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SUMMER 2017

INVESTIN

PERTH

INSIDE #5 FUTURE FOOD SECURITY G-INSPIRING INNOVATION CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS


IN THIS ISSUE

WELCOME

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VIEWPOINT:

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FEATURE:

Dr Jonathan Snape, Commercial Director, James Hutton Limited

Creative collaboration takes root

NEWS FROM THE REGION: 4-6

Developing the Young Workforce

Perthshire companies making a mark

FAST TRACK:

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Investment sees Perth Airport take off

SPOTLIGHT: Glenshee Craft Distillers: G-inspiring innovation as this distiller scents success

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INTERVIEW: KNOW-HOW: PROPERTY: THE NUMBERS: Regional statistics

THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED ON ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PAPER MANUFACTURED USING 100% RECYCLED WASTE.

Jim Valentine, Depute Chief Executive (Chief Operating Officer) Perth & Kinross Council

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International investment in city centre

Invest in Perth is published by Invest in Perth. Written and designed by Resolve Creative. e. info@resolve-creative.co.uk | w. resolve-creative.co.uk

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Redefining recruitment

Follow Invest in Perth on Twitter. www.twitter.com/investinperth

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Welcome to the latest issue of Invest in Perth, in which we celebrate the many and diverse ways in which businesses across Perth & Kinross are innovating, collaborating and growing. Examples range from the James Hutton Institute, who are supporting the Tay City Deal with a world-leading research project focused on the entire supply chain for barley – which has truly global implications – to Merlin ERD, who are expanding into the United States. We’re delighted too, that Merlin ERD and many other businesses are already lending their support to our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 (see page 10). That accolade will not be confirmed until the end of this year, but already the bid process is bringing benefits; with local community groups and inspired individuals using funding from the Creative Communities Fund. Local community support has also been acknowledged by Henley Homes, whose £5m investment to refurbish the Dunalastair Hotel at Kinloch Rannoch opened on 1 May (page 19).

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We offer a comprehensive investor support programme tailored to each individual business, including: • Help with identifying and accessing funding • 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: keaston@pkc.gov.uk w: investinperth.co.uk


VIEWPOINT

TAY VALLEY RESEARCH:

SOWING SEEDS TO SECURE FUTURE FOOD SECURITY

Dr Jonathan Snape Commercial Director, James Hutton Limited e: jonathan.snape@huttonltd.com

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The issues may be global, but solutions are being developed and tested here in Scotland. New innovations are showing tangible benefits, and I am proud of the role being played globally by the James Hutton Institute. As one of the largest specialist laboratories in the UK, led by world-leading scientists, we are committed to impact through science. My role is to achieve this through commercialising the Institute’s scientific expertise, intellectual property and facilities. Our location at Invergowrie is no accident. The Institute, originally the Scottish Horticultural Research Station, continues to prosper, not least because of the long length of summer days here; good soil and drainage; and the local micro-climate, which brings comparatively mild winters and holds the record as Scotland’s sunniest locality. We have links with numerous local companies, including Caithness Potatoes, Signet Plant Breeders, Taypack in Carse of Gowrie; and on fruits, Thomas Thomason, Trade Solutions and Mackays of Arbroath. Mackays Scottish Blackcurrant Preserve – made with blackcurrants bred at the James Hutton Institute – was victorious at the International Blackcurrant Conference last year, in recognition of its taste and authenticity. Varieties created at the James Hutton Institute account for approximately 95% of the UK’s crop and 50% globally. Our latest success with fruit is the Glen Dee raspberry, shortlisted in awards this year as a ‘best new variety’ due to its appearance, taste, low cost of production and high yield. But our approach is about the system as a whole: what a farmer does one year can affect the next. An award-winning project by Dr Pete Iannetta’s team, covers our research on pulses and their associated use in highvalue products. A crop such as faba beans can support farmers by introducing organic, or biologically fixed nitrogen into depleted fields, reducing and even eliminating the need for chemical fertilisers. However, the value of faba

Work undertaken at the James Hutton Institute contributed an estimated £211.8m GVA to the Scottish economy, and £447.9m worldwide (2015-16).

AS CLIMATE CHANGE THREATENS CROP PRODUCTION AND PESTICIDE USE IS RESTRICTED TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, DEMANDS ON FOOD PRODUCTION CHALLENGE GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY.

beans as a cash crop has limited its use. Our research into new commercial markets has seen the development of a series of glutenfree beers, and high protein co-products. Faba beans can also be processed to serve as a feed for aquaculture. We take a holistic view of the farming environment. Euan Caldwell and his farm team, were recently recognised for their ‘magic margins’ innovation. By following our LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) principles, they demonstrated how field margins can prevent soil erosion and nutrient loss on sloping fields, while continuing to act as wildlife corridors. We are proud to support the Tay Cities Deal, submitted to the Scottish and UK governments in February. If approved, significant public investment will help create sustainable growth through projects by business, higher education and local government. One such project is our development of an International Barley Hub. Barley is an important crop for food security as it can grow well on marginal land; but funding for research has been small. We’re bringing together UK and international expertise to make a step change improvement. Another project is our Advanced Plant Growth Centre, which combines physics, robotics and LED technology with crop science to potentially halve the time required to develop new commercial plant variations and help research the impact of climate change. That is science with impact. It could not be achieved without a fantastic team of scientists whose ingenuity, application and endeavour drive our work for the sustainable use of land and natural resources.

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Iain Hutchison, Managing Director.

