Page 1

Spring 2011

Inside this issue... Business profile Paul Saunders Media & Photography

Latest on the £12 million Palace project at Stirling Castle Business space developments

Retail sector

The latest on the Barracks, Forthside and flexible office space in Stirling

How Stirling’s retail sector is fairing

Business Panel feature News on the April Trade Fair, social networking and more

Special features… Top tips on accessing finance

0845 277 7000


Welcome Our interview with Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle, picks up on the cover story, the £12 million refurbishment of the Palace at Stirling Castle. This is an exciting development, expected to increase visitor numbers to the Castle by 20 per cent. Tourism remains an important driver for Stirling’s economy, and this edition of Stirling Eye also provides information on the Council’s Tourism Development Grant Scheme, European support for sustainable tourism through Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER and results from the latest City of Stirling Visitor Survey. Our feature on access to finance provides excellent advice from a Business Development Partner of a local bank on how to make a strong business case for finance and how to present yourself and your business accordingly. As the economic climate remains tough, maximising the success of applications to the banks for finance is more important than ever for local businesses. Small businesses will also be interested in the article on rates relief on page 8, providing information on the Small Business Bonus Scheme. The local business news section provides continuing evidence of Stirling’s entrepreneurial spirit, reporting a number of new business start-ups, expansions and awards. The retail update shows that times have been tough for the retail sector, but that we have turned the corner now with sales increasing and vacant units being taken up. The update also reports on the unexpected boost to Stirling’s retail trade during the lead up to Christmas, despite the severe winter weather! I would like to take this opportunity to encourage local businesses to attend the Stirling Business Panel’s Spring Trade Fair on 12th April at Strathallan House, Castle Business Park. Over 50 businesses will be exhibiting at the event and attendance is free. This is the second Trade Fair to be hosted by the Panel and follows on from the success of the Autumn Trade Fair, which helped many local businesses to establish new business links.

Councillor Scott Farmer Depute Leader of Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy, Tourism and Finance.

Contact us... Stirling Eye is published by Stirling Council’s Economic Support & Tourism service. Editor: Email: Tel: Visit:

Joëlle Russell 01786 442778

Design: The Write People, Stirling Email: Tel: 01786 445022 Visit:

Local business news


Interview with Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle


Stirling Business Panel


Special feature - Tips on accessing finance


Best Bar None Awards 2010


30 second interview


Feature - Tourism Development Grant Scheme


Business space developments


Latest City of Stirling Visitor Survey published


Sector feature - Retail update


Business profile - Paul Saunders Media & Photography


At your service - Land Services


The Stirling Wedding Show – matching local brides to local businesses


New wedding venue with a difference


Curriculum for Excellence


2011 Scottish Road Race Championships


LEADER update


Wireless broadband is coming to rural businesses in Stirling


Economic facts


On the Verge


Forthcoming events/training


Stirling Eye is distributed for free to around 3,000 local businesses. First published in 2007, Stirling Eye comes out three times a year.

Cover photo: A costumed interpreter with visitor to Stirling Castle – please see interview with Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle on page 9 for more information. Photo courtesy of Stirling Castle.

View exclusive video clip on the refurbished Palace at


Focus on the local economy

Local business news

Driven in style

Local businessman William Chrystal recently expanded his business activities in Stirling by opening a new luxury chauffeur-driven car hire company.

experience for our passengers.”

IT services provider expands into Stirling

IT services provider, Lightsout Computer

Identifying a niche in the market, William established Chrystal Executive Hire providing professional chauffeurs specialising in stylish business travel. William, who is also the Director of Chrystal Funeral Services, said: “Operating in Stirling, we are ideally situated to service Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick airports. We also service key meeting and corporate venues, including prestigious golf courses, hotels and theatres. We aim to provide one less logistical stress for business owners whilst creating a pleasurable

Services, recently opened its fourth Scottish office in Stirling. In two years,

Macfarlane Gray launch new tax service

Lightsout has increased its employee count from 14 to 38 and has taken on the IT services of 24 sites across Scotland. The new Stirling team is based at Stirling

Stirling based chartered accountants and business

Business Centre and will focus on service

advisors, Macfarlane Gray, recently launched a

delivery for Scottish sites. The company

new tax compliance and consultancy service

specialises in taking over in-house IT

‘Macfarlane Gray Tax’.

