INSIDE #4 SPOTLIGHT ON TAY CITIES DEAL INTERVIEW WITH PERTH RACECOURSE PERTH IS THE PLACE
IN THIS ISSUE 6
TAY CITIES DEAL
Keith Fergie, Chair of Perth Traders’ Association
Potential multi-million pound boost all set to bolster region
Perthshire Business Awards; Aberfeldy bookshop honour
Investment brings thoroughbred facilities to Perth Racecourse
PERTH CITY PLAN
The entrepreneurs and talented start-ups blazing the business trail
How ambitious long-term vision will become reality of tomorrow
Vibrant and dynamic space shows character with £30m development
Perth launches City of Culture bid
How economic statistics add up
THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED ON ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PAPER.
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CULTURAL QUARTER 18
Local businesses play their part in helping youngsters find work
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Invest in Perth is published by Invest in Perth. Written and designed by Connect. Tel:0141 561 0300. www.connectcommunications.co.uk
In this issue of Invest in Perth, we’re highlighting a few of the initiatives we are involved in to further bolster our infrastructure. The Perth City Plan, our vision to position Perth as one of Europe’s great small cities, illustrates how developments in our infrastructure will deliver our ambitions. Meeting the plan’s short, medium and longterm targets will support growth and ensure we all achieve our potential. Further afield, the Tay Cities Deal is a collaborative approach to ensure continued growth and prosperity across our region. The City Deal could significantly boost the regional economy – delivering business growth, social inclusion and skills development. Couple that with the innovative work going on in Perth and Kinross to develop our young workforce and it is difficult to argue we are not on the front foot when it comes to improving our infrastructure – in its widest possible sense.
Councillor John Kellas, Convener of Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee at Perth & Kinross Council
INVEST IN PERTH CAN HELP We offer a comprehensive investor support programme tailored to each individual business, including: • Help with identifying and accessing funding • Fast track planning service • Single point of contact to facilitate business assistance • A comprehensive search to find suitable land and property • Introductions to key contacts locally. Invest in Perth Kirsty Easton, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD t: 01738 475364 e: email@example.com w: investinperth.co.uk
BETTER BY ASSOCIATION WORKING TOGETHER TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF OUR STRENGTHS IS THE BEST WAY FOR ALL OUR BUSINESSES TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND PROSPER There’s no doubt about it: Perth and Kinross is a fantastic place to do business. It has a huge amount in its favour, and there is every sign that it will continue to go from strength to strength. As the Chair of the Perth Traders’ Association – founded last May – I am helping to play a role in securing the area’s economic future. Luckily, we have some real strengths and opportunities as well as a shared passion among stakeholders to make the city and its environs the very best it can be. One of our biggest advantages is that this area has a very vibrant and upbeat local business community. Our own association has companies of all sizes as members and we also have a large proportion of owner managed businesses. In general, these tend to be hugely enthusiastic about their products and services and work to provide a very high level of customer satisfaction through outstanding customer service. Because of Perth’s reputation as a first class place to shop and relax, we tend to get customers coming into the city from a wide area. This is helped by the fact that we’re ideally positioned at the very heart of Scotland. At most times, no-one here is more than about 15 minutes from a motorway. And 90 per cent of Scotland’s population can access the city within 90 minutes. No centre of population in the country is more accessible. Our population is growing. With some 3500 homes soon to be built, we will be able to draw in more people, increasing our workforce, providing more business for our existing traders and encouraging new ones to start up. This pattern is set to continue, with the number of people living here projected to grow by another 10 per cent by 2030. It all helps Perth to prosper. Of course, we face challenges too. But that’s no different to every other community in the
ONE OF THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGES IS THAT THIS AREA HAS A VIBRANT AND UPBEAT LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY. OUR OWN ASSOCIATION HAS COMPANIES OF ALL SIZES AS MEMBERS.” UK and beyond. And we have some fantastic things in our favour. Perth is a fantastic place to live and work and provides a very high quality environment. It’s in one of the most stunning parts of the country, with beautiful scenery and opportunities for sports such as mountain biking and water activities. In many ways, it’s Scotland’s outdoor capital. This increases its desirability even more. For all these reasons, its economy is growing steadily and quietly. It doesn’t suffer from the peaks and troughs of many other places, which is also clearly an advantage. Another reason we have to be positive about the future of our area is that the is an excellent relationship between the various agencies with a mutual interest in growing our economy. Part of our role in the Perth Traders’ Association is to work closely with organisations such as Perth and Kinross Council, Invest in Perth and the Chamber of Commerce in promoting good business practice. The relationships are working well. The council in particular has listened and is keen to work in partnership with us. There is a real atmosphere of positivity, with local
businesses co-operating to help each other out . Practical examples of where the local authority has helped is the introduction of a 15 minute free parking zone on the street or in its own car parks. This is hugely useful to businesses such as my own - I’m a director of PC Solutions in North Methven Street, and it allows people leaving their computer in for repair to drop it off without worrying about parking charges. The adoption of the RingGo app by the council also helps as it means customers wanting to stay for a longer period can park using their smartphones without having to look for change. This kind of flexibility helps everyone to work together to positively promote Perth and to make sure it achieves its full potential. Our association is playing its part in this through initiatives such as training workshops, ideas exchanges and networking opportunities. And it seems to be popular - our last meeting was standing room only. Having moved to Perth when I was 21 and raised my family here, I am absolutely passionate about the city and the area and want it to succeed. It’s hugely encouraging to see that many other people are as determined as I am. They are actively engaged and doing everything they can to push for further growth and success. There is a real buzz about the place these days and a strong sense we are getting it right. Obviously we can’t be complacent, but developments such as the St John’s Kirk and City Hall projects and the smart city initiative will all be a big help as we move forward. The more we do, the more we will attract businesses and visitors. And that will mean more jobs and prosperity, creating a virtuous circle in which we all benefit. So I’m optimistic about what we’re doing and where we’re going - and I very much hope you are too. Keith Fergie, Chair, Perth Traders’ Association
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ENCHANTED FOREST IS TOP UK EVENT The Enchanted Forest has reinforced its place as one of the UK’s top tourism events after winning Best Cultural Event at the UK Event Awards. The Pitlochry-based show, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record 70,000 visitors, triumphed at The Drum awards ceremony in London in December 2016. The win, for The Enchanted Forest’s 2015 show FLUX, is the latest of numerous awards for the Perthshire event, which also picked up three titles at the Scottish Event Awards in 2016.
