IN THIS ISSUE
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink
NEWS FROM THE REGION:
Two companies among the top 10 in Scotland
Seeds of crops to come: Caithness Potatoes collaborate with James Hutton Ltd
Merlin ERD, engineering excellence
Aviva’s centre of excellence at Pitheavlis
Perthshire’s fabulous food & drink
Gleneagles’ MD Bernard Murphy talks values
Extended routes from Edinburgh airport enhance international links for business and tourism
Perthshire’s restaurants have a superb reputation
Councillor John Kellas
G1 Group and Howie’s see room for expansion
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INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
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Convener of Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee at Perth & Kinross Council
INVEST IN PERTH CAN HELP
Promoting Perth as a high quality business location
TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF INVEST IN PERTH. We are sure you will find something of value to your business in these pages, whether it is a potential partner, a source of funding, an inspirational idea or the support that can be provided each day through the Invest in Perth team. There is much to celebrate in the ongoing success of businesses across Perth City Region. We are ideally placed, here in the heart of Scotland, to support the expansion of our existing businesses and to provide the ideal home for new businesses. The area – centred on the fastest growing city in Scotland, and with around half of Scotland’s population accessible within an hours drive – is sustaining new developments, new technologies and new practices with sustained vigour. Developments in renewable energy, insurance, manufacturing, leisure, health and transport are stimulating our economy. Our vision is to develop this region as the most desirable place in Scotland in which to live, work, visit and invest. The Perth City Investment Plan sets out key investment projects to bring that vision to life, and has around £400m of investment opportunities over the next five years. There is planned investment of over £50m in cultural and leisure facilities; more than £140m to be invested in transport infrastructure and £25m to deliver the PH2O project, a dynamic mix of more than twenty sports and leisure opportunities in the heart of our city. There really has never been a better time to invest in Perth, as the following pages reveal.
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COLLABORATION IS THE KEY INGREDIENT Between 2007 and 2012, the most recent period for which accurate figures are available, growth in the food and drink industry in Scotland outperformed that of the UK as a whole, with the value of our manufacturing sector up by 21 per cent compared to around 8 per cent for the UK on average. Internationally our exports have risen by over 50 per cent in value and are worth over £5bn a year. This trend is upwards, reflecting the coordinated efforts of the industry alongside government. There is now a great deal of support on offer for food and drink businesses however I know finding the right source of support isn’t always easy. That’s why we work closely with our own member companies; 350 of them the length and breadth of Scotland. We’re also developing our Business Navigator Tool to help businesses identify the support measure that is right for them. The latest initiative in our key international markets is the development of dedicated trade specialists on the ground, which is a key plank of the new Scotland Food & Drink Export Strategy. With collective funding from Government and Scottish Development International alongside industry funds from the red meat, bakery, seafood and salmon sector, a new global team is hitting the ground to drive a new generation of export opportunities for Scotland’s produce. These trade representatives are already building relationships with importers, retailers, food service companies and distributors in the Far East, Middle East, Europe and North America, to promote the entire basket of Scotland’s food and drink offering. As well as our world-class produce, they are selling Scotland, with its unique story and natural landscape; of which there are few finer examples than rural Perthshire.
This partnership of industry bodies and public sector through Scotland Food & Drink is ground-breaking and is making a huge difference. The foundation of our growing industry is a strong and unique provenance story reflecting not only the quality of our produce but the fantastic landscape from which it comes. Scotland has a real diversity too. We can promote the many established family businesses – such as Perthshire farmer and butcher Simon Howie, (which counts Andrew Fairlie – 2 Michelin Star Chef – among its customers) – as well as new entrepreneurs like Summer Harvest Oils. Its founder, Mark Bush, worked in IT in London before moving to a family farm in Perthshire to start a business turning oil seed rape, a common crop, into quality coldpressed rapeseed oil – a healthy, versatile cooking oil. This emerging product, which didn’t exist a few years ago, is already worth around £8m a year and is set to grow rapidly. It also exemplifies the culture change that has revolutionised the industry in the last decade, as collaboration is increasingly embraced as a way of doing business. Mark is now working with the seven other cold-pressed rapeseed oil producers in Scotland to invest in marketing and research that will help them all expand the market further. The region has always been home of innovation in food and drink too, from the research conducted on soft fruits and seed potatoes at the James Hutton Institute, to launching Scotland’s first regular ‘farmer’s market’, undoubtedly one of the most important innovations in reconnecting consumers with the provenance of the produce they are buying. Now Perth is developing the only dedicated industrial food and drink park in Scotland, which will comprise 16 acres of serviced development plots. A unique Food
Perth is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities, with population growth of 24 per cent forecast by 2030.
THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE BROUGHT TOGETHER A NUMBER OF INGREDIENTS TO TEMPT A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE WITH A TASTE OF THE BEST THAT SCOTLAND HAS TO OFFER IN FOOD AND DRINK.
INTERNATIONALLY OUR EXPORTS HAVE RISEN BY OVER 50% IN VALUE AND ARE WORTH OVER £5BN A YEAR
and Drink Innovation Hub is also planned. The diversity of businesses and produce in the region, as well as its thriving tourism sector, offers another opportunity. That’s why Scottish Enterprise’s Experiencing Scotland is working with tourism businesses to help them better source and promote the use of local produce. Research shows this leads to an average increase of 10 per cent in food and drink turnover. Other schemes, such as Taste our Best are getting restaurants to sign up to using a minimum of 40 per cent of their ingredients from local suppliers. With 2015 designated as Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink, there is an opportunity to make a step change in connecting our critically important tourism and hospitality sectors with our growing food and drink industry. The futures of both these industries are inextricably linked. Obviously, Perth has added logistical advantages too. Easy access to Scotland’s major trunk road network, ports and international airports and a host of experienced partners to collaborate with – from small artisan producers to international brands – presents a tempting recipe for any food and drink businesses looking to start up, expand or innovate. I see nothing but a bright future for our sector and the region.
