Page 1

SUMMER 2019

INVESTIN

PERTH

BALLINTAGGART FARM

I N S I D E #10 PLACES FOR EVERYONE

HEALTHY HOTELS

The food is at the heart of this comfortable country retreat

Bold and innovative plans to reinvent the streets of Perth

How the market in Perthshire is stronger than ever


IN THIS ISSUE

WELCOME

SUMMER 2019

PERTH & KINROSS IS A WELCOMING AND PROSPEROUS PLACE TO STAY, WORK, INVEST AND LIVE LIFE WELL.

© Fraser Band Photography

VIEWPOINT:

5

7

9

19

3

FAST-TRACK:

Employers supporting young people; the latest on two iconic Perth buildings

NEWS FROM THE REGION: 4-8

CONNECTIVITY:

Perthshire companies making their mark

Connections between business and education make their mark

FEATURE:

9-11

An innovative new project to transform the streets and spaces of Perth City region

SPOTLIGHT:

GOOD COMPANY:

12-13

PROPERTY: Investment news – hotels, whisky, housing and Perth West Eco Park

Follow Invest in Perth on Twitter: www.twitter.com/investinperth Invest in Perth is published by Invest in Perth and produced by Resolve. e. hello@resolvecreative.co.uk | w. resolvecreative.co.uk

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

INVEST IN PERTH_WINTER 2019

16

17

Rowan Consultancy has far-reaching branches

Ballintaggart is a food-lover’s paradise in Highland Perthshire

2

14-15

Caroline Warburton from VisitScotland on the healthy hotel industry in Perthshire

Our hotels, many of them recognised globally, are enjoying a strong period of continued growth and development. From boutique offerings specialising in local ingredients to luxury country house hotels or city getaways, we have so much to offer our growing number of visitors and investors. Perth & Kinross has a highly developed creative industry and the new Creative Exchange building, due to be completed in late 2019, will provide an innovative hub for our artists, photographers, writers and developers to work, learn, collaborate and fulfil projects. Quality of life has always been high on the agenda here and plans are underway to transform the streets, lanes, roads and public spaces in Perth and the surrounding area. The new Perth, People, Place project is bold and inventive and will support our aim to be one of Europe’s great small cities. Come and join us to see why we’re so excited about the future of the Perth City Region! #perthlivelifewell

Councillor Murray Lyle Leader of Perth & Kinross Council

INVEST IN PERTH CAN HELP 18-19

We offer a comprehensive investor support programme tailored to each individual business, including: •H  elp 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

WELLNESS COULD BE KEY TO PERTHSHIRE’S HEALTHY TOURISM INDUSTRY FROM ITS STUNNING SCENERY AND AWE-INSPIRING LANDSCAPES, TO ITS WORLD-FAMOUS ATTRACTIONS AND HOSPITABLE ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS, PERTHSHIRE HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER VISITORS AND OUR LATEST RESEARCH ON THE GROWING INTEREST IN HEALTH AND WELL-BEING AS PART OF A HOLIDAY PRESENTS FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES IN THE REGION.

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

Self-improvement by learning a new skill is also a key part of wellness breaks and many Perthshire businesses are capitalising on this opportunity, including the new Cook School at Ballintaggart Farm (see Spotlight, p.12) to the range of courses (from flower pressing to wild cooking) at Guardswell Farm, near Kinnaird. It’s fantastic to see local industry providing top services and facilities which keep up with ever-changing consumer demands and ensure visitors continue to have memorable experiences here.

32% OF PEOPLE IN GREAT BRITAIN CONSIDER SCOTLAND TO BE AN IDEAL DESTINATION FOR A WELLNESS HOLIDAY

Perthshire is a fantastic destination for any visitor at any time of year, and these visitors are important to the communities and the economies of the region. Between 2015 and 2017, there were over 850,000 overnight trips each year, spending a total of £220m. This shows that tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat

of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. Our hotel market is in a similarly healthy position. Recent offers for sale of popular and successful Perthshire hotels such as the Royal George, Huntingtower and Scotland’s Hotel (see Property, p.18) are testament to the investment potential of this region. Widespread investment by current owners, too, such as the recent £400K development at Blairgowrie’s Angus Hotel, demonstrate confidence in the growing market. Working with tourism businesses and other partners across Perthshire, we want to champion the region, helping businesses to spearhead innovation, promote the special experiences, events and activities which the area has to offer and ensure that tourism is recognised for the role it plays in the success, well-being and prosperity it supports across the community.

Visitors to Perthshire’s hotels spent £220m between 2015 and 2017.

Recent research by VisitScotland found that almost a third of people in Great Britain (32%) consider Scotland to be an ideal destination for a wellness holiday. Valued globally at $639bn in 2017, wellness tourism is on the up, growing twice as fast as tourism overall, reflecting that more and more visitors are looking for immersive experiences or self-development. With 11.8 million visits made to Scotland by people from across the UK, this trend could generate millions of additional trips north of the Border, particularly from Londoners, 26% of whom had already been on at least one wellness holiday. Perthshire boasts breath-taking views, intimate woodlands and forests, miles of cycle and footpaths and wild uplands where walkers will have only wildlife for company. It is the ideal destination to “get away from it all”. In fact, 38% of visitors said this was what attracted them to the area. Tourism businesses, large and small, across the region are already responding to this opportunity in Perthshire. Five-star luxury hotels such as The Gleneagles Hotel and Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa offer spa breaks, Taymouth Marina’s lochside hot box sauna commands views across Loch Tay and Burmieston Steading near Logiealmond offers guests a rural eco-retreat without scrimping on comfort and a warm welcome.

> INFO visitscotland.org

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

3


© Fraser Band Photography

WE REMAIN FIRMLY COMMITTED TO ENSURING OUR OFFER REMAINS AT THE QUALITY END OF THE MARKET.

£100,000 HOTEL INVESTMENT REAPS REWARDS Parklands Boutique Hotel with Dining was recently announced Best City Hotel as well as being highly commended in the Best Dining Experience category at the third annual Prestige Hotel Awards. The awards, which were created to showcase and reward outstanding service within the hotel industry in Scotland, are voted for by the public and are fully independent of fees or membership. Parklands has been owned by Scott and Penny Edwards since 2003. Committed to the industry they serve, to using local suppliers wherever possible and to developing their people, they offer the

only four-star hotel accommodation in Perth city centre. Scott commented: “The tourism industry, like so many others, is facing a challenging time and we know there is a temptation to cut back on such things as capital investment and team development. However, we’ve gone the other way and have chosen to invest £100,000 over the past three years. In short, we remain firmly committed to ensuring our offer remains at the quality end of the market.” The decision 15 years ago to aim for four-star status has always given Parklands a unique selling point. Since then, the Edwards have invested in excess of £0.5m in refurbishing all areas of the hotel, which

overlooks the stunning South Inch Park. Scott commented, “Our aim always is to be a great small hotel that acts like a big one! Providing visitors to Perth with an exceptional experience is the promise we’ve built our business on and this award is testament to the hard work and commitment of our entire team in ensuring we deliver on this each and every day.“ Parklands has also secured entry in the Michelin guide for the fifteenth year running, and has recently been reaccredited as an AA 2-rosette restaurant.

