BusinessScotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce Magazine
Scotland-Canada Business Week Scotland is calling Construction of a new sculpture honouring Inverclyde’s shipbuilding heritage begins
Scottish Chambers Network taking Scotland to the world
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64 VISIT SCOTLAND – SCOTLAND IS CALLING SCOTLAND /CANADA BUSINESS WEEK GLOBALSCOT – 20 YEARS OF PROMOTING SCOTLAND INTERNATIONALLY GLASGOW SET TO HOST BIGGEST EVER BRITISH CHAMBER INTERNATIONAL TRADE MISSION DURING COP26
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NEW PROJECT TO HELP FORTH VALLEY SENSORY PEOPLE INTO EMPLOYMENT VISIT SCOTLAND – SEASIDE MEMORIES CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SCULPTURE HONOURING INVERCLYDE’S SHIPBUILDING HERITAGE BEGINS
We need to work together to restore and renew Scotland’s economy Thank you for picking up this edition of the Business Scotland magazine. As we return to some form of normality post Covid, we need to work together to restore and renew Scotland’s economy with added vigour, to champion all sectors, and to position Scottish businesses, rightly, as global players. From the grassroots to the G20, the Chambers of Commerce Network is the world’s largest business-to-business network, which is supporting the restarting, reopening and growth of companies across Scotland and the globe. Our exciting business-led “Dubai Expo” trade missions is urging Scottish businesses to reconnect with the world and discover new opportunities at the World Expo held in Dubai. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce network is leading three delegations later this year and into 2022 which will allow Scotland to showcase its skills, expertise, and innovation on the global stage. You can read more about Dubai Expo on Page 6. This edition also celebrates international opportunities and promoting Scotland and
I am truly encouraged to see some great Scottish stories from around the country within this magazine. Take Dunbarton Chamber showcasing their support for a new major scheme which will help to support the transformation of towns and neighbourhoods across Scotland. The Scotland Loves Local Fund is a great introduction to help fund local projects across the area. Renfrewshire Chamber have also announced the shortlist for their annual business awards, the ROCCO’s. Elsewhere you will find outstanding contributions from Visit Scotland around keeping Scotland at the forefront of international visitors minds and CGI who are celebrating the advances of location-based data and how it can transform Scottish businesses and people’s lives. I hope you enjoy this edition of Business Scotland magazine.
President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Remember, your local Chamber of Commerce is here to support your business. If you need support, connections advice or guidance, just get in touch with our Chamber Experts across Scotland. Contact details are included on page 64.
Featured Stories and Contributors Tim Allan
Dr Liz Cameron OBE
President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Chief Executive, Visit Scotland
Interim Managing Director, Scottish Development International
Director Consulting Services, CGI
Managing Partner, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP
Managing Director, LNER
Managing Director, Beyond HR
Company Director, The Verdancy Group
TAKING SCOTLAND TO THE WORLD
Scottish Chambers Network taking Scotland to the world Scottish businesses are being urged to reconnect with the world and discover valuable new opportunities at the World Expo being held in Dubai. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce network is leading three delegations later this year and into 2022, providing the platform for Scotland to showcase its skills, expertise and innovation across a range of sectors on the global stage. At what will be one of the first major inperson events as the world emerges from the COVID pandemic, the trade missions give Scottish firms the chance to connect with hundreds of potential new business partners from around the world in a single visit. Running from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It will welcome more than 25million visitors and 190 countries with a stated
aim of hosting a World Expo that inspires people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world.
Support The Scottish Chambers network is organising three delegations that will guide its businesses through the experience, linking them with the right connections and hand-picking events around topics and themes where our national businesses shine. Along with the support of 30 local Chambers across Scotland, Scottish Chambers will use its global links through the international Chamber network to set up meetings with carefully matched companies from around the world.
The first delegation departs in November and will showcase Scottish luxury products and experiences. Businesses can build on the established and deserved reputation the country already enjoys, as well as gaining an opportunity to get a global overview of how trends are changing.
Our team have been working closely with the Scottish Chamber Network to drive forward the Scottish business interest in Dubai’s Expo. Our network has so many global connections that can be utilised during large global events like this. Dr Liz Cameron OBE, CEO of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce
TAKING SCOTLAND TO THE WORLD
Scottish business interest in Dubai’s Expo. Our network has so many global connections that can be utilised during large global events like this.
Commerce/Scottish Government work to support businesses to expand their global trade ambitions and explore doing business in Dubai & the UAE.
Dundee is the only UK City to have a sister city relationship with Dubai and this gives us a very strong foundation to support the business communities of Scotland & the UAE develop further commercial partnerships.
The Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise Ivan McKee said: “Our objective is to enable Scottish businesses to export more goods and services to more markets and to secure greater foreign investment for Scotland. “We want Scotland's exports to continue to increase, and for Scotland's economy and international profile to grow with them.
We have lots of local organisations & business leaders with significant interests in Dubai who we know are very keen to be engaged with the Expo delegations. We're looking forward to the conversations and business interests that will arise from this work.”
Dr Liz Cameron OBE, CEO of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said “Our team have been working closely with the Scottish Chamber Network to drive forward the
"In September 2020, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce led the first Virtual Trade Mission between Scotland & the UAE as part of the Scottish Chambers of
Into 2022 and building on the COP26 event being held in Glasgow, the focus of the second delegation is tackling climate change and the expertise Scotland can offer the world. Having turned its world-leading engineering skills to green energy, Scottish businesses can benefit from the strong sustainability theme that runs through the whole event. Some of the world’s most advanced technology is on show, which makes it the ideal stage for Scottish technical innovation. The final delegation is also on an important topic in which Scotland leads the way: diversity and equality.
“We estimate that over 68% of future opportunities to grow Scotland’s exports are in 15 countries, and every one of those countries are represented at this World Expo. “With global markets re-opening, it is vital that we reconnect with these opportunities.”
TAKING SCOTLAND TO THE WORLD
Trade mission showcases Scottish luxury on a global stage As the world’s economy continues to power back up, Scottish businesses are being urged to grab the global opportunities on offer. making vital connections and this opportunity comes at a unique point in time.
The Scottish Chambers of Commerce network is leading a delegation that is showcasing the best of national luxury products and experiences. And it’s looking for businesses ready to take to the international stage. The seven-day mission to the World Expo in Dubai runs from 27 November to 3 December. It offers Scottish firms the chance to connect with hundreds of potential new partners in a single visit. The event is one of the first major inperson events as the world emerges from the COVID pandemic and it will welcome more than 25million visitors and 190 countries from around the world. The trade delegation is designed to promote the richness and range of ways to enjoy Scottish luxury. From its world class seafood and spirits, through its renowned reputation for textiles and manufacturing, it aims to market Scottish luxury experiences to the world. The international appeal of Scotland’s glorious scenery and unrivalled hospitality also makes the World Expo an unmissable event for leisure destinations.
“Businesses can build on the established and deserved reputation Scotland already enjoys with a rare opportunity to get a global overview of how trends are changing.
Along with the support of 30 local Chambers across Scotland, Scottish Chambers is using its global links through the international Chamber network to set up meetings with handpicked companies from around the world. It will guide businesses through the experience, linking them with the perfect connections and events for their particular product or service.
Reputation Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are taking Scotland to the world to showcase the best of Scottish luxury. “Our international Chamber network has a well-deserved reputation for
“Food and drink is the largest industry for international exports but the potential across all sectors is huge, with over £33billion of trade – excluding oil & gas – and this continues to grow. “The access our delegation will have to our top export destinations is unrivalled, with the US, France, Germany and the Netherlands all hosting pavilions and events at the Expo. “We are ambitious for Scottish business and this is the ideal opportunity to reconnect with the world.” Taking part in the delegation costs £600 (excluding VAT). For more information or to register an interest in attending, find out more on exporthubscotland.com at bit.ly/TakingScotlandToTheWorld01
TAKING SCOTLAND TO THE WORLD
Businesses can build on the established and deserved reputation Scotland already enjoys with a rare opportunity to get a global overview of how trends are changing. Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Scotland is calling Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, VisitScotland has worked hard to ensure Scotland remains front of mind with international visitors, so we are top of their ‘must visit’ list whenever travel is possible for them.
CEO VisitScotland In spite of green shoots of recovery in some sectors during this year’s summer season, if the industry is to fully recover we need to see the return of our high-spending international visitors. Our pre-pandemic figures (International Passenger Survey) confirm the high value of international markets, with visitors from the US spending on average four times that of the UK visitor and twice as much as an EU visitor. There are further opportunities too; if harnessed correctly, the pent-up demand for international travel offers strong potential for new and returning visitors to Scotland. We recently launched an International Demand Building programme which seeks to capitalise on this and support the recovery of Scotland’s tourism industry by encouraging forward bookings for late 2021 through 2022 and beyond – delivering sustainable long-term growth. The programme sees
£8m of Scottish Government funding divided between £6.5m for paid marketing campaign activity and a £1.5m fund for inbound operator collaborative marketing. A new global campaign is running in our key markets within the EU, North America, China, UAE and in the future, Australia and India, with the creative theme of Scotland is Calling - playing on the emotional pull of Scotland, with responsible tourism integral to the campaign. The campaign features always on ‘drumbeat’ digital and social activity to carefully targeted prospective visitors in key markets to ensure Scotland is front of mind during October to March. Later, to grab attention and convert interest to bookings, we’ll run high impact media and PR activity through in market partners during January – March 2022. Whilst travel restrictions remain in force for many destinations worldwide, international visitors spend longer planning and researching their travel plans, which the campaign will aim to capitalise on. We need to be responsive to any changes in Government guidance, to capitalise on opportunities or pause activity if necessary.
Complementing our campaign activity, we’ve launched a fund to encourage Scottish based Destination Management Companies and tour operators to promote responsible tourism itineraries – either working in partnership with in-market tour operators or selling direct to consumers. This will fund marketing activity to generate confidence that responsible tourism itineraries will sell as people return to international travel. We want inbound tour operators to help develop a regional and seasonal spread of visitors, ensuring that tourism is a force for good across the whole of Scotland. As ever, working in partnership, with the tourism industry, in-market operators and stakeholders will strengthen Scotland’s voice abroad. By keeping Scotland front of mind and encouraging future visitors from our key international markets, we want to make Scotland a destination of choice, generating high value, responsible visitors who can boost recovery for businesses and communities throughout the country.
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
Scotland-Canada Business Week Encouraging businesses to explore the opportunities available through exporting and international trade is a fundamental part of what the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network do. As part of the wider International Trade Partnership (ITP) Programme run by Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Government, Inverness Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be hosting a Scotland-Canada Business Week event in partnership with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce in February 2022. With support from the Scottish North American Business Council, this event will involve two consecutive virtual trade missions, enabling Scottish companies to explore business opportunities in Ontario and British Columbia. Attendees will have access to market awareness workshops as well as learning about the tax and legal implications of doing business in Canada, networking opportunities and pre-arranged B2B meetings based on each company’s objectives. An inclusive, well-connected and stable business landscape makes Canada an attractive environment for Scottish companies to do business. As Canada’s business and financial capital, Toronto is
a growing financial hub in North America. In addition to FinTech, the city is also competitive in almost every other sector, from technology and life sciences to green energy; from fashion and design to food and drink; and from film and television production to music and digital media. As well as having the chance to explore Ontario, businesses can also opt to attend the virtual mission to British Columbia which has one of North America’s most competitive, flexible and supportive business climates, making it an ideal location to start a business or expand existing operations. A stable, welcoming government has streamlined regulations and developed a competitive tax regime, which combined with a dependable legal system and top-ranked quality of life makes British Columbia an optimal location for business opportunities in North America. Scotland-Canada Business Week is open to any business across Scotland interested in exploring Ontario or British Columbia, regardless of their size, sector or whether
they are a member of a Chamber of Commerce or not. The value of virtual trade missions should not be underestimated as they provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to explore new markets and showcase products and services to stakeholders and prospective clients without the associated expense of travel and accommodation. Relationships can be established virtually in the first instance, allowing both parties to fully understand the proposition and potential opportunities before committing to travelling to the market. We cannot emphasise the value of virtual trade missions enough and would encourage the Scottish business community to get involved. All missions being run by the Scottish Chamber of Commerce network are listed in full on the Export Hub Scotland Portal – www.exporthubscotland.com/missions.aspx For more information or to apply, please email email@example.com
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
GlobalScot – 20 years of promoting Scotland internationally
If there’s one message that Scottish Development International (SDI) has stressed over the past year it is this: Scotland is open for business.
By Neil Francis Interim Managing Director, Scottish Development International
Despite the obvious impact of COVID-19 on global trade and investment levels, our specialists across the world have continued to highlight why Scotland remains such an extraordinary proposition to invest in, while supporting companies sell their world-class products and services overseas. Their actions have helped ensure thousands of inward investment jobs were secured for Scotland in FY20/21, while our trade-related activities allowed companies to forecast
international export sales in excess of £1bn over the same time-period.
all resources at our disposal. One of these resources is our GlobalScot network.
And despite the pandemic, the EY Attractiveness Survey 2021 published in June showed that Scotland remained the most attractive location in the UK for FDI.
Consisting of entrepreneurs, business leaders and community figureheads, GlobalScots are a vital component of Scotland’s international network, providing Scottish companies with critical market insights and highlighting opportunities in Scotland to potential investors. As a result of their skills, experience and connections, GlobalScots compliment the work of our overseas colleagues perfectly.
SDI has a presence in more than 30 countries across the world and my overseas colleagues will continue to promote Scotland as a country that’s progressive, pioneering and inclusive, delivering more economic opportunities for our communities. But our trade and investment specialists cannot do this alone. International trade and investment are incredibly competitive markets and a country such as Scotland needs to utilise
The value of GlobalScot has never been more apparent than over the past 18 months. As SDI had to adapt our way of working and the services we provide companies, we’ve relied heavily upon our GlobalScots, who are based in strategically important markets and sectors across the world.
The network undoubtedly helps Scotland punch above its weight when it comes to attracting global investment. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
For example, GlobalScots have played a key role in the many digital events we’ve held for Scottish businesses over the past year, offering their expert sectoral advice and local market knowledge. A perfect illustration of this was SDI’s La French Day event in September, a digital engagement in partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce that highlighted export opportunities in France. Alongside this online activity, GlobalScots have been engaging directly with Scottish firms over the past year, as well as virtually introducing SDI in-market representatives to key stakeholders and companies. It’s somewhat fitting therefore that GlobalScot recently achieved a very significant milestone: celebrating its 20th anniversary in July. Congratulating GlobalScot on reaching its 20th year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the network “undoubtedly helps Scotland punch above its weight when it comes to attracting global investment.” Industry leaders that have worked in partnership with GlobalScot also praised the network, including Simon Erlanger, Managing Director of the Isle of Harris Distillery and Sandy Kennedy, CEO of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation for the past 10 years. Harnessing the GlobalScot network has helped to deliver millions of pounds of
investment for Scotland and supported numerous Scottish companies enter markets overseas.
internationally but don’t know where to start, one of our GlobalScots is likely to be able to help.
That’s why GlobalScot is fully embedded in the three pillars of the Scottish Government’s global trade and investment strategy: Shaping Scotland's economy: inward investment plan; Scotland: A Trading Nation; and Investing with purpose: global capital investment plan. As identified within Scotland’s Vision for Trade, GlobalScots, along with Scotland’s trade envoys, our broader international networks and alumni are also projecting our principles internationally and enhance the international reputation of our products and services.
GlobalScot is a rich, worldwide network of experts and business leaders who are waiting to support Scottish businesses. You can get advice, one-to-one support and make impactful connections in global markets. And it’s absolutely free to join this international community.
