian. The Larder’s aim is to inspire the use of food to change lives and build an empowered and resilient communities as well as developing a dignified response to food poverty. Also recognised was Tracy Murdoch from Kidz-Eco, who was Highly Commended for her successful social enterprise offering families affordable high-quality preloved clothes, toys and essentials. The Enterprising School Award sponsored by Paterson Arran recognises the hard work of teachers and students as they incorporate a business approach to curriculum. Low Port Primary were presented with the Winner Award for their recognition of the importance of developing work-life skills achieved through strong partnerships, hands on learning and fun. Blackburn Primary School were Highly Commended for their focus on real world issues that affects their pupils giving them some valuable learning experiences. Over 180 people attended this year’s event, where alongside the award announcements, the attendees were entertained by taking part in the Big Quiz by The Team Challenge Company. As part of the evening, a Charity Draw was held on behalf of The School Bank West Lothian, a volunteer-led group aiming to improve the lives of children in West Lothian whose families maybe struggling financially and unable to provide uniforms and basic items for attending school. With the generous donations from SCHUH, Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel, Mitsubishi Electric, Macrae Seafood and Paradise Island Adventure Golf Livingston, we raised £1500 for this very worthy local charity. If you would like to know more about the Business Excellence Awards 2019 please visit: www.wlchamber.com


Chair of Edinburgh trams appointed ceo of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce West Lothian Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive. Chamber of Commerce, added;

Charlene Wallace, the current chair of Edinburgh Trams, has held several senior board director level roles in rail, bus and aviation including periods at Virgin Trains and Wales Rail Services where she was Director for Business Change and Transformation.

“I am delighted by this appointment. We had a lot of interest in the role and the interview process was rigorous. Charlene’s commercial experience and strategic and transitional approach, combined with a personable nature and an enthusiasm for building strong working relationships, mean she is an ideal fit for the chief executive role.

She brings a strong 20-year track record to West Lothian Chamber in delivering customer-focused projects that underpin business and transitional change. These include responsibilities for overseeing process improvement, employee engagement and organisational development.

Charlene completely understands the perennial problems of a Chamber as an entity, balancing vibrant activities for a wide portfolio of members, ranging from international trade and manufacturing support, to quality training products and bespoke services, whilst steering effective regional and nationally focused policy campaigns.

Appointed as Chair of Edinburgh Trams in July 2018, Charlene has served as a nonexecutive director with the organisation for over three years.

I am very much looking forward to working with Charlene and we will be introducing her to members and other key stakeholders over the coming weeks and months.”

Commenting on her new appointment as Chief Executive of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, Charlene Wallace said; “Having worked closely with the Chambers of Commerce in Scotland and, in particular, observed how West Lothian

Having worked closely with the Chambers of Commerce in Scotland and, in particular, observed how West Lothian Chamber has flourished within the local and wider business communities, I am delighted to now be part of this great organisation.

Charlene Wallace

Chamber has flourished within the local and wider business communities, I am delighted to now be part of this great organisation. It’s clear there is a real passion from both the Chamber team and its members in driving all that’s best within West Lothian. Whether members are sole traders, SMEs or PLCs, collaborative working and partnering through the Chamber of Commerce is very strong. I am looking forward to working with the Chamber team based in Livingston and I’m equally excited at the prospect of meeting members from the wide-ranging businesses that make this organisation the force it is, both across this great county and reaching out to fellow Chambers across the country.”

The West Lothian Chamber of Commerce is one of the most dynamic chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for the West Lothian Region is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. Charlene replaces Linda Scott as Chief Executive who recently left to take up a senior role at Edinburgh-based CodeClan.

Billy MacLeod, President, West Lothian

Business Scotland



Innovation Nation A pioneering partnership programme from Innovate UK is closing the gap between industry and higher education – with one Scottish university leading the way.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships The period January to November 2019 saw University of the West of Scotland (UWS) as the number one university in the UK by the value of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) secured, and having the fastest overall portfolio growth rate over the last two years. The KTP programme, supported by the Scottish Funding Council, is an innovative three-way partnership between a business, an academic and a graduate. Academic institutions employ a recently-qualified graduate, known as a ‘KTP Associate’, who works full-time with an employer under the guidance of an experienced team, bringing new skills and knowledge to the business and delivering real impact.