> INFO theparklandshotel.com

THE OLD MANSE OF BLAIR LAUNCHES AS BOUTIQUE HOTEL WITH RESTAURANT The Old Manse of Blair, a boutique hotel in Blair Atholl, launched its new restaurant in March under the leadership of Jonathan Greer, formerly of Gleneagles Hotel and Ballathie House. The Orangery restaurant offers familyfriendly, contemporary Scottish food, focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients and the finest local produce. Anne MacDonald commented, “We are delighted to appoint Jonathan Greer as consultant chef. The experience, knowledge and calibre that he brings are unrivalled in this area of Perthshire, enhancing our offering as a food destination.” Owners Anne and Archie MacDonald have transformed the Old Manse since 2016, redeveloping the estate from a near-derelict state to a luxury tourism destination. They are keen to welcome

4

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

local families to The Orangery, too, with dining that doesn’t break the bank and ingredients sourced from the local larder, including venison, lamb and Arbroath Smokies. Set on its own private estate just off the A9, The Old Manse of Blair is located mid-way between the central-belt cities and Inverness, the start of the NC500 driving

route. The location is popular for business tourism, food tourism, corporate groups and family celebrations. The Orangery is filled with natural daylight and decorated in a contemporary boutique style. Its greenhouse and garden will be used to grow fresh produce for the restaurant. It’s an exciting milestone in a year that has also seen Anne MacDonald nominated for the Tourism Business of the Year in the BWS Women in Hospitality and Tourism Awards 2019, which aim to increase the number of women working in senior leadership across the visitor economy and recognise women who have made an impact in their industry through innovation and best practice.

> INFO www.theoldmanseofblair.com


© VisitScotland

NEWS

POSITIVE MESSAGES AT TAY CITIES TOURISM CONFERENCE Food and drink, adventure activities and creative and design experiences could all help grow tourism in the East of Scotland, attendees heard at a leading industry conference in March. Over 200 delegates attended the first ever Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference, organised by the local authorities of Dundee, Perth & Kinross, Angus and Fife. The event was also supported by Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland as part of Scottish Tourism Month 2019. It aimed to look at the future of tourism over the next five years and to encourage those in the Tay Region tourism industry to work together to realise a growth strategy . Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “With its rich history, stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, the East of Scotland has so much to offer visitors. To continue growing

tourism within the Tay Cities region we need to continue to provide top services, facilities, events and attractions to keep up with the ever-changing consumer demands and ensure visitors have memorable experiences and return home as ambassadors for the region. “2018 was an exciting year for the region. It is important that, through events such as the Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference, the local tourism industry and partners continue to work together to make the most of the global interest in the region and use it to continue to grow in the coming years, ensuring that every town, village and community can enjoy tourism’s ripple effect of success, well-being and prosperity.”

> INFO visitscotland.org taycities.co.uk

The Perth & Kinross-based firm behind Scotland’s first “vertical farm” has received £5.4m funding to grow its business. Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) said it had received “significant interest” since opening its demonstration facility in Invergowrie last year. It said the funding would allow it to create jobs and increase development. The vertical farm aims to create an efficient and waste-free method of growing. The funding has been received from agri-tech food investor S2G, online venture capital firm AgFunder, and the Scottish Investment Bank. IGS says it supplies “highly-sophisticated” vertical farming technology to indoor farms to enable the “efficient production of food

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

in any location around the world”. The trial centre is housed in a two-storey white building at the James Hutton Institute. Researchers have experimented with different colours of light and have managed to reduce the growing time of trial herbs by about half. David Farquhar, chief executive of Intelligent Growth Solutions, said the industry “is just at the starting line”. He said: “We look forward to working with our customers, partners and colleagues at the James Hutton Institute to enable the highest quality produce to be grown at economically viable prices and help feed the burgeoning global population.”

> INFO intelligentgrowthsolutions.com

Birch and Elderflower Wild Scottish Spirit, created by Highland Boundary Distillery, has been awarded Gold at the illustrious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The judges award gold medals to “exceptional spirits that are near the pinnacle of achievement and products that set the standard for their categories”. Highland Boundary was recognised in the Other Spirits category. The winning spirit, released in late 2018, was developed in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University International Centre for Brewing and Distilling. It combines hand-picked botanicals sourced in the Highlands with grain spirit from the south to create an innovative spirit unique to Scotland. Brand founders Dr. Marian Bruce and Simon Montador said, “We are thrilled that the first release from our distillery has been awarded a gold medal. Our modern Scottish spirits are a new category of botanical spirits to the UK and it’s wonderful that industry colleagues have recognised the premium quality of our product and the unique flavour.” All botanicals used in the production of Highland Boundary are picked by hand, with an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability – electricity used in the manufacture of the spirit comes from solar panels on the distillery roof and the offices are heated using biomass. The cooling water comes from a natural spring and is recycled through their wildlife pond once cooled. Highland Boundary already has several new botanical spirits to be released later in 2019, using hand-picked local Scottish botanicals and innovative techniques to create new flavours.

More than £37m will be targeted into support for local tourism and culture through the Tay Cities Deal.

£5.4M FUNDING BOOST FOR SCOTTISH ‘VERTICAL FARM’ FIRM

JUDGES GO WILD FOR HIGHLAND BOUNDARY

> INFO highlandboundary.com

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

5


PERTHSHIRE CIDER BUSINESS BOOSTED BY RURAL FUNDING Many dog owners are inspired by their pets, but the owners of Scruffy Dog Cider took it further with a new brand named after their beloved cocker spaniel. Now Strathearn Cider Company has been handed further inspiration in the shape of a £32,500 grant that’s helping to build a strong local cider brand and make the most of apples grown in the area. The grant was made to Strathearn Cider Company by the Rural Perth & Kinross LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development which invests in rural areas. The funding was matched 50:50 by the company, based near Methven, to support the creation of Strathearn’s first cider company. Jackie Brierton, the Perth & Kinross LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) chair, explained the importance of the support. “This small enterprise project is one of a number benefitting from the £3.8 million share of LEADER and Scottish Government funds available for the development of rural communities and enterprise in Perthshire until 2020. This is a creative and innovative project which helps prevent the wastage of excess apples grown locally and we are pleased we have been able to support it.”

George Blues, a partner in Strathearn Cider Company, said the business is relishing the development of their high-quality local cider brand. “Perthshire has a fantastic history of producing great apples and we love the fact that we’re playing a part in growing its reputation for fantastic cider too. Our thanks go to all those who have helped us, particularly the Rural Perth & Kinross LEADER

EDWARDS ENGINEERING EYES ACQUISITIONS IN GROWTH PLAN

Perth-based Edwards Engineering has outlined ambitious plans to grow its turnover to £20 million within the next three years. The company operates a 45,000sqft factory with customers spanning the food and drink, manufacturing, agricultural and construction sectors. The 50-year-old firm was bought from the founding family in August 2016 by investment group Cartalex and has since expanded at a rate of 20% a year.

6

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

Chief Executive Ben Carter

Chief Executive Ben Carter said Edwards was eyeing acquisitions as a way to continue its expansion, in particular companies that can improve the breadth and depth of its technical offering, as well as extending its geographic reach in the UK. The firm has already been in discussion with several potential partners. He said: “When we bought Edwards, we saw a solid reputation to build upon and a multi-skilled, committed team. We want to steadily grow the Edwards business and to make selective acquisitions in the engineering

team and Business Gateway in Perth. The LEADER funding has allowed us to build and develop our brand from scratch. We were also able to build our cider shed, creating our brand home and base for our business.”

> INFO strathearncider.co.uk PKLeader.org sector UK-wide. We are looking at businesses that have succession issues or are non-core to bigger engineering groups where, through further investment and improvements in productivity we can realise significant revenue synergies. “Our in-house skillset is a relatively rare combination — a lot of firms specialise in any one of those disciplines, but there is not a huge number that can take on the multi-disciplined projects we do, with their own drawing office and extensive fabrication facilities.” Edwards currently employs 60 staff with annual sales of around £7.5m. Apprentices make up a fifth of the firm’s 40-strong engineering workforce. Key recent projects include the installation of the new furnace building and ancillary equipment at Superglass in Stirling and the upgrade of the malthouse at Crisp Maltings’ Port Gordon site. The company has also provided services for the new grain-processing facilities for Alexander Harley Seeds, Alexander Inglis & Son and Moray Estates.