James Withers Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink scotlandfoodanddrink.org
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
TOP 10 SCOTTISH COMPANIES
EXEL TOAST A RETAIL AWARD The fourth annual Scottish Independent Retail Awards, presented on 8 February in Glasgow, recognise and reward the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen that lies behind the thriving independent retailers. This year, a number of Perthshire businesses won the support of the public and made the shortlist, – among them Willie Little’s Fish in Crieff, in the Fishmonger category; Laws of Perth in the Furniture Store category and Exel Wines of Perth, which won the North East Off-Sales category,
trumping a selection of nationally prominent businesses. Exel Wines’ General Manager, Russell Wallace, (above) commented, “We were just thrilled to be nominated in the first place, but then to triumph amongst some serious competition was just the icing on the cake. It is a great celebration of the hard work and dedication that everyone at Exel Wines puts into everything that we do.”
> EXEL WINES ALSO FEATURE IN OUR CENTRE SPREAD.
WORLD SCOTCH PIE CHAMPIONSHIP Murray Bakers of Perth has been named winner of the 16th World Scotch Pie Championship. The family-owned business triumphed over 567 pies, pasties, sausage rolls, bridies, savouries and apple pies – a record entry from 100 butchers and bakers. A panel of 50 experts selected 10 category winners before naming Murray Bakers of Perth the World Scotch Pie Champion.
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
I AM DELIGHTED TO BE ABLE TO CALL OUR PIE THE WORLD CHAMPION, AS JUDGED BY A PANEL OF EXPERTS. IT IS JUST FANTASTIC.”
Two Perth-based businesses feature in the top 10 of Scottish companies, in the annual Top500 report produced by Business Insider and published in January. Generally, the survey revealed Scotland’s Top500 companies increasing overall turnover, with more than 300 businesses showing growth in profits. Perth-headquartered energy giant SSE saw its profits grow to £575.3m on the back of an 8.06 per cent increase in turnover to £30.59bn. It now has Scotland’s third-highest turnover and a strong performance in its electricity transmission operations underpinned its profits growth. The company contributes more than £9bn annually to the UK’s GDP and supports 110,000 jobs. SSE continues to invest, including a £1bn project to lay a 100-mile underwater cable from Caithness to Moray, a contract that will create 600 jobs. Transport giant Stagecoach Group moved into tenth position. It recorded a 2.4 per cent rise in profits to £158m and a 4.46 per cent increase in turnover to £2.93bn. Stagecoach has achieved ten years of sustainable growth, reflecting its strategy of targeting organic growth in its bus networks, rail franchise opportunities and selected acquisitions. In 2014, it celebrated two major rail franchise wins with partner Virgin: the West Coast rail line, in June, and the East Coast rail line from Edinburgh to London, in November, which will see an investment of £140m on the route.
THIS ATTRACTION REALLY IS A FANTASTIC ASSET TO THE TOURISM OFFERING IN PERTHSHIRE.”
Perth has the second highest employment rate of Scotland’s cities.
The accreditation, the highest awarded by the national tourism organisation, recognises the centre’s “exceptional standards”, and Jim Clarkson, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “This attraction really is a fantastic asset to the tourism offering in Perthshire.” VisitScotland’s grading system assesses businesses according to a set of national quality standards, ensuring they meet essential requirements for cleanliness, safety, security, comfort, sustainability and customer care. Off-road facilities at the centre include an obstacle/assault course with rutted tracks, steep hills, boulders, slippery slopes and woodland tracks. In addition, the company also has landowners’ permission to access over 100 miles of local wild Highland estate. The Land Rover Experience Scotland has been in operation since the beginning of 2003, although the site has been home to off-road driving for around 22 years. The centre’s additional facilities include two conference rooms, which boast views over Butterstone Loch and can hold up to 50 people.
> INFO email@example.com 01350 727720
THE LAND ROVER EXPERIENCE SCOTLAND, LOCATED NEAR DUNKELD, RECEIVED FIVE-STAR ACTIVITY CENTRE STATUS FROM VISITSCOTLAND IN JANUARY.
OFF-ROAD CENTRE CLEARLY ON TARGET The company has permission to access over 100 miles of local wild estate land.
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Robert Doig, Caithness Potatoes Ltd.
Perthshire plays a vital role in developing new varieties of this staple foodstuff through a mash up of scientific and commercial expertise, built on decades of experience. “Potatoes are now an expanding crop in hot climates, especially the Middle East and Asia, where diseases are more prevalent,” explains Robert Doig, one of the directors of Caithness Potatoes Ltd. “We have been growing commercial seed potatoes here for more than 30 years and are known in particular for virus resistance.” A new potato plant can be grown from another potato plant or a piece of potato, called a ‘seed’. Each new plant can produce 5-20 new tubers, which will be genetic clones of the mother seed plant. Scotland has a worldwide reputation for the provenance of its seed potatoes – thanks in large measure to the research and germplasm pool developed and maintained by the James Hutton Institute. Probably the world’s largest centre for research into potatoes, the Institute has a commercial arm – rebranded as James Hutton Ltd on 1 April – which converts its pure research into products and services of value to the industry. This is offered through breeding, plant pathology and potato agronomy and physiology. The biodiversity of its germplasm is important as it includes traits for resistances to pests, diseases and climatic conditions. “Caithness has been working with the Institute since 2006, developing new cultivars,” explains Dr Jonathan Snape, Managing Director, James Hutton Ltd. “It is a long process, with cross selection required each season to develop the particular traits they want. The whole process is very collaborative – we make suggestions, but the grower is involved in every step of selection each year, to get the final result they want. We can prioritise traits such as shape, colour, yield,
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
IN TERMS OF HUMAN CONSUMPTION, THE HUMBLE POTATO IS THE THIRD MOST IMPORTANT FOOD CROP IN THE WORLD (AFTER RICE AND WHEAT). IN FACT, MORE THAN A BILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE EAT POTATOES AS A KEY PART OF THEIR DIET, AND THE GLOBAL TOTAL CROP PRODUCTION EXCEEDS 300 MILLION METRIC TONS.
pest resistance; develop potatoes for salads or crisps or baking – whatever target market they have in mind.” “With this cultivar we are getting close now,” adds Robert. “We may have one or two plants ready this year for registering on national lists, which is necessary before we can sell to growers. “We need luck in predicting how market trends will evolve so far ahead, but the genetics expertise we can access through the Institute is a real commercial advantage.” With such a long lead time, seed potato growers must look at their crossing schedules Dr Jonathan Snape, James Hutton Ltd.