UWS is currently involved in 25 KTPs with businesses across the UK, amounting to a value of £5.2million, and this year launched a first-of-its-kind dedicated KTP Centre to support further growth.

Direct Relevance Stuart McKay, KTP Manager at UWS, said: “KTPs are a strategic priority at UWS and allow our research outputs and industry-facing academics to deliver genuine impact across a range of industries and businesses as well as address national and global challenges.” In November 2019, UWS became the first of just two universities in the UK to be awarded one of the newly released Management KTPs (MKTP), part of a £25m funding initiative from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) designed to introduce transformational change within organisations and enhance management capability. UWS’s School of Business & Creative Industries will be working with Glasgow-based glass specialists Inspiring Projects Involving Glass to deliver the first MKTP.

Dream, believe, achieve.

Scotland’s first dedicated

Knowledge Transfer Partnership Centre

Variety UWS business partners range from small firms to global organisations, seeking support with a range of challenges, such as health, society and sustainability. Current projects span advanced robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, materials science, bio-science, physical chemistry, engineering and life sciences as well as business and creative industries. They include projects with the likes of Baxters Food Group (environmental waste management), Kames Fish Farms (fish health), ISO Design (AR/VR), Phoenix Instinct (smart wheelchair design as part of the Toyota Mobility Challenge) and Sanondaf (disinfection technology) to name just a few. Businesses who engage in KTPs achieve an average increase in annual profit of more than £1million after taking part. They offer a strong talent pipeline too, with around 80% of associates offered a permanent job with the company when the project ends. Stuart added: “It’s been really exciting to see the progress made with KTPs at UWS, and based on the current pipeline and £25m funding boost from BEIS there is a lot more to come!” To find out how Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with UWS could benefit your business, email ktp@uws.ac.uk

1st in UK, by value of KTPs secured in 2019 £3.6m


fastest portfolio growth rate over the last 2 years

25 KTPs overall worth



Perthshire Chamber President, Stephen Leckie (left) and Allan MacGregor (right) of Main Sponsor, Binn Group, present Kristian Campbell and Ashleigh Pink of Crieff Hydro Hotel with their “Perthshire Business of the Year” Award

150-year-old family business takes Perthshire’s top title There were five-star celebrations as Crieff Hydro Hotel lifted Perthshire’s premier business award in November. The fifth-generation family business was crowned the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce “Business Of The Year 2019” at a glittering Star Awards ceremony at the annual celebration. Crieff Hydro’s General Manager Kristian Campbell and his staff celebrated winning both the Excellence in Customer Service and the Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality category awards before going on to claim the coveted overall trophy. A sell-out audience of over 400 heard how Crieff Hydro Hotel captured the judges’ vote for their “continuous investment, development and innovation plus a proven

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commitment to their staff and customers” in every aspect of their business. Chamber CE, Vicki Unite, described the winner as exemplary in both the Tourism and Leisure sectors with customer service at the heart of everything they do. She praised the 600-strong workforce for the company’s impressive growth and constant innovation. “Crieff Hydro impressed our judges across the board,” she said, “showing a


commitment to their staff, their customers and also their many suppliers. This is an extremely competitive sector and their constant investment and development, fueled by creative vision and drive for success, keeps this much-loved, valued and respected holiday destination at the fore, with wide-reaching economic benefits. The business demonstrates top-notch customer service, with customer feedback being used to directly influence investment and refurbishment strategies in a bid to meet and exceed customer expectations and ensure sustainability. We are truly lucky to have such an impressive business in Perthshire.” General Manager, Kristian Campbell, revealed that the highlight for him was the boost it would give to his delighted staff, some of whom were attending the awards ceremony, and were “completely blown away” by their success in two separate categories. “To win two categories and then be announced as Perthshire Business of the Year 2019 was the icing on the cake,” he said, “and very humbling. We’re absolutely thrilled. It means a lot to every one of us.”

The galaxy of shining new Business Stars winning on the night

Allan MacGregor, Chief Executive of Main Sponsor, Binn Group, said this year’s event had proved “an outstanding celebration of business excellence”.

