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Issue 4 • March 2012

Dressed to Kilt

Paolo Nutini sings the praises of Falkirk Business Supplement Inside

A B AS SB Airdrie Savings Bank Head Office: 56 Stirling Street, Airdrie ML6 0AW

An independent bank with traditional value An independent bank with traditional values Now open at 33 High Street, Falkirk FK1 1ES

ow open at 33 High Street, Falkirk FK1 1E Contact Branch on 01324 ContactFalkirk Falkirk Branch on 01324 624501 624501 for more information for more information

Internet Banking, Personal Service, Accounts, Business Accounts, Business ernet Banking, Personal Service, Business Business Loans, Loans, Savings Account Mortgages, PersonalMortgages, Loans, Homeowner Loans.......and call centres Savings Accounts, Personal Loans, Homeownerno Loans....... and no call centres Head Office: 56 Stirling Street, Airdrie ML6 0AW

Three Things you Must do to Protect Your Business in 2012!........... 4-5 Working Health Services........................... 6 Back to Basics Why you should stop worrying about the latest fads and just keep your promises.................................8-9


Falkirk Heart Town....................................10 The Ripple Effect R&D Tax Credits: improving their impact on the UK economy..............12-13 Forkers Ltd.................................................. 14 Business Award Winners Hit the Accelerator................................... 16

It’s an ill wind, but business goes on............................... 27 More demand to be ‘virtual’...................29 Pipes and Tube tradition meets technology....................30 Red For Heart Spring Netwalks 2012............................. 31 Could you be next to enter the Dragon’s Den?.................................... 34 New Tribunal Fees to Help Business Owners.............................35 Well Plaid! Clan Italia’s Tartan Goes Global............ 37 Let the good times fizz….........................39 The Business Panel+ New Member Profiles & Events...... 40-41 Buisness Gateway..................................... 42 For advertising contact D-Tech, T: 01389 736000 E: For editorial enquiries contact the Editor, Michelle McKearnon T: 01324 66 55 00 E: Publisher: D-tech Distribution: D-Tech Distribution InCommerce is published by D-tech Graphic Design & Print Ltd. Unit 14, Birch Road, Broadmeadow Industrial Estate G82 2RE. T: 01389 736000. F: 01389 736002. E: W: Edited by Falkirk for Business, The Falkirk Stadium, 4 Stadium Way, Falkirk, FK2 9EE T: 01324 66 55 00 F: 01324 61 76 37 E: W: InCommerce is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed wholly or in part without the written permission of the publishers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers and not agents, or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from this publication. The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of InCommerce Ltd or D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Ltd.


elcome to our latest edition of InCommerce business to business magazine for the Falkirk and district area. Let me introduce myself: I am David Gardiner and I have the privilege of taking over the reins from Laurence Barrett as CEO. I have spent 14 years working in Local Economic Development mainly based in Glasgow, but also operating Business Gateway contracts in Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, and Dumfries and Galloway. For the last couple of years I have been self-employed operating my own retail businesses and also specializing in Research and Development tax credits on behalf of Jumpstart. We have an extremely busy time ahead with a number of Business Panel events currently being organised. Our next event is on March 9th when our annual update will take place at Falkirk Town Hall. This is your opportunity to hear from senior members of Falkirk Council as to the proposed plans for economic development in the area, and a chance to put questions to our panel of experts from businesses and the local authority. We would be delighted to receive your feedback on how we can improve our support to businesses in the local community and of course ideas on what you would like to see delivered at our Business Panel events. In order to do this please email me at: I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the forthcoming months. In the meantime I hope that you have a successful 2012.

Issue 4 • March 2012

My Future’s in Falkirk........................19-26

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine


Welcome........................................................ 3


The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine Issue 4 • March 2012 4

Three Things you Must do to Protect Your Business in 2012! I hope I have caught your attention? It doesn’t take much imagination to work out how damaging a fire, flood or storm would be to your business. However, have you ever considered how crippling losing your computing capability would be to your enterprise? Customer files gone, confidential data hacked, years of your work wiped out in a nano-second! So maybe it's time you took time to review your computing procedures.


Backup your data One of our business partners in the travel trade is a one man band and is switched on when it comes to IT. While he was away over the New Year his hard drive died. It took him a week to work out how to restore the system and data. Tips: a) Have a written system and data backup (and restore) procedure b) Check that restoring from your backup works c) Always keep one copy of your backup at a different location At Gemini Walks we backup the whole system onto an external hard drive once a week and data that changes frequently onto 2 memory sticks daily with one stick taken off-site. You can buy external drives with Terabyte capacity (1000 Gigabytes of storage) for less than £80 and this year we are looking at ‘Cloud' storage as another option. AVG's LiveKive offers free storage up to 5GB.


A report popped up on my screen the other day that said, “Your PC has been protected from 259,000 attacks in the past month.” Your PC is under constant threat from Viruses, Malware, Spyware and Trojans; -you name it, someone is trying to access your PC and/or Smartphone, either out of random nastiness or to steal important information. If you are looking for protection, check PC Magazine for current recommendations. Tips: a) Make sure your security software is up to date b) Set updates and scans to run automatically

Check your Password ‘Strength' If you have computer files with details of your customers, staff or suppliers then you should protect these with passwords. Similarly, online access to anything from your bank account to your Google+ account also need strong passwords to prevent illegal access and potential threats to your business. Choosing a secure password that's easy to remember and harder for a hacker to guess is tougher than you might think. There is free software available that generates random passwords which are almost un-guessable. For example, offers this service and will also securely store 100 passwords for you. Beware when downloading software, particularly free versions, as you may be ‘tricked' into downloading more than you bargained for. If you are happy with your current passwords you can check out how strong they are at the free service supplied by The website also suggests ways of improving your passwords.

Remember! If selling or recycling your PC make sure you delete any ‘autofill’ information. If you share a PC or laptop delete any passwords held by your browser. I was listening to a recent interview with a veteran Royal Navy captain. He was pointing out how current day commercial commanders had forgotten that the real enemy to any ship is the sea. Computing and the internet is a vital part of modern day commerce - you could say it’s part of our business DNA. However, it is all too easy to get caught up in other day to day business and forget about it. Treat it with complacency at your peril!

Steve Higson &

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine Issue 4 • March 2012


Secure your PC


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Working Health Services Working Health Services is a free confidential service run by the NHS in Scotland. It is available to people working in small to medium size businesses, anyone from sole traders to a business with up to 250 employees.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Working Health Services Forth Valley is there to provide a service which ensures an appropriate focus on work and health, enabling a client to quickly return to, or remain in, work. We support people and existing NHS services in the area by providing working people with easily accessible interventions including comprehensive assessment, advice and referral to services such as physiotherapy or counselling, as well as signposting to other services all within a short timescale.


When clients require to be seen for return to work advice or assessment, this is carried out in a local health centre, outreach facility or workplace if appropriate. Other interventions may be carried out in an NHS facility for example in the Physiotherapy Department closest to the client’s home or workplace, where they will usually be assessed and seen within 2 weeks. We maintain contact with the client, health providers, other relevant services and the employer if consented; we aim to reduce any health inequalities experienced by people working for small to medium sized enterprises by assisting them with health issues affecting their work. To access Working Health Services call Freephone 0800 019 2211 and you will be contacted very quickly. Alternatively information can be found on the NHS Forth Valley Service Information Directory Website.

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Back to Basics Why you should stop worrying about the latest fads and just keep your promises.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

by Stuart Corrigan


Stuart Corrigan runs Vanguard Scotland, an organisation that specialises in helping businesses to improve service, cut cost and improve morale.


ast week my phone stopped working. Well, technically speaking, I could make calls but neither I nor the other party could be heard very well. In the good old days I would have called 100 (from another phone obviously) and reported the fault, then within a few days a nice man would turn up, fix it and be given a cup of tea and a bourbon for his trouble.

But it’s 2012, that doesn’t happen anymore. When you dial 100 to report the fault you get connected to a robot who tells you to hang up and calls you back, only to tell you that you that there’s nothing wrong with your phone but that if you’re not convinced you should feel free to visit their website. This, in my book, is the equivalent to breaking your leg and turning up at A&E only to be told that “It’s fine, but if you’re still in pain in a few days’ time, watch Good Morning TV to see what Dr Hilary Jones has to say on the matter.” The problem is that in our efforts to get fancy or use the latest technological advance we sometimes forget to ask if it’s what the customer actually wants, hence we drop the ball by failing to deliver the basics. For example last week my six year old son told me that soon there will be a robot so small it can swim through your veins and clean out all the gunk, which is nice, but how about employing the same scientists at the self-service checkout at Tesco to see if I could put through my nine items without having to call an assistant five times!