> INFO edwardsengineering.co.uk


NEWS

MORRIS LESLIE BUYS ICONIC ‘FAMOUS GROUSE’ BUILDING

CREATIVE EXCHANGE Perthshire-based Morris Leslie has purchased the prestigious former Edrington “Famous Grouse” building at West Kinfauns, creating a new business centre for local companies looking to expand or relocate. Constructed to an exceptional specification, the building is now home to head-office staff. The rest of the flexible office space and conference facilities, including a high-tech auditorium, will be available to the rental market. Graham Ogilvie, Group Operations Director at Morris Leslie, a Scottish company operating independently since 1974 in the plant-hire and sales industry, said, “This building offers companies a range of flexible spaces within its 30,000sqft footprint. Its unique history, fabulous setting and modern interiors mean that we expect the office space to be highly soughtafter by local companies looking for an upgrade, or businesses based further afield looking to relocate, to capitalise on Perth and Dundee’s improving economic standing.” The site benefits from excellent road and rail connections, being five minutes’ drive from Perth city centre, an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow and 90 minutes from Aberdeen. There is ample parking and excellent on-site catering facilities, as well as a potential opportunity for local restaurateurs. Morris Leslie, Group Managing Director, added, “We are delighted to be able to extend our property portfolio with such a fantastic building and to relocate our team to what is a befitting home for our national and global operations.”

> INFO morrisleslie.com

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

Perth’s Creative Exchange, due for completion in late 2019, will provide 26 artist studios and space for 13 creative businesses, as well as project space, an ideas centre and a café. The Creative Exchange, which is being developed by Perth & Kinross Council and managed by Wasps, will be housed in the former St John’s Primary School site in the city centre. Wasps is Scotland’s studio specialists and an award-winning charity and social enterprise. Around 900 people are currently working out of a Wasps studio or creative office space and contributing to Scotland’s rich visual art, craft and design scene. Wasps CEO Audrey Carlin says, “We were funded by the Scottish Cities Alliance to look at the need for creative space in Perth. We found out that creative people in Perth needed a network, a central focus where they could collaborate. There is also a big rural creative economy in the wider region. Virtual networks such as Perthshire Creates bring people together, but they don’t have a physical presence. Creative Exchange will allow people to come together, learn, do workshops, develop their practice and get business support.” Once complete, Perth Creative Exchange will be the 20th location within the Wasps studio network. There are two elements and several levels on offer, making it a unique proposition in the area. Firstly, Wasps will rent low-cost studio space to artists, makers and people working in digitally-based practice such as graphic design or app development. Secondly, there’s a unique partnership project between Perth & Kinross Council, Wasps and Edrington Group – the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre. This funded package of support aimed at the creative sector has three levels: 1. The Creative Accelerator 12-week programme (see Invest In Perth issue 8); 2. Support from Cultural Enterprise including business, marketing and financial; 3. Creative Pipeline with Culture Perth & Kinross to support young people in education and creative careers.

CREATIVE EXCHANGE WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER, LEARN, DO WORKSHOPS, DEVELOP THEIR PRACTICE AND GET BUSINESS SUPPORT. Audrey believes that the potential benefits are significant. “With reception facilities, a meeting space, café and exhibition space, it’ll be much more than a place for people to come and develop their practice. They can collaborate, learn and meet others. It’s also about the next generation. We’re working closely with Perth College UHI to support graduates to stay in Perth & Kinross, to develop their practice and stay in the sector. We want them to be able to have the career they’ve trained for and contribute to the creative economy – one of the top six growth sectors in Scotland’s economic strategy.” The Creative Exchange is positive news for businesses and investors in the area, too. “We know there are many businesses in the region that can benefit from practitioners who understand the area and the market. People in the creative sector are different from others; they’re willing to share experience and bring other practitioners to create a package that suits a client. Having a base means they can meet others to work with, and it means that businesses who are looking for those services will have them on their doorstep. “It’s very exciting and there’s a lot of interest; we’ve already got a lot of people on a waiting list for space. It’s fantastic.”

> INFO waspsstudios.org.uk

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

7


The Perth area is home to over one thousand thriving food and drink businesses. Perth Food & Drink Park offers serviced development plots to support this growing sector and help businesses to start up or expand. An initial development of five food and drink manufacturing units has been completed and four plots, each with planning permission for industrial and commercial

premier cocoa products. “Perth Food & Drink Park works well for us in terms of access to our northern locations, and we have great suppliers and distribution in the area. The building is a very nice place to work, with pleasant surroundings. We like that there is solar power, too, as renewable energy is important for us.” Award-winning chef and entrepreneur Praveen Kumar is proprietor of Tabla

PERTH FOOD & DRINK PARK SET TO WELCOME LATEST TENANTS developments, are now available to businesses interested in growing their brand. Perth’s central location in the heart of Scotland serves its business community well. An excellent local infrastructure feeds seamlessly into the wider Scottish and UK road and rail networks, connecting the city quickly and easily to major UK markets, and internationally via Edinburgh and Glasgow’s airports, which are around a one-hour drive time. The Food & Drink Park sites are strategically situated close to the A9 trunk road, with good links into Perth City centre and the mainline train station. Paul Maden is co-owner of Cocoa Mountain International, which produces

PROJECT TO BENEFIT CYCLISTS GETS £1.6M Above: New cross-country paths will link Alyth, Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus.

8

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

Restaurant and his popular Indian Cook School. Now he has launched his eponymous range of ready-to-heat, restaurant-quality frozen meals and will shortly take over a double unit for cooking, production, packing and distribution. He says, “It was fantastic working with Perth & Kinross Council to set up my new business here; they’re helpful and accommodating and they understand the needs of individual businesses. We are looking forward to moving in soon.” Another tenant at the park is premium drydog-food manufacturing company Wilsons. The Invest in Perth team is currently inviting notes of interest from existing and start-up businesses in all areas of the food and drink sector, such as production, manufacturing,

Perth and Kinross Council has earmarked £100,000 to support the development of the proposed Strathmore Cycle Network, which will link Alyth, Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus. So far, more than £250,000 is being invested in new cross-country paths and

distilling, supply chain efficiencies, innovation and logistics. We and our local business support partners can provide well-targeted, highquality guidance and support to those seeking to operate here. Businesses can also access support through a number of local organisations specialising in research, innovation and skills in and around the sector, including the James Hutton Institute, Binn Eco Park, Perth College UHI and Food Innovation @ Abertay.

> INFO www.investinperth.co.uk/perthfood-and-drink-park 01738 475300

bridges, linking Alyth and Blairgowrie, as part of a £1.6m project that will ultimately benefit cyclists and walkers across the area. Cycling and footpath charity Sustrans Scotland has given £37,000 and the Scottish Government’s Improving Access for All Fund contributed £200,000. Another £8,000 has come from the National Lottery Awards for All fund, in addition to £10,000 from Tactran. The 15-mile network is expected to improve road safety and cut carbon emissions and pollution, integrating seven miles of new cycle routes and walking paths with eight miles of existing country lanes. Len Seal, chairman of the steering group, said: “I am amazed and really pleased at the rate of progress. I think this is down to the development trusts in all three towns working well together, the support from Sustrans and Perth & Kinross Council and the public spirit of local landowners.” Development trusts in the three areas will now continue to press ahead with fundraising. It is hoped the network could be finished within the next two or three years.


FEATURE

BOLD NEW VISION WILL TRANSFORM SPACES AND CREATE PLACES FOR EVERYONE

PLACES FOR EVERYONE AN AMBITIOUS NEW PROJECT AIMS TO GROW AND TRANSFORM THE CITY OF PERTH AND THE SURROUNDING AREA IN A RESPONSIBLE WAY, REDUCING CAR DEPENDENCY AND ENCOURAGING THE USE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND ACTIVE TRAVEL. PERTH WILL GROW FROM 50K TO

60K

RESIDENTS BY 2035.