Developing The Young Workforce Partnership Award Perth College UHI & Sodexo

DWK Office Solutions Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award Crieff Hydro Hotel

Blackadders Employee of the Year Award Monica Kidd of Louisa Clements Professional Haircare

Perth & Kinross Council Beyond Scotland Award Trail Architects

“Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards repeatedly delivers a tremendous celebration of the vibrant business community in this area and this was the best yet” he added. “It’s wonderful to be able to give them a platform on which to shine and to showcase the amazing quality of businesses based here. The most amazing thing is the amount of genuine goodwill and delight for those who have sponsored, reached the finals and won. It really is a uniquely supportive atmosphere and Binn Group loves being a part of it.”

Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year Award John MacDermid of Dunkeld Auto Services Elevator & Business Gateway Most Promising New Business Award Praveen Kumar Authentic Indian Cuisine Ready Meals Eva Lucia Excellence in Customer Service Award Crieff Hydro Hotel Flonix Excellence in Business Innovation Award ACS Flight Training Circular Tayside Contribution to Sustainability Award Kinross Wooden Products Company

L to r: Perthshire Chamber President, Stephen Leckie, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney and Provost Dennis Melloy

Struan Toyota Commitment to the Community Award Perth & District YMCA

Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Business Growth Award Balhousie Care Group ACS Aviation Independent Retailer of the Year Award Robertsons of Pitlochry Castle Water Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award Summer Harvest Oils OCO Westend Employer of the Year Award Bidwells Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic Health & Wellbeing Business of the Year Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) Thorntons Business Leader of the Year Morris Leslie Perthshire Business of the Year Crieff Hydro Hotel

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Renfrewshire roars at ROCCO Awards 2019 A sell-out crowd of 500 people cheered wildly as 17 outstanding winners were crowned at ROCCO 2019 on Friday 15th November at the Normandy Hotel Renfrew. Renfrewshire’s largest black-tie business event, now in its 16th year welcomed PAISLEY.IS as returning main sponsor. Chamber President Tom Johnston outlined the chamber’s achievements in the last 12 months and the audience were greeted by St Columba’s School Pipe Band. Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay MSP spoke as a special guest and emphasised the economic success and future investments coming to the area, highlighting the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District with enabling works underway close to Glasgow Airport. Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive Sandra Black gave the principal sponsor address and profiled the new Economic Strategy for Renfrewshire 2020-2030 featuring investment and opportunities in the area with increased job growth, new house building and Renfrewshire as a great place to live and work. The audience were encouraged to download the strategy on specially designed Paisley.is memory sticks given to every guest.

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The ROCCO raffle raised an outstanding £10,000 with an individual pledge of £1500 from intu Braehead for local charities and good causes with main beneficiaries Accord Hospice and STAR Project’s “Chin-Up” initiative for the young men of Shortroods. The audience were held spell-bound by the enchanting performances of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists: Soprano Charlie Drummond, Scottish baritone Arthur Bruce and pianist Michael Papadopoulos. Their talent was met with thunderous applause as the audience showed their appreciation. Rocco favourite Fred MacAulay hosted and was enthralled by all three performers. ROCCO’s twitter wall and social media generated a reach of 1.8 million impressions on twitter and reached 385,000 accounts

with #2019Rocco trending on the night.. Commenting on the Awards, Chamber chief executive Bob Grant said “What a night! ROCCO 2019 was a record breaker with over 115 entries for this year’s awards. Raising £10,000 for our two chamber charities is tremendous and thank you to all who donated a raffle prize. A huge thank you to all our sponsors with a heartfelt congratulations to all our shortlisted companies and 17 worthy winners. Special thanks to our Main Sponsor Paisley. is retuning for a second year. Driving the renewed vigour in our visitor economy and attracting global interest in Paisley & Renfrewshire. The profile of The ROCCO’s


Winners at ROCCO Awards 2019 ROCCO Award for Excellence in Customer Service- sponsored by Scottish Leather Group Taste Buds Paisley

