INcommerce THE PERTHSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
The Big Interview: In Tune with Caledonia’s Dougie MacLean The Search Begins for Perthshire’s Business Stars Tourism Focus – Bringing the World to Perthshire
First and Foremost: Alex Salmond writes exclusively for Perthshire Businesses
ISSUE 10 • SUMMER 2011
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Contents President’s Welcome................ 3 Editor’s Introduction................. 4 New Director Introductions... 4-5 Chamber Strategy Update....... 5 Business Lectures..................... 7 Chamber Partners.................... 8 Members’ News................ 10-13 Star Awards............................15 The Big Interview..............16-17 Property.................................19 Legal...................................... 21 Business Focus by Alex Salmond...............22-23
Skills and Education............... 27 Industry Focus: Tourism....28-29
erthshire Chamber lobbied hard in the run up to the recent elections working together with other organisations to drive the messages home on behalf of our members. A Hustings in partnership with the Courier proved to be an exciting and lively evening with the candidates getting a thorough grilling on issues such as budget cuts, transport infrastructure and broadband availability. The SNP were justifiably delighted with such a seismic shift in opinion and their resounding victory, but now the hard work begins to deliver those promises and pledges touted during the election campaign to those who put them where they are today. Now that the new Scottish Cabinet has been announced our colleagues at Scottish Chambers have wasted no time in making the necessary introductions and working to strengthen those many alliances already in existence. Our returned First Minister hopefully recognises the importance of continued dialogue between Parliament and the business sector and we are delighted to have him write exclusively for Perthshire companies in this issue.
Stephen Leckie Chamber President
New Member Profiles........30-32 Chamber Golf Day................. 33 Perthshire – Economic Facts.................34-35 Member to Member Discounts..........................36-37 Food & Drink..........................39 Lifestyle.................................40 Membership Benefits.............. 41 Events....................................42
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Post election, the Chamber continues to lobby hard on our members’ behalf and to this end we will be taking the opportunity to poll our members on the many critical business issues we are faced with. With a true picture of what our members’ requirements and wishes are, we will be well armed to represent you and influence our MPs, MSPs and MEPs at a local and national level as well as our local authority and bodies such as Scottish Enterprise to improve the economic development in Perthshire. The concept of “partnership” remains a priority and our recent events with David Littlejohn, Head of Planning and Regeneration with Perth and Kinross Council, seek to continue building healthy working relationships which are results driven. Communication is the key and our series of rural events continues on the back of a highly successful event in Blairgowrie with excellent attendance through our rural networks assisted by locally-based Chamber Directors and we will continue with this successful “roadshow” format taking the Chamber benefits all over Perthshire.
The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of InCommerce Ltd or D-Tech Graphic Design & Print Ltd.
NEW DIRECTOR Introduction
erthshire Chamber of Commerce is delighted to welcome Sara Wood of Perth College UHI to the Board of Directors. Sara’s first professional direction was in languages and she qualified as a foreign correspondent/translator and after working in Paris for three years in a firm of management consultants she moved back to the UK.
hings are really exciting at the moment. Changes on the Board mean some new faces and ideas from our Strategy Review. That means new things to try in our efforts to continuously improve our product and services for members. It’s great to see the enthusiasm and passion that our Board of Directors has and our successful Strategy Review resulted in several changes including the revamped Star Awards – with new categories and an easier application process. Committees were created to streamline our policy setting and new sub groups will enable us to tap into valuable local knowledge and expertise to tackle specific issues such as Town Centre Regeneration and Skills and Education. We were fortunate to have Perth College student Rachel Atkinson complete her week’s work experience with us in May and a lot was learned – on both sides. Again, a fresh pair of eyes identified improvements to our way of working and we were grateful for Rachel’s help during a busy week. In return, Business Administration student, Rachel was able to execute most of the tasks we do day-to-day – really experiencing life as a member of our team. Events themselves have seen some changes too, all providing added value. High-calibre speakers are ensuring our lunches are a success, our breakfast events now include a variety of formats with the structured networking being joined by free-for-members (low cost to non-members), freestyle drop-in breakfasts and Business Breakfasts. Although networking is only part of the Chamber offering, it is an important and worthwhile activity. I’m sure that whatever your networking needs we have something for you. If not, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
THE PERTHSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2011 www.perthshirechamber.co.uk
She chose Edinburgh as a location and joined Bank Sara Wood of Scotland, firstly in the International Division using her language skills and then through a career path of banking and financial services. She is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Banking in Scotland and in 1990 won the Young Banker of the Year award. Over a 25 year career in the bank she worked in a variety of International Head Office roles with the last 12 years focussed on product management and development and marketing. Perthshire has been Sara's home for the last 13 years and she finds it a wonderful place to live. Sara joined the senior management team of Perth College UHI in December 2006 as Director of Communications and Corporate Development and her responsibilities include international business, marketing, the aircraft engineering curriculum and the planning and strategy of the college. During that time she has overseen the growth of the international business, the re-branding of Perth College, (twice!), and the development of its commercial business including the Centre for Enterprise. As many Chamber members will have already heard from Sara at one of their networking events, the Centre for Enterprise delivers skills development and partnerships for students and the local business community alike. The work of the Centre has enabled Sara to get to know many start up, aspiring businesses, watching many of them grow and prosper over the last four years, which she has found inspirational. The new university title for University of the Highlands and Islands Perth College is an exciting development for all staff, students and the community and Sara’s planning responsibility means she will be particularly involved in working to understand the role local businesses would wish the university to play. She wants to make sure that Chamber members can take advantage of having university courses and knowledge transfer opportunities in Perth. Sara has also been an active member of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce since 2007 and is particularly delighted now to be a Board member. She is looking forward to making a meaningful contribution to the business community membership to help strengthen our local economic prospects for the benefit of us all.