departments to provide fully outsourced

Hazel Burt, FCCA, heads up the new service. With


a proven track-record in advising on all aspects

Tim Usher, Director, said: “We are delighted

of tax for small and medium-sized businesses

to expand into Scotland. Stirling is the

and individual tax payers, Burt commented:

ideal location from which to support our

“We continually look at the strength of services

new customers and Scotland plays a

offered and in order to deal with the ever

strategic role in our business development

increasingly complex tax system it is important


that both individual tax-payers and businesses have access to specialist advice. We have developed our specialist tax team over the last ten years and believe that

“Having set up the new centre, we are

the time is right to launch our new tax service.”

looking to take on additional clients within the region. We can provide companies

Greg Callan, Director, commented: “As the business community catches its breath and

with state-of-the-art technology, reliability

awaits the next twist in our slow climb out of the recession, Macfarlane Gray is looking forward. We are focusing on the long-term needs of our clients. When growth comes it is important to be as tax efficient as possible.”

and expertise that is normally out of the reach of SMEs and large organisations which have to reduce their cost burden.”


Focus on the local economy

Local business news

Fishing for business Illness gives entrepreneur drive to follow her dream

Bryan and Patricia Jackson owners of The Old Mill B&B on the River Forth have expanded their business, purchasing a small house adjoining their own home and turning it into a fishing lodge. Bryan said: “The Forth was the most productive beat in Scotland in 2010, producing the most salmon and grilse in the UK in one single beat. Because of our location, it seemed a good idea to offer this accommodation. We worked with David Jones, Stirling Council’s Fisheries Officer, to purchase corporate rods that can be used by our guests and we already have bookings for the year ahead.”

Overcoming a debilitating illness gave

David Jones, said: “Since the ‘Trout and Salmon’ magazine featured the beat, we have been

Heather Andrews the confidence to follow

inundated with phone calls from all over the UK. People want to come to the area and stay in

her dreams and make jewellery for a

the area so it is good for Stirling’s economy.”


“The corporate rods allow people to sample the quality of fishing that is offered in the area. This

The 56-year-old, who lives in the Stirling area, gave up her teaching career to re-train as a fine jeweller after being struck down with ME in 2001. With help from Business Gateway’s Stirling office, she set up www.silvertreestudio. in 2008. Selling on the web is ideal as it allows Heather to choose her hours, working when she feels well. She also sells her jewellery through the Mugdock Makkers Gallery, within Mugdock Country Park. Inspired by nature, and using traditional silversmith techniques, each piece of jewellery is handmade from scratch with the latest collection made using recycled silver and biodegradable plastic. Heather said: “I’ve always loved making jewellery but it wasn’t until I became ill, and was unable to get out of bed never mind work, that I decided it was time to give up teaching and focus on doing something that I was passionate about. Business Gateway has helped me tremendously over the years and my adviser is always full of ideas that will help my business grow.”

has resulted in many fishers returning to the area, some of which are now fishing permit holders.”

Top employer award for Contract Scotland Stirling based construction recruiter Contract Scotland recently scooped the Insider Best SME 300 Employer award, in recognition of its wide range of efforts to motivate and reward its 20strong workforce. This includes a pay structure that rewards long term relationships with clients rather than shortChairman of term success. Senior managers are given free Contract Scot land, Colin Woodward, right, being shares in recognition of the contributions they presented w Insider Best ith the Employer Aw have made to the success of the business. ard. Colin Woodward, Managing Director of Contract Scotland, said: “This award is testimony to the continued dedication and motivation of our employees who are committed to providing a quality service to support the industry and have made a positive contribution to the success of the business over the years.” The best employer award is the latest in a series of wins by Contract Scotland, which also recently picked up the Recruitment Company of the Year award at the prestigious UK-wide Recruitment Business Awards.


Focus on the local economy

40 years of success in Stirling M.A.C. Electrical & Heating Engineers celebrated forty successful years of doing business in Stirling in February. The company employs 12 people and handles all aspects of industrial and commercial electrical and heating contracts. Director Tony Moulsdale has been with the company since it was established in 1971. Tony said: “It has been a joy doing business in Stirling over the last forty years, continuing to go from strength to strength. Originally established at Riverside, we moved the company to larger, more modern premises at Back O’Hill Industrial Estate as the company grew.” “We continue to develop the company and are currently making the most of rising energy bills by offering clients specialist energy management services that can save them up to 50 per cent on their energy costs.”