Sponsored by

ROCCO Award for Developing the Young Workforce – sponsored by DYW (West) City Gate Construction ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing – sponsored by Advanced Forming Research Centre Howden Compressors ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology – sponsored by Creation IP Safer Scotland Ltd ROCCO Award for International Trade – sponsored by Glasgow Airport Terumo Aortic ROCCO Award for Invest in Renfrewshire – sponsored by Invest in Renfrewshire Paisley Autocare Ltd ROCCO Award for Most Promising New Business – sponsored by Renfrewshire Council Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company continues to grow with a reach of 1.8 million impressions on twitter and reaching 385,000 accounts with #2019Rocco. It reflects the outstanding companies we have in Renfrewshire. You can view all images on our Facebook page and comments on #2019Rocco. I encourage all Rocco winners to utilise their win across their PR channels. Thank you to the entire Chamber team for all their work before and on the night to ensure our 500 guests had a great time. Special thanks to principle sponsor Paisley.is, Diageo who supplied our drinks reception, Cameron Presentations & Gap TV for all the AV, Mark from Flash Bang Booth, The Printbrokers for the program, Gary from NS Design for the excellent social media coverage and the Normandy Hotel for the superb meal and service. Thanks also to St Columba’s School Pipe Band who welcomed guests in such style. Finally, thank you to Scottish Opera. It was a privilege to watch performances from three 2019/20 Emerging Artists: Soprano Charlie Drummond, Scottish baritone Arthur Bruce and repetiteur Michael Papadopoulos. Planning for Rocco 2020 is already underway, and we hope to see you enter and attend next year.”

ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year – sponsored by West College Scotland Rolls-Royce ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year – sponsored by the Malcolm Group Ingliston country Club & Hotel ROCCO Award for Excellence in Tourism – sponsored by Paisley Is Open Road Scotland

ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Rolls-Royce Ryan Clark – Safer Scotland ROCCO Award for Community Champion – sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & Royal Bank of Scotland Rays of Hope ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business with 5 or fewer employees – sponsored by intu Braehead Aillum Ltd ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business 5-25 employeessponsored by University of the West of Scotland Lochlie Construction Group ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 employees – Sponsored by Terumo Aortic Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd ROCCO Award for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business – sponsored by Paisley Daily Express. Pace Theatre Company ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year – sponsored by Diageo Plc Andrew Colquhoun – CEO, Doosan Babcock

What a night! ROCCO 2019 was a record breaker with over 115 entries for this year’s awards. Raising £10,000 for our two chamber charities is tremendous and thank you to all who donated a raffle prize. Bob Grant, Chamber Chief Executive

Business Scotland



Inverclyde Chamber welcomes Former Irn Bru chair to Greenock Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is celebrating the hugely successful launch of its latest networking series - An Audience with Robin Barr. W Robin G Barr, the former Chair of IrnBru parent company A.G. Barr, shared the secrets of his, and his family’s success at a special evening held in The Albany in Greenock. Organised by Inverclyde’s leading business network, the new event enabled Inverclyde entrepreneurs the opportunity to hear firsthand about the journey of the Barr family, as well as Robin’s successes having first joined A.G. Barr in 1960. Over 70 people attended the event, including several school children who were invited by ICC as part of their business studies, in a new complementary arrangement between the Chamber and the local secondary schools. Robin, who was Chair for 31 years and a director for 44 years before stepping down in 2009, oversaw the growth of its brands and Irn-Bru as the nation’s favourite soft drink and remains a part of the company as a Non-Executive Director of the proud family business, which was first created in 1875 by Robert Barr. Throughout the evening, Robin provided an insight into how the business has continued to survive, grow and develop as well as his views on future trends within the soft drinks industry and some of the background information on its acquisitions, marketing and exporting. To round off the evening, Robin fielded questions from the attendees for over an hour which included questions about the UK sugar levy, diversification and floating on the stock exchange.

Gavin McDonagh, President of ICC, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Robin for choosing Greenock to share his inspirational stories and being so generous with his time in enabling the attendees to learn more about AG Barr.” “Inverclyde Chamber continues to enhance its offer to the local business community and it is clear that this type of event is a welcome addition to our membership offer.” Reflecting on the event, Robin Barr said: “It was a delight to return to Inverclyde, an area I know so well given Barr’s former factory and warehouse in Greenock. I’d like to thank both Inverclyde Chamber and the attendees for their generosity and warmth towards both AG Barr and me.”