NEW DIRECTOR Introduction
Chamber Strategy Update
nother new face on the Chamber’s Board of Directors is Alison Forsyth. As a qualified Solicitor, Alison started her career as a court lawyer. She covered a multitude of court and tribunal hearings before focusing her attention on expert employment law work. She provides bespoke employment law advice, tribunal representation and training.
After Partnership in a large city firm, Alison, her husband and two young children now live in Highland Perthshire. Alison works from her base in Aberfeldy and is a Consultant to commercial boutique firm, Kerr Stirling LLP. On explaining the move to Highland Perthshire Alison says: “It can be difficult for some to see opportunities beyond the cities and glitzy firms. As a family, the call of the stunning Perthshire scenery and plethora of outdoor activities was too great. In addition, I was aware that business in Perthshire was very much alive and kicking and knew the opportunities for continuing with an enjoyable and satisfying career would not be difficult.” Alison has first hand experience of how difficult it is for businesses to juggle profitability and the hefty demands of employment law. She has witnessed the problems businesses have in carrying through expansion or reorganisation plans whilst wrestling with TUPE and cumbersome redundancy procedures. She states: “I have seen businesses miss out on opportunities to grow their business because the red tape and obligations placed upon them by employment law was just too great. Employment law serves a valuable function in our society. It protects individuals from unscrupulous employers and gives employees a degree of financial security. Although these rights are very precious we must always strive for a balance between employment protection rights and economic growth.” On the subject of policy reform she states: “I very much welcome the steps the Government is taking towards a review of employment law. We desperately need a common sense approach. Rights of employees require to be balanced against the need for businesses to thrive and contribute to the economy. I hope my role with the Chamber will allow me to influence that debate and improve conditions for Perthshire businesses.”
he Chamber recently held its annual Strategy Review to ensure that the Chamber is correctly structured, resourced and prepared to meet the challenges ahead in a fast moving environment. The latest Strategy Review took place in May with the President, Chief Executive and Board of Directors meeting at the Crieff Hydro Hotel to look at the best way to identify and tackle their priorities for the forthcoming year and beyond. Increasing business within the Chamber and a busier and ever-evolving events calendar, led the Board to bring back a committee structure and they agreed on five committees: Events, Membership and Sponsorship, Chamber Development and Communications, Finance, and Policy and Campaigns fitting in with the Directors’ areas of expertise and interests and the Chamber’s priorities. This allows the CE to consult with each of the committees and swiftly create proposals which can then be presented to the Board for approval. The Chamber is also planning to create sub groups to tackle specific issues such as Town Centre Regeneration and Skills and Education. These sub groups will consist of relevant individuals from the Board, from the membership and third parties to harness local knowledge to provide accurate opinion and comment and support the influential lobbying efforts of the Chamber. The Board also debated and agreed on an extensive revamp of the highly successful Business Star Awards. This assists businesses by making the process easier and more flexible with entries being accepted in electronic form for the first time ever and questions having a 500 word limit. The categories have also been given an upgrade in line with today’s marketplace. (Full information on p15). The purpose of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce is to represent the views of Chamber members and promote, develop and protect the interests of local businesses for the benefit of the membership and the economic future and communities of Perthshire. Perthshire Chamber of Commerce: The Independent Voice for Perthshire Business.
THE PERTHSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2011 www.perthshirechamber.co.uk
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