Despite the success of GlobalScot, the network has no intention of resting on its laurels. Scottish Enterprise has bold ambitions for the remainder for FY21/22, including delivering up to 10,500 planned jobs paying at least the real living wage and supporting up to £1bn planned international exports. GlobalScot will play an integral role in achieving these targets. A glimpse at the GlobalScot website shows the activity the network has lined up over the coming months. As we get closer to COP26 in November, our GlobalScots will also be highlighting just why Scotland is well placed to tackle the challenge of Climate Change.
So, it is clear that the internationalisation of Scotland’s economy and our country’s international competitiveness is absolutely critical to our economic recovery from COVID-19. As a result of our world-class workforce and companies, the integrated ecosystem between the public and private sector and the incredible natural resources at our disposal there’s every reason to be optimistic that Scotland will remain a magnet for global investment and a leading trading nation. Scottish Enterprise, our trade and investment specialists overseas and the GlobalScot network stands ready to help your company on its international journey. www.globalscot.com
Amidst all this activity, GlobalScot is here for your business. If you aspire of trading
Why 1.5 degrees matters The world is at a critical juncture. Climate change and the energy crisis are creating a perfect storm that won’t blow over. Action – not platitudes – must be COP26’s legacy.
five years they planned to come back with an update, although the pandemic put paid to that for a year. Crucially the Paris commitments did not come close to the 1.5 degree limit, and the window up to 2030 is closing fast.
In November, world leaders meet in Glasgow for COP26, the 26th annual ‘Conference of the Parties’.
1. Secure net zero and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
Widely seen as the world’s best last chance to bring runaway climate change under control, the topic has gone from a fringe issue to a global priority in only 30 short years. COP26 has a unique urgency, hence its official title – the UN Climate Change Conference 2021. Event president is the UK, which has been working with every nation to reach agreement on how best to tackle climate change in the run-up to the 12 days of talks. Italy is co-hosting the event. But before we look at the pressing issues before us, let’s look back at COP21 in 2015. For the first time in history, every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. The 1.5 degrees target is known as the Paris Agreement, under which countries would commit to reducing emissions. Every
Countries are being asked to draw up ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets that align with net zero by mid-century. To do this, they need to: Speed up the phasing out of coal Cut down on deforestation Push the switch to electric vehicles Encourage investment in renewables 2. Protect communities and natural habitats The climate will continue to change even with reduced emissions, and the effects are devastating. Countries need to be helped and encouraged to:
3. Mobilise finance To deliver the above two goals, developed countries must mobilise at least £100bn in climate finance every year by 2020. International financial institutions are seen as key to this, and help private and public sector finance release the trillions needed to secure global net zero. 4. Work together to deliver
COP26 will strive to: Finalise the Paris Rulebook (the rules that make the Paris Agreement operational) Speed up action through collaboration between government, business and public stakeholders.
The UK’s record on climate change Between 1990 and 2019, the UK claims to have achieved record clean growth. The economy grew by 78 per cent and emissions fell by 44 per cent, the fastest decline in the G7. For example, the UK:
Protect and restore ecosystems
Decarbonised the economy faster than any other G20 country since 2000.
Build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and lives
Has been the first major economy to put into law that net zero carbon emissions will be reached by 2050.
Is producer of the largest amount of offshore wind energy in the world.
4th in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
Ending direct government support for fossil fuel energy overseas.
What’s on the agenda?
Has announced the end of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.
The green road to Glasgow Glasgow was chosen as host because of its commitment to sustainability, as evidenced by its Greenprint development which we also cover in this issue. The ‘Dear Green Place’ has set a carbon neutrality target for 2030, and aims to be one of the greenest cities in Europe through its Sustainable Glasgow campaign. It is also
Up to 30,000 politicians, negotiators, businesses and citizens, representing over 200 countries, will descend on the city for two weeks. The first week is primarily technical negotiations by government officials. The second will feature high-level ministerial and Heads of State meetings. The most challenging aspect of this, of course, will be final negotiated decisions. The Scottish Government will have a strong presence at the summit, but has no formal role in hosting or running the event.
Why isn’t the event being held online? Developing nations and the most vulnerable ones are reluctant to hold major negotiations online because: Many have poor internet access It would be more difficult to engage in negotiating blocks which give them leverage when facing powerful nations. Less developed nations rely on face-toface meetings to agree positioning Many real negotiations take place behind the scenes, which would omit smaller countries if meetings were exclusively online
I have real sympathy with less developed countries that feel it’s for the developed industrial nations to help sort out a problem largely of their making. Indeed, one of the reasons we are determined to hold COP26 in person is to ensure the voices of these countries are heard and acted on. Alok Sharma COP President-Designate
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How to decarbonise your energy in a futureproof way As Glasgow’s hosting of COP26 draws near, many Scottish businesses are feeling a fresh sense of urgency to take action on their carbon footprint before the international spotlight turns on us. Decarbonising your energy supply is one of the most effective ways for a business to show that it is taking its climate responsibilities seriously and making progress on reducing emissions. But it must be done in a way that will stand up to the higher standards of tomorrow, or your changes will do nothing to help the environment and may even damage your company’s reputation.
Avoid the REGOs trap Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) are certificates issued to generators for every MWh of energy they produce. But a legal loophole currently allows suppliers to purchase REGOs separately from the energy itself and use them as green certification for the energy they sell, even if it is from fossil fuel sources. Businesses who want a genuinely renewable tariff have to look beyond the label. Ask potential suppliers how much energy they buy directly from renewable generators. All green energy is backed by REGOs, but are their REGOs purchased alongside the energy itself or bought on the secondary market as a cheap way to “green” a tariff? Best-practice energy procurement guidance emphasises the key principle of additionality. This means that your energy spending should bring about the generation of new (additional) renewable energy. The UK government is aware of the issue and has launched a consultation into the way that energy products are marketed. Businesses who lock into a greenwashed tariff today face serious reputational risk in the more transparent market of the future.
Consider a green CPPA Corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs) potentially offer more transparency and control. Rather than choosing a supplier
tariff, you sign a contract directly with a renewable energy generator, usually paying below market rate. A CPPA gives you many more options about contract length and sourcing than a typical supplier contract, but the sheer range of possibilities can be daunting. It’s important to stress that CPPAs won’t mean your supply is entirely fossil fuel free: every CPPA needs to manage the mismatch between your company’s demand and the generator’s renewable output by getting some energy from the grid. But, crucially, they offer additionality by getting new renewable projects off the ground. This would not happen without the generators having a guaranteed buyer and revenue stream for the energy they produce. Finding a CPPA that matches your
company’s needs and risk profile is a job for a specialist. BiU arranges CPPAs for companies of all sizes in a variety of different sectors.
Explore self-generation It certainly meets the definition of additionality to generate your own renewable electricity and it is an increasingly popular option for UK businesses. This option requires significant upfront investment, but even with this and running costs you will pay less for your energy over the life of the project than if you had bought it from a supplier. Remember that it doesn’t have to be on-site in order to supply your organisation. Several UK health boards are building solar farms which will supply hospitals from an off-site location.
Talk to the experts
All green energy is backed by REGOs, but are their REGOs purchased alongside the energy itself or bought on the secondary market as a cheap way to “green” a tariff?
Getting your organisation’s energy procurement right is one of the biggest steps you can take to reduce carbon emissions, as well as cutting costs. But in this fastchanging field it is easy to make the wrong decisions. At BiU, we guide businesses through this process every day. To be confident about securing an energy strategy that is both futureproof and right for the needs of your organisation, get in touch today on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01253 789816.
How to reach ambitious net zero targets Steven Kiakowski, Director at sustainable training and consultancy company The Verdancy Group, discusses how to bring carbon emissions goals into fruition. The UN’s Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will soon take place in Glasgow. The aim of this annual event - to encourage action on climate change - grows all the more imminent each year. Previous COP events have seen governments committing to major emissions reduction targets, with countries like the UK enshrining net zero by 2050 targets into law (2045 in Scotland). Businesses must take action to meet UK and global targets. But faced with immediate challenges like lockdowns and worker shortages, it’s easy to bury sustainable actions deep down in the to do list. That’s why COP26’s first goal - to encourage even more ambitious emissions reductions targets by 2030 - stands to be its most significant. While historically governments have offered grace periods and leniency to businesses during times of reform, we’re not seeing a similar tolerance for missed net zero targets. Businesses who aren’t improving their green practices are already losing out on grants and bids. With the potential of even more stringent targets on the horizon, slashing business emissions is becoming all but essential. What, then, can businesses do to take swift action and improve their green credentials?
Define sustainable goals Many businesses have standard green policies in place (transitioning to 100% renewable energy, converting transport fleets to electric, directing zero waste to landfill, and so on). While actions like these form the foundation of sustainable business practices, they’re not enough to make headway at the necessary rate. That's because, although well-meaning, most businesses are not strategic in their approach to sustainability. Sustainable policies must form part of a wider sustainability strategy, with an end goal in mind. Before creating a plan, clear and achievable targets need to be identified. While the goal of cutting emissions is common to all businesses, the way that works in practice will differ for everyone. Start by calculating your carbon footprint - get really clear on this, using accurate metrics rather than rough estimates. From there, you can set an emissions reduction target with a precise time frame.
Identify what's hindering progress While simple changes like installing motion sensor lighting can drastically reduce business emissions, it's the remaining
Steven Kiakowski Company Director
emissions that can't be curbed by minor adjustments that we need to focus on. Widespread changes, particularly in larger organisations, come with a plethora of logistical difficulties. By identifying these difficulties and dissecting what about them is limiting progress, you can begin to alleviate them. Recently, for example, we met with the CEO of a large construction company whose customers were looking for partners who could deliver projects without single-use plastics. When we probed about what checks the company had in place to eliminate single-use plastic from their procurement process, we found that there were none. While this might raise readers' eyebrows, this is not at all uncommon. Many companies have a sustainability goal in place, but haven't created a clear path to get there. When you identify your roadblocks, you can then create people-friendly measures to circumvent them.
Lead by example Organisations are composed of individuals, all of whom have a responsibility to act sustainably. You might imagine that some companies are held back by a lack of engagement from their teams with green policies, but in our experience, there is plenty of goodwill from employees. Given the chance, people are usually keen to make a difference. That said, if management introduces new policies without themselves following suit, you can expect an emphatic decline in enthusiasm. Consider what changes you are asking your team to make. Are you encouraging
taking public transport while driving a petrol-fuelled car to work? Are you asking procurement teams to work with green suppliers while taking internal flights for business meetings? To inspire change, leadership must also embrace a green lifestyle.
Empower your team Are your new goals viable, or are they simply burdening your team without providing support? While strategic sustainability policies can transform business carbon footprints, they will only come into fruition with your team's input. Employee training has the capacity to totally transform your business for the better, helping you to achieve your strategic goals, whether that's identifying unsustainable practices or working with suppliers to lower emissions. Introducing new green ways of living is an opportunity to empower your team both at work and in their personal lives.
Next steps Working with an environmental consultant can help you implement a sustainable strategy to slash your carbon emissions at pace. The Verdancy Group provides consulting and training services to companies across Scotland and the wider UK. Visit www.theverdancygroup.com.
The Climate Emergency: how workplaces need to become an active part of the solution. With COP26 in Glasgow just around the corner, there has never been a more crucial time for workplaces to take action on climate change. Scotland is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Currently, domestic transport is responsible for the largest share, accounting for more than 25% of all Scotland’s emissions in 2019. As workplaces across Scotland are developing their plans for net zero, it is critical that they understand the significance of transport emissions and the role that focusing on more active and sustainable modes of travel can play in reducing their carbon footprint.
practical hints and tips; and
2020/21 has demonstrated that, as a nation, we can change our travel behaviour and in many cases our working patterns too.
adaptable downloadable templates aimed at providing cost effective internal and external communications.
Now is the time to be planning ahead and understanding how you, as an employer, can encourage and support travel behaviour change through implementing the right policies to support employees, reducing, where possible, the need to travel and where travel is required look at walking, cycling, public and shared transport options as the preferred modes.
Travelknowhow Scotland is also part of Way to Work, meaning we are able to work with our Way to Work partners to offer multi modal advice and to support Scottish workplaces to create the positive change needed to reach the climate change targets.
Travelknowhow Scotland offers workplaces across Scotland FREE, easy access to a wide variety of travel planning solutions to help with the development and implementation of measures to engage with their employees in order to start changing travel behaviour.
For more information about workplace travel planning and how you can make the necessary changes in your workplace, get in touch with Shona Drummond at Travelknowhow Scotland at shona@ travelknowhowscotland.co.uk
wheeling, cycling, travelling in private vehicles or on public transport travel safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit www.transport.gov.scot You can also find us at: www.facebook.com/tkhscotland/ and www. linkedin.com/company/ travel-know-howscotland/
The website offers: access to travel planning information and links to local resources; specialist travel planning advice; specialist marketing advice to aid employee engagement;
Travel Guidance Make sure that as an employer, you are aware of the most up to date government guidance on how to be safe when walking,
Fraser Gillies, Managing Partner at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP, discusses some of the latest developments in sustainability. With Glasgow set to play host this year to COP26, one of the most highly anticipated global events in recent years, it’s unsurprising that sustainability has leapt to the top of the agenda for many individuals and corporations. With so much happening over the coming months in relation to renewables policy, it’s never been more important for businesses to keep on top of the latest developments. For example, the eagerly awaited Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework (NPF) is due to be published in draft imminently, setting out how the planning system will support the Government’s objectives and the net-zero target. The Bute House Agreement is also of interest to the energy sector, with its commitment to an additional 8GW of installed onshore wind by 2030. It’s an ambitious target and I believe if we are to come close to achieving this, some difficult decisions will need to be made. More collaboration between developers to reduce the number of overall onshore wind projects being consented to may well be the
answer if we are to come close to reaching our 2030 target.
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These are just some of the key areas of discussion which will be covered at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP’s renewables seminar, taking place on Thursday 4 November at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
To find out more about WJM, go to www.wjm.co.uk.
Global funding pours into UK national parks With COP26 just around the corner, the UK’s National Parks and global impact firm Palladium have announced a number of pioneering deals for nature restoration projects in the UK, under the name Revere. Revere aims to restore natural habitats at scale with private capita, designing projects with National Parks teams and land managers.
new income streams for farmers and landowners seeking to improve the quality of landscapes and support biodiversity.
Farmers in the Esk Valley in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park are working to restore habitats and deliver natural flood defence improvements.
The UK has 15 National Parks spread through England, Wales and Scotland. They contain almost a quarter (24%) of the UK’s peatland, offering a significant opportunity for carbon storage. But the UK’s peatlands are mostly degraded with just one fifth remaining in a near-natural state.
Revere will fund several pilots, including:
In the New Forest National Park, arable land is being restored to woodland to generate nitrate reduction and improvements in biodiversity.
Raising private capital to fund the restoration, initial private sector funders include Santander UK, Gatwick Airport, Capita and Southern Co-op, plus additional investment from the National Lottery and DEFRA. The projects generate revenue through the sale of ecosystem services, creating
The restoration of degraded peatland in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland which will generate revenues for landowners as well as creating verified carbon credits, with the support of Santander UK. The conversion of hundreds of acres of arable farmland in the South Downs National Park to woodland pasture. The restoration will be funded through the sale of carbon, biodiversity and water quality outcomes and is being supported by Gatwick and Southern Co-op.
Jose Maria Ortiz, Palladium managing director, said: “Taking effective action on climate change is urgent. In the short term, the answer is nature, while in the long term we need innovation. In both cases, investment at scale is necessary. There isn’t time for small-scale interventions anymore. The time is now for bold investments in nature with potential risks, because the alternative is continuing to destroy our planet.”
