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There’s funding out there. We can help you find it. Business Gateway Fife provides a range of services including possible funding opportunities. If you are looking to develop and build your business, require assistance on finance, strategic direction, leadership skills or if you are looking to enter new markets then we have the expertise to assist. We understand the challenges businesses face, so let us help you take effective steps for the future. To find out more call 01592 858 333 or visit

Business Advice • Networking • Events • Routes to Finance • HR • Sales & Marketing

WELCOME to Fife Business Matters I am delighted to welcome you to the latest issue of Fife Business Matters; my first as Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership (FEP). Before we look ahead, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Parr, my predecessor at the Fife Economy Partnership for his work, leadership and commitment over the last three years. During his time as Chair he achieved a great deal. The Partnership has grown with new members joining; he has appointed ‘champions’ for procurement, manufacturing and entrepreneurship; and launched an ambitious economic strategy, which sets out how the Partnership, together with Fife Council, can make Fife the best place to work and do business. It’s a tough act to follow; but I’m really excited about what can be achieved. Already, we’re engaging with Fife Council on the plan for 2015 and how we align the agenda for FEP into the Council’s objectives for the year ahead, whilst increasing member engagement and involvement. Our members’ ideas and feedback are invaluable as we seek to develop and grow the local economy further. My first task in my new role was to join the judging panel for the Fife Business Awards and I was absolutely overwhelmed by the quality of entries received. Fife has much to be proud of. Congratulations to this year’s winners, to the runners-up and to all the businesses that entered the awards. Also, in this issue of Fife Business Matters we hear from a number of local businesses about the impact various funding initiatives and support services have made to their business. A favourite feature of mine is ‘FBM Meets’ which once again is putting one of Fife’s success stories in the spotlight. This issue, we meet Forrester Adam of bespoke staircase and handrail company, Haldane, who has transformed the business in recent years. Plus, we have updates from regular contributors including Fife Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Small Businesses, The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland and Green Business Fife. I do hope you enjoy reading this issue of Fife Business Matters. Stephen Doran, Chair, Fife Economy Partnership

Contents P4-5

Fife Business Awards recognise excellence


Major milestone for Marine Harvest Salmon


Business advice on cloud accounting


Sign Plus flies the flag for Fife


Lobster Pod makes waves


Fife is awarded Best Outdoor Destination for ninth year


Fife Chamber’s John Silcock speaks to FBM about the year ahead


Update from Business Gateway Fife


FBM Meets …. Forrester Adam, MD of Haldane


Round-up from the Culture of Enterprise Framework


Fife Council programmes engage with businesses to support events and procurement opportunities


Soup A Men crowned Venture Street winner


Events Diary


A Guide to Services: sources of support and help


Walter Neilson launches ‘Creative Fifers’ exhibition

Publisher: DTech Publishing Ltd Fife Business Matters is published by DTech Publishing 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 DTech Publishing Limited.

Fife Business Matters is published on behalf of the Fife Economy Partnership and is funded by Fife Council To send us your stories or request a copy email: To advertise Telephone 0141 222 2202 email:


Fife Business Awards recognise excellence

Guests at the 2015 Fife Business Awards.

Photo: Alistair Devine.

Fife Fabrications won Best Performing Business - one of four awards it scooped on the night. Pictured with Jim Leishman, Provost of Fife (left).

IT was a night of glitz, glamour and celebration as Fife’s business community gathered for the tenth Fife Business Awards. Following weeks of anticipation, eight companies were unveiled as winners of eleven Fife Business Awards, with Fife Fabrications (FiFab) stealing the show. The subcontract manufacturer scooped four awards including Best Performing Business (over 50 employees) and Workforce of the Future, recognising its role as an established Fife employer; its strategic focus on training and development of its staff as well as young people through its successful apprenticeship scheme. FiFab was also recognised in the Best Education and Business Partnership Award for its role in promoting manufacturing as the career of ‘choice’ to young people through a range of initiatives with primary and secondary pupils, teachers and college students. FiFab’s fourth award of the night was for Excellence in Customer Service, reflecting the importance it puts on supporting its clients’ needs, with customer centric outcomes at the heart of its business strategy. Over 300 guests attended the glittering ceremony at the Rothes Hall, Glenrothes which was hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay and the £4,000 raised at the dinner was donated to Maggie’s Fife. John Silcock, President of Fife Chamber of Commerce, which organised the Fife Business Awards on behalf of the Fife Fred MacAulay Economy Partnership, said:

“The awards have grown significantly over the years and we’ve had a great response with over 80 businesses entering the Fife Business Awards 2015. The quality of applications was exceptional, making the judging process tough. “It is tremendous to see the range of businesses across various sectors and geographies, all of which have much to celebrate in terms of innovation and delivering success, showcasing Fife as the best place to work and do business.” Thirty three entries were shortlisted, all hoping to win one of the illustrious awards, including the Outstanding Business Achievement Award, which went to Score Europe, recognising the significant investment it has made as part of its growth strategy. Last year, Score Europe invested in its specialist valve test facility in Cowdenbeath before which it opened a new logistics and distribution centre in Glenrothes. The Most Enterprising Start-Up Award was presented to Lobster Pod, an innovative, live shellfish transportation system, aimed at increasing shellfish survival rates. The company which officially launches in April, has had an exceptional start-up period, having also been crowned as Fife’s biggest winner at the Scottish EDGE Fund Awards in December, securing £100,000 to support its growth. Also celebrating success was Sephra Europe Ltd which picked up the Exporter of the Year Award. Sephra, which manufactures and distributes commercial chocolate fountains as well as waffle bakers, crepe makers, popcorn machines and doughnut makers, supplies professionals and domestic customers in over 40 countries around the world. All award photos: Fett Images.


Morton of Pitmilly Countryside Resort picked up the Tourism Award.

Peel Tech scooped the Success through Innovation Award.

Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman with Errin and Keith Todd of Lobster Pod.

Sign Plus with its award for Best Performing Business (under 50 employees).

Score Europe was presented with its award by Stephen Doran, Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership (right).

The honour of Best Performing Business (under 50 employees) went to Sign Plus and comes hot on the heels of the company’s biggest contract to date – two Ministry of Defence contracts with a combined value in excess of £5 million. Peel Tech picked up the Success through Innovation Award, recognising its development of a revolutionary design concept for a small-scale potato waste water treatment and starch recovery process that provides a cost-effective mechanism to meet its clients’ discharge requirements. Dunfermline’s Miss Pauley’s Ltd was presented with the Create in Fife Award whilst the Tourism Award went to

family-run business Morton of Pitmilly Countryside Resort in Kingsbarns, which has a cluster of 16 four and five star self-catering houses and extensive facilities, including Fife’s only indoor tennis court. The Success through Sustainability Award was presented to wholesale merchant, importer and processor of fruit and vegetables, Ivan Wood and Sons Ltd, which has implemented a range of systems and business initiatives to support sustainability. These include renewable energies, working in partnership with local suppliers and developing a brand new technology to reduce waste water discharge. Stephen Doran, Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the awards with a record number of entries from businesses across the region. The judges had a tough task selecting winners for each of the eleven categories, but what this shows is that Fife has much to be proud of, with so many businesses each playing an important role in the local economy.” John Silcock of Fife Chamber of Commerce, added: “The awards dinner is an excellent opportunity to showcase the fantastic business community within Fife. I would also like to extend my thanks to the awards sponsors, as without them the Fife Business Awards would not be possible.” The Fife Business Awards take place bi-annually and are organised by the Fife Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Fife Economy Partnership. For more information, please visit:


Major milestone for Marine Harvest Salmon in Rosyth MARINE Harvest’s new multi-million pound development at Admiralty Park in Rosyth has produced the first pack of its Harbour Salmon Co. product, marking a major milestone for the salmon processing plant.

The development of the former Lexmark facility in Rosyth is part of an £80 million investment programme for Marine Harvest, the largest salmon farming company in Scotland. It aims to increase production and meet the ongoing demand for salmon, with its new 200,000 square foot processing plant at the heart of its operation. Andy Stapley, Managing Director of Marine Harvest VAP UK, said: “This is not just a milestone for the company, but also for the salmon farming industry as Marine Harvest brings to the market the whole process from farm to

fork which has not been the case until now. It’s great news for the company and also great news for the local economy which will benefit from new jobs across a range of disciplines.” The plant carried out recruitment in the run up to Christmas. So far, 30 members of staff – 28 from the West Fife area, have been recruited, of which 23 were previously unemployed workers. Another 80 new starts are due to follow by the end of April. Depute Council Leader Councillor Lesley Laird, Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “This is another example of the strong support the Council and other partners can give to businesses looking to make Fife their home. The Council’s Invest in Fife team has worked with Marine Harvest for five years to support its move into the region and now Opportunities Fife is helping it find local people for its new workforce.”

All new Harbour Salmon Co. products in supermarkets now.