The Enchanted Forest attracts visitors and media attention from across the globe. Each October the show turns Pitlochry’s Faskally Wood into an other-worldly experience, funds local community grants and boosts the local economy to the tune of more than £2 million. Last year’s FLUX show funded 27 community grants for local initiatives, as well as donating money to three chosen charities. This year’s show, “shimmer”, sold out six days after opening and more than 90% of visitors recently cited The Enchanted Forest as their main reason for visiting the area.
THE FUTURE STARTS HERE Perth & Kinross, Angus, Dundee and Fife councils have formally announced a submission that could bring huge investment and new jobs to the region. The Tay Cities Deal has identified more than 50 projects, which could create up to 15,000 jobs. Among these is an ambitious scheme to bring a massive employment boost through oil and gas decommissioning. Other sectors that could benefit include tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care. The proposal emphasises that: “The city deal is as much about offering to work differently together and with both [UK and Scottish]
governments as it is about seeking additional cash resource.” Ian Miller, Perth & Kinross Council leader, said: “Our submission has an unprecedented focus on cultural regeneration, supporting Perth’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and Dundee’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2023. “In addition we want to create opportunities for people in work to progress as well as easing restrictions on access for new entrants to the jobs market to support our ambition of smarter, fairer growth through collaboration.”
Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust that runs The Enchanted Forest, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by this accolade. Being named the UK’s Best Cultural Event underscores all the hard work that goes into not only putting on The Enchanted Forest, but keeping it fresh each year. People travel from all over the world for the show and it generates lots of positive press for Highland Perthshire. We’re proud to be driving tourists ‘into the woods’ of Pitlochry at what has always been a traditionally quiet time of year.”
HOTEL BOOST FOR KINLOCH RANNOCH Perthshire’s tourist offering will receive a major boost in May when the Dunalastair Hotel in Kinloch Rannoch reopens as luxury boutique accommodation. The 32-bedroom property has undergone a four-year, £5 million transformation. Now owned by the high-end property developer Henley Homes, it will be managed by specialist consultancy Optimum Hotel Management, which won a long-term contract
> SEE OUR FEATURE ON PAGE 12 FOR MORE The Dunalastair Hotel
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with Henley in February. The refurbished hotel will include a fine dining restaurant that is aiming to win two or three AA rosettes. At present, it is recruiting for staff positions, including the role of General Manager, and for the rest of the senior management team. The imposing Victorian property is located in the village square at Kinloch Rannoch, which is a Highland Perthshire hotspot for tourism and outdoor pursuits.
ONCE UPON A TIME... ABERFELDY BOOKSHOP NAMED AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD BY THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE
CABIN COMFORT Scotia Cabins of Abernethy was set up at the beginning of 2015, and having doubled its business last year, it plans to do the same in 2017. The company was formed by Caroline Pye and her partner Craig to supply and install mainly wooden structures for use as barbecue cabins, outdoor offices, gyms, garden rooms and even self-catering accommodation. Caroline believes the success of the business comes down to people looking for opportunities to socialise at home, and her cabins fit with this demand. She said: “People are staying at home rather than travelling abroad. And a lot of our customers have families. Being able to barbecue all year round, as you can with our cabins, avoids having to use babysitters – it’s something different and if you’re visiting you can take your children with you. It’s a brilliant way of enjoying your garden.”
WINE CAFE The Watermill
The New Yorker has named a bookshop in Aberfeldy as one of the top 75 in the world. The Watermill, which opened a decade ago, is the UK’s only representative on the World’s Greatest Bookstores list, published by the influential New York magazine. They admit to being stunned but delighted when they found out they had been included in the top stores worldwide. In the magazine article, Monty Python star Michael Palin paid tribute to the Watermill, which he opened, and called it one of the best reasons for lovers of literature to visit Scotland. Kevin Ramage converted the derelict mill building in 2005. He said: “This wonderful surprise is a tribute to the outstanding support we have received from our customers. “Since we opened we have seen off the recession, the rise of online booksellers and e-books. “Every year the media predicts the death of
THIS WONDERFUL SURPRISE IS A TRIBUTE TO THE OUTSTANDING SUPPORT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM OUR CUSTOMERS.”