“In the public sector, the ombudsman saw a seven year high in complaints with volume up by 12%” And the fact of the matter is that we are getting very grumpy about the standards of TLC we are getting in the UK: Last year the financial services ombudsman received 200,000 complaints about service. 500 claims forms were downloaded on Christmas day alone (I assume from kids who thought they were getting a live meerkat). In the public sector, the ombudsman saw a seven year high in complaints with volume up by 12%. And in telecommunications, 14,000 more of us wrote to the ombudsman last year than in the year before. (14,001 if my letter got there before the 31st of December.)

In other words get the basics right: turn up on time, keep your promises, say please & thank you and finish what you started. And you’ll be glad to know that my phone eventually did get fixed. I saw the engineer across the road and promised him tea and chocolate biscuits if he’d take a look at the problem, and as he left he uttered the immortal words “In future if you have a problem just give us a call!” I give up! Ps I’ve written extensively about this subject in my new book. And because the people at Falkirk for Business are very nice you can get a free digital advance copy by writing to me at

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

But the good news is that the reverse is also true - when you get your service right you create more customer loyalty, make more money and grow more. For example in 1994 a group of Harvard Professors (Heskett et al) found that a small increase in customer loyalty can lead to profits bulging from between 5 and 80%. And when the same team studied copier giant Xerox, they found that a very satisfied customer buys six times more than someone who’s just satisfied.

Issue 4 • March 2012

But does bad service matter? The research I completed recently suggests that it does. A study conducted by Genesys Labs in 2009 found that bad service cost the global economy $338,5bn. And here’s how the numbers stack up: 63% of us will move our business to a competitor and 37% of us will abandon the transaction all together when we get treated badly.


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ADVERTISE your business in... By Heather Gregory

Falkirk Heart Town British Heart Foundation Scotland



201 • March Issue 4

d to Kilt Dresse

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody Steuart Henderson Britt else does.

You’ve probably heard that Falkirk is a Heart Town. But what does this mean? Heart Towns is a new initiative from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and, here in Falkirk, BHF Scotland is working with Falkirk Council to improve the area’s heart health.

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We’re bringing the community together through fundraising and volunteering while raising awareness of heart disease. We offer local support services including initiatives for schools, workplace health and information on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. So, BHF Scotland isn’t just the nation’s heart charity – we’re at the heart of your community too.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

There are lots of ways to get involved in Falkirk Heart Town. One of them is by joining in local events and activities.


One of these is the Big Fit Walkabout 2012. The challenge is to walk for 30 minutes, five times a week for 22 weeks. It’s free and if you register you get a diary and wristband. It launches in June, and you can register now by phoning 01324 614662 or emailing Jenny Lim, from the Big Fit Walkabout team, is undertaking the challenge across parts of Scotland, including in Dunfermline and Paisley Heart Towns - but you can keep it local! For more information about Falkirk Heart Town visit or contact me at or by calling 01968 679767.

it ife PHYSIOTHERAPY Work Fit Sport Fit Life Fit

Forth Valley College has state -of -the- art training facilities in our new Alloa Campus and updated workshops in the Falkirk Campus. We offer specialist programmes from accredited bodies such as Comp’EX, NEBOSH, REHIS, City and Guilds and the CIPD and CMI professional qualifications. The College is also an accredited centre for Scottish Vocational Qualifications and Modern Apprenticeships.

Forth Valley College can offer tailored solutions to suit your Business needs. Our portfolio is extensive so why not view it at

Make sure you have the skills required to be successful in today’s industry. Forth Valley College has a portfolio of training courses starting in February, March and April. BUSINESS SKILLS

Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector (5 day course - £795) 22-24 February & 19 -20 March 12-14 March & 16-17 April 25-27 April & 24-25 May

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Comp’Ex Refresher (2 day course - £495) 2-3 April PAT Testing (2 day course - £345) 5-6 March Exam 15 March


First Aid at Work (3 day course - £195) 20-22 February 21-23 March 18-20 April First Aid Emergency (1 day course - £99) 25 April First Aid Refresher (2 day course - £165) 28-29 March 23-24 April


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The Ripple Effect

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine Issue 4 • March 2012


R&D Tax Credits: improving their impact on the UK economy

The HMRC’s R&D Tax Credit scheme is a many splendoured thing. By incentivising companies to undertake research and development to improve the products and services they supply, it paves the way for more and more companies to benefit, helping to generate a stronger UK economy. The trick is not to put off dipping that first toe in the water. Which is where you come in. It’s a common misconception that R&D Credits are just for companies that have developed groundbreaking new products. Not true! The fact is that any activity which a company carries out to improve an existing product, process or service makes it eligible for an R&D Tax Credit. Take the successful claim made by mens’ hire business ACS Clothing Ltd, based in Glasgow. The claim was based on their investment in developing new computer software to improve product handling. The software helped accelerate the speed at which garments were brought in, cleaned and then redistributed, providing a better service to their many clothingretailer clients throughout the UK. But it didn’t end there… The advances ACS Clothing made with one piece of processing software had a knock-on effect that stretched far beyond Glasgow, leading to efficiency improvements in the many UK-based clothing companies that they supply. That’s typical of how the organic process we call progress works and demonstrates just how important a role small, efficient companies play in creating a stable economy. No wonder HMRC allows SMEs to claim Tax Credits at a better rate than larger companies.

If you are considering an application for R&D tax credits why not contact Jumpstart to see how we can help? Email us at

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Think about it ‘selflessly’ for a moment. Many other countries, including France, USA and Japan, are already benefiting from their own R&D Tax Credits systems. For R&D Credits to have maximum impact and benefit here, on the UK economy, it is crucial that as many businesses as possible claim what’s rightfully theirs. Now allow yourself a selfish thought: an estimated £2bn in R&D Tax Credits has gone unclaimed over the last five years. That’s no drop in the ocean. Let’s be honest – wouldn’t every company like to get its hands on some of that?

Issue 4 • March 2012

The type of improvements HMRC encourages create a ripple effect that spreads out across the country, leaving UK companies on the whole in a much better financial position, so that they, in turn, look more favourably at hiring extra staff and creating jobs, which further benefits the economy. And so the ripple rolls on.


InCommerce magazine is delighted to welcome a new member to the business community with Forkers Scotland Ltd recently moving to new larger premises in Grangemouth. At a launch event at the Falkirk Stadium in January, Company Director Greg Bradley commented, “Our new premises are an ideal fit with our business model. We have an extensive fleet of plant equipment that we are using in the region and the new plant yard and workshop facilities are excellent in meeting the needs of our clients. We are delighted that the move will now allow Forkers Scotland to offer a full range of Civil and Ground Engineering services to all our clients within the Scottish region.”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Should you wish to find out more about Forkers please visit the website or contact any of the following either on their mobile number or at the Grangemouth office 01324 666 777


Greg Bradley, Director, 07774 018000 Beaton Sutherland, General Manager, 07768 542580 Gary Miller, Contracts Manager, 07836 754331 Forkers Scotland Ltd, Central Dock Road, Grangemouth FK3 8UB

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falkirk’S £1.2 million HSBC BranCH EnJoYS a flYinG STarT HSBC’s new branch, situated in the heart of Falkirk’s shopping district, got off to a flying start when it opened its doors to the public last month. The new branch on the town’s High Street marks the first time HSBC has had a presence in Falkirk, and the new team have been busy extending a warm welcome to personal and business banking customers and prospects in the Falkirk area. The £1.2 investment in Falkirk has been made as part of HSBC’s £9m Scottish branch expansion programme, and it is hoped the addition of HSBC to the High Street will bring a new banking dimension to the town.

Commenting on the opening, Branch Manager Fiona Dawson said, “We’ve been really encouraged by the interest shown in the new branch and hope to build on this over the coming weeks and months. We’ve brought a modern, stylish and comfortable branch to Falkirk, and have in place a first-class team to help assist both existing and new customers to HSBC with all their banking needs. Fiona continued, “The opening of this branch marks an important milestone in HSBC’s Scottish expansion programme and we are delighted to have created 14 new jobs as a result, which have been filled by people local to Falkirk. We look forward to playing our part in the community as we continue to raise the profile of HSBC locally.”