THE WHOLE PROCESS IS VERY COLLABORATIVE – WE MAKE SUGGESTIONS, BUT THE GROWER IS INVOLVED IN EVERY STEP OF SELECTION EACH YEAR.”
every couple of years, with perhaps a ten-year vision for what the market will look like when the new variety is available to sell. “James Hutton’s close proximity is essential,” explains Robert. “We wouldn’t be working with them if we couldn’t engage at a personal level as we develop the traits we need. The genetics expertise provided by the Institute is invaluable – together with the pathogen-tested germplasm. Our product will have unique intellectual property and the exclusive plant variety rights that we will hold under the commercial agreement with James Hutton Ltd will mean growers can only obtain this variety of seed potato from us.” During trials and once into production, the seed potatoes grown by Caithness are all grown in Perthshire. “We employ up to 70 people a season and plant around 3,500 acres,” adds Robert. “This year we will have a crop of around 26,000 tonnes and almost all will be shipped from Grangemouth or ports on the River Forth. Perthshire has the soil, climate conditions and connectivity we need. Transport costs are very important and the proximity we have to national and international markets makes all the difference.”
> INFO hutton.ac.uk/commercial
KNOW-HOW | FAST TRACK
Perth’s workforce has the joint highest percentage of graduates of all Scottish cities – 61.5 per cent.
PUSHING THE LIMITS FOUNDED IN 2007 BY IAIN HUTCHISON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PERTH-BASED MERLIN ERD EPITOMISES THE BEST OF BRITISH ENGINEERING. With more than 20 year’s experience as a drilling engineer Iain understood the potential value in providing specialised engineering support to an industry seeking to push the extended reach drilling envelope. The ability to extend wells further and deeper from drilling platforms remains a key enabling technology in unlocking trapped reserves, enhancing oil recovery and driving down costs for operators. Today, Merlin provides expert consultancy, design and training services to drilling contractors and operators across the globe, helping to safely and successfully deliver some of the longest and most challenging oil and gas wells in the world. Since start up, the business has grown from a team of two to now employ 32 people. “We’re recruiting the best expertise in the industry, identifying the engineering talent behind some of the most complex wells in the world,” explains Debbie Hutchison, Marketing Director. “It’s currently a challenging time for the oil and gas industry, but we see this as an opportunity to cement our position as a world leader in our field.” Working closely with international OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),
WE’RE RECRUITING THE BEST EXPERTISE IN THE INDUSTRY, IDENTIFYING THE ENGINEERING TALENT BEHIND SOME OF THE MOST COMPLEX WELLS IN THE WORLD.”
BEST OF BRITISH
Merlin’s best of British engineering ethos is reflected in their name – a reverential nod to the iconic Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the exceptional powerplant behind the legendary Supermarine Spitfire. It’s why Merlin ERD has also sponsored and supported the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project for the past four years as the team strives to break 1,000mph in 2015-16 and in doing so, smash the FIA World Land Speed Record.
Merlin plays an instrumental role in the development of new technologies and techniques. Whether through feasibility studies, overcoming complex drilling challenges, reducing cost through innovative engineering solutions or sharing their expertise through Merlinrun training schools, the business has established itself as a ‘go to’ solution provider for the energy sector. “Training services now provide the business with an invaluable income stream. Extended reach drilling is a highly specialised discipline and crew understanding and capability remains a key success factor in drilling complex wells. So the importance of effective training has never been greater,” adds Debbie. Merlin now operates in 34 countries around the globe and works with international oil and gas majors, as well as smaller independent operators. Located in the heart of Scotland and less than 90 minutes by road from Aberdeen, Europe’s oil and gas capital, the business has won a number of trade awards including a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014, in recognition of its international success.