The event format is the newest addition to the ICC networking offer, growing on the ‘a look into’ roadshow series launched in October 2019. In August 2019, ICC shared its new five-year strategy focused on enhancing the Inverclyde business network and its membership. Inverclyde Chamber is the area’s premier member network and business support organisation for businesspeople from all backgrounds and sectors. ICC plans several events through the “An Audience with” format in the coming months, with leading entrepreneurs sharing best practice, advice and future trends. For more information on Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce, please visit: www.inverclydechamber.co.uk

We are very proud to be leading this work for the Scottish Chamber Network to help all Scottish Businesses uncover the opportunities that exist to do business in the UAE Business Scotland



Supply Chain Mentorship creates results A one-to-one mentorship between East Renfrewshire Chamber member MacFire Ltd, and BAM Construction has led to significant results in the former’s tender capabilities and generated profitable revenues from new contracts. MacFire Ltd, a small business based in East Renfrewshire, was matched with BAM to receive one-to-one mentoring, as part of BAM’s community benefit commitments, attached to their award of a major contract by East Renfrewshire Council. In February 2019, BAM’s SME Procurement Manager presented at a Supply Chain event in Barrhead which was jointly hosted by East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and East Renfrewshire Council. MacFire Ltd was introduced to BAM’s SME Procurement Manager at the event, and so was the start of an extremely positive and profitable relationship between the companies. The East Renfrewshire area is benefitting from investment on a significant scale as a result of infrastructure programmes such as the Local Development Plan which will deliver over 1500 homes, and the Glasgow Region City Deal projects. East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce have been supporting their members to actively engage with the Principle Contractors who are awarded these projects; to access their supplier lists, meet procurement and contract managers, and improve their tendering capabilities. MacFire Ltd are a great example of an SME who has utilised the Chamber’s network to engage with buyers at events and maximise the Chamber’s relationships with local enterprise support organisations such as Business Gateway and the council’s Economic Development team. As a result, they were first in line to meet BAM and take up the invitation to receive one to one mentoring when the opportunity arose. Douglas MacGregor, Director of MacFire Ltd said: “Thanks to the assistance and mentoring MacFire Ltd has received from East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, we have built up a very worthwhile relationship with new customers such as BAM Construction Ltd to whom we are currently supplying orders on a regular basis. We also know that when it comes to tendering for larger works, we can ask BAM Construction for advice on best

From left to right: Laura Molloy President, East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, Douglas MacGregor, Managing Director, MacFire Ltd, Lorna Wallace, Senior Economic Development Officer, East Renfrewshire Council

practice, hopefully ensuring success. Also, through the contacts made via East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, we have built up a profitable working relationship with other suppliers. This has provided us with other profitable revenue streams which we can sell along with our core services.” Laura Molloy, President of East Renfrewshire Chamber said of the successful results; “The Chamber has worked hard to put in place the mechanisms which allow our members to get sight of future and newly awarded projects so that they can put the plans in place to network and get onto the Principle Contractors lists. We know that often the issue is just getting a name, or

five minutes with the buyer, so we have taken care to obtain and publish this information for our members. They are then responsible for getting themselves through the qualification process. MacFire Ltd have shown that by getting involved and striving to improve the quality of tender submissions, the benefits will surely follow; well done to them, they deserve it!” Find out more about the benefits of joining the East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce at www.eastrenchamber.org.uk/register

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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 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 President - Colette Backwell 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 - Lorna Gibson Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd Inverdruie House, Inverdruie Aviemore, PH22 1QH T: 01479 810200 E: office@visitcairngorms.com www.visitcairngorms.com Chief Executive - Mark Tate Chair of the Partnership - 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 – Kenny Bowie 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 37 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 1 Golf Road, Clarkston, East Renfrewshire G76 7HU 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 - Jane Clark-Hutchison