MERLIN EXTENDS GLOBAL REACH Since opening its new office in Houston, Texas, USA in early October 2016, Perthbased oil and gas drilling specialist, Merlin ERD, has continued to grow its international profile and reputation as a global leader in extended reach drilling. The move has always been part of Merlin’s growth ambition. The engineering business has worked extensively with USbased companies over many years, helping to break drilling records around the world. “With 80% of our business coming from overseas markets America was always the next big target for us,” commented Iain Hutchison, Managing Director. Martyn Greensmith was appointed to oversee the US venture with the support

of the Perth team. With more than 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector, many spent specialising in surveying, logging and drilling technologies in Houston, Martyn combines unrivalled technical expertise with local knowledge. Martyn commented: “These are exciting times. Establishing the office in Houston has already helped us to better serve our international clients, opening up huge potential in the Americas and Gulf of Mexico. Over 8.4 million barrels of oil are produced a day in the USA and over 50% of the country’s drilling rigs are based in the Texas geographical area – so the potential is enormous. I relish the challenge of being part of the Merlin team and helping to develop this hugely successful business further.”

MR C GETS A TASTE FOR EXPORTING In just over 10 years, Robert Corrigan has taken the seed of an idea from his home kitchen and grown it into a business supplying Fortnum & Mason, amongst many others. In the process, his pies have been commended for their quality, flavour and imagination by food professionals and competition judges alike, most recently named Best Savoury in Scotland in the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards. With an eye now on opportunities for export, Robert took up a place on the Perth Food and Drink trade stand at this year’s International Food Expo in London, organised by Graham Glover at Perth and Kinross Council. “I had visited the show many times over 25 years,” said Robert “but this was the first time I attended as an exhibitor. “The support from Graham was fantastic and through our entry on the IFE website, Mr C’s Pies were seen by more than 1,000 people even before the show opened. We’ve now attracted almost 300 more visits since the end of the exhibition. All my contacts knew I’d be there, and we used social media to get the message out as well.”

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Robert has built his business using only the finest ingredients, including Italian lard. (It melts at 32.5 degrees, and so helps his pies’ pastry literally melt in your mouth.) He also uses Scottish outdoor reared pork, wild venison and game from local producers; but he knows that even with the best ingredients, it takes time to establish new customers and enter new markets. “Through Donald Russell of Inverurie, the online butcher, we now sell our pies frozen. That success highlighted the potential for export, and Graham was able to introduce me to several good contacts at an export event hosted at Expo by the Foreign Office.”

To date, demand for Merlin’s industryleading engineering and training has validated the decision to expand to the US, with a major study and two successful courses already delivered. In addition to building networks and new business contacts, Merlin’s Houston presence also led to Iain Hutchison being invited to present on Extended Reach Drilling and Ultra-long Laterals in February 2017, at the International Association of Directional Drillers Forum in Houston. These seminars are the pinnacle of industry innovation and it’s impressive to see our very own from Perth, Scotland leading the world.

> INFO merlinerd.com

THE SUPPORT FROM GRAHAM WAS FANTASTIC AND THROUGH OUR ENTRY ON THE IFE WEBSITE, MR C’S PIES WERE SEEN BY MORE THAN 1,000 PEOPLE BEFORE THE SHOW EVEN OPENED.” Spain, France and Italy are now top targets; but China is another identified by Robert, given how sought after pork is there. Robert has also been developing new products, including a pie using smoked venison from Rannoch Smokehouse, for Highland Game in Dundee. “Now, they are looking to take my product and sell it to their customers!” The ingredients for growth, it seems, are collaboration and a pinch of patience. “It took over two years to get into Fortnum & Mason, and it all started with a tweet to their MD saying I thought they should stock my pies.”

> INFO mrcspies.co.uk


NEWS

For two decades, the Scottish Crannog Centre has enchanted visitors with a shared experience of archaeological discovery and living history. As the Centre looks ahead to its 20th anniversary, a packed programme of events has been planned for summer 2017 while a successful building programme has helped to secure the site’s future for a new generation of visitors. “Celebrations will culminate with ‘The Celts are Coming’ event on 5-6 August, which will be held at both the Crannog Centre and across Loch Tay at the Forestry Commission Scotland picnic site at Dalerb,” explained Barrie Andrian, Managing Director of the Scottish Crannog Centre. “There will be a whole host of craft workers demonstrating prehistoric activities, including bronze working, leather working, textiles, dyes, basketry and iron age cooking. We’ll

even have a demonstration of how our ancestors built an iron furnace. “Our younger visitors can enjoy archery, spear throwing, dressing up and the chance to try out our replica log boats.” The Centre, which attracted more than 21,000 visitors in 2016 – 8% up on the previous year – is currently working with Museums Galleries Scotland to secure official museum status. “In addition to unlocking

Economic impact from tourism across Perth & Kinross rose by 13.4% in 2014.

LIVING HISTORY ON LOCH TAY potential sources of funding, official museum status will help us safeguard our collection of 2,500-year-old artefacts,” added Barrie. Perthshire is home to more than 40 known crannogs, the early Iron Age timber settlements constructed on stilts along the banks of lochs. Loch Tay itself is home to 18 such settlements, making it the ideal location for crannog interpretation and the work of the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology (Registered Charity No. SC018418). The Centre is already on track to surpass its 2016 success. As VisitScotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, 2017 also provides a fitting anniversary and a chance to thank long serving staff members and the Centre’s friends and supporters.

> INFO crannog.co.uk

SMART HOMES KEEP DATA SECURE D3, the Perth-based audio visual specialist, has launched Scotland’s first dedicated showroom for smart home technology. Inspiro Smart Home applies the firm’s expertise to provide self-standing smart home solutions. These provide functionality such as control, automation and remote access of home heating or lighting, advanced security systems and home entertainment, whilst remaining affordable and secure. “Smart home technology is a hot topic,” says Marc Heath, Managing

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Director of d3. “Solutions based around the cloud can create risks, as personal data can be anonymised and aggregated or shared with others without our consent.” With more than half of Scotland’s population living within an hour’s drive of Perth, the new showroom at Ruthvenfield Road is attracting customers from across the country. There’s nothing remote about the service offering backing this innovation!