For more information on banking with HBSC, visit

Business Award Winners Hit the Accelerator The Business Accelerator scheme is a national programme to support young enterprises with free marketing and business mentoring. Local newspapers around the UK have agreed to provide 3 months free advertising to the winners in their area, and the regional winners go through to the National Finals with a chance to be mentored by the campaign’s ambassador, Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Competition was fierce in the Falkirk area and a panel of judges from Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd, The Falkirk Herald, Falkirk for Business and Xtreme Karting had a difficult time selecting winners from a shortlist of 8. After listening to excellent presentations from all candidates, there was much deliberation before the winners were announced as Rebecca Anderson and Rachel Scott from Hummingbird Boutique, and John Foley from MarketLED.


MarketLED provide energy efficient lighting which will help local and national businesses make huge savings on their electricity and lighting costs. John Foley of MarketLED said “We are delighted to have been selected as winners in the regional finals of Local Business Accelerators. I am looking forward to working with mentors and learning from their business experience to help turn MarketLED into the preferred lighting supplier for UK businesses.” Hummingbird is an independent bridal accessory boutique in Falkirk, specialising in hand made fascinators and exclusive designer shoes which can be hand-dyed to match special outfits. Owners Rachel Scott and Rebecca Anderson are excited about the future and see the Local Business Accelerator awards as a way of moving forward. “Many of our suppliers are expecting Hummingbird to expand in the near future”, explained Rachel, “and the mentoring we will receive will help us to do this.” Runners-up in the awards were FBD Consultancy, Mike Cook Photography, Mylocal5aday, Scotica Wildlife Solutions, Vivacious Me and Wi-Link Solutions.

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Football Club Nets Music Icon A focus on new business outside of the main football season has hit the right note at Falkirk Football Club, which has recently announced that music legend Sir Elton John is set to entertain thousands of fans at the Falkirk Stadium on 10th June. The signing is a major coup for the club and for Falkirk and reinforces its value as a central location for events. It is the result of a partnership the club created last year with event organisers Marshall Arts, which has organised a number of high profile concerts in other stadiums across Scotland.

Andy explained how the concert came about: “Falkirk FC is a community club and we’ve always recognised that it should be used as a facility for wider community involvement. The board took the decision to find out how we could do more to serve the community through events, particularly during the summer as this would also help us to boost finances out of season too. A management team of professional volunteers was set up to look into holding community events that would tick all the right boxes.

Elton John is set to entertain thousands at Falkirk Stadium on 10th June

“I contacted Marshall Arts as I knew they had already organised concerts at similar venues. The company came to inspect the stadium and very quickly decided it was a suitable venue to hold a concert and offered us the chance to host Elton John. We were amazed that we were able to secure such a popular act so quickly and jumped at the chance.” According to the Club, tickets are selling well. Andy said: “We are delighted with sales so far. Those with an ‘FK’ postcode were able to book tickets before they went on general release and most of our hospitality packages were sold as a result.”

The Club hopes that the Elton John concert is the start of a number of events that will support the community and boost its finances. Andy added: “For the moment we’re taking steps to work hard with our partners and organisations like the emergency services and Falkirk Council, who have all been incredibly helpful and enthusiastic, to make sure this event goes smoothly. Following that we’ll be looking at other opportunities that are a good fit for the football club and the community as we certainly don’t want this to be a one-off event.”

Issue 4 • March 2012

The event will give the club additional income and is set to bring tourists from across the country and provide a boost to the local economy overall. Andy Thomson, a director of Falkirk Football Club who secured the deal, said “I would hope that there will be a positive impact for many local businesses. The event takes place on a Sunday in early June so we would hope that concert-goers will decide to make a day of it by visiting local attractions like the Falkirk Wheel and going into the town centre for a meal and drinks.”

Business and Community consulted on Denny Town Centre New artist impressions showing how Denny town centre will look soon were unveiled last month as part of the pre planning application consultation on the redevelopment of the town centre with the Denny community. Falkirk Council’s regeneration plans show the town centre masterplan and detailed plans of the first phase of development featuring a new library, shop units, town square and car park, with construction work commencing as soon as planning permission and all outstanding private acquisitions have been acquired. Demolition work is continuing on the site with another 1960’s block coming down commencing February and is expected to be completed by early Spring. With valued community input during February, the masterplan and detailed planning applications are currently being finalised ready to be submitted in April. Cllr Craig Martin, Leader of Falkirk Council said: ‘The feedback from the community has been very positive to date and the vast majority of those who have taken part in the consultation have reacted with enthusiasm to our plans. ‘We acknowledge it hasn’t been easy to progress to this stage however following our intervention and with the support of the community in shaping their town centre, work is progressing well and we are on track to deliver a modern and attractive town centre for residents and retailers alike. ‘We remain optimistic that Denny can be transformed in the coming months and years and look forward to seeing the local economy boosted by our efforts.’

Falkirk bids for Townscape Heritage Initiative funding

Issue 4 • March 2012

Falkirk Council Development Services, in partnership with the Falkirk BID and the Falkirk Community Trust, submitted a stage 1 Townscape Heritage Initiative application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in November 2011. If successful, the funds will be used to support the building fabric, public realm and shop front improvements within a specific core area of Falkirk town centre, helping to promote and protect Falkirk’s rich town centre history. The project would bring building repair benefits to the businesses in Falkirk, similar to the scheme recently delivered in Bo’ness. Opportunities for training and employment will be provided as part of the works carried out. There are further stages in the application process and it is envisaged an award will be made in April 2013 if the bid is successful.

Malcolm Allan Named A Top Scottish Brand Business is booming for Tamfourhill based family butchers Malcolm Allan, which is celebrating its rise up the ranks in a recent report of successful Scottish brands. The company has been placed in the top 10 in an exclusive list of the best 50 Scottish brands in the take-home grocery market produced for retail publication, Scottish Grocer. Malcolm Allan has leapt forward seventeen places since the last annual report, demonstrating that major investments in facilities in recent years have proved fruitful. The company’s manufacturing base comprises 25,000 square feet of modern factory space over four sites to take in offices, a bakery, meat products factory, a licensed cutting plant and CAP (Controlled Atmosphere Packaging) facility. Created by Kantar Worldpanel, the report is collated by looking at produce and brands that are made and/or based in Scotland and those which may also be made elsewhere but have a strong Scottish heritage. It takes into account the value of products bought for and used in the home as well as account sales figures, consumer diaries and comments. Established as a traditional retail family butcher by Malcolm Allan in 1954, the business is now run by the founder’s sons, Gordon and James. In the last few years the brothers have built on trade with major multiple retailers, selling very traditional Scottish products under the Braveheart label.

in the headlines Good call from HEROtsc Larbert-based HEROtsc has reported year end figures showing an increase in turnover from £47m to £63m. Now the UK’s fourth biggest contact centre company, they have set up a new centre in Warrington and announced plans to open another in Derby., 06/01/12

Falkirk is Scotland's top Amec wins £10m house price performer Grangemouth revamp in 2011 BP have selected AMEC to deliver a £10m New research by the Bank of Scotland has revealed that Falkirk had the biggest rise in house prices in Scotland and the second biggest in the UK during 2011. The average selling price for houses in Falkirk was 12% higher than 2010., 31/12/11

contract for their Kinneil Enhanced Gas Separation project in Grangemouth. This will extend their crude oil stabilisation terminal, enabling them to process unstabilised crude oil. It is thought the project will create up to 120 jobs in construction in the local area. Construction Enquirer, 16/01/12

New waste plant is the way ahead Avondale Environmental have unveiled a new £20m waste treatment facility next to its landfill site in Polmont. It aims to divert 90% of waste from the landfill site by 2015. Some materials will be sold on for re-use whilst others will be used to create power at other plants. It is thought the state of the art new centre will create up to 70 new jobs.

Falkirk Looking Forward Falkirk is an area that is certainly not standing still in the current economic climate. The future for its local economy shows real signs of growth, boosted by an ongoing commitment to regeneration. Investment in the area has continued strongly during 2011; with increased funding for projects locally, and a number of initiatives that are of national importance.