Tony Moulsdale

Ogilvie start work on £2.9 million Kernis on the move waste and recycling facility Stirling Council and Ogilvie Construction Limited recently broke ground on a new £2.9 million Recycling and Waste Management Facility at Lower Polmaise, near Fallin. As the Council works towards meeting zero waste targets the new facility will receive all recyclables and waste collected from households, and will enable sorting of quality materials to be reused and recycled, diverting as much as possible away from landfill sites, which costs the Council £2 million every year. Councillor Jim Thomson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This project represents a substantial investment by the Council in the future delivery of recycling and waste management services. It is welcoming that local company Ogilvie Construction has won the contract as this will support local jobs and bring economic benefits to our area. The new centre will provide the essential infrastructure to enable the Council to further increase the recycling and minimisation of waste which will save money, provide best value and deliver environmental benefits for local people.” Phil McEwan, Managing Director of Ogilvie Construction, who attended the sod-cutting ceremony, said: “As a Stirling-based company, we’re delighted to be working with Stirling Council to deliver this new facility. This multi-million pound contract is one of a series of new business wins in the past few weeks, securing employment for local people. It’s great to see work starting on site and I look forward to the new facility being completed.”

Stirling based telemarketing firm Kernis Communications has expanded into larger premises Wendy Nisbet , Managing after doubling its Director of Ke rnis client base in the Com munications past 12 months. Kernis, which specialises in appointments and lead generation, has enjoyed continued growth since launching in 2005 and the increase in clients has prompted the move to 1,700 sq ft offices in Springkerse Industrial Estate, Stirling. Managing Director Wendy Nisbet developed the business following a career in telemarketing and branched out on her own after being head hunted by a number of similar companies. Ms Nisbet said: “The business has grown from strength to strength during the past twelve months and the new premises places us in a great position within the industry and gives us the opportunity to further expand the business in the future.”

“I have a highly motivated team of telemarketing experts who are focussed on delivering our unrivalled service to our clients and that is the key to the success of our business.” The new office can house up to 20 members of staff and with a goal to double turnover in the next 18 months Kernis is set to further expand their expert team in the coming year. Work starts on construction


Focus on the local economy

Local business news

Parc Hair & Beauty

Business welcome…

A new upcoming salon offering a fresh approach to hair and beauty. Parc opened

New and relocating businesses in the Stirling area include:

in December and is located on

art4you Scotland


Borestone Crescent, Stirling.

A new art company based in Balfron offering art classes to adults from beginner/ refresher to advanced levels, one-to-one sessions and portfolio classes. Students can discover their artistic side or improve existing skills in a relaxed, creative atmosphere. Tel: 07981768081

International clothing retailer H&M recently opened a branch in the Stirling Thistle Centre. H&M offers fashion for women, men, teenagers and children.

Barnton Street Music

A new café/bar/bistro/licensed restaurant located on Friars Street, Stirling. The Junk Rooms opened in December 2010 and specialises in Scottish modern cuisine. Tel: 01786 358003

A new music shop specialising in vintage instruments and repair. Guitar, base and drums tuition is also available. The shop opened in December 2010 and is located on Barnton Street, Stirling. Tel: 01786 479888

Baxter Accounting & Tax Services A new accounting practice dealing with all accounting and tax matters for individuals and companies. Established in January 2011, the business is located in Strathblane. Tel: 01360 770320

The Deli A new deli in Bridge of Allan specialising in fresh quality local produce, including hampers and fruit baskets to order. The business opened in December and is located in the former Clive Ramsay Deli in Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan. Tel: 01786 833903

Gabe’s Diner A new diner/bistro specialising in homemade comfort food to savour. Gabe’s Diner is located in Forthside, near Vue Cinema. Tel: 07513742211

The Junk Rooms

Pixlprint Ltd A large format digital printing company located on Abbey Road, Stirling. Pixlprint specialise in banners, posters, pull-ups, pop-ups, ‘A’ boards, mounted prints, labels and more. Tel: 01786 473403

Poppy Boutique A new ladies fashion boutique, specialising in brands such as Vicky Martin, CeMe London and Laundry Room. The boutique opened in October 2010 and is located on Friars Street, Stirling.

