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INcommerce

THE Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

ISSUE 13

CUMBERNAULD A POSITIVE FUTURE

Linking-up Lanarkshire’s roads Lanarkshire’s confident companies News from UWS


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Contents Welcome...................................... 3 News in Brief................................ 4 Lifeskills expands southwards....... 8 Cumbernauld: a positive future at the Meeting of the Water....... 10 Derwentside Environmental Services opens test lab............... 16 University of the West of Scotland.................................. 18 SFS options on auto-enrolment.......................... 23

Ask The Professionals................. 28 I didn’t get where I am today..... 29 The Political Column.................. 30

Front cover photo by kind permission of Brian Prout.

Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce Suite 4, West Stand New Douglas Park Cadzow Avenue Hamilton ML3 0FT t: 01698 426882 f: 01698 424699 e: info@lanarkshirechamber.org

For advertising contact DTech on T: 01436 678808 E: sales@incommerce.biz Editorial management by Blueprint Media www.blueprintmedia.co.uk

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here’s never been a better time for Lanarkshire’s businesses to go

for it. Spring has sprung; the economy is beginning to motor again and there has never been a better time to be in business in Lanarkshire. Put your uncertainties over referenda, whether of the Scottish or EU variety, to the side, 2014 is going to be a fantastic year to be in business. And don’t we deserve it? Things have been tough, no question, but with renewed confidence comes, we expect, greater engagement with local businesses from our banks and the emergence of an even greater can-do attitude amongst our customers, suppliers, staff and all our other stakeholders. In this edition of “In Commerce” we celebrate the success of our newest recruit to the Lanarkshire business community, the burgeoning town of Cumbernauld. We focus on its strategic position on the spine of Scotland’s road network, as well as its huge attractions not just to the logistics industry and major corporates but also to lots of young ambitious businesses just bursting to succeed. Also in this issue we focus on Clyde Gateway, the M74, the Raith interchange improvements, the upgrading of the A8 and their key role in helping to re-generate the

Lanarkshire economy. We report on the long-term infrastructural investment and the benefits likely to accrue to business. Yes, there will be disruption in the meantime, but the long-term impact we are confident, will be worth it! In an information-packed issue, we will also be disclosing evidence of the rise in Lanarkshire business confidence as measured by local accountants, AD Plus, the opportunities for employers to make a serious impact on the scourge of youth unemployment through using the benefits of the Youth Contract Wage Incentive Scheme which offers employers up to £2275 to support employment costs, and the success stories of Lanarkshire companies in a huge range of business activities. Your Chamber of Commerce continues to gear-up its activities also with a clear, new direction and a renewed determination to support members and deliver value in export assistance, representation to the wider world and the never to be discounted ability to connect buyer and seller. Go for it in Spring 2014 Lanarkshire!

John Brown President, Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce.

E: incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org Publisher: DTech Distribution: DTech Distribution InCommerce is published by DTech. 20 East Argyle Street, Helensburgh G84 7RR. Telephone 01436 678808. E-mail: info@dtechuk.com. Editorial management by Blueprint Media www.blueprintmedia.co.uk. E: incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org InCommerce is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed wholly or in part without the written permission of the publishers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers and not agents, or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information gained from this publication. The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of DTech Publishing Ltd.

The Chamber is grateful to our partners for their financial support.

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Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Fast lane to the future................ 26

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

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Chamber expands role to boost business............................ 24

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News in Brief...

Get in touch with your stories incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org

Ascensos creates 600 jobs in Motherwell

Danny and Ewen: “we’ll find you funding”

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ew call centre company, Ascensos, is set to create up to 600 jobs in Motherwell over the next three years. Based on the site of the former Lloyds Banking Group in Airbles Road in the town, the building was also formerly a telephone customer contact centre but closed down earlier this year. With 100 initial new jobs created, the company expects to be on the hiring path over the next few years as new customers come on board. The business has been established by a management team which played its part in building and finally selling call centre company beCogent, which created 3,000 jobs in Scotland, for £35 million in 2010. John Devlin, MD, said: “Our management team is extremely experienced in this field and we are all really enthusiastic about building this business using next-generation technology, fully embracing social media and creating a truly fantastic place to work for our employees.” Scottish Enterprise has assisted the new venture with funding from the Regional Selective Assistance progamme. Councillor David Fagan, convenor of regeneration for North Lanarkshire Council said: “Creating jobs in North Lanarkshire is our number one priority and we really look forward to working with the Ascensos team.”

Call centre comfort: now hit those phones

Gordon Ferguson’s funding focus wins firm clients

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new member of Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce, Gordon Ferguson & Co chartered accountants, is aiming to assist Chamber members and other businesses in Lanarkshire which are anxious to secure growth funding. The firm, which was formed in 2006 and is owned and operated by Danny Murphy and Ewan McKay, believes that its focus on accessing funding for businesses by way of either loan or grant, is one that many companies welcome. Danny Murphy said: “As you would expect we provide all the traditional services associated with an accountancy practice, including accounts, tax, payroll and VAT. “We have found, however, that a major demand from businesses is for assistance in securing funding and lately we have seen more clients and others coming to us, often through word of mouth recommendation, because of our track record in accessing bank, council, crowd and other forms of funding, including invoice financing, both for clients and non-clients. “There are also many grants available to new and growing companies and our focus lies in being able to source these grants and put together an application package to secure them”, he said. For further information contact danny@gordonferguson.co.uk or ewan@gordonferguson.co.uk or call 01698440330 for a free consultation.


David Fagan of NLC answers the procurement critics

rick question? Far from it. Rather it shows the scale of the procurement challenge facing the public sector. To Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Neil Kennedy, the process is unduly bureaucratic, requiring page upon page of form-filling for even the tiniest of tenders. It would probably surprise him to know there are some within public sector organisations who might agree. But that would ignore the guiding principles of public sector procurement: fairness, transparency and best value. North Lanarkshire Council’s purchasing is driven by a clear strategic aim; to achieve an appropriate balance between financial savings and developing the local economy. I need hardly spell out the detailed savings we, like virtually every other public body, have made and must make. But as the biggest single buyer of goods and services within our area, we have a responsibility towards the local economy in training, employment, inward investment, support for SMEs and social bodies…as well as making sure schools get their pencils. Nor can we ignore the reality of a global economy, where we deal with national and multi-national companies. In the year 2012-13 our procurement spend was £404million with SMEs winning the lion’s share at 43%, a £36million increase. Our local spend, 35%, represents a £32million rise and within the social economy spend increased by 2%, £8million. Unlike the private sector, public bodies have a clear social responsibility driven not by the need for profit but service delivery and our stakeholders are as demanding as the most vociferous shareholders, one reason for community benefit clauses written into contracts. Local businesses bidding for public procurement are supported through the process; it is a complicated, sometimes daunting, procedure so we help and advise newcomers where we can. But there is an inescapable and, I am sorry to say for some, unpalatable truth: businesses have to apply. Unless local enterprises engage in the tender process they are bound to failure. It is highly competitive and, yes, takes time to gain a contract. If unsuccessful businesses should be prepared to learn, lick their wounds and try again. No-one would dare suggest procurement processes are perfect… but they are evolving to suit local, national and global environments. And perhaps that is where the ‘trick’ really lies…not in the question, but finding the right answer.