> INFO info@inspiro.house inspiro.house

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THE ADAGE IN RETAIL USED TO BE ‘LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION’. FOR EMMA NIVEN, OWNER OF LOCH LEVEN’S LARDER, MODERN RETAIL IS ABOUT ‘LISTENING, LEARNING AND LOCATION’.

LARDER REFLECTS OPPORTUNITIES Loch Leven’s Larder is a perennial retail success story, attracting almost 200,000 visitors each year. “We are incredibly lucky with our location, which is undoubtedly a draw in its own right. Before we opened, Loch Leven wasn’t accessible.” Visitors can now park at the Larder and walk or cycle the 21km around the Loch. “We get people who arrive, have a coffee and set off around the trail, return for a meal, then finish with a browse around the shop.” While retail spend has migrated online, the evidence is clear to Emma; by listening to what customers want, learning and adapting, people will respond. “Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our team, and the awards we’ve received, we have become a retail and food destination, and people often travel quite a distance to visit us.”

Discover more about the Perth Gift Card at the upcoming Scottish Game Fair, at Scone Palace on 30 June.

GIFT CARD KEEPS GIVING

CARDS ARE IDEAL FOR LOCAL COMPANIES TO USE AS LEAVING GIFTS, REWARDS FOR EMPLOYEES, AND EVEN FOR WEDDING OR RETIREMENT PRESENTS.”

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Social media has been a powerful tool. “We now have a member of the team working almost full time to monitor and respond to comments, questions, suggestions and the odd complaint. In the past, if someone wasn’t happy, they would normally leave and never return – probably telling several friends of their experience. Now, people tweet or post a comment immediately, and if you can respond and be seen to listen it can actually be a powerful way to connect, and build loyalty. We have 2,000 customers using our loyalty card, and we engage with them regularly.” Emma always knew what she wanted to create at Loch Leven’s Larder, but didn’t expect the business to grow to the size it is today. “We now employ 75 people, making us one the area’s biggest employers.” The farm remains integral. “Using our own produce – as well as ingredients provided

The Perth Gift Card, launched in December 2015, has been delivering on its goal to encourage local spending. Independent retailers supporting the Card have more than doubled in the first six months, and sales of gift cards have now passed £50,000. “Cards are available with a value of £5 or more, and the public can buy a card either online at www.theperthcard.co.uk or at one of the gift card retailers,” explained Colin Munro of Miconex, the local digital marketing firm behind the idea. “The cards can then be redeemed at any of the 80+ members now participating.”

by many other local producers – is another reason why it works. People really value that provenance. We produce great seasonal, local food, and that’s what people like.” That’s certainly true judging by TripAdvisor and the business is a proud holder of a VisitScotland Taste the Best certificate, reflecting the amount of local produce used as ingredients across its menu. The shop appeals to customers searching for locally-produced quality: from artisan gins and craft beers, to local cheeses or chocolates. “Tourism in Perth and Kinross is definitely growing, and that brings opportunities. I think retailers now need to look at their core appeal, listen to their customers, and build from there.”

> INFO lochlevenslarder.com

Perth has Scotland’s largest proportion of independent retailers, who have backed the scheme to keep customer spend in the local economy. The Card, provided through Presend, a Scandinavian firm, is backed by Perth & Kinross Council’s City Development Team. “The card is promoting a ‘shop local’ ethos,” said David Littlejohn, Head of Planning and Development. “Cards can be redeemed for more than just shopping,” added Colin. “Members include local award-winning restaurants, coffee shops, delicatessens, hotels, fashion shops and venues such as Scone Palace and Perth Concert Hall.” The card can cover an entire day out, making it ideal for local companies to use for leaving gifts, rewards for employees, and even wedding or retirement presents. It’s a double win for a local business to be seen to support other local businesses in that way. “The average spend on a card to date is £30, but retailers are reporting that there is an average overspend of 40% when the cards are redeemed, so the multiplier effect is really helping to boost the local economy.”

> INFO Learn more at the Perth Gift Card Facebook page, or at the upcoming Scottish Game Fair


The move adds private and commercial pilot training facilities as well as engineering and maintenance services to Cloud Global’s successful aviation recruitment and leasing business. “Two directors at Cloud Global completed their commercial pilot training with ACS and we’ve worked closely with them, as both a parts supplier and aircraft leasing agent,” explained Graeme Frater, Cloud Global Operations Director. With growing demand for commercial pilot training, ACS is already expanding to meet demand. “We recently added three additional flying instructors to the team and we’re investing in the fleet, adding three fully refurbished single-engined aircraft as well as a Diamond DA42 Twin Star to enhance our multi-engine training capability,” added Graeme. “On the engineering side, we’ve seen considerable growth at the start of 2017, with two new full time engineers bringing the team up to 12. As a Trig Aviation Radio approved dealer and installer we’ve

attracted business from across the UK as aircraft owners seek to comply with the new Civil Aviation Authority requirement to upgrade to 8.33 kHz capable radios.” The airfield is already home to the Scottish Aero Club, Scotland’s largest flying club, and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance – strategically located to be able to reach 90% of Scotland’s population within 25 minutes. “We’re proud to support the Air Ambulance, which is 100% funded through charitable donations, in any way we can,” added Graeme, “from providing overnight hangarage to discounted fuel.” Plans are also being developed to upgrade flight simulator facilities, fuelling and airport approach equipment – all with the aim of securing Perth Airport as Scotland’s leading general aviation hub.

FAST TRACK

A BRIGHT FUTURE BECKONS FOR HISTORIC PERTH AIRPORT, LOCATED JUST FOUR MILES TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CITY CENTRE; A FACT UNDERLINED IN LATE 2016 BY THE ACQUISITION OF ACS AVIATION BY GLASGOW-BASED CLOUD GLOBAL.

> INFO acsaviation.com scaa.org.uk

Retailers report shoppers using the Perth Gift Card overspend on average by 40%.