LUSH A new branch of LUSH recently opened in the Stirling Thistles Centre. LUSH specialise in fresh handmade cosmetics, made from ethically sourced ingredients.

Mortgage Central

Tel: 01786 473908

RAYTD RAYTD is a new unique gents boutique, specialising in branded clothes including Liam Gallagher’s label Pretty Green, Original Penguin, Farah, Religion and Juke De Luxe. The shop opened in November 2010 and is located in the Stirling Arcade.

Shining Bright Cleaning Services A new home and office cleaning service launched in January 2011. The business is located in Coxithill Road, Stirling.

Mortgage Central recently relocated from Castle Craig Business Park to Upper Craigs, Stirling. The business specialises in mortgage and insurance advice. Tel: 01786 447470

Tel: 01786 542020 / 07587187758

News @nd SURF

in journalism, public relations and media

A new local convenience store with internet café access located in King Street, Stirling. The business opened in January 2011. Tel: 01786 358816

Tartan Penguin Media A new public relations service for businesses in the Stirling area, specialising consultancy. The business started up in January and is located in Stirling city. Tel: 0796814895

If you have recently set up a business in the Stirling Council area and would like a mention in Stirling Eye or would like to report a business news story, please contact Joëlle Russell on 01786 442778 or email 


Focus on the local economy

Timesavers service based in Dunblane, offering

Stirling Life magazine

a range of lifestyle and household

Following on from the success of their sister publication for the

Timesavers is a new personal concierge

management services, so people can enjoy more free time. Tel: 07708922452

National Park area (Park Life), Fiona Baverstock and Katrina Gardener have established a new A5 colour magazine for the Stirling area. Stirling Life magazine is a local events guide and business


directory. It is a free magazine delivered every two months to

Youmanage is an online platform

20,000 households and businesses in the Stirling area, with

offering a suite of modules to support

advertising opportunities available.

line managers and HR professionals

Fiona Baverstock said: “Park life has been established for

with all aspects of people management

seven years and we decided to launch Stirling Life because

– from recruitment and performance

we had so many enquiries from the Stirling area. We would

to managing absence, handling a

like to thank all the local businesses who have supported Stirling Life so

disciplinary and through to exit.

far and we are now working on our third edition.”

Youmanage HR Ltd are based at Stirling University Innovation Park. Tel: 01786 458037

Your People Solutions A new Stirling based HR services company providing professional and cost-effective HR support and employment law advice for businesses. Offering expert, practical support for all HR matters. Tel: 07411180261

The Wee Kitchen A new coffee shop and restaurant located at Aberfoyle Golf Course specialising in all home cooked food. The business opened in March and is run by the same people who formerly ran the Rock Hill Coffee Shop in Buchlyvie. Tel: 01877 382493

The Wee Photo Shop A new photography business specialising in wedding photography, photo restoration and pop art. The business opened in November 2010 and is located at the top of King Street, Stirling, near the Steeple. Tel: 01786 466708

Rural remit for new STEP Business Adviser Stirling Enterprise (STEP) has recruited a new Rural Business Adviser. Sandy Slater joins STEP from the Highlands where he has operated as a freelance Business Adviser since 1991, contracting both to individual organisations and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He has worked with business start-ups, growth businesses and social enterprises on all kinds of business issues but with a particular focus on business planning and financial forecasting. Sandy brings to STEP this understanding of the particular circumstances and needs of rural businesses and, being a freelance contractor, understands the dayto-day pressures such as cash flow, financing the business, sales and marketing and compliance. His remit is to provide general business advice to rural businesses in the Stirling district, including providing feedback on business issues, assistance in identifying appropriate sources of business funding and signposting to specialist advice. He lives in Aberfoyle where he spends his spare time mountain-biking.

Scotland’s Best Bars The Lade Inn in Callander and The Birds and the Bees in Stirling were two of the first bars in Scotland to be accredited by VisitScotland’s new Best Bars scheme. The awards have been developed by VisitScotland and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association to drive up standards and encourage more visitors to enjoy Scotland’s pubs and bars. Businesses that would like to find out more about joining the Best Bars scheme or being listed on VisitScotland’s food and drink website should go to http://eatscotland.visitscotland. com/about-eatscotland.html .