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ocument Outsourcing, the Lanarkshire-based outsourcing business, opened its first site in Bellshill in 2007and is now a market leader in the sector. The outsourcing company works predominately with local authorities and financial services and employs 53 people in Lanarkshire with a further 28 employees located throughout the UK. Neil McCallum, MD of Document Outsourcing, said: “We take multiple data streams and create beautiful documents, then we deliver it using our own down-stream access licence called PrimePost across the UK to each of the Royal Mail inward mail centres.” “Our clients range from high street banks, over 50% of local authorities in Scotland to around 20 local authorities down South, to large multi-national debt companies to high street payday lenders.” An increase in clients has led the company to open offices in Newcastle, Birmingham and Cardiff. Plans for a production facility near London are in discussion, adding to the sites in Bellshill and Warrington. Both Bellshill and Warrington sites were upgraded in a £250,000 project last year, increasing the capacity at Warrington to 1,394sqm and adding two Xerox Docutech 180 highlight colour cut sheet printers. The company reported a 12% volume increase in output in 2013 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange as one of the 1000 most inspiring company in the UK. McCallum said: “Since we turned over in 2012, which was something like £6.9 million, we have grown over 25% YOY and that trend is continuing as we expand the business further down South and into new markets. I think it’s a reflection of the stability the management team has, our growth ambitions, having a robust plan and having a unique selling point in this market place.” “By 2016 we are hoping the turnover of the business will reach a level somewhere in the region of £30 million.” Airdrie-born businessman is the Chairman of Young Enterprise Lanarkshire, a charity that teaches entrepreneurial skills in schools and credits Lanarkshire’s business spirit with some of his company’s success. McCallum said: “I just love Lanarkshire. It’s one of the most entrepreneurial places in the country. The people are straight talking, it’s easy to do business and I think it’s a great location, particularly if you work across the central belt of Scotland.”

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Expansion in the post for document outsourcing company

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What’s the difference between a school pencil and a 10-year roads maintenance contract worth £100million?

Neil McCallum: “I just love Lanarkshire”

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News in Brief...

Ashley Marron: seeking 10 new recruits

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Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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anarkshire-based software developer Gael Ltd has launched the first phase of an aggressive recruitment drive after enjoying a record breaking year. The company, which employs over 100 staff in East Kilbride, Dubai, Boston and China, posted its largest sales figure, growing 20% in 2013 from previous records, which included its best ever sales quarter since being launched in 1992. Its current turnover is £10M. Gael’s latest success has led to the creation of 24 jobs across the business, including 10 software development posts, as the company looks to build on the reputation of its suite of products over the coming 12 months. This expansion supports a ground breaking project for Gael, which involved developing a cloud-based safety management and reporting solution for a leading UK train operating company. The first phase of this project has already been deemed a success after its delivery earlier this month. Ashley Marron, Gael’s Chief Executive Officer, believes Gael’s success is down to the strength of its products and staff. He said: “As a company, we faced many challenges last year and it is testament to our staff, values and to the strength of our products that we recorded the most successful sales period in Gael’s history. “This year has the potential to be even greater and we are particularly excited about our new Gael Enlighten cloud-based product which has been developed to suit not just the rail industry, but other industries such as aviation, healthcare and oil and gas. Cloudbased software and software as a service (SaaS) deployment options are now a pre-requisite, and so developing a product such as this meets a real need for our customers and opens some exciting doors for Gael in 2014. “The Gael Enlighten project is a catalyst for us as we look to extend our cloud-based solutions across our entire product suite. Increasing their capabilities will generate significant jobs as we capitalise on the potential of our solutions.” Based in East Kilbride, Gael’s software solutions and services benefit organisations which are required to achieve and maintain compliance to various standards through the management of quality, safety and risk. The company currently has more than 2,500 customers around the world. Gael is seeking to fill ten positions across its Development department, with a focus on recruiting high quality Web Developers, Mobile Developers, Software Development Engineers and Test Engineers. For recruitment enquiries, use the following email address: gael@9-20recruitment.com.

Get in touch with your stories incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org

Malcolm Southern – A

fter ten years in a variety of leading roles at Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce, including its presidency in 20032007, highly-regarded Motherwell-based independent financial adviser, Malcolm Southern, is stepping down. “Under the Chamber’s rules, no one can be a board member for more than ten years. And no one has ever been a better servant of the Chamber in Lanarkshire than Malcolm”, said chief executive, Neil Kennedy. “His contribution, his energy and his ability to take people along with him to go the extra distance in chamber affairs has been extraordinary and we will miss his wise counsel though we will of course continue to remain close friends.” A proud Lancastrian who followed both his career and his heart to Lanarkshire some 37 years ago to marry a Scots’ lass from Motherwell, Malcolm ran Citibank’s pensions operation in Scotland before deciding to start up his own business, Southern Financial Services, in 1998. Now a highly-successful advisory business in both wealth management for individuals and corporate pensions’ management for a number of Lanarkshire and UK-based businesses, SFS employs nine staff and manages £56 million of client funds from its offices at 378 Brandon Street, Motherwell. “I’ve been involved in the Chambers movement for thirty years and was appointed a director, later becoming President, of the old Motherwell and Wishaw Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s”, said Malcolm. “Shortly afterwards, I was asked by Scottish Enterprise to look at bringing together the five Lanarkshire-based Chambers of Commerce, Motherwell and Wishaw, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Clyde Valley and the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Business Group, to form one Lanarkshire-wide organisation. “It seemed to me and my Chamber colleagues that amalgamation of all the experience and expertise contained within the five Lanarkshire Chambers made a great deal of sense. “It took a couple of years to consult the members of the five bodies and to sell them the benefits, then to iron out the details, but we finally launched in 2003.” As Founder of the merged Chamber, Malcolm quickly formed the still very successful 1700 Club, a Motherwellbased networking group, which he believes is one of his biggest contributors to the generation of business prosperity and jobs in the region. The networking capability of LCC was further utilised in the extremely successful networking lunches. Upwards of 100 business people meet at a lunch-time with a key note speaker for 20 minutes, then 40 minutes for networking and 20 minutes for lunch.


UK Steel Enterprise investment powers new technology drive at fuel management company

Bespoke nozzle system boasts non-drip technology

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

This format has been extremely successful for many years giving Lanarkshire Companies the best possible chance of doing business with other organisations in Lanarkshire. Our pioneering ideas on networking have been adopted by many Chambers throughout Scotland. “I would say that the networking facilitation was a highlight of my time as President and it makes me proud to know that in its role of connecting business people across the county, both through the 1700 Club and the Chamber itself, our organisation has been responsible for generating millions of pounds of economic benefits for our community in Lanarkshire that could have been lost to other parts of Scotland or the UK, “I am delighted that under its new President and chief executive the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce is aiming high, and I believe it is perfectly capable, before too long, of becoming one of the biggest and most successful Chambers in Scotland”, he said.