> INFO merlinerd.com
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
£9.2BN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR IN SCOTLAND GENERATES £9.2BN GVA ACCOUNTING FOR AROUND 10 PER CENT OF THE SCOTTISH ECONOMY
A PROUD HISTORY, A BRIGHT FUTURE AVIVA, THE UK’S LARGEST INSURER AND ONE OF EUROPE’S LEADING PROVIDERS OF LIFE AND GENERAL, INSURANCE HAS A LONG AND DISTINGUISHED HISTORY IN PERTHSHIRE, STRETCHING BACK 130 YEARS. INVEST IN PERTH CAUGHT UP WITH WILSON KERR, AVIVA’S HEAD OF UK GENERAL INSURANCE PARTNERSHIPS, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GROUP’S PERTH-BASED OPERATIONS. 8
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
DEEP ROOTS, UNRIVALLED EXPERTISE “One of the intriguing aspects about our local workforce is that we have many families who have worked for Aviva, or its predecessor brands, for many generations,” adds Wilson. Perth is recognised as Aviva’s household claims centre of excellence. “Here, we handle customer claims originated through Aviva Direct, our broker community or one of our corporate partners,” says Wilson. “We’ve centralised expertise to allow us to focus on customers’ expected levels of service.” With approximately 1,100 employees in Perth – about 10 per cent of Aviva’s UK workforce – the Pitheavlis campus is a sizeable site enjoying panoramic views over the Perthshire landscape. “What sells Perth within Aviva is the level of expertise we offer. A foundation built upon unrivalled local knowledge of the sector, going back to our General Accident heritage where employees often had a job for
AVIVA EMPLOYS APPROXIMATELY 1,100 PEOPLE IN PERTH, ABOUT 10 PER CENT OF ITS UK WORKFORCE As well as its core household claims function, Perth is also home to Aviva’s staff pensions team and a specialist legal team dealing with distribution contracts for both the brokering and partnership arms of the business. That’s not all. A team of commercial underwriters and sales people service the needs of Aviva’s regional broker community, dealing with sales enquiries and underwriting referrals. Then there are commercial underwriting product teams, risk management,
INVESTING IN PERTH’S FUTURE With such a proud regional history, Aviva – a living wage employer – continues to support the area as an active member of the Perthshire community. In 2013, in a clear signal of its commitment to the region, Aviva purchased the site of its Pitheavlis campus, securing the long-term future of operations in the city. Working with both local schools and Perth and Kinross Council, Aviva now supports The Career Academy, a partnership with nine Perthshire schools designed to provide career opportunities for young people interested in financial services. “We offer Aviva colleagues the chance to mentor individual students, help young people gain greater experience of corporate culture and highlight the range of opportunities available through a global company,” says Wilson. “Each year, we offer nine, four-week paid internships at the beginning of June to successful candidates keen to get more hands on experience within Aviva. We also invite local schools – both primary and secondary – into our offices to attend interactive workshops on working life and work skills. We’re extremely proud of our educational programmes, complemented by our national three-year graduate development programme. “Our strong family history in the area ensures we retain a high level of awareness among school leavers as they head off to university and college,” adds Wilson.
The local economic output from the financial and professional services sector is estimated at just over £135m per year.
life. This gives us an incredible platform from which to deliver exceptional levels of service to our customers, partners and brokers. “There’s a good concentration of financial services talent in Perth, but the city is also well connected,” says Wilson. “Having Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee close by allows us to tap into a resource pool with a high level of transferable skills in Financial Services as a whole. There is certainly a halo effect as a result. We also have an active insurance market in Perth and we enjoy good relationships with our local broker partners, such as George Stubbs and Clark Thomson. The work being undertaken at a regional level is helping to foster that sense of community within our insurance offering, and I applaud efforts to strengthen and showcase those links and relationships.”
marketing support and a sizeable IT team. Finally, Perth is home to Aviva’s relationship management teams for its General Insurance commercial partners and brokers. “UK-wide we have more than 50 partnerships and around 2,600 broker partnerships,” highlights Wilson, “so it’s a large number of third party relationships we need to manage.”
PEOPLE ARE EMPLOYED IN FINANCIAL SERVICES ACROSS PERTH CITY REGION, REPRESENTING 650 COMPANIES
Serving more than 31 million customers worldwide with insurance, savings and investment products, Aviva operates in 16 countries around the globe. It has 13 million customers in the UK alone (accounting for 52 per cent of the organisation’s operating profits in 2013). In Perth, the business focuses heavily on general insurance – in particular, home insurance. In fact, the operation at Pitheavlis, overlooking the River Tay, is one of seven national centres of excellence. “Aviva has had a constant presence here since the formation of General Accident, in 1885,” explains Wilson. “For more than 130 years we have been a mainstay of the local community and a key private sector employer.” General Accident traded until 1998 when it merged with Commercial Union to become CGU. In 2000, CGU and Norwich Union combined before the journey was completed in 2009, with the UK rebrand of the business to reflect the group’s global Aviva brand.
PERTH IS HOME TO AVIVA’S HOUSEHOLD CLAIMS TEAM AND IS RECOGNISED AS A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN THE FIELD.” “We’re also very active in the Chartered Insurance Institute – the leading professional body for the global financial services profession – with a number of individuals across the business taking a leading role in the development of new talent. “It’s about retaining a talent pipeline for the business, but it’s also part of our responsibilities as a part of the Perthshire community.”
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
RECIPE FOR REGIONAL SUC WITH A GROWING POPULATION AND ITS ENDURING TOURIST APPEAL, PERTH CITY REGION IS HOME TO ALMOST 1,000 FOOD AND DRINK BUSINESSES – THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION IN SCOTLAND.
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
HOME OF WHISKY FESTIVAL
Exel themselves were co-founders of the Home of Whisky Festival, in 2014, which will run again in May 2015. “Last year’s launch was a little nerve-wracking, but we had more than 150 people attend and received great feedback from the visitors and the distillers.” Collaborations are a key ingredient to the local success of the sector, which employs more than 5,200 people (almost one in ten of the working population) and is targeted to grow. Exel supported Morrison & Mackay, Perth-based independent whisky merchants, when they launched Old Perth Whisky in 2014, a blend of three pure malts that celebrates a recipe used up until the 1970s by a former Perth-based vintner. “With whisky, just as with our wines, we specialise in the uncommon,” explains Russell. Almost half the range in our Perth shop consists of whiskies, including many rare malts that are popular with aficionados, especially in Scandinavia.”
The region’s 6,255 businesses’ average turnover is a third more than that of the average Scottish local authority business base.
Above: Richard Barclay of Rannoch Smokery, Innovation Award winner, Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2014.
LOCAL BUSINESSES COMMIT TO SOURCING AT LEAST 40 PER CENT OF THEIR INGREDIENTS FROM LOCAL SUPPLIERS
LAST YEAR’S LAUNCH WAS A LITTLE NERVE-WRACKING, BUT WE HAD MORE THAN 150 PEOPLE ATTEND AND RECEIVED GREAT FEEDBACK FROM THE VISITORS AND THE DISTILLERS.”