Perthshire entrepreneur Gordon Polley has recently opened Grayson’s Wine Cafe in the city’s Kinnoull Street. Its ethos is to prioritise the serving of good wine and it’s already enjoying success. He said: “I’m a wine drinker, but I’ve discovered that lists in some of places tend to be pretty ordinary and uninspired. “I wanted to create something with a nice environment, which didn’t involve sitting in a pub. “People are saying that it’s just what Perth needs. It’s very much a continental type of cafe, with customers buying tea and coffee and then moving to wine as the day goes on.”
bricks-and-mortar bookshops, but this October we have celebrated our strongest sales ever.” The Watermill also has a small art gallery and attached homeware section. The store was awarded the title of UK Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009. > INFO www.newyorker.com
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PERTHSHIRE BUSINESS AWARDS RECOGNISE AND CELEBRATE THE GREAT SUCCESS OF OUR AREA
THE WINNERS Employee of the Year Award sponsored by McLeod Glaziers Raymond Jamieson, Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by Perth College UHI Kieran Foley-Hall, Vector Aerospace Component Services Most Promising New Business Award sponsored by Elevator & Business Gateway Glenshee Craft Distillers Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by Graham Environmental Services Club 300 Exclusive Gym
The award winners
WINNING FORMULA SECURES BUSINESS TITLE FOR RESEARCH CENTRE An Invergowrie-based international scientific research organisation has developed a winning formula to be crowned Perthshire’s top business. The James Hutton Institute lifted the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business of the Year title at a glittering Star Awards ceremony in Crieff in November. Dr Pete Iannetta and Euan Caldwell from the Institute celebrated with fellow staff after securing both the Business Innovation and the Contribution to Sustainability category trophies before going on to claim the coveted overall title. The institute is a world-leading scientific research organisation focused on land, crops, water and the environment. Dr Iannetta said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this accolade from Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and our business peers in Perth and Kinross.” The event also saw the Chamber present an Outstanding Achievement Award to recently retired Perth Racecourse Manager and former jocky Sam Morshead. A standing ovation greeted Sam as he took the stage after guests heard of his outstanding contribution to the local business community, tourism industry and economy during his 25 years at Perth Racecourse where he drove forward a multi-million-pound investment and
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Excellence in Business Innovation Award sponsored by Blackadders The James Hutton Institute Commitment to the Community Award sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland Career Ready Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award sponsored by Fairways HR Business Support & Recruitment Specialists The Black Watch Castle & Museum Contribution to Sustainability Award sponsored by Stagecoach Group The James Hutton Institute
IT’S WONDERFUL TO BE ABLE TO GIVE PERTHSHIRE BUSINESSES A PLATFORM ON WHICH TO SHINE.” redevelopment programme to make it one of the country’s leading venues for jockeys and racegoers alike. Chamber President Ross Graham said: “Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards repeatedly delivers a tremendous celebration of the vibrant business community in this area,” he added. “It’s wonderful to be able to give them a platform on which to shine and to showcase the amazing quality of businesses based here.” > INFO www.hutton.ac.uk
Business Growth Award sponsored by Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Loch Leven’s Larder Excellence in E-Commerce Award sponsored by Thorntons Fairways HR Business Support & Recruitment Specialists Independent Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by Perthshire Advertiser Loch Leven’s Larder Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award sponsored by The James Hutton Institute Strathearn Distillery
THE GREAT & THE GOOD FROM START-UPS TO PIONEERING TRAILBLAZERS, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN PERTH AND KINROSS IS AWASH WITH TALENT AND ENTERPRISE. HERE WE FOCUS ON A FEW HIGH-TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING EXAMPLES Perthshire is well known for its traditional industries such as agriculture, tourism and food and drink. But it has a hidden secret – it’s also an area where companies in sectors such as science, technology and engineering are thriving. These state-of-the art businesses are helping to secure the region’s future through jobs, investment and in many cases sustainability too. And their success means that other high-technology companies will hopefully follow.
Bruker Hydrostatic Extrusions Bruker Hydrostatic Extrusions Ltd, combines novel thinking with traditional manufacturing. It employs 15 people in the manufacture of Cuponal™ which is used for making electrical busbars and wires for a range of industrial sectors include the aviation, marine and rail industries. The company’s products are innovative because, instead of the industry standard of solely using copper, they have an aluminium core with a copper skin surround. “This means they’re lighter and, in the current market, much cheaper,” says the company’s
WE’RE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD MAKING THESE PRODUCTS BY THIS METHOD, GIVING US DISTINCT ADVANTAGES OVER OTHER MANUFACTURERS.”
THERE’S MORE THAN
1 TONNE OF BRUKER’S COPPER WIRE IN AN AIRBUS A380
Product Manager, Larry McGhee. One of the aircraft using this product is the cutting edge Airbus A380. Adds Larry: “There’s more than a tonne of our wire in each of these. That may sound a lot, but it’s an important weight saving compared with pure copper. “We’re the only people in the world making these products by this method, giving us distinct advantages over other manufacturers. People are talking to us about sectors such as renewables, and we’re hoping to keep growing the business over the next five years.”
EcoideaM Environmental technology is another area of strong activity. One example is EcoIdeaM, an industrial ecology company set up by veteran activist John Ferguson after he left his job as Head of Water Strategy at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The business helps to develop systems that collaborate with the environment in areas such as efficiency and renewable energy, as well as developing new processes in areas such as waste gypsum and plastics recycling. EcoIdeaM has been up and running for seven years and is based at the Binn Eco Park outside Glenfarg. John explains that it is operating in what is potentially a huge market. “For instance, only 8 per cent of plastics globally are mechanically recycled out of 800 million tonnes a year. “A lot of the material which isn’t treated
Bruker’s copper wire
in this way goes to landfill or ends up in our environment in one way or another, including in sensitive marine systems.” Within the next five years, John says he wants to deliver at least three environmental solutions into the marketplace. “It’s a good area to be in – we have a lot of high- intellectual capacity, small companies here, and as we’re geographically bang in the middle of Scotland it’s also a good location for highvalue waste processes.”