Focus on the local economy

Local business news

Pamela Morton

BUSINESS RATES Rates poundage Business Rate poundage from April 2011 is set at 42.6p for properties with a rateable value below £35,000 and 43.3p for larger premises.

Have you claimed your Small Business Bonus? Businesses with rateable values up to £18,000 may have their rates reduced by a further 25 per cent to 100 per cent. The thresholds for Small Business Bonus changed last year, which will allow businesses with a combined rateable value less than £18,000, to claim up to 100 per cent relief. The level of relief for each business depends on: the total rateable value of all properties in Scotland that the business owns; whether or not each property is eligible for one of the existing rates relief schemes; and the level of other public sector assistance received by the business. Companies occupying two or more properties with a combined rateable value of no more than £25,000 could also benefit from this scheme. A maximum of 25 per cent relief can be awarded in these circumstances.

Two week turn around for Stirling beautician Beauty by Pamela Morton is a new business which has opened within the Lindsay Murray Hairdressing salon on Wallace Street, Stirling. After completing her beauty therapy qualifications, Pamela worked at Get Nailed in Stirling for eight years. In July 2010, all the staff, including Pamela, were given the shock news that the company would be closing down with just two weeks notice

Renewable Energy Generation Relief

to find new jobs.

A new, targeted relief for renewable energy producers was introduced last year. It offers discounts of up to 100 per cent to support the central role of renewable energy producers in the climate change agenda and to promote expansion of the sector. The regulations set out the percentage of relief available to non-domestic properties, which are solely concerned with the production of renewable energy, banded by rateable value. Renewable heat or power produced from the following sources is eligible: biomass, biofuels, fuel cells, photovoltaics, water (including waves and tides, but excluding production from the pumped storage of water), wind, solar power and geothermal sources.

After initially thinking of looking for work elsewhere, Pamela decided that this was the prime opportunity to start out on her own, an idea that she had in the past. After looking at several different rented premises in the Stirling area, she finally decided to lease two rooms within the Lindsay Murray Hairdressing salon and used her redundancy pay and some personal savings to purchase equipment and stock

The properties rateable value will determine the amount of relief that is awarded:

up on some high quality products. Pamela contacted Stirling Enterprise (STEP) after

Rateable value

Eligible for relief of:

the news of her impending redundancy to discuss her options with Business Gateway Adviser Jim

up to £145,000


up to £430,000


up to £860,000


some basic legal advice. Pamela also intends

up to £4m


looking into setting up her own website and

£4m or above


will be assisted in this process through STEP’s IT

Fraser. Jim advised Pamela on the practical side of setting up her business as well as providing


If your business is eligible for any of these schemes and it is not shown on your bill or if you have not already claimed, please contact the Rates Service on 01786 443236 or email for an application form. 


Focus on the local economy

Now trading, Pamela can provide nail care, tanning and body treatments among others and she has retained a healthy percentage of her client base.

Interview with... Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle In preparation for the grand opening of the Palace in June, we have taken on a year round team of costumed interpreters to bring to life the 16th Century atmosphere. We aim to make the experience of visitors to the Castle as fun and informative as possible, with past feedback from visitors indicating that they like interacting with costumed interpreters.”

“The main contract for building works was

What impact do you think the Palace project will have on the number of visitors to Stirling Castle?

awarded to Morris & Spottiswood, and for the

“We are already one of Stirling’s biggest

interiors, we enlisted a range of specialists,

visitor attractions, with around 380,000

including painters, a carver, a blacksmith and

visitors per annum. We expect the Palace

Gillian, what is your background?


refurbishment and improvements to visitor

“I’ve worked for Historic Scotland for around

One very detailed element of the project

12 years and have been Executive Manager

was the carving of the ‘Stirling Heads’ for the

at Stirling Castle for more than three.”

ceiling of the King’s Inner Hall. The 34 original

What did the refurbishment involve?

infrastructure to increase visitor numbers by around 20 per cent in the first year, averaging out at 440,000 visitors per annum.

heads will be displayed in cabinets in the first

The refurbished Palace will add to Stirling’s

What does your role involve?

floor gallery, so we commissioned a local carver

reputation as a world-class visitor destination.”