Boutique in running for fashion award

Investment Now, January 2012 edition

Falkirk Herald, 20/01/12

New Falkirk Offices for BP Exploration

Work to start on multi million motorway interchange for Larbert, 21/12/11

Bus firm boss Robertson praised for driving growth Colin Robertson, the Chief Executive of Falkirk bus manufacturers Alexander Dennis, picked up a top award at the Entrepreneurial Exchange's annual awards in Glasgow. Since taking up his position in 2007, he has been credited with driving the company’s rapid growth and was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award in recognition of this. The Herald, 02/12/11

Boost for Denny foundry Specialised Castings of Denny has received financial backing from ethical lender, DSL Business Finance, enabling it to secure its existing 26 jobs and recruit 4 young people. Falkirk Herald, 05/12/11

A £1.7m contract has been awarded to RJ McLeod to start work on a new slip roads scheme for the M876 at Glenbervie. The overall project will cost £2.8m and is expected to improve access to the M80 and M9 by upgrading the junction between the A9 and the M876 to a four-way interchange. TransportScotland, 17/01/12

Asda plans to create 5000 new jobs in £500m expansion Asda has announced plans to create around 5000 jobs this year in a £500 million expansion scheme, which includes the replacement of its Grangemouth depot as well as three new stores in Scotland. The Herald, 24/01/12

Issue 4 • March 2012

In one of the largest recent letting deals in the area, BP Exploration signed for 36,600 sq ft of office space at Telereal Trillium’s Antonine House on Callendar Business Park in Falkirk. The deal was secured by property consultancy Gerald Eve LLP.

Falkirk fashion boutique Sisters has been nominated for the top 100 inspirational independent boutiques in an industry vote by Draper Magazine. Owner Lauren Ferguson also owns a second boutique, Fergie.

Falkirk Herald, 03/02/12

Pupils from Bo’ness Public Primary School at the launch of the 2012 Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema.

Happy 100th Birthday Hippodrome! Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema will be 100 years old on Sunday 11 March and everyone is welcome to the centenary celebrations being planned throughout 2012 around the beautifully restored Hippodrome in Bo’ness. Falkirk Community Trust has secured funding from Falkirk Council, Creative Scotland, Regional Screen Scotland and Bo’ness Townscape Heritage Initiative to support Hippodrome 100: a year of special screenings and events inspired by the Hippodrome and its place in the local area and in the nation’s cinema-going heritage. The second Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema (being held on 1618 March), the development of a public art project, public workshops and screenings in unusual places, and a new exhibition touring the Falkirk Council area are just some of the highlights planned for the Hippodrome 100 programme of events.

Issue 4 • March 2012

To mark the start of the birthday, the spirit of 1912 will be summoned with a free live variety show (featuring films originally screened in 1912) being held at the Hippodrome on the afternoon of Sunday 11 March 2012. There will also be a special evening screening of a film linked to a momentous event in 1912 and voted for by the public. Local schools, community groups and businesses are being invited to take part in the celebrations opening up the cinema to both new and regular audiences from across Scotland and helping to develop the venue as a destination for tourism, business and culture. Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Convener of Leisure, Tourism and Community Committee at Falkirk Council said:

"The Hippodrome has been a great success since it re-launched in 2009 after a £2 million restoration. This wonderful little building offers all the glamour of an old-fashioned movie theatre, with all the comfort (and technology) of a 21st century cinema. "It's amazing to think that a building conceived 100 years ago, at the dawn of movie making, is still fit for purpose today. In fact, for some of our patrons - myself included - it's their favourite cinema. "To celebrate the 100th anniversary, Falkirk Community Trust with the support of Falkirk Council and their partners are planning a packed programme of celebrations to mark this special milestone in the Hippodrome's story. "We hope local people - and those from further afield - will enjoy a series of special events and screenings. And we hope that film fans will continue to come to the Hippodrome for many years to come. "Here's to the next century." Tickets for Sunday 11 March and the Festival of Silent Cinema can be booked by telephone on 01324 506850, in person at the Steeple or Hippodrome box offices or online at hippodrome100. To register for regular updates about the Hippodrome 100 events to be confirmed throughout the centenary year, visit www. and follow us on Twitter @ FalkirkCultural.

talkback Alastair Mitchell, Falkirk Delivers Q. Best piece of business advice you ever received? A. At the beginning of my career, I’ll never forget being in a meeting with the House of Fraser’s marketing director who saw me fumbling in my briefcase, with my face turning bright red with embarrassment – he gave me a wonderful piece of advice – “Never attend a business meeting without a pen!” Q. What makes your blood boil? A. When someone promises to get back to me regarding something, and never does. Q. In one sentence, what piece of advice could you offer to a new business? A. Right at the get go, make sure you know your product or service better than your competitors – make sure you provide your customers with such a high level of service that they talk about you to their friends or colleagues. Q. Careful plans or big risks? A. I reckon that you need to plan carefully to avoid the pitfalls, but at the same time I try not to be boring and unadventurous. Q. In a perfect world… A. Less stress, and being more content.

Alastair had already been the Town Centre Manager in the Falkirk area for many years when he instigated the introduction of a Business Improvement District to Falkirk. A Business Improvement District (BID) is a precisely defined geographical area of a town, city or commercial district, where businesses have voted to invest collectively in local improvements in addition to those delivered by statutory authorities over an agreed period of time. The Falkirk BID delivered an innovative range of projects and services for three years since 2008. In 2011 the Falkirk BID held the first and to date only successful BID renewal ballot in Scotland. Full details on Falkirk Delivers can be found at www.falkirkdelivers. com

Q. Favourite place? A. My parents bought a semi-derelict cottage in Glenelg about 200 miles northwest of here in 1976. I have been visiting Glenelg for over 35 years, and love it every time I go. My wife and I visit as often as we can - its home from home. Q. With hindsight… A. I try not to look over my shoulder at what might have happened. I didn’t attend university, but started to work straight out of school at 17. I missed that further education, character building and fun experience. Has it held me back in my career – not really. Q. Favourite city? A. Not one but perhaps three so far… Paris is the prettiest city I have visited, Rome is definitely the grandest, and New York is simply breathtaking. Q. Favourite book? A. I’m not sure if I actually have a favourite book. Recently it was historical novels, like Conn Iggulden’s epics on Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, or pretty well anything by Bernard Cornwell. Q. Hobbies? A. In the season, my wife and I love our garden, I love going to the cottage in Glenelg, reading, I adore music of pretty-well most types (I’ve even been re-learning the fiddle recently).

Issue 4 • March 2012

Alastair Mitchell, the manager of Falkirk Delivers – the Falkirk town centre Business Improvement District is our featured interview in this edition.

Falkirk Business Panel Update Event Investing for Growth Friday 9th March, Falkirk Town Hall 9.15am to 11am. Registration, with tea, coffee and breakfast rolls, will commence at 8.30am. Free to attend but pre-registration required – visit www.registerforevent. or for more information call 0845 60 66 826.

Falkirk Business Exhibition 2012 Friday 15th June, Falkirk Town Hall For more information phone 0845 60 66 826, email or visit

John Rendall, CEO for HSBC Scotland, visiting the new Falkirk branch

HSBC opens new £1.2 million branch in falkirk Monday 23rd January saw the official opening of HSBC’s new state-of-the-art Falkirk branch on the town’s High Street. Artist’s impression of the Helix site

The opening marks the first time HSBC has had a retail presence in Falkirk, with an investment of £1.2 million and the creation of 14 new banking roles in the town. The new branch will help cement HSBC’s footprint in the central belt, following the recent opening of its Stirling branch in August 2011.

The Helix site offers outstanding business opportunities across a wide range of leisure, catering and retail options.

HSBC are the second bank to be attracted to Falkirk in recent months, closely following the opening of the Airdrie Savings Bank on the High Street.

The Helix will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban greenspace covering some 300 hectares and is due to open in April 2013.

John Rendall, CEO for HSBC in Scotland said “We have invested heavily in creating a branch in Falkirk which boasts hi-tech banking facilities to ensure customers have seamless access to their personal and business accounts, as well as benefiting from exceptional levels of customer service.

The project would like to hear from local businesses or potential entrepreneurs keen to become involved in the development of tourism offers, products or services to enhance the Helix customer experience.

“Today’s opening is an important milestone in our expansion programme. We’re delighted with the look and feel of the branch and very much look forward to establishing HSBC in Falkirk.” Issue 4 • March 2012

Helix Seeks Expressions Of Interest

The new branch is part of a £9m investment programme to extend HSBC’s branch network in Scotland in 2012 and will complement HSBC’s existing branches in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Perth. John Rendall, CEO is due to speak at the forthcoming Falkirk Business Panel Update event on Friday 9th March. See top of the page for further details.