Exel Wines are very like the vintages they champion. A niche player, they deliver on quality – and reward the buyer searching for something distinctive. “We started out, in Perth, in 2009,” explains Russell Wallace, General Manager. “Our first client was a collector in the Far East. We sought out individual vintages for him, bought by the bottle and brought together a collection of fine wine where provenance was paramount. Bottles averaged more than £1000 each and the project needed a long-term time requirement. The question then was how to use the knowledge and contacts we’d gained.” Focused on unusual wines, niche suppliers, (who cannot fulfil the volume demanded by the major multiples) and less familiar countries – such as India and Morocco – Exel quickly built a worldwide reputation based around knowledge, quality and reliability. Their story is an analogy for Scotland’s food and drink sector – and specifically Perthshire’s. Premium quality and cast-iron provenance are the seeds of a national strategy that aims to achieve a turnover of £16.5bn for Scottish food and drink businesses by 2017. From the fantastic array of beef, lamb and venison produced in highland Perthshire, the soft fruit industry of the east, arable produce from the vale of Strathmore and the many artisan and specialist businesses throughout the area – represented here by Exel – Perthshire‘s unrivalled heritage in food and drink is clear. The area has a particularly strong whisky heritage, with distillery production in Aberfeldy, Blackford, Crieff and Pitlochry – including Glenturret, home of The Famous Grouse Experience, which claims to be Scotland’s oldest distillery, and Edradour, Scotland’s smallest commercial distillery. There are also strong local brand associations with Bells and Dewars.
Exel grew out of the enthusiasm and expertise Russell developed for wine while a restaurateur. Today, Perth enjoys the highest ratio of restaurants to population of any Scottish city; with many showcasing the fantastic local produce from Perthshire’s rich farmland, mountains, lochs and rivers. Many now proudly promote local food and drink products and experiences to local regulars and visitors. It is a cause championed by Experiencing Scotland, a Scottish Enterprise project that has worked with many local tourism companies, including Crieff Hydro, Scone Palace and Moness Resort, to promote local produce. It has delivered, on average, a 10 per cent increase on food and drink turnover. Other national schemes in 2015 – the national Year of Food and Drink – include Taste our Best, which has encouraged more than 50 local businesses to commit to sourcing at least 40 per cent of their ingredients from local suppliers.
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Exel Wines are very like the vintages they champion: distinctive.
OF LOCAL PRIMARY PRODUCE IS NOW PROCESSED LOCALLY
PERTH OFFERED GREAT CONNECTIVITY AND A LOWER COST BASE, WHICH HAS MADE IT EASIER TO GET OURSELVES ESTABLISHED.”
Iain Burnett, Highland Chocolatier, winner, Best Hot Chocolate, at the International Chocolate Awards 2014.
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
And there’s no shortage of quality suppliers to select from. A number of award-winning and innovative food and drink companies also have major production and processing facilities here. (The Macauley Institute estimate 25 per cent of local primary produce is now processed locally.) These include Highland Spring, Simon Howie Foods, Taylors Food Group, Stewarts of Tayside and Thomas Thomson’s. Another supplier with a leading reputation, Scotherbs, merged in 2014 with Langmeads, the Sussex-based herb specialist. “The agreement will further build on Scotherbs’ skills, Scottish growing and packing capabilities, distinctive provenance and reputation, but bring additional access to investment funds,” says Ian Summerfield, Langmead’s CEO. Inveralmond Brewery, winners of the Excellence in Food and Drink Award in 2014, are just one of the innovative small to medium enterprises (SMEs), artisan producers and
PERTH FOOD & DRINK PARK Through the provision of serviced development land and business infrastructure and support facilities, Perth Food & Drink Park is the ideal place for a food and drink business to thrive. The Park is located strategically close to the A9 trunk road and is only a 45 minute drive from Edinburgh International Airport. The new Park offers serviced development plots ranging in size from 1 acre (0.4 Ha) to 3 acres (1.2 Ha). Individual plots are available by way of a development licence, which converts to a long term grassum lease on completion of the agreed development. Financial incentives are available subject to eligibility.
The Perth City Investment Plan sets out more than around £400m of planned investment over the next five years.
> INFO perthfoodanddrinkpark.co.uk
drive innovation through knowledge exchange, collaboration and funding with academics at Scottish Universities*. Specialists include Food Innovation at the University of Abertay, just 25 minutes drive from Perth, which offers practical innovation support for SMEs in particular. Exel’s Russell Wallace expects big things of 2015. “We’re now at a point where we can grow exponentially, improve our processes, improve promotion and build organically on a satisfied base of customers.” The same is true across Perthshire’s food and drink sector. (Mackie’s Crisps, for one, is launching into new export markets in Denmark and Belgium in 2015.) With national recognition for Perthshire’s significance in the Food and Drink sector – and with its ambitious targets for growth in mind – Perth & Kinross Council has created the Perth Food & Drink Park: the only dedicated industrial food and drink park in Scotland. This 15 acre site provides serviced development plots to businesses operating in any part of the supply chain, whether looking to start up, grow or relocate. A Food and Drink Innovation Hub will also be situated on the site, which is close to the A9 trunk road and just 45 minutes drive from Edinburgh International Airport. As the worldwide business reach of Exel demonstrates, this region is a good base. “Perth has been a great start up location for us,” says Russell. “Its offered great connectivity and a lower cost base, which has made it easier to get ourselves established. “We know and care about what we supply and our customers enjoy the specialist insight we offer. Now, as the economic prospects improve, we are seeing more people looking for something different. That’s what we offer here. And if you deliver, people come back.”
Exelwines.co.uk Homeofwhisky.exelwines.com Experiencingscotland.com
*Due to Perth’s strategic location at the heart of Scotland’s road network, seven universities are within an hour’s drive – all among the top 50 in the UK and including five ranked by QS among the world’s top 25 universities.