“I look after the commercial and visitor

to recreate them out of oak for the ceiling. The

operations at Stirling Castle. It is an exciting

stunning new heads are now in place and

and challenging role, covering everything from

have been painted, as they would have been

marketing and ticketing, to working with

in the 16th Century. These heads took carver

What other improvements are being made to visitor infrastructure at the Castle?

partners in the wider tourism community.”

John Donaldson around five years to create.

“In addition to the £12 million Palace

What is the Palace project?

A series of seven colourful tapestries were also commissioned, depicting the tale of ‘The

project, we have improved our existing visitor facilities, including: Refurbishment of our three shops;

“The £12 million Palace project will return

Hunt of the Unicorn’. Teams in Stirling Castle

the Palace at Stirling Castle back to how it

and at the West Dean studio in Sussex are

was in the mid-16th Century, to recreate the

working on the tapestries, which individually

new ticketing system allowing online

vision of King James V. The refurbishment

take 2-3 years to complete. This work is

ticketing; and

has recreated the bright colours and opulent

ongoing, with the final tapestry due to be

décor of the period.

hung in 2013.

Construction of a new ticket office, with

Refurbishment of our café. As part of the admission price, the audio tour

The Scottish company awarded the contract

will now also be included. We want to provide

for painting the interior brought in some extra

visitors with a good choice of interpretation,

help in the form of a team of French painters

including the audio, guided and themed tours;

– just as James V did in the 16th Century!”

as well as the costumed interpreters.”

View exclusive video clip on the newly refurbished Palace at . The video clip was kindly produced by Stirling based film production company Small Majority. To keep up-to-date with developments at Stirling Castle, please visit , or contact Nicola McCrae (Marketing Executive, Stirling Castle) on 01786 431325, email .


Focus on the local economy

STIRLING BUSINESS PANEL Don’t miss the Spring Trade Fair in April

Spring Trade Fair on Tuesday 12th April Due to the success of our first Trade Fair in September 2010, the Executive Group of the Panel has brought forward plans for another Fair. The Spring Trade Fair will be held on Tuesday 12th April.

We will be holding two sessions for local

We are fortunate to again have access to Strathallan House in Castle Business Park for the Fair. In addition to the 50 + exhibition stands, we will also be holding ‘Speed Networking’ sessions in the morning and afternoon.

the afternoon.

Speed networking allows participants to engage on a one-to-one basis with a number of businesses within a short space of time. Typically, around 50 businesses can be seen in 90 minutes.

businesses, one in the morning and one in

If there are particular synergies with some of those businesses, discussions can be continued after the session or appointments made, which it is hoped will lead to business.

Catering will be available throughout the day,

Janet Torley of ‘Events for Business’ will

again provided by students from the Forth

facilitate these networking sessions

Valley College campus at Raploch.

Once again, we are grateful for the support that

You can register to attend by visiting the

the Panel has received for this event from our

Panel website,

sponsors, Central FM and the Stirling Observer.

or telephoning 01786 443172 .

helping to communicate information to local businesses

Executive Group contribution to Stirling

and give updates on what is going on locally that is likely

Members of the Executive Group support the activities of the Business Panel

to be of interest to them.

in order to help improve the local business environment and make Stirling a

As the use of online social networking by businesses

better place to do business.

Business Panel now tweets! Stirling Business Panel recently joined Twitter as a way of

increases, we are trying to ensure that the Panel keeps up and explores all ways that it can help the local business community in a cost effective manner. We are also looking at developing a Facebook page for the Panel and will make the membership aware of progress later this year. If you are already on Twitter you can find us by searching for #BusinessPanel.



Focus on the local economy

Executive Group members give up their time to carry out these duties. They attend quarterly meetings, and spend time planning and preparing our events to ensure their smooth running on the day. They have also participated in meetings with Stirling Council, on subjects that are of clear importance to the local business community, including roads, parking, business space, city centre revitalisation and the provision of training and skills locally. A number of Executive Group members, including Panel Chairman, Tony Moulsdale, sit on the Stirling Economic Partnership, to ensure the business view is not overlooked.

Not already a Business Panel member? Please contact Bill Fortune (Business Partnership Executive – Stirling Council) on 01786 443172, email or join online at

Stirling Business Panel – the next two years At the inception of the Business Panel in 2009, the Executive Group took part in a workshop to define the purpose of the Panel and to shape the direction that the Panel should take for its first two years of existence. Despite the best efforts of the weather to prevent it, another workshop was held in January (it was originally scheduled for December). The group reviewed progress since 2009, but more importantly, looked to the future and at ways for the Panel to improve.