TPL Vision One of the most interesting firms in this area is Perth-based TPL Vision, which was established 11 years ago by its owner and CEO, Guillaume Mazeaud. It has developed a technology called Machine Vision, which provides illumination to smart cameras controlling automation devices in sectors such as the food and automotive industries. Guillaume moved to Perth two years ago and established the product design arm of the company in the city – manufacture remains in his native France. He expects the Scottish operation to become the headquarters of the business in the future. “I came here because it’s always been my dream to live in Scotland”, he explains. “I love it, particularly the wild landscapes and the fact that it’s not far from big cities and airports. I travel all over the world on business and Perth is perfect for me.” A total of 10 people are currently employed locally on design and all sales of the company’s devices abroad. “We do anticipate further growth here – it’s a fully Scottish team and really successful. We’re currently looking for new funding to expand the business and to create more products.”
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NO BARRIERS A GLENFARG CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS’S SKILLS IN FENCING AND LANDSCAPING HAVE DRIVEN IT INTO THE FAST LANE TO SUCCESS Construction is a tough business. It’s highly competitive, involves complex contracts, and is nearly always being carried out to a deadline. That means only the very best succeed. In this demanding environment, Allison Enterprises of Glenfarg is going from strength to strength. It has built a nationwide reputation for the quality of its work, including major road infrastructure projects, covering a range of different skills such as fencing, site clearance and landscaping. It also operates in the education, health and agricultural sectors. The growth of the business has been a personal triumph for its founder and Managing Director, Billy Allison. Under his stewardship, the company has won and is involved in a number of prestige road contracts including work on the new A9 between Kincraig and Dalraddy near Aviemore – the first section of the improvement project to be dualled. The firm is also currently working on some of Scotland’s busiest motorway routes. These include the M8,and M9, where 50-year-old motorway fencing is being replaced, as well as the M73 and M74.
£4MILLION PER YEAR
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Wealth of experience
WE’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON GETTING OUR ACCREDITATIONS AND APPROVALS IN ORDER AND THIS HAS BEEN A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TOWARDS OUR SUCCESS.” “Another big job we have at the moment is on the new Aberdeen by-pass, where we’re doing work on site clearance and fencing,” says Billy Allison. “As well as putting up temporary and permanent fencing, we’re also doing site clearance and taking out trees and their roots.” The firm is also working with Network Rail on a fence replacement programme across Scotland. Other projects across its portfolio of different offerings have included fire and rescue sign replacement on the Isle of Islay and environmental improvements around blocks of flats in Whitburn, West Lothian. “At present, we have a turnover of about £4 million and have 40 to 50 people out on site, with a permanent staff of 25. We’ve spent a lot of time on getting our accreditations and approvals in order and this has been a major contributor towards our success.”
Allison Enterprises has carved out a name for itself in a number of specialised areas of construction and infrastructure development. It operates from new premises opened only two years ago in Glenfarg. The company has its own workshop which allows it to fabricate and weld products on a bespoke basis to meet client needs and to avoid lengthy lead times in ordering from other suppliers. It believes that its wealth of experience, constant drive for high standards and positive, dynamic attitude gives it a real edge among its competitors. The conceptual designs outlined in the action plan use the very latest in equipment, technology and design creativity to reduce energy use and subsequent carbon footprint.
DYW aims to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent
EXPERIENCE LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE YOUNG PEOPLE WITH VALUABLE WORK PLACEMENTS AND HELP THEM TO ESTABLISH THEIR CAREERS Funding has been secured for a new programme to help young people into the world of work, and Invest in Perth is playing its part by helping to encourage local employers to engage. Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is an initiative backed by the Scottish Government that builds on the foundations in place as part of Curriculum for Excellence, and aims to encourage and support employers to engage directly with schools and colleges to help them recruit more young people and to inform them about the world of work. The programme’s goal is to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2021, and the Council’s initiative is being supported by nearly £500,000 of Scottish Government funding over the next three
WE NEED TO DO MORE FOR ALL OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, WHATEVER THEIR BACKGROUNDS, TO HELP THEM DEVELOP THE SKILLS THEY NEED.”
years. The programme was launched by MSP John Swinney at Perth’s Giraffe cafe, a city centre social enterprise project, in late August. A new private sectorled DYW Perth & Kinross regional board has been established to help employers shape their future workforce and to develop sustainable links between local employers, schools and Perth College UHI. “Our key aim is to equip young people within Perth & Kinross with the skills, knowledge and behaviours that local employers require to help them sustain and grow their businesses into the future,” says Fiona Reith, DYW Programme Manager. “We’re developing a twinpronged approach that meets both local business and employer needs, and the aspirations of our young people. Our goal is to create interventions that education wants and needs, that employers can help deliver, and that both can benefit from.”
