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ISSUE 18 • FEB 2012

FIFE BUSINESS MATTERS

A BURST OF ENERGY Samsung signs up for Fife

Firms bucking the trend

LESSONS FOR LIFE Taking business into the classrooms

ON THE UP AND UP LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS Confident companies commit to Fife


Feature ProPerty Project For sale/To Let 23,611sq ft Office, JSbp3, Kirkcaldy Situated in a high-profile location just off the A92 on the northern edges of Kirkcaldy, John Smith Business Park is one of Fife’s premier business parks. Following the success of the first two phases of office development on the part, the third phase, JSbp3, is complete and available for lease. The building occupies a two acre plot on the west of JSbp and is adjacent to Fife Central Retail Park, one of Fife’s most popular retail destinations. The property provides three floors of modern open plan office accommodation and is finished to a very high quality specification. Contact: Nadir Khan-Juhoor/Marcus Weurman Tel: 0131 222 9600 Email: nadir.khan-juhoor@knightfrank.com marcus.weurman@knightfrank.com

www.investinfife.co.uk


Contents Samsung chooses Fife!...................4 Fife Business Week..........................5 Creating a culture of enterprise in Fife schools............ 6-7 John McRitchie - Carving a niche as his own master..................9 A fresh approach to your business............................. 10

WELCOME to Fife Business Matters Welcome to the latest issue of Fife Business Matters and I’m delighted to be introducing this first edition of the new year in my role as the new chairman of the Fife Economy Partnership. However, perhaps it might be better to introduce myself first. My business background is with the Markinch papermaking company Tullis Russell, of which I have been chief executive since 2007. I’ve been a member of the Partnership from its outset three years ago, playing a full role as the champion for tackling worklessness and representing the group on Opportunities Fife. This is an exciting time for the Partnership. We’ve reviewed our progress over those three years to ensure we’re best placed to tackle the issues and challenges facing our local economy and this year we will be updating our Fife Economic Strategy, which sets out the future direction for Fife. And it’s also an exciting time for Fife following the recent announcement by Samsung to locate at the Energy Park and potentially bring hundreds of jobs to the region. This issue of the magazine takes a look at companies bucking the trend (see pages 14 to 17) and also how others are investing in their presence in Fife (pages 32 and 33). It also turns its attention on how the up-and-coming future entrepreneurs and business leaders are being nurtured through various enterprise initiatives in our schools (pages 6 and 7). Enjoy the magazine – and, remember, your feedback is always welcome. Chris Parr, Chairman Publisher: D-Tech Graphic Design and Print Ltd Fife Business Matters is published by D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Limited on behalf of the Fife Economy Partnership. This publication 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. The publishers cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from this publication. The views expressed by the authors or 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 D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Limited

Women in Business Role models show way for others to follow.............................. 11 Chamber prepares for challenging times ahead................................... 12 Driving home golf successes......... 13 Cover Story Fife firms grow and prosper by bucking the trend....................14-17 Business Gateway Building success stories................ 21 Energy Park in Fife A leading role........................... 22-23 Supplier Development Programme You’ve got to be in it to win it......... 24 Just two days can boost job readiness with specialist courses........................................... 24 New Meeting Venue in Fife Combines Tradition and 21st century services............................. 25 A home from home contractor-rooms.com.................. 25 FSB keeps it ‘real’.................... 26-27 Events Diary................................... 29 Dear HR Adviser............................ 30 Companies make concrete commitment to presence in Fife....................................... 32-33 New Appointments in Fife............. 34

Fife Business Matters is published on behalf of the Fife Economy Partnership. To send us your stories or request a copy email: editor@fifebusinessmatters.co.uk To advertise Telephone 01389 736000 email: sales@dtechuk.co.uk

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Samsung chooses Fife! AS Fife Business Matters went to press First Minister Alex Salmond announced that Korean giant Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is to base its first European offshore wind project at the Energy Park Fife, Methil in an inward venture worth up First Minister Alex Salmond announces the Samsung Heavy Industries move into Energy Park Fife

SHI will now work closely with economic development agency Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council under a strategic agreement to develop the company’s ambitious project in Fife. Subject to successful test and demonstration of its technology this will result in nacelle, gear box assembly and blade manufacturing facilities in Scotland. First Minister Alex Salmond, said “I am extremely pleased to welcome this inward investment by Samsung Heavy Industries which further reinforces Scotland’s place in the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines.” “Their choice of Scotland as their first base in Europe for renewable technology development is testament to the fact this country is fast becoming the European centre for research and development in new offshore wind technologies. For Methil to be chosen as the test site for Samsung Heavy Industries new 7MW wind turbine is another example of this country’s ability to secure investment from global multinationals.”

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to £100m that is expected to create more than 500 new jobs in Scotland.

“Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and Scottish Development International are committed to work with Samsung Heavy Industries to secure further investment in the form of a new wind turbine facility and associated gearbox plant at the Energy Park Fife in Methil – a significant move in that it could see much needed high-value employment in this area of Scotland.” East Kilbride-based Clyde Blowers’ owned company, David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown) will design and supply the new gearbox system for SHI’s next generation offshore wind turbine as the Korean company enters the European offshore wind industry. The company intends to co-locate a gearbox assembly plant to supply the SHI facility at Methil. Mr Insik Roh, CEO of Samsung Heavy Industries, said “We are pleased to be participating in the development of the Energy Park at Methil at such an exciting time for the Scottish renewable energy industry. The testing of the new 7MW offshore wind turbine at the Energy Park Fife signifies a milestone in the development of Samsung’s new wind turbine generator

system. We hope to contribute to the Scottish economy through successful testing and certification of our cutting edge offshore wind turbine and ultimately through establishment of our manufacturing facility here in Methil.” Cllr Peter Grant, Leader of Fife Council, said “This is an important milestone for Fife in its ambition to become the leading green council in Scotland, and is another great success for the Invest in Fife partnership which brings together Fife Council, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International. “This potential investment by two global leaders proves yet again that Fife is becoming one of the easiest places to do business and builds on the back of recent investments totalling almost £400 million by Amazon, Diageo, and RWE.”


SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE: Participants at an Impact 21-run event on sourcing funding.

Fife Business Week Second event attracts nearly 700 delegates

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HE second Fife Business Week more than lived up to its promise to be bigger, better and busier than ever. Nearly 700 people attended the various activities, held last November, almost double the total of the first Fife Business Week in 2010. The programme of 47 events took in everything from business skills and networking to business property and lean management. One of the highlights was a seminar on funding, run by Impact 21, which brought together representatives from Bank of Scotland, Business Gateway, DSL, Clydesdale Bank, PSYBT, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Scottish Enterprise and BRAG. Alan Mitchell, of Dunfermline accountants Thomson Cooper, said: “It was very useful to have so many potential funders in one place to discuss various ideas and get their advice on how to approach funding applications. There are clearly ways to get funding, you just need the right advice to go about it properly.”