Glacier Energy Services adds to Fife presence DALGETY Bay’s Glacier Energy Services (GES), is adding to its workforce in Fife, as a result of rising orders for its heat exchange business. The specialist energy services firm, which moved into premises at St David’s Business Park in Dalgety Bay, last June, is recruiting eleven new members of staff with a range of skills, to join its Fife operations. The Invest in Fife team has been working closely to support Glacier Energy to find its new premises in Dalgety Bay, as well as at Methil Docks Business Park for PTS, a non-destructive testing services firm, which Glacier Energy acquired last year. Depute Council Leader Councillor Lesley Laird, Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “Glacier Energy is a great example of how the Council can work together to help businesses, big or small, arrive and thrive in Fife.” For more information, visit:

Jim McAleese, Managing Director of Glacier’s Heat Transfer Division.

Invest in Fife has a proven track record of helping investors make their projects happen as well as helping Fife-based companies with their expansion plans. Email:  Tel: 01592 583639  Web:



Why having your head in the clouds is good for your business BUSINESS ADVICE: Steven Mackie of M&S Accountancy Steven Mackie, Accounts Manager at M&S Accountancy and Taxation LLP.

and Taxation LLP gives an insight on why cloud accounting is the way of the future.

WE increasingly do our banking, store our files, our photos, books and music and live our lives online or in the ‘Cloud’, a virtual, secure platform where you store and access data. Even HMRC has moved the majority of its services into the cloud, including VAT return submissions and more recently Real-Time Information for payroll. Now, some people might think that accountants have always had their heads in the clouds! Today, almost literally, it’s increasingly true. Cloud accounting is transforming our clients’ businesses, making it easier, faster and more efficient for them to access all their accounts and financial information, 24/7, via desktop, tablet and mobile. Consider the advantages cloud accounting has over more traditional methods of bookkeeping: invoicing is simpler and quicker; you can see who owes you what and when, wherever you may be; online banking feeds mean financial information is available immediately; data is automatically backed-up (no more USB sticks!); you can talk to your accountant on the phone while you look at the figures simultaneously – real-time collaboration – therefore tax planning is made easier and more efficient. How much does it cost? And is it suitable for all types of business? There is no initial outlay and only a (genuinely) inexpensive monthly licence cost. As well as streamlining the bookkeeping process, the tax planning benefits far outweigh the costs. For example: • Sole traders/partnerships – monitor profit levels in real time to help manage tax payments for the year ahead, determine the timing of business expenses and consider pension contributions or other investments. 8

• Limited companies – joint access means accountants can monitor company reserves, advise on dividends, tax efficient remuneration and keep up-to-date with directors’ accounts. • Financing – for equipment, vehicles, mortgages (if you are selfemployed), etc. – the finance provider needs up-to-date figures which cloud accounting provides at a click. • Budgeting and capital expenditure – Up-to-date figures allow control of budgets for the year ahead and this makes it easy for your accountant to advise you about any available tax allowances and how they will impact on your business. What about security? Cloud accounting software is used by hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide, all of whom demand that security is the number one priority. As a professional firm we simply will not compromise on this: our credibility and our clients’ accounting records and livelihoods, are on the line. Moreover, unlike a laptop, the Cloud cannot be lost or stolen. And, your confidential information is kept private by password-protected access, which can also be tailored for different levels of your employees. At M&S Accountancy and Taxation LLP we believe that with the end of the tax year approaching for many, now is an ideal time to investigate cloud accounting for your business. For more information, please visit our website: and see feedback from our clients on what cloud accounting has done for them. Alternatively, please call: 01383 621118 or email:

Where would we be without social media, email and the internet? Advice from The Federation of Small Businesses on how to stay safe from cyber crime. THERE is no doubt that technology has transformed the way we live and work. It’s enabled businesses of all sizes to become more efficient, move into new ways of communicating with customers and grow their markets. Sadly, with an increasing dependence on technology comes the increasing threat of cyber crime. Our research has found that cyber crime costs members of the Federation of Small Businesses in the UK around £785 million per year and that over 40 per cent of them had been affected in the previous 12 months. The average cost of each attack was estimated to have been around £4,000 per business. This doesn’t just apply to consumerfacing businesses. More than three quarters of procurement managers at big businesses require smaller suppliers to prove their cyber security credentials before selecting them, and a whopping 95 per cent would avoid a small firm they knew had failed to protect itself from cyber crime. We also know that cyber criminals are increasingly attacking small businesses

because they are viewed as a softer target than big firms which may have dedicated staff, strategies and departments to deal with cyber security. However, awareness of the problem seems to be increasing. In a recent poll of Scottish small business owners, 63 per cent described themselves as being very concerned about the impact this type of crime could have on their business. At the FSB we are concerned about the cost to our members and the economy of cyber crime and have been working to ensure all levels of Government understand the issues faced by small businesses and to build appropriate actions into their national cyber security strategies. The FSB has developed ten top tips for small firms to stay safe online, which includes running security tools, applying updates to software and devices, ensuring a resilient password policy and securing any wireless networks. Find them at: Cyber crime is a real and growing threat – don’t wait until it’s happened to you to do something about it.

Get help with trading online today The FSB’s members are helped to trade securely online by FSB Card Processing, powered by Worldpay. A specialist team helps with the technical side of getting up and trading online with a multi currency, multi language service that accepts all major cards and PayPal. If you are interested in learning more about the exclusive Worldpay offers available to FSB members go to:

The Federation of Small Businesses is the largest business membership group in Fife with over 1,200 members. As well as being a powerful lobbying group representing the interests of small businesses locally and nationally, the FSB offers a portfolio of benefits to its members. Email: 

0131 654 9548


news in brief

/ DI GILPIN COMPLETES DESIGNS FOR WOLSEY Largo-based textile designer Di Gilpin has finished work on the first ever hand-knitted designs for clothing brand Wolsey. The knitwear specialist, who recently showcased her skills at Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, produced an autumn/winter menswear range for the brand, appearing in high-profile stores including Harvey Nichols.

/ KEAVIL HOUSE WINS TOP WEDDING VENUE AWARD Best Western Plus Keavil House Hotel in Fife has scooped the prestigious title of Top Rated Wedding Venue in Scotland from WeddingDates website. The four star hotel was awarded the accolade having achieved the highest star rating from its brides and grooms, as well as the largest number of glowing reviews on the website for any Scottish property.

/ MANAGED IT EXPERTS LTD MAKES RESOURCE EFFICIENCY PLEDGE Managed IT Experts Ltd has shown its commitment to the environment by making the Resource Efficiency Pledge. Through the national scheme, Managed IT Experts has improved its office energy efficiency, developed an environmental policy and reduced transport emissions. Resource Efficient Scotland’s Pledge scheme aims to help businesses reduce their environmental impact and save money on running costs.

/ FIFE BACKS PLANS TO BE PART OF EDINBURGH CITY REGION Councillors in Fife have backed ambitious plans for an Edinburgh City Region. Fife Council is now working with Edinburgh City Council and other neighbouring local authorities on the plans which it hopes will unlock millions of pounds of investment for member areas including Fife, helping it realise its aspirations of helping make Fife the best place to do business. Additional benefits include infrastructure improvements and gives an opportunity to further enhance the local economy.

For more news in brief see P11


Fife’s engineering companies awards success recognised FIFE Council has been celebrating the success of local engineering companies with a civic reception arranged to celebrate the region’s success at the Scottish Engineering Awards in 2014. Fife was one of the big winners, with a number of its top engineering companies being recognised including Fife Fabrications, Ingenico, Babcock International, BAE and Thales Optronics. Young Engineer of the Year, Alan Kirk, a structural engineer for Babcock, also attended the reception, hosted by Fife’s Provost, Jim Leishman and Councillor Lesley Laird, Depute Council Leader and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning. Councillor Laird said: “These awards are a ringing endorsement for the engineering expertise throughout Fife. The civic reception was an opportunity to congratulate those successful businesses, but it also posed an opportunity to recognise the importance of the sector to the local economy.”

Fife councillors visit Europe’s most modern flour mill FIFE councillors had the opportunity to visit Europe’s most modern flour milling facility when they toured Carr’s Flour Mills’ state of the art site in Kirkcaldy. One of the UK’s largest millers, Carr’s Flour Mills completed installation of the new mill in Kirkcaldy in 2013. It is part of a £17m investment project and the first flour mill to be built in Scotland for twentyfive years. The new facility provides an enhanced, flexible capability to produce a wide range of flour milled from imported and locally grown wheat. Funding was provided by Carr’s Milling

Fife councillors visit Carr’s Flour Mill.

Bryan Buchan, Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, said: “Fife’s success in the 2014 awards is testament to the strength of the region’s engineering expertise and the contribution it makes to the vitality of the Kingdom. In many ways, the Fife sector leads the way and promises much for the future in every aspect of engineering.” The Scottish Engineering Awards 2015 take place in May and will mark the 150th anniversary of Scottish Engineering. For more information on the awards, please visit: www.scottishengineering. or to find out more about Fife Council’s Economic Development Team’s manufacturing network, please call Pamela Stevenson on: 03451 555555 (ext 473821) or email:

Guests at the civic reception.