The world has changed From ensuring compliance with government and public health guidance, to assisting in post-Covid economic recovery, Stagecoach East Scotland continues to put customers and local communities first. Like many other businesses, Stagecoach has received the ‘Good to Go’ certification from tourism body Visit Scotland. This stamp of approval helps people recognise businesses adhering to government and public health guidance as well as those having carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to check they have everything in place to reopen safely – or, in the case of public transport, to continue to operate safely. Stagecoach already had robust and wellestablished cleaning processes in place for their buses and coaches, and since March 2020, they have further enhanced these measures. The rigorous regimes now include more regular cleaning of the main customer touch-points such as hand poles and grab rails with anti-viral products. Additional cleaning materials such as personal hand sanitisers have also been given to staff. Stagecoach continue to provide vital key worker transport, as they have done throughout the pandemic. Intending passengers can see the estimated busiest and quietest times to travel, based on how many people use the service, on the live map on the StagecoachBus app. This new feature puts passengers in control of when to travel, encouraging advance travel planning. While cash is still accepted on board, Stagecoach encourages customers to pay by contactless wherever possible, including Apple Pay or Google Pay, or smartcard technology. Tickets can also be bought in advance online or on the StagecoachBus app, such as their new Flexi 5 tickets, which are ideal for part-time and shift workers, or anyone who doesn’t need to travel on the bus every day. Flexi 5 is a bundle of five DayRider tickets for the price of four. While some passengers may be returning to bus travel, others are using the bus for the first time, which is why the team at Stagecoach are always there to ensure every journey is safe and enjoyable. As well as helping keep their passengers healthy, the company has recently outlined their goals for keeping the planet healthy too. To support post-Covid economic recovery and boost prosperity for employees and communities across the UK, Stagecoach’s new sustainability strategy – Driving Net Zero: Better Places to Live and Work – has been released. The strategy aims to help create a greener, smarter, safer, healthier
and fairer country. It sets out plans to achieve this by leveraging the power of public transport to address climate change, The plan will see investment in new zero-emissions fleets and other green technologies over the next 15 years to reduce the impact of the company’s operations on the planet, as well as initiatives to cut waste, boost recycling and conserve water. Stagecoach is aiming to decarbonise its business by around 70% by 2035 as well as targeting having a zero emissions UK bus fleet by that date. It follows a 14% reduction in Stagecoach carbon emissions between 2014 and 2019, supported by investments in LED lighting, intelligent building heating control systems and renewables. The company’s ambition is to go further and faster, as the UK looks ahead to hosting the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Within the East of Scotland, the company have invested in six new ultra-low-emission double-deckers this year already, whilst another 63 buses and coaches have been retrofitted with technology to decrease emissions. In fact, half of their fleet already use the cleanest diesel technology available, or are hybrid vehicles.
later this year, when nine single-deckers will be introduced to Perth City services 1 and 2. If you’re planning to travel, please remember that in line with advice from the Scottish Government it is compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport and when using indoor public transport hubs in Scotland. Wash your hands before and after travelling and keep windows open on board where possible to increase ventilation.
What’s more, they’re also about to launch their first fully electric buses in the region
LNER Azuma travelling between Edinburgh and Aberdeen on the East Coast Main Line
LNER helping Scotland reach net-zero For a successful green recovery, the First Minister has made it clear there must be a modal shift away from car and air travel to greener modes of transport such as rail. To support Scotland’s decarbonisation plans, at LNER we are making our services more inclusive, affordable and enjoyable, and by doing so we hope to encourage more to come onboard.
Managing Director LNER
We have already made our fleet greener. Our new 65 Azuma trains, the last of which were introduced during the pandemic, emit just 4.3kg of carbon per passenger between Edinburgh and London – 97 per cent less than a flight. Thanks to more people choosing LNER in 2019, 366,000 aviation journeys were prevented between Edinburgh and London, demonstrating what a difference travelling by rail makes for the environment. Environmental benefits can increase even further. The electrification of the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen will mean that our services can run from Aberdeen to London fully in electric mode – reducing our emissions even more – helping Scotland reach net-zero and the Scottish Government’s
ambition to decarbonise Scotland’s railway by 2035. To encourage more people onto our new Azuma trains and make the switch for the long term, we continue to improve our customer experience. Thanks to our investment and innovation, it is now possible to book tickets more than three months in advance; to have a guaranteed seat for the duration of the journey with ‘Seat Sure’; and order food and drink at your seat in Standard Class – making the journey more enjoyable and relaxing. We are also trialling technology that will particularly benefit our business customers. We have partnered with O2 to improve phone and Wi-Fi coverage between Edinburgh and Newcastle, helping the journey to be as productive as possible. Our new Azuma trains already offer the best Wi-Fi yet on the route so this latest development will offer a boost for those relying on voice and data usage when travelling at high speeds. Travelling on our services also makes a significant economic contribution to Scotland. For every £1 spent running and investing in LNER services, at least £2 is generated in economic (GVA) impact.
In Scotland that means an economic impact of £251m, of which £201m benefits surrounding areas. Once our planned service improvements are delivered, our economic impact will increase, so that for every £1 spent running and investing in our services, around £3 in value to the United Kingdom will be generated. At LNER we are doing all we can to make it easier for people to make the change and help Scotland achieve its decarbonisation plans, but electrification should not be underestimated as a key component to reach net-zero and decarbonise Scotland’s rail. The Scottish Government has said they expect this to be delivered to Aberdeen subject to budgetary decisions by the UK Government. We hope that both Governments will come together and see these plans realised, delivering fully electric and green rail journeys to and from the Granite City.
Climate change and the butterfly effect The Climate Change crisis demands that, post-Covid and Brexit, the UK builds back with a green and resilient economic recovery. Organisations must implement innovative working practices to help bring a significant reduction in the environmental impact of human activities. Wildfires, flash floods, heatwaves, and hurricanes has bought the climate change crisis into sharp focus. The catastrophic repercussions from global warming may seem insurmountable and individual actions considered inconsequential. However, small changes made by many people can have a huge cumulative result; the butterfly effect. It’s time to think and act local and focus efforts on small and easy to implement adaptations to our daily lives. Organisations’ net-zero strategies must engage entire workforces so they collectively become invested in the journey. Sustainable business practices need to increase with organisations adopting and embracing new processes and behaviours, such as switching to green power sources, recycling waste, having a pool of ebikes for company use, or growing wild flower meadows. Transportation is a significant source of greenhouse gases and employers need to address how to change employee commuting habits. Electric vehicles are not the answer as their production and how they are charged have high environmental costs. EVs still generate particulate pollution from the wear of brakes, tyres and roads. Active and sustainable travel choices are key to reducing emissions. The rapid rollout of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the UK has meant active travel is becoming more accessible to many. The Cycle to Work Scheme is a low risk, low-cost, sustainable employee benefit. Green Commute Initiative’s award-winning scheme has no scheme limit and participants make the maximum possible savings as there’s no scheme exit fees. GCI has a strong ethical ethos and ensures everyone is treated fairly. Our scheme is best for employees (no fees), best for shops (lowest commissions), and best for employers (no registration, fast and easy process), which is why we believe GCI is the UK’s best C2W scheme. www.greencommuteinitiative.uk
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Scrabster harbour development reaches completion milestone The £20 million project to redevelop the St Ola Pier at Scrabster Harbour is scheduled for completion later this month representing a further significant milestone in the delivery of the Harbour Trust’s development plans. Established in 1841, in recent decades the Caithness port has diversified to support a wide range of industries and marine sectors from ferries and fishing through to oil and gas, renewables and cruise. This diversification strategy has been underpinned by a forward thinking and ambitious infrastructure redevelopment programme. Since 2011 over £38 million has been invested in infrastructure at the northern port. Scrabster Harbour Trust awarded the construction contact for the St Ola works to RJ McLeod in early 2020 with the contractor mobilised to site in June 2020 in line with Scottish Government construction guidance. The Trust has received support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority towards the works. The project will produce over 500 metres of deep-water berthing, with over 9,000m2
of quay space including a dedicated heavy lift pad. The completed project will provide the longest and deepest quay at the Caithness port with the outer berth offering a continuous berthing face of 250 metres supported by a dredged berthing pocket to -9.0 metres ACD. The multi-purpose development targets growth in energy related activity both oil related and renewables, and will allow the port to accommodate larger cruise vessels. The Ola project represents a vote of confidence that port and the Caithness area can play a significant role in future offshore and subsea developments including the net zero agenda. The development complements and adds to the port’s capacity to retain and grow its current activity. The Harbour Trust is enthused by the potential for new business.
assessed for the Crown Estate Scotland’s Scotwind leasing round for Offshore Wind, included the 800 km2 N1 seabed area to the north and west of the port. Similarly plans are advancing for worlds largest floating wind farm off the Caithness coast. Our latest development, together with previous investment, means Scrabster and Caithness is better positioned to capitalise on these opportunities. As well as supporting the installation phase, we aspire to establish Scrabster as an operations and maintenance (O&M base) with significant new employment. Other developments may flow from this offshore business such a Hydrogen production and its derivatives.” www.scrabster.co.uk
“There are significant renewable opportunities presenting themselves off the north mainland coast” says Trust Manager, Sandy Mackie. “Currently the bids are being
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
Left to right: Stewart Rennie (Dunbartonshire Chamber), Tony I’Anson (Milngavie BID), Phil Prentice (Scottish Towns Partnership), Wendy Ross (Driftwood Lifestyle and Ruby Red Gifts), Tom Arthur - Minister for Community Wealth, Damon Scott (Dunbartonshire Chamber), Rebekah Fisher (Milngavie BID)
£10m Scotland Loves Local Fund launched in Dunbartonshire A major new scheme to support the transformation of towns and neighbourhoods across Scotland was launched recently with the support of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce. Community Wealth Minister, Tom Arthur, was joined by representatives from Dunbartonshire Chamber and Milngavie Business Improvement District (BID) to announce the new £10m Scotland Loves Local Fund. Dunbartonshire was chosen as an exemplar for the campaign which has been encouraging people to “choose local” and back businesses and services in their community. Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and Project Manager, Damon Scott, said: “People and businesses across East and West Dunbartonshire have been powerful advocates of the Scotland Loves Local campaign since its launch last summer so we were delighted to be chosen as the location to launch the new scheme. We have been working closely with Milngavie BID who have been a fantastic partner promoting the Loves Local messages and activities in the town. “The Loves Local campaign has been helping hundreds of Dunbartonshire businesses by encouraging local people to “Choose Local”, shop local, think local and support our local enterprises.” Dunbartonshire Chamber instigated and led the Loves Local campaign in 6 locations to promote the ‘Choose Local’ message including Alexandria & The Vale of Leven,
Balloch, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Clydebank and Dumbarton. Damon Scott added: “In practical terms each place now has a website with a business directory supported by social media, PR and advertising. A range of branded materials and 100,000 Loves Local flyers have been distributed door-to-door, and in the town centres, this activity has helped to further promote some of the wonderful local businesses we have registered with us. We are hopeful that this new fund will help us continue to build on the momentum we have built up and continue to help with the promotion of our town centres.” Much of the Chamber’s activity has been supported by grants from an initial Scotland Loves Local Fund last year - the success of which is being built upon with this latest new multi-million pound, multi-year programme from the Scottish Government. The Chamber has worked with both East and West Dunbartonshire Councils and Business Gateways, as well as in collaboration with Milngavie BID. Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said: “To support Scotland’s towns and neighbourhoods recover from the pandemic we are launching a new £10 million Scotland Loves Local Fund. This will provide 50% match funding for local projects between £5,000 and £25,000. “This 100 day commitment of the Scottish
Government reinforces our determination to support all of Scotland’s communities recover from the pandemic and will help strengthen the vital support being provided through the Scotland Loves Local marketing campaign and loyalty card scheme.” Administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) it aims to bring new, suitable, creative projects and activity to towns and neighbourhoods – helping build local wealth and increase footfall and activity, while supporting local enterprise partnerships. Scotland Loves Local is spearheaded by STP with support from the Scottish Government. Phil Prentice, STP’s Chief Officer, said: “The way in which the whole of Dunbartonshire has embraced the Scotland Loves Local campaign has been phenomenal. I am delighted that we have been able to share some of this great work, which has made a real difference, with the Minister. “The new Scotland Loves Local Fund will allow us to take the activity such as that we have seen in Dunbartonshire to another level, empowering communities to take action that will make their areas fairer, greener and more successful. We are delighted to be working with ministers to deliver this. More details about the Scotland Loves Local campaign can be found at www.lovelocal.scot.
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
Glasgow set to host biggest ever British Chamber international trade mission during COP26 The largest ever international trade mission hosted by a British Chambers of Commerce is to take place during COP26, connecting up to 100 businesses worldwide to share best practice in accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable and circular economy. Hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the Climate Chamber Mission will bring companies from 10 countries across the globe together to increase international collaborations, export and business growth opportunities. The two-day hybrid event, hosted between 2 – 3 November 2021, is one of the main international trade missions being held during COP26 and is designed to support businesses in the delivery of circular economy solutions, sustainability and climate targets. The Mission will see UK companies including Edrington, Scottish Leather Group, Vango, A C Whyte and MacRebur collaborate with businesses from Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Norway, Denmark, France, Australia and Singapore. Among international businesses, Glasgow will welcome Porsche, ZmartHaus and Bosch Energy Solutions from Germany, and HSBC, Indika Energy and Standard Chartered from Indonesia. Aiming to create an international business network via an online community, the Mission provides the opportunity for businesses to achieve long term learning, innovation and implementation of both climate and business goals. The main event will look at how businesses can join the race to net zero, and why bold climate targets are not always enough, while the breakout sessions will cover key sectors such as food and drink, manufacturing, construction, transport, low carbon and renewables, and fashion and retail.