Fife Chamber of Commerce Office 7A, Flexspace, Mitchelston Drive Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 3NB Fife, KY2 6HD T: 01592 647740 E: info@fifechamber.co.uk www.fifechamber.co.uk CEO – Alan Mitchell President – Brian Horisk Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Group (incorporating Stirling Chamber of Commerce) Suite 2, Scion House Stirling University Innovation Park Stirling, FK9 4NF T: 01786 448 333 E: info@forthvalleychamber.co.uk www.forthvalleychamber.co.uk 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 Helensburgh Chamber of Commerce M&T Builders Merchants, 22 Charlotte Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, G84 7PH T: 07789904687 E: info@helensburghchamber.org www.helensburghchamber.org.uk Chief Executive - John Clark Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Room 5, Victoria House 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD T: 01475 806824 E: seo@inverclydechamber.co.uk www.inverclydechamber.co.uk Senior Executive Officer – Rachel Burns President – Gavin McDonagh


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 - George Moodie Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead St, Hamilton, ML3 7DP T: 0330 0947370 www.lanarkshirechamber.org.uk E: info@lanarkshirechamber.org.uk Director: Tracey Campbell-Hynd 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 - Frazer Coupland Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Moulsdale House, Edinburgh College 24d Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2PP T: 0131 603 5040 E: info@melcc.org.uk www.melcc.org.uk Joint Chief Executives - George Archibald and Keith Barbour President – Archie Paterson

Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce Stornoway Business Hub, Stornoway, HS1 2XG, Isle of Lewis T: 07939 450 276 E: info@outerhebrideschamber.co.uk www.outerhebrideschamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Lynne Maciver Chair - John Moffat 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 - Stephen Leckie 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 – Bob Grant President – Tom Johnston

www.scottishchambers.org.uk @ScotChambers Like us on Facebook Siobhan Divers Head of Content T: 0141 444 7509 E: sdivers@scottishchambers.org.uk

Production, Design & Advertising 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 This publication is also available as an ebook at: www.issuu.com/distinctivepublishing

Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce 27 North Bridge Street, Hawick, TD9 9BD T: 07771 865 758 E: chairman@borderschamber.com www.borderschamber.com Chair – Moira Wilson

Moray Chamber of Commerce Moray Sports Centre, Linkwood Road, Elgin, Moray, Scotland, IV30 8AR T: 01343 543344 E: info@moraychamber.co.uk www.moraychamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Sarah Medcraf President Carol Stewart

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Strathclyde Business School 199 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0QU T: 0141 444 7500

West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Systems House, Alba Centre, Alba Business Park, Rosebank, Livingston, EH54 7EG T: 01506 414808 E: chamber@wlchamber.com www.wlchamber.com President - Billy MacLeod Chief Executive – Charlene Wallace


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



5 Business Podcasts to listen to in 2020 Podcasts are a great way to stay up to date without having to pause life to scroll through pages of newsfeeds – you can listen while you work, on your commute and while you go about your daily life. They’re intimate, accessible and insightful. Here are our recommendations on what you should be listening to in 2020:

Siobhan Divers

Communications & Events Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

How I Built This with Guy Raz In this series, Guy Raz, journalist and National Public Radio host, interviews the founders of some of the world’s bestknown companies and asks the question we all want to know – how did they get where they are? Among the business figures interviewed are Michael Dell, CEO of Dell computers, James Dyson, inventor of Dyson vacuum cleaners and Jerry Murrell founder of Five Guys.

The Anxious Achiever The Anxious Achiever explores how anxiety, depression and other mental health issues affect people at work, both for better and for worse. Hosted by Morra Aarons-Mele, founder of award-winning social impact agency Women Online, the podcast aims to reframe how we think about mental health in the workplace through featuring real stories from people who have been there and from experts in the field.

Ted Business Taken from TEDX and partner events, this series showcases stories and insights from some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, innovators and business researchers. The platform, which is devoted to the spreading of ideas across continents, pioneers world-changing ideals and thought-processes like how generational stereotypes hold us back at work and how to break bad management habits.

Business Scotland


Women at Work A podcast by the Harvard Business Review, hosted by editors Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo and Nicole Torres, Women at Work features stories, conversations, and practical advice about being a woman in the workplace and explores a range of issues including gender discrimination, narrowing the page gap and working in male-dominated industries.

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry With the unspoken (or spoken!) expectation that we are accessible 24/7, and with an “always on” approach to life and work, Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to thrive in today’s marketplace and establish effective practices that unleash our creative potential and generate brilliant ideas in an ever-demanding workplace.

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Business Scotland 18  

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

Business Scotland 18  

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