Industries Plc with support from Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise. Carr’s Finance Director, George Wishart, said: “The new facility has attracted huge interest raising the profile of both the company and the area. The confidence in the local workforce is such that the area may well benefit from further significant investment in future years.” Depute Council Leader, Councillor Lesley Laird, Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “These visits provide councillors with the opportunity to see first hand the hard work and dedication of the local business community who are working to grow Fife’s economy. It also gives us the chance to hear about issues and challenges facing businesses today so we can work with them to make Fife the best place to do business.”

news in brief


Business Gateway Fife Roadshow motivates aspiring business owners NEARLY 100 aspiring business owners received an inspiring message from local successful business owners, thanks to the “Just Start It” events from Business Gateway Fife. Three evenings were held across Fife to inspire those thinking about starting a business with encouragement from successful entrepreneurs, who have already been on that journey. David Austin of Reubens, Donna DuCarme from Looking Lass Productions and Janet Torley of Events for Business, all spoke at the Dunfermline event in the Carnegie Conference Centre. Lorraine Gardiner and Nadia Moreland from Love Restored, Aaron Andrews of Arro Lighting and Karen Logan from The Twa Hens Cafe were the guest speakers at the TREE Centre,

(Tullis Russell) in Markinch, while Owen Hazel from Jannettas and Katherine Smith from Eden Legal addressed delegates at the Hotel Du Vin in St Andrews. Attendees were able to ask the guest speakers all of those questions they really wanted, to help them take the next step to get started. Delegates were indeed inspired and Kelly Hodgson from Dunfermline, who is looking to set up her own business said: “The setting was fantastic and the speakers were inspirational. Attending the session put some of the advice I have received from Business Gateway into a real-world context. It was extremely useful speaking with others who are on the next stage of the journey upon which I am about to embark.” Business Gateway Fife on behalf of Fife Council’s Economic Development Team provides practical help, advice and support to new and growing businesses in Fife. For more information on how it could help your business, call: 01592 858333 or email:

The Courier has published its third Impact 100 report, a list of those who have influenced and inspired across Courier country this year. The list included a number of Fife-based business entries including Scott Davies of The Adamson in St Andrews, a new entry at number 12. The MasterChef: The Professionals star has seen his profile and that of the restaurant, of which he is head chef, soar. 2014’s Impact 100 also features Professor Louise Richardson, the first female principal of the University of St Andrews and Peter Dawson, the Secretary and Chief Executive of the R&A.

/ ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR BROADBAND The UK Government has announced that it is to make up to £40 million available from April to March 2016 to support more cities to administer the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme, including Fife. Businesses will be able to apply for a connection voucher on a first come, first served basis.


Flying the flag for Fife SIGN Plus Ltd is celebrating its biggest contract win to date. The Dalgety Bay business has won two Ministry of Defence contracts with a combined value in excess of £5 million for the manufacture and supply of marine flags, ensigns, pennants, signs and labels. The new contracts, which were won following a rigorous tendering process involving up to 13 competitor companies, will result in it strengthening its workforce to 36. Ken Richards, Chairman of Sign Plus, said: “This is a hugely significant win and is our largest contract to date, underpinning the continuing growth of the company which has doubled in size in recent years. “This is also great news for Dalgety Bay and Fife but, with the majority of the contracted items being produced in partnership with key

suppliers in the UK, it’s also good news for the UK manufacturing industry.” Sign Plus, a member of Fife Council’s Supplier Development Programme, which supports companies to improve their performance in winning contracts with public sector organisations, has also been awarded framework agreement status by the North East Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC). It is the only Scottish company to be recognised under the UK-wide agreement which is worth in excess of £10 million and will help the education establishments manage their signage requirements and offer cost savings through collaboration and standardisation of systems. Ken added: “The process involved in getting through to the tender stage was extremely tough but these contract wins have contributed to a successful period, as we aim for new highs over the coming months.” For more information, please visit: www. or to find out more about Fife Council Economic Development Team’s Supplier Development Programme, call Kieran Hunter on: 03451 55 55 55 (ext. 442650), email: or visit:

GLOBAL ENERGY GROUP TAKES OVER PSI LTD The Global Energy Group has announced its take-over of Fife’s PSI Limited, a specialist in chemical dosing systems for water, utilities, pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries. The acquisition builds on Global’s non-oil and gas business and is the first acquisition of the year for Global, which has purchased a 75 per cent stake in the company through its water specialist RossShire Engineering.

/ WORK STARTS ON THE LOW CARBON INVESTMENT PARK Work is underway to build a £3.2 million business park on the outskirts of Buckhaven. The Low Carbon Investment Park is to provide more space to allow Fife Energy Park at Methil to expand.

For more news in brief see P24


Angie Smith (left) pictured with a model wearing a Born on Main Street denim dress made from vintage shirts.

Born on Main Street gives vintage clothing new lease of life BORN on Main Street was set up by Angie Smith (29) of Kirkcaldy, as a means of following her passion for fashion design, art and vintage clothing, whilst enabling her more flexible working hours to meet the needs of her young family. Angie was a Product Manager for River Island before she took the plunge to set up her own business. Currently, she sells her products through an online fashion market, but Angie’s aspiration is to open her own shop. Angie said: “It has been my ambition for a number of years to set-up my own business and in 2013 I did it. Yes, it’s been hard work, but I enjoy the flexibility it provides. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved dressing up and my Gran inspired me. She was always immaculately dressed and wore some stunning designs and fabrics, so I’ve

built my business around that. All of my clothing is a mix of vintage and new fabrics, but keeping to a vintage shape, to create quirky, one-off designs that are totally different to what’s available on the high street.” Angie set up Born on Main Street in 2013 and her designs have attracted interest from the likes of ITV’s This Morning and women’s magazine, Cosmopolitan. Angie said: “To get contacted by fashion media interested in my designs is such a compliment. It has given me a real boost and inspired me to continue developing my clothing range, with the aim to set-up my own shop which would give me the opportunity to interact more with clients.” Angie received help from The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland (PTYBS) to

set up her business. In addition to general business advice, Angie applied and received, a financial grant to buy clothing labels and fabric to help start her clothing line. Angie added: “I thought I was too old to get help from The Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland, but my Business Advisor soon set me straight! Marissa Yassen gave me invaluable information about starting up in business as well as help to apply for a grant to get started. I didn’t want to get into debt, but really needed to buy labels for my creations, so the money I received paid for that.” Angie’s Born on Main Street creations are available online at: www.pretaportobello. com/born-on-main-street/ as well as in Factory 45, a retail space in Glasgow, created to help designers showcase and sell their work.

PTYBS works closely with Business Gateway Fife to support young people aged 18-30 to start-up and grow in business. It provides essential funding and professional mentoring support including help to write a business plan, introductory finance training as well as offering loans of up to £5000 and grants of up to £1000. To find out more about PTYBS visit: or email:


Impact of the single bag levy Michael Longstaffe, Chief Executive of Smith Anderson.

THE single use carrier bag levy, introduced in Scotland in October 2014, has unexpectedly led to a slight increase in demand for a Fife based business. Evidence from the premium paper bag manufacturer, Smith Anderson, shows that some discerning customers are now demanding higher quality paper carrier bags, as they switch from single-use plastic bags. The five pence levy on single-use carrier bags was introduced in a bid to tackle littering and encourage reuse. Fife Business Matters spoke to Michael Longstaffe, Chief Executive of Smith Anderson, which manufactures 60 million, 100 percent recyclable, biodegradable and compostable paper bags every week, about the impact of the single bag levy. He said: “The introduction of the single use carrier bag levy could have had a negative impact on our business as the new rules

Smith Anderson manufactures 60 million paper bags every week.

apply not only to plastic bags, but also paper bags which constitute the majority of our business offering. “Thankfully, we have seen increased demand for our single use paper carrier bags which are environmentally friendly, particularly at all foodservice outlets, where customers are choosing hygiene and food safety over the cost of a bag. “We’re also seeing an increase in demand for better quality paper carrier bags. There’s an emerging expectation for higher quality, sustainably sourced paper bags, if customers are having to pay for them.” Despite it being good for business, Smith Anderson is still seeking a paper bag exemption to the carrier bag levy, believing that paper bags should never have been categorised in the same way, as plastic bags are indisputably damaging to the environment.

Lobster Pod makes waves as it gets ready to hit the road START-UP company, Lobster Pod, is making waves in the seafood industry with the launch of an innovative live shellfish transportation system, aimed at increasing shellfish survival rates. Due to launch at the world’s largest seafood exhibition in Brussels in April, Lobster Pod has already secured its first order with a high profile restauranteur and was Fife’s biggest ever winner at the Scottish EDGE Fund awards in December, securing £100,000 to fund two crucial members of staff.

Errin Todd and her husband Keith Todd received their Scottish EDGE Fund Award from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP (centre).