FAST-TRACK:

INVESTMENT SEES PERTH AIRPORT TAKE OFF

WE’RE PROUD TO SUPPORT THE AIR AMBULANCE, WHICH IS 100% FUNDED THROUGH CHARITABLE DONATIONS, IN ANY WAY WE CAN.”

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SCOTLAND IS SYNONYMOUS WITH WHISKY THE WORLD OVER. AND PERTHSHIRE IS HOME TO WHAT WAS, FOR MANY YEARS, THE SMALLEST MALT WHISKY DISTILLERY IN SCOTLAND – THE EDRADOUR, IN PITLOCHRY* – AND SOME OF THE INDUSTRY’S MOST FAMOUS BRAND NAMES, INCLUDING THE FAMOUS GROUSE.

70%

OF THE GIN SOLD IN THE UK IS DISTILLED IN SCOTLAND

Its visitor centre, The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery, Crieff, was recently named Best Visitor Experience in Scotland, by the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions. But did you realise that 70% of gin sold in the UK is distilled in Scotland? “It’s down to that amazing distilling heritage,” says Simon Fairclough, Managing Director of Glenshee Craft Distillers, which won the award for most promising new business in the 2016 Business Star Awards, organised by Perthshire’s Chamber of Commerce. Glenshee is one among an unprecedented number of new businesses in recent years to have launched a craft gin. The surge in interest and popularity reflects a change in regulations by HMRC, in 2008, on the minimum size allowed for a commercial still.

* In Methven, Strathearn Distillery also now lays claim to this title. It produces a range of spirits, including hand-crafted, artisan single cask, single malt whisky and a range of premium gins.

G-INSPIRING DISTILLER SCENTS SUCCESS

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a fairly rousing aroma to hit the sweet spot, and Persie Gin taps right into that with a fruity expression, a savoury one and a sweet gin: zesty citrus, aromatic herbs and vanilla almonds. “We’ve now taken on our first full-time member of staff and are looking to double production over the next year. “We have had great support from Business Gateway, and from Perth & Kinross Food and Drink. Graham Glover at the Council took a number of local companies

SPOTLIGHT

“We launched our range of Persie Gins last year,” explains Simon. “Our usp is aroma. It’s been born out of feedback from over 150 tasting events we’ve run across the country under the banner of Gin Club Scotland. Since 2013, we’ve been able to gather feedback on what more than 3,500 fans like about each of the gins we showcase from around the world.” Persie Gin launched last year with three distinct styles of aromatic gin, focusing on the profiles most popular at tastings. “Over 75% of flavour is down to our sense of smell,” explains Simon. “It takes

down to the International Food Expo in London, in March, which was great for us to meet new buyers from around the UK and to look at export contacts.” Persie Distillery, on the Glenshee Road, is open to the public six days a week and is closed on Fridays for private tastings.

> INFO persiedistillery.com ginclubscotland.com

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THE PERTH MUSIC EXPO IS A BRILLIANT EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF CULTURE TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS TO GET INVOLVED WITH AND PARTICIPATE IN MUSIC.”

SINCE ANNOUNCING OUR INTENTION TO BID FOR PERTH TO BE THE UK CITY OF CULTURE 2021 THE PACE OF PROGRESS HAS ACCELERATED FAST.

A CULTURE OF INNOVATION IS TAKING ROOT The formal bid was launched in January 2017, built around a community-developed programme of arts and culture linked to three themes: HEART – Recognising Perth’s place at the heart of rural communities, its history and heritage as the first capital of Scotland and the seat of Scottish monarchs. WILD – Capturing the city’s location as the gateway to the Highlands, the wealth of our natural beauty and the importance of the landscape to local culture. BEYOND – Drawing on the city’s rich heritage as a catalyst for creativity and ideas, and reaching out to a future of inclusion and digital innovation. Cities are designated as the UK City of Culture for 12 months and the winner of the 2021 bid will be announced by the end of 2018. But the benefits for Perth and Kinross are already building.

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As a part of the bid, Perth has developed a Creative Communities fund to support the work of communities and individuals. The funding panel is looking for projects that will deliver creative, inclusive activities and ideas that will demonstrate what Perth 2021 can do. Initial recipients include Perth Music Expo, which will take place on 7 September 2017 across three venues: Twa Tams, the Green Room and Perth Playhouse Cinema. The Expo will showcase Perth as a centre for new music in Scotland, and its backing was warmly welcomed by Provost Liz Grant: “The Perth Music Expo is a brilliant example of the power of culture to encourage people from all ages and backgrounds to get involved with and participate in music. I’m wishing the team all the best for the event, and I am looking forward to seeing what other projects come forward with great ideas for funding.” SSE are one among many locally-based companies that have already backed the bid.


> INFO Pledge your support for Perth 2021: perth2021.com

Perth 2021 has invested a total of £50,000 in the Creative Communities Fund as a part of the UK City of Culture bid.

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high resolution imaging to assist in their interpretation. Five architectural firms have now been shortlisted in the competition to redesign City Hall. Perth Museum and Art Gallery will also be revitalized, and a request has been made to move the Stone of Destiny from Edinburgh to Perth. Perth and Kinross Council has committed £20m to these projects, with a further £10m sought as part of the Tay Cities Deal. The benefits are not limited to the city itself. The Pitlochry Festival Theatre is also seeking funding through the Cities Deal to help it develop Scotland`s leading producing theatre building and establish a national centre for technical skills training. “Perth and Kinross Council, and its partners, have embarked on a 20 year programme to establish Perth as one of Europe’s leading small cities,” explains Councillor Miller, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Perth 2021 Programme Board. “A key success factor is transforming our cultural offer.”