Richard Muir, deputy chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “COP26 brings together a global community of leaders, businesses and climate change activists to focus and act on climate change and how countries and cities are planning to tackle it.’’ “The Climate Chamber Mission will leverage that global platform and utilise the Chamber Network to create lasting partnerships for Scottish and international businesses, while positioning Glasgow as a leading city in the green and circular economy. “We are delighted to be working with a number of partners, including the British Chambers of Commerce Global Network of oversea Chambers, as well a number of Circular Economy organisations, and we look
forward to welcoming our global community to Glasgow.” Ainsley Mann, chairman of British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, said: “I have long held the belief that COP26 offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for Scottish businesses to engage with companies from all over the world to meet and discuss collaboration opportunities and to contribute meaningfully to net zero objectives. I am very excited about the rapid up take by Indonesian businesses wanting to join this initiative which I believe will serve as a tremendous catalyst for many productive partnerships going forward.” For more information about how to get involved, please contact climatechamber@ glasgowchamberofcommerce.co.uk
COP26 brings together a global community of leaders, businesses and climate change activists to focus and act on climate change and how countries and cities are planning to tackle it. Richard Muir, deputy chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
Siemens plays key part in Scottish F&B digitalisation drive Enabling manufacturing to work ‘smarter’ and faster is the core mission of Siemens’ Food and Beverage technology team. The Food and Beverage Industry is a huge economic success story for Scotland, worth a staggering £15 billion per year. It accounts for one in in five manufacturing jobs in the country and supports over 115,000 jobs across nearly 19,000 businesses. But – as with all UK industry – the sector faces challenging headwinds: labour and energy shortages; supply chain issues; waste management solutions; and the balancing of investment and long-term returns against ever tighter margins. Siemens aims to empower its Scottish Food and Beverage (F&B) clients with holistic manufacturing solutions, which will in turn drive better behaviour and results. A key aspect of Siemens’ F&B expertise is an in-depth understanding of the challenges around productivity, agility and the decarbonisation agenda. Keith Thornhill heads up Food and Drink for Siemens in the UK and Ireland, and highlights concerns that British manufacturing is lagging behind Europe. Germany, for instance, invests over six times more in automation than the UK. He says, ‘Traditionally, UK manufacturing takes a piecemeal approach to automation, selecting one piece of technology to make a specific task easier. This may be fine in the short term, but will typically see only a gradual change in business performance. “Technology should radically change how we do things, with holistic end-to-end connectivity as the goal. Proper integration and connectivity allow businesses to measure and manage operations better, to become more efficient and ultimately reduce costs. “Our solutions include automation integration concepts, process optimisation, cloud and data analytics and energy reduction initiatives. “And it’s only when you start doing these things on a practical level that you really start to understand the real challenges and ways to overcome them. Siemens has a vast amount of experience in installing advanced automation, robotics and real time data solutions, and we are only too happy to share these insights with customers. “It’s extremely rewarding when you see small companies – as well as the
multinationals – reaping the benefits of technology really quickly. “It’s also all about becoming more agile and building resilience against economic shocks such as Covid, plus challenges like everchanging consumer demand. We can also introduce exciting new developments such as simulations, so that a whole process can be visualised to see if there is a real need for change, whether that may be a robot or more people on the shopfloor, for instance.” Sustainability is also increasingly viewed as a core business value on a global scale. Keith says, “Enhancing productivity and reducing waste isn’t just about cutting costs. It’s also about becoming more sustainable. While your business may still see ‘Net Zero’ as a distant goal, it’s important to start focusing on it now. Siemens, as a global technology provider, has vast experience in setting and achieving these targets, and can hit the ground running as enablers to boost productivity and improve energy efficiency.” With this in mind, Siemens recently selected three Scottish systems integrators to support its work in the F&B sector. Kigtek Solutions, in Bellshill, DPS Group,
in Glenrothes, and iTech, in Irvine will all collaborate on Siemens’ Solution Partner Programme. The firms were hand-picked for their specific process knowledge and technology capability to deliver Siemens’ holistic solutions, not just in Scotland but for the whole UK sector industry, which generated more than £104.4bn in 2020 and represents almost 20% of UK manufacturing. Keith adds, “The new expert partners will have access to this best practice and with their domain knowledge will be able to assist customers with value added solutions, driving production efficiency with the deployed integrated technology. “Our portfolio covers the depth and breadth of automation and digitalisation. By combining this incredible end-to-end offering with solution delivery expertise of the solution partners, we are opening a whole new world of value driven solutions in F&B manufacturing.”
Modernise for the future Transforming the everyday to create a better tomorrow siemens.co.uk/food-beverage
Fasten your seatbelt because Scotland’s economy is finally taking off once again
Corrie Fee in Glen Clova
Report after report shows that economic performance, alongside businesses and consumer confidence is rebounding far better than anyone could have anticipated as we power towards recovery from the twin challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of leaving the European Union. That’s not to say that business recovery won’t be without its challenges, of which there are many, but it does provide a much-needed uplift to the outlook of those businesses which have been so severely tested over the past year and a half, giving a renewed hope that we can reach prepandemic levels of GDP as early as the middle of next year. The Scottish Government, acutely aware of the fragility of Scotland’s economy, have now set out their plans for the coming year and have rightly placed Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic at the heart of its legislative programme. There was much to be welcomed in the Programme for Government published last month, particularly around commitments to continued business rates relief and programmes of support for small and medium sized enterprises, however the overall package was a mixed bag with plans to remove businesses rights through the Non-Domestic Rates COVID-19 Appeals Bill and requests to drop plans for the Workplace Parking Levey and Tourist Tax to help businesses build back without additional red tape, fell on deaf ears. In the subsequent Holyrood debate on the Scottish Government’s plans, the Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP, said she wanted to create a “pro-prosperity, pro-business and pro-jobs environment", which after a tough year, is music to the ears of Scotland’s business community. The real test though is whether these warm words will be reflected in real world policies affecting Scotland’s businesses. A key area that was missing from the Scottish Government’s plans was a commitment to get Scotland’s airports and aviation sector operating again at as near to pre-pandemic levels as is possible. We know that Scotland’s airports and the aviation industry are essential parts of the national economic jigsaw, and without additional support and a strategy to get the sector going again, there remains a gaping hole in the centre of the Scottish economic picture. The Scottish Government themselves describe tourism as one of Scotland’s “most important industries, helping to create wealth and jobs and build upon our strong
Dr Liz Cameron OBE
Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce
international reputation” and re-opening Scotland in a safe and secure way must be a priority to help boost our overall economic recovery. Research shows that spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity for the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP, representing about 5% of total Scottish GDP. It’s too critical a part of our economy to be allowed to fail. Scotland’s international competitiveness, connectivity and exporting capacity has also been badly damaged by the pandemic and Brexit, so rebuilding our connections, repairing supply chains and getting back into international markets is essential for Scotland’s businesses. The Programme for Government’s commitments to grow Scotland’s international reach and reputation are welcome and our network of Chambers are leading the way to showcase the innovative and high-quality products and services that Scottish businesses have to offer the world
at upcoming global gatherings including COP26 and Dubai Expo Crucial to enabling Scotland’s exports is the full re-opening of Scotland’s international travel sector and whilst the commitments to restore lost connectivity go some way to achieving this, what the sector needs is urgent support through a dedicated Scottish Aviation Strategy. This vital element remains missing from the Scottish Government’s overall strategy and industry will want to see this addressed as quickly as possible. Without a doubt, Scotland’s economy and businesses are starting to recover, some sectors more quickly than others, but all of us are likely to suffer some turbulence before we once again see clear skies ahead. Words alone will not spur the economy into action and the Scottish Government must work in partnership with industry on recovery and growth if we are to protect jobs and businesses and secure our place in the global economy.
ARGYLL & BUTE
Great things are happening in Argyll and Bute.
This beautiful part of Scotland is developing itself as the home of business innovation with an enviable work-life balance lifestyle. Its £70 million rural growth deal is key to that.
The deal, funded by Argyll and Bute Council, and the Scottish and UK Governments, focuses on connecting its high value business sectors with national and international markets, attracting skills, and growing its economy through its significant natural resources. The RGD’s initiatives in brief include: Aquaculture: Argyll and Bute becomes a national and international centre for excellence in innovation and research Engineering: A centre for engineering innovation linked to HMNB Clyde. Tourism: Argyll and Bute becomes a West of Scotland “must visit” location for the maritime leisure market.
Low carbon economy: using renewable energy resources for sustainable local energy systems Rural skills: delivering 21st century infrastructure for skills, training, and enterprise. Housing for economic growth: affordable housing for key workers Technology innovation: Oban Airport becomes a leading research and development centre for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies and the UK’s first dedicated drone training centre with indoor facilities.
Digital connectivity: superfast broadband for key areas without it, and expanded 4G and 5G coverage. Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said: “Argyll, Bute and our 22 other inhabited islands bring together much of what is best about Scotland – natural resources that provide an enviable lifestyle and help drive forward business markets, local expertise that inspires innovation, and people committed to achieving success. Our rural growth deal investment is about transforming our resources and business innovation into economic growth.” https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/rgd
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World’s Strongest Man helps ILM Highland celebrate 2,054 tonnes of electrical recycling in last 12 months ILM Highland was shown a display of strength when World’s Strongest Man Tom Stoltman joined in a celebration of their environmental and social impact. ILM, a charity and social enterprise based in Alness, has processed an impressive 2,054 tonnes of waste electrical items in the last 12 months, ensuring they are disposed of responsibly and avoid ending up in landfill. Stoltman – a passionate supporter of local businesses – dropped by to celebrate the achievement. The organisation was able to salvage and refurbish almost 500 items throughout the year, which were then sold in its electrical retail shop both online and instore. As well as extending the life of appliances and providing high quality, affordable electricals to the local community, each sale funds ILM Highland’s charitable home improvement services which support vulnerable people to be at home. Highland resident Stoltman, the first Scot to lift the World’s Strongest Man trophy, said: “It’s been really inspiring to visit ILM Highland and learn about everything they do. As a local, I’ve been a customer before but didn’t realise how much impact the business has on the area. “Their work in our community and for the environment is incredible. I would encourage everyone to shop local and support businesses like ILM Highland that are making a real difference in the Highlands.”
ILM Highland’s waste electrical recycling directly funds its charitable home improvement services, which assist older people, veterans and people living with disabilities in the Highlands to stay at home. Martin Macleod, CEO of ILM Highland, said: “We’re thrilled that Tom Stoltman has helped us celebrate another fantastic year for ILM; we’re proud to have been able to continue providing vital home improvement services to vulnerable people during the pandemic at a time when they were most in need of help. “As household incomes have been unpredictable over the last year, it has also been so important to continue to provide affordable new and refurbished electrical appliances. We are pleased that so many
Highland residents have chosen to recycle their electricals – allowing us to reuse, recycle and refurbish them for the benefit of our community and the planet.” ILM Highland’s charitable services are supported by income generated from its online electrical retail shop which sells a wide selection of new and refurbished electrical appliances with home delivery across the whole of Highland; and its professional and fully certified waste electrical recycling service for households and businesses. For more information about ILM Highland, visit www.ilmhighland.co.uk or follow the social enterprise on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
We’re thrilled that Tom Stoltman has helped us celebrate another fantastic year for ILM; we’re proud to have been able to continue providing vital home improvement services to vulnerable people during the pandemic at a time when they were most in need of help. Martin Macleod, CEO of ILM Highland
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How HR and employee benefit policies have needed to change as a result of the pandemic It has been given wisdom for centuries that ‘the only constant in life is change’ but in the last 18 months we have had to adapt to a new pace of change which has accelerated massively since February 2020. Coming into 2020 working from home wasn’t something that a lot of people would have considered. In fact, the ONS statistics show that in the 5 years up to December 2019 the numbers of people mainly working from home had only slightly increased from 4.3% to 5.1% of the total UK workforce. Fast forward to February 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic saw homeworking become the “new normal” with 35.9% of the UK workforce working from home at some point*. This is a staggering increase and is likely to stay at an increased level for the foreseeable future. Despite change being the one constant experienced throughout the pandemic, something that hasn’t changed is that one of the keys to business success is the ability to attract and retain the right talent, in the right places, at the right time. This raises the question of just how have HR and employee benefit policies changed (so far) as a result of the pandemic in order to achieve this aim? At present, some employers could be fooled into thinking that their employees are satisfied with current benefit arrangements. However, what they should endeavour to do is identify, understand and implement change that mirrors what employee expectations are. You may be asking, why? As the operating climate improves any dissatisfied talent will vote with its feet, thus leaving employers with voids they will struggle to attract other good candidates to fill. The AON UK Benefits and Trends Survey 2021, reported that employees now expect agile/home working and more flexible working hours from their employers*. This is no surprise given that during the recent lockdowns’ employees had to juggle work and life like never before with significant numbers of employees caring and schooling their children at home or caring for elderly family members. The flexibility employers were able to show during this period gave employees the taste of a real work/life balance and it would be hard or unwise for employers to roll this back. As the geographic location is no longer an issue, businesses that are offering some employee groups permanent working from home arrangements have been able to significantly widen their potential talent pool. The issue is how they attract top talent to vacancies as they arise. This is
why employers that are offering employee benefits such as agile/hybrid working, flexibility of working hours and mental health support will have a huge advantage in the war for talent. As you might expect with such significant and fast-moving change the picture isn’t completely rosy with a recent Government survey on homeworking throwing up some interesting points that business leaders should note. Questions around topics such as homeworking hours, rewards and opportunities within the UK Survey*, conducted by the ONS released in April 2021, reported that in 2020, employees who completed any work from home did 6.0 hours of unpaid overtime on average per week, compared with 3.6 hours for those who never worked from home. It was also interesting to find that those who mainly worked from home were less than half as likely to be promoted. On average, these employees are around 38% less likely to have received a bonus in comparison to those who have never worked from home. “What has this got to do with HR and employee benefit policies?” I hear you cry. Ultimately it comes down to the
demographic of those most likely to opt for homeworking - for example working mums with young children. So as some employee groups return to the office and others don’t, inequalities could start to show. If these groups are less likely to be promoted it will lead to less inclusive leadership teams, disengaged employees as well as the risk of discrimination claims. Therefore, it is important that employers monitor pay, promotions and training opportunities to ensure equality across their workforce. Employers would be wise to ensure that as times and trends change so should their HR policies and practices (for example, performance reviews) so that employees aren’t indirectly disadvantaged. Businesses need to consider the non-financial factors or social factors when updating these policies. These factors look at the impact businesses have on employees and society. They can include diversity and inclusion; safe and healthy working conditions; labour standards, fair wages and human rights protection as well as good relations with local communities. When good practices are put in place the results can lead to better morale, productivity, reputation and increased turnover.
City meets Shire as Country Ways opens new store in Deeside! For over forty years shoppers in the west end of Aberdeen have enjoyed the area’s premier, country, lifestyle and equestrian store, Country Ways, and now the owners have expanded their business with the opening of Country Ways 2 in the Royal Deeside town of Banchory. with them too, including Fairfax & Favor, Barbour, Dubarry and many more - offering shoppers a great selection of fashionable country and equestrian clothing, footwear and accessories. They even have introduced luxury foods and sweets, gifts and there’s a dedicated room full of dog apparel, treats and training equipment - heaven for your four-legged friends.
It’s a little-known fact that Country Ways actually started as a pharmacy! The precursor to the business was originally part of Charles Michie’s Pharmacy on Powis Terrace, Kitty Brewster. It not only benefited from being close to three doctors’ surgeries but had its busiest day on a Friday, when the nearby Aberdeen cattle market was open. The canny farmers would make the most of their day in the big city buying and selling their beasts but also stocking up on essentials. An opportunity to purchase the shop next door presented itself to John and Charles Michie, joint owners and brothers of the business, who jumped at the chance. Charles Michie Farm Sales was opened soon after to service the needs of the farmers and their animals. At the same time, the Northeast of Scotland was starting to see the economic benefits of the oil and gas industry, which brought with it the interest and means for people to take up horse riding and horse ownership. Charles recounts the meteoric change with the explosion of people enjoying everything the equestrian world had to offer, in turn their customers requesting “horsey stuff”. “There was nowhere in Aberdeen or the shire that people could go to purchase not just the items the horses needed but also the riders”. So The Aberdeen Tack Room was born. He smiles as he recounts “Saturdays were utter bedlam but such fun, the children would come into the store to get kitted out from top to toe as well as their ponies’ bits and pieces being purchased” In the late seventy’s the mart moved to its current home at Thainstone, Fridays were no longer so busy, but the equestrian department continued to go from strength to strength. The Michie brothers took the decision to close The Aberdeen Tack Room and launch their new store, Country Ways, on the corner of Great Western Road and Holburn Street. The well-known Aberdeen store with its feature gable wall, which was originally decorated with a horse and rider, but now features an iconic large-scale mural - part of the highly successful Aberdeen Inspired NuArt street art project - is an Aladdin’s cave of wonders for all country and equestrian enthusiasts. The reassuringly familiar smell of the wax jackets and leatherwork welcomes its customers who, like the owners, are now onto the third generation.