The two metre high, pallet-sized pod is a controlled atmosphere system, which keeps the animals in an optimum condition, is cost efficient and solves a real problem in the supply chain of live shellfish. Director of Lobster Pod, Errin Todd, spoke of the support she’s had to date. She said: “Our Business Gateway Fife Business Advisor, Alasdair Busby, understands what we’re trying to achieve and has recently facilitated our attendance at a number of workshops and referred us for specialist advice through the export surgery, in conjunction with Smart Exporter. “We’re also exploring the East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF) and are seeking support from Business Gateway Fife’s HR Advisor, as we take on new staff. This kind of external support is priceless to start-up companies.” Lobster Pod has also won the Interface Food & Drink Innovation Award and at the Entrepreneuring Awards, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon highlighted the Dalgety Bay business as an example of start-up companies which exemplify the Scottish Government’s #ScotlandCanDo initiative. The First Minister said: “Lobster Pod is helping its customers to save a lot of money, whilst improving animal welfare, creating jobs and opportunities at its base in Fife.” Find out how Business Gateway Fife can help your business by visiting: or calling: 01592 858333. 13

Fife is awarded Best Outdoor Destination for ninth year FOR the ninth year in a row, Fife has been awarded the title of “Best Outdoor Destination” by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). According to the results of the newly announced “Scotland’s People and Nature Survey 2013/14”, commissioned by SNH, the region’s outdoor sites receive approximately 31.7 million visits every year, making it the most visited region in the country. In recognition of this unbeaten track record, Outdoor Fife has suggested “seven

natural wonders of Fife” to encourage locals and visitors to get out and about. The Outdoor Fife top seven suggestions are:

• A wintry walk in the Lomonds – West

Lomond is the highest spot in Fife measuring 522 m (1713 ft) • Nature watching at Tentsmuir to spot sea eagles and seals • Cycling around Balbirnie Park – a great 10km ride suitable for all ages and abilities • Take in the sea air in Elie on the Blue Flag beach at Ruby Bay • A Hollywood moment at St Monans or Pittenweem where The Railway Man and The Winter Guest were filmed • Walk, cycle, sail or play at Lochore Meadows in Lochgelly – Fife’s most popular free attraction • Share a picnic and watch the squirrels at Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline Steve Brazendale, owner of Inspired Falconry and Chair of Outdoor Fife, said:

“It’s no surprise that Fife has been voted the best outdoor destination nine times as there is such a wealth of attractions. We have natural beauty and wildlife, activities for all types of interests and heritage that takes us from historical buildings to sporting landmarks – like the world’s oldest tennis court at Falkland Palace.” To help people decide what they can do for a day out, visit: There is also a new series of route cards to show cycling visitors how to see the very best of Fife. Whether they are super-fit riders or just enjoying a leisurely family afternoon cycle there is comprehensive information to help select a suitable route. There are nine routes and all are detailed with maps and useful information in a special pack available on the Outdoor Fife website and to download to a tablet or mobile to have during the ride. The Welcome to Fife social media channels @welcometofife on Twitter and Facebook are highlighting the #lovefifespring theme to promote things to see and do in Spring.

One of the “seven natural wonders of Fife” is Pittencrieff Park, which is pictured here with Dunfermline Abbey in the background.

The Fife Tourism Partnership’s vision is to work with tourism businesses and communities to attract more visitors to Fife, to increase spend and to exceed visitor expectations.


IT support for Fife businesses

John Silcock, President of Fife Chamber of Commerce.

The Year Ahead John Silcock has been speaking to Fife Business Matters about his optimism for the year ahead and hopes that Fife can build on what was a positive 2014 for the business community. He said: “AT our Annual Dinner, Justin UrquhartStewart spoke of the need for confidence in the business community to rebuild the economy. During 2014 we saw that confidence grow amongst Fife businesses and Scotland’s economic performance reflected it. “Evidence of growing confidence amongst Fife’s businesses included investment projects by local businesses – Heil Farid, Fife Fabrications and Carr’s Flour Mills among many others; continued investment by large businesses such as FMC Technologies and Diageo; and work on major engineering projects like the Queensferry Crossing and the new aircraft carriers by Babcock. “The challenge we face in 2015 is to build on this impressive performance and positive trends despite current global economic and political issues. “The Scottish Government’s focus in 2014 was, understandably, on constitutional

matters, but for 2015, the economy must be a key issue for the Scottish Government, specifically relating to business rates and the promotion of business development opportunities. “At the UK level, John Longworth, Director General of British Chambers of Commerce, said in his open letter to political leaders that business taxation, businesseducation links and exporting must feature strongly in government policy and action in 2015 if economic recovery is to continue. “Fife Chamber will continue promoting the business agenda at all levels of government and provide support for local businesses and opportunities for development in 2015. We aim to grow our membership, build on our contribution to local economy growth through issues like better school-business links and improved digital connectivity.”

SCOTTISH Enterprise and Scottish Chambers of Commerce are together delivering the CREATE programme which provides Fife businesses with funded advice on making better use of IT and technology to become more competitive and develop and grow. The CREATE programme offers businesses the following funded services: 1. An independent review session with an IT expert, selected from recognised IT support businesses across Scotland; 2. The development of a tailored action plan explaining how IT improvements could best support your business; 3. Access to training materials; 4. Further dedicated support from the IT expert should you wish to go ahead and implement improvements.

Handover of cheque for £1100 to CHAS Cheque handover for £1100 raised by Fife Chamber members at their Christmas Lunch. Rachel Cheer of CHAS pictured with Eric Byiers of the Fife Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses within Fife have started benefiting from this service, with the feedback that face to face support from a local IT expert is exceptionally valuable. Businesses signed up for the IT review range across many sectors from construction, to tourism, to financial services. Small and medium businesses are eligible for the support. There are limited spaces on the programme, which is running until June 2015. If you wish to register interest, or would like further information about CREATE or Fife Chamber of Commerce, please email: 15

Future looking bright for ARRO Lighting and Events

ARRO Lighting and Events directors Aaron Andrews (left) and Ross Syme (right) at the 3rd generation Audi TT launch event.

THE future is looking bright for ARRO Lighting and Events, one of Fife’s newest and fastest growing businesses. Nineteen years’ combined experience with one of the world’s largest commercial Christmas lighting manufacturers, gave Ross Syme and Aaron Andrews the foundations to launch their own company. The main focus of ARRO Lighting and Events is to supply commercial Christmas lighting, offering a full service including hire, design, installation and project management with a high standard of customer care within each service. ARRO also designs and supplies feature lighting to enhance venues for weddings and events all year round. Since ARRO started operating in August 2014, Ross and Aaron have successfully 16

delivered projects for the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow and Audi Glasgow among others. In setting up their business, Ross and Aaron have received support from Lynne Baillie at Business Gateway Fife who helped them secure funding to purchase equipment through the Fife Investment Fund and to access consultancy support on their business plan, through the Expert Help Programme. Fife Chamber has also supported ARRO through its networking opportunities, and providing a business mentor in Tom Anderson. Ross said: “It is our belief that Christmas lighting is not a cost, it is an investment. We want to rejuvenate the Christmas lighting industry by delivering unique solutions using new concepts and a creative flare. We want to be

known for our creative side, offering new products, design concepts, and breathtaking bespoke pieces. We love to think big and be challenged. “ARRO Create is our bespoke service where we can design and manufacture giant lighting sculptures, and lighting features from company logos to children’s drawings. One of our goals for this year is to design and manufacture the UK’s largest conical Christmas tree.” Aaron said: “Best known as Christmas lighting specialists, we are by no means limited to this. We carry this skill set and our core values over into event and wedding lighting and undertake each project with the same creativity, passion and professionalism.”

The accolades keep coming for Jannettas THE accolades keep on coming for Jannettas Gelateria having scooped The Courier Retail Business of the Year award along with the 2014 Golden Cone award. Jannettas’ owners, Owen and Nicola Hazel, were also finalists in The Courier’s Family Business of the Year category. Jannettas has reopened after refurbishment of its St Andrews site to a brand new Italian café style interior. This provides an enhanced environment for customers to experience Jannettas ice-cream and other produce from patisseries and coffees to authentic Italian sodas mixed on site from imported syrups and carbonated water. The refurbishment has also given increased production space to meet the demand for the traditional Italian gelato and space where customers can watch the icecream being made. Jannettas is a client of Business Gateway Fife (BGF), working with Alasdair Busby as Business Advisor. Alasdair said: “It is always a genuine pleasure to see our clients grow and succeed and we were delighted for Jannettas when Nicola and Owen won The Courier Retail Business of

the Year award, The Italian style café further endorsing refurbishment at Jannettas. the iconic Jannettas brand. “A long standing business established in 1908, Jannettas has received business and marketing assistance from BGF and a grant from the Fife Investment Fund for their new website launching shortly after its transformed premises.” Owen Hazel said: “Nicola and I are delighted with the result of the project which, following many years of planning, has finally come to fruition. We are excited to have our vision realised. We saw this opportunity as a way of creating a better working environment for our dedicated team of staff as well as creating a state of the art Gelateria and Gelatorium where our customers can visit and enjoy our artisan award winning ice cream. We are very excited to be reopening

and unveiling the new look Jannettas Gelateria. “We have had a very good working relationship with Business Gateway Fife for many years. More recently we have established a close working relationship with Alasdair and his team who have been so supportive and enthusiastic with their expert help. In particular, we are grateful for the funding support to assist us with our development plans. They were pivotal in our decision to develop the business this year. Their support is invaluable to a small business such as ours.”