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

This bold and far-reaching proposal will do much more than encouraging cycling and walking. At its heart is a vision is to transform the spaces we use, attract more people into the area, boost business, encourage investment and change the very nature of the city itself. THE STORY SO FAR The vision for Perth and the wider area has arisen from the Perth City Plan, developed by Perth & Kinross Council in 2015. This set out an aspiration for the city to become ‘one of Europe’s great small cities’, combining quality of life with a global presence and a reputation for innovation and competitiveness.

This is partnered with The Perth Story, which tells the narrative of a confident, well-connected small city in the heart of Scotland, which has much to offer its citizens and visitors. Perth & Kinross Council has now put in place an Active Travel Strategy and Perth Cycle Network Masterplan. In addition, its collaboration with Sustrans has produced Bike Life Perth, which provides a critical socio-economic picture of Perth in relation to active travel, its associated benefits and the current barriers in place. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Perth will grow from 50,000 to 60,000 residents by 2035. As a result, the city faces significant transport challenges, but also has an opportunity to build a strategic network in advance of the planned public and private development sites to the north and west of Perth. Mike Morgan, Regeneration Projects Officer at Perth & Kinross Council, explains. “Modern urban design is about how we move people rather than vehicles. So we need to redesign and reposition our

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

9


streets to serve people better, including our businesses and communities.” Initial research verified that in key areas there was a number of issues to be tackled, such as high pollution levels, narrow streets, poor road surfaces and/or a lack of cycle lanes. The project will target shorter journeys of fewer than three miles, but the investment in transport infrastructure around the periphery of Perth will allow the project team to engage with commuters from the rural hinterland and other urban settlements. “We developed a bid for Sustrans funding through the Places for Everyone Programme,” Mike says. “This bid outlines an ambitious and transformative vision for the city.” Our team has undertaken further wide-ranging research, both at stakeholder level and by engaging with people in local communities using digital Commonplace tools and a series of community consultations. “We found out what issues local people had encountered, what changes they wanted to see and what they’d support. From that we came up with a series of documents which outlines the programme and how it meets the assessment criteria for the bid.” In July 2018 the Council appointed consultants Royal HaskoningDHV who have expertise and experience in working with areas on placemaking projects. The £34m bid was submitted in May 2019 and the council was informed at the end of July that it had been successful.

WE FOUND OUT WHAT ISSUES LOCAL PEOPLE HAD ENCOUNTERED, WHAT CHANGES THEY WANTED TO SEE AND WHAT THEY’D SUPPORT. 10

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

ABOUT THE BID The Perth, People, Place bid outlines a vision for Perth and the wider area built on sustainable, low-carbon economic growth and placemaking. This will reduce the impact on the natural environment and deliver infrastructure which minimises social costs, particularly when it comes to the health and wellbeing of the area’s residents. Creating a corridor of safe, accessible cycleways and walkways is at the centre of the bid, with eight in total proposed. The three key corridors are:

• Corridor 1 – Dunkeld Road • Corridor 2 – Scone to Bridgend • Corridor 5 – Glasgow Road Perth & Kinross Council has started these improvements as part of the A9/85 Junction Improvement. This has linked Inveralmond Industrial Estate with the north of Perth, via a new active travel bridge over the A9, which now provides a route into the city centre along the A85 via the Lade. Although active travel is key to the bid, the legacy of the programme will be the transformation of the whole city and the surrounding areas. It will involve: •d  elivering an accessible and inclusive transport network; • c reating exciting gateways to Perth which creates a sense of ‘place/arrival’, whether by walking, bike, bus, rail, car or boat; •h  elping children get to school safely, without negotiating heavy traffic; •p  roviding multiple transport options for accessing the city centre from within Perth or the rural hinterland; • creating high-quality areas of greenspace, bring individuals and communities together and reducing social isolation and poor health & mental wellbeing; • t ransforming corridors that prioritise vehicles into spaces which prioritise people and place. “We have looked at cities across Northern Europe that have succeeded in minimising the impact of vehicles,” Mike says. “They have developed social places and made cycling an effective form of transport. We’re also trying to adapt the city centre to the challenges such as changes in shopping behaviour and climate change, and to encourage people to keep coming to our city centre to support our local economy. We’ve had over 4000 interactions with the public during both phases which is previously unheard of, not just for us as a council but also Active Travel as a whole. It’s generated a sense of excitement of what we can achieve as a city. We believe that we’ve raised the bar with this bid and what is achievable with the funding.”


PLACES FOR EVERYONE A fundamental part of the bid is “placemaking”. What does this mean for Perth and how will it help to increase business and investment opportunities? The Perth City Plan outlines the approach to placemaking in Perth, setting out a framework for investment and street design which favours people and sustainable active travel routes. It includes such principles as improving the environmental quality of key streets,

INCREASING INVESTMENT IN PERTH Not only will this programme improve the lives of people in local communities, it will benefit businesses and attract further investment. Mike Morgan says, “In 15 years’ time we could have 25-30% of people cycling in and out of the city for work, shopping or socialising. It makes the city a place where people want to live. Our investment in the right infrastructure and city spaces will have a knock-on effect as companies recognise the value to all of greener policies and greener cities. Also the younger generation is more conscious of the impact on the environment and is attracted to green companies and green urban spaces. “We have fantastic assets as a city, in the built environment and the shopping environment. The best way to exploit this is to be bold and challenge the conventional thinking of how streets should function. We’ve been working with Hemingway Design to help us deliver exciting social spaces. If you design good spaces and eliminate pollution and noise, people will come in and dwell for longer; that’s great for business. You design places for people, and that improves the whole city.” This aligns with the wider approach across Tayside, such as the major investments in Perth West Eco Park, Bertha Park and the Cross Tay Link Road. The Perth, People, Place project is viewed as a major cog in the wheel and is driving forward that joined-up economy. “But this is just the start,” says Mike. We will be going out for significant consultations with proposals. If people haven’t yet had the opportunity to feed back, there will be many opportunities to do so. It’s their city and we need to provide places which will benefit everyone.”

The Perth, People, Place project aims to introduce eight new cycling / walking corridors to the city.

INCENTIVISING ACTIVE TRAVEL The bid recognised, however, that the project’s success relies on more than highquality active travel infrastructure. There’s a need for a progressive policy which incentivises people to undertake active travel. Perth & Kinross Council aims to encourage more journeys from outwith Perth to link with Park & Choose facilities at key strategic points around Perth, as improvements are made to active travel corridors into the city centre. Active travel hubs are proposed for Broxden and Walnut Grove Park & Ride and the city centre, facilitating active travel from strategic transport connections. In addition, Miconex, a Perth-based fintech company, is working with Stagecoach as part of Mi Rewards, the city-wide loyalty programme. This collaboration rewards users for using Stagecoach buses; the next development will be to reward people who walk and cycle into Perth.

FEATURE

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

IN 15 YEARS’ TIME WE COULD HAVE

25-30%

OF PEOPLE CYCLING IN AND OUT OF THE CITY FOR WORK, SHOPPING OR SOCIALISING.

IF YOU DESIGN GOOD SPACES AND ELIMINATE POLLUTION AND NOISE, PEOPLE WILL COME IN AND DWELL FOR LONGER; THAT’S GREAT FOR BUSINESS.

upgrading Perth’s public spaces, extending car-free areas and shared spaces, creating attractive points of arrival and installing creative lighting for Perth’s spaces and landmark buildings. This presents the city with a unique opportunity to re-design and deliver better streets for people, creating a hierarchy of movement around the city centre, as outlined in the Scottish Government’s ‘Designing Streets’ policy. The compact nature of the city centre has a network of well-established streets and vennels, and a superb location beside the River Tay. The Council wants to build on these assets and create exciting places for everyone, which will enhance the rich natural and built heritage of the city. This approach has the support and commitment of partners such as Aviva, SSE, Stagecoach, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and the Perth Traders’ Association.