ellshill-based FUELlink Systems is using an equity investment from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) to push ahead with innovative new technologies. UKSE, the Tata Steel business support subsidiary, has provided financial backing based on the young company’s potential. FUELlink was formed last year by business partners Bob MacInnes and John Ashley, who have over 60 years of industry experience between them. FUELlink provides fuelling equipment and maintenance to local authorities as well as transport, logistics and emergency service operators across the UK, from Orkney to the New Forest and Norfolk to Monmouth. High profile clients on FUELlink’s books include WH Malcolm, Lothian Buses, East Yorkshire Motors and Nottingham City Transport. Several customers have already committed to using the firm’s bespoke nozzle system which guards against fuel theft, spillage and hazards with its non-drip technology. The nozzle attaches securely to a dedicated fuel cap fitted to each vehicle to ensure efficient re-fuelling without the worry of diesel loss and the resulting financial and safety implications. As well as providing on-site re-fuelling equipment and related maintenance, FUELlink has created a sophisticated online fuel management system, the software for which is written in-house. Scott Webb, Regional Executive for UKSE, said: “FUELlink Systems has an incredibly valuable offering, which is recognised by its growing customer base. “UK Steel Enterprise applauds the firm’s entrepreneurial attitude and determination to improve its equipment and software products to make life easier for the fleets that rely on FUELlink’s expertise. “With the challenging economic climate, companies are beginning to prioritise return on investment by spending more money on maintenance as well as looking for ways to reduce large fuel bills and so FUELlink’s innovations are proving popular.” FUELlink’s software experts liaise with customers using the fuel management package in order to tailor the system’s capabilities for each client’s needs. Paul Brooks, Sales Director at FUELlink Systems, said: “The financial backing from UK Steel Enterprise is a great boost at a time when interest in our nozzle technology and fuel management software is stepping up a gear. “We have some very loyal customers and while everyone is feeling the pinch, a growing number of companies are realising the value in ongoing maintenance contracts and effective fuel management. “This is an exciting time for FUELlink Systems and the cash injection from UKSE will allow us to push the company and its new products forward and create new jobs as we grow.” Macdonald Henderson advised UKSE on the completion of the investment, with Curle Stewart acting for the company, and the transaction was completed within a matter of weeks of agreement of final terms.

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the man who brought the Lanarkshire Chambers together – steps down

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Get in touch with your stories incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org

Lifeskills expands southwards L

ifeskills, the Hamilton-headquartered skills training business whose Scotland-wide training branches help turn out hundreds of workready candidates each year, is marching south of the border with a rapid deployment of its skills business in targeted areas. The company run courses on a huge range of vocational skills including retail, child care, sales, construction, administration and many more. It also provides training courses for employers to enhance their employees’ skill sets. Gerry Croall, Business Development Director said: “we have identified a number of areas which are short in supply of the courses and apprenticeships which we deliver, primarily in retail, hospitality and administration skills. “This has led to partnering with selected colleges initially in Chesterfield and Nottingham, but we have already identified opportunities to widen the scope of these activities in the new academic year”.

The initial expansion will see the company open new centres in Preston, Wigan and Sheffield followed by Salford and Chester to support this delivery and its other services. This is not the first expansion to England which Life Skills has undertaken, as it has been delivering a range of training services to the Skills Funding Agency in the North East of England from its base in Jarrow for a number of years. To support the expansion additional staff covering course delivery and business development have been recruited and are already targeting opportunities across the north of the country.

lifeSKILLS c e n t r e s

Preston Wigan Salford Chester

Sheffield Chesterfield

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Nottingham

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Gerry Croall


ADVERTISING FEATURE

Spring Vorsprung durch Technik Welcome to the world of Lomond Audi Group, I thought we would give the Chamber Members and associates an update on the Fleet Team and our products. A year has passed since I joined Lomond Audi and the first stage of the journey is now complete with the Fleet Team in place, no doubt Chamber Members across the regions have met or will soon meet our Local Business Development Managers, with Alistair Allardyce in Ayr Audi, Greame Southwood in Stirling Audi, Phil Ramsay in Edinburgh Audi and Paul Harkins, Darren Docherty and Gillian Kerr in Glasgow Audi. The LBDM’s have been working hard in introducing themselves to the local business community and attending as many Networking Events as possible. With the Audi Brand at its strongest, we want the team to mirror the product and give the business customer the comfort and trust expected from the Audi Brand. We are in for a busy future, with Audi now releasing the new Ultra Engine, for example the A6 is now offering co2 emissions as low as 114g/km, which will aid the business community with tax implications. The Government has published that cars with co2 emissions of up to 130g/km can offset 100% of their lease payments against tax, alongside outright purchase business customers being eligible for a write-down allowance of 18% a year. Our philosophy is to provide a service in supporting and aiding our business community to best take advantage of tax implications alongside having the luxury of driving the Audi Brand.


Cover story

Get in touch if you have a cover story idea incommerce@lanarkshirechamber.org

Is this Gregory’s girl? No, it’s Arria!

Cumbernauld:

a positive future at the Meeting of the Waters

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umbernauld has featured unobtrusively for nearly nine centuries on maps of Scotland, albeit for most of that time in its Gaelic form of Comar nan Allt, or the Meeting of the Waters. It is only in the last few decades that the town has become nationally known, sometimes for all the wrong reasons, but mostly for the right ones: “Gregory’s Girl”, innovative retail and engineering services, to name a few. It has also been successful as a service office location to financial services firms in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The meeting of the waters is strongly symbolised in award-winning artist Andy Scott’s dramatic £250,000 steel sculpture which watches over the M80 north of Auchenkilns. Known wryly as the Angel of the Nauld, after Gateshead’s Angel of the North, the statue features two sweeping arcs from the hem of its dress to its upraised palms. Officially the sculpture, commissioned by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld Ltd (CCCL), a company set up by North Lanarkshire Council to promote the new town, is called Arria, after the mother and also the half-sister of the Roman emperor Antoninus - taking the town’s lineage back even further to the Antonine Wall, just two miles away and in line to be named a World Heritage Site. Arria’s unveiling in 2010 was designed to “raise awareness across Scotland of Cumbernauld’s attractiveness as a destination to live, work and play; create a sense of place and provide a positive statement about the town”.

And there is plenty to be positive about in Cumbernauld. Private house building is vigorous, it is an easy commute from Scotland’s biggest cities, its population is greater than three of Scotland’s seven cities and it has the Campsie Hills as its skyline. Two years ago, it won the accolade, Best Town for Civic Pride, in the Scottish Design Awards. The town was an architectural triumph when it grew out of the blasted heath 13 miles east of Glasgow in the fifties and sixties, and it should be remembered in the “form follows function” arguments of the modernists that the cultural functions they envisaged – work, leisure, home – were to be catered for better than ever before. It should also be remembered that Cumbernauld’s early housing stock - drab though some think it may appear now – was an “all mod cons” paradise for the slum clearance tenants from Glasgow that it was designed to accommodate. Architects and planners came from round the world to see a post-war Scottish Utopia. But, as so often in the UK, today’s bright future morphs into tomorrow’s urban blight, and there is little point in dwelling here on some of the recent opprobrium which has been heaped on its buildings – the original town centre “megastructure” in particular. More important, as Arria was designed to point out, are the positive aspects of Cumbernauld, such as its central location and its excellent transport links, bounded as it is by the M80, the M73, the M8 and the M9. It even has its own airport.


New College Lanarkshire: a huge local resource

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Ancient and modern- that’s Cumbernauld

Black Bull: a welcoming howff

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This has made Cumbernauld an important retail and wholesale distribution centre with a wide range and diversity of logistics businesses receiving and despatching goods all over Scotland. Its growing reputation for logistics expertise has seen the town attract major national names such as the Co-operative Group, Argos and Marks and Spencer, which all have distribution depots in the environs. M&S runs all its flower distribution from its Cumbernauld base and parcel multinationals Fedex, UPS and DHL all operate from large logistics facilities. The Food and Drink Hub for Scotland supports the Scottish food and drink industry by providing an affordable route to market for companies which might otherwise be disadvantaged through scale. From its Cumbernauld base, it facilitates the development of micro, small and medium companies with storage, distribution and business support and also offer supply chain expertise to retailers. One of the biggest employers in Cumbernauld, with more than 400 workers, is A. G. Barr, which produces a variety of soft drinks, including Irn Bru – Scotland’s second national drink, consumed at the rate of 12 cans a second.