FEATURE

Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said SSE was serious about giving something back to the communities in which it operates, and Perth’s ambitions to transform itself by putting culture at the heart of the local economy chimed with that philosophy. “While we are based in Perth, we are a geographically dispersed company and we know that culture can bring people together and increase opportunities. The impetus that cultural investment gives to regeneration in urban areas is also well known, and we would like to see the same opportunities for the people of Perth and Kinross. “SSE also sees that the bid will attract and help retain the skills and talent we need in Perth to grow our business. We are delighted to be backing Perth’s bid and we are excited to see how things develop.” Other businesses to have lent their support include Aviva, Merlin ERD, House of Bruar and Dupplin Estate. Culture and creative industries are now firmly front and centre of aspirations for the city’s economic growth. As part of Perth’s cultural transformation, the City Hall, which is currently vacant, will be transformed into a modern, state-of-the-art cultural attraction, offering space for large scale touring exhibitions and digital and

As Perth and Kinross hosts more food and drink and tourism businesses than the rest of Scotland combined, the economic benefits to the whole area, if the bid succeeds, could be massive for both 2021 itself and beyond. The region is already seeing a steady increase from the impact of tourism, with figures for 2014 showing a rise of 13.4% in the sector’s economic impact, and the major events programme alone contributing £17m across the area. One new growth market is China. Between 2012 and 2014, Chinese visitors brought £112m to the Scottish economy alone, and both Birnam and Dunkeld have already seen a marked increase in Chinese visitors following the buy-out of two local hotels by travel agency and tour operator Omega Travel. It trades as the Far East Travel Centre and the Chinese Travel Shop. Earlier this year, VisitScotland, Perth and Kinross Council, Perthshire Tourism Partnership and Scottish Development International jointly delivered a ‘China Ready’ event for local tourism businesses. Flight connectivity with China is improving, and more than 150,000 Chinese nationals passed through the turnstiles of Edinburgh Castle in 2015 alone. ”There is no doubt that by engaging well with the increasing number of visitors from China our local area can see a boost to the economy,” says Councillor John Kellas, Perth and Kinross Council’s Enterprise and Infrastructure Convener. “Chinese visitors appreciate a high level of enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a good understanding of Chinese culture from service providers. If businesses across Perth and Kinross help make this area an appealing destination to Chinese visitors, it will in turn increase the presence of Perth and Kinross in the tour itineraries of more international travel agents.”

> INFO China-ready Guide: etag.org.uk/resource/etag-chinaready-business-opportunity-guide

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CONNECTED

CREATIVE HUB WILL INSPIRE COLLABORATIONS The creative industries across Scotland have developed an international reputation for both quality and innovation. Increasingly, this stems from collaborations between specialists in newer skillsets, such as digital animation, and those in the traditional crafts – jewellery design for example, or artists and the performing arts. The latter alone contributes more than £13m to the Perthshire economy, primarily through the programmes staged at Perth Theatre and the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Now, to strengthen the sector and support both the Tay City Deal and the bid by Perth for the 2021 City of Culture title, the city’s first creative hub is being developed. The Creative Exchange Perth will deliver affordable studio and office space for digital and creative businesses from 2018, as the result of a £3.5m renovation of an old school building on Stormont Street. “Creative Exchange Perth is an ambitious project, which recognises the importance of the creative industries in growing the local economy,” says Jim Valentine, Depute Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council. “It

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THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ACROSS SCOTLAND HAVE DEVELOPED AN INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION FOR BOTH QUALITY AND INNOVATION.

will promote digital and creative skills, create jobs in the creative and knowledge-based sectors, and use the power of culture to forge stronger, more resilient communities.” Nationally, Scotland’s arts and creative industries – which span 16 sub-sectors* – directly employ tens of thousands of people. In Perth and Kinross, a recent report found more than 483 companies employed approximately 1200 people, (EKOS Jan 2017). With innovation a key factor helping companies to scale-up, the Exchange will support collaboration, connection and coordination, which will help businesses play their part in achieving the ambition of the Scottish Government: for Scotland to be the most positive environment globally for innovative creative businesses of all scales. The Scottish Government is investing £335,000 from its Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to support the development. £250,000 has also been awarded by the European Regional Development Fund, £100,000 has come from the Community Investment Fund, and £150,000 has been awarded to WASPS, which is Scotland’s largest provider of creative studio space, and will manage the Creative Exchange.


£1500

FUNDING AVAILABLE TO START A NEW CREATIVE OR CULTURE-BASED PROJECT

CREATIVE EXCHANGE PERTH IS AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT, WHICH RECOGNISES THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES IN GROWING THE LOCAL ECONOMY.”

FEATURE

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S SUB-SECTORS WITH CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

Visual Arts • Advertising • Architecture • Visual arts • Crafts • Fashion and textiles • Design

Audio Visual • Music • Photography • Film and video • Computer games • Radio & TV

Heritage • Heritage

Performing Arts • Performing Arts

Book and Press • Writing and publishing

Cultural Education • Cultural Education

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Gateway’s current contract provider in Tayside), Culture P&K, Perth Contemporary Arts Trust, and Perth Visual Arts Forum.

483 companies in Perth & Kinross employ more than 1200 people in the creative industries.

The red brick building will offer 16,000 sq.ft. of lettable floor space, which will be repurposed into studio space that tenants can stamp with their own brand and identity. The Famous Grouse Ideas Centre will be attached to the Creative Exchange Perth, acting as a business incubator and accelerator for start-ups or businesses across any of the sub-sectors. “Thanks to funding from The Famous Grouse, the Ideas Centre will be up and running this year, from temporary accommodation,” explains Finlay Kerr, Project Manager with Perth and Kinross Council. “We want a mix of new creative businesses and those wanting to upskill and grow, and anyone interested can contact us now.” Upon completion, Creative Exchange Perth will provide space for 24 artists and 12 creative businesses. It will also generate 20 FTE jobs during construction and operation. The venture is led by Perth and Kinross Council, in close partnership with WASPS. Other stakeholders include Perth College UHI, Elevator (Business