> INFO yourplaceyourfutureperthmap. commonplace.is pkc.gov.uk/smartgrowth

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

11


SPOTTING A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IN A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL AREA, SURROUNDED BY A VIBRANT COMMUNITY AND A BOUNTY OF FRESH FOOD SOUNDS LIKE EVERY FAMILY’S DREAM. FOR THE ROWLEY CLAN, IT BECAME A REALITY IN 2016 WHEN THEY LAUNCHED BALLINTAGGART.

THE FOOD IS AT THE HEART OF BALLINTAGGART It all started when Rachel and Chris, who were living in London at the time, visited the area and fell in love with the area’s natural beauty. “In this part of Highland Perthshire we’ve got rolling hills, easy access to munros, incredible river scenes, and stunning forests,” says Rachel. But what convinced the couple that this was an ideal area for a business was a combination of irresistible factors. “We found a lovely property and, after doing our research, identified a gap in the market in terms of the food offer and starting a cook school. With Perthshire’s natural larder we’re spoilt for choice, with beautiful salmon in

WITH PERTHSHIRE’S NATURAL LARDER WE’RE SPOILT FOR CHOICE, WITH BEAUTIFUL SALMON IN THE RIVERS, LUSH PASTURE IN THE HILLS AND FIELDS, AND INCREDIBLE BEEF AND DAIRY FARMING. 12

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

the rivers, lush pasture in the hills and fields, and incredible beef and dairy farming. Having our own business based around food was the perfect opportunity to showcase that. On top of that, the area is so accessible from the A9 and major Scottish cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.” The area suited their family’s needs, too: Rachel and Chris wanted a place where their three children could grow up safely and have an outdoors lifestyle. “The Grandtully and Strathtay area is home to a thriving, diverse and creative community. The world-class Highland Chocolatier is based here, as well as the Inn On The Tay – a fabulous local

pub – and a charming shop and Post Office. It’s got amazing outdoor activities; lots of GB slalom kayakers train and compete on this stretch of the Tay. There’s a vibrant community of farmers, gamekeepers and traditional estates and a wave of people who have moved here, as we did, for a change of lifestyle. There are outdoor instructors and guides, photographers and painters, coffee roasters and everything in between. We’ve met incredibly inspiring people here and that was the final seal on our decision. We weren’t compromising on anything; we were only going to enhance our lifestyle as we grew our business.” Ballintaggart has several strands that come together to make an immersive experience that would delight any food-lover. At its heart is Ballintaggart Farm, a restaurant with two rooms and a private event space where the team hosts anything from drinks parties and children’s gatherings to weddings. Then there’s a cook school which offers masterclasses on such themes as summer entertaining, Spanish dishes, bread, and Italian dishes (with renowned chef and food writer Ursula Ferrigno). “The Cook School is a very important part of what we do,” Rachel says. “We demonstrate why it’s so important to eat seasonally and locally, and what small differences people can make in their own


experience. But that doesn’t mean tartan and antlers or traditional hunting-lodge style. At Ballintaggart the rooms and dining spaces are modern and refined; a new twist on Scottish fine dining and hospitality. “I like to think that the dishes we serve in our restaurants and the cocktails that we serve in our bar wouldn’t be out of place in a city centre bar or restaurant in Edinburgh, Glasgow or London,” adds Rachel. Ballintaggart has recently undergone a period of astonishing growth, expanding from a team of around 10 last year to 50 employees now. It can be challenging to recruit in a rural area, particularly where there is low unemployment, but Rachel says the beautiful surroundings and the area’s accessibility have helped, as has their reputation for having a good work culture, and being an interesting place to work. It can be hard to measure success in a hospitality business – the best indicator is usually the guests’ comments. “Often our guests comment on the familial feel and the attention to the smallest detail, which is something we mention a lot in our training. That could be freshly made cake that guests are served on arrival, a scented candle burning in the room, or sharing our knowledge of a supplier or winemaker. Or maybe it’s a secret gem in Perthshire that one of our team shares and the guests can go and explore. And, of course, the food. We hope that everyone who leaves Ballintaggart has had a delicious experience and no one leaves hungry. That’s a really

Ballintaggart has several strands that come together to make an immersive experience that would delight any food-lover.

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

BALLINTAGGART HAS EXPANDED FROM A TEAM OF AROUND 10 LAST YEAR TO NOW HAVING

50

EMPLOYEES

lifestyles and cooking. That ranges from talking to local kids at primary schools and senior schools to adult learners who want to enhance their skills.” The third strand is the Grandtully Hotel by Ballintaggart, a relatively new project but another irresistible opportunity for the couple, and for Chris’s brother Andrew, an experienced hospitality professional who runs the hotel. “It wasn’t our original intention, but when we saw the beautiful 152-year-old building, it was in a fairly sorry state (it had been used latterly as a hostel for kayakers and stag dos) and was a bit neglected, but had great character and charm. It’s been a real privilege to restore that to its former glory and transform it into an eight-bedroom hotel with a vibrant bar serving amazing cocktails and drinks, a whisky snug and library and an elegant restaurant and private dining space.” As if that weren’t enough for Rachel, Chris and Andrew, they also run Feasts by Ballintaggart, the core offer of their events and catering, from private dining in people’s homes to large-scale weddings and events. As always, the food is at the heart. “We have a very productive kitchen garden at the farm, a fruit orchard and a flock of happy hens laying eggs for breakfast. Hopefully all of those things make a charming experience for guests as well as a memorable one.” All of these strands are woven together for guests, recognising the growing trend for experiential tourism where people want to come and have a genuine Scottish

SPOTLIGHT

WE SERVE EVERYTHING WITH THOUGHTFUL CHARM AND GENUINE HOSPITALITY, WITHOUT THE FORMAL EDGES OF THE TRADITIONAL FINE-DINING FORMULA.

important part of what we do, so whether they’re experiencing that on a picnic, or buy a jar of chutney in the local café, or come to stay and have breakfast, lunch and dinner with us, the guests comment that the food is excellent and delicious.” Some places that put so much stock in detail and professionalism can come across as formal, but not Ballintaggart. “We serve everything with thoughtful charm and genuine hospitality, without the formal edges of the traditional fine-dining formula,” says Rachel. “There are no ‘crushes’ or ‘foams’, white gloves or hushed dining rooms; that doesn’t mean the food still can’t be amazing. There’s a general trend towards less formality and stuffiness, but it also comes from what we would enjoy ourselves. So while we’re relaxed, it’s still a very professional service.” There are some surprise elements at Ballintaggart, too. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away on a quiet road, not somewhere you’d expect to find a fine restaurant. There is also an element of communal dining. “Guests sit at one big table, with as much space as they’d like, yet often they start talking and move up the table to chat more, informally. It’s lovely that we’ve created an environment that is so relaxed and welcoming that people want to talk and meet others. It’s never intended, nor is it forced. If people want a tranquil time they can absolutely have that but if they want to chat to guests who are like-minded and similarly into food and good wines, they can do that too.” What’s next in the culinary pipeline for this hard-working family business? Rachel hopes that, following their period of expansion, the next couple of years will allow them to focus on building their team and consolidating their breakfast and lunch offers. Never one to let the (lush) grass grow under her feet, though, Rachel says, “Over summer we’ll be doing pop-ups up and collaborations with a range of local venues such as The Paper Boat in Kenmore, and Balnakeilly and Dun Alluin, two exclusive-use houses. “We’re also working with local partners such as Dewars at the local distillery, as well as outdoor companies Beyond Adventure and Wee Adventures, with Wilderness Scotland, to bring a delicious Scottish food offer to match their amazing adrenalinefuelled adventures. That collaboration and partnership is really important in a lovely local community. Beyond that there are sure to be other plans and ideas. My husband Chris and my brother-in-law Andrew are incredibly ambitious and I’m sure we will continue to grow in some new and exciting directions. Watch this space!”