The company, which dates back to 1875, maintained “strong market positions” and “successfully navigated” a tough market last year despite a failed merger with Robinsons firm Britvic. It grew its sales by 5.8% to £128.7 million. On the outskirts of the town in Moodiesburn, but generally regarded as a Cumbernauld company, is Devro, the sausage skin maker which has strong sales in emerging markets such as Latin America and China. It has recently invested £40 million in a new manufacturing plant in the US, which it expects to bring cost savings of £8 million from 2016. Devro employs 500 people in Scotland. Other major employers in Cumbernauld include OKI, the printer and fax manufacturer, North Lanarkshire Council, HMRC which has a substantial facility in the town and New College Lanarkshire, formed recently from a merger between Cumbernauld and Motherwell Colleges. Its campuses will now cater for the needs of 25,000 students across Lanarkshire. However, as local businessman and Fairways Business Group member Glen Cook pointed out, a significant proportion of the local economy stems from the large number of light engineering firms and generational business which populate Cumbernauld’s many industrial estates. Mr Cook, a marketing and business development consultant whose company, Quantum Marketing Solutions, advises SMEs and business owners, said: “There are many small manufacturers, who typically might employ 10 to 20 people. “The industrial estates are vibrant and economically active, with family members running businesses and creating local employment. Businesses shut down occasionally, but more continue to open up.” Mr Cook said that the new town had struggled in the past with its retail presence, particularly in the original town centre, but that it had made great strides in recent years with an enormously improved offering. He said: “It’s getting better. There is a new shopping centre, the Antonine, which sits between Tesco and Asda and has attracted tenants such as Next, River Island, Barrhead Travel and mobile phone companies. “Is Cumbernauld doing well? I think so. As a business consultant, I see a lot of clients who want to grow their businesses and become more successful. I think it’s reasonable to take that as a fairly positive measure for the town.”

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CAMPBELL FAIRFULL CAR SALES If you are looking for great savings on quality used cars in the Wishaw area, then look no further. Campbell Fairfull Car Sales are a specialist used car dealer based in Lanarkshire. We are proud to offer you a first class customer service and very competitive pricing, so please browse our stock list. At Campbell Fairfull Car Sales we stock a range of used cars to suit all budgets and lifestyles so we are sure to have the right car for you. If you are looking for a second hand car in Wishaw, then don’t delay, call us today to book a test drive. In order to offer cars to suit everyone we make sure that we update our stocklist regularly. It is therefore always worth giving us a call, even if you don’t see what you are looking for on our website. We realise that buying a car can be a daunting experience, but don’t worry, we are well established within the Wishaw area and come with a great reputation. Furthermore we offer excellent advice and experience on vehicles and vehicle maintenance. Our friendly staff will go the extra mile to guarantee that you receive the advice you need. This is the reason why many of our customers keep coming back to us. At Campbell Fairfull Car Sales we don’t just sell cars, we do everything possible to get you driving your perfect car. Why not come along to our dealership in Wishaw? We look forward to meeting you!

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Barry demonstrates his BMWares

Douglas Park Hamilton welcomes Chamber members I

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f your business manages between one and fifty company cars, The Douglas Park Business Partnership Programme could be for you. Barry Milne of Douglas Park Hamilton, said: “with an expanding product range, favourable specifications and a commitment to lowering C02 levels and whole life costs, our BMW and MINI ranges will more than satisfy your company’s needs”. Barry can offer extremely competitive business quotes, contract hire rates and a full range of information to customers. “There is a wide choice on the Business Partnership Programme, including the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Business model from £259 per month plus VAT. “The standard specification includes leather heated seats, satellite navigation and Bluetooth, and with C02 levels of 109g/km and 68.9MPG combined The MINI range is another great choice with C02 levels of 92g/km and a monthly rental from only £159 per month plus VAT. “Joining Lanarkshire Chamber was central to our corporate marketing strategy and has helped us engage with local businesses”, said Barry. “We are based in Bothwell Road, Hamilton and our doors are always open for our Chamber fellow members”, he said. For more details contact Barry Milne at Douglas Park Hamilton via email barry.milne@parks.uk.com or call 01698 303712.

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Newhouse-based Strathkelvin Instruments launches “Holy Grail” of wastewater treatment facilities S

trathkelvin Instruments, the Newhouse-based wastewater treatment business, has launched what it believes to be the “Holy Grail” in wastewater treatment instrumentation. Strathkelvin is the world’s leading supplier of precision dissolved oxygen measurement for biomedical research and now wastewater treatment, established in 1981. Its new fully patented Activated Sludge Plant Controller (ASPCon) system is the most effective instrument available for control and optimisation of biological wastewater treatment. Strathkelvin supplies such companies as Northern Ireland Water, Veolia, Scottish Water and Wessex Water. It employs 18 people most based in Newhouse Industrial Estate Clare Dooley, Marketing & HR (People Development) Director, said: “The ASP-Con system is designed both to accurately monitor and feedback critical control system measurements. The ASP-Con will automatically operate all the existing time-consuming tests, which demand significant operator input. “It measures 16 different parameters and is self-cleaning. It is also self-calibrating and has been developed from long experience of plant operations. The system is now on the market following extensive trialling in the UK, Ireland and the USA. “The detailed list of parameters measured is unique, within one fully automated system which integrates seamlessly with all current plant control systems.” For more information please contact info@strathkelvin.com; websites www.asp-con.com and www.strathkelvin.com.

Youth Wage Incentive Scheme – does £2,275 work for you?

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mploy an eligible unemployed young person and you can get financial help that more than covers the costs of a year’s National Insurance Contributions. You could be entitled to a Wage Incentive of up to £2275 if you: Employ an eligible 18 to 24 year old through Jobcentre Plus Wage Incentive There is also a part time rate £1137.50 for employing a young person between 16 and 29 hours and a full time rate £2275 for 30 hours or more. Interested? Then find out more information at: www.dwp.gov.uk/youth-contract/key-initiatives/wage-incentives. Strathkelvin alchemy: turning waste into water


Not quite a photo finish at Hamilton Racecourse

It’s a racing certainty you’ll have a good time

Noble prospect: Hamilton’s grand façade

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Chamber members prepare to punt a pound (or two)

hen Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce members get together to eat, drink, socialise and spend a pound or two on the gee-gees, you know it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. And that is exactly what the Chamber will be serving up at its get together at Hamilton race course on Thursday 5th June when over one hundred members are expected to enjoy the spectacle as part of a wonderful day out. The race day event, of course, is open to the public with around 1500 or so people likely to attend, and the Chamber will be hosting its own hospitality area where Chamber members, their guests and other business folk will be able to network over the course of the afternoon and early evening. There will be also a Ladies Networking Lunch that day in a separate area of the stadium. This is the 10th Anniversary of the Lanarkshire Chamber’s get-together at Hamilton Race course and on past experience, likely to be as enjoyable as ever. Admission alone is £13 in advance, £15 on the day with under-18s admitted for free For further information on the event, contact Lindsey Kennedy at the Chamber on 01698 426882.