As well as its reputation for quality, the sector in Perthshire is also envied for its flair for innovation. The Interface Food & Drink programme is just one vehicle that promotes partnerships between businesses. Its aim is to
THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS
TARGETED TURNOVER BY SCOTLAND’S FOOD AND DRINK BUSINESSES BY 2017
international brands that helped the region to generate £280m in turnover, in 2012. Many of them can be found on the Highland Perthshire Whisky and Food Trail, including Iain Burnett, the award-winning ‘Highland Chocolatier’ in Grandtully; Rannoch Smokery, (which has recently received funds for promotional activities through the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-Operative Scheme funded by Scottish Government); and Dunkeld Smokery, recommended by Olive magazine as one of the best secret places to buy from, as used by top chefs.
highlandspring.com thescottishbutcher.com taypack-potatoes.co.uk stewartsoftayside.co.uk tthomson.co.uk scotherbs.co.uk inveralmond-brewery.co.uk tummelandtayfestival.co.uk/trail.html highlandchocolatier.com rannochsmokery.co.uk dunkeldsmokedsalmon.com interfacefoodanddrink.org foodinnovation.abertay.ac.uk mackiescrisps.co.uk perthfoodanddrinkpark.co.uk
> INFO firstname.lastname@example.org 01738 475300 investinperth.co.uk
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
WITH BERNARD MURPHY
2014 PROVED TO BE A MOMENTOUS YEAR FOR THE GLENEAGLES® HOTEL. NOT ONLY DID IT HOST THE RYDER CUP, BUT IT ALSO CELEBRATED 90 YEARS SINCE OPENING ITS DOORS TO THE PUBLIC IN 1924. INVEST IN PERTH CAUGHT UP WITH BERNARD MURPHY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TO HEAR MORE ABOUT FUTURE PLANS FOR THE FIVE STAR PERTHSHIRE RETREAT. 14
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
Q: WHAT DOES THE GLENEAGLES HOTEL BRAND STAND FOR?
A: There are a number of values we embrace: honesty, integrity, authenticity. There are no shortcuts here. We believe in doing things right and giving really great experiences to our customers, most of whom have been here before. Some of our members have been with us for more than 30 years. We’re in the business of building lasting relationships – with our customers and our staff.
Q: HOW DOES THE HOTEL MAINTAIN ITS RYDER CUP MOMENTUM AND PROFILE INTO 2015 AND BEYOND? A: Hosting the Ryder Cup enhanced the profile of the hotel and the surrounding area – the G8 conference did the same thing in 2005. It reinforces the association between brand and quality.
Q: THE HOTEL CELEBRATED ITS 90TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2014. HAVE THE VALUES ENSHRINED IN 1924 EVOLVED OR REMAINED CONSTANT? A: I think they are constant. We talk a lot about creating exceptional memories for our guests, a principle captured through our brand values. Our setting in the heart of Perthshire is obviously very important
Q: TO WHAT EXTENT DO THE HOTEL, AND PERTHSHIRE’S UNIQUE COUNTRYSIDE, GO HAND IN HAND? A: Perthshire makes it easy in some respects. Quite unashamedly, we sell the beautiful scenery we have here. We sit looking at the Ochil Hills while the surrounding glens, forests and trails are ideal for walkers and cyclists. An increasing proportion of our customers live in the city today. The appeal of a rural retreat has never been greater and Perthshire is hard to beat.
Q: DOES GLENEAGLES BENEFIT
Q: GLENEAGLES RECENTLY RECRUITED PAUL HEERY AS GENERAL MANAGER, SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE THE HOTEL. WHAT DOES PAUL BRING TO THE ROLE?
role for quite some time – approximately 30 years I believe. I felt it was necessary. We have an experienced senior team at the hotel, with very little churn. Paul’s arrival brings a different perspective and fresh ideas. His previous hotel was known for its exceptional service levels, but here at Gleneagles we’re significantly larger, with up to 1,000 guests during busy periods. I know Paul will focus relentlessly on service and deliver that personal attention to detail.
Q: AS A FIVE STAR RESORT OF WORLD RENOWN, DOES GLENEAGLES HAVE TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN ITS INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION? A: In a business like ours it’s a question of continuous evolution rather than revolution. We’re currently investing £1.1m in a bedroom refurbishment. Elsewhere, our equestrian arena was being underused, so we are developing a new 2,500m2 multi-use space – the Gleneagles Arena, which will greatly enhance our function facilities.
Q: YOU MENTIONED THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR STAFF. HOW DOES GLENEAGLES APPROACH RECRUITMENT AND IS IT EASY TO ATTRACT TALENT? A: Our staff are vital to the values that our customers enjoy, so we need to ensure we recruit and retain the best people. To a large extent, our reputation drives our recruitment – a couple of years at Gleneagles tends to stand out on any CV. We are a major local employer, with 80 per cent of our staff living within 12 miles of the hotel.
However, our requirements are diverse, which is why we recruit from all over the world. In fact, we work with 150 colleges across Europe, providing placements and insights into five star hotel management, as well as steering course content.
Q: HOW IMPORTANT IS BUSINESS TOURISM AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE MARKET? A: 50 per cent of our business used to be generated through organised groups, driven largely by business. One outcome of the economic downturn has been to see that figure fall to around 40 per cent of our business. That actually creates an opportunity. It’s important to maintain a diverse customer base. Blending business tourism with family and leisure customers means people are using different areas of the hotel at different times. That helps us to deliver the exceptional standards of service we aspire to. Everybody can co-exist and enjoy the full range of our services.
Q: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR GLENEAGLES IN 2015 AND BEYOND? A: We are delighted to complete, ahead of schedule, improvements to our historic King’s and Queen’s golf courses, including the installation of new drainage. With the completion of our bedroom refurbishment and the opening of the new Gleneagles Arena in April, we’re ideally set for a really great 2015.
FROM BEING SO CENTRALLY LOCATED IN SCOTLAND? A: Being located an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow international airports, as well as just an hour and a half from Aberdeen, means we are well positioned to capitalise on both UK and international tourism. In fact, we have seen an increase in guests from the Middle East as a direct result of new Etihad and Qatar Airlines connections into Edinburgh.