Forty-three years since Country Ways opened its doors in Aberdeen, the Michie family are now expanding with the opening of Country Ways 2 in the Royal Deeside town of Banchory. John and Charles are still very much involved, but the running of the stores is in the hands of Charles’s daughter, Rosemary, and her team. Rosemary comments, “we’re very excited with this new phase of the business that we are entering, and despite very challenging times recently for the retail, we remain passionate about the high street and the communities we serve. Our team have worked flat out this past year to adapt to the changing needs and shopping habits of customers during the pandemic; including opening an out-of-town Christmas pop-up shop, a complete overhaul of our website and in-store IT system to make it easier to shop online with us and learning to do all our seasonal buying over zoom! It’s been quite a year and culminating in opening a new store is something really special indeed.” The gloriously spacious store is situated in the ideal position opposite the main car park, and it’s 7 large windows giving customers an enticing glimpse of what lies instore. Stepping inside you are greeted by a team of cheerful, knowledgeable staff, who all obviously love their jobs, and with their customer service being second to none the discerning shopper is in for a real treat. Big brand names have moved
Sophie Bultitude, manager at Country Ways, said “After the 18 months we’ve all had it’s great to have the store back open and servicing customers old and new. There’s always such a great atmosphere and buzz, which makes it such a wonderful place to work. The conversation with our customers has always been an important part of the way we work and has been hugely missed! The new store in Banchory has been a very exciting project for the whole team, it was Banchory’s worst kept secret! The expansion has opened us up to new markets, customers, and communities with endless opportunities. It has also led to the edition of new team members who are very knowledgeable and share our passions. The new store has brought a whole different dimension to Country Ways, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.” Russell Borthwick, Chief Executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce added: “We are clear that, despite recent challenges, bricks and mortar retail is alive and well and that customers will continue to value and seek out the extra levels of personal service and experience that is offered, in particular, by independent stores. I’m delighted to see such a well-kent business as Country Ways sharing this view and investing in a 2nd store in Banchory more than 40 years after their first outlet opened in the city. This is another sign that the economic outlook for our fantastic region remains positive”. It is heartening to see a family run business, established 100 years ago and now on its 4th generation, going from strength to strength. They have adapted and moved with the times, survived a war, twenty-one prime ministers and the latest obvious challenge of a global pandemic. Throughout the ten decades offering their customers a superb in-person retail experience, mirroring this with their online presence and now opening their flagship store Country Ways 2. www.countryways.com
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
ROCCO Awards 2021 shortlist announced
Renfrewshire Chamber is delighted to announce the 2021 shortlist for their annual business awards, the ROCCO’s. Now in their Seventeenth Year, the ROCCOs are the premier business event in Renfrewshire. Seventeen winners will be announced at the ceremony hosted by ROCCO regular Fred MacAulay (19th November at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew). Returning as Main Sponsor for a third year is Paisley.is, the dynamic destination brand for Paisley & Renfrewshire. Commenting on the awards – Chamber chief executive Bob Grant said “We are pleased to return with ROCCO 2021 which will be a celebration of everything our business community has achieved together in challenging times. Resilience, recovery, and rebuilding sustainably are all key themes for ROCCO 2021. Thank you to all our sponsors, without their support, the ROCCO’s would not be possible and also to all the organisations that entered; the calibre has been particularly impressive this year and many companies have great stories to share as we celebrate everything our business community has achieved together. 15 of the 17 awards will require the shortlisted organisations to present to our judging panels w/c 25th October at the Chamber Business Centre, Glasgow Airport”. Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing and Communications for Renfrewshire Council said: ‘It is wonderful to see the annual ROCCO awards return in 2021, signalling an important step forward in Renfrewshire’s recovery and the opportunity to reconnect and reflect why Renfrewshire is a great place to do business. It has never been more important to recognise and celebrate the remarkable resilience, generosity and ingenuity of businesses operating across Renfrewshire throughout what has been one of the most challenging times in our history. We are honoured to place Paisley. Is at the heart of this year’s ROCCOs and to hear from and honour the best of the best in Renfrewshire.”
Chamber President Liz Connolly & Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing and Communications for Renfrewshire Council
The full shortlist is: ROCCO Award for Environmental Sustainability sponsored by Paisley Is: • Adalec Ltd • Elite Contract Furniture • Glasgow Airport /AGS Airports Limited ROCCO Award for Developing the Young Workforce sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce (West): • Arnold Clark Ltd • Paisley Autocare Ltd • Rolls-Royce plc ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology sponsored by Creation IP: • Glasgow Airport Limited • QIOT Ltd • Rolls-Royce plc ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing sponsored by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland: • Angelwax Ltd • Diageo plc • Rolls-Royce plc ROCCO Award for International Trade sponsored by Glasgow Airport: • Alan Kelly Projects Ltd • Angelwax Ltd • Volantes Technical Recruitment Ltd ROCCO Award for Resilience in Business sponsored by Invest in Renfrewshire: • Accord Hospice • Kibble Education and Care Centre • Right Way Credit Union
ROCCO Award for Most Promising New Business sponsored by Renfrewshire Council: • Kombi Campers 2021 Ltd • Squared Insurance Brokers Limited • Volantes Technical Recruitment Ltd ROCCO Award for Resilience in Tourism sponsored by Paisley Is: • Courtyard by Marriott Glasgow Airport • Open Road Scotland • XSite Braehead (Braehead Leisure Partnership) ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year sponsored by the Malcolm Group: • Carli’s Kindergarten Ltd • Matheson Damp Services Limited • Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year sponsored by Rolls-Royce: • Andrew O’Brien- J.G.B Steelcraft (UK) Limited • Johanna McLachlan- JGBA Limited • Lee Walker – Volantes Technical Recruitment Ltd ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year sponsored by West College Scotland: • Arnold Clark Ltd • City Gate Construction Ltd • Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
ROCCO Award for Community Champion of the Year sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire and Royal Bank of Scotland: • Accord Hospice • I Am Me Scotland • The New Tannahill Centre Ltd ROCCO Award for Outstanding Business <=5 full time employees sponsored by Braehead: • Alan Kelly Projects Ltd • JGBA Limited • Plush Plans Ltd ROCCO Award for Outstanding Business >5 & <25 full time employees sponsored by University of the West of Scotland: • Digby Landscaping & Maintenance Limited • Framed Estates Ltd • J.G.B Steelcraft (UK) Limited ROCCO Award for Outstanding Business >25 full time employees sponsored by Doosan Babcock: • Cairellot Nursery • City Gate Construction Ltd • Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year sponsored by Diageo: Shortlisted nominations are: • Alan McNiven - Chief Executive, Engage Renfrewshire • Brian Toward - CEO, Wholesale Domestic Ltd • Claire Donnelly & Marc Cruickshanks Joint-Directors, Aspire Industrial Services Ltd • Eddie Hawthorne - Chief Executive & Group Managing Director, Arnold Clark The winner will be announced on the night ROCCO Award for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business sponsored by the Paisley Daily Express: • I Am Me Scotland • Kaoss Hair & Beauty, Paisley • Pennylane Homes (Renfrew) • Taste Buds Paisley • Kenneth Kegan Funeral Directors Top 5 voting will open soon online with the Paisley Daily Express. The company with the most votes by Friday 29th October will be crowned the winner and announced on the night. #2021Rocco
Nevis Range announce transformative £4m development Nevis Range Mountain Experience is delighted to announce a transformative £4m project that will secure the future of the company for generations to come. The ground has been broken for a 22-bedroom hotel, 24 berth bunkhouse, bar and restaurant, bike shop, children’s activity centre, childcare facilities, and a covered courtyard with an event space. The project supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise is expected to take 12 months to build with a planned opening in late November 2022. 50 jobs are expected to be created as a direct result of the new buildings. Chris O’Brien, Managing Director of Nevis Range, said: The hotel and bunkhouse are being developed as a direct response to the wishes of our customers. We’ve carried out multiple surveys and our people have let us know that they want to see accommodation here on site at Nevis Range. We’ll be sure to add our own ski and bike led twist to operations! Chris continued, saying: “I’m incredibly excited about the addition of a third restaurant to the Nevis Range site. The Pinemarten Café and the Snowgoose have been designed to operate at high volumes providing a speedy service to get people back out on to the hill as quickly as possible. This restaurant will be serving Scottish Highland Tapas, all locally sourced, and a huge selection of Scottish drinks showcasing some of the
incredible local suppliers that we’re so fortunate to have based here in Lochaber. “The childcare facilities are a part of this development that is incredibly important to all of us here at Nevis Range. Facilities will be available for customers but also staff. Nevis Range is a fair work employer that has no gender pay gap and a commitment to keep on improving. The provision of childcare for staff will aid our goal of a more gender diverse workforce at the same time as giving more options to our customers. “Net Zero and climate change are at the top of our agenda as we continue to develop. EV charge points, Hydro power and a locally sourced produce strategy are just the beginning for us. We are currently engaged in a carbon footprint analysis study that will help us roadmap the best way for us to achieve Net Zero status. “This project is possible due to the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE]. HIE are investing £800k into this project and I’m delighted that both parties share a vision for the creation of Quality, Sustainable Adventure Tourism Experiences right here in the Outdoor Capital of the UK.” This will be an exciting addition to the fabric of Lochaber and provide more options for visitors as well as improved facilities for residents and visitors when they make the journey to Fort William.
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
Tourism and leisure app for Forres makes the Moray town ‘more visible’ “We believe this is the only tourism app of its kind in Moray.” A new smartphone app that promises to feature everything there is to see and do in the Forres area has been launched by a local social enterprise. Visit Forres has developed the app to complement its website (visitforres.scot) which was launched earlier this year to focus on tourism and leisure services in the area, such as attractions, activities, events, places to eat, as well as full listings of accommodation providers and retailers. It’s free to download, free to use and free for businesses to list their details. Marc Hindley, managing director of parent company Moray Media CIC said: “Forres has a lot to offer, and this is our attempt to bring it all into one place, so people that come here don’t miss anything, or stay longer. And for people that live here, who still miss some of the things that are going on right on their doorstep. “Apps really drive focus, and while we have built a comprehensive website, having the information in your hand makes it so much more accessible than searching for information each time you need it. We‘ve tried to think of all the information people would need for a day out in the country, a night on the tiles, or a week’s holiday, and we’ll keep adding to it as necessary.” The app also provides information on midges and ticks, where you can and can’t fly drones, electric vehicle charging points and public toilets, as well as travel information and blogs. Marc added: “We want people to get in touch if they think something should be added. It’s
not a snapshot of 2021, we want it to see it grow and develop, and be part of the leisure landscape.
The app was developed in Forres by a local company, who contributed time and expertise.
“Tourism is everyone’s business, and the app is useful for anyone local who gets asked a lot of questions, such as those working in shops, filling stations, cafes, etc, where visitors often enquire about local services. Using the app, or signposting people to it will give them relevant information without wading through search engines.
All tourism or leisure businesses can have a free listing, and these are linked to the website, so if a business makes a change on the website listing, it is reflected immediately on the app.
“It’s for anyone in the local area whether they live here or are on holiday. It details all the local attractions, activities and places to stay, as well as events and listings of where to eat and drink. “Although our organisation’s focus is mainly the Forres area, we believe this is the only tourism app of its kind in Moray, and so it makes our corner of the Moray Speyside region that little bit more visible, which of course is great news for the businesses who are listed.”
Marc added: “Our social ethos is to build collaborative publicity platforms that not only benefit consumers, but also help businesses, organisations and event managers reach the widest possible audience.” Laurie Piper, CEO of Visit Moray Speyside, the DMO for Moray, said; “The new Visit Forres app is a great addition for both visitors and locals, looking for relevant, local information. It’s another good example of the growing energy in communities around rebuilding tourism and encouraging locally-focused initiatives.”
Tourism is everyone’s business, and the app is useful for anyone local who gets asked a lot of questions, such as those working in shops, filling stations, cafes, etc, where visitors often enquire about local services. Using the app, or signposting people to it will give them relevant information without wading through search engines. Marc Hindley, managing director of parent company Moray Media CIC
SCOTTISH CHAMBER NEWS
Kilmac on the road to all-electric fleet Tayside civil engineering contractor Kilmac is on the road to creating an all-electric fleet. The Perthshire Chamber of Commerce member has taken delivery of cars for management and engineers, with fast charging points installed at their Gemini Crescent head office in Dundee and at employees’ homes.
“We have 15 company cars, ranging from Kia and Tesla to Mercedes and Audi.
energy efficient Renault Kangoos and Trafics.
“These vehicles are the most advanced right now, in a price range of £45,000 to £75,000.
Perth-based Managing Director Athole McDonald is also keen to see the company’s fleet of vans go electric soon as vehicles become available to the market, with a high percentage of the workforce based in the Big County.
“We see it is a stepping stone. Following a string of appointments, we have around 130 staff now and there’s almost one vehicle for every two employees.
“Longer-term, it would be nice to think the excavators and site plant can also be fitted with batteries when they can provide the huge amount of power that is required, with site-based chargers.
“We operate in a sector of industry which recognises times are changing and we have to continue to reduce our CO2 footprint,” he explained.
“Hopefully that will start to happen in the next 12-18 months or so as battery technology develops to provide a wider range of affordable vehicles offering much greater mileage between charges.
“The change of the fleet to electric is an effective and readily available way of doing this. The vehicles are slightly more expensive for the business but far more efficient for the employees, reducing their tax bill by thousands.
“Ultimately we would like to see the wider fleet of more than 50 vans going electric.
“The plan is to phase the replacement of older vans with electric options. “In the meantime, we have recently replaced 16 of the diesel fleet with more
“In terms of Scottish construction companies, we already have a good track record in moving towards a position of being carbon neutral and this move towards electric vehicles takes us a step further down the line. “We have long been involved in wind farm projects at Finavon in Angus and Glen Ullinish in the Isle of Skye which sit well within the corporate portfolio. “We have always been forward thinking in terms of renewables and have delivered hydro and biomass schemes during the company’s history.”
We operate in a sector of industry which recognises times are changing and we have to continue to reduce our CO2 footprint. The change of the fleet to electric is an effective and readily available way of doing this. Athole McDonald , Managing Director, Kilmac
Focus on Training and Development
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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Water Industry welcomes UK’s first Higher-Level Qualification in Developer Services Management Following accreditation from Ofqual, training provider Learning & Development Associates (L&DA) has announced the launch of the Level 5 Certificate and Award in Developer Services Management. The new programme, which will represent the UK’s first foundation degree level qualification in Developer Services Management, offers companies in the water and environmental industries with the opportunity to advance managerial knowledge and understanding of the design and construction of water and waste water network infrastructure assets and services. Learning & Development Associates was commissioned to develop the new Level 5 framework following the success of their wider suite of higher-level qualifications, including those in the management of risk and resilience and leading innovation in the water and environmental industries. Commenting on the launch, Glenn Jackson, Managing Director of L&DA, said: “In comparison with the only other alternative qualification in this function, the Level 5 Certificate and Award is not only more in line with current Developer Services Management (DSM) practices and regulations, it is also more appropriate in terms of education level for the roles in Developer Services - particularly as
many personnel in these roles are/were engineering graduates.” L&DA highlighted that new qualification will address the technical needs of managers and others working in the water and environmental industries and will provide learners with a thorough understanding of the rationale for water and waste water planning, design, construction and asset installation. The Level 5 Certificate and Award in Developer Services Management will also address the important impact that commercial sustainable development has on the broader water and environmental infrastructure and will assess the ability of the industries to renew, extend, repair and replace water and waste water network assets. A representative of L&DA’s delivery team further added: “The launch of the new qualification provides a clear education pathway for managers and builds upon our company mission at L&DA to advance the competence of the water and environmental industries.