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In the labs – George Hawthorn, account manager DETS, Fraser Black (right) MD BioCity Scotland and Bill French (front)

Derwentside Environmental Services opens materials testing lab at BioCity Scotland

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erwentside Environmental Testing Services (DETS) is the latest firm to secure a Scottish office and laboratory services within the BioCity Scotland hub. The new laboratory facilities for DETS are equipped as a UKAS accredited asbestos laboratory, primarily for the identification and quantification of bulk materials and soil samples. DETS opened its Scottish operations this month, March 2014. It will act as a collection point for sample containers, collections and deliveries, and a drop off point for customers using other services within the group company. DETS provides a wide range of quality UKAS accredited analytical services for the environmental, construction, waste fuel and engineering industries. Established in 1999, in Consett, DETS has expanded year on year and has become one of the most respected analytical laboratories in the UK, providing crucial support to developers and environmental consultants in examining soil samples for potential contaminants. DETS chose BioCity Scotland as the location for their first labs in Scotland, given the proximity to the M8 corridor in Central Scotland. Bill French has been appointed team leader and the firm expects to create 3 new jobs within the next year. DETS was founded in the north east of England as a specialist service company which identifies potential contaminants on land being considered for development. Clients of DETS include environmental

consultants, government departments, contaminated land officers, the Health and Safety Executive, and Planning departments who may need analysis for risk assessment reports. Richard Bennett, managing director of Derwentside Environmental Services said: “the opening of our Scottish labs continues our strategy of being close to our customers to give them the best possible services. Where ground is being reclaimed for new development and construction, and may have had heavy industrial use in their past, waste products or remaining residues may present a hazard to the environment they are in. Our services determine the waste classification, and support contaminated land management provision. We can provide rapid turnaround of test results to our clients who need a transparent and defensible audit trail to reduce risk to the environment, individuals and the company. Accurate classification of the presence of potential pollutants and advice and costings for their disposal are essential services for environmental consultancies, risk assessors and contaminated land offices within local authorities.” Fraser Black, managing director of BioCity Scotland, says: “I extend a warm welcome to the team from Derwentside Environmental Services joining us here at BioCity Scotland. Their presence continues to add to the diversity of companies using our highly equipped facilities.” www.biocity-scotland.co.uk, www.dets.co.uk


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University of the West of Scotland is the local university for over 30% of Scotland’s population, given its unique regional base across the west and south-west of Scotland. The University has campuses in Paisley, Ayr, Dumfries and Hamilton – here’s an update on some of the University’s current Lanarkshire activity:

NEL to benefit from University’s knowledge exchange expertise

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niversity of the West of Scotland is undertaking a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with East Kilbride-based NEL. NEL, an independent, international technology services organisation, has been at the forefront of engineering development and innovation for more than 60 years. This 15-month KTP project got underway in January 2014 and sees the development and enhancement of NEL’s Physical Properties Database Software (PPDS) which is currently accessed by a wide range of clients, including the oil and gas sector, to provide quality-assured physical properties data and an analytical calculation capability. PPDS enables users to undertake complex calculations and simulations across a wide range of process and engineering applications. The project aims to extend the user interface to run on web and mobile devices, developing a flexible licensing system and a configurable database. Mark Roscoe of NEL said: “We have invested in the KTP with the University as it should provide the business with a highly focused approach to enhancing our PPDS product, tapping into the skills of the wider community and University. It also presents us with further opportunities to create depth of capability within our business.” Knowledge Transfer Partnerships link companies and academic institutes enabling the company to access skills and expertise to help

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them develop. The partnership also involves one or more highcalibre graduates (or Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associates) to facilitate transfer of skills and expertise. The Associate works within the company on a project central to the company’s needs and is jointly supervised by company personnel and a senior academic. Lorraine Dymond, University of the West of Scotland’s KTP Coordinator, based within the University’s Innovation and Research Office, says: “The University has a wealth of research and knowledge exchange expertise and is delighted to be working closely with NEL on this KTP. We are one of the most active knowledge transfer higher education institutions in Scotland, making the University a top performer in providing these services to industry.” www.uws.ac.uk/iro

UWS Hamilton Campus sports course helping Scottish footballers score success

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he University’s popular Sport Development degree, delivered at the Hamilton Campus, is building links with clubs across the country, to help professional and semi-professional players combine their football careers with UWS studies The course, the only one of its kind in Scotland, has a strong emphasis on work-based learning and developing practical skills relevant to the modern sports, health and fitness industries. Programme leader James Adams comments: “UWS enjoys close links with PFA Scotland and works with them to identify players who are interested in university study to find the best way to facilitate their learning needs. Queen of the South FC players Iain

Russell and Gavin Reilly, currently studying with us, show how university life can be combined with a sports career. Iain Russell, now in second year of studies, said: “I’d been thinking about what I am going to do when I stop playing football and I spoke with PFA Scotland for advice and they directed me to UWS. At first I found it difficult combining study with a semi-professional football career as I am used to training every day and then relaxing. Now I am in UWS on my day off, and fit study around my training schedule. “I am really enjoying my course. Since I started a lot of players from my club, and other footballers I know, have asked me about it and are now studying, or thinking about studying, at UWS.” Gavin Reilly, in his first year of study, adds: “I feel it is worthwhile for young professionals like me to be doing some sort of studying as our careers can end at any minute and it is so important to be prepared for the future.” www.uws.ac.uk/sport


Dr Mackie shows the way to better managed public services

New publication from UWS lecturer provides insight into improving public service management in Scotland

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WS Hamilton Campus academic Dr Bobby Mackie’s new book, Managing Scotland’s Public Services, covers performance measurement, strategic public management, and workforce planning and development. It looks beyond the contemporary to future implications coming from developments such as the Christie Report on the future delivery of public services. Dr Mackie, Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management and Director of the Leadership, Organisational Performance and People Management Research Group in the University’s Business School, has a particularly strong grounding in Scotland’s public services, being

a former local government officer and National Chief Examiner for the HNC in Public Administration. UWS Business School also offers a wide range of study from part-time degrees to full-time Masters, including the innovative new Hamilton-based MBA programme, which sees students interacting through the MBA online world with fellow students overseas to add a global dimension to their studies. For further information on how the University’s business courses and specialist services can help your company achieve its goals call 0141 848 3932. www.uws.ac.uk/business

cross the UK there are around 800,000 people with dementia – and this figure is expected to double within 20 years. UWS is undertaking important research under a two-year project, funded by Alzheimer’s Society, which began in 2013 and is exploring the employment-related experiences of people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and the attitudes of employers and coworkers towards supporting them, in order to identify the potential for continued employment. The study is being undertaken by the UWS Institute of Older Persons’ Health and Wellbeing, based at the University’s Hamilton Campus, in collaboration with UWS’s Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network, and Heriot Watt University. It sees researchers conducting interviews with individuals aged 50-69 who have a diagnosis of dementia or MCI and are currently in paid employment, or had been within the previous 18 months, and would like, or would have liked, to continue working. Interviews are also being undertaken with family members, employers, and colleagues to enable case studies to be generated for research analysis. This analysis focuses on the ways in which people with dementia or MCI endeavour to cope in the workplace, the challenges faced by

employers and co-workers when an employee displays symptoms of dementia, and ways in which they respond to these challenges. Attention will focus on the level of support or adjustment that people with dementia require to extend their working lives, and factors that enable or hinder employers from providing such support. Professor Pauline Banks, UWS Professor in Older Persons’ Health and lead academic on the project, comments: “This research comes at an important time as, in line with other European countries, the population in the UK is ageing; the age at which people leave the labour market is rising following the abolition of the default retirement age and later receipt of the state pension. While increased life expectancy is to be welcomed, older age encompasses a range of challenges including increased prevalence of long-term conditions: one of which is dementia. “As dementia is typically associated with older age, limited attention has been paid to the potential for employment, and little is known about the experiences of people with dementia who are, or would like to be, working or the experiences of employers and co-workers who may provide support. Our research project will address this current shortfall of information.” www.uws.ac.uk/HNM

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UWS research project investigates how to get the best employment potential from people with dementia