An expressions of interest form is available for download at the Helix website: Supporting information, including full contact details for the Helix, can be found in the online information pack. The Helix will acknowledge receipt of each expression of interest and, following consideration by the project team, will follow up as appropriate. The Helix would also like to hear from local businesses and landowners keen to develop Helix-related business opportunities with respect to sustainable developments and community enterprises. Interested parties can either email or call 01324 590715.

economic outlook In this edition, the Economic Outlook column looks at retailing – a major employer - as well as providing an update on recent economic statistics.

Retailing in the Falkirk area

Falkirk has around 1500 shops ranging in size from small corner shops providing a vital service to their local communities to large superstores owned by some of the biggest and best known UK chains.

The Economic Situation Growth forecasts continue to be gloomy. The latest statement from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility suggested that the UK economy had lost momentum since summer 2011 and, as a result, they have revised down their growth forecast for 2012 from 1.2% to 0.7%. The Office for National Statistics’ preliminary estimate of GDP showed a fall in the 4th quarter of 2012 driven by weakness in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Falkirk’s Town Centre has always punched above its weight and in CACI’s 2010 ranking of Scottish retail centres, Falkirk ranked 7th, well ahead of many much larger towns (Falkirk ranks 20th in Scotland by population size). Following a successful initial three year period, Business Improvement District status has been confirmed for a further five years.

Both the Consumer Prices Index and the Retail Price Index fell in December 2011 and these are expected to fall further in the next few months as last year’s increase in VAT falls out of the calculations. A reduction in the rate of inflation should help consumers.

The Falkirk area remains popular with major retailers. New supermarkets have been opened or are under construction and many of the major high street chains are represented in Falkirk Town Centre and in the District centres.

Locally, figures from the Scottish Government show that both the number of enterprises and the total turnover have held up well during the recession although total employment fell slightly between 2010 and 2011.

Over the past ten years, the Council’s Town Centres Strategy has focussed on the regeneration of the District Centres. As part of the planning strategy to decentralise food shopping out to district and local centres, new stores have been opened in Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth and Redding and another will open this spring in Camelon.

Unemployment in the second half of 2011, as measured by the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance, was lower than in the first half of the year, falling to just over 4,300 in October and November.

Town centre regeneration projects have been completed in Stenhousemuir and Bo’ness and are planned for Denny and Grangemouth. The Council’s new Local Development Plan through its Main Issues Report has been consulting on “What should be the priorities for the development of Falkirk Town Centre and the network of smaller centres, and is there a requirement for new retail facilities?” This has provided an opportunity for anyone interested to contribute to the final content of the Plan and to the future development of retailing in the area. Retailing is a major employer in the Falkirk area and the Council is striving to attract continued investment to maintain the position of existing centres as shopping destinations.

The local economy

Data from the 2011 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings shows there was a small fall in the median weekly pay of full time workers for those working in Falkirk, from £499.60 in 2010 to £488.20 in 2011, a reduction of 2.3%. A small reduction was also seen in the median income of those living in the area but across Scotland there was a small increase in median wages. For further information on the economy in the Falkirk Council area please visit the following links: Falkirk Local Development Plan: Falkirk as a location: The Falkirk Council Research and Information web pages:

Issue 4 • March 2012

Retailing is one of the main sources of employment in the Falkirk area and makes a big contribution to the success of the local economy. Almost 6,900 people were employed in retailing in Falkirk in 2010 (the last year for which figures are available). This represents 12.6% of all employment in the Council area and a higher percentage than in the main cities.

Arnotdale House, Dollar Park, Falkirk


ar P ark Arn Hou otdale se

Falkirk Town Centre

Leisure/Office Opportunity The House

The Location

More information:

• Grade B listed property

• D ollar Park is 5 minutes from Falkirk town centre. The property is accessed from the A803 (Camelon Road).

Contact Jennifer Anton Falkirk Council Property Services 01324 590975

• I nternal size approx 4,000 sq ft/380 sq m • A vailable for long lease, rent negotiable • R ateable value currently £14,500 • P otential parking space for up to 18 cars • L arge, detached Victorian two storey ashlar mansion • B uilt in 1832 and remodelled in the 1950s • P reviously owned by Robert Barr, of Barr’s soft drinks, the family company who created Irn Bru, and by Robert Dollar, the Falkirk born American timber and shipping magnate who then bequeathed the house and park to the town of Falkirk.

or visit

The Opportunity • A variety of uses will be considered subject to planning permission. • C onsiderable work has been carried out on the property to protect and repair the building.

Closing date for submissions: Thursday 31 May 2012.

It’s an ill wind, but business goes on... Running your own business can be a real rollercoaster ride, with exhilarating highs and depressing lows, but as a business owner you have to carry on carrying on regardless. One local businessman who knows this better than most is John Penman, owner of Cloybank Estates.

Then, disaster struck in the form of one of the worst storms to hit the Falkirk area in decades. On the 3rd of January, gale force winds swept through Cloybank devastating the new birds of prey centre, along with poly tunnels and other parts of the buildings, causing over £40,000 worth of damage. For John and his staff it was a terrifying experience: “Because we are that bit higher than most businesses in the area we got hit with winds in excess of 110 mph. Slates from the training building were flying through the air and landing over 100 metres away. Watching the birds of prey centre disappearing right in front of our eyes was heart breaking. We then had to make the decision to evacuate our house due to the huge trees that surround it. At one point we feared for our lives because if one of them had crashed through our house, God

However, as in the old adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, John was not to be defeated. The clean up and repair operation began immediately and the drive, belief and never-say-die attitude of everyone involved has already made a big difference to the estate. John continues, “Ever since the concept of Cloybank was drawn up over 6 years ago it was always going to be a special place for everyone to visit. We will rebuild everything to keep the dream alive and on completion Cloybank will become one of the best facilities in the country. This has been a major set back but that is all it has been - a setback. We consider ourselves lucky that no one got hurt or injured in any way on the estate, and we remain resolute in continuing to build Cloybank into a wonderful facility for our local community.”

Issue 4 • March 2012

Riding high going into the New Year, John was looking forward to developing some of his new projects on the estate such as a new training facility along with a brand new hospitality building. He explained, “Over the next 12 months we are looking to expand our buildings to include a fantastic new training building which will have classrooms, workshops, IT suite and a state of the art unit equipped with everything required for children with learning difficulties. When our name was announced as the winner of the Falkirk Herald Business Award, I have to say it was one of the proudest moments of my working career. Our staff work tirelessly to provide a fantastic experience for all our client groups and this was just a reward to them for all their hard work.”

only knows what the outcome could have been. All that hard work just destroyed by Mother Nature in seconds. Our poly tunnels had been a huge part of our education facility for all the school children that have attended over the past 3 years. The steel work in the frames was twisted like a piece of string and unrecognisable.”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

In November 2011, John was delighted to pick up the Falkirk Herald Business Award for Best Business in the Community, recognition of the work Cloybank does within the local community, local authority, social work and education.


Service • Reliability • Quality • Integrity One of Europe’s foremost non-destructive testing organisations. Inspection Ecosse Limited offer specialised Non Destructive Testing including Radiographic, Ultrasonic, Dye Penetrant and Magnetic Particle Inspections, with fully qualified technicians. We operate in all industries including: • Oil Refining • Petrochemicals • Engineering • Shipping • Power Supply • Food and Brewing • Non Destructive Testing A vital role in a variety of industrial, commercial and service applications. Inspection Ecosse Ltd., Unit 1D, Laurieston Industrial, Estate, Old Redding Road, Falkirk FK2 9JU

Tel: 01324 627 772

Major public sector bodies, as well as SMEs, are now making significant savings by adding a virtual element to their events, according to a recent report published by Video3 Technologies (Video3). Companies and organisations of all sizes are buying into the newest webcasting concepts as they make huge savings and increased income through the growing number of webcasting services. Demand has been growing steadily for companies like Video3 because of its simple, cost-effective approaches to large and small events, training course delivery, and the archiving of speaker presentations.

The combination of simplicity, affordability, and the potential for savings and income generation are all driving the demand. And the availability of creative expertise is ensuring that webcasting services are presented in more innovative ways. According to Joe, “As it becomes increasingly difficult to release front line staff for conferences, events and CPD sessions, webcasting is becoming more and more important. Expenditure is kept in check and presentations become available on demand. Video3 is already providing services to organisations such as the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Centre for TeleHealth & TeleCare, the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Foundation, and the Scottish Government Health Directorate.” To make sure that smaller companies and organisations also benefit, the company is also developing its product range to include BusinessCasts, where short, sharp presentations in the style of elevator pitches can be made, and TutorCasts that allow the delivery of effective training and CPD with the minimum of fuss and cost.