Steven Stewart, Director of Communications, Stagecoach Group, is also an ambassador for Perth & Kinross’s Invest in Perth programme, as well as Chair of the Perth & Kinross DYW Regional Board. "We need to do more for all of our young people, whatever their backgrounds, to help them develop the skills they need,” he says. “This funding and the initiatives we have planned will help us to bring business and education even closer together. We have 6,000 businesses here in Perth and Kinross, from major plcs to micro-businesses. “Whether it is one hour, one day, one week or a more extended commitment, every one of them has something to offer our young people.” > INFO To find out more or to get involved in Developing the Young Workforce, contact Fiona Reith on 01738 476431 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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When Londonderry became City of Culture in 2013 it attracted more than a million visitors
PERTH IS THE PLACE AMBITIOUS PLANS ARE BEING PROGRESSED TO RECOGNISE PERTH AS THE UK’S CITY OF CULTURE IN 2021, CREATING A TOURISM BOOST AND LASTING LEGACY Perth has always had a unique history and heritage. It’s what makes it one of the country’s most appealing and attractive small cities. Now it is planning to capitalise on its worldclass reputation by bidding to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2021. A series of initiatives are planned which will showcase Perth and Kinross’s fantastic cultural offerings as well as boosting the creative sector, helping to generate prosperity and regeneration and supporting and connecting communities. It’s still early days – the bid document is currently being drawn up and will be
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submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport next April. A shortlist will then be published and the final winner announced at the end of next year. If Perth wins, it is likely to prove hugely positive for the area. When Derry/Londonderry held the title in 2013, it attracted more than a million visitors. And it’s estimated that Hull will receive a £60 million boost by holding the title in 2017. A number of different initiatives are already being planned. They include the redevelopment of Perth Museum and Art Gallery; the commissioning of a digital tapestry interactive visual display; a Young Heritage Ambassadors programme; a comprehensive schools programme; and a new modern Scots attraction in the City Hall. The aim is to create a bid built around Perth as a green city at the heart of a rural community, to emphasise its connections as a meeting place and melting pot and to stress its place as a city of light, drawing on its heritage as a catalyst for creativity and ideas. Leading local figures are fully backing the bid. Provost Liz Grant says: “We want to give everybody in Perth and Kinross the chance to take part in culture and creative learning, connecting our rural and urban communities through inspiring arts programmes which bring
WE HAVE SUCH A FANTASTIC WEALTH OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE HERE I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOWCASE IT TO THE WORLD.” people and places together. “We have such a fantastic wealth of culture and heritage here – I can’t wait to showcase it to the world.” And Charles Kinnoull, Chair of Culture Perth and Kinross, comments: “This is a great opportunity to showcase and further amplify the unique character and culture of the region to both existing and new audiences.” One of the most imaginative plans is for the Creative Exchange, a regeneration project to turn the former St John’s Primary School into an £3.6 million smart building with a workshop, gallery, cafe, artists’ studios and space for creative businesses. Project Manager Finlay Kerr explains: “We already have the concept designs and will be moving to the planning stage in the spring, hopefully with an opening around autumn next year. “We have a well established creative and cultural community in Perthshire and there has been a demand for a facility like this for a long time. We have a really strong business case and I’m confident it will happen – it’s demand driven and there is real momentum behind it. “There is a real buzz about the bid and the city just now and it’s all getting very exciting.”
SETTING THE STAGE Perth has one of the finest vintage theatres in the UK – and it’s currently being given a major £16.6 million facelift to take it into its second century. The B-listed Edwardian Perth Theatre in the High Street is the subject of a major preservation and development initiative as a central part of the City of Culture bid. It involves the restoration of the centrepiece auditorium to its former glory, including the reinstatement of the seating in the gods and also the introduction of an orchestra area. In addition, improvement works will include a new 200-seat capacity studio
theatre for small and mid scale drama and music performances, plus new community and creative learning spaces which will incorporate a home for Perth Youth Theatre. Access will also be improved right across the building with a lift provided to different levels. The work is being carried out in association with the award-winning Richard Murphy Architects and it is due to reopen this year. When it does, it will provide one of the finest and most modern theatre environments in Scotland and help boost excellence in the performing arts.
RIGHTFUL PLACE Calls have been made for the ancient Stone of Destiny to be returned to Perth as part of the multi-million pound bid to boost local cultural tourism. The stone, which is an iconic part of the country’s history, bore witness to the coronation of kings of Scots at Scone Palace. It was brought back to Scotland from Westminster Abbey 20 years ago and is currently on display in Edinburgh Castle. Supporters of the bid say bringing it back to Perth and putting it on display in the City Hall will return it to its rightful home.