There was a distinct digital flavour for the future of business in other activities, including search engine optimisation, making use of Google, Facebook and computerised accounts. The business week is organised by the Fife Economy Partnership and the outgoing chair, Fraser Phillips, said there was justifiable reason to be proud when it was taken into consideration all of the businesses, organisations and public sector bodies who had run events, workshops, seminars and conferences. “Taking time away from business to explore new ideas, learn new skills or develop new networks can be a challenge nowadays but creating a special week to focus on these activities as vital business development skills seems to have done the trick,” Phillips said.

TOP GATHERING: Fife Economy Partnership hosted business property event.

FUNDING ADVICE: Funding providers meet businesses.

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Creating a culture of en Encouraging and educating young

SUPPORT from across the business sector and the local authority has been helping school pupils get top marks in enterprise.

and enterprise could

Going straight to the top of the class is the recently launched Fife Schools Enterprise Game, a customised board game featuring real Fife companies, which attracted 140 people to its launch in November. And earning an A+ is the new Fife Schools Enterprise Challenge, which sets teenagers the never-easy task of coming up with new ideas.

help provide a strong

And a final newcomer is a series of workshops about hydrogen power, which is teaching pupils about science and job opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

foundation for the future

Here, we look at how Fife is nurturing future generations of employees and business leaders alike.

Fifers about business

Words of wisdom from the experts We asked some of the companies and education establishments who participated in the Fife Schools Enterprise Game for advice for would-be entrepreneurs:

“The important thing

“Always be willing to

“You must have

is to have a good idea!

take calculated risks!“

the ability to

Ask lots of questions

Jim Trail, Chief Operating Officer/Site

create a vision, the

and listen to the advice

Executive, Raytheon

of as many experts as

“Gain relevant skills and

be limited and the

you can but above all

qualifications, develop

passion to see things

else you need belief and

employability skills,

through.“

determination.”

be proactive, creative

Brian Martin, Group Project Manager & Deputy General Manager, Oceaneering Umbilical Solutions

and self-aware and be prepared to take a risk!” Ken Rutherford, Director of External Relations, Elmwood College

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determination to not

Chris Parr, Group Chief Executive, Tullis Russell Group


GETTING INTO GEAR: Pupils from Mountfleurie Primary School at one of the Hydrogen Workshops.

terprise in Fife schools Fife Schools Enterprise Challenge The annual challenge’s aim is to tap into young people’s creativity and get them to put forward and explore new ideas for working with businesses. Pupils from primary and secondary schools across the region had to submit proposals on how the understanding of enterprise could be improved and how local businesses could be engaged. The challenge was launched by the Fife Economy Partnership and the three finalists – Pittencrieff Primary School, Glenwood High School and Kirkland High School & Community College – had to pitch their ideas to a judging panel of experts at a Culture of Enterprise event at last November’s Fife Business Week. Kirkland were the winners with a concise four-point plan to inspire fellow pupils to overcome the daunting unemployment rates in their area by being enterprising and continuing to do well after leaving school. The team will now receive support to progress its ideas, which include an ‘Achievement Wall’ and a mentoring programme.

Fife Schools Enterprise Game

Hydrogen workshops

A successful move played by the Schools Enterprise Game has been in keeping it real after 24 local businesses and four educational establishments came ‘on board’ to help with funding and be featured in the game.

Twenty Fife primary schools will be taking part in one-day workshops to support science teaching and introduce pupils to future career opportunities in the renewables sector.

This has, in turn, reinforced the link between the pupils and potential future employers and further education providers. The game, which is for secondary and primary schools, involves young people ‘running’ their own businesses and making all the decisions that are part and parcel of developing and succeeding, from production and selling to overcoming problems and reinvesting profits. Forrester Adam, Managing Director of Haldane UK Ltd, based in Glenrothes, one the businesses supporting the project, said: “We hope it will inspire a new attitude towards enterprise and illustrate that there are interesting and varied employment opportunities in the region. Everyone is facing challenging times with regards to business. Supporting the game is a small but positive way in which we can help the community.”

As part of the work, pupils design and build their own buggy, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which is put to the test in a ‘Top Gear’style challenge for design, sprint speed, manoeuvrability and endurance. The project is a joint venture between the Fife Economy Partnership as part of the Culture of Enterprise Framework, The Hydrogen Office, Methil (part of the Business Partnership Ltd) working in partnership with Adam Smith College. Murray Allan, Culture of Enterprise Coordinator at Fife Council said, “It’s fantastic to see such innovation and enthusiasm from the pupils. What a great way to learn about this exciting technology and to realise that there are career opportunities in the renewable energy sector here in Fife.” Miriam Smith, Director of the Business Partnership, said: “The workshops have been very well received and are a great way of bringing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies into the classroom.”

Part of the Culture of Enterprise Framework, the Schools Enterprise Game will help change attitudes towards business and entrepreneurship, and ensure that young people in Fife understand the opportunities available in the region. It is anticipated that the game will be played by over 10,000 young people over the next few years.

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Carving a niche as his own master

From a computer desk to a workbench, master craftsman combines respect for traditional skills with modern knowhow

P

MAKING HISTORY: John with two of the historic dragons he is restoring for the Edinburgh World Heritage projects

RIDE in his work, a respect for centuries-old traditions and a longheld ambition to someday build his own home were driving factors in John McRitchie achieving the distinction of Master Craftsman and setting up his own business. Having trained originally as an architectural technician, John discovered sitting at a desk wasn’t for him and he managed to get an apprenticeship to retrain as a carpenter/joiner. But working in the construction industry was frustrating, with the need for speed leaving little time for his creativity, not to mention pride in a job well done, so he set out to learn more, which led him to the prestigious Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. He became the first person in Scotland to win a scholarship with the foundation – which awards only 12 each year, internationally, to an elite standard of tradesmen – which allowed him to spend nearly a year working throughout the UK on historic properties, such as Lincoln Cathedral and iconic Gothic castle Strawberry Hill, learning age-old skills and techniques from experienced craftsmen. When he returned home in 2010, with the title of Master Craftsman proudly under his belt, he knew he didn’t want to join the mainstream construction industry and, at the age of 25, he set up his own business, McRitchie Traditional Carpentry. Much of his work is in conservation areas – and he is expecting this to increase when new grants become available for older houses to make their traditional sash and case windows more energy efficient – but he also has an outlet for his creativity. He is currently working with the Edinburgh World Heritage project to restore four large wooden dragons which have adorned one of the city’s historic closes for more than a century. To find out more about John and his work go to www.mcritchietraditionalcarpentry.co.uk 9


Fife firms count the savings from tapping into bright spark graduates

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SEEING WOOD FROM THE TREES: Student Charlotte Owen’s two- month project has made big savings for timber company James Donaldson and Sons.