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Johnstone’s Bakers receives sweet investment from UK Steel Enterprise UK STEEL ENTERPRISE (UKSE) has allowed sweet treat specialist Johnstone’s Bakers to embark on a major growth programme thanks to a £100,000 investment. The financial backing from UKSE has allowed Johnstone’s to create 20 jobs, bringing staff numbers to 160. UKSE is the Tata Steel subsidiary set up to help growing companies operating in former steel producing areas realise their full potential, boost the local economy and create jobs. East Kilbride-based Johnstone’s is a leading supplier of cake products and produces own label goods for supermarkets and international coffee house chains. Managing Director Kevin Moore bought Johnstone’s in 2006 and has since grown the company’s sales turnover by 400% after relocating to larger premises and devising a new business strategy. The £100,000 investment has also allowed Johnstone’s to invest in additional equipment to keep up with growing business demand and to support the development of a new range of Johnstone’s own name branded products. Johnstone’s Bakers currently exports cake goods primarily to Australia and Germany but Kevin has set his sights on a wider international presence for the brand and is aiming to raise Johnstone’s export share during this financial year. UKSE’s investment is anticipated to help the company continue its growth strategy and double the factory’s oven capacity to facilitate increasing orders. Scott Webb, regional executive at UKSE said: “Kevin has taken Johnstone’s Bakers to new heights and UK Steel Enterprise saw this

UK STEEL ENTERPRISE (UKSE) has been providing assistance to SMEs and helping to create jobs and wealth in Lanarkshire for over 35 years. One element of this support is providing managed workspace on flexible terms. UKSE has invested £5 million into managed workspace and offers 46,000 square feet of office and light industrial space on Strathclyde Business Park.

as an exciting investment opportunity. “We can see the huge potential in “UKSE’s this company and with such a strong confidence in presence in the retail sector already, us has given our we can’t wait to see where their range whole team a huge of Johnstone’s branded products takes boost and their them. service could only be described as “It is always a pleasure to support a excellent.” Scottish business with such strong international ambitions and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Johnstone’s Bakers.” Kevin Moore, managing director at Johnstone’s Bakers said: “UKSE’s confidence in us has given our whole team a huge boost and their service could only be described as excellent. “The investment from UK Steel Enterprise has been fundamental to our expansion drive and we are now able to take our company to the next level with the development of many new products in the pipeline for the current year. “We can now look forward to delivering the Johnstone’s brand on a wider scale across the UK and internationally.” The managing director’s strategy is to constantly refresh the company’s product offering and to create a strong selection of Scottish products available for purchase across the UK and in international markets including Europe and China. This funding package is UK Steel Enterprise’s third business investment in Scotland within the past two months.

Business finance from UKSE has enabled the creation of approximately 17,000 new jobs in Scotland across 1,423 businesses - with 8,500 of these jobs created in Lanarkshire. Anne Clyde, regional manager for UKSE, said: “UKSE has helped hundreds of Scottish businesses maximise their potential through use of our services. “Our managed business centre offers 3-month rolling licences rather than formal leases and provides 24 hour access, meeting rooms and free parking, helping keep costs down and allowing growing companies to keep overheads to a minimum. “We have also provided over £21 million in funding to Scottish based SMEs, many of whom would not have had the chance to thrive without UKSE’s involvement. Loan and equity packages of up to £750,000 are available to qualifying businesses and we are very proud of the difference we have made and continue to make within Lanarkshire’s business community.” If you would like any further information on UKSE and the support it can offer then please visit www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk or call 01698 845045.


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ork is progressing on construction, fitting out and landscaping of the new Maggie’s Lanarkshire Centre in the grounds of Monklands Hospital, Airdrie. It is due to open later this year. Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. The new Lanarkshire Centre will be a warm and welcoming place, with professional staff on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

Colin Montgomerie drives funding at Maggie’s

The Centre’s principal funder is the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation, the organisation founded by world-famous Scottish golfer, Colin Montgomerie, in memory of his mother who died of lung cancer. Maggie’s Lanarkshire has been designed by leading architects Reiach & Hall to be warm, welcoming and full of light and a place where qualified experts can provide emotional support Organisers of The MoonWalk Scotland, Walk the Walk, provided £250,000 towards its costs.

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Employers showcase prospects for careers in IT and engineering to Lanarkshire school students B

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uilding Strong Futures in Engineering and Technology was the focus of an event held at Hamilton Park Racecourse in February aimed at inspiring young people in Lanarkshire to think about their career choices. Over 500 senior pupils from 17 schools in South Lanarkshire, students from South Lanarkshire College and the University of the West of Scotland heard first-hand about career opportunities from major companies such as Babcock, the Weir Group, Dell, IBM, Clyde Bergemann, Linde-Scotland, Burns Stewart Distillers, City Technical, Vattenfall, Scottish Power, CGI, Helix Power, NVT, East Kilbride Training Group, Clyde Gateway and Network Rail.

Organised by Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce with partners including South Lanarkshire Council, Skills Development Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions and industry bodies SEMTA, CEED and e-skills, the event was attended by local people using DWP services, such as Jobseekers. Eric Foy, of Skills Development Scotland, said: “We hope by speaking to employers and hearing about different jobs at the event, young people will consider careers in engineering and technology where demand is expected to grow and there are great prospects for young people.” South Lanarkshire Council’s Head of Education, Tony McDaid, said: “We are delighted that pupils from our schools are able to participate in such a worthwhile event. We hope that the young people will be inspired by what they have seen and grasp the opportunities available to them.” Also at the event were representatives from the University of the West of Scotland, South Lanarkshire College, New Motherwell College, Glasgow College and Lifeskills. Back row, left to right: Tom McBrearty, General Manager (EKGTA), Stewart McKinlay, Business Partner (SEMTA), Neil Cunningham, Employer Engagement Adviser (Skills Development Scotland), Eric Foy, Team Leader (Skills Development Scotland), William Scott, Sector Manager (Skills Development Scotland), James MacFarlane, Operations Manager (Department for Work and Pensions)

High-powered speakers urge young Lanarkshire to get skilled

Front row, left to right: Alastair Gillen, Employer Engagement Adviser (Skills Development Scotland), Gill Grey, Business Development Manager (CEED), Michael Kowbel, Scotland Manager (Eskills), Mary Hernon, Partnership Manager, (Department for Work and Pensions), Ellen Begley, Business Development Manager (Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce), Jillian Kane, Development Officer (South Lanarkshire Council Education) and John Brown, President of the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce


Jim’s mission: to secure Lanarkshire youth the work skills they need J

SFS offers two options on auto enrolment solutions for workplace pensions T

here is no avoiding it: employers must offer work place pensions to employees. The most suitable solution will depend upon the level of service and/or advice required and whether you currently operate a work place pension scheme.

Our bespoke tailored option offers a number of benefits including wide research amongst pension providers together with a recommendation of the most suitable scheme. Contributions are likely to be around 3% from the employer and the employee. Other benefits include analysis of existing schemes and assessment of whether it meets the requirements for auto enrolment. Telephone and e-mail access to an independent financial adviser (IFA) is also available for the first year.