MEMBER PROFILE Paul Stephen, Partner of James F Stephens Architects Founded thirty-four years ago in Glamis and present in Stirling since 1996, James F Stephens employs around 30 staff between its two offices. Paul Stephen is a Chartered Architect Partner with the business and manages the Stirling office. Until recently, he was president of the Stirling Society of Architects, a Vice-President of RIAS and was elected as a “Fellow” of Royal Institute of Architects (RIAS) in 2009. More recently, Paul was nominated and accepted as one of twelve architects on the RIAS Panel of Adjudicators for Scotland. This is a prestigious appointment as there are only twelve adjudicators for

Although there will be another meeting to iron out the fine detail, some of the points that are receiving immediate attention are improvements to communication through social networking mediums and the development of an events programme, which can be published well in advance.

all of Scotland.

We hope to be in a position to launch a programme of activities/events at the Trade Fair in April.

Paul joined the Business Panel not only to seek business

By combining live events with improvements to online networking, it is hoped that more members can become engaged in Panel activities throughout the year and not just when we run our Survey or biannual trade events.

audience in Scotland aware of the capabilities that exist within the

He continues to be a visiting lecturer in Professional Studies & Management for the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Dundee, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art.

opportunities in the Stirling area, but also to help make a wider local business community in Stirling. Often overlooked by our big city neighbours, Paul feels that Stirling businesses have a lot to offer, if the profile of the area and its business community can be raised locally and further afield.

2010 Annual Business Panel Survey results Because of the terrible weather throughout December, we decided to keep our third Annual Survey open until the end of January. Many businesses were more focused on keeping going than completing a survey, no matter how important the results. As a result, Survey results will not be published until April, slightly later than normal.

What’s your story?

On the current economic situation, Paul feels positive about the future business prospects when conditions improve. Although the business regrettably lost staff during the downturn, the wide range of work undertaken by the practice meant that reductions were kept to a minimum. This has allowed the business to be well placed to take early advantage of any upturn in trading conditions. In fact, having completed contracts in Salamanca in Spain and in Rome, the business is currently pursuing international contracts, in addition to other work in Scotland.

We continue to invite local businesses to contact the Panel at

As well as running the Stirling office, Paul has two children aged with any stories that they think

two and a half and four months, so is kept busy, at home as well

might be of interest to the local business community.

as in the office!

So if you have a story to tell, please get in touch. Don’t be shy!


Focus on the local economy


Special feature

Interview with Terry Quinn, Clydesdale Bank Stirling Eye met up with Terry Quinn, Business Development Partner at the Clydesdale Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre in Stirling to find out more about accessing finance through the banks… Terry, are the banks really open for business?

Who will the banks lend to? “Fundamentally, banks are about

information is in place.

“The Clydesdale Bank is definitely

lending to people, not accounts.

Around 50 per cent of clients

Can businesses do anything to speed up applications to the bank?

open for business. We have made

For this reason, it is important for

I see do not have them up-

“Yes, my advice is:

a commitment to lend £1 billion

people to present themselves and

to-date before they come to

their business appropriately. We

l Seek

to the local business community in

the bank. Banks operate with

Scotland over the next year.

look for viable business people

early as possible – don’t leave

complete confidentiality and

it until a matter of days before

While some of our competitors

with strong ideas and a really good

will not share this information,

a deal needs to be done.

have largely halted lending; for example taking asset finance personnel off the road, we are actively looking for opportunities

business plan. Ideally these people have already talked their business plan through with a financial accountant, giving their proposal the

l Make

sure business financial

but they do require it in order to process applications. l Present

advice from the bank as

l Enlist

the help of a trusted

accountant to review your

yourself and

business plan and ensure your

your ideas in a fit and

financials are in place.

proper manner. Dressing

They can also work with the

appropriately and presenting a

bank to get a deal on line.

to assist businesses to grow and

best chance possible.

/ or make asset purchases.