A fresh approach to your business

WO Fife companies have been reaping rewards from programmes that match businesses with suitable students and graduates and give firms a great chance to benefit from having a dedicated resource to take on projects. The placement schemes have an impressive track record of producing real results for host companies, as timber company James Donaldson and Sons’ experienced with their student, Charlotte Owen, a geography graduate from St Andrews University, who after eight weeks produced proposals that have cut £47,000 from the Leven company’s annual fuel bill and reduced carbon emissions by 210 tonnes. Mark Murphy, Integrated Systems Manager at James Donaldson and Sons, said, “Charlotte exceeded what was expected of her and also identified other business opportunities which the company will look to take forward.” Better World Books in Dunfermline worked with Edinburgh University graduate Christopher Piling, who has a Masters in Carbon Management, to assess options for a more efficient heating and lighting system in the company warehouse and plan an Environmental Management System (EMS). Christopher developed a tool to improve the evaluation of energy consumption and his investment proposals, which could reduce heating bills by a third and related emissions by two-thirds, were implemented last autumn. Both companies sourced their students through Bright Business Partnership, which runs a portfolio of summer placements and longer-term opportunities for students and graduates under the Bright Green Placements banner. Its Environmental Placement Programme matches businesses with students to work on environmental projects for eight weeks during the summer, Step Classic places Science, Technology, Business and Engineering undergraduates in companies, and the Graduate Step programme allows businesses to take on graduates for up to 24 weeks. “Through the Step Classic, Graduate Step and the Environmental Placement Programme we offer a straightforward, low-risk way for companies to find well matched students for around £300 per week,” said Louise Evison, Project Manager of the Bright Green Placements. “We always have companies coming back to us for a student which is a great testimonial for the benefits of the scheme.”

Impressive results IN just eight weeks last year, the Environmental Placement Programme saved host companies £534,000, created five new jobs, continued employment for six others, diverted nearly 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and saved over 672,000 kwh Each year, half of all Step Classic students add more than £5,000 worth of value to their host business, while a fifth have added more than £30,000 of value.

Find out more For more information on the Step Classic, Graduate Step or Environmental Placement Programmes contact Louise Evison at the Bright Business Partnership on 0131 561 6305 or louise@thebusinesspartnership.org.uk www.facebook.com/BusinessPartnership www.brightbusinesspartnership.org.uktwitter.com/shadebrighter

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Women in business

Role models show way for others to follow Gender equality in the workplace is still a distant target but women in Fife are showing the way

• The most entrepreneurial age group for females is 35–44 • Women are half as likely to be involved in start-up activity as men • Independent start-up activity amongst women is 3.1% of the female adult population but is 6% amongst men • 6.7% of women and 15.8% of men are owners or managers of their own business. • 27% of self-employed people in the UK are women • 14% of businesses are majorityowned by women Source: www.womensenterprise.co.uk

WOMEN are only half as likely to start up or run their own businesses and, in 2010, women made up only 12.5% of the members of the corporate boards of FTSE 100 companies. While things are moving in the right direction – FTSE 100 companies have been set the target of 25% by 2014 – it is reckoned that it could take more than 70 years for there to be gender equality in the boardrooms of the UK. Here in Fife, would-be female entrepreneurs and women aiming for the top of their professions have an increasing number of role models leading the way. Women like Louise McDonough, who set up her Dalgety Bay company Do Be Ltd to produce creative and inspiring ICT tools and materials for schools five years ago. Louise took the plunge when she suddenly found herself out of work but she saw a niche in the market and invested her savings in her sales skills and considerable education authorities contact book. From working out of a spare bedroom and designing materials that she had preloaded on to MP3 players imported from

China, she and her small team of five are now wowing teachers, a powerful national charity and multi-national companies alike. She did get help along the way – she received good sound business advice at the outset from Business Gateway and more recently has used a mentoring programme offered by Scottish Development International. Last year she had her biggest breakthrough – a £160,000 contract with Drinkaware, the national charity which works to educate about alcohol, to produce a complete new package of teaching tools that is currently being piloted before being rolled out across the UK. “The charity had been impressed with our Teach-IT alcohol awareness materials we had produced for Diageo and knew we could produce exactly what it wanted,” Louise said. Now Do Be is about to go global, with Louise in negotiations with a New Zealand company who want to be licensed to use Teach-IT. (Sources: www.womensenterprise.co.uk and www.bis.gov.uk) 11


Chamber prepares for challenging times ahead Procurement, investment in transport projects and high-speed broadband all priorities for Fife Chamber as it continues to represent its members

K

EEPING up pressure on the Government to abandon plans to increase business rates and to reduce empty premises rates relief will be a priority in the coming year for the Chambers of Commerce at local and national level, said Fife chief executive Alan Russell. Work would also continue with the Scottish Government and other public bodies at a Fife level to ensure that local businesses were given every opportunity to win public contracts. “Investment in our infrastructure will be critical to our future economic prospects and we will do what we can to ensure that Fife gets its share of much needed investment in transport projects and high speed broadband,” Mr Russell said. Past efforts of umbrella organisations such as the British and Scottish Chambers of Commerce have led to a number of changes in employment law, trade credit support for exports and other areas of red tape, together with impending changes to procurement processes in Scotland. “Being a member of your local Chamber of Commerce is more important now than ever and you have the opportunity to identify and raise issues which are critical to your business,” Mr Russell said. He said its services existed to support members and there were a range of seminars, workshops and networking events planned on various topics to help members develop and grow their business. “Let us hope that 2012 will be more prosperous than the media is predicting and on behalf of us all at Fife Chamber we wish you every success,” he added.

For more information on Fife Chamber of Commerce and its activities, go to www.fifechamber.co.uk

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Good causes

FIFE Chamber used its annual dinner to support two local charities. The event, held at Fairmont St Andrews, was attended by around 220 guests and Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was guest of honour. While Mr Alexander spoke of the huge economic challenges facing the UK, members of the Chamber took the opportunity to donate generously with a charity prize draw, raising a fantastic total of £2600, which was halved between the nominated charities – Fife Alcohol Support Service and Maggie’s Fife. Chief executive Alan Russell, pictured above presenting to Tu Edwards, Maggie’s Fife community fundraiser, said: “I am always very proud of the generous contribution made by all of our members and it delights me to be able to pass on this generosity to the benefit of a local charity that has been providing support to vulnerable people and their families across Fife for almost 35 years and to give something back to Maggie’s after all of the endless hard work the charity has done for the people of Fife.”


A PLACE ON THE WORLD STAGE: St Andrews’ place in the global golf market was recognised with the two awards from the International Association of Golf Tour Operations. From left: Stephen Owen, Rufflets Hotel general manager and Fife Tourism Partnership Board member; Keith Winter, Head of Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services at Fife Council and Garrett Turta Fairmont St Andrews general manager.