> INFO ballintaggart.com

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

13


1IN5

EMPLOYERS ACROSS PERTH & KINROSS OFFERS WORK PLACEMENTS

FAST-TRACK:

#LEARNALIVING 2019

ENCOURAGES MORE EMPLOYERS TO OFFER WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Perth & Kinross, a partnership between employers and education to boost youth employment, has launched its annual #LearnALiving campaign to encourage more local employers to offer school children valuable work experience opportunities in 2019. DYW hopes that #LearnALiving, now in its second year, will build on the success of the 2018 campaign, which saw 250 local employers sign up. Targeting businesses of all sizes, the #LearnALiving campaign encourages employers by removing barriers or misconceptions about offering work placements and by making the sign-up as easy as possible. DYW is responsible for matching a young person to a work-experience opportunity which suits their ambitions, or a subject area which interests them. A host of high-profile business owners and employers has signed up already, including Scott Hadden (Chairman, Hadden Group), Charlie Taylor (Founder, Charlie Taylor Hair & Beauty), Praveen Kumar (Owner, Tabla Restaurant), Jim Brown (Group Commercial Director, Binn Group) and Tricia Fox (Managing Director, Volpa). Among them is Stephen Leckie, CEO of Crieff Hydro, who welcomed 16 pupils from Crieff High School to work at the leisure resort following the 2018 campaign.

14

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

Stephen, who is one of the 2019 campaign ambassadors, commented: “Supporting the #LearnALiving campaign has allowed the team at Crieff Hydro to showcase the world of hospitality to these enthusiastic young people. With DYW’s support, it was incredibly easy to get involved and welcome 16 young people to work in a range of departments across the business. It was equally rewarding to see how much they all learned from their week working with us. We look forward to welcoming more young people for work experience and promoting hospitality as a future career option.” The first Perth & Kinross Youth Forum, organised by DYW in April 2019, also gave young people from schools and colleges the chance to advise local employers on what works and what can be improved. Steven Stewart, Chair of the DYW Perth & Kinross regional board, commented: “Work experience provides young people with an opportunity to build new skills, develop their confidence and harness their talents in a professional environment. The campaign is hugely beneficial to employers too as they help shape our future workforce, local communities and economy. Big changes are underway in our region’s economy and securing the future for local businesses is increasingly about embracing new ways of working, developing new skills and looking for opportunities to diversify into new sectors.

Having a pipeline of skilled young people who are work-ready and employers who understand how to get the best out of new young talent is crucial to making that happen. “One in five employers across Perth & Kinross offers work placements and they all find it a great way to attract new talent to their organisations. We would like to urge more local employers to sign up and be part of nurturing and inspiring young people as they venture into the world of employment. The enthusiasm and drive to learn is palpable amongst the next generation.”

> I NFO dywpk.org.uk

SUPPORTING THE #LEARNALIVING CAMPAIGN HAS ALLOWED THE TEAM AT CRIEFF HYDRO TO SHOWCASE THE WORLD OF HOSPITALITY TO THESE ENTHUSIASTIC YOUNG PEOPLE.


FAST TRACK

FAST-TRACK:

NEW LEASE OF LIFE GIVEN TO FORMERLY AT-RISK BUILDINGS

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

dating from the early 20th century, was used for many decades as a concert and event venue. Council bosses have secured planning consent to convert the historic venue into Perth’s equivalent of the V&A, expected to attract more than 160,000 visitors annually. A study has revealed the ambitious project could create work for nearly 200 people, while pumping around £1 million into the economy. Council Leader Murray Lyle said, “The former City Hall is a landmark in the heart of Perth, and its transformation is a highprofile example of the ongoing cultural transformation of the city. Combined with the ongoing work to transform St Paul’s Church and the recently unveiled plans to create a new public space at Guard Vennel, we’re sending a clear message to businesses, visitors and residents that we are committed to investing in Perth city centre as a place to enjoy food, music, art and heritage.” The work will involve a major overhaul of the former hall, with two large gateways – decorated with curved, bronze-coloured metal – to be built on the north and south sides. The original entrance doors will be replaced with huge windows, offering views of the exhibition area. A 70-cover cafe will be created in the lesser hall. Sections of the roof will be repaired or replaced. Perth & Kinross Council is still hoping to secure the Stone of Destiny as a

centrepiece. An archaeological survey will also be carried out at the hall before any work can begin; it is believed the site, next to historic St John’s Kirk, could hold remains of an ancient burial ground. In her report backing Dutch firm Mecanoo’s design, council planning officer Diane Barbary said: “The economic proposal is considered to be significant, with the project likely to expand the tourism economy as part of Perth’s wider economic strategy. In terms of employment, there are direct-, visitor- and construction-related impacts as a result of the proposals. The total is expected to be around 160 to 190 full-time equivalents.”

250 local employers signed up in the first year of Developing Young Workforce Perth & Kinross.

Two iconic Perth buildings, distinct from each other in age, style and purpose, are being transformed as part of a major development programme in the city. St Paul’s Church, built in 1807, has been closed for some decades, but a careful reconstruction project has now reached a significant stage with the remaining roof structure removed. The church was one of the first to be built in Perth after the Reformation and, situated at the head of the High Street, it is a focal point of the city when looking west. Other works to date include the full stripout internally of the church, new concrete foundations and a large amount of stone cleaning to the main walls. Over the coming months, scaffold will be erected to facilitate the repair and clean of the structure. In addition, the perimeter wall repairs, parapets and the installation of reinforced ring beam started in June. Works to transform this neglected building into an open space for public arts and events that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors remains on course to be completed this year, with the open aspects and lighting scheme bringing a new perspective to this area of the High Street. Perth City Hall will also undergo major redevelopment, following the approval of a £20m plan. The Renaissance-style building,

HE FORMER CITY HALL IS A LANDMARK IN THE HEART OF PERTH, AND ITS TRANSFORMATION IS A HIGH-PROFILE EXAMPLE OF THE ONGOING CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE CITY.

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

15


CYBER SECURITY CONNECTS BUSINESS AND EDUCATION CONNECTIVITY

SAVVY COMPANIES AND UNIVERSITIES KNOW THAT THE WORLDS OF BUSINESS AND EDUCATION WORK BEST WHEN THEY’RE CONNECTED.

16

Perth College UHI has long enjoyed connections with employers, and these are especially important in subjects that fundamentally affect business, such as cyber security. In April, as part of Cyber Scotland Week 2019, the college organised a free seminar, with speakers from the university, businesses and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, which helped businesses to prepare and respond to threats and incidents. Now Perth College is offering a new NPA (National Progression Award) in Cyber Security, aimed at upper secondary level and at business owners and sole traders. Derek Summers, Subject Leader in Computing, explains. “We take a holistic approach to cyber security. As well as the NPA, cyber security is embedded as a ‘theme’ into our HNC Computing and HND Computer Science. If we create a groundswell of understanding at the introductory level, it can progress with the student from senior school through to degree and Masters levels.” Asked how the NPA would benefit businesses, Derek says, “It would give sole traders or SMEs a good education in the risks to business, and how to mitigate the risks. It would also give them a foundation qualification. We are aware that there is a need for the skills.” The course comprises three modules: Data Security, Digital Forensics and Ethical Hacking. Derek recognises the benefits of working with business, and has strong links with m3 Networks, whose managing director, Mark Riddell, is one of his former students. “We hope to run the NPA next year and it’s crucial that schools are

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

aware of the course. m3 Networks has been proactive in helping me organise events with Computing principal teachers in Perth & Kinross.” Mark Riddell firmly believes that learning through work is crucial in today’s marketplace. “We have two modern apprenticeships and we’re recruiting for a third as a digital marketing and sales assistant. Apprenticeship has a qualification at the end of it; equally importantly, our young apprentices will be working full-time for an IT company, getting experience, being paid and with the chance of a permanent job at the end. Our apprentices

OUR APPRENTICES GO OUT ON SITE, INSTALL COMPUTERS, WORK IN A LIVE IT ENVIRONMENT AND SEE HOW THE THEORY RELATES TO PRACTICE.

go out on site, install computers, work in a live IT environment and see how the theory relates to practice.” Both Derek and Mark are keen to stress that one approach doesn’t replace the other; they are complementary. One of Mark’s apprentices has an HND and is now developing his skills in a practical environment. Perth College’s NPA, HNC and HND courses will support a plethora of different groups, from school students to people in jobs who want to add to their skillset. Students on its Computing Science HND also work with real employers as part of their course. Mark is also looking into other ways to connect with the college. “We’d be keen to do a student award, judged by us and the lecturers, or for the college to bring us in as guest lecturers in cyber security, to show the students what we do for clients. “I’m keen to support initiatives, too, that bring employers from the outside into schools and get kids engaged at an earlier level. We’re also aware that girls become disengaged in IT towards senior school and we’re trying to address this. Our senior helpdesk engineer, Ruth, is an ideal role model and it would be great if she could speak to girls at that age to encourage uptake in the subject, as not many tech companies have women employees.” With cyber security crucial to business, and the IT landscape changing so rapidly, connections between education and the world of work are bound to grow even closer in years to come.