A: We hadn’t hired someone external to the
Revenue from tourism is worth in excess of £400m annually to the local economy.
to us, as is our level of service. ‘Service to delight’ is the cornerstone of our approach. We also talk about choice – there are a myriad of reasons to visit Gleneagles, anything from business conferences to leisure breaks, or a visit to the gym or golf course. Staff are trained to consider the unique requirements of each and every customer in order to deliver a tailored service.
> INFO GLENEAGLES.COM
BERNARD MURPHY CV Before beginning his career in hospitality, Bernard achieved a BA First Class Honours Degree in Hotel and Catering Management, and latterly a Master of Business Administration with distinction from the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business. Bernard’s experience and interest in hospitality started in London in the early nineties, when he worked for The Churchill Inter-Continental Hotel, as Front Desk Manager, and then moved on to The Britannia Inter-Continental Hotel in London, as Assistant Front Office Manager.
He worked at Gleneagles from 1995 to 2005, holding various managerial positions, from Front of House Manager to Hotel/Resident Manager, before joining Compass Group, the world leading food and support service company. While there, Bernard lead facilities management for the RBS Headquarters in Edinburgh and managed front of house and catering services throughout the UK and Ireland for RBS. He returned to The Gleneagles Hotel as General Manager in December 2007, before his appointment as Managing Director in January 2015.
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
SCOTLAND’S BUSIEST AIRPORT IS LESS THAN 45-MINUTES BY ROAD FROM PERTH.”
CONNECTIVITY ON OFFER FOR THE LONG HAUL
Perth’s strategic location, at the centre of Scotland, and its exceptional road, rail and air links combine to offer businesses operating here significant benefits. More than half the population of Scotland live within an hour’s drive of Perth, delivering quick and easy access to both markets and talent. Scotland’s two major international airports – in Edinburgh and Glasgow – both easily accessible by road, provide excellent connectivity to the rest of the UK and beyond. Work is underway on an extensive redevelopment of Edinburgh airport’s immigration and baggage reclaim facilities. The new £65m airside expansion is the second major project in an ambitious fiveyear plan and follows the completion of the terminal’s extension late last year. It will triple capacity for the increasing number of bigger long-haul aircraft now using Scotland’s busiest airport, which is less than 45-minutes by road from Perth city centre. Long-haul traffic at Edinburgh Airport
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
DUNDEE AIRPORT, JUST 20 MINUTES FROM PERTH, OFFERS 11 DIRECT FLIGHTS EACH WEEK TO LONDON STANSTED. Travel times from Perth
was up almost 90 per cent in 2014, due to new routes with Qatar Airways, United Airways, United Airlines and US Airways, and increased services from Turkish Airlines. More than 40 airlines now fly to more than 100 destinations from the airport. Its board is investing £195m over five years to ensure that its facilities reflect the predicted growth in passenger numbers – forecast to increase to 13 million by 2021. The development plan will include extensive construction of new aircraft stands and the first stage – a 2000sqm rapid-build structure around which a bigger structure is to be built – is due for delivery this summer, ahead of the arrival of Etihad Airways. It launches the first link between Scotland and Abu Dhabi on 8 June. Glasgow Airport offers access to more than 100 destinations, from Bordeaux to Warsaw via Marrakech, with long-haul routes such as Emirates’ double daily service to Dubai helping to attracting inward investment to Scotland and supporting the tourism economy.
PERTH HAS A 5-YEAR BUSINESS SURVIVAL RATE THAT EXCEEDS BOTH THE SCOTTISH AND UK AVERAGES. Herve Tabourel, chef proprietor of Pig’Halle.
Almost 100 per cent of business premises in Perth have access to super-fast broadband.
A FOODIE’S PARADISE THE CITY OF PERTH HAS A SUPERB REPUTATION FOR EATING OUT.
With an eye already on expansion of the brand, Blend is already employing nine people. “Business Gateway in Perth has been very supportive. From day one we’ve planned a brand that is scalable and Perth has been a great launch pad.” Herve Tabourel, proprietor and chef at Pig’Halle is about to launch a new home delivery food business. A veteran of the city restaurant scene, this will be the sixth restaurant he has set up in Perth in the past 12 years. “When you have one success, that opens up other opportunities,” explains Herve, who runs Pig’Halle with his Portuguese wife Paula. “We felt welcome in the city from day one and our children have grown up in Perth.” Pig’Halle, an authentic French brasserie, has been trading for five years and the couple still run Duo, a Mediterranean deli and restaurant. Their first venture, Café Tabou opened in 2002 and was sold to a member of their team. It is still delighting regulars with great food at a reasonable price. In the interim the couple – serial entrepreneur’s who are generating an extended family of new businesses – have also opened and sold Briezh and Sante to employees. “That’s a good legacy,” reflects Herve, who is looking forward to the summer opening of their latest venture, next door to Pig’Halle. “You have to be alert to new opportunities. We will use a wood-burning oven to produce artisan pizzas, bread, pastries and other dishes that can deliver fresh quality food to homes. We’ll be adding about eight employees to the 20 working here now and I’m hoping to work with Perth College to create some apprenticeships.”
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE&|LIVING LIVING
Gregor Banks, second from right and partners in Blend.
POPULATION GROWTH FORECAST BY 2030
With the highest concentration of restaurants per head of population among all Scotland’s cities, residents, visitors and conference delegates always find a great choice of cuisines on offer – each making the most of local ingredients from one of Europe’s finest natural larders. Locally caught wild or farmed top quality salmon and trout; beef, lamb, game and seasonal fruit and vegetables all help chef’s cater for every taste. Many dishes are flavored or accompanied with award-winning local beers and whiskies – or even chocolate. Just as well; with 90 per cent of Scotland’s population living within easy drive time for a day trip to Perthshire, more than 550,000 visitors come to the city itself each year, while the region attracts 1.9 million visitors. Gregor Banks is co-owner of Blend, an independent coffee house in the heart of the city, opening in 2013. “The idea was to create a community hub: a vibrant social space. We hit the ground running and things have evolved faster than we dared expect. We stay open to 9pm on Thursday and Friday evenings and offer space for local musicians, with an open-mic session every fortnight. We also hold regular events every week, working with local groups like Autism Support.” That community ethos extends to suppliers – with the business sponsoring children in the three countries from which it sources its Fair Trade coffee, and photos on the wall give regulars an update on their progress.