Digital Industries • Software/electronic publishing

> INFO FGIC contact: finlaykerr@pkc.gov.uk CEP contact: info@waspsstudios.org.uk

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EQUIPPING TODAY’S YOUNG PEOPLE FOR THE WORLD OF WORK REQUIRES INCREASED COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE PUBLIC SECTOR, REGIONAL BUSINESSES LARGE AND SMALL AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS. THE COMMISSION FOR DEVELOPING SCOTLAND’S YOUNG WORKFORCE AIMS TO REDUCE YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT BY

40%

A YouGov study in 2013 revealed that nearly six in ten employers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates felt there was a skills gap in the UK. In 2014, the Scottish Government’s Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce made several recommendations designed to help deliver the skills, qualifications and vocational pathways necessary to unlock the full potential of today’s young people. Chief among those recommendations was the creation of a network of regional employer-led Developing the Young Workforce boards. The Perth and Kinross regional board was officially launched on the 29 August 2016. Chaired by Steve Stewart, Director of Communications at Stagecoach Group, its multi-sector make-up includes representatives from organisations as diverse as Crieff Hydro, SSE, Aviva, Perth College UHI, local head teachers, the Federation of Small Business and NHS Tayside.

DEVELOPING TOMORROW’S WORKFORCE TODAY 14

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2017


INTERVIEW

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“One of our key aims is getting young people to think about STEM careers. In terms of civil engineering, employers such as Balfour Beatty, Robertson Construction and Jacobs are offering loads of opportunities for local young people to engage with the industry through site visits, work experience and problem solving projects.” There is significant statistical evidence that demonstrates the positive impact of employer contacts (such as careers talks or work experience) upon students. Young people who have had more than four interventions by an employer in their secondary school career are

Every school in Perth & Kinross has a Developing the Young Workforce lead in place.

Fiona Reith, Developing Young Workforce Manager at Perth and Kinross Regional Group, facilitates ever-stronger links between the education sector and industry, helping to deliver opportunities for young people across the region. “Every school in Perth and Kinross has a Developing the Young Workforce lead in place, responsible for nurturing enterprise. As a board, we have a role to play in supporting that activity. Recently, I spent the morning with a group of 50 teachers expanding their knowledge of the local labour market, for example.

EVERY SCHOOL IN PERTH AND KINROSS HAS A DEVELOPING THE YOUNG WORKFORCE LEAD IN PLACE, RESPONSIBLE FOR NURTURING ENTERPRISE.”

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PERTH COLLEGE UHI TEAM SUPPORTING LOCAL INDUSTRY

DYWP and Perth College UHI recently joined forces to promote STEM-based careers in the food and drink sector to local S2 pupils.

less likely to be unemployed and will earn, on average, 16% more than peers who miss out. “Tackling the skills gap and delivering gender balance across STEM subjects requires several things to happen, but early engagement is key, especially among girls,” adds Jennifer Thomson-Young, Sector Development Director: STEM. “One of the ways we’re trying to engage more young women is to engage the arts; so STEM becomes STEAM. The arts have a pivotal role to play in design engineering – architecture for example. It’s about challenging perceptions about engineering, not only among pupils but with parents and teachers.” Perth College UHI is at the forefront of delivering innovative new vocational pathways for young people to connect with regional businesses. “Modern Apprenticeships in sectors such as automotive, body and repair are booming, as is construction. Full time students on work placements are being snapped up by employers and return to the College as apprentices instead.” The College has a 65-strong team dedicated to ongoing dialogue with local industry, focused on three core areas: Engineering and Aviation, Built Environment and Science Technologies, and Automotive Engineering. “By understanding a business’s needs, it allows us to tailor our student placements to a specific company’s culture to ensure a best fit,” adds Jennifer. Complementing Modern Apprenticeships, Perth College has also started to offer twoyear Foundation Apprenticeships for fifth year pupils studying Highers and National 5s. “We were involved in the second pilot year, initially offering Foundation Apprenticeships in Engineering and Social Services and Healthcare, but we’re expanding that next year to include Business Skills, Civil Engineering, Engineering,

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VECTOR COMPONENT SERVICES UK Perth-based Vector Aerospace Component Services, a global leader in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and part of the Airbus Group, has a longstanding partnership with Perth College UHI through its established apprenticeship programme. “It has been instrumental to securing a future talent pipeline against a national skills shortage in STEM subjects,” explains Claire Watson, Head of Learning and Development, Vector Aerospace. “We have a great partnership with Perth College. Over three years, apprentices get to work alongside our highly skilled technicians, while benefiting from the latest structured learning through the College.” The partnership clearly delivers high calibre, highly skilled employees. Kieron Foley-Hall (pictured second from left) is one of five current Vector Aerospace apprentices. Currently half way through his three-year programme, Kieron was named Apprentice of the Year at the Business Star Awards 2016, organised by Perthshire Chambers of Commerce. Former Vector apprentice Katie Gray was also recently named UK Technician of the Year at the 2017 Semta Skills Awards. Semta, the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, is a not-forprofit organisation supporting skills and training among the UK’s most advanced manufacturing industries.

Social Services Children and Young People, and Scientific Technologies.” The College, which now employs a dedicated Foundation Apprenticeship Coordinator charged with promoting courses to local schools and securing additional work placements, has already secured Foundation Apprenticeship partnerships in engineering with SSE, Branston, local engineers W. A. McGarrie & Son as well as Vector Component Services UK as a programme sponsor. Jennifer highlights Perth College’s soonto-open Engineering Hub as further evidence of the College’s aspirations. “The Hub will be aimed at S3/S4 pupils. It’s part of our commitment to providing a greater range of course opportunities for senior pupils through our Perth City Campus initiative with Perth and Kinross Council and four Perth secondary schools (Perth Academy, Perth Grammar, Perth High and St John’s RC Academy). “The Hub exposes pupils to schoolbased modules on computer-aided design/ manufacture (CAD/CAM) and electronics, before coming to the College to build their own model racing car, which they can test in our new wind tunnel. The idea is to open an alternative route into our Foundation Apprenticeship programme.” It’s clear a joined-up, holistic approach to Developing the Young Workforce is already delivering results for Perthshire’s students and businesses. Whether it’s greater choice for young people, earlier engagement with schools, or increased collaboration between industry and educators, the foundations are being laid today for future success.