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One tenth of the population of Scotland live in the region
SPARK TO IGN
The deal will benefit all sectors and communities in the region
THE TAY CITIES DEAL STANDS TO UNLEASH THE DIVERSE ECONOMIC, INTELLECTUAL AND CREATIVE POWER OF A VAST REGION, FOR THE GOOD OF ALL
BUSINESSES IN THE REGION
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THE AIM IS TO PROMOTE FAIR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TO MAKE THE BEST USE OF THE REGION’S ASSETS OF KNOWLEDGE AND CREATIVITY.” ECONOMIC OUTPUT IS FORECAST AT
jobs and to get more people working. “It’s very much about bringing organisations together – the local authorities, four universities linking to world-class research centres, three colleges, the private sector and others – to identify the investment we need. “For instance, food and drink is very much in the DNA of places such as Perth and Kinross and Angus, and there’s the potential there to drive more value add. And in Dundee, biomedical sciences and creative industries are growth sectors. “Eco innovation is also important, and there’s real potential for the future in this area in North Sea oil and gas decommissioning. “When they’ve reached the end of their life, these structures need to be removed safely, and there may be strong value in some of the materials that can be recycled and reused. We’ve got ports and an industry supply chain which have the capability to do this.” Work on the Tay Cities Deal bid will continue over the next few months to identify how best to grow the value of goods and services regionally to the Scottish national average. “We’ve got some great advantages here, such as a highly skilled workforce and great research skills at our universities. We want to
£3BN BY 2018
It could be the spark that sets the local economy alight, delivering jobs, investment and prosperity and transforming this fantastic part of Scotland. If approved, the Tay Cities Deal is set to boost the region by many hundreds of millions of pounds, pairing business growth with economic inclusion and skills development. Planning is already taking place and as long as the programme is approved by the Scottish and UK Governments, the first projects could start in a year’s time. The deal is a joint bid by four councils – Perth & Kinross, Dundee, Angus and Fife. Between them, these local authorities cover a large and massively diverse area from inner city areas through to quiet and picturesque country towns and villages. It will help to bring forward key initiatives to provide employability, skills and investment in jobs. The aim is to promote fair economic growth and to make the best use of the region’s assets of knowledge and creativity. The Head of the Tay Cities Deal, David Littlejohn, says that sectors have been identified which can be grown by new investment. “We want to create higher value
capitalise on these to create more jobs and to join up our assets, skills and expertise.” The Tay Cities region is hugely important to the Scottish economy in a number of ways. It’s not only dynamic and diverse, but it also has a population of nearly 500,000 – larger than the city of Edinburgh and almost 10 per cent of the country’s population. It’s also got a strong can-do attitude and a commitment to innovation and productivity. Sectors which have been identified as having growth potential as part of the Tay Cities Deal include tourism; cultural, creative and digital industries; food and drink; financial and business services; clean technologies and renewables; and life sciences. To achieve this growth, investment will be needed under the deal in both infrastructure and people. One key aim is to tackle entrenched inequalities in some communities, while infrastructure investment will help to boost transport links, high speed broadband and cultural assets such as museums and art galleries. The proposals have been pulled together under the overall title Empowered Tay, with four different themes. They are investment, innovation, inclusive growth and internationalisation. David says he and his colleagues will have to make the City Deal case strongly as both the Scottish and UK Governments will want to see that their money is being well spent. “There will be tough negotiations.
“We have to be able to prove that we can deliver in terms of business and economic growth. But we do have some brilliant ideas going forward.” The sheer scale and diversity of the area and its 15,500 different businesses is a real opportunity, he adds. “It’s a great place to live and work and easy to get to and from.” The area has plenty of other things in its favour too. Annual growth for Perth and Kinross is forecast at two per cent up until 2018, matching Edinburgh and Stirling. Within two years, economic output should be more than £3 billion.
Perth itself is the only place in Scotland where more shops opened than closed last year, with a growth in footfall of more than 7 per cent. And alongside cottage industries, micro businesses and small to medium sized enterprises, the area has large corporates such as insurers Aviva, transport firm Stagecoach and energy giant SSE. David says the City Deal represents a oncein-a-generation opportunity for the region. “We’re looking at key initiatives which will be benefit all of our people. All in all, it’s a very exciting prospect.”
COUPAR ANGUS DUNKELD
PERTH & KINROSS
CITY OF DUNDEE DUNDEE
NE FIFE CRAIL
ISSUE FOUR 2017_INVEST IN PERTH
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF PERTH RACECOURSE
INTERVIEW WITH HAZEL PEPLINSKI
WE’VE HAD AN 18 PER CENT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF RUNNERS LAST SEASON SO, WHETHER IT’S THE NEW FACILITIES, THE GOOD GROUND WE’VE HAD OR THE INCREASED PRIZE MONEY, IT SHOWS WE ARE DOING A NUMBER OF THINGS RIGHT.” 14
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What was the driver behind this investment? The investment was crucial to our development as our stables were located about a mile and a half from the racecourse and this was an inconvenience for the trainers and their teams. With around seven races every half an hour during the day it meant there was a lot of commuting between the old stables and the racecourse, which was not ideal. The one thing stable staff want when they travel with horses is to be close to them. That’s why Sam Morshead, my predecessor, decided we needed to build new stables within the racecourse grounds and also build accommodation facilities for the stable teams. We had originally planned for a more basic level of accommodation that could also cater for walkers and cyclists visiting the area during non racedays, but we decided to upgrade it to build a 26-bedroom lodge-style hotel, with a 40-seat restaurant including a bar area.
PERTH RACECOURSE IS ENTERING A NEW PHASE OF ITS DEVELOPMENT, FOLLOWING THE £2 MILLION INVESTMENT IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW STABLE AND ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES THIS YEAR. THIS INVESTMENT NOT ONLY PROVIDES ENHANCED FACILITIES FOR THE TRAINERS AND THEIR STABLE TEAMS, BUT ALSO NON-RACEDAY INCOME THROUGH LODGE BOOKINGS A jewel on the city’s doorstep: Perth Racecourse gets huge attendances for its relative size compared with other tracks
How has this investment benefited the business? We’ve had an 18 per cent increase in the number of runners last season so, whether it’s the new facilities, the good ground we’ve had or the increased prize money, it shows we are doing a number of things right. Increasing the number of runners in each race is key for a racecourse because bookmakers pay us for the media rights for each race, and the bigger field of horses the bigger our media income. We’ve also had an 11 per cent increase in revenue through the turnstile, which bucks the national trend of ‘steadying’ attendances. We are delighted with attendances, as the boom days of corporate hospitality have waned in recent years, particularly since the decline of the oil price and a reduction in business from Aberdeen. Corporates are still spending, but not to the level of what they used to. However, we are working hard to fill that gap, and finding that Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth itself are a good source of corporate hospitality to replace the fall in demand from Aberdeen.
What other facilities do you have that have helped diversify the business? In 2005, the racecourse enhanced its conference and banqueting facilities through the development of the Nelson Stand, which provides a large venue that can host 300 people with wonderful panoramic views of the track and up to the Palace. This has been popular for conferences, and particularly weddings, so now we have opened The Lodge we can offer a fully integrated package of facilities, either during a raceday or at any other time of the year.