Issue 4 • March 2012

“We always make sure that there is a rapid return on investment and this has attracted the attention of NHS Scotland as well as small, independent companies such as AppShare,” said Video3’s Managing Director, Joe Dorfman. “Our aim is to provide organisations with the ability to make training, communications and events truly inclusive. And we work with our industry partners to deliver a “best of breed” solution wherever it’s needed.”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Case Study

More demand to be ‘virtual’


The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Pipes and Tube – tradition meets technology


Export is a current hot topic among businesses and for many, exporting conjures up visions of container shipping, customs and currency problems, overseas couriers and a whole host of challenges to get goods from one country to another. But exporting is not just about goods, and one Falkirk businessman has found a way to use new technology to export traditional skills in a most unusual way. Bagpipes and You Tube may seem an unlikely combination, but when coupled with Skype and a sense of enterprise, you have Great Glen Piping who deliver piping lessons directly to clients overseas via the Internet. Neil Clark, owner of Great Glen Piping explains more: “I began playing the pipes as a young child in Larbert, winning local competitions and accompanying Highland and Country dancers, until I was recruited into the Scots Guards at the age of 16. I competed in many competitions with the Scots Guards and also played solo at State Banquets and prestigious Royal occasions. In 1986 I joined the Police and the famous Strathclyde Police Band and continued to win competitions with them all over the world. Before leaving the band to retire, I was asked to instruct a band in Houston, Texas, and I would travel over several times a year and monitor band practice remotely on Skype.

This gave me the idea to deliver tuition by Skype, and despite being a bit sceptical at first, I have found it works very well. It’s just like being in the same room as the pupil and there are actually fewer distractions. All the pupil needs is a good connection, a webcam and a practice Chanter and we’re ready to go.” Neil now has pupils all over the world who pay him directly by PayPal or by credit card for a 20 minute teaching period, and is expanding his business to include sales of bagpipes and accessories as well. A spin off of the on-line tutoring has been pupils then wishing to come to Scotland to meet Neil and tour the area. With a degree in Scottish History and a passion for all things Scottish, Neil has begun hosting visitors and providing tours of the area and is, as he says with relish, “Getting paid for doing something I really enjoy!” With the Castle and the Broch only a 10 minute walk from his home in Torwood, he is certainly well-placed for visiting pipers and is now poised to retire fully from the police and run his business full-time with his wife Susan.

To find out more about Great Glen Piping, visit



discover the secret


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Apart from our standard membership we have Executive, which is our highest level of membership where you can earn a 2% on most purchases up to a maximum of £300 per year. If you take out membership through this advert you will receive a free gift.

Red For Heart Spring Netwalks 2012

FALKIRK and LINLITHGOW February is National Heart Month so a great time for the business networking community in Central Scotland to get active outdoors, raise some funds for good causes and do some useful business networking at the same time. Friday 24th February is ‘Wear Something Red Day’, part of the British Heart Foundation’s Red For Heart campaign, and the Falkirk Netwalk will be raising funds for British Heart Foundation Scotland.

Falkirk The February walk is based at Falkirk Stadium and is being organised by Netwalking Scotland Limited and the Helix Project ( There will be two walks - one of around 13km (Walk 1) and one of about 7km (Walk 2). The walks cover some of the pathways being created by the Helix Project, as well as other walkways in a circular route starting and finishing at the Stadium.


Compliance Services

If you miss the February walk in Falkirk, then head for Linlithgow on 9th March. This walk will follow the Union Canal, then pick up the Almond Heritage Trail to Linlithgow Palace.

Support Services


Consultancy & Systems Advice

Registration fee for walks is £10. This will cover the walk administration and refreshments at the end of the walk. Bottled water will also be provided. Any unused registration funds will go to British Heart Foundation Scotland.

We can help.

Barrie Scott & Co is a firm of Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors with offices in Falkirk, Bathgate and St Andrews. We offer audit, accounts, and taxation services together with business support and advisory services to a wide range of owner managed businesses, clubs, associations, charities and individuals.

After the walking there will be open networking over a finger buffet and drinks in the Westfield Café at the Stadium.

Business Start-Up


T: 01324 637654 • F: 01324 635678 • 16-18 Weir Street • Falkirk FK1 1RA •

Further information For more details and to register, go to

Issue 4 • March 2012

Struggling with your tax return?  Looking for an accountant who will help you make more profit and pay less tax?  Starting out in business? 

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Are You?


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Running a business of any sort is complicated and tough. But when your family are also employees / board members / shareholders or are simply “family who have an interest in what goes on�, then the issues and challenges to be faced can grow exponentially! Once family enterprises have progressed into the second generation and beyond, the informal structures, communication and procedures that work for owner managed businesses , tend to break down. Once the difficulties become apparent it can be challenging for the business family leader to resolve them . Apart from the fact that the policies and structures that will be required are likely to be unfamiliar to him or her, the emotional hurdles alone can make progress impossible without the help of an independent third party like FBS.

For a FREE initial consultation, contact George Stevenson on 07753 799355 or email

FBS Ltd, 302 St Vincent St, Glasgow, G5 5RZ. Tel 0141 222 2820

Could you be next to enter the Dragon’s Den? Last Year’s Dragons’ Den was record breaking, attracting more viewers than ever before. New Dragon Hilary Devey arrived, arched her shoulder pads and firmly established her place amongst the revered business leaders, and some of Britain’s best entrepreneurs gained the cash they desperately needed to turn their business fortunes around. Now it’s 2012 and the Den is ready to open once again.

Series 9 saw sixteen entrepreneurs accept an offer of investment from the business savvy multi-millionaires. One of the most dramatic pitches came from Chris Hopkins, who needed £120,000 to take his solar panel service nationwide. Having demonstrated his business was on a steep profit trajectory, four Dragons entered into a fierce bidding war to take a stake in the Yorkshireman’s company. A total of seven offers were made, including one notably retracted by Duncan Bannatyne. Chris finally shook hands with Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden, and with their help, he says he is now operational in eight regions and has quadrupled his sales revenue. Last year his profit exceeded £1M, and he is delighted to say, “Dragons’ Den has made me a millionaire!”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Former city worker Georgette Hewitt, who offered a stake in her children’s gift website, had an experience marked by extremes. After one of the worst starts ever in the Den that saw her fail to complete her presentation, she reined in her nerves and steered her pitch back on track. Such was her transformation; Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis agreed to invest £60,000 in her business, and it seems that viewers were won over too as she tells us her website received 1.4 million hits that night. Since then, Georgette says she is spending her Dragons’ money wisely, and reports a 70% increase in sales. It was Hilary Devey who spotted the opportunity in Liz and Alan Colleran’s memory foam sleeping bag. Impressed with their invention she invested the £80,000 they needed to improve manufacture. Now they say their influential Dragon has helped them to pursue new markets; including arranging a meeting with Richard Branson to pitch their product to his airline, and securing a major new deal that already guarantees half the turnover they achieved last year.


The rules are simple: Entrepreneurs ask for a cash investment in return for equity in their business. They must get at least the amount they ask for or they will walk away with nothing. The Dragons are prepared to be pitched any kind of business but they must be convinced that it requires investment and will make money. Ideas, businesses and products that have previously gained financial backing in the Den have demonstrated one or more of the following: unique selling point, scalability, clear route to market and a planned exit strategy. If you’re genuinely seeking investment for your business idea or invention, we’d like to hear from you. The BBC will be auditioning throughout the coming months. If you would like an application form please send an e-mail to or visit

New Tribunal Fees to Help Business Owners

The fees are expected to be £250 at the initial stage, with another £1,000 to be paid once a hearing date is set. The amount will increase for claims involving higher sums of compensation. The fees will be forfeited if the case is lost, but refunded if won. The new fees have promoted fears that only the wealthy will be able to place claims, despite the fact that it is often the most vulnerable, low-income employees who have genuine claims against employers. However, the government has confirmed that people in receipt of low-income benefits will not have to pay. There is also concern that the introduction of fees could deter genuine claimants who will be reluctant to pursue a claim where there is no guarantee that they will win. The final fee of £1,250 is a lot of money to risk where the outcome is not certain; it will essentially be a gamble. UK law evolves over time, as ‘test’ cases challenge existing precedents. These test

Despite these concerns, Craig Bennison, Head of Litigation of Empire HR, believes the introduction of fees is a positive move from the government. He said: “The government is finally listening to the business community which has long campaigned for the introduction of tribunal fees. Whilst there are a lot of genuine claimants out there who quite rightly deserve the opportunity to pursue a claim, there are also a lot of vexatious people who simply feel they should try to get whatever they can out of the system, regardless of the impact upon their former employer.” Mr Bennison advises businesses to seek advice as soon as they feel there is a risk of a tribunal claim. He said: “Unfortunately, there will always be people out there who will abuse the system. Our Advocacy Unit can deal with any claims you may receive in a timely and cost-effective manner. Any claim raised by a malicious claimant will be dealt with swiftly.” Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of Empire HR.