‘Back in Britain’ with EDV MENTION the word ‘engineering’ and to many it conjures up a host of different impressions from oily machines to heavy industry, but to EDV UK Ltd’s joint directors Ken and Nicola Buchanan it opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Originally launched from a small home office, EDV now serves many of the world’s leading and largest oil and gas exploration and engineering companies with a range of unique and innovative Autoclave port hole repair and inspection kits, that have saved its users millions of pounds through reduced repairs and downtime. EDV’s Managing Director, Ken Buchanan, explained that the success of the kits were just the beginning of his quest to unify the benefits of innovation and industrial collaboration in order to turn the fortunes of the engineering industry on its head. With support and guidance from Business Gateway Fife, including funding to attend

trade shows in 2015/16 and working closely with their Business Advisor, Brian Blackburn to develop a growth action plan, EDV has seen rapid market expansion. The company is now operating several divisions that include a range of cutting tools that combine the skills of artisan craftsman, together with the latest advanced surface modifications and coating technology that have resulted in a world-class level of performance for the machining of oil and gas components. Ken said: “EDV seeks to revive the UK’s engineering sector and draw attention to the great skills and superior quality that British engineers have to offer.” To coincide with the building of its purpose built engineering machine shop, EDV is launching a ‘Back in Britain’ campaign to showcase to the oil and gas markets of both the UK and beyond, that EDV can provide an innovative and holistic engineering solution,

EDV, a Fife based company taking engineering forward.

from repair kits to cutting tools right through to fully machined and manufactured components, that rival the glory years of British engineering. Ken and Nicola Buchanan said: “We are proud to say that Business Gateway Fife has helped us take engineering forward and assisted us to be heading up a revival of an industry that was once seen by many to be in decline – 100 per cent innovation and 100 per cent British.” For more information call EDV UK Ltd on: 01383 831621 or visit: 17

Fife Investment Fund helps business growth

Nicola Brooksbank of Painted Teapot.

Business Improvement Grant creates eye-catching entrance for Painted Teapot A creative café in Kirkcaldy, which launched in October 2014, has received funding to help with improvements to its shop front. The Painted Teapot underwent an extensive renovation prior to opening, transforming it into an arts and crafts venue for families to spend time in and enjoy. Its large shop windows and traditional signage have made it attractive, but its owner, Nicola Brooksbank, felt there was more that could be done to improve the shop’s exterior. Nicola explains: “I was looking for something to make the business stand out more from further up Kirkcaldy’s High Street; to create an entrance which is eye catching and encourages customers to visit us as well as other shops near to us.

“I approached Business Gateway Fife which helped me secure funding from the Town Centre Business Support Fund in the form of a Business Improvement Grant, to purchase awnings. I hope these will attract more visitors, improve our offering with the addition of outdoor seating whilst creating more of an atmosphere.” The Business Improvement Grant, funded by Fife Council and delivered by Business Gateway Fife, is designed to support existing businesses with potential shop front upgrades or improvements to their business, for example, developing an online presence, entering the world of e-commerce or looking at diversifying their business. For more information on the Painted Teapot, visit:

If you are looking to start a new business or have an established business, Business Gateway Fife delivers a range of support services, including a number of funding options on behalf of Fife Council’s Economic Development Team. For more information, please call: 01592 858333 or email:


FOR small companies seeking investment and growth, the Fife Investment Fund can provide much needed financial support. Specialist glass solutions company, Avtek Solutions, embraced all forms of business support and advice to ensure it was set up properly. In doing so, Business Gateway Fife (BGF) advised and supported its Fife Investment Fund application for finance for the purchase of essential software. Mark Lawrie, Operations Director of Avtek Solutions, said: “We regularly tender for sizeable contracts and in doing this, we rely heavily on our IT systems, in particular, our estimation software, which is expensive to buy, but critical to our success. “The support we’ve had from Business Gateway Fife has helped enormously. The professional advice from BGF, combined with our business strategy, has helped us to reinforce our focus and build our infrastructure, creating great results.” For Bay Solutions Scotland Ltd, a subcontract manufacturer and cost reduction contractor, a £1,000 grant from the Fife Investment Fund has contributed to its growth. John Cramb, Director of Bay Solutions Scotland Ltd, said: “The Fife Investment Fund helped us to purchase tooling equipment to expand our offering, whilst the website redevelopment has enabled us to raise our profile and better promote our services to a wider audience.” The company received its funding in December 2013 and is already reaping the rewards. John added: “This funding has given the business a tremendous boost. We’ve recruited three new employees and aim to continue expanding in the months ahead.” The Fife Investment Fund can help with funding to encourage small companies (up to 50 employees) in Fife to invest and grow their business with a mixture of grants and repayable loans available. Businesses must be able to demonstrate sales growth and increased employability.

Forrester Adam, Managing Director, Haldane.

FBM Meets …

Forrester Adam, Managing Director of Haldane (UK) Ltd HALDANE has an unrivalled reputation in the architectural joinery market with its commitment to investment and innovation. Its unique blend of machining technology and its highly skilled craftsmen has made the company the first choice for celebrities, royalty and landmark buildings around the world. Haldane was founded in 1945 and originally manufactured small timber components and spinning wheels. In the late 1990s, Haldane took the bold decision to invest over £500,000 in state of the art five axis CNC technology, becoming one of the first companies in the UK to harness its capability to manufacture precision handrails and glazing beads. In more recent years, the company has diversified into staircases and timber components for the furniture industry. FBM met up with Haldane’s Managing Director, Forrester Adam, to find out more. Forrester explains: “The recession was a real wake up call. It really focussed our minds and posed an opportunity to consider the business, where it was heading as well as to review expansion and development strategies. We focused more on the private sector, where we’ve seen significant growth, but also we expanded our offering and started making staircases and concentrated on our ability to manufacture virtually any shape or size in any commercially available timber.” Demonstrating its commitment to continual improvement, Haldane, with support from Scottish Enterprise, invested over £100,000 in market leading programming software, which transformed the efficiencies and increased capacity with its design team able to produce 3D models of staircases and handrails. This has reduced the lead time from survey to installation. Forrester added: “As technology has developed, so have the demands and needs of our clients. We’re not a company to rest on our laurels, so are always looking at ways to deliver bespoke, high quality staircases and handrails.” Haldane has also been working hard to reduce waste from its Glenrothes factory. The installation of two wood burning stoves and a wood compactor has slashed its wood waste to virtually zero. Advice from Fife Council’s Economic Development Team led to an interest free loan being secured from Sustainable Scotland for the heating system, which has made the factory self-sufficient. Forrester trained as a joiner at Fife Council and has worked for Haldane for over 24 years, taking over the helm in 1999. During that time, he has also shown a passion and commitment to education and the local community, having been on the Board of Governor’s at the Adam Smith College and also a board member of Scottish Enterprise Fife. Forrester is about to step down from the Parents’ Education Group at Balwearie High School, as his term in office comes to a 17 year end, but he remains committed to helping young people succeed. Haldane is a strong supporter of Fife Council’s Economic Development Team’s Culture

of Enterprise Framework, which aims to create a dynamic, innovative and enterprising culture that supports grassroots enterprise in education. Forrester concluded: “Over the years, we’ve had a number of high points, including winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2006, but without a doubt, it’s the team that has led to our success. I’m exceptionally proud of my colleagues for their commitment, passion and hard work in helping us to secure our position as the UK’s most advanced timber manufacturing solutions provider.” Whilst 80 per cent of its business comes from London and the South East, Haldane UK Ltd continues to operate from its 24,000 sq ft headquarters in Glenrothes supported by a sales office in London. To find out more, visit: or call: 01592 775656.

An example of Haldane’s work - Eton Square London


Enterprise apprentices set paperclip challenge SCOTLAND’S first apprenticeship dedicated to enterprise, set a testing four-week paperclip challenge for the apprentices at their first training day. Apprentices have been challenged to a series of trades, each time exchanging for something of more value. Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Fife Council Economic Development, said: “This challenge will encourage participants to focus on their personal skills and strengths, whilst being creative and enterprising, as they trade their paperclip as many times as they can, for something greater. “The apprentices have been asked to document their trades in order to provide a short presentation at their next training day. We look forward to hearing about their series of trades and their outcomes showcasing their entrepreneurial skills.” The paperclip challenge is one element of the training aimed at developing and supporting the enterprise skills of the young people taking part in the Fife Council led enterprise apprenticeship programme. All the apprentices are working towards their NVQ Level 3 in Enterprise Skills whilst employed in Fife businesses where they have the opportunity to work on a range of business projects.