What were the highlights of the last year? During our last season we had 16 fixtures, including the three-day Perth Festival that kicks off the season in April, Ladies Day in May, the Perth Gold Cup in June – which attracts up to 10,000 visitors – and our ‘Glorious Finale’ at the end of September.
What makes Perth different from other racecourses?
Perth is known for its fun atmosphere on racedays, and among real racing fans the passion is palpable
There’s such a lovely fun atmosphere at Perth, both within the business itself and out on the track with the crowds at racedays. It’s amazing as Perth Racecourse enjoys huge attendances for its relative size compared to other tracks, and they all tend to be real racing fans – you can feel that passion on a raceday! It could be a dull, wet Monday afternoon, but we still get a great crowd. They come from such
a wide area, from Aberdeen and Inverness in the north to the central belt in the south. So we have a great location here – and an amazing setting too, overlooking Scone Palace and the River Tay. We are also unique in that our jump season is longer than other National Hunt courses in the UK. This allows trainers to test their horses before the winter season and it means we can attract big names up here in September and also at the end of the jump season in April – that’s why our April and September fixtures offer real quality horse racing. As a result, we’re building a reputation as the ‘mini Cheltenham’, as novice horses come to Perth to prepare for the season before the big races down south.
What other investments are in the pipeline? Our next big investment is to replace the irrigation system under the course. The £250,000 project is critical to ensure the right conditions underfoot for horses. We have a heavy clay soil here, which is very fertile and produces great grass, but it can be as hard as concrete if it does not get enough water and that is bad for jumping horses. We also want to expand our engagement with the local community so they can appreciate the great fun you can have on a raceday and also the wonderful facilities they can use here. Perth Racecourse is a little jewel on the city’s doorstep and we want more people to know about it.
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PERTH CITY PLAN A SERIES OF STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENTS WILL TURN OUR FAIR CITY INTO ONE OF THE BEST SMALL CITIES IN THE WORLD Since the restoration of its city status in 2012, Perth has had a long-term vision as one of Europe’s great small cities. That vision is the focus of the Perth City Plan, which sets out a framework for investment in strategic infrastructure over the next 20 years, together with a five-year delivery plan for shorter-term practical economic development and placemaking.
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The City Plan is underpinned by the infrastructure growth that is required to take place over the next 20 years, based on the key areas of transport connections, digital connections and services, and a ‘Smart City’ prospectus. The plan is designed to deliver jobs to the city, a high quality environment and a superior quality of life. Those goals are tied to proposals to accelerate growth and build a
high-performance economy, and to facilitate the significant growth in population and jobs anticipated over the course of the next 20 years. “The Perth City plan represents the largest and most ambitious framework for delivery of growth and investment in Perth’s history,” says John Kellas, Convenor Enterprise and Infrastructure for Perth & Kinross Council. “The Council has approved a £500 million
City of Light
Perth at night
Perth City Hall One of the key themes of the Perth City Plan is to grow the city’s visitor economy, and as part of that goal Perth & Kinross Council has approved plans to develop the former Perth City Hall as a new visual arts attraction. The historic building will be transformed into a modern cultural attraction to house the city’s existing visual exhibitions, and potentially host visiting exhibitions of local significance from other galleries and museums.
budget to fund a large proportion of the investment required to deliver this vision and we are working closely with Angus, Dundee and Fife to deliver further funding through our bid for Tay Cities Deal finance to support and complement growth of the broader city region economy. “The Perth City Development Board has worked closely with the Council to design this ambitious new plan for Perth and it will be the Board’s job to challenge and guide the Council in its delivery. “The Perth City Plan has been business led and it is essential that we harness the fabulous talent within the city and surrounding area to help us deliver the renaissance that Perth and surrounding area can support and so richly deserves. “We aren’t alone in our aspirations and hundreds of cities around the world are also trying to support innovation and growth and make their cities vibrant and exciting, despite challenging economic circumstances. “Those that succeed – and there are several great examples of city centre regeneration in the UK and on the continent – have achieved their success by having the bravery to aspire to excellence.”