Addressing key themes such as water quality standards of water networks, environmental regulation requirements for sewerage systems, safe and hygienic installation of water assets, and best practice in the design of new water assets, the qualification presents an opportunity enhance the knowledge and understanding of managers and counter any skills gaps in the DSM function.” The new qualification is expected to result in a short 5-day course that will be available for delivery from February 2021. For more information about Learning & Development Associates, visit https://learninganddevelopment. associates or contact enquiries@ learninganddevelopment.associates
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Contact us on 0141 342 5494 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to arrange a personal tour. The Glasgow Academy is an educational charity registered in Scotland: Charity Number SC 015368
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
British Army joins forces with CrisisCast to develop revolutionary virtual reality training Working closely in partnership with the British Army, expert disaster and crisis management organisation, CrisisCast, has announced the pilot of a virtual reality platform developed to assist Armed Forces training in human emotions and cross-cultural communications. Project Tyrion, Human Domain Matrix is a new, innovative prototype training concept developed by the British Army and CrisisCast, which brings the immersion and role-play of virtual reality platforms into a military environment. CrisisCast, award-winning film makers, virtual reality producers and disaster and crisis management experts, were engaged to craft the virtual reality platform piloted with the British Army as a result of the organisations wealth of experience in utilising state-of-the-art British and Australian film industry and VR techniques to dramatise events for emerging security needs in the UK, Middle East and worldwide. Going beyond training the cognitive to introduce more emotionally driven behavioural mechanics, which are inherently complex to model and simulate, the new virtual reality training platform seamlessly merges art, technology and science to enable military personnel to interact in realistically simulated environments that they may encounter, in order to provide immersive training in human emotion and cross-cultural communications. Following its successful pilot, the virtual reality platform has highlighted how it can
help to improve how judgement and empathy are practiced in a military environment. Containing accurate and relevant choice points in cross-cultural communication with impactful consequences, the learning through engagement experience will significantly enhance the current provision in pre-deployment, bridging the knowledge gap and giving access to advanced qualitative, psychosocial-emotional proﬁles of complex TAs. David Wayman of CrisisCast, and a Senior Producer on the project, added: “We’ve been relentless in our attention to detail, to ensure we can really suspend the learner’s disbelief, from accurate pattern of life events right down to the correct flashes on the uniforms. The art team have worked tirelessly to reproduce the reference images in high fidelity, whilst our coders have been helping us in coming up with ever more ingenious devices to deliver the training aims in-game. Even though it’s only a proof of concept right now, the cinematic narrative, lifelike and likeable characters and stunning artwork has created a truly unique and impressive learning experience for our service personnel.”
The virtual reality training platform has also been developed through CrisisCast’s collaborative partnerships with other global experts. Australia-based organisation Spectre Studios enabled the project to be brought to life through their expertise in production design, art direction and ability to drive innovation the virtual reality landscape. Washington, DC-based organisation ValkaMir Human Security supported CrisisCast in developing the content within the virtual reality training platform through their expertise in science-based analysis and solutions to preventing and countering protracted human conflict and violence. Project Tyrion was further supported through the intelligence, big-data and analytical capability of global-based organisation Predli. To find out more about Project Tyrion, Human Domain Matrix visit crisiscast.com/virtual-reality
Make your event a truly unique experience
Having an event at Glasgow Science Centre is special. Explore hosting a conference under the stars or using the largest screen in Scotland and let over 400 interactive exhibits have your guests talking and inspired to make networking a breeze. As a Gold Green Tourism Award venue, be rest assured that the event you host is as sustainable as possible. From locally sourced catering and bespoke vegan menus to LED lighting, we’ll work with you to deliver a “greentastic” event that’s out of this world. For more information and enquiries, contact our Corporate Sales Event Manager, at Hannah.email@example.com or visit glasgowsciencecentre.org/corporateevents
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Intelligencia Training launches new Data and Security Apprenticeships Three apprenticeship programmes added to Intelligencia Training’s portfolio, will provide new training opportunities within Data Analyst, Data Technician and Security Management provisions. Intelligencia Training has announced the addition of the Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship Standard, Level 3 Data Technician Apprenticeship Standard and Level 3 Security First-Line Manager Apprenticeship. The specialist apprenticeship provider, who has been involved in intelligence apprenticeships since their inception in 2016, recognised the opportunity and increasing need for role-relevant training within these specialised provisions following continued successful engagement with high-profile organisations throughout the public and private sectors. Nick Atkinson, Commercial Director of Intelligencia Training, commented: “The launch of these new apprenticeships to our portfolio will help to develop recognition for the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are so critical to being a competent Data Analyst, Data Technician or Security Management professional. Business Scotland
We are always keen to offer new programmes which benefit those working in specialist roles and with our experience, including being chosen as the key education sector partner to provide support and guidance to the employer group that developed the leading Intelligence Analysis Standard, we are best placed to deliver the three new apprenticeships.”
The third of the apprenticeship providers latest programmes, the Security First-Line Manager Apprenticeship, was launched after Intelligencia’s delivery team, who hold extensive military, policing, retail and security sector experience, identified numerous opportunities in which specialist security and security management skills can be improved.
The Data Analyst Apprenticeship Standard, the highest-level qualification of the new apprenticeships, was added to Intelligencia Training’s portfolio after they recognised the significant differences between intelligence and data analysis, as well as the departments and roles that utilise these skills and techniques.
The Security First-Line Manager Apprenticeship will enhance the understanding of threat, vulnerability and risk on a local, national and international security basis, and how to respond accordingly.
Additional to the Data Analyst Apprenticeship Standard, Intelligencia Training’s second new data apprenticeship will benefit Data Technician’s, who have a vital role within an organisation sourcing, formatting and presenting data for analysis.
More information on Intelligencia Training’s apprenticeships can be found via www.intelligenciatraining.com
A PROMISE BY THE NATION. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
So why not publicly declare your commitment to our Armed Forces by signing up? In doing so you would be among the 7,000+ UK organisations to have already shown their support. Organisations to recently demonstrate support for the Armed Forces include a trio of companies who came together to sign the Covenant during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Bragd LLP, Complete Cleaning Contracts Ltd, and The Wee Tea Company signed the Covenants on 19 August with Edinburgh Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Clark, co-signing the documents on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Defence Relationship Management. Signing up to the Covenant is straightforward and sets companies on the path to have their pledge recognised through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). This scheme incorporates prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, granted in recognition of their pledge to support defence and the Armed Forces Community.
2021 Gold recipients in the HRFCA-area (including two Gold holders who had existing awards revalidated) were: Dundee City Council (revalidation); Fife Chamber of Commerce; Highland Council; Horizon Security Solutions Ltd; McLeod Glaziers; Perth & Kinross Council; Scottish Ambulance Service (revalidation). 2021 Silver winners in the HRFCA-area were: Arpine Group; Caritas Legal; Dales Marine; Isle of Harris Distillers; John Clark Motors, SSE plc. Events to celebrate the successes of both the Gold and Silver recipients are being held in October. To find out how you can support the Armed Forces, contact Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors. Contact Roy McLellan by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Ray Watt by email: email@example.com.
From left: Derek Walker (The Wee Tea Company), Stephen Gardiner (Complete Cleaning Contracts Ltd), and Jason Rudgley (Bragd LLP) with Lt Col Clark.
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
How Geospatial and the ‘power of where’ can transform Scottish businesses and lives David Pegg
Director Consulting Services at CGI
Let me introduce you to the ‘power of where’. This power isn’t some illusionary conjurer’s trick, it is a power grounded in the reality of today, embedded in locationbased data, which is unlocked by technology and which can be used to transform not only our lives but also our economy.
It’s the name given to geospatial, and it is being harnessed in ways we could only dream about just 10 years ago. This is thanks to huge advances in location base data and services, called geospatial outcomes – a market that is predicted to be worth around £20 billion within the next seven years. Location-based solutions – or ‘mapping’ to use another term – have been with us in some shape or form since our society has advanced and our knowledge of health and science grew. One of the best historical examples is from 1854, involving a physician called John Snow and a major outbreak of cholera in
Soho, London. At the time it was believed that cholera was transmitted by ‘bad air’ from filth. But thanks to mapping, Snow worked out that the source of the outbreak was in fact a contaminated water pump, and that the deaths were mostly from those who accessed ‘dirty’ water from that pump. This mapping led to the outbreak being contained, and the realisation that proper water treatment could eradicate the disease. Fast forward nearly 170 years and a similar mapping of data – the power of where – is having a transformative impact on our lives. For instance, as we recover from the effects of COVID-19, we are mapping those who
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catch COVID and how it spreads and how we build back better. Currently, geospatial is underpinned by data and software that are fused to deliver location-based services. Increasingly these are powered by Open Standards to make systems more interoperable. But as we go forwards, geospatial is being revolutionised thanks to its fusion with rapidly developing technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, the cloud and Business Intelligence. The challenge is now there for organisations across the world to reap the rewards of this revolution and develop a capability that has the breadth and depth to achieve the maximum benefits that geospatial outcomes can bring. In Scotland, the utilisation of geospatial outcomes has seen CGI develop and support systems that deal with the agricultural payments for Scottish farmers which are based on the sizes of fields and the kind of crops that are grown. It has also been involved in the information gathering on weather systems by satellites that form the basis for forecasts, location technology to monitor rail travel comfort levels, and remote monitoring of lift systems so they work properly. COP26 has concentrated minds as to how to use location-based technology more for the benefit of our society in a way that drives tangible benefits to our health and the environment. One example is in active travel. CGI believes the Scottish Government has an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Wales. Active Travel promotes healthy and sustainable travel in Wales, with the aim of making walking and cycling the preferred ways of getting around over shorter distances. It is funded by the Welsh Government through grants to 22 local authorities, which helps pay for the development and upkeep of footpaths, cycle ways, signage and public toilets. Active Travel in Wales is based around a service whose geospatial data sources include Ordnance Survey and Sustrans. Through it, travellers can plan ‘active’ journeys, with walking and cycling routes displayed on a map. This visual format
provides an engaging way to communicate a lot of information at once. Active Travel would not happen without an Open Architecture, built on Open Standards, to securely share data from multiple partners across the Active Travel platform. As a result it is successfully bringing communities together through technology. It enables a rich, dynamic platform that serves the needs of the public while also helping the Welsh Government and local authorities promote healthier and more sustainable methods of travelling around. Beyond Active Travel, there are many opportunities to cement same capabilities across a wide range of areas in Scotland – from the environment to transport, emergency response, to housing and local planning as well as national infrastructure and finance (such as insurance). To support the exploitation of geospatial in Scotland the UK Government Geospatial Commission, along with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, is working to establish a new Scottish Geospatial Network Integrator, with a £200,000 joint investment. But the benefits of geospatial are already there for all to see. It’s now time for
businesses and organisations to grasp the nettle and use geospatial to help them make better decisions and get better outcomes. For those in the public sector, including government, geospatial technology can be used to drive better informed decisionmaking, especially with regards to their location-based services. CGI is doing this by integrating location-based services into business and operational systems such as an application that helps connect more renewable energy sources to the electricity grid and a tool to map and make accessible data about common land. The technology could be harnessed by the Scottish Government to deliver a more sustainable future and help fight climate change. Geospatial technology has the potential to transform everything about our lives. It’s time to let the ‘power of where’ point us in the right direction. David Pegg is Director Consulting Services at CGI. He has more than 25 years’ experience delivering digital services in the public sector primarily focussed on the environment and energy. Prior to joining CGI, he worked for a leading environment and climate change consultancy as their Director of Digital Services.
In Scotland, the utilisation of geospatial outcomes has seen CGI develop and support systems that deal with the agricultural payments for Scottish farmers which are based on the sizes of fields and the kind of crops that are grown. Business Scotland
Virgin Media paints cabinets gold in Edinburgh to celebrate ParalympicsGB Virgin Media has painted broadband cabinets gold in Edinburgh to celebrate the achievements of ParalympicsGB at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Proud partners of ParalympicsGB, Virgin Media whipped up support in the UK with its #WeAreHere campaign which encouraged the nation to cheer on our incredible Paralympians as no fans, friends, family or loved ones could travel to Japan to watch the Games in person.
ParalympicsGB racked up a staggering 124 medals, taking second place in the overall medals table and winning medals in more sports than any nation has ever achieved at Paralympic Games. A total of 24 athletes from Scotland represented ParalympicsGB in Tokyo, securing an impressive 20 medals. To recognise ParalympicsGB’s success at the Games, Virgin Media has given some on-street cabinets in the city a golden upgrade. The golden cabinets in Edinburgh can be located side-by-side on Johnston Terrace, close to Edinburgh Castle. ParalympicsGB athlete, Stephen Clegg, from Edinburgh who won one silver and two bronze medals in Swimming, attended the unveiling of the cabinet. He said: “It is touching to see how much Virgin Media has supported the Paralympic movement through Tokyo 2020 and has helped connect the supporters from home here in the UK to the athletes competing in Tokyo!”
It is touching to see how much Virgin Media has supported the Paralympic movement through Tokyo 2020 and has helped connect the supporters from home here in the UK to the athletes competing in Tokyo! Stephen Clegg, ParalympicsGB athlete
“It is also amazing to see how Virgin Media is recognising the achievements of ParalympicsGB with the long-lasting tribute of their gold cabinet. I’m super proud to return home with my three medals and the support from back home definitely helped all of us out in Tokyo and spurred us on to perform our best!” Virgin Media has also painted broadband cabinets in other parts of the UK including Belfast, Cardiff, London, Loughborough and Stoke Mandeville – the birthplace of the Paralympic Games. Virgin Media held a special event to mark the occasion in Stoke Mandeville with ParalympicsGB athletes Jody Cundy OBE, Phoebe Paterson Pine, Stef Reid, Ali Jawad and Tom Hamer who had just returned from Tokyo. The athletes unveiled the gold broadband cabinet after helping apply the finishing touches of gold paint. The ParalympicsGB athletes also held a special PE lesson at nearby Booker Park school, giving children top tips on how to become Paralympians of the future, as well as sharing their experiences of the Games in Tokyo. Simon Groves, Director of Brand and Marketing at Virgin Media O2, said: "As
proud partners of ParalympicsGB, we've been blown away by the team's incredible medal-winning success in Tokyo. As well as supporting our Paralympians with our #WeAreHere campaign, we've given our cabinets the golden touch to mark the team's amazing achievement at the Games. Our cabinets are placed at the heart of communities across the UK and we hope that residents in join us in welcoming ParalympicsGB home.” Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive of ParalympicsGB, said: “ParalympicsGB rewrote the record books at Tokyo 2020 with countless incredible performances to inspire and unite the nation. Painting these cabinets gold is a fitting tribute to the excellence and resilience of the athletes who competed in Tokyo and a wonderful way for the British public to have a lasting reminder of what they achieved. Tokyo 2020 was the most complex Games we have ever been involved in but also one that demonstrated the incredible impact these athletes can have in challenging perceptions of disability and proving that they truly are Impossible to Ignore.” @virginmedia #WeAreHere
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
New Project to help Forth Valley sensory people into employment A new project designed to improve employment prospects for people with sensory conditions in Falkirk/Stirling/Clackmannanshire has been launched by Forth Valley Sensory Centre. This is a much needed initiative as according to RNIB research: “Only one in four registered blind and partially sighted people are in employment, and this hasn’t significantly changed in a generation”. www.gov.uk website reports: “Deaf people are more likely to be unemployed - 65% of working age deaf people are in employment, compared to 79% of the general population. The impact of Coronavirus will undoubtedly make things worse. In response to these shocking statistics we have set up our project which will be led by
The Equality Act is all about making reasonable adjustments to provide a safe working environment for disabled people. Failure to do so is against hr law and can lead to significant fines and problems for any organisation. Kim Grant
Kim Grant. Kim brings a wealth of business experience with her. Blind, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing people across Forth Valley will be supported to learn about their employment rights, especially equipment which could help them in a potential or existing job. Kim will also be engaging with employers to show them the support available for employing a disabled person and to ensure they are in line with the Equality Act 2010. Kim explained: “The Equality Act is all about making reasonable adjustments to provide a safe working environment for disabled people. Failure to do so is against hr law and can lead to significant fines and problems for any organisation. “Sadly, at FVSC we know personally of people with sensory conditions who struggle to find employment, and we receive calls from people in work who are losing their sight or hearing and are worried about talking to their employer, fearing they might be sacked. “We are here to provide advice on the support available, such as Access To Work that means employers can potentially have those adjustments fully funded through a government grant. We will also be working hard with community groups and schools to increase understanding of sensory conditions and how if we all make small changes, such as removing a face mask
when speaking to someone who is hard of hearing, we can make the workplace a more welcoming place.” The project is backed by Agnes Hunter Trust, Chance to Succeed, Falkirk See Hear Partnership and The Alliance SelfManagement Fund. It is hoped that post lockdown Kim will be able to undertake group talks and face to face meetings. The Centre will also be working closely with Centre partners RNID and RNIB to incorporate initiatives including Tech For Good and Living With Sight Loss courses. Kim added: “The Centre has a fantastic resource in the Technology Hub which is all about demonstrating accessible technology and how to navigate the digital world. People with disabilities do not want to rely on benefits, they want the chance to show what they can do and contribute to their families like anyone else. We hope this project will encourage job seekers, employers and employees to make sure they have a safe, productive workspace.” If you would be interested in speaking to Kim about the service or to request a talk at your organisation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01324 590 888. You can find more information online at www.forthvalleysensorycentre.org or follow us on Twitter/Facebook @FVSensoryCentre
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Seaside memories VisitScotland reveals most popular seaside activities Listening to the sound of waves, eating fish and chips and watching the world go by are the nation’s favourite things to do by the seaside, according to a recent survey. VisitScotland is encouraging visitors to recreate treasured times from their childhood summers by taking a holiday at the seaside this year. YouGov* research commissioned by the national tourism organisation, as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, found that two thirds of UK adults named listening to the sound of waves as their top choice (66 per cent), followed by tucking into a chippy (62 per cent) and seeing the world go by (61 per cent). While 57 per cent of people liked eating ice cream and a further 57 per cent also liked strolling the boardwalk. The survey revealed that 98 per cent of UK adults have been to the seaside and despite
The UK’s, at times, unpredictable weather, 38 per cent of people also like to sunbathe at the seaside.