STANDARD OPTION

Jim McCaffer: “there’s lots more to do”

The more basic option offers a limited number of providers and a limited fund choice. E-mail access only to an IFA is available for the year. Contributions can start from 1% or can be deferred entirely until the employer’s staging date. Most payroll providers have systems that are compatible with the pension providers; however some may charge an additional fee for the relevant software. Our fees start at £650 + VAT and can be paid in one lump sum payment or 12 monthly instalments. With both options, SFS ensures that the payroll assessment and integration process is facilitated and all relevant employee communications are distributed in line with statutory obligations. An ongoing service facility can be provided with both options tailored to individual requirements. For more information please contact us at Southern Financial Services, 01698 26997 Email:sfs@southernfinancialservices.com

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

BESPOKE OPTIONS

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im McCaffer, the 58 year old Motherwell man who serves as South Lanarkshire Council’s Head of Regeneration, has one of the most important tasks in the region – putting as many as possible of our young people into good jobs or further education and training. Jim, a graduate of the University of Glasgow and a former development and economic planning policy planner at Strathclyde Regional Council before he joined SLC in 1995, is one of several high-achieving business people currently nominated to join the board of the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce. Should he be successful it is anticipated that he will help develop further the highly-productive link between our private and public sectors. “We work intensively with around 3,000 unemployed people every year and at present the majority of these are successful in accessing a job or training opportunities. “One particularly successful scheme is the Council’s Youth Jobs Fund. This provides a wage subsidy to local companies to take on 16 – 17 year olds for up to a year and has shown a 90% retention rate”, said Jim. It’s a tough gig: in total over 5,000 people each year seek guidance from Jim’s team to get them off benefits and into work or into “positive education”. “There’s lots more to do”, he said, “getting young people into work is one of the biggest issue we face as a society, but we are also responsible for doing the best we can for older people and those who, for whatever reason, disability, mental health or addiction problems, can do very much better if they are in work”. As Head of the Council’s Regeneration arm, Jim is currently is involved in negotiating a new EU funding package, to run through to 2020, which will help secure future funding for employability and business support schemes.

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Chamber expands role to help boost business prospects C

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hief executive Neil Kennedy outlined Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce’s plans to expand its role to help boost members’ business prospects last month with a new business development plan. He said: “As a member of a Chamber of Commerce, your business is part of a worldwide movement that promotes the interest of local groups of businesses to strengthen communities and drive economic growth. “The Lanarkshire Chamber strives to promote networking forums and business clubs to help facilitate making contacts and provides services such an export documentation, training, mentor matching, learning opportunities and business support. “It also provides a forum for contributing a collective business view to influencing decision-making that will affect the local business

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community – that’s why we are here sharing the platform with our local authority partners. “Our own development continues with the establishment of sector-related groups in food and drink, leisure and tourism, manufacturing, science and technology, professional services and construction and infrastructure. “We are also evolving an events programme with our monthly lunch and breakfast networking events, and developing separate seminars for exporting between British and overseas Chambers and procurement and supply chains. “We believe Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce is the ‘Voice of Business’ in Lanarkshire, and we committed to building a strong chamber to help develop your business and look forward to making links for you both locally and internationally.”

Left to right: Neil Kennedy, Chamber chief executive, Major John Jackson, Scottish Reserve Army), and representing the event sponsors South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Chris Thompson, convenor of economic regeneration, and Jim McCaffer, head of regeneration


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Fast lane to the future:

looking ahead to big changes in Lanarkshire’s motorway network

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ne of the more endearing urban legends in Lanarkshire is that there are only two things you can see from space: the Great Wall of China and the traffic jams at the Raith Interchange. The rush-hour queues on the slip roads from the M74 where it meets the river of traffic flowing down the East Kilbride Expressway have long been a source of intense frustration - and a significant cost to local businesses in delays and late deliveries. But Lanarkshire’s most irritating bottleneck is in line to be uncorked as part of a package of measures on the M8, M73 and M74 which will see some of the most significant improvements to the area’s infrastructure and transport links for many years. An international consortium called the Scottish Roads Partnership will, by the Spring of 2017, have unravelled the intractable knot of the Raith Roundabout with an ambitious solution which is part of a £415 million project to upgrade the central Scotland motorway network. Many business people will contend that the improvements are long overdue - the motorways and major roads of the industrial belt are notorious for seizing up in bad weather, roadworks or as a result of relatively minor traffic problems. But this scale of improvement is not to be undertaken lightly and the logistical difficulties of essentially recreating the road network while keeping traffic moving are mind-bogglingly complex. At the Raith Interchange, the approaches to the roundabout are to be realigned, allowing traffic to flow from the Expressway through a newly-created underpass and onto the Bellshill Bypass. Vehicles will still be able to access Bothwell, Hamilton and the M74 via a series of elevated bridges. Of course there will be major disruption, and the frustration of three years of road works at one of Lanarkshire’s busiest choke points cannot be viewed with equanimity. But as the Haggs to Newhouse works on the M80 proved a few years ago, once the disruption is over, the benefits of infrastructure investment last for decades. Mark Calpin is the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Hamilton, where he has been in post for the past seven years. He is also Chair of Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership, with a strategic remit, and also Chair of Lanarkshire Tourism Association, which focuses on tactical issues. Asked about the extensive disruption likely to be caused to motorists by the project to excavate and construct a tunnel, starting just after the end of the East Kilbride Expressway, under the M74 and emerging on the dual carriageway leading to the M8, Mark said:

Mark Calpin: “inconveniences will be well worth it”

“As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. “Yes, there will be delays and a degree of disruption while this important strategic link is put in place but I am certain it will be wellmanaged to cause as little disruption as possible. “A delay, for a limited period of time, of 10 to 15 minutes in the rush-hour is clearly not welcome - but it’s not so bad. The project will help link North and South Lanarkshire and will be well worth it in the middle to long term.” The project complements another major infrastructure plan to upgrade the A8 east of Glasgow through to Newhouse to motorway status. Designed to deal with the six-mile “missing link” of the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the works will include a new section of motorway between the A73 at Newhouse and the M73 at Baillieston. This means the construction of a dual three-lane motorway between Chapelhall Junction and Eurocentral where the flows from the proposed Ravenscraig and Newhouse developments would join the motorway. The new link will be widened further to four lanes between Eurocentral and Shawhead junctions to cater for the weaving traffic between these two junctions and the traffic from the Eurocentral development. Of course, the Lanarkshire Chamber has considered the potential impact of the next few years in detail and takes the view that while in the short term the necessary work may cause inconvenience and frustration, road users and the local economy will benefit in the long term from better and more sustainable infrastructure.


And while we are thinking about the effects of infrastructure works, we should remember that it is not all about roadworks and disruption. In one of the most satisfying infrastructure decisions of recent years, it has been announced that one of the historic tenement blocks which housed mill workers in Robert Owen’s model village of New Lanark is to be restored. Double Row, the last derelict tenement row in the 18th century conservation village, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, has been awarded £1.6 million of Heritage Lottery Fund money for a major upgrade. It means that seven of the tenements will be restored for residential use while the eighth, called Museum Stair, will be turned into a 3D visitor attraction at the Unesco World Heritage site. So while Lanarkshire is bracing itself for the creation of a road network which will take the community into the future, it is encouraging to see that so much consideration is being given to preserving the past.

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To cope with the inevitable delays, business people will have to consider initiatives which previously might have been found only in an eco-lobbyist’s handbook, such as going green and using public transport. There will be an incentive to be flexible about employees’ working hours to take into account the restrictions of the rush hour. Car pools could also be encouraged, either informally or in a more structured way. Most importantly, businesses have to question the basic need for travelling to off-site meetings and appointments and consider the use of existing technology, such as teleconferencing and Skype conference calls. What we have to bear in mind is that these important infrastructure works will help to consolidate Lanarkshire’s position at the centre of Scotland’s industrial and commercial heartland, with all the potential benefits that entails.