Driving home golf successes Major golf titles make Fife the place to be THIS year is teeing up to be a bumper one for golf in the kingdom following three major developments. Last November the International Association of Golf Tour Operators named Fife as Golf Destination of the Year – Europe, 2012 and the Fairmont St Andrews as Golf Resort of the Year – Europe, 2012. And now a new body, the Fife Golf Partnership, has been formed to make the most of national and international market opportunities. Keith Winter, Head of Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services at Fife Council and interim Chair of the Fife Golf Partnership, says that the new Partnership aims to ensure Fife keeps its share of golf visitors and value. It is estimated that around 12000 people are employed in Fife directly and indirectly as a result of tourism. In November, representatives from Fairmont St Andrews, Kingsbarns, Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews Links, The Old Course Hotel and Stay in St Andrews exhibited at the International Golf Travel Market in Antalya, Turkey, where they promoted Fife to hundreds of buyers and journalists from 65 countries, including Argentina, Norway, South Africa and China. The Partnership builds on existing collaboration with the St Andrews Links Trust, St Andrews Golf Development Group, First in Fife Golf pass, Links with History and Elmwood College. Cllr.Ross Vettraino, who is a member of the Fife Tourism Partnership Board, said, “The international reputation and economic value of golf tourism is immense and makes a huge contribution to Fife’s local economy. We want to capitalise on our world class reputation and facilities for golf tourism to secure and develop that economic contribution.” Fifty hotels, golf courses and resorts, the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association (SIGTOA) and Golf Tourism Scotland have already committed to support the initiative, which will be led by the private sector, although there will be some Council and other public funding. Membership is free - for more information visit www.golfinfife.com or Golf in Fife on facebook.

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FEATURE - Bucking the trend

Fife firms grow and prosper by bucking the trend

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THE current global economic crisis has been five years in the making and now some quarters are predicting an impending double dip, making the future a time of uncertainty for companies across Europe and the world. Fife has had its share of casualties, in terms of firms closing or contracting. But it would be wrong to paint a picture that is completely black. Some companies have been able to put measures in place that will enable them to weather the storm while others are thriving in the face of the adverse conditions. Over the following pages, we look at how three very different Fife companies are bucking the trend – Innovate Foods, a leading specialist food supplier which grew from a long-established family business; engineering company Greenfold Systems, which has risen from the ashes of from another company’s demise, and Dunfermline-based Vets Now, which is the UK’s leading out of hours emergency veterinary care service with 52 clinics throughout the country.

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Innovate Foods EIGHT million portions of food, 56 million button mushrooms, 1.6 million kilos of food, revenue of £4.7 million – the figures from Kirkcaldy company Innovate Foods for the last year can make your head spin. Most of its business is with major pub and restaurant chains – if you’ve eaten in one run by Belhaven, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Stonegate Pubs, Tragus or Whitbread, the chances are you’ve enjoyed something that was produced in Kirkcaldy – but it also supplies to specialist catering wholesalers and exports to Germany, Spain and Ireland. The company’s heritage can be traced back to the 1930s when managing director Tony Dumbreck’s grandfather started his company Mossgiel growing mushrooms in Fife. At the end of the 1980s, Tony looked to diversify and invested in a small food coating company called Golden Crumb Produce. Within a decade, the business had been bought and relocated to a purpose-built facility in Kirkcaldy. With the company no longer growing mushrooms, in 2006 the name was changed to Innovate Foods Ltd. A reorganisation was carried out in 2010 and the results have been reaped with two consecutive years of 25 per cent growth. More than £100,000 was invested in new plant and equipment last year and a substantial extension is planned for this year. “When times are challenging and there is turbulence in the market, we regard that as an excellent opportunity for a nimble business to grow,” said Tony Dumbreck, who maintains that an open mind, a well-equipped business and a flexible, innovative team are key to taking advantage. Support from Scottish Enterprise has helped Tony focus on strategic and the team is working with SDI on export markets. “Of course, pride can come before a fall, but we think that we have the right team, the right facility and the right location to have a darned good go at it,” added Tony.

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Vets Now


Greenfold Systems GREENFOLD Systems Ltd is not only bucking the trend, it’s a business that has risen phoenix-like from the ashes of its predecessor, which went into administration last summer. VETS Now started in Dunfermline in 2001 with the aim of improving the lives of vets and pets – and a decade later has 52 clinics throughout the UK, providing out-of-hours services for more than 700 veterinary practices and handles around 100,000 small animal emergencies.

With many years of experience under their belt, Greenfold’s new investors knew that, with a strong order book and a skilled and dedicated workforce, there was a viable business that could be rescued.

The business was the idea of Richard Dixon who saw a way to help his fellow vets achieve a better work-life balance by providing the out-of-hours cover, which vet practices are legally required to provide, and at the same time give pet owners immediate access to the best possible care.

The support of bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis has been crucial. It was the first major customer to come on board confident that the new company could fulfil its existing order for bus and roof sides to the same high standard and on time, and as a result Greenfold started operations last September.

Employing some of the country’s top emergency and critical care specialists, the business invests heavily in staff and a team of veterinary professionals who work only nights, weekends and public holidays.

Eighty jobs have been saved in Dunfermline and Greenfold is now looking to expand its operations as a high performance provider of contract manufacturing services.

Richard Dixon says part of the reason for the success of Vets Now is that it does not compete with other vets who view it as their out-of-hours partner. He has expanded the business further by setting up referral hospitals in Glasgow, Swindon, Aberdeen and Inverness for more complex illnesses that require specialist vets, such as cancer treatment, to which practices can refer cases.

But it hasn’t been easy. For a start, there was the huge task of transferring to a different building and setting up the whole manufacturing process in an empty shell. Managing Director Bob Waterson paid tribute to the workforce for making it all happen. He also said there had been great support from the Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and the shareholders, Initial plans are to triple the business in three years, part of which will see Greenfold develop its strategic alliance with specialist wiring manufacturer Ionix Systems.

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A Unique Venue For Your Business Event Set amid the rolling hills of Fife, Pitcairlie House is an ideal location for all kinds of corporate and business hospitality and events, including select private dinner parties (with a theme or entertainment if required), seminars, lectures or “away days”. Our country retreat setting offers an exclusive location for a board or management meeting.

Benfits include: • A warm and friendly welcome. • Attention is paid to detail to ensure success. • Confidentiality in all matters. • Custom tailored package to cater for all your requirements. • Use of wireless Internet. • Ability to walk around our 120 acre estate on maintained pathways.

B AVA R I A SCOTL AND CHARTERS w w w. b a v a r i a s c o t l a n d c h a r t e r s . c o . u k

01475 686072

“Away Days” include: • Leadership. • The way forward. • Team building.

telephone 01337 827418 • mobile 07831 646157

www.pitcairlie-leisure.co.uk

Business Computer and Network Supply, Installation and Support Network Support and Installation Computer Support and Installation Contract Support Network and Communication Solutions Email Security Internet Security Data Security and Recovery I.T. Consulting Web Development

11 Leven Road, Lundin Links, Fife KY8 6AQ Tel 01333 329118 email: info@coatesconsulting.co.uk

w w w. c o a t e s c o n s u l t i n g . c o . u k

luxur y breaks corporate hospitality

BOAT SALES AND SERVICES w w w. d d z m a r i n e . c o . u k


Seahawk Clothing specialise in custom-made performance wear for today’s climate.

We have an extensive range of fabrics and designs in our library, over 240 designs. From a simple coverall to a high specification Flame Retardant Anti Static outfit, a Motor Cyclists Over Jacket to a simple but very necessary respirator pouch.