Micro-Tyco is back: 7 schools; £1; one month MICRO-TYCO 2015 is now underway, with second and third year pupils from nine schools across Fife battling it out to see who can grow a £1 seed fund into the largest amount, in just one month. The students from Cowdenbeath High School; Buckhaven High School; Glenwood High School; Inverkeithing High School; St Columba’s High School; Viewforth High School; and Lochgelly High School, will be mentored by representatives from The Royal Bank of Scotland as they create, plan and implement money raising initiatives. All money generated will be returned to the event organiser, Scottish charity, WildHearts, which in turn will reinvest it into micro-loans across the world. Micro-Tyco was introduced in four Fife School’s last year by Fife Council’s Economic Development Culture of Enterprise

Framework, with the aim of encouraging and inspiring young people to develop their enterprise and business skills. Through a range of money raising initiatives including a car wash, Spring Fayre, sponsored swim and FIFA competition, last year’s challenge raised £1017.33. Good luck to those taking part. The results will follow in the next issue of Fife Business Matters.

For more information on Fife Council Economic Development’s Culture of Enterprise Framework, or if you’re a business that would like to support any of the programmes mentioned on these pages, please contact: Sandra Robb, Culture of Enterprise Co-ordinator by email:


Pitreavie Primary School flies high Following the success of the Enterprise and Manufacturing Challenge last year, the young people involved were challenged to take all that they learnt back to their class. The Airplane Challenge enabled the young people to be trainers for the day and compete against other schools to show how enterprising they are. The winner of the competition was Pitreavie Primary School which was rewarded with a day of training from the Tree of Knowledge, a Fife innovative, education company. Sandra Robb, Culture of Enterprise Coordinator at Fife Council, said:

Pitreavie Primary School wins the Airplane Challenge.

“I was extremely impressed by the quality of entries from the young people who took part in the Airplane Challenge. They showed a superb understanding of the manufacturing process and the need to work well as a team, whilst focused on the needs of the customer, to ensure a successful business outcome.” The Enterprise and Manufacturing Challenge was created by Fife Council’s Economic Development Culture of Enterprise Framework in partnership with Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) and the Tree of Knowledge.

Tycoon Teens, Inspiring Fife Tycoon Teens finalists and judges. L-R: Richard Dixon, Fife Economy Partnership Board member & CEO Vets Now; Chris Cain, finalist from St Columba’s High School; Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Fife Council Economic Development; Thando Ndaba, finalist from St Columba’s High School; Steven Nicol, Danny Seath and Jordon Forbes, finalists from Glenrothes High School; Ewan Chirnside, Director, Knowledge Transfer Centre at University of St Andrews; Tony Dumbreck, Director Innovate Foods; Alistair Burns, finalist from Glenwood High School; and Sean Kennedy, Director of K2 Marketing.

ENTREPRENEURS of the future have been showcasing their ideas at an event in front of Fife’s business leaders. Tycoon Teens, Inspiring Fife is a new pilot scheme open to all secondary five and six pupils across Fife who have an innovative idea and need some support to develop the idea along with their own personal skills. Four finalists from Glenrothes, Glenwood and St Columba’s High Schools pitched their idea in a Dragon’s Den style event, with each team showcasing innovative and creative ideas, all of which have the potential to be successful businesses.

Glenrothes High School’s team – Jordan Forbes, Steven Nicol and Danny Seath – were the successful winners, who will receive support from a business mentor to guide them as they take their idea forward. Richard Dixon, Entrepreneurship Champion for the Fife Economy Partnership said: “I have been amazed at the depth of thought, creativity and confidence all of our finalists have shown. It is inspiring to know we have such great talent in Fife and all of them have proved they have the passion to be business leaders in the future.

We are committed to supporting all the students in developing their skills and ideas further.” Depute Council Leader Councillor Lesley Laird, Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “This exciting challenge gives young people a chance to show off their talents and further develops links between our schools and our local business community. We know the potential business leaders of the future could be sitting in classrooms across the region and we’re determined to find and nurture that talent.” 21

Fife companies showcase engineering excellence at Southern Manufacturing 2015

FiFab was one of six Fife companies exhibiting at Southern Manufacturing.

A delegation of engineering companies from Fife has just returned from Southern Manufacturing 2015, the UK’s largest regional manufacturing technology, electronics and subcontracting exhibition. The event, part of Fife Council’s Market Development Programme, was a great success, with six companies exhibiting their products, whilst also exploring the show.

Fife Council’s Market Development Programme has proved that exhibitions are an effective way to market goods and services; raise company profiles and meet new and existing customers. While it’s still too early to report results from this visit, last year’s delegation received over 60 orders between them, worth between £2-3 million over the next three to four years, with potential for longer term. Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Fife Council Economic Development, said: “The Market Development Programme helps companies to seek and exploit business opportunities whilst participating in trade exhibitions and Southern Manufacturing is another example of the importance of these events, for the development and growth of companies in Fife.” Fifab, Coorstek, Contract Laser Solutions, Dynamic-EMS, Steadvale Systems and AGS Electronics attended Southern Manufacturing 2015, which attracted around 600 exhibitors and 6500

visitors and covers a wide range of sectors including automotive, aerospace, defence, contract electronics, marine, medical and pharmaceuticals.

Final call for All-Energy AS the SECC in Glasgow prepares to host its first All-Energy, Fife Council Economic Development is making the final preparations for its group stand at the exhibition. Available stand space is limited for the UK’s largest renewable energy event on the 6th and 7th May, as part of Fife Council’s delegation. If you’re interested, please email:

For more information on Fife Council Economic Development’s Market Development Programme, please email:

Business event highlights aerospace and defence opportunities FIFE companies have been hearing how they could get the chance to do business with defence and aerospace companies. Fife Council’s Economic Development Team hosted a Defence and Aerospace Supply Chain event, in partnership with Northern Defence Industries (NDI), as part of its Supplier Development Programme. At the event, businesses heard from Raytheon UK and the Ministry of Defence about future business opportunities in their supply chains and how to access them. Delegates also got an insight into the Northern Defence Industries’ SC21 programme, which addresses supply chain improvement and aims to increase the competitiveness of the UK aerospace and defence industries. The event was a fantastic opportunity for Fife businesses to hear first-hand from suppliers about procurement opportunities in Aerospace and Defence sectors and highlighted the importance of local companies working together in a range of ways to make Fife the best place to do business.

Delegates at the NDI event. L-R: Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Fife Council Economic Development; David Townsley, Executive Director (NDI); Roger Dent, Operations Manager, HiTek; Kelly Maddison, NDI; Andy Collier, NDI; Philip Margerison, Defence Supplier Service Manager for the Ministry of Defence; David Morgan, Director of Commercial & Supply Chain Management, Raytheon UK.

Through the Supplier Development Programme, Fife Council helps the local business community access work from the public sector. Whatever your business, produce or service, there could be an opportunity for your company to benefit by joining this programme. For more information, please contact Kieran Hunter, Fife Council’s Supplier Development Programme Co-ordinator on: 03451 555555 (ext. 442650), by email: or visit:


FUND THE GAP Are expand Are you you looking to expand your business? Don’t let let lack of funding Don’t funding prevent prevent you from from taking the next you next step... step... Contactus uson: on: 01592 01592 858333 858333 or Contact or Council Councilfunded funded investment delivered investment by BG Fife. delivered by BG Fife.

news in brief

/ FIFE COUNCIL WORKING WITH VELUX Fife Council is working with Velux Group to help those affected by the closure of its Glenrothes site. A Business Open Day has been held by Fife Joinery Manufacturing and supported by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, to allow interested parties and potential new investors to view the manufacturing facility and meet the highly skilled employees. The event was reported to be a great success with some of Fife’s top businesses supporting Fife Joinery and reviewing opportunities for vacancies.

/ COUNCIL SUPPORTS LEUCHARS BUSINESSES Local businesses in Leuchars are looking forward to army units arriving in the town and welcoming the boost the troops and their families will bring to the area. Custom has been slow since the RAF left the base last year and Fife Council has been helping with support and advice over the last few months. In addition, Fife Council along with Business Gateway Fife are working with local businesses and the wider community to promote a ‘buy local’ campaign. Marketing activity is taking place and the Council is working with traders to ensure they benefit from business rates reliefs, where applicable.