Suggested locations include:
the Moray Firth, at the edge of the sandfloored Culbin Forest, a visit to Nairn can bring you a surprising array of Highland wildlife-watching opportunities, including dolphins, seals and some remarkable birdlife. The historic Fishertown area of Nairn gives an insight into life during the early 19th century herring boom, and you can find out more about the area’s history at Nairn Museum. The town is also home to charity Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue which welcomes visitors.
Nairn - This is a relaxing and friendly seaside resort in the Scottish Highlands, blessed with three beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and two championship golf courses. One of the sunniest and driest places in Scotland, Nairn is a popular family holiday destination and an ideal base for walking, cycling, touring the Highlands and golfing. Located on
Macduff - Macduff is a small coastal town in Aberdeenshire, situated on Banff Bay looking out to the vast Moray Firth. Linked by the seven-arch Deveron Bridge, the town is less than a mile from its neighbour, Banff, and is known for its fishing industry heritage. The centre of town revolves around the harbour where freshly caught seafood can be bought from local fishmongers, traditional
Visitors are being urged to indulge in some seaside nostalgia during the Year of Coasts and Waters and visit the towns and villages of their past as part of a staycation and help the tourism industry as it recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19.
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fish and chip shops, or tasted at bars and restaurants. Pay a visit to the Macduff Marine Aquarium or spend a quiet morning at the historic Tarlair Outdoor Swimming Pool to the east of the town, offering walks, atmospheric views and flashback in time to when the pool first opened in 1931. Or for a more relaxing holiday, why not admire the stunning views after a stroll to the top of the Hill of Doune.
the Arbroath 2020+1 Festival (https:// arbroathfestival.com/). The Signal Tower Museum, within the original shore station for the Bell Rock Lighthouse, tells the story of the lighthouse itself and of the local fishing and maritime industries. The town is famous for the Arbroath smokie (smoke-cured haddock) which is prepared in a number of family-run smokehouses tucked in around the harbour.
Arbroath - The historic harbour of Arbroath in Angus remains in action today and long beaches and stunning sandstone cliffs stretch out on either side of the town. The town is famous for The Declaration of Arbroath, one of the most important documents in Scotland’s history which is closely associated with the town’s impressive Arbroath Abbey (currently closed to visitors). To celebrate The Declaration’s 701st anniversary this year, the town is holding
Stranraer - Stranraer has a long history as a ferry port and the town is situated at the head of Loch Ryan. The town has many shops and there are plenty of places to dine out too. There are several eyecatching artworks in the area surrounding the castle and Stranraer Museum can be found in the old town hall. Although currently closed, the Castle of St. John, a ruined four-story tower house built around 1500, which sitting on a green in the main
street. Three miles east of Stranraer are Castle Kennedy Gardens, with the castle, two lochs, a giant lily pond and an avenue of monkey puzzle trees. Logan Botanic Garden sits 13 miles south of the town and is home to exotic ferns and palms and boasts a beautiful walled garden. Eyemouth - The historic town of Eyemouth, five miles north of the border with England in the Scottish Borders, boasts a natural harbour and fine coastal scenery. Fishing at Eyemouth dates back to the 13th century and the harbour is still active with its colourful fleet. The solitary mansion of Gunsgreen House on the south side of the harbour was at the centre of 18th century smuggling in wine, spirits, tea and tobacco. It has been a visitor attraction since 2009 along with Eyemouth Museum based in the town’s Auld Kirk, which traces the area’s fishing and social heritage.
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“Nothing gives us more pleasure than hearing from customers whose family has visited our business over the years - so many people tell us they used to visit as children with their parents or grandparents, and now they bring their own children and grandchildren.” Peter Giacopazzi, director of Giacopazzi’s Burntisland - Located in Fife, the town of Burntisland is home to a beautiful sandy beach. Perfect for relaxing, walking and families, the town and beach can be easily reached by train and also sits on the Fife Coastal Path. The experience is enhanced by a modern leisure centre, seaside park and crazy golf course. Along the high street you’ll find several takeaways, cafés and pubs. The 12th century Rossend Castle and the 16th century Mary Somerville's House (named after the pioneer of women's education who lived there in the late 18th century), are worth a look (though closed for inside visits) along with the octagonal towered Parish Church, reputedly the first new post-Reformation church in Scotland. For the best views across the Forth, head up The Binn, the hill which overlooks the town. Irvine - Boasting an award-winning sandy beach and a bustling town centre, Irvine has something for everyone. The beautiful stretch of golden sand is found at the mouth of the River Irvine near Irvine Railway Station. Irvine itself was made a Royal Burgh in 1372 by Robert II and is now a busy town with important historical and maritime connections. It now houses the main site of the Scottish Maritime Museum, located in a former shipyard building. And Eglinton Country Park, which boasts miles upon miles of paths and bridleways, perfect for pleasant walks, horse rides or cycles. For kids, there is a great play area which is also wheelchair friendly.
Other recent findings by VisitScotland showed that almost two thirds of people are keen to revisit places in Scotland that they haven’t been to for years. With some doing so in a different way either by trying new activities such as paddle-boarding or canoeing or by staying in different accommodation such as glamping or a luxury hotel. Not only is Scotland’s seaside home to cherished memories for many, it is also where numerous multi-generational tourism businesses have been serving customers for decades, dishing out the ice cream, the fish and chips and the bucket and spades. As well as new businesses creating exciting fresh ways to experience Scotland’s coasts and waters. Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Tourism Insight Manager, said: “As we celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 there’s never been a better time to visit the seaside. Scotland’s coastline is stunning, full of golden sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, spectacular marine life and lots of history and heritage. “It is where families have holidayed for generations and with so many holidaying at home this year, we’re increasingly seeing people seeking out experiences that they maybe haven’t enjoyed since childhood, coupling nostalgia with a desire to recreate new memories with loved ones. “The seaside is the perfect spot to embrace water wellness and enjoy a break away from
it all while being mindful of water safety. In the wake of COVID-19, it is important that Scots support local businesses, and Scotland’s seaside locations are ready to welcome visitors on a staycation, serving stunning scenery, mouth-watering food and drink or a totally new experience.” Peter Giacopazzi, director of Giacopazzi’s in Eyemouth, said: “Nothing gives us more pleasure than hearing from customers whose family has visited our business over the years - so many people tell us they used to visit as children with their parents or grandparents, and now they bring their own children and grandchildren. “To hear that a visit to our business is part of their holiday rituals really makes us smile - how lucky are we to be sharing in all their lives in some small way. We are so grateful for the additional support these visitors bring each year - with many of them coming to see family who live locally as well. “As a family business with several generations continuing on our traditions and preserving our heritage, the support we receive from locals and visitors alike is what sustains our business. “We are proud to call Eyemouth our home and to live somewhere so beautiful and special that people want to come and experience a part of it and we try to encourage them to do so whilst respecting our local community and environment.” www.visitscotland.com
CHAMBER NETWORK NEWS
Five Local Businesses nominated for prestigious Chamber Business Awards Five local businesses have been nominated for the Chamber Business Awards 2021 by Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce (DACC). Members of DACC had the opportunity to put themselves forward to be in with a chance of being the only business from the region to be nominated by DACC. Considered one of the UK's most prestigious business awards, each year hundreds of high-performing companies are put forward for the specialist categories and compete for the coveted National Chamber Business Awards. The Chamber Business Awards receive widespread interest as they are unique in identifying the very best in business from every region in the UK. The winners are the organisations and entrepreneurs that set the highest standards for others to follow across a wide range of sectors. Each Chamber within the British Chambers of Commerce network have the opportunity to nominate just one business per award, a tough decision that DACC felt they couldn’t decide on their own. Alison Henderson, CEO, DACC said: “I’m thrilled we’ve been able to gather such a high calibre of nominees across all the categories. It’s been a very competitive process with so many amazing businesses in the running. Getting to just one business per category has been a challenge and I’d like to thank every single business that was nominated – there were so many strong entries. We are proud to be the Champion for local businesses and I’m delighted that we’re able to put Dundee & Angus firms on a national stage to take part in these awards. The whole Chamber team wish our finalists the very best of luck. I’m sure our businesses will do us proud!”
DACC members had until 10 September to complete the online nomination form, after this date a shortlist was announced and public voting was opened. Over 2,000 votes were received for the 10 businesses and 3 entrepreneurs who were in the running. Along with the public vote, a panel of judges were also able to score the shortlisted entries with 3 votes in total up for grabs (1 from each of the judges and 1 from the winner of the public voting). The businesses who have now been nominated for a Chamber Business Award 2021 are:
The Global Player - ATL Turbine Services Equality Trailblazer - Dundee Science Centre The Planet Saver - MDG Group The Problem Solver - Kip McGrath Education Centre The Game Changer - James Buchan (Zudu) Regional winners will be announced on 8 November with the national winner being announced at a virtual event on 9 December.
I’m thrilled we’ve been able to gather such a high calibre of nominees across all the categories. It’s been a very competitive process with so many amazing businesses in the running. Getting to just one business per category has been a challenge and I’d like to thank every single business that was nominated – there were so many strong entries. Alison Henderson, CEO, DACC
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Construction of a new sculpture honouring Inverclyde’s shipbuilding heritage begins Work has started on the foundations for the giant ‘Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow’ statue, which will take pride of place in the town’s Coronation Park. The sculpture of two stainless steel figures hard at work has been designed and built by renowned artist John McKenna following a public vote and consultation. The artwork pays tribute to Port Glasgow and Inverclyde’s shipbuilding past. When installed, the figures will measure 10 metres (33 feet) in height with a combined weight of 14 tonnes. It is thought to be the largest sculptural figure of a shipbuilder in the UK and one of the biggest of its kind in Western Europe.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of November, subject to weather conditions and material supplies. That will then pave the way for the installation of the sculptures themselves early next year. Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that work is underway on what will be an iconic landmark for Port Glasgow and indeed Inverclyde, encouraging more people to discover the area.
I’m delighted that work is underway on what will be an iconic landmark for Port Glasgow and indeed Inverclyde, encouraging more people to discover the area. Councillor Michael McCormick
“A project of this magnitude doesn’t come without its challenges and we have had some difficulties along the way but with the sculptures themselves practically finished and with us now in a position to be able to begin with the foundations, this long-awaited development is finally starting to become a reality. “These sculptures look to the past and the future by paying tribute to our illustrious shipbuilding heritage and the workers who contributed to that while serving as a modern-day tourist attraction bringing people to Port Glasgow and Inverclyde.” Visitors to Coronation Park are being advised that in order for the foundations to be installed some areas of the park, access road and car park will be out of action for the duration of the works. There will be a temporary traffic regulation order in place along the entire stretch of the access road and one side of the car park prohibiting parking, waiting, loading or unloading.
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Ice cream brand hosts public tour for first time in over a decade Scotland’s biggest ice cream brand has opened its farm doors to 12 lucky visitors for the first time in over a decade. Mackie’s of Scotland gave their visitors a VIP exclusive tour, with a full ‘behind the scenes’ look at how they make ice cream and chocolate ‘from sky to scoop’ at Westertown Farm in Aberdeenshire. The tickets were sold at the cost of £25 per ticket, with all proceeds being donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Scotland charity. Mackie’s is one of 24 organisations showcased at the Provenance Festival 2021 which is taking place from September 24 to October 3. Lucky tour goers were given exclusive access throughout the farm including a walk through the brand’s chocolate factory and the sweetie kitchen where they make honeycomb. The group were able to taste freshly made products throughout. The VIPs also had a unique tasting session in the new product development kitchen, to try several new flavours not available in the shops, before finally visiting the byre to see the self-milking cows, with the full tour lasting around three hours. Marketing director at Mackie’s of Scotland, Karin Hayhow, said: “This is the first time we have opened our doors to the public since 2010. We are a busy working farm and
business, and so it was fascinating to get the reactions from our visitors and seeing the interest on their faces to things we perceive as ‘normal’. “It was an absolute delight to welcome visitors and to share our story with them on what we have achieved and hope to in the future. “Visitors got a unique perspective on how our ice cream and chocolate is made, as well as the processes and development our teams go through to create the best possible products. This seemed to resonate with tour goers as some mentioned they now feel more connecting knowing our processes! “We received plenty of feedback from our visitors on how we can make these tours a reoccurring experience, and it is definitely something we will be considering for the future. “The Provenance Festival is a terrific gathering of the best our region has to offer, and we are delighted to be a part of it.” One of the VIPs said in an anonymous feedback form: “The Mackie’s team were very welcoming and gave up a huge amount of time for us. We visited all the different areas of the site and got a good feel for the daily operation of the facility. Everyone loved
the tasting sessions - it made the rest of the tour more relevant.” The exclusive tour also included a visit around Mackie’s green trail featuring its wind turbines and solar panel farm. To finish up tour goers were given a bespoke goodie bag to take home. Peter Cook, director of food drink and agriculture, Opportunity North East (ONE) said: “The Provenance Festival was introduced by ONE to give the public an insight into food and drink businesses and brands from the North-east of Scotland through engaging, hands-on and memorable visitor experiences. “The level of interest in the Festival has been fantastic and we are delighted that Mackie’s took the opportunity to create this exclusive experience and share their unique story with consumers.” Ice cream has been made on the Mackie’s family farm in Aberdeenshire since 1986, adopting an ethos of ‘sky to scoop’ seeing everything from milk to the packaging created on-site, powered by predominantly renewable energy. To find out more about Mackie’s, please visit: www.mackies.co.uk
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SFRS reveals firefighters respond to almost 30,000 workplace false alarms each year Around 64,000 hours of firefighters’ time is needlessly spent each year checking out false alarms from workplaces, figures from the latest Scottish Fire and Rescue Service consultation show. The Service mobilises on average two fire appliances and nine firefighters to each of the 28,479 false alarms – equating to around 57,000 unnecessary blue light journeys annually. Most alarms are activated by faults or other causes like steam or burnt food with only two per cent actually involving a fire, most of which are put out before the arrival of crews. The information has been shared by the national Service as part of its consultation on how to safely reduce call outs to false alarms, known as Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals (UFAS). Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens says businesses and partners can play a key role in reducing the figures and called on them to get involved in the consultation. “The advantages of getting duty holders to accept their legal responsibilities and reducing these callouts are clear” said ACO Stevens, “Making this change means we can free up firefighters’ time, be even more responsive in genuine emergencies and use SFRS resources more effectively. “We can also carry out more training and fire prevention activity, as well as realising
the related benefits of improving road safety and reducing our carbon impact. These unnecessary blue light journeys bring risks to our crews, other road users and pedestrians as well as impacting the environment with an estimated 575 tonnes of carbon emissions produced – the equivalent of heating 230 homes a year. “Businesses will also experience less disruption as they no longer need to wait for us to attend to give the all clear after a false alarm.” The twelve-week consultation – which seeks views on three proposed options - is underway and while early analysis is encouraging with many members of the public taking part it also indicates a low response rate from the businesses and workplaces that are potentially most affected by the proposed changes. Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens added: “It may be that these businesses and organisations are taking their time to fully consider the proposed options and I’m also aware last month we were just coming out of a holiday period which is why we’re issuing this appeal for those most affected to take part in the consultation and play their part in helping to shape the future response model.”