Contact details: Rachel Kelly, Frasermedia Ltd Email, Tel (01224) 857999/ 07584 700136 Steve Cook, Managing Director, Empire HR Tel 01224 701383

Issue 4 • March 2012

The announcement follows years of campaigning by business groups that maintain the lack of fees simply encourages litigation from employees who may feel willing to place a claim if they have nothing to lose. Consequently, businesses often spend huge amounts of money preparing to defend a claim that has no prospect of succeeding. Many businesses will settle before the case even reaches the tribunal stage, simply to avoid incurring legal costs.

cases will be few and far between if employees are unable to afford to place claims – thus jeopardising the development of UK employment law.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

In a move designed to protect businesses against workers with grievances, Chancellor George Osborne announced last year at the Conservative Party conference that employees placing an employment tribunal claim will have to pay a fee beginning in 2013.


The Training People East Central Scotland Covered. Commercial Office Industrial Retail Medical Leisure Tenancy and One-Off Cleaning Additional facility management services can also be provided.

High quality, reliable and efficient cleaning services provided at competitive rates. SAFEcontractor accreditation ensures higher standards of health & safety competence and compliance. We deliver what we promise – we believe our high standards speak for themselves.

Call now for a free no obligation quote Phone / Fax: 01506 670600 Mobile: 07956 672051 or 07956 672052 Shine Cleaning Solutions Ltd, Unit 23, E-Net Park, Mill Road Industrial Estate, LINLITHGOW EH49 7SF

• Engineering /Technical Skills Development • Health and Safety • Lift Truck Operations • Management /Leadership Courses • Modern Apprenticeship Programme

Tel: 01324 471411 Fax: 01324 665328


An Italian businessman producing and selling tartan in Scotland may have a ring of taking coals to Newcastle, but one Falkirk-based company is doing just that and in the process, strengthening international trade ties across Europe. Clan Italia is the brainchild of Michael Lemetti, a 3rd generation Scots Italian and Falkirk businessman. With his son Gianni, he researched the concept of an Italian tartan, resulting in the first approved ethnic tartan in Scotland - the Italian national tartan. Created in collaboration with Ingles Buchan, the tartan was registered in 2004 with the Scottish tartan authorities and also received the approval of the Italian government. In February 2005, for the first time in the United Kingdom, the Italian rugby team had 15 mascots all wearing Italian national tartan kilts! The Italian national tartan has now been worn by numerous dignitaries and celebrities such as Sir Rocco Forte, Nicola Benedetti, Rino Gattuso, Alex Salmond and David Beckham to name but a few. Scottish singer Paolo Nutini has also voiced his approval of the tartan by wearing it at various performances.

The company is currently designing and producing new products and finding different ways of using the Italian national tartan in the media and at events all over the world. Currently in collaboration with one of Scotland’s top young designers Iona Crawford, they hope to launch a new range in London and New York for the autumn/winter 2012/13. One of the highlights of 2011 for Michael was launching the Italian tartan in New York at “Dressed to Kilt” and also at a recent event in Turin with Glasgow City Council. Clan Italia was invited to help organise the event as well as promoting the Italian tartan. So successful was this event that Clan Italia were approached by top chef Antonio Carluccio to provide him with a tartan suit for the opening of his restaurant in Glasgow at the end of 2011. “2011 was an incredible year for us,” enthuses Michael, “and the links with Turin have proved to be very fruitful with lots of exciting projects now in the pipeline. Scottish businesses shouldn’t be afraid of looking into overseas markets and dipping a toe into exporting – there are huge opportunities out there for those willing to look, and Scottish businesses have so much to offer. There is plenty of help available from Falkirk for Business, Scottish Enterprise and programmes such as Smart Exporter.”

Issue 4 • March 2012

Clan Italia has also come up with an exclusive tartan for AC Milan F.C and was so instrumental in making the St. Ninians day tartan scarves and ties for Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to Scotland that Michael was awarded a special medal by the Pope. Michael said “To see thousands of people, including Pope Benedict XVI, wearing and waving our tartan at an event televised worldwide was just fabulous, and made us feel immensely proud.”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Well Plaid! Clan Italia’s Tartan Goes Global


















NOW OPEN ay Open all d EVERYDAY!


Call 01324 710650

Let the good times fizz… Corks fly as new company reminds us why Britain still has lots to celebrate

Owner Jonathan Morley explains, “We launched the website in October and the first few months have been really positive with great feedback from customers. The champagne we sell on the website is hand-selected from the finest vineyards in France, and having the bottles personalised makes the perfect personal or corporate present. Bottles or cases can be delivered to any address in the UK within 24 hours, and the personalised label and choice of packaging makes it even more special for the recipient.” By using a simple online ordering service, customers can personalise a range of labels and select from a variety of luxury packaging to make every bottle individual. “You can buy one bottle for a personal celebration like a birthday, wedding or anniversary gift – or even a simple thank you”, continues Jonathan, “or deliver a large order to companies for prizes or gifts at corporate events and conferences.” One of’s corporate customers is Scotland’s Real Radio. Maggi McCaffrey of Real Radio comments, “We use for occasions like thanking people for their time in the business, sales awards,

“To date the majority of champagne ordered has been for events like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries,” Jonathan adds, “but we do get some more unusual requests. One gentleman sent a couple of bottles to thank his insurance company for providing him with a winning quote and another seems to be very fond of his dentist!” Real champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, and has forged relationships with family producers who are in their 4th generation of production. They are passionate about their vineyards - a passion handed down from generation to generation - which allows them to continue age-old traditional methods and offer superb champagne. With the help of a shipping agent and a strong family connection to France, Jonathan has been able to import the very best boutique champagne not currently available in the UK, directly from family producers at the best prices. Over time he hopes to grow the market within the UK and then begin exporting products to the rest of Europe, America and Asia. It would seem then, that despite on-going gloom and doom on the economic front, there are plenty of reasons to be breaking out the bubbly and toasting success in 2012. Cheers!

Issue 4 • March 2012 operating from Grangemouth imports the highest quality boutique champagne from independent growers in the heart of the Champagne region of France and has an increasingly thirsty market in the UK. Britain is still the biggest importer of champagne, with 35 million bottles landing on UK shores per annum, and this is expected to rise in 2012 with events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

client presents and leaving gifts. The bottles make very thoughtful presents, it really makes the staff feel valued. We even have our own Real Radio label! The presentation of the champagne is superb and the service is always excellent.”

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

While the outlook may be bleak for the retail sector in general, one local company is raising a glass to success in 2012.


The Business Panel+

New Member Profiles

Forth Valley College

Forth Valley College is one of Scotland’s leading providers of flexible training solutions with an excellent reputation locally, nationally and internationally. The College has campuses in Alloa, Falkirk and Stirling with modern learning environments and state-of-the-art facilities. It offers an extensive business training portfolio with programmes accredited by leading bodies such as NEBOSH, COMP’EX, REHIS, CMI and CIPD in addition to government funded vocational training. The College works closely with industry to ensure training meets their needs and contributes to a successful, highly skilled workforce. Individuals pursuing personal development also benefit from programmes available as learning new skills can help to promote success in their current role, secure a new job or re-train for a new career. Through the PACE Initiative, the College has also been working in partnership with a range of organisations to provide support and training to individuals and business impacted by the current economic climate. For more information on training available, please visit


Business Panel+ is our business to business networking club and membership is open to all businesses, providing members with a wide range of benefits from networking events to PR opportunities. For an annual subscription of £60 plus VAT, you can attend a variety of networking and training events usually free of charge, and be eligible for discounted and early bird rates to the Business Panel Annual Conference and the Business Exhibition. Members also have the extra benefit of discounted advertising rates within InCommerce magazine, and the chance to be featured as case studies or news articles. You can read about our latest members on the left. To find out more please visit our website or contact: Michelle on 01324 61 89 62.