/ ESIF OFFERS COMPANIES SUPPORT Five years on from the launch of the East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF), Fife companies continue to benefit from the scheme. Some 18 companies have received investment totalling £675,000 since the Fund, led by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, was set up in 2010. ESIF is open to local companies in a bid to help create jobs, develop new market opportunities and boost the local economy. Funds can be used towards working capital or the purchase of equipment, plant or business property. Loans of up to £50,000 with interest rates currently fixed at six per cent and a maximum repayment term of five years are available from ESIF, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information visit:

For more news in brief see P25


Soup A Men crowned Venture Street winner VENTURE Street, Dunfermline, the competition to find and support tomorrow’s business entrepreneurs has crowned two friends, Stewart Murray and Gavin Adamson, who teamed up to open “Soup A Men”, as its winner. The pair who quit their jobs in the armed forces to produce and sell quality soup, chutneys, jams and marmalades, made from fresh, locally sourced produce, will receive business support worth £85,000 for starting up in Dunfermline. Soup A Men was one of eleven finalists selected to trade for six weeks in the run up to Christmas, from premises on Bruce Street, as part of the innovative Venture Street competition. The initiative was driven forward by Dunfermline First in partnership with Dunfermline Delivers and with support from CCW Business Lawyers, Thomson Cooper Accountants, Linklever Group, DM Hall, Signs Plus, Bank of Scotland, Fife Council, Business Gateway Fife, Carnegie Trust and the Dunfermline Press. As well as having the opportunity to test out their business idea and gauge market demand, Soup A Men will receive startup advice, one years’ rent free commercial accommodation, twelve months free banking

Havelock Europa moves HQ to Kirkcaldy HAVELOCK Europa PLC, a leading provider of interiors solutions, is proposing to move premises in May, as it seeks to benefit from operational efficiencies of a modern building located closer to its main manufacturing facility in Kirkcaldy. The interiors firm, which recently completed the fit-out of Burntisland Primary School, has agreed terms with Fife Council for a ten year lease of a 23,600 sq ft modern office building at John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy. Its manufacturing facility is just three miles away at Mitchelson Industrial Estate, bringing factory and office staff closer. Eric Prescott, Chief Executive of Havelock Europa, said: “The company sees this as a positive move. It’s the right thing to do in the next stage of our growth. We’re really excited about this.”

Success on Venture Street as Soup A Men are crowned winners.

services and accountancy and legal advice from local professionals. Stewart Murray spoke to Fife Business Matters after winning the competition. He said: “The response we’ve had from the public has been fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed our trial six weeks trading, during which time we’ve learned a lot about business and it’s positioned us perfectly for the next twelve months. We’re excited about the future, growing the business and working with local professionals to build our knowledge.” For more information on Venture Street, please visit:

The move will see Havelock consolidate its warehousing at Dysart, but Mr Prescott explained to FBM that this is a positive outcome, as it seeks to reduce the stock it holds, introduce new lines and increase operational efficiencies as it seeks to deliver sustainable profitability. As part of the agreement Fife Council proposes to purchase Havelock’s warehouse and offices in Dalgety Bay. The Council is working on an estate regeneration action plan in respect of Hillend and Donibristle Industrial Estate and it would propose to demolish the existing buildings on this site to facilitate its re-development for employment related uses including modern business premises. Ronnie Hair, Property Investment & Development Manager at Fife Council, said: “This is a positive move for Havelock and we were pleased to assist in finding the business a new home close to its existing manufacturing site in Kirkcaldy, safeguarding 280 Fife jobs. It’s good news too for the John Smith Business Park and for the regeneration of Hillend and Donibristle Industrial Estate.”

FIFE Fabrications has been chosen as Scotland’s top employer because of its longterm commitment to training Fife’s young people. The Glenrothes company received Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Youth Employer of the Month award in January. The award recognises the efforts that businesses across the country are making to support young people into work. Fife Fabrications’ Sales and Marketing Director, John Penman, was delighted to accept the award and said: “It is tremendous that our commitment to young people has been highlighted in this way. We see our apprenticeship programme as an opportunity for the future of our community and our business.” The company, which has 130 employees, has recruited four apprentices each year since 1992. It has built strong links with local primary and secondary schools to promote apprenticeships and careers in engineering. Fife Fabrications has a state-of-theart plant in Glenrothes, but John Penman emphasised it is investment in people which is paramount. He said: “It is pointless investing in plant and production if you don’t invest in people too. We believe that developing the skills and abilities of the next generation of workers is an investment rather than a cost to the business.” SDS’s Employer Engagement Adviser, June Gallagher, said:

news in brief

‘Fab’ firm is named Scotland’s top youth employer

“Fife Fabrications is a company that has a real passion for working with young people. It shows in their work with local schools, their long-term commitment to apprenticeships and to continually developing their workforce. We have been working with them through our Skills for Growth programme, supporting their leadership and management training with funding and advice and helping with staff training. The company has always seen staff development as a high priority.” Chairman of SDS, John McClelland CBE, said: “I would like to congratulate Fife Fabrications and acknowledge the decades of investment they have made and continue to make to their employees. I think their partnership work with local schools is particularly impressive and it will continue to inform and encourage the apprentices of the future. Fife Fabrications is clearly aware of the benefits that commitment brings not only to their business but the industry, the individuals they train and to the local community and it is a pleasure to recognise it in this way.” John Mcfarlane, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Fife Council commented: “We work closely with Fife Fabrications and John Penman chairs the Fife Engineering Consortium which is facilitated by Fife Council. This is a group of companies that work together to further the recruitment of Apprentices in Fife. This award is recognition of the progress being made in the Kingdom.”

/ HAVELOCK EUROPA SHARES APPRENTICESHIPS SUCCESS Havelock Europa’s Dalgety Bay premises were the venue of a recent Scottish Government visit to showcase its commitment to modern apprenticeships. Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training and Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment attended to meet Modern Apprenticeship Ambassador of the Year, Kelsey Whyte and a number of the young people working at the firm, which makes interiors for the education, healthcare and commercial sectors.

/ YOUNG FORESTERS MAKING THEIR MARK IN FIFE Social Enterprise, Living Solutions’ forestry training programme, which targets unemployed young people aged between 16-25, is going from strength to strength. With support from Fife Council and funding by lottery coastal communities’ fund, Living Solutions latest batch of trainees are now moving on to do their SVQ2 – Trees and Timber Apprenticeships with the company. They have already completed a range of forestry training and are qualified to fell small, medium and windblown trees, use trimmers/ brush-cutters and clearing saws for woodland maintenance work and treat weeds and invasive species (PA1 & PA6w chemical spraying). They now have the opportunity to put this training to work on a variety of sites and jobs while studying towards their apprenticeship.

/ THE PRINCE’S TRUST TEAM PROGRAMME CONTINUES TO REAP REWARDS Fife College students are continuing to secure employment after completing The Prince’s Trust Team Programme, improving their skills and boosting their confidence. Eleven students have recently completed the 12week course, which helps them go on to further their studies or to secure employment. June Gallagher of Skills Development Scotland presents the Youth Employer of the Month award to Fife Fabrications.


Green award wins for Fife firms THREE Fife businesses picked up top prizes at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2014, whilst a further two companies were recognised as champions of business sustainability at the Vision for Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards. ScotAsh, a green construction manufacturer, won the Sustainable Development Award at the Scottish Green Awards, whilst Tullis Russell of Glenrothes received the Renewing Scotland Award for its biomass renewable power plant. Crossgates-based Mines Rescue Service was presented with the Contribution to Skills Award for its efforts in health and safety training to create a modern workforce for the renewable energy sector. Speaking of the Scottish Green Energy Awards winners, Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “This year’s winners are genuine pioneers and innovators who are making a real difference to our environment, economy and society.” At the VIBES Awards, Fife HARCA Ltd and Peel Tech Ltd were recognised for their contribution to Scotland’s sustainable development, by taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact to the environment. Malcolm Wood, Director of Peel Tech Ltd, which was recognised for its water treatment technique to remove starch from potato processing waste, said: “We pride ourselves for putting sustainability at the heart of our business and it is great to have our efforts recognised by the team at the VIBES Awards this year.”

Green Business Fife attended the Energising Scotland Conference.

GBF takes to the road GREEN Business Fife (GBF) has been out and about meeting its members and updating local companies about recent developments in UK and Scottish Government policies; best practice; offering energy efficiency advice; and advising on the level of support available for businesses in the sector. 26

Malcolm Wood of Peel Tech Ltd was presented with a VIBES Award.

Fife HARCA was successful at the VIBES Awards.