Businesses should be realistic about

Our Financial Solutions Centre

the finance they are looking for.

at Ochil House, Springkerse

While the Clydesdale Bank has access

strong business case helps to

Business Park, Stirling, is a local

to funds, we are also a business and

instill trust.

decision making centre providing

there does need to be evidence of

a one-stop shop for business

how there will be a return on the

business for which you are

financial information, e.g.

banking needs. We are happy

finance. If in doubt, we are always

looking for finance. If not,

happy to talk through your needs,

projected profit and loss

to provide free advice to any trading business.“

particularly if you believe you have a

the bank will question your

accounts and cash flow



strong case.”

l Have

l Make

l Have

financial information

up-to-date and professionally

equity in the project or

sure you have a solid

prepared. Present tangible

l Consider

if your bank has

Are there common pitfalls that businesses should avoid when applying for funding?

business plan, including

access to funds and is able to

supporting financial

lend or make decisions locally.

“Yes, to avoid them, I suggest you:

demonstrate the business

business plan – you need to

vision, how it will operate and

help the bank understand your

a loan for – show what your

how it will make money. I

plans. Make sure you provide

needs are and demonstrate how

always recommend businesses

detailed information and

arranged finance will meet them.

get professional advice on

never assume the bank has

their plan before approaching

detailed prior knowledge of

the bank.”

your business.”

l Know

l Don’t

exactly what you want

make significant changes

to your business, personnel or

information. You need to

l Come

to the bank with a clear

otherwise before applying for a business loan. The bank wants to see evidence of stability in your

To contact the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre, please call 01786 445333 or email .




Focus on the local economy

Tips on accessing finance How not to raise finance Stirling Eye recently attended a Lunch & Learn session at Stirling University Innovation Park on ‘How not to raise finance’. The session included a presentation by The Company Creators, a specialist business helping companies raise finance and develop strategies.

Case study: Albion Drilling Group, Stirling Stirling based Albion Drilling Group is one of the UK’s largest independent drilling contractors, specialising in drilling,

The main elements of the Scottish funding market were reported as consisting of: l Equity

investment angels, but most goes into existing portfolios. l Debt

farm at Whitelees, Galston. They blasted 5.7 million tonnes of rock

finance – available through banks, such as overdrafts,

cash flow maintenance, convertible and redeemable loans

geotechnical engineering and piling. Albion recently completed work on Europe’s largest on-shore wind

finance – A small market with Scottish Enterprise

the largest single provider. Some equity available through

and trading finance. l Public

sector finance – centred on funds available

through Scottish Enterprise, e.g. SEED, Co-investment and

onsite, to be used for the 92 km of roads to the turbines.

Venture Funds.

Stirling Eye met up with Managing Director Eamond Murray to find out Tips provided on preparing to apply for finance:

more about a recent finance application…

Eamond, why did you approach the banks for funding? “Following a period of rapid growth between 2005 and 2008, we

l Businesses

l Businesses

to cover the time taken for work to be completed, clients invoiced

should remember that investors WILL investigate

many things, such as financial projections, existing cash

needed to increase our overdraft facility in line with the increase in turnover. We need to finance operations for 2-3 months ahead

should ensure they have experienced and

credible Director(s) and a personal financial commitment.

flow and information on market opportunities. l When

planning an application, businesses should test key

assumptions, ensure they are asking for the correct amount

and payments received. We applied to extend our overdraft, but

(not too little, not too much) and show security available for

unfortunately, this coincided with the credit crunch and our bank was


unable to accommodate our request. As the recession also had an impact on the construction industry and

Tips provided on approaching prospective

we began to find things a bit tight, increasing our overdraft facility


became even more important.

Businesses should:

In the end, we switched to the Clydesdale Bank, who offered us a combined package consisting of increased overdraft facility and a

l Present

five-year term loan. Splitting the finance between an overdraft and

‘three p’s’ – people, product (service)

loan means that we don’t get into a situation where we are constantly overdrawn while the economy returns to normal. And it suits the bank as they have security that the loan will be repaid within five years.”

a punchy summary of their

business plan, based around the and proposition. l Double

source their banking and

research those interested in

How important has the finance been?

their sector. Getting help from

“Crucial. As the construction industry slowed down, it was critical in

another organisation, such as a

enabling us to finance operations and take on new contracts.

consultant or accountant was also recommended.

While I expect things to remain tight for the next year or two, we have a steady stream of contracts across the UK, including the M80/A80 upgrade and more work at Whitelees Windfarm. We also expect a boost when work begins on the new