ROOM FOR EXPANSION
PERTH HAS THE LOWEST VACANCY RATE OF ANY SCOTTISH MAJOR TOWN OR CITY.
INVEST IN PERTH_SPRING/SUMMER 2015
G1 Group’s Harry’s Bar.
With the city’s population projected to grow by 13 per cent in the next decade, it is a great place to start or grow a business. In this issue, we showcase two food and drink companies that have recently expanded their offering. The G1 Group is Scotland’s most diverse and largest independent leisure operator, with a collection of more than 45 venues in Scotland. In Perth, G1 operates The Bothy, which serves a mix of Scottish favourites and bistro bites. In November 2014, it also opened Harry’s Bar, in the city centre. This familyfriendly restaurant, complete with soft play and craft activities offers hand-stretched pizzas, a selection of tasty pasta and sandwiches and salads. G1 also owns Perth cinema, originally built in 1933 and acquired by the group in 2010 as part of its strategy to diversify as a leisure group. In 2014, the company added an IMAX cinema to the Perth Playhouse, which now has seven screens in total. “The Perth Playhouse has undergone a multimillion refurbishment, including the introduction of the state of the art IMAX experience – the first in an independent cinema in the UK – and the hip new City Café, which specialises in coffees, shakes and sundaes,” said G1 Group Managing Director Stefan King. “The IMAX Experience is so immersive that it can help audiences forget they are in a cinema and transport them into the action and drama of a film.”
Sometimes the best business development involves tweaking what you already know. That was the belief of brothers Richard and Graham Howie, who wanted to take the proven concept of their Dunkeld bistro and replicate it in Perth. They had a need for capital but also wanted the expertise, contacts and experience that a partner could offer, and so they came to one of the investor events run by The Angel’s Share. This forum, run by Perth & Kinross Council, aims to match entrepreneurs to investors; helping businesses to develop, grow and succeed with the right support. “Howie’s had been trading for three and half years with impressive results,” explains Finlay Kerr, of The Angel’s Share. “With a clever and innovative approach they generated a high return base, so the business was well placed for expansion. A second unit had been identified in Perth and the plan was to get funding to back their expansion.” Howie’s Bistro in Perth opened in June 2014 and now offers local fresh produce, home cooking and excellent service under the eye of head chef Michael Grant, who was previously at the prestigious 5* Fairmont hotel and resort in St Andrews.
> INFO theangelsshare.org.uk perth.howiesbistro.com harrysperth.co.uk
PROMOTING PERTH AS A HIGH QUALITY BUSINESS LOCATION “The Perth City Ambassador programme is an exciting and informative way of engaging with potential visitors to our fantastic city and a great opportunity to really tell people about what a gem we have here. It is also a great way of bringing together different strands of the City life and work by coordinating key members of the community into one voice to express what we have to offer.” Fergus Clark, Managing Director, The Inveralmond Brewery
Attracting business and investment to Perth and the wider city region can bring huge benefits for everyone in the area.“ ”Making that happen is not just the responsibility of Perth and Kinross Council. All of us in the business community in the area have a role to play in selling to the world the huge advantages our vibrant city and the surrounding area has to offer. “The Ambassador Programme is a great way we can work together to do that and we hope as many businesses as possible – big and small – get fully behind the initiative.” Steven Stewart, Director of Communications, Stagecoach Group
> INFO For further details, please contact Stuart Oliver, Inward Investment and Marketing Officer e: email@example.com t: 01738 477959
GOOD COMPANY | AMBASSADORS
The Ambassador programme is clearly an important aspect of the ‘Invest in Perth’ initiative. While our attractive location has many benefits, it’s really through sharing the real-life stories and experiences of the businesspeople who have made the choice to build a business here, that the argument is most persuasive.” Iain Hutchison, Director, Merlin ERD Ltd
ATTRACTING BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT TO PERTH AND THE WIDER CITY REGION CAN BRING HUGE BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE IN THE AREA.” Etihad Airways will launch the first direct link between Scotland and Abu Dhabi, in June.
The Invest in Perth Ambassador Programme draws upon the experience and connections of key business people, representing a diverse range of sectors, who promote the city region and its opportunities whenever possible. Our Ambassadors promote Perth City Region as a high quality business location and an attractive proposition for inward investment. As local business owners and managers you too can do the same. We encourage everyone: • To promote the Perth City Region and its investment opportunities nationally and internationally • To promote the area as a business and conference destination through your own networks • To increase collaboration and communication across all sectors • To support bids and pitches for major projects and investments in the city region • To celebrate businesses’ success and achievements across the region. The Ambassador programme allows for greater communication and collaboration between Perth & Kinross Council, its public partners and the private sector as we work together to develop the Perth City Region as the perfect place to live, work, invest and visit.
ARE YOU SEEKING FINANCE? The Angel’s Share is primarily for established businesses seeking finance to grow. They will have a need for capital but possibly also expertise, contacts and experience. The Angel’s Share can assist businesses in finding a business angel that matches their needs.
INVESTOR PITCHING EVENT 23RD APRIL
• Five businesses will pitch to an invited audience of investors
Any business keen to be involved should contact Finlay Kerr: e: firstname.lastname@example.org
• The theme is technology and innovation in the wider sense, including business model and process.
atch the website for details W of the venue: theangelsshare.org.uk
SPRING/SUMMER 2015_INVEST IN PERTH
of Scotlandâ€™s population live within 60 mins drive time of Perth
Around 50% of Scotland's population live within 60 minutes drive time of Perth, Scotland's fastest-growing city. The magazine highlights pot...