Seahawk Clothing Ltd. Unit 6 Woodgate Way South Eastfield Industrial Estate Glenrothes, Fife KY7 4PF

We work with Polyester Cottons, P.U.Coated Breathable fabrics, Breathable Laminated fabrics, Fire Retardant fabrics, Fire Retardant Anti Static Fabrics, Nomex and many others depending on the customers requirements.

Tel: 01592 630450 Fax: 01592 630444 Email: sales@seahawkclothingltd.co.uk www.seahawkclothingltd.co.uk

R.B. Grant

Lennoxlove House

Electrical Contractors

Specialists in all Electrical Work DOMESTIC ELECTRICIAN COMMERCIAL ELECTRICIAN INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICIANS SOLAR PV PANELS FIRE & SMOKE ALARMS SECURITY & CCTV PAT TESTING TEST AND INSPECTION

St Andrews tel: 01334

850382 Kirkcaldy tel: 01592 654553 mobile tel: 07957438638

w w w. r b g r a nt .c o.u k

We invite you to enjoy our hospitality in this exceptional and historically significant House just 20 miles from Edinburgh. Lennoxlove House is perfect for a short break, a wedding reception, a corporate event, a golfing weekend or even as a retreat to simply get away from it all and spend some time together catching up with friends and family. The luxurious, private accommodation, which has

11 bedrooms for you and your guests to enjoy, blends state-of-the-art facilities with centuries old architectural features. Coupled with interior design courtesy of John Fowler of Colefax and Fowler, your very own butler’s pantry and helicopter landing facilities are just some of the touches that make Lennoxlove House one of the most exclusive and unique places in which you will ever stay in Scotland.

Lennoxlove Estate Office, Haddington, East Lothian EH41 4NZ, Scotland Tel: 01620 828619 Fax: 01620 825112 www.lennoxlove.com


Building success stories

David Howie, (Left in picture)

Business Gateway expertise helping firms go from strength to strength BUSINESS Gateway is renowned for its business support services, whether it’s helping a would-be entrepreneur turn their idea into a new start-up or guiding an existing company through expansion plans. Here, we take a look at a few recent case studies to see what help was provided – and put a couple of the experienced Business Gateway advisers in the spotlight.

Seahawk Clothing

S

tarted in 2005, Glenrothes textile firm Seahawk Clothing Ltd concentrates on a niche market and has built a customer base in the UK and abroad, including Europe, UAE and Bermuda. It specialises in protective clothing for large and small corporate clients as well as major organisations such as police forces, offshore oil and service companies and major utility corporations. From just 4 employees at its outset, Seahawk Clothing now has a staff of  20. Seahawk also manufactures in Cowdenbeath under the trading name of Birchwood Apparel. The company was already doing much to improve its position. It is a preferred supplier to Energy, Utility and nuclear corporations and has achieved higher level of ISO 9001. It is re-designing its website and will soon have an online shop and the firm is committed to staff training. Seahawk recognises the importance of the health and safety of its own employees and the welfare of its customers’ employees and so it has invested in having its products CE certified to the industry standards.  However, to ensure it was getting all the help it could, Seahawk Clothing called on Business Gateway adviser George Morgunov, who worked with the company in putting together a successful application for financial assistance to improve energy efficiency at its premises and also invest in new equipment.  

DEG Enterprises Ltd

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ast year Danaka and David Grindle launched their Kirkcaldy-based event management company DEG Enterprises Ltd. Just a year later they have four employees and have their first major event – the Indulgence Show held at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, in November – under their belt. Danaka said: “My whole career has been in advertising and events but I turned to Business Gateway for advice on business planning, forecasting and finance. My adviser helped me fine tune my ideas and get to grips with being my own boss. “David and I have been pleasantly surprised by how quickly our business has grown – we’re already taking bookings for our next shows in the summer and at Christmas.” Charles-Doeg Smith, Business Adviser for start-ups, said: “We are trained to spot a company’s growth potential and work with business owners to put structures in place that will allow a venture to expand quickly. “Danaka and David are using the knowledge gained in previous employment to start a venture that is growing rapidly and we will continue to offer assistance to them to help manage their expansion.”

Business Adviser David spent 15 years in sales and sales management in the computer industry. He also spent 15 years in the enterprise network in Glasgow, Falkirk, Edinburgh and Fife providing business advice and support to new and existing private sector businesses and social enterprises. His qualifications include BA in Economics, University of Stirling; Premier Adviser. His other skills include lateral thinking to come up with innovative ideas and solutions. His areas of interest include sales and marketing, strategy and new technology in business.

George Morgunov, (centre) Business Adviser George’s industry experience includes market research consultancy, investment management, running medical consultancy, manufacturing operation and tourism business, teaching business studies at University. His qualifications include MBA from the University of Edinburgh, Premier Adviser, Certificates in Securities and Corporate Finance, and other skills include financial and project management. His specific areas of interest in business are entrepreneurship and profitability.

Brian Storie, (Right) Senior Business Adviser Brian has over 20 years’ experience in Finance, Strategy and Operations with both multi-nationals and SMEs. He has also worked as a management consultant with PwC and run his own consultancy. He has a Law Degree, an MBA from Manchester Business School and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. His areas of interest are: all aspects of business change; project management; and client relationship management.

For more information on how Business Gateway can help log onto www.yourbusinessgateway.co.uk or call 01592 858333

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COUNTRYWIDE: Pupils from Aberhill Primary School were invited to be part of the minister’s visit.

A WELCOME CUT: Energy, Enterprise and Tourism minister Fergus Ewing cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of the park’s new access road.

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A leading role Energy Park in Fife identified as major resource in development of offshore wind energy THE development of Scotland’s flagship Energy Park in Fife reached another milestone recently with the official opening of its new access road, and the announcement of the next phase of funding. Energy, Enterprise and Tourism minister Fergus Ewing carried out the honours and used the visit to also review progress and announce a further £16m of investment in the project, which is developing offshore wind energy technology at the Methil site. Mr Ewing said the new access to the site opened up more areas to the park and increased the appeal for potential investors. He had no doubt that Energy Park Fife, with its resources and location, had the potential to play a leading role in the development of offshore wind energy in Scotland. Scottish Enterprise’s managing director of operations, Paul Lewis, who accompanied Mr Ewing on the visit, said the investment in Energy Park Fife would help unlock the full potential of the park and develop it into a world-class business location for companies in the renewable sector to invest and grow, creating new jobs and investment for Scotland. Work to date has included the creation of the new access road and entrance to the park, a major quayside upgrade, dredging of the sea bed, upgrading the utilities infrastructure, enhancing coastal defences, refurbishment of existing buildings and installation of boundary fences. Energy Park Fife is expected to have a cumulative contribution of up to £172 million to Scotland’s economy by 2015 and has already created several hundred jobs in the area.