> INFO perth.uhi.ac.uk m3networks.co.uk


business and makes it a friendlier place to work. Our main priority is to deliver an excellent service, which is as important as any profit target.” That service is underpinned by strong credentials: Rowan is an Institute of Leadership and Management-approved centre – the only one in Perthshire – for delivering coaching courses and leadership courses. They are also accredited providers of the COSCA Counselling Certificate, the gold standard of counselling training. Recently the Rowan team also helped to co-found the world’s first Menopause Café and Menopause Festival, which have attracted global recognition, as well as Perth’s first Death Café. These projects encourage healthy conversations about issues that affect us all. Named after the hardy Scottish tree, Rowan is always growing and developing. The team has expanded its office base and has added online courses to its portfolio. These include ‘Managing Mental Health At Work’ which helps managers to understand mental health and support their staff. “Perth is very central,” says Rachel, “but

GENERALLY PEOPLE HERE VALUE THEIR WORK-LIFE BALANCE, WHICH FITS WITH OUR ETHOS. HAVING TOP-CLASS WORKERS AVAILABLE HAS HELPED OUR BUSINESS GROW.

we realise that there are people in remote areas, or who have work or childcare constraints, who can’t travel. In our online courses I deliver the training and participants can go into breakout rooms online, chat about good practice at work and practise conversations. I’m very excited about that.” In January 2020, Rowan will also deliver the COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate online for the first time. Rachel and the team enjoy being based in Perth. “It’s very central. If I’m asked to do mediation or training in other cities, I can get to them easily by train or bus. We love being in the city centre because there’s still a high street with shops and cafés, and we do lunchtime walks. I can also cycle to work in 10 minutes.” Networking opportunities are excellent here, Rachel adds. “We’re members of Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network and Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, so we get to know other business people quickly. “We also have a huge market of talented people who want to work in Perth rather than travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow. Generally people here value their work-life balance, which fits with our ethos. Having top-class workers available has helped our business grow.” Rowan’s objective is to continue to help individuals to lead more satisfying lives and to ‘live better’. With mental wellbeing, personal development and self-awareness now recognised as fundamental to modern life, that’s great news for the businesses, employees and individuals who engage its services.

GOOD COMPANY

When Rachel Weiss started counselling clients in her front room in 1997 she couldn’t have guessed that, 21 years later, she’d be senior partner in a city-centre business which serves clients from Inverness to London and which sponsors the world’s first Menopause Festival. “I had moved to Perth and was looking for counselling jobs, but there weren’t any,” she recalls, “so I set up in private practice with my friend Chris. I thought I’d do it until the kids went to school and then get a ‘proper job’, but we got a staffcounselling contract from Perth College UHI, and Rowan Consultancy took off from there. Staff counselling is now about 60% of our counselling business: through us, organisations provide a confidential staff counselling service. Businesses appreciate that it helps employees’ mental wellbeing and keeps them present and productive in the job. Employees appreciate being helped to cope with their anxiety, stress or depression.” One of the special aspects of Rowan is their wide-ranging service. “Businesses usually come to us first for counselling, training or mediation, and when we have earned their trust they come to us for all people issues. Instead of having separate providers for counselling, training, mediation and coaching, we can provide all services, get to know that business and give them a tailored service. We very much value our long-standing and trusted relationships.” Rowan now employs seven staff and has over 50 counsellors, coaches, mediators and facilitators in its UK network, but it’s still a family business – Rachel and her husband Andy are the two partners. “I think that affects the whole ethos of the

> INFO rowan-consultancy.co.uk menopausecafe.net deathcafe.com © The Sunday Post

ROWAN CONSULTANCY HAS FAR-REACHING BRANCHES WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

17


HOTEL MARKET THRIVING AND ‘BUOYANT’

Perthshire’s renowned hotel industry is growing and thriving at a healthy rate, as recent offers for sale have demonstrated. Three well-known hotels, all going concerns and popular with domestic and international visitors, have been placed on the market recently. Scotland’s Hotel and Leisure Club in Pitlochry has been bought for a price said to be around £2.5 million by Irish firm Castle Collection. The hotel has 72 bedrooms, a restaurant and swimming pool. Fionn MacCumhaill, managing director of Castle Collection, which also owns Fisher’s Hotel and Atholl Palace, said: “We are delighted to add Scotland’s Hotel and Leisure Club to our collection, which will strengthen the hotel base and tourist offering in what we believe is the heart of Scotland. “Pitlochry is a great choice for staycation tourism and we aim to create a modern metro boutique hotel with spa to grow this market segment. We will invest a further £2 million over the coming year.” Julian Troup, of Colliers International’s UK Hotels Agency, oversaw the sale of the

property and business on behalf of the Crerar Hotel Group. He said, “The acquisition of Scotland’s is a further example of domestic and overseas buyers looking to secure a hotel in a prime Scottish location.” Deputy First Minister and Perthshire North MSP John Swinney said: “This news is most welcome, and will continue to burnish Pitlochry’s reputation as one of Scotland’s foremost tourist destinations.” On the outskirts of Perth, the 34-bedroom Leonardo Boutique Hotel Huntingtower has been placed on the market by owners Leonardo Hotels. The country house hotel sits in five acres of wooded and lawned grounds and is a popular base for country sports visitors, hillwalkers and people touring Highland Perthshire. An established wedding venue, it also has substantial meeting and event income. Selling agent Colliers International described it as a “high-quality asset” and said Perth’s hotel market was buoyant. Julian Troup of Colliers said: “We are delighted to bring the Huntingtower Hotel to the market. It is an established and well-known hotel

CRYSTAL-CLEAR FUTURE FOR GLENTURRET DISTILLERY

Luxury goods firm Lalique Group has announced acquisition of 50% of The Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest working distillery, in a joint venture with Swiss entrepreneur Hansjorg Wyss. Lalique Group will consolidate and further develop the Glenturret business by leveraging both brands and its international network, as well as implementing joint initiatives in product design, distribution and hospitality. The transaction had a purchase price of GBP £15.5 million for Lalique Group’s 50% stake.