The consultation brings the SFRS into line with the majority of UK fire and rescue services response to workplace automatic fire alarms (AFAs) explained Assistant Chief Officer Stevens: “The legal responsibility for dealing with an AFA alert lies with the duty holder of a property and most UK fire and rescue services now seek confirmation of a fire before attending. It’s now time for the SFRS make this change too.” ACO Stevens added: “Each of the options, which have all been risk assessed, will see a significant reduction in the number of UFAS calls we attend. We want to know what those most affected think of our three proposed options I urge them to have their say on how they think we can best use our resources to keep them, their families and their communities even safer.” A report based on analysis of the consultation responses – including a preferred option – will be considered by the SFRS Board in December 2021. Any changes to service delivery will be implemented in a carefully managed process and in partnership with directly affected stakeholders.
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
Scottish expansion for fee-sharing law firm Spencer West Leading integrated fee-sharing law firm Spencer West LLP has launched a Scottish practice. The firm’s presence in Scotland will be spearheaded by former DLA Piper Banking and Finance Partner, David Morton, assisted by former Fenwick Elliott Construction Partner, Jonathan More, as Business Growth Director. Spencer West’s fee-sharing model allows its lawyers to work flexibly and collaboratively, retaining a significant proportion of their revenue generation. It is the first firm of its kind to launch a Scottish office. The firm is already well connected in Scotland and is now building on this by developing a team of legal experts that will operate across areas such as banking and finance, corporate, commercial, real estate, tax, employment, private wealth, intellectual property, construction and litigation. Co-founder and Senior Partner, Simeon Spencer, said: “We are very excited about
spearhead the development of the Scottish practice, offering high quality services to our clients, provided by experienced and accomplished lawyers.”
this move. We are looking forward to developing a high-calibre team alongside David and Jonathan and we feel very fortunate to have them on board to develop the firm’s presence in Scotland.” David Morton, Founding Director of Spencer West Scotland, commented: “I am delighted to be joining such an ambitious and innovative firm and relish the opportunity to
Jonathan More, Business Growth Director for Spencer West Scotland added: “Spencer West is well placed to provide a natural home for many experienced Scottish lawyers. The entrepreneurial approach we have as a firm will also, I am certain, appeal greatly to the business community in Scotland.” The announcement comes in a year that has seen the firm open offices in Belgium and Spain, and the leadership team expects to make more announcements regarding the development of the firm’s international capability in the coming months. Spencer West now boasts over one hundred Partners internationally.
Spencer West is well placed to provide a natural home for many experienced Scottish lawyers. The entrepreneurial approach we have as a firm will also, I am certain, appeal greatly to the business community in Scotland. Jonathan More, Business Growth Director for Spencer West
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
Edinburgh law firm DLA Piper named COP26 legal services provider DLA Piper has been appointed by the UK government as the Provider of Legal Services for the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.
advice, the equivalent of almost 150 lawyers working full time. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, DLA Piper’s International Co-Head of Sustainability and ESG, said: “With COP26 starting in less than 100 days, all eyes are now turning to Glasgow and it is an absolute honour to be selected as the Provider of Legal Services to COP26. Our team is excited to be able to support such a monumental event, one that has the ability to make a positive global change to the climate crisis.”
The firm will provide general commercial support to COP26 including sponsorship agreements. The United Nations’ COP26 event is a worldwide meeting on climate change and how nations intend to address it. Edinburgh based partner Dr Sharon Fitzgerald will lead the project alongside colleagues Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, International Co-Head of Sustainability and ESG and Global Co-Chair of Litigation and Regulation, partner Sarah Bell and Simon Levine, the Global Co-CEO Managing Partner, and the firm’s Executive. This achievement represents an additional environmental milestone for the firm and further highlights its commitment to the United Nations Race to Zero Campaign. For example, DLA Piper has committed to Science Based Targets to reduce its carbon emissions, with validation of the target expected in the coming months. DLA Piper is also a founding member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance
Dr Sharon Fitzgerald
and the recently established Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, and is committed to climate action, promoting sustainability reporting and sharing best practice in the legal sector. The firm was one of the first in the legal sector to receive ISO 14001 certification for environmental management and is a signatory to Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees. The firm is undergoing a materiality assessment to better understand its most critical sustainability risks and opportunities and has been long recognised as a leading provider of legal pro bono advice. In 2020 alone the firm provided over 200,000 hours of legal
Natasha Luther-Jones, DLA Piper’s International Co-Head of Sustainability and ESG, said: “We look forward to making a valuable contribution to COP26 and carrying its message beyond the summit itself. Being appointed further emphasises the importance of the approach we are taking as a business on our own sustainability journey and it’s wonderful to be able to offer our colleagues the chance to work on matters that will support making COP26 a success.” DLA Piper’s Global Co-CEO Simon Levine, also commented: “Our mandate is to embed sustainability into the fabric of the firm and this appointment is yet another example of how we are doing just that. All our lawyers and clients will be impacted by the outcome of COP26 and it’s an honour to help our clients transition to a sustainable future, as well as our own business.”
BUSINESS PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
92% of hybrid workers willing to commute further to get their desired property or location Widening commuter belts: most willing to add an extra half hour, and as many as one in three ready to commute up to 44 minutes longer 9 in 10 hybrid workers (92%), who divide their time between home and the office, would now be willing to commute further to buy or rent their desired property or live in their preferred location, as revealed by NerdWallet, one of the UK’s leading independent price comparison sites. The study found that 69% of hybrid workers are now commuting to work for three days or less on average each week. As a result, 58% of hybrid workers said that they would commute further to afford their first property or take the next step on the housing ladder. When it comes to how much further hybrid workers would be prepared to commute to secure their ideal property or location the survey found: 16% would add up to 14 minutes 43% would add 15 to 29 minutes 32% would add 30 to 44 minutes
4% would add 45 to 59 minutes 5% would travel over an hour extra. This willingness to commute further extends beyond just those currently working with a hybrid arrangement. More than two-thirds (70%) of all national respondents said they would be open to a longer commute because of remote and hybrid working and 88% would be prepared to commute further if it meant finding the right property or location for them. Furthermore, 60% said they would commute further to get on, or climb up, the property ladder. Alongside the evolution of the workplace, the continued rise of house prices and the acute shortage of homes for sale are likely to be additional factors encouraging people to widen their property searches. According to the latest report from Zoopla UK house prices have continued to increase by £44 per day on average across the past six months,
“It is clear Hybrid working combined with rising house prices seem to be compelling reasons why many individuals are prepared to travel that little bit further in order to find their desired property or live in their preferred location. Richard Eagling, Senior Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet
while the number of homes available to buy has fallen by 28% compared to 2020. “The main purpose of our research was to find out if the move towards more flexible ways of working has impacted how people conduct their property searches,” said Richard Eagling, Senior Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet. “It is clear from the results that spending more time at home and fewer days in the workplace is making people more open to a longer commute. Hybrid working combined with rising house prices seem to be compelling reasons why many individuals are prepared to travel that little bit further in order to find their desired property or live in their preferred location.” Interestingly, the survey also found 51% of hybrid workers think that the financial benefits of remote and hybrid working, such as reducing their monthly outgoings through spending less on travel and other work expenses, could improve a mortgage lender’s perception of a person’s ability to afford a mortgage. Richard Eagling added: “It’s great to think that working from home more often could help some people to fulfil their dreams of owning a property or moving to a home that is more suited to their needs or preferences. By commuting to their workplace less and reducing their monthly outgoings, it could allow them to better save for a deposit and improve their mortgage affordability; a definite positive of the hybrid model.”
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Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce The Hub, Exploration Drive Aberdeen Energy Park, Bridge of Don Aberdeen, AB23 8GX T: 01224 343900 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.agcc.co.uk Chief Executive - Russell Borthwick President - Bob Keiller Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry The Mezzanine, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2PL T: 01292 678 666 F: 01292 678 667 E: email@example.com www.ayrshire-chamber.org Chief Executive - Val Russell President - Frank Gormanley Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd Inverdruie House, Inverdruie Aviemore, PH22 1QH T: 01479 810200 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.visitcairngorms.com Chief Executive - Mark Tate Chair of the Partnership - Claire Bruce Caithness Chamber of Commerce Naver Business Centre Naver House, Naver Road Thurso, KW14 7QA T: 01847 890076 E: email@example.com www.caithnesschamber.com Chief Executive - Trudy Morris Chairman - Stephen Sutherland
Eskdale House, The Crichton, Bankend Road Dumfries, DG1 4UQ T: 01387 270866 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.dundeeandanguschamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Alison Henderson President - Steve Smith East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce 1 Golf Road, Clarkston, East Renfrewshire G76 7HU T: 0141 887 6181 E: email@example.com www.eastrenchamber.org.uk Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce 40 George Street, 2nd floor Edinburgh, EH2 2LE T: 0131 221 2999 F: 0131 261 5056 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.forthvalleychamber.co.uk President Lynn Blaikie Glasgow Chamber of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 2121 E: email@example.com www.glasgowchamberofcommerce.com Chief Executive Stuart Patrick President - Dr Paul Little Helensburgh Chamber of Commerce M&T Builders Merchants, 22 Charlotte Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, G84 7PH T: 07789904687 E: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com www.inverclydechamber.co.uk Chief Executive Officer – George McKay President – Mark Spragg
Inverness Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan House 31-33 High Street, Inverness, IV1 1HT T: 01463 718 131 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Director: Tracey Campbell-Hynd Lochaber Chamber of Commerce 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH T: 01397 705 765 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com www.melcc.org.uk Chief Executive - Karen Ritchie Moray Chamber of Commerce Moray Sports Centre, Linkwood Road, Elgin, Moray, Scotland, IV30 8AR T: 01343 543344 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.moraychamber.co.uk Chief Executive - Sarah Medcraf President Carol Stewart
Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce Stornoway Business Hub, Stornoway, HS1 2XG, Isle of Lewis T: 07939 450 276 E: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com www.renfrewshirechamber.com Chief Executive – Bob Grant President – Liz Connolly
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Scotland on the first-foot It’s unlikely 2020 or 2021 will be years many of us will forget, and whilst Hogmanay and 2022 may seem a considerable distance away today, like every year, it will be upon us all before we know it.
Dr Liz Cameron OBE
Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce The traditional first-footer is often seen as the bringer of good fortune for the year, and many of Scotland’s retailers eagerly await their own ‘first-foot’ from customers when they open up their doors on January 1st signalling the start of the January sales. This, however, might be one tradition which days are numbered depending on the outcome of a Scottish Government consultation that is seeking views on a proposed ban on New Year’s Day trading for large retailers in Scotland. Since 2007, large shops have, by law, been unable to open on Christmas Day to make retail sales under the Christmas and New Year’s Day (Trading) (Scotland) Act 2007. Whilst the law did not apply to shops that opened on New Year’s Day, it did give Scottish Ministers the ability to make an Order that could do that at a future date which is now actively under consideration by the Scottish Government. Members across the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network are rightly concerned about the potential introduction of further changes to legislation which would require Scottish businesses to close on New Year’s Day. Many of Scotland’s businesses are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic as the prolonged period of restrictions, across all sectors, has severely reduced their ability to trade or to do businesses at all over the past 18 months.
This has been acutely felt in the retail sector where struggling high streets and town centres have already experienced a spate of closures and are still struggling to encourage footfall back to sustainable levels due to the shift to online retail. Although we have seen recent growth in the Scottish economy, this recovery is fragile and we are still a significant distance away from pre-pandemic levels. Looking beyond the headlines, it is important to look at the facts behind the reality of trading and working on New Year’s Day for both businesses and employees. Many of those businesses operating in the retail sector report an increase in demand for available hours on New Year’s Day, which demonstrates that employees see working on 1st January as an opportunity rather than a burden and there is no evidence that businesses struggle to open due to a lack of employee willingness. It is an opportunity for businesses to secure essential post-Christmas sales and for employees who can often earn higher pay or to take up employment as seasonal workers. This makes New Year’s trading desirable for various sectors of our workforce, including young people, students and those in part time employment. There is also concern from businesses around the proposed ban as we understand that the introduction of any further regulations would potentially allow for non-customer facing work to continue. The impact of this on businesses is that they may continue to incur costs, with employees working in store to replenish
stock or undertake any other essential duties, without being able to trade and offset operating costs through sales. The hospitality and tourism sector have long relied on Scotland’s legendary global appeal as one of the best places anywhere to welcome in the New Year. Whilst our hotels, bars and restaurants will all be able to continue to trade normally, for inexplicable reasons, large retailers and those wishing to shop in them will be penalised. Right now, the focus of Scottish Government, and policy makers across the UK, should be on recovery and supporting a sustained return to growth by listening to the business community, supporting local economies and allowing businesses to create jobs and opportunities in every part of the country. The introduction of a New Year’s Day trading ban would be a backwards step for Scotland’s economic development and recovery whilst large retailers in other parts of the U.K. could keep trading. If introduced, it will be another competitive disadvantage at a time when business focus is on recovery, staying open, operating and protecting jobs. Where there is customer demand and availability of staff, it should be the decision of businesses and their employees themselves if they wish to trade on New Year’s Day. If the Scottish Government are serious about a retail sector recovery, they need to get four-square behind Scotland’s businesses and create a fair and equitable trading environment while resisting pressure to impose damaging bans for businesses, employees and customers.
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We’re ready to welcome you back to bus. We’ve kept your bus fresh, and we’ve kept your seat clean. We’re here for the regulars and we’re here for the newbies. We’re on this journey with you, to keep it safe and to keep it simple. Thank you for standing by us, we’ll see you soon.