ENERGY Park Fife has cleared the first hurdle in securing further funding which would deliver a major step forward in attracting the largest potential offshore wind projects. The Scottish Government recently approved the first stage of Fife Council’s Tax Increment Financing Scheme application. Councillor Peter Grant, Leader of Fife Council, said: “Fife’s TIF submission could potentially deliver a £15£17m additional investment in land and quayside infrastructure. The investment would help deliver up to 50 hectares of land as part of the Energy Park and allow us to target the biggest renewable energy inward investment projects.” Fife is one of the key locations in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, and Invest in Fife and partners Scottish Development International have handled more than 40 enquiries for the Energy Park, with key decisions from the major turbine manufacturers and key supply chain companies expected by 2013. “If we can gain approval for a TIF scheme from Scottish Government, the Council would be able to invest in significant upfront infrastructure works based on projected income from new Non-Domestic Rates which could be generated following new private sector development of manufacturing and commercial premises enabled by that infrastructure.” Mr Grant said.

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You’ve got to be in it to win it To secure contracts in the public sector you need to learn the ropes about tendering

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HEN it comes to succeeding in the public sector, no one is going to come knocking at your door – you have to sign up for the process and be determined to make sure yours is the best bid. It can be a daunting process, especially if you’re new to the world of public sector tendering and don’t know your PQQ from your ITT, but many small businesses and SMEs have discovered that help is at hand to guide you through the pitfalls, as this local company has discovered. A family business on the go for nearly 40 years, RB Grant Electrical Contractors, of St Andrews and Kirkcaldy, works right across the sector, from major NHS and government contracts to single domestic jobs, with a workforce of more than 50. Ronnie Grant Jr was well versed in the ways of public sector procurement, having invested considerable time and effort in fine-tuning the company’s tendering procedures. However, even he benefitted from attending one of Fife Council’s regular events on tendering.

“It was a three-day course and although I wasn’t starting from scratch, it still helped me improve how I filled in the tender documents,” Ronnie said. “We also had support from Business Gateway on developing a quality management system which has helped.” In addition to signing up for a Fife Council tendering event, what is Ronnie’s advice for would-be public sector contractors? “Your first step should be to sign up on the Public Sector Scotland website, which tells you what contracts are coming up and where – you’ve got to be in it to win,” he said. “Don’t be put off when you don’t win, instead learn from it – always ask for feedback on where there were weaknesses in your bid and use that information to improve your next tender document.” Feedback on successful tenders is also important as it will help you know what points you are scoring highly on.

Find out more: for the dates of forthcoming Fife Council tendering events go to http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/events.aspx or call Fiona Whyte Tel 08451 555555 ext 406752

Just two days can boost job readiness with specialist courses A PARTNERSHIP approach to employment training courses has proved to be a winning combination. Opportunities Fife, along with Fife Council, Carnegie College, BRAG, Sabre and the Tree of Knowledge, ran two-day employment courses for people put forward by JobCentre Plus.

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One of the approaches used was an employment readiness scale, which assessed participants at the start and end of the course, at which point they were guaranteed a job interview. The courses resulted in 34 people securing jobs at Amazon’s Dunfermline centre and another three have found work with other firms.


New Meeting Venue in Fife Combines Tradition and 21st century services Balmule House, near Dunfermline, is fast becoming a sought after Fife venue for intimate business events. Set in 30 acres of stunning countryside just off the M90, Balmule offers an ideal location for board meetings, team meetings or a change of scenery for brainstorming days. The meeting room can be used to accommodate 16 guests board room style or 40 theatre style. And by spring this year, there will be space for a marquee for 220 people and parking for 70 cars. Identified for its sophisticated interiors by many interior design magazines, Balmule has also been used as a photographic location on several occasions since its completion last year. Rooms are available for either day or evening hire and Residential Meeting Packages or Day Delegate Meeting Packages are available on request.  To discuss your meeting needs, contact Margaret Falconer, Meeting and Event Co-ordinator of Balmule House  t: 01383 432 999 m: 07834 783636 www.balmule.co.uk

A home from home A NEW concept in contractor accommodation is creating a home from home for workers visiting south Fife. contractor-rooms.com, less than two minutes’ walk from Rosyth Dockyard, provides comfortable, affordable accommodation tailored specifically to the needs of contractors and their employees. Each of the 42 newly refurbished apartments has a lounge and dining area, kitchen, two shower rooms and three bedrooms. contractor-rooms.com is a privately-run venture by Netlatch, a sister company of Capital and Provincial, which owns, lets and manages a property portfolio in key towns on the east coast of Scotland. Find out more at www.contractor-rooms.com

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FSB keeps it ‘real’ THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has launched a new Real-life Entrepreneurs campaign and in Fife the local FSB branch will be using the campaign to highlight the vital role self-employed people and small businesses play in the local economy. While celebrity entrepreneurs can be inspirational figures, the FSB believes that anyone who has a good business idea and takes a risk to put it into practice is an entrepreneur – a Real-Life Entrepreneur. “In Fife, most businesses are classified as either small or micro businesses, this is a region of entrepreneurs and that should be celebrated,” said Gordon Henderson. Signing up: Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP signs his pledge to the FSB campaign with FSB Chairman John Walker and Policy Chairman Mike Cherry.

“The Scottish and UK Governments are looking to our small and medium-sized businesses to trade us out of the downturn: to create jobs, grow the economy and lead the country to a bright new future. This massive responsibility falls on the shoulders of our Real-Life Entrepreneurs and their efforts deserve to be celebrated.” The organisation is to launch a manifesto for the upcoming Scottish local government elections and will be lobbying candidates to pledge their support for Fife’s small businesses and its Real-Life Entrepreneur Campaign. Already signed up as campaign supporters are politicians including Fife MSP Willie Rennie and Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Supporting small businesses in growing the economy

The FSB, the largest business organisation in Fife, with 1300 members operating across every sector, will also continue to represent members on issues such as procurement opportunities on the Forth Replacement Crossing contracts, lobbying for clarity on the Army’s proposed arrival to Fife, better broadband provision for businesses in Fife, and business support provision for Fife businesses. For more information on the campaign visit www.fsb.org.uk/scotland/ RLE-scotland. If you want to find out more about FSB go to www.fsb.org.uk/benefits or email gordon.henderson@fsb.org.uk

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Fife Real-Life Entrepreneur “My name’s Carole, I design, make and sell glass works from Kinghorn Glass Studio and I’m a Real-Life Entrepreneur! From my studio in Fife, I design and construct traditional and contemporary stained glass windows on a commission basis, I also produce smaller bespoke glass works for selected galleries around Scotland. I have been running this creative business for over 10 years and although working alone can be isolating at times, the benefits are extremely rewarding - I love what I do! Over the years my interest in photography has developed and influenced my imagination, consequently I now use photographic techniques in glass – this has proven to be

a versatile technique which enhances the uniqueness of my work and brings me a great sense of satisfaction. Every project, whether it's a private commission or a personal composition, brings me the opportunity to explore something new from my studio. Small businesses are often unconventional... fortunately as sole trader, this means I can take a more diverse and flexible approach to running a business.” Carole Robinson – Artist, Kinghorn Glass Studio

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design literature. brand identity. print. web. exhibition. graphic design for print and digital media I packaging I copywriting I exhibitions and signage I and more...

eden

consultancy group

KIRKCALDY

01592 640644 Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors has been helping families in Fife and beyond since 1939. We pride ourselves in listening to your needs and helping you to arrange the funeral best suited to those needs. We have recently moved into new purpose built premises at 199 Nicol Street, Kirkcaldy with a spacious service room accessible by a lift.

t: 0845

226 3240 I 01324 633 785

www.edenconsultancygroup.co.uk

Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors

GLENROTHES

01592 751997

Family owned and run since 1939 Crosbie Matthew’s professional team of funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to personally answer your calls and your queries sensitively and compassionately at the time of your loss.