18

INVEST IN PERTH_SUMMER 2019

Founded in 1775, The Glenturret singlemalt whisky distillery uses a largely handoperated process to craft single-malt Scotch whisky in the super-premium segment. Based on the banks of the River Turret in Crieff, Highland Perthshire, the distillery is home to a first-class visitor centre, shop and restaurant and is a well-known tourist destination, attracting more than 70,000 visitors annually. Edrington chief executive Ian Curle said the deal would safeguard all 23 jobs at Glenturret, with an anticipated increase in staff numbers. He added: “We are pleased

operating with a healthy trading base. We are anticipating a favourable response to the marketing, particularly due to the hotel’s longestablished reputation. Perth’s hotel-room occupancy has increased steadily over recent years, reaching a high of 78.3% in 2017. This is almost three percentage points higher than the regional UK average.” One of Perth’s most prominent hotels has been put up for sale by its owners after 20 years in their management. The city-centre Royal George Hotel has been put on the market as owners Eddie and Lorna Anderson are retiring. The 46-bedroom three-star hotel, which is at least 250 years old, is being marketed by Colliers International. Since taking over the famous establishment, the Andersons have brought in major changes including building a conservatory overlooking the Tay, a fitness suite, games room and more. Part of the hotel is leased to a local beautician and there are plans to lease out part of the basement to Perth Gin distillers. Eddie said: “When I took over, we invested massively. Every bedroom was refurbished, and we stripped out the abandoned restaurant next door and made it our morning room. All the major parties have held their conferences here, and we’ve welcomed stars such as Jools Holland and Nicola Benedetti. The hotel also has a Royal Warrant and we’ve had lots of Royals stay from around the world.” He added: “There’s part of the building that’s not in use, so there’s plenty of opportunity to grow. Perth has never been more ready for development. It’s the best place in Britain to live.”

to be placing The Glenturret in the hands of Lalique Group and we know that the distillery will thrive under their management.” Silvio Denz, Chairman of Lalique Group, stated: “We are proud to take ownership of this fine and historic distillery with Hansjorg Wyss. The Glenturret will be the perfect addition to our portfolio as we enter the world of Scotch whisky. We look forward to working with the existing team to bring even greater success to this distillery in its beautiful Perthshire surroundings and to its superb single malt. With The Glenturret now part of Lalique Group, we are committed to developing attractive joint initiatives to further strengthen our business.” These anticipated initiatives include the design of The Glenturret whisky bottles and decanters by Lalique, as well as joint marketing activities. There are also plans to renovate the visitor centre, with a Lalique shop-in-shop due to open in 2020.

> I NFO theglenturret.com


we have worked closely with Perth & Kinross Council and the landowners to facilitate the delivery of a landmark development for the area. To be recognised for the partnership award is a wonderful achievement and testament to the diligence of all those involved.” Council Leader Murray Lyle added, “I’m delighted that Bertha Park has been recognised with this award. Planning a new community takes close partnership working, and this project has shown what can be achieved when all parties strive towards the common goal of providing not just homes, but a thriving new neighbourhood with a new secondary school and leisure opportunities. With new road access delivered by Perth & Kinross Council, and support for active travel, people moving to Bertha Park will be well-connected, benefiting from Perth’s independent culture and the living oasis of our countryside.

PROPERTY

BERTHA PARK WINS MAJOR PLANNING ACCOLADE

The quality of our partnership with Springfield reflects the characteristics of our communities.” Construction of the village has now reached another milestone as the Bertha Park show homes are open. Perth & Kinross Councillor Ian James, who attended the opening of the first show homes in March 2019, recognised Springfield Properties’ commitment to providing much-needed housing while creating a community environment, as well as supporting the local economy through job creation on the Bertha Park site. He said, “I am delighted to be at the opening of Bertha Park’s first show homes. The development is delivering jobs to the local community and providing extensive investment into the area.” Peter Matthews, Springfield Properties Central Managing Director, said, “Bertha Park is a major project for Springfield. It’s bringing new homes and jobs to Perth and creating business opportunities. The development has progressed so much in the last few months. The first Bertha Park residents have moved in, streets are formed, the play park will be opening in the coming months, the village has been added to the service 4 bus route into town and now we have two great show homes to highlight the Springfield quality. It’s quickly establishing a new community and making Bertha Park a desirable place to live.”

Perth West Eco Park aims to provide clean and affordable energy for emerging models of mobility, housing and public / commercial buildings.

Bertha Park, the new Springfield village on the edge of Perth, has been recognised by the Scottish Government with a major planning award. Springfield Properties, a leading private and affordable housing developer, and Perth & Kinross Council picked up the Scottish Award for Quality in Planning within the Partnership category. Construction of Bertha Park is well underway and the village will include everything a community needs to thrive, including a mix of private and affordable homes, Scotland’s first purpose-built secondary school in over 20 years and opportunities for businesses such as shops, hairdressers, estate agents, cafés and restaurants. Innes Smith, Chief Executive of Springfield Properties said, “On a project of this size, collaboration between developer and local authorities is paramount. Since the outset,

> INFO springfield.co.uk

PERTH WEST TO BENEFIT FROM JOINT PROMOTION AND PARTNERSHIP Perth & Kinross Council and the John Dewar Lamberkin Trust, the driving force behind the Perth West development, strengthened their joint working and engagement in March 2019 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU aims to develop a structured approach to discussions, co-ordination and joint promotion to attract further investment, research and employment opportunities to the project and city. Councillor Murray Lyle, Perth & Kinross Council Leader, said: “Signing an MOU with the Trust is part of our work in developing our new Perth & Kinross Offer. We are willing to engage positively with local landowners and developers to promote strategic sites and investment propositions.” Alexander Dewar, Trustee of the John Dewar Lamberkin Trust said: “Our ambition for Perth West is to act as a catalyst for Perth’s transition to a low-carbon, highskilled economy. The MOU enables us to work with Perth & Kinross Council and other public and private sector bodies including Tactran, the regional transport partner, and

WWW.INVESTINPERTH.CO.UK

Transport Scotland to co-ordinate work and investment to achieve the innovative and inclusive transformation of the city.” Perth West comprises a national Eco Innovation Business Park and sustainable expansion to the city including plans for 1,600 homes, and leisure and hotel provision, supported by a smart energy grid. The Business Park will cover a 20-hectare site, hosting a regional logistics consolidation centre, last-mile delivery model and a range of infrastructure, commercial and industrial facilities to support the city’s transition to a low-carbon economy while creating skilled employment opportunities. A key element is the Innovation Highway: an integrated energy, data and road corridor which enables logistics businesses, public transport operators, industrial and manufacturing businesses, offices, schools and neighbourhoods to access low-carbon, smart energy and mobility infrastructure. The smart-grid energy development is a response to the UK and Scottish Governments’ ambitions to decarbonise energy generation and distribution through integrated networks including a variety of low-carbon sources, storage and digital

platforms at a city scale. The aim is to provide clean and affordable energy for emerging new models of low/zero-carbon public, freight and shared mobility, public buildings, commercial properties and housing. The development would position Perth as a leading European smart, green city. As part of the Tay Cities Deal, up to £300m has been committed by the UK and Scottish Governments for public sector investment across the Tay region, providing a catalyst for economic growth and strengthening relationships between local authorities, commercial bodies and other service providers. Perth West is set to benefit, with clear commitment from the UK Government through the investment of £5m to the Eco Innovation Business Park and the Scottish Government pledging to support the delivery of projects within the Deal, subject to a robust business case. The Perth West investment proposition is supported through Invest in Perth, the UK Department for International Trade pitchbook, the Scottish Governments Capital Investment Programme and the Scottish Development International pitchbook.

SUMMER 2019_INVEST IN PERTH

19


THE NUMBERS INTERNATIONAL TOURISM VISITORS TO PERTHSHIRE 2017

162,000 511,000 VISITS TO PERTHSHIRE

BED NIGHTS

£79M

VISITOR ORIGINS

67%

SPEND

EUROPE 18% NORTH AMERICA  16% REST OF WORLD

HIGHEST PERFORMING VISITOR ATTRACTIONS 2017 (BY NUMBER OF VISITS)

TAY FOREST PARK

279,349

HERMITAGE

229,125

SSE PITLOCHRY

140,581

SCONE PALACE

116,213

KILLIECRANKIE

107,292

PERTH POPULATION GROWTH ESTIMATED POPULATION 2019

68,000

7% GROWTH

PROJECTED POPULATION 2029

73,000

Profile for Invest in Perth

Invest in Perth Magazine Summer 2019  

The regions 10th investment promotion magazine showcasing what Perth and Perthshire has to offer.

Invest in Perth Magazine Summer 2019  

The regions 10th investment promotion magazine showcasing what Perth and Perthshire has to offer.