Its Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Roadshow in Dunfermline was a great success with a number of local installers, energy assessors, Green Deal providers and those involved in the local carbon supply chain, attending. The Energising Scotland Conference – Building on the East Coast Experience, was an opportunity for GBF to hear how the East Coast Renewables project will develop in 2015, whilst also facilitating a session on how effective collaboration can bring real benefits to business. Green Business Fife’s Burns Supper, attended by main sponsors Diageo, Wm Tracey Group and 60 members was a highlight in the calendar. ScotAsh kindly sponsored a piper and guests donated a tremendous £270 to the Bowhill People’s Burns Club which provided the evening’s entertainment. Green Business Fife has a calendar of upcoming visits and events including a best practice visit to Diageo’s international supply centre in Leven. For more information on this event and others, please visit:

Green Business Fife is a free environmental network that provides an integrated support mechanism to assist Fife businesses in realising resource efficiency gains, minimising their environmental impact and identifying new business opportunities. For information visit: www.greenbusinessfife. or email: yvonne@

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Events Diary Title


Date & Time




Business Gateway Events Finance Bookkeeping

Business Gateway Fife

8 April 2015 10.00am – 1.00pm

Dunfermline Business Centre, Izatt Avenue, Dunfermline KY11 3BZ

Free or call 01592 858333

Business Expenses & Capital Allowances

Business Gateway Fife

15 April 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Newly Self Employed

Business Gateway Fife

23 April 2015 20 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Glenrothes and Dunfermline

Free or call 01592 858333


Business Gateway Fife

12 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Marketing Your Business

Business Gateway Fife

4 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Advertising & Promotion

Business Gateway Fife

11 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Mastering Selling Skills

Business Gateway Fife

25 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Getting the Most from your People

Business Gateway Fife

21 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Project Management

Business Gateway Fife

1 June 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Becoming an Employer

Business Gateway Fife

10 June 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Plan the Perfect Webinar

Business Gateway Fife

24 April 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Content Marketing Event

Business Gateway Fife

8 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Business Gateway Fife

14 May 2015 9.30am – 12.30pm

Saltire House, Glenrothes KY6 2AL

Free or call 01592 858333

Business Bites – Solving Your Business Dispute

Fife Chamber of Commerce

2 April 2015 8.00am -10.00am

Regus Management UK Ltd, John Smith Business Centre Kirkcaldy KY2 6HD

Member -£15pp Non-Member £30pp

Kelly Lister 01592 647740 or

Scottish Chambers – Networking at the Races

Fife Chamber of Commerce

22 April 2015 12.00pm -5.30pm

Perth Racecourse Scone Palace Park Perth PH2 6BB

Members rate £60pp

Kelly Lister 01592 647740 or

Golf Day

Fife Chamber of Commerce

29 May 2015 8.00am – 3.00pm

Old Course Hotel Craigtoun St Andrews KY16 8NS

Members rate £90pp

Kelly Lister 01592 647740 or



People Management

Ecommerce Events

Intellectual Property IP – The Essentials for Business Success

Fife Chamber Events

Fife Council Economic Development Events Supply Chain Development – Route to Market

CEED and Fife Council Economic Development

14 April 2015

Carnegie Conference Centre, Halbeath, Dunfermline

All Energy 2015 – Renewable Energy Event

Fife Council Economic Development

6 & 7 May 2015

SECC, Glasgow RegisterFREE1/

SubCon 2015 – Advanced Manufacturing Show

Fife Council Economic Development

2 – 4 June 2015

NEC Birmingham

14 May 2015 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Ivan Wood & Sons Navity, Ballingry KY5 8LR

Green Business Fife Events VIBES Awards 2015 - Fife Launch – Ivan Wood & Sons


Green Business Fife


Business Development Support in Fife A G U I D E TO S E RV I C E S This guide to support services in Fife aims to direct businesses to relevant sources of support and help, as mentioned in this issue of Fife Business Matters, as we work together to make Fife the best place to do business.

Business Gateway Fife, delivering on behalf of Fife Council Economic Development, provides a range of services to new and established businesses in Fife. If you require assistance on finance, strategic direction, leadership skills or are perhaps looking to move into new markets, then Business Gateway Fife has the expertise to assist. From business skills workshops, tailored advice and sourcing potential funding opportunities, Business Gateway Fife can help your business achieve its growth potential. Email: Tel: 01592 858333 Web:

Fife Council’s Business Property Information Service provides access to the most comprehensive information on what’s available in Fife. Email: Tel: 03451 555555 (ext 4921 83) Web: land-property-search/

The Culture of Enterprise Framework is a Fife Council Economic Development programme of enterprise development aimed at creating a dynamic, innovative and enterprising culture that supports grassroots enterprise in education and entrepreneurship and ensures that opportunities are available to everyone with the drive to succeed. Email: Tel: 03451 555555 (ext 447130) Web: index.php/our-strategies/culture-ofenterprise

The East of Scotland Investment Fund is a consortium of ten local authorities, under the leadership of Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, which provides loan finance up to £50,000 to new and growing businesses within the east of Scotland. Email: Tel: 01592 858333 Web:

The Federation of Small Businesses is the largest business membership group in Fife with over 1,200 members. As well as being a powerful lobbying group representing the interests of small businesses locally and nationally, the FSB offers a portfolio of benefits to its members. Email: Tel: 0131 654 9548 Web:

Fife Chamber of Commerce supports businesses of all sizes in Fife. It represents the interests of members to make their views heard in the right places at local, national, UK and European levels. It provides a range of business support services to its members and organises a range of events. Email: Tel: 01592 647740 Web:

Invest in Fife has a proven track record of helping investors make their projects happen as well as helping Fife-based companies with their expansion plans.

Fife Council’s Economic Market Development Programme offers a practical and effective way for Fife companies to participate in market and supplier events, UK and International exhibitions and trade shows. From advice and information to customised training programmes and grants for those companies looking to attend exhibitions outside of Fife. Email: Tel: 03451 555555 (ext 473821) Web:

Opportunities Fife is the partnership of Fife Council, Skills Development Scotland, Scotland’s Colleges Fife, Jobcentre Plus, NHS Fife and Fife’s Third Sector organisations. It is responsible for driving forward the employability and skills agenda within Fife’s Community Planning structures. Tel: 0844 855 2280 Web:

The Supplier Development Programme delivered by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team aims to assist local businesses to improve their performance in winning contracts with Scottish public and private sector organisations. Email: Tel: 03451 555555 (ext 442650) Web:

Email: Tel: 01592 583639 Web:


Walter Neilson launches ‘Creative Fifers’ exhibition WHEN Walter Neilson was paid off from his job as a press photographer, he grasped the opportunity to set up his own business. Walter Neilson Photography launched in July 2014 and undertakes a range of photography including press, portrait, PR, weddings as well as portraiture. To help Walter get started in business, he applied to the Create in Fife Fund for new equipment. The Create in Fife Fund, which is delivered through Business Gateway Fife on behalf of Fife Council Economic Development, offers financial support to creative businesses in Fife and in Walter’s case, a 50 per cent contribution of £1000 towards capital equipment. Speaking to FBM, Walter Neilson, said: “I would have been struggling if I didn’t have new equipment. A new camera body is a large financial outlay, but thanks to Business Gateway Fife’s recommendation and funding from Create in Fife,

I now have the equipment I need to develop the business, whilst showcasing my biggest project to date.” Walter’s new camera has enabled him to grow his business and carry out new commissions, whilst completing his ‘Creative Fifers’ exhibition: an inspirational showcase of some well-known Fifer’s journeys within the creative sector, including: artist, Jack Vettriano; actress, Cora Bissett; chocolatier, William Curley; and sculptor, David Mach. The exhibition, which took two years to complete, launched on 19 March 2015 and is touring Fife for the next six months. For dates and venues, please visit: For further information on the Create in Fife Fund, call Business Gateway Fife on: 01592 858333 or email: Or, to find out more about Create in Fife and how it supports the creative and cultural sector, visit: To get in touch with Walter Neilson, call: 07710 277 802 or visit:

Recycle Fife has something to BRAG about AS Recycle Fife celebrates its tenth year in business, Fife Business Matters took the opportunity to find out more about the social enterprise, which was set up with two simple aims: to stop waste going to landfill by creating viable, sustainable alternatives; and to create sustainable jobs and training opportunities in Fife. The company currently diverts around 400 tonnes of waste from landfill each month. Frankie Hodge, Operations Director of Recycle Fife, said: “We started off Recycle Fife as an alternative to landfill. Initially we collected aluminium cans and with help and advice along the way, we’ve grown and developed the business and now operate a custom built Multi-Material Recycling Facility and provide recycling services including skip hire to businesses across Fife and the surrounding areas. We provide a site clearance service and 30

also industrial cleaning services and our aim is to be a one-stop shop for recycling. “We are proud that, in addition to our core staff, over the decade we have employed 167 local people on various contracts giving them experience of employment, often for the first time. We have also given 1,500 people work experience placements during that time.” During its early days, Frankie received assistance from the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which is based in Fife, as well as support from BRAG Enterprises, which aims to regenerate communities in Fife through the creation and support of sustainable employment. Frankie added: “BRAG Enterprises really helped us along the way. We’ve rented business premises from BRAG, in addition to which its support, business advice, training and mentoring has been really valuable to our growth and the development of our employees and trainees.”

BRAG delivers advisory services on behalf of Fife Council to provide support to the Social Enterprise sector across Fife, both to emerging and established social enterprises, through initiatives including business advice and support, retraining, recruitment, signposting to funders, workshops and mentoring. For more information about the Social Enterprise sector, please email: graeme.ferguson@fife., Fife Council’s Economic Development Team, or call: 03451 555555 (ext 442416).

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Fife business matters issue 30 issuu  

Business to business magazine in the Fife area.

Fife business matters issue 30 issuu  

Business to business magazine in the Fife area.