Alan Morrison, Sheila and Willie Matthew

Funerals designed to meet your needs Pre-paid funeral plans available Monumental services – stones on display Flexible payment options on request

Ross, Brian, Mark, Shaun and Emma

Our purpose built facility in Glenrothes

Our new premises on Nicol Street

199 Nicol Street, Kirkcaldy

www.crosbiematthew.co.uk

6 Church Street, Glenrothes


FEBRUARY

MARCH

ARPIL/MAY

Quality Management Workshop

Social Media – Beyond the Buzz

Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 15 February 9.30-12.45 then lunch Free To book: http://www.sdpscotland.co.uk/ events/events-list/quality-management-fife. aspx

Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 7 March 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

How to protect your most valuable assets

How to improve data protection and IT security

Adam Smith College, Nasmyth Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes 13 March 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes 16th February 7.45 – 9.15am 15.00 + VAT for Chamber members (£30 + VAT for non members) and will include a buffet breakfast To reserve your place please contact Kelly Lister on 01592 647740 or email kellylister@ fifechamber.co.uk or book online at www. fifechamber.co.uk/events

Business Expenses & Capital Allowances for the Self Employed Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 17 February 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Trusted Trader Scheme Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline 21 February Breakfast Meeting Free To book 01592 858333 or success@bgfife.co.uk

WordPress Dunfermline Business Centre, Izatt Avenue, Dunfermline 21 February 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Computerised Accounts (Intro to Sage)

Intellectual Property – How to protect your idea Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 14 March 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Business Networking Dean Park Hotel, Chapel Level, Kirkcaldy 14 March 6.15 – 8.15pm Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Managing Staff – Employment Law Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 20 March 9.30-12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes 19th April 7.45 – 9.15am 15.00 + VAT for Chamber members (£30 + VAT for non members) and will include a buffet breakfast To reserve your place please contact Kelly Lister on 01592 647740 or email kellylister@fifechamber.co.uk or book online at www.fifechamber.co.uk/events

Joint Chamber Speed Networking Event Dens Park, Dundee 8 May 8.00am for breakfast Members only £25 +VAT To book your place contact kellylister@ fifechamber.co.uk or call 01592 647740. Alternatively you can book online at www. fifechamber.co.uk/events

How to use coaching and communication techniques to improve the performance of your team Rothes Halls, Glenrothes 24th May 7.45 – 9.15am 15.00 + VAT for Chamber members (£30 + VAT for non members) and will include a buffet breakfast To reserve your place please contact Kelly Lister on 01592 647740 or email kellylister@fifechamber.co.uk or book online at www.fifechamber.co.uk/events

How to improve cash flow and profits

WORKSHOPS Winning through Innovation (series of 4 half day workshops)

Kingdom House, Saltire Centre, Glenrothes 24 February 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes 22nd March 7.45 – 9.15am 15.00 + VAT for Chamber members (£30 + VAT for non members) and will include a buffet breakfast To reserve your place please contact Kelly Lister on 01592 647740 or email kellylister@ fifechamber.co.uk or book online at www. fifechamber.co.uk/events

Trusted Trader Scheme

Basic Bookkeeping

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes 28 February Breakfast Meeting Free To book 01592 858333 or success@bgfife.co.uk

Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline 9.30 – 4.00pm Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Self Assessment Online

Improve your Search Engine Ranking Dunfermline Business Centre, Izatt Avenue, Dunfermline 28 February 9.30 -12.30 Free To book www.bgateway.com/events or call 01592 858333

Carnegie Conference Centre Halbeath Road Dunfermline KY11 8DY 28 February 13 March 27 March 12.30 – 4pm Free To book https://www.scottish-enterprise. com/events/2012/02/winning-throughinnovation-workshops-dunfermline/eventregistration.aspx or call 0845 607 8787

Events Diary

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Dear HR Adviser In this feature, Impact 21’s HR and employment law advisers answer problems from the business community. Dear HR Adviser I have a small business with five employees. We are very busy and we’re all working about 60 hours a week and a lot of weekends. One employee is complaining that she is feeling very tired and says the hours are making her sick. I think I should be entitled to require my staff to work the necessary hours and their contracts say that they have to work the hours needed for the job. I also pay overtime. Yours Stressed.

The HR surgeries will be held in Kingdom House, Glenrothes on 22nd February and 23rd May; Dunfermline Business Centre on 21st March and 20th June and in Kirkcaldy Business Incubator on 18th April. For a free, half-hour consultation with a qualified HR Adviser contact Impact 21 on 01593 858333 or success@ impact21co.uk

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Dear Stressed Generally, adult workers are entitled to 11 hours' uninterrupted rest period per day, 24 hours' uninterrupted rest period per week or 48 hours uninterrupted rest per fortnight, and a rest break of 20 minutes if the working day is more than six hours, although there are limited circumstances where the WTR permits employers to require more than this. Under the Working Time Regulations, working time, including all overtime, must not exceed 48 hours per week on average over a rolling 17-week period, unless your staff have validly opted out of this requirement. You also have a duty to take care of your employees’ health and safety at work. Your employee has told you the hours are making her ill, so you really do need to help her. It is important that you don’t force her to work excessive hours for long periods or dismiss her for refusing to work a lot of overtime, as she could bring claims against you in employment tribunals. Discuss the situation to understand what hours your employee feels capable of working and come to an agreement. If you and your staff have been working these kinds of hours for a long time, then perhaps you should think about another employee, even on a part time basis. Talk to Impact 21 and Business Gateway about what support there is for employing new member of staff.

Dear HR Adviser Last year, our business got very confused about whether we needed to pay for the extra bank holiday for the royal wedding in April. Although June and the Queen’s Jubilee seem like a long way away, I want to start 2012 being clear with my employees about whether we are paying for the extra holiday day. Please advise. Yours Confused Dear Confused The government has agreed to grant an additional bank holiday on Tuesday, June 5. In addition, the traditional bank holiday at the end of May will, in 2012, be moved to 4 June to make it a four-day weekend. The Working Time Regulations set out the current statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks holiday pay. This amounts to 28 days inclusive of bank and public holidays for workers working five days per week. Employers who state the holiday entitlement as 5.6 weeks inclusive of bank and public holidays will not have to make additional payment for the Jubilee celebrations. Those employers who state holiday entitlement for their full-time staff as 20 days plus bank and public holidays will have to pay for the extra day. So, please look at your contracts of employment to see whether you need to pay for the extra day.