> INFO perth.uhi.ac.uk/perth-college-uhihomepage/business-enterprise


KNOW-HOW:

By the end of 2018, 90.5% of the population across Perth and Kinross will have access to fibre broadband.

REDEFINING HR/RECRUITMENT THROUGH DIGITAL INNOVATION

PERTH-BASED RECRUITMENT AND HR CONSULTANCY BUSINESS FAIRWAYS HAVE INTRODUCED A NEW DIGITAL INNOVATION SERVICE TO A SECTOR NOT NORMALLY RECOGNISED AS A TECHNOLOGY ADOPTER.

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

portal, candidates can upload and update their CVs, monitor timesheets, track employment histories, view work schedules and specify their availability for work. Employers can then use this information to plan their resource requirements.” The same applies to the HR consultancy service at Fairways. Employers can choose their service level depending on the size and need of the business. If the client doesn’t want to commit to a monthly service subscription, they can simply purchase HR templates and documents through the Fairways HR Knowledge Hub. “It’s ideally suited to smaller employers, without their own inhouse HR department,” adds Liz. “The challenge now is to evolve our digital offer to add greater value for clients and harness the creativity and experience of our growing team, to ensure we stay ahead of the game.”

> INFO

fairways-uk.com

The roll out of superfast broadband across Perth and Kinross continues to gather pace following early adoption of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project. By the end of 2018, 90.5% of Perth and Kinross will have access to fibre broadband, delivering data speeds of between 24MBps and 80MBps for most residents and businesses. Digital Scotland Programme, launched by the Scottish Government in partnership with BT PLC in 2013, aims to deliver superfast fibre-optic broadband to 95% of the Scottish population by 2020. Bringing fibre broadband to Scotland’s mountainous landscape and scattered rural communities creates numerous and complex engineering challenges. In fact, to date, the Digital Scotland programme is the most ambitious fibre infrastructure project undertaken in Europe. Scotland’s 32 local authorities have collectively contributed £40 million to the programme as a whole. However, as one of 14 local authorities investing additional funds to help accelerate the planned programme of telephone exchange upgrades, Perth and Kinross Council is working hard to bring next generation connectivity across the region.

SUMMER 2017_INVEST IN PERTH

KNOW-HOW

By securely documenting and providing access to the complete employment journey, the dedicated online HR Knowledge Hub has transformed the nature of Fairways’ service offer. The system went live in October 2016, and by the end of that year they were proud to be recognised for the Excellence in eCommerce award at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards. “Traditionally, recruitment agencies haven’t enjoyed the best reputation for service delivery – we wanted to change that,” explained Liz Jackson, Managing Director. “Fairways isn’t a sales-driven business; it’s run by experienced HR professionals. We understand our clients’ recruitment needs. We also deliver a complete employment package – from recruitment right through to exit and every people management process in between. “It provides complete transparency throughout the recruitment process for both employees and employers,” adds Liz. “Through our personnel

FIBRE BROADBAND ROLLOUT GATHERS MOMENTUM

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INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT SECURES LANDMARK DEAL An international buyer has acquired the building at 111-121 High Street in Perth, part of the city’s main shopping area, in a deal valued at £5.9m. The building extends over four floors and covers almost 51,000 sq.ft. It was redeveloped in 2011 and currently has fashion retailers Next and New Look as tenants. The deal marks the largest single retail property transaction in Perth since September 2015 and the selling price reflects a net initial yield of 8%. Recent figures from property adviser Knight Frank showed that nearly two-thirds of investment in Scottish commercial property came from

international money last year – some £1.2 billion. A significant proportion is thought to be from private investors. Douglas Binnie, Senior Capital Markets Surveyor at Knight Frank, which was involved in the Perth deal, said: “International investors were previously only looking at prime assets. They are now searching for opportunities where more generous income returns are available.” He added: “An 8% yield represents a significant discount compared to many other parts of the UK outside of London, underlining what Scotland has to offer. We would expect to see more deals conclude beyond the capital in the next few months.”

EXPANSION DRIVE Accountancy firm Campbell Dallas is opening a new, larger office at Whitefriars in Perth, as part of an expansion drive. The company is investing more than £1m in the move, and the new office will accommodate the 40 staff and partners who are already based in the city. The firm advised Innis & Gunn on its acquisition, last year, of Perth-based Inveralmond Brewery, and report that they plan to increase staff in Perth to about 50 over the next two years. With up to 7,000 new homes planned in Perth, and a population expected to increase by 25% over the next two decades, property group Savills are also expanding their office at Earn House, Broxden. Its team in Perth serve the needs of clients across an area covering 2,000 square miles of central Scotland.

WITH OUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, WE CAN GIVE IMPARTIAL ADVICE AND PROVIDE OWNERS WITH INFORMATION ABOUT GRANTS, INTEREST FREE LOANS AND OTHER INCENTIVES, SUCH AS ‘FRESH START’.