THE PERTH CITY PLAN HAS BEEN BUSINESS LED AND IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE HARNESS THE FABULOUS TALENT WITHIN THE CITY.” The Development Board is made up of passionate members of local businesses and representative bodies who are willing to participate, confront, entice and work in partnership with other businesses, the Council and economic development agencies to support, promote and champion the plan to its fruition and ensure it meets business, community and economic needs to sustain growth. “The Development Board has a number of working groups focusing on developing initiatives to support economic prosperity and enterprise, knowledge and learning and developing the city centre and visitor economy,” says John Bullough, Chair of Perth City Development Board. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the business community to contribute and influence
As an ambition to become one of Europe’s best small cities, the Perth City of Light Action Plan is an important component of the Perth City Plan. Under the City of Light initiative, the city centre will be transformed to dramatically enhance perceptions of quality, vitality, vibrancy, animation and safety after dark, encouraging people to frequent the centre and leading to a sustainable evening economy. A series of lighting projects will help to create a truly unique, attractive evening scene, which over time will build into an enviable display of the very best Perth has to offer for both residents and visitors alike. The conceptual designs outlined in the action plan utilise the very latest in equipment, technology and design creativity to reduce energy use and subsequent carbon footprint. > INFO issuu.com/investinperth/docs/ city_of_light_action_plan_-_6th_jun
policy and investment in these key areas to deliver innovation and growth in our local economy.” While the City Plan extends until 2035, the Perth City Development Board’s five-year delivery plan is designed to drive shorter-term change in the four key areas of economic prosperity and enterprise, city of knowledge and learning, the Perth experience and the visitor economy. Those four areas are supported by what are being called eight ‘Big Moves’, which each have specific actions assigned to each one to ensure delivery of the plan’s objectives. “This is an exciting time for Perth which, like other progressive cities is seeking to harness talent and skills and build on existing economic and locational strengths to support growth and adapt to changing economic circumstances and technological innovation,” says John Kellas. > INFO www. investinperth. co.uk/invest/ perth-city-plan
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The new development will enhance the city’s cultural quarter
THE CITY’S CULTURAL QUARTER WILL BE GIVEN A NEW LEASE OF LIFE WITH A £30M DEVELOPMENT TO CREATE A VIBRANT AND DYNAMIC PUBLIC SPACE
KILMAC HAS A TURNOVER OF
INVEST IN PERTH_ISSUE FOUR 2017
WE WERE KEEN TO DO MORE WORK IN PERTH ITSELF AND WERE DELIGHTED TO WIN THIS CONTRACT FROM THE LOCAL AUTHORITY.” KILMAC FORMED IN
and its construction arm now has a turnover of some £12.5 million a year. Kilmac’s involvement in the Mill Street works includes high-quality slabbing, street lighting, roads and footpaths. “We were keen to do more work in Perth itself and were delighted to win this contract from the local authority, which is the first streetscape construction we’ve done in the city”, says the company’s Managing Director, Athole McDonald. “We were involved in Dundee City Square, and it’s great to move on to this work in the place where we’re headquartered.” Mill Street is a significant development for the city, creating a high-quality multi-functional space appealing to residents and visitors alike. And it’s already in use: “There’s a Christmas fayre outside the Concert Hall now,” explains Athole. There’s a strong community aspect to Kilmac’s work. “For instance, we’ve taken on five people who were unemployed as part of this project and we aim to give them full-time jobs in the future.”
One of Perth’s most iconic locations is being transformed into a vibrant and exciting new public space that will show off the city’s unique character. The Mill Street development is part of a plan to grow the cultural quarter within the city centre, attracting tourists and improving the cityscape and environment for locals. The world-class facility at Thimblerow next to the acclaimed Concert Hall will sit close to a new £30 million development of restaurants, bars, speciality shops, a cinema, gyms, housing and a multi-storey car park. The whole project will provide a major boost to the centre of Perth, which is already recognised as one of the most attractive and dynamic urban areas in Scotland. Local companies are already benefiting from the upgrading works. Among the firms engaged on the construction is Kilmac, a local business which specialises in civil engineering groundworks including roads, drainage and other infrastructure. Kilmac is a big employer in the area with a workforce of 100. It was formed in 2004
STREETSCAPE Community involvement In another novel community initiative, the company has given on-site jobs to a number of inmates at Castle Huntly prison to help them reintegrate into society. It has also engaged in community engagement with local schoolchildren by giving 22 P6 youngsters from Viewlands Primary a conducted tour of the Mill Street site. Teacher Fiona Gellatly says: “We were delighted to take up the offer of having a look at the construction work that is going on. There are many links with the school curriculum in terms of
maths, science and even local history. “The children had a chance to see how maths works in the real world in terms of scale, working out areas of slabs and how patterns come together.” Mill Street is an integral part of the broader mixed use development to be built by Expresso Property on the site of the Thimblerow car park. More than 350 jobs will be created during the construction period, while the final development is set to attract in excess of 300,000 visitors every year and generate employment for an additional 150 people. “We have been impressed by the
support given by local government and their agencies in making things happen,” said Nicholas Robinson of Expresso Property. “That forward thinking has been crucial in establishing the real business case for this development here in the heart of Perth, and we are now excited to get the project under way.” This multimillion pound project was secured by Perth & Kinross Council and helped by collaborative marketing undertaken by the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership between Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish Government.
Early artist’s impression
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ECONOMY THE NUMBERS
IN PERTH & KINROSS Sources: Perth & Kinross Council and Scottish Government
105 FOOD AND DRINK AND TOURISM ARE MORE CONCENTRATED IN PERTH AND KINROSS AREA THAN IN THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND
£17M PERTH AND KINROSS MAJOR EVENTS PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTES AN ESTIMATED £17M TO THE ECONOMY ANNUALLY
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TOURISM CONTINUES TO INCREASE
(UP 13.4% IN 2014)
MORE BUSINESS ARE
THAN ARE CLOSING, WITH 105 OPENINGS SINCE JAN 2014 AGAINST 73 CLOSURES
THERE ARE MORE WORKING AGE ADULTS IN WORK IN P&K AT 79% THAN IN THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND AT 73.1% UNEMPLOYMENT IS LESS IN P&K THAN IN THE REST OF SCOTLAND WITH CLAIMANT COUNT ROLLING AVERAGE BEING 1.1% FOR P&K AND 2.3% IN THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND
£3,072M £119,019M PERTH AND KINROSS TOTAL GVA (2014)
6,010 NUMBER OF BUSINESSES IN P&K IN 2015 (2010: 5,445)
BUSINESSES BY SIZEBAND
SCOTLAND TOTAL GVA (2014)
TOP 5 BUSINESS SECTORS NUMBER OF BUSINESSES PER SECTOR AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY & FISHING
PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL
BUSINESSES WITH UPTO 9 STAFF MEMBERS BUSINESSES WITH OVER 250 STAFF MEMBERS
INVEST IN PERTH_ISSUE FOUR 2017
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD SERVICES
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