The long unwinding road set to join-up 21st Century Lanarkshire

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Lanarkshire companies: change in Turnover

Turnover between £1m and £20m. Data as at 31/12/2013 from MINT. Sample of 126 companies with an ML postcode.

equal to or greater than 20% Between 10% and 20% Between 0% and 10% Between 0% and -10% Between -10% and -20% equal to or greater than -20%

David Charles Business Development Manager at ad+

The Lanarkshire business confidence glass is more than half full!

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8 out of 126 Lanarkshire companies increased turnover1 during the past year. Business atmosphere does feel a bit better. There’s a little more confidence and determination amongst many Lanarkshire business owners. “We’re not back to boom times, but it does feel like the trade is recovering.”, is a comment I have heard frequently during the past six months. This fragile confidence is understandable when you review the data. The Top 5002 survey provides a summary of Scotland’s most important companies, including key Lanarkshire employers such as Clyde Blowers, William Grant, Farmfoods, Parks, JR Dalziel, Albert Bartlett, and Strathclyde Pharmaceuticals. Excluding the banks, the multi-year trends reinforce the pattern of business results having been squeezed for a long period, and only recently starting to recover. The figures reported in this year’s survey show the following:Numbers Employed is now at a similar level to those in 2000 The most recent Profit per Employee average was matched back in 2002

businesses contracted by £4.3 billion in the three months to November”. In other words, businesses repaid more than they borrowed. Despite an increase in availability of credit, and an increase in the amount borrowed, the appetite for bank borrowings remained subdued. Our own experience is that an increasing number of local entrepreneurs are self-financing growth in order to avoid, or minimize, bank borrowings. “Attitudes to entrepreneurship among young adults have recovered to pre-crash levels.” Good News. But this news must be treated with caution because the author of this influential report4 speculates that some of the entrepreneurial activity has been forced upon graduates because they cannot secure the good quality of jobs they expected. In a global context, cautious optimism is also justified: “After appearing to be on a downward spiral, the world economy grew at its fastest rate in 18 months in the third quarter of 2013”. Finally, my first-hand impression, formed by speaking with local business owners every day, is that there is a renewed optimism. I experience this most frequently via the ad+ seminar series. Topics dealing with growth, innovation, and winning major contracts have been fully-booked, and we are asked to help launch or expand all sorts of new companies.

Turnover of the Top 500 is similar to that achieved in 2007 Pre-tax Profits are now back to levels recorded in 2001 Official bank lending data3 confirms the cautious tactics being applied by UK business owners. “The stock of lending to UK

SOURCES: 1 Survey collected public data from MINT at 31/12/3013. Turnover ranged from £1m to £20m. All companies have an ML postcode. 2 Insider magazine survey and report of Scotland’s Top 500 published in January 2014. 3 Bank of England - Trends in Lending, January 2014. 4 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Scotland 2012 by Prof Jonathan Levie of University of Strathclyde.


I Didn’t Get W here I Am Today… Name: Neil Kennedy Age: 54 What is your company called? Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce What does it do? Brings businesses in Lanarkshire together to do business with each other, and to represent their interests What prompted you to choose this particular activity in which to create a business? I am a strong believer in the benefits to local businesses of being part of a national and international netw ork How did you get started? LCC was a merger of town based Cham bers in Lanarkshire in 2003

How did you deal with setbacks? You need persistence and resilience, toge ther with a clear vision of what is possible. Was there a particular moment when you realised you were on the path to success? Our membership has been increasing continually which has landed us in a “success breeds success” path What constitutes a typical day? I wish that there was such a thing, I help out with documentation for exporters, deal with member issue s with eg planning, supply chain, and spending time representing LCC in the community and at SCC What keeps you going? The fascination with the journey, enjo ying the goodwill and support that we have, and knowing that we are making a positive difference What’s the best part of your day? The busy part What’s the bit that really irritates you? The attention to detail part

Who is your ideal employee? One who is enthusiastic and challenges the way that we are doing things Who is your nightmare employee? One who can only see the negatives. What’s the best advice you’ve had over the course of building a business? Stick to a simple and measurable strate gy And the worst? If you don’t know where you’re goin g, any road will take you there If you suddenly attained executive pow er in Scotland, what would be the first thing you’d chan ge? Incentivising Scottish businesses to expo rt more, we have one of the best global brands If you could pack it all in tomorrow, and still be comfortably off, would you? Why would you? Enjoying the journey is all. If you did, what would be your next move? To a frontier country, Mongolia looks good for now Any regrets? Many but I like to think that I have learn ed from

them all

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Were there any sticky moments in the early stages? I am sure that there were but fortunate ly I wasn’t around to experience these

Have you had help from enterprise agencies? We have had no direct financial help but liaise with them regularly on behalf of the membership

THE

How quickly did the business take off? Very quickly

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Jamie Hepburn MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

Cumbernauld: the vital link in west central Scotland’s economy

THE

Lanarkshire CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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he Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area is the most northerly in the North Lanarkshire Council area and has a distinct identity of its own. This is due in part to the history of the area, neither Cumbernauld nor Kilsyth were actually ever part of Lanarkshire before the last local government reorganisation, but the geographic location is also important factor. Aside from being a beautiful part of the country, the area is strategically positioned with ever improving links both to the central belt and beyond. Businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity this presents. One example is the Food and Drinks Hub which receives fresh produce from all across Scotland to Cumbernauld and which is then distributed to shops and supermarkets. Those behind the big budget US television series Outlander have chosen Cumbernauld as their location of the on going production of the series which is already attracting eager fans to the area, before even a single episode has aired. Other recent developments include the creation of New College Lanarkshire through the merger of Cumbernauld College with Motherwell College, which provides a high standards of vocational and further education, with many of the courses linking up with local businesses. The Scottish Government is making real improvements to the infrastructure which will consolidate and build on the natural advantages of the area.

The Scottish Government’s funded M80 Stepps to Haggs project, completed in 2011, passes through the heart of the constituency connecting to the M8, M9 and M74. It has greatly reduced journey times, meaning that journeys to Glasgow and Stirling now take 15 minutes and only 30 minutes to Edinburgh. Sitting between these three cities, which themselves connect on out to the rest of Scotland, makes Cumbernauld and Kilsyth the perfect base for country wide operations. Work on the £80 million electrification of the Cumbernauld railway lines are now underway and will be delivered in time for the Commonwealth Games, with services commencing in May 2014. This comes as part of the £650m Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP) of electrifications and investment which will enable faster, cleaner and quieter trains. It will also greatly improve connectivity at Croy station, where the car park will also be expanded. As a result this project will ensure quicker journey times throughout the area. This comes as figures demonstrate that over the past decade the number of journeys being made at the three local train stations have greatly increased, more than doubling at Croy and Greenfaulds stations. Such growth and investment is attracting more and more businesses to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, as the area builds on its existing qualities and looks towards an exciting future.


Starting or running a business in Lanarkshire? Make Business Gateway part of your plans No matter how large or small your business, Business Gateway offers a free service to help ensure your business moves in the right direction. With our services tailored to meet the needs of your business, we can provide you with: • Access to an adviser providing one to one support • Business Start up & Business Skills workshops • Signposting to sources of finance & funding • Access to market intelligence & business information • MyBusiness App - a great business planning tool Adviser appointments & workshops are available in Lanarkshire, call today for more information on 01236 884825 or visit www.bgateway.com/lanarkshire Download our free business support app.

Business Gateway services are delivered by Local Authorities, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government with the support of associated partner organisations.

Profile for dtech

Incommerce Lanarkshire Issue 13  

Business to business magazine for Lanarkshire Chambers of Commerce

Incommerce Lanarkshire Issue 13  

Business to business magazine for Lanarkshire Chambers of Commerce