We fought through hell and fire to give freedom to you. Please donate at erskine.org.uk or call 0300 123 1203 Erskine is the trading name of Erskine Hospital. Scottish Charity No. SC 006609


EXPANSION: work has been ongoing at the Cameronbridge Distillery, in the foreground, and also at Diageo’s packaging facility in Leven, seen in the background.

Companies make concrete commitment to presence in Fife Investing in bricks and mortar requires confidence and a long-term commitment by a company. Here, Fife Business Matters looks at two very different operations who are each making just such a commitment to their presence in Fife.

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AS THE biggest Scotch whisky producer, global drinks giant Diageo has a massive presence in Scotland and Fife in particular is one of its most important areas of operation. In recent years, Diageo has made significant investment across the country – £600m over the past six years – and a crucial focus has been in Fife, home to Cameronbridge, the world’s biggest grain Scotch whisky distillery, and, in Leven, one of the largest spirit bottling plants The Windygates distillery is currently undergoing a major investment programme of more £100m, with £40m going to increase production capacity and £65m invested in a cutting-edge bioenergy facility. The bioenergy plant will use the byproducts of the distillation process to produce renewable energy, providing 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of electrical power required at the distillery. Richard Bedford, Diageo’s Grain Distilling Director, who is responsible for Cameronbridge, said: “Cameronbridge distillery is being transformed by the work that we’ve been carrying out there and we are very excited about the future of the distillery.

Councillor Tony Martin (left) and Fife Council leader Peter Grant (second left) with Gary Smith, manager of the Glenrothes operation and Netherton Tractors owner Harry Barclay.

“It is one of the oldest distillery sites in Scotland but, with our investment, it is at the leading edge of the Scotch whisky industry, both in terms of production and as a flagship for Diageo’s commitment to environmental sustainability.” Less than a mile away, the Leven packaging plant, which bottles Smirnoff vodka, Gordon’s and Tanqueray Gins, and Captain Morgan rum, is being expanded to become a major centre for bottling Scotch whisky.

An investment of £86m has gone into building a new state-of-the-art bottling hall, which is expected to be in full by this summer, creating more than 400 new jobs. In addition, work began last autumn on another £5m bottling hall to focus on the production of super-deluxe and luxury Scotch whisky products. These major developments bring the number of people employed by Diageo in the area to more than 1,000, making it one of the biggest employers in Fife. John Paterson, Diageo’s Site Director at Leven, is delighted at the level of the company’s investment and said: “We are creating new jobs in what is the leading manufacturing export industry in Scotland, so it is exciting times for Diageo and exciting times for Fife as well.” Diageo also invests in the local community and is involved in a number of projects, including a business experience project with local high schools and sponsoring an engineering scholarship at Adam Smith College. The Leven site is also a member of the Green Business Fife initiative and shares best practice with the group on achieving and sustaining their environmental targets. Meanwhile, around 10 miles away in Glenrothes, Netherton Tractors, one of Scotland’s leading agricultural dealerships for equipment sales, parts and servicing is completing the construction of its new 33,000 sq ft facility on Southfield Industrial Estate. Formed in 1987 with the awarding of a John Deere franchise, the business grew rapidly and continues to sell John Deere, Kverneland and other leading manufacturers and is now run by Harry Barclay, who succeeded his father in 1995. Fife Council Leader Peter Grant, in whose ward the new factory is situated, and chair of the Environment, Enterprise & Transportation Committee, Councillor Tony Martin’ visited the new facility recently. Councillor Grant commenting on the visit said: “We are exploring other opportunities for Netherton Tractors to develop links with the wider business community. “Glenrothes remains an ideal location for businesses to looking to expand and invest during a period of challenging economic times.” The company employs 13 people but chief executive Harry Barclay said the hope was to expand that to 30 in the longer term.

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New Appointments in Fife Scott Coning Managing Director UK, Better World Books Scott is a seasoned book retailer, with experience of selling in the UK and abroad across all channels to market. Restless for new challenges Scott worked in various career roles at W.H Smith and Waterstone’s Booksellers, culminating in a senior position leading the buying team and being asked to Chair the Booksellers Association Specialist Bookselling Committee. Drawn to the opportunity to get involved with an organisation with strong values, a meaningful vision and a great culture he joined BWB on August 22nd . He is looking forward to the challenge of taking the U.K operation to the next level. Scott is getting used to being beaten at everything by his 12 year old son Jack but is planning a last stand at “Risk” and be first to the top of Ben Nevis.   

Chris Parr has taken over as chairman of The Fife Economy Partnership Chris has been an active member of the Fife Economy Partnership since it was established three years ago. He is currently the Partnership’s champion for tackling worklessness in Fife and represents the group on Opportunities Fife – the partnership which is working to help more people into jobs and develop the area’s skill base to support a thriving local economy. Chris is Group Chief Executive of Tullis Russell, based in Markinch, which is the UK’s leading fine papermaking company. Educated in Edinburgh he joined the company in 1994 and was appointed to the post of Group Chief Executive in September 2007. Chris, who takes over from Fraser Phillips, managing director of Silberline in Leven, is looking forward to embracing the challenges that his new role will bring.

New Business Advisor Joins Business Gateway Team Business Gateway welcomes a new Senior Business Advisor to their team to help Fife businesses grow and develop. Brian Storie from Cupar, has over 20 years’ experience in finance, strategy and operations with both multi-nationals and SMEs. He has also worked as a management consultant with PwC and run his own consultancy. With a legal and chartered accountancy background he is well placed to advise and support companies as they develop expansion plans.  Impact 21 delivers the Business Gateway contract in Fife as well as Be Your Own Boss and other business development services. 

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Loans of up to £50,000 • • •

Security may be required Fixed interest rates at 6% The loan will account for no more than 50 % of the funding package.

Loans can be used for: • • • •

The purchase of plant and equipment, Provision of working capital Purchase, expansion or refurbishment of commercial property Purchase of a business.

Who can apply: • • •

Businesses with commercially viable proposals Applicants must have a gap in their funding package All types of businesses – sole traders, partnerships, limited companies.

How long does it take? •

Usually a decision can be made within 6 weeks

Contact All types of enquiries are welcome – please contact Peter Livingstone at Business Gateway on 01592 858335 or email success@bgfife.co.uk


Expert help from Business Gateway. Helping Fife businesses to succeed. ‘Expert Help’ has provided businesses with external specialist support to develop strategies and plans in areas important to future success. Areas where Fife businesses have accessed ‘Expert Help’ include: • Marketing • Sales • PR and communications • Human resources

• Process development • Quality • Environmental • Finance

‘Expert Help’ is aimed at businesses: • With fewer than 50 employees • In manufacturing or business-to-business services • With ambition to increase sales by approximately £200,000 over a three year period Web-based businesses may also be considered, providing there are employment prospects and a wide geographic target market.

If you think your business could benefit from ‘Expert Help’ email the Business Gateway Fife office on experthelp@bgfife.co.uk or call 01592 858 333. Alternatively visit www.yourbusinessgateway.co.uk 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.

Fife Business Matters - Issue 18  

Fife Economy Partnership, Fife Business Matters Business Magazine

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