Falkirk Business Panel Update Event 2012 Friday 9th March 2012, Falkirk Town Hall 8.30am

Event open with registration and breakfast rolls Display panels will be open during networking Mylocal5aday is fruit and veg box supplier. We supply a huge range of quailty fruit and vegetables as well as butcher, baker and deli produce from local, independent, family run businesses. Mylocal5aday box scheme is flexible, choose what you want, when you want and we’ll deliver it free of charge, to your home. Best of all, you don’t need to get it every week, just let us know when you want a delivery. No need to get caught short, fight your way through the queues at the supermarket, or have to carry heavy shopping bags. Let Mylocal5aday do the hard work so you don’t have to.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

E-mail: or call 07941834675 or web


Vivacious Me Formed in April 2009, Vivacious Me Limited is a family run/owned business, now into our third year of trading. Our reputation is being built upon a unique, quality product, affordability but above all, customer care standards that are second to none. All our dresses are imported from America and are therefore fairly unique plus we only buy one of each style and colour. Our special occasion dresses are not designer labels, simply classically elegant and therefore our prices are affordable. Cocktail dresses from under £80, full length formal from under £100 and girls dresses starting from £55. Our top of the range tulle prom gown/wedding dress is only £349!!! Glamorous dresses appropriate for all ages, shapes and sizes. From prom to wedding to special birthdays, Vivacious has the right dress whatever the special occasion. Age 2 to size 28? We are positive we can find something you’ll like. Email: Tel: 01324 473022

1. Falkirk for Business 2. My Futures in Falkirk 3. The Helix 4. The Falkirk Community Trust 9.15am

Welcome and Introduction Councillor Adrian Mahoney or Councillor Craig Martin, Falkirk Council 9.25am

Prospects for the Scottish Economy in 2012 Chris Brodie, Director, Brodie Economics 9.40am

An Update from Falkirk Council Rhona Geisler, Director of Development Services, Falkirk Council 9.50am

Investing for growth John Rendall, CEO Scotland, HSBC 10am

Discussion with questions from the audience hosted by George Stevenson, Chairman, Falkirk for Business Chris Brodie, Director, Brodie Economics Rhona Geisler, Director of Development Services, Falkirk Council John Rendall, CEO Scotland, HSBC 10.30am

Networking with refreshments 11am

Event close

Events Our events and training programme kicked off in January with an interesting evening session on Google+ to bring members up to speed on the latest developments in Social Media. This was followed by a lunchtime event on public speaking led by Linlithgow Speakers, which generated much interest and a lot of positive feedback. “Excellent content, really useful info” “Very relevant topic, well presented”

Upcoming Business Panel Plus events: 23rd February

Twitter –The Next Level: 09.30-12.30 Twitter for Dummies: 14.00-16.30 Both at Falkirk Stadium 6th March

Recruitment and Red Tape: 17.00- 19.00 Forth Valley College 9th March

Business Panel Update Event: 08.30-11.00 Falkirk Town Hall More information on these and other events can be found on our website:

Supplier Development Programme – Forth Valley Tender ready in 10 Steps – Day 1 29th February Stirling 09.00-12.30, plus lunch Tender ready in 10 Steps – Day 2 7th March Stirling 09.00-12.30, plus lunch Tender ready in 10 Steps – Day 3 14th March Stirling 09.00-12.30, plus lunch Policy Workshop – Environmental awareness 19th April Alloa 09.00-12.30 Policy Workshop – Health and Safety 25th April Falkirk 09.00 -12.30, plus lunch Exhibition – Meet the Buyer 19th April Edinburgh All day event All courses are free to SDP members – to register as a member, or to sign up for an event, go to Venue details Stirling – STEP Stirling Enterprise Park John Player Building Stirling FK7 7 RP Alloa Tommy Downs Room Alloa Clackmannanshire FK10 1AB Falkirk – Falkirk for Business The Falkirk Stadium 4 Stadium Way Falkirk FK2 9EE

Terms and Conditions:- Free Corporate Room available from 10.00am - 12.00pm with a Race Event. Min numbers apply at peak times. 20% discount off our Standard Rate Race Event prices. All offers available Mon - Fri only, offer expires 30/4/12. Ages 16+. Xtreme Karting reserves the right to cancel / change promotion


Stirling Business Gateway, Stirling Enterprise Park, John Player Building, Stirling, FK7 7RP 01786 463416

Clackmannanshire Business Gateway, Gean House, Tullibody Road, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 2EL 01259 726430

Falkirk Business Gateway, Falkirk For Business, Falkirk Stadium, 4 Stadium Way, Falkirk, FK2 9EE 01324 665500

March 08/03/12

Customer Care 2

09.30 - 13.30



Getting real results from your website

09.30 - 12.30



Marketing Your Business

18.00 - 21.00



Customer Care

13.30 - 16.30



Advertising and Promotion

18.00 - 21.00



Improve your search engine ranking 1 & 2

09.30 - 16.30



Advertising and Promotion

09.30 - 12.30



Improve your search engine ranking

09.30 - 12.30



Book Keeping 1 & 2

09.30 - 16.30



Mastering Selling

09.30 - 12.30




NB: Business Start-up Courses also run regularly in all areas – contact the Business Gateway Office in your area for details.

The Falkirk forBusiness Magazine

Issue 4 • March 2012

Bookkeeping The golden rule of setting up a system to manage your finances is that it should be simple and methodical. This course will teach you the fundamentals and at the same time equip you with new skills for life.


Build Your Own Website Learn from scratch how to build and manage an attractive and effective website for your business. This workshop will show you how simple it is to develop your own business website and keep it up to date yourself. Getting Real Results from your Website Considers what makes a good website, from a human and technical perspective. Looks at site planning, design and operational processes. Improve Your Search Engine Ranking Aims to improve client understanding and improve search engine positioning and business promotion.

Managing Cashflow This course aims to equip delegates with the knowledge and skills to predict and control money flowing in and out of the business. Customer care Simply “caring” for customers isn’t always enough. Building strong, consistent and productive relationships and equipping staff with the skills to achieve this is a must for any business serious about growth. Advertising and Promotion This course considers the various advertising options available, looks at what’s cost effective and what’s not when it comes to spend and will help delegates formulate a basic advertising strategy. mastering selling This course will give you the knowledge you need to improve your sales. It will help you to identify customer requirements through questioning techniques, interpreting buying signals, closing the sale and monitoring sales progress.

dtech designers

& publishers

Publishers of


ISSUE 13 • AUTUMN 2011


Canal Festival Goes With A Bang!

ISSUE 12 • WINTER 2011







Children’s Games Boost Lanarkshire Tourism

Scottish Skiing in Glenshee



Active Tourism App Chamber Annual Review

INcommerce YOUR



Issue 4 • March 2012

Dressed to Kilt

Social Enterprise and Chamber Spotlight on Economic Development Service

Business Stars Crowned Businesses Urged to Prepare for Winter

Paolo Nutini sings the praises of Falkirk Business

The Big Interview: Olympian Eve Muirhead • Why Join the Chamber? Page 6

Cyber Crime: It’s Big Business

• Hamilton BID Update - Pages 14/15 • The Best Road in Britain - Pages 36/37



InCommerce Dunbartonshire

InCommerce Perthshire

InCommerce Mid, East & West Lothian

InCommerce Lanarkshire

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InCommerce Dumfries & Galloway

InCommerce Falkirk for Business

■ Graphic Design & Print ■ Yearbooks, Magazines & Brochures ■ Property Schedule Design & Print ■ Website Construction, Hosting & Maintenance ■ High Volume Data Publishing & Print

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Unit 14, Birch Road, Broadmeadow Industrial Estate, Dumbarton G82 2RE T: 01389 736000 F: 01389 736002 E-mail:

Want to grow your business? We can help.

Ambitious young company or already well established? Business Gateway can provide you access to a range of professional services designed to help take your business forward: everything from mentoring, peer support and networking opportunities, to market research, financial planning and recruitment and training. Not only that, because we have a team of industry-experienced

advisers we can quickly and expertly identify which of our services will most benefit your core business objectives, tailoring our support to meet your needs. Add to this our information-rich website and a programme of local workshops, events and networking opportunities, and it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are turning to us as their gateway to business expertise.

Grow your business with our support. Visit or call 0845 609 6611.

your gateway to business expertise Business Gateway services are delivered by Local Authorities, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government with the support of associated partner organisations. Maximum call charge from BT landline is 3p per minute.

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The Falkirk for Business Business Magazine, with My Future's in Falkirk Supplement