EMPTY TO PLENTY The number of long-term empty commercial properties across Perth and Kinross is set to fall, as a marketing campaign branded Empty to Plenty begins to make an impact. Initially targeting empty residential properties, the initiative is run through Perth and Kinross Council’s Vacant Property Development project. It uses the Council’s register for Council Tax to identify empty properties, where owners are now subject to a surcharge, and offers information about financial incentives available to encourage the repair and re-use of empty units. Isobel Butt is a surveyor with a background in commercial property, and Katrina Morrison previously worked for the Council’s Housing division. “With our professional experience, we can give

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impartial advice and provide owners with information about grants, interest free loans and other incentives, such as ‘Fresh Start’. These can help cover architect and surveyor fees, repair costs and, when a commercial property has a new tenant, help them apply for rates subsidies of 50% for their first year in the premises.” The scheme has been very successful with residential properties and supports town centre regeneration, sustains rural communities – by bringing older properties back up to standard – and can improve footfall and revitalise local shops. The project has been working closely with long term property owners and, since April 2016, Isobel and Katrina have helped bring 138 properties back into use. “This has been achieved by a combination of grants,interest

free loans, information on reduced rate VAT and discounts from contractors and builder’s merchants. The Empty Property Loan Fund is an interest-free loan of up to £20,000, available to renovate or convert properties for residential use that have been empty for six months or more and which fail to meet the repairing standard,” says Isobel. “We also run a free Matchmaker Service, where prospective purchasers are matched up with owners of long term empty properties.”

> INFO To discuss and further information on grant schemes that may be available please contact Isobel Butt, ijbutt@pkc.gov.uk or Katrina Morrison kmmorrison@pkc.gov.uk


THE HOTEL WILL BRING INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS AND HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS TO EXPERIENCE AND ENJOY ALL THAT THIS AREA OFFERS.

£5M INVESTMENT COMPLETED

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

unique offering for the hotel. Gregor Ritchie, Optimum’s Managing Director, says: “Our aim is to ensure that every guest has a relaxing and quintessentially Scottish experience.” Guests will be able to enjoy golfing, shooting, fishing or trekking, as well as the full array of contemporary outdoor pursuits that Perthshire is also famous for; all provided through local independent businesses. “We’ve worked closely with the area’s heritage attractions and planning authorities, and we’ve had nothing but support from the local community,” says Nassar. After a day experiencing all that Highland Perthshire can offer, guests will enjoy a unique gastronomic experience that celebrates the best quality locally sourced produce.

The hotel’s celebrated original façade has been retained, but the interior has been transformed to seamlessly blend a luxury country-house hotel with the demands of the modern world. Each suite has a walk-in shower with Italian tiles; there are new windows throughout; the courtyard has been enclosed, and innovative architectural features added – as well as hand crafted, bespoke pieces of furniture. “This brand will now roll out across Europe,” adds Nassar, “but Scotland offered a natural target for us and Dunalastair has been a unique opportunity to create an amazing destination in the heart of the Highlands. “The hotel will bring international travellers and high net worth individuals to experience and enjoy all that this area offers, and we are delighted to have been able to create more than 20 long-term local jobs. “The authorities have been supportive of all we are trying to achieve. The bureaucratic process is the same as anywhere else, but officials have been proactive at helping us find successful solutions when ensuring the protection of any factors or facets of the building. As an investor, we wouldn’t think twice about doing a similar thing locally again, and we are now actively looking for other opportunities in Scotland.”

PROPERTY | INFRASTRUCTURE

Nestled between Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, the 5-star boutique hotel now offers a perfect blend of history, modern convenience and understated luxury. “We have created a thoroughly modern oasis for people to switch off and relax, or host weddings and meetings, and enjoy a unique gastronomic experience,” explains Nassar Khalil, Henley’s Director of Hotels and Leisure. “If the building was transferred to London it would still be a 5-star destination. But the surrounding area cannot be beaten.” Henley awarded the long-term management contract for the hotel to Optimum Hotel Management, which has been working closely with local estate owners, activity providers and food and drink producers to create a totally

The population of Perth is expected to grow by 25% over the next two decades.

DUNALASTAIR HOTEL SUITES OPENED AT KINLOCH RANNOCH ON 1 MAY, AFTER A £5M REFURBISHMENT BY HENLEY HOMES, A LONDON-BASED DESIGN-LED PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY WITH AN ESTABLISHED REPUTATION FOR CREATING OUTSTANDING AND AWARD-WINNING HOMES. DUNALASTAIR MARKS THEIR FIRST VENTURE UNDER A NEW LUXURY HOTEL MARQUE: ROGUE CITY HOTELS.

> INFO dunalastairhotel.com

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THE NUMBERS PERTH & KINROSS HAVE THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF FOOD AND DRINK COMPANIES IN SCOTLAND (> 900)

36K PEOPLE

£1.9BN

SCOTTISH F&D EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS 2017 FROM PERTH & KINROSS EXPORT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR MACKIE’S AT TAYPACK, TAYSIDE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR + PRIMARY PRODUCER OF THE YEAR BRUCE FARMS, PERTHSHIRE

THE SECTOR’S GROSS VALUE ADDED TO THE SCOTTISH ECONOMY (14.2%)

YOUNG TALENT LIAM PENNYCOCK, STRATHEARN DISTILLERY, METHVEN

19K NEW RECRUITS REQUIRED FOR THE FOOD & DRINK SECTOR IN SCOTLAND BY 2024

45%

FOOD AND DRINK MANUFACTURING AS A PROPORTION OF SCOTLAND’S FULL SUPPLY CHAIN TURNOVER

45 65

Source: www.foodanddrink.scot/news/ article-info/7512/scotlands-cream-of-the-cropcrowned-at-top-food-and-drink-awards.aspx www.gov.scot/Resource/0050/00504691.pdf

JOURNEY TIME FROM PERTH FOOD & DRINK PARK TO EDINBURGH AIRPORT

MINS

INCREASE IN VALUE OF FOOD EXPORTS FROM SCOTLAND 2004 – 2014

FOOD & DRINK’S PERCENTAGE OF SCOTLAND’S TOTAL MANUFACTURING TURNOVER

MINS

(50%)

£815M

EMPLOYED IN FOOD & DRINK SECTOR IN SCOTLAND > 19% OF THE MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE

18.8%

FOOD AND DRINK SECTOR (2015)

JOURNEY TIME FROM PERTH FOOD & DRINK PARK TO GLASGOW AIRPORT

Invest in Perth Summer 2017  

The regions 5th investment promotion magazine showcasing what Perth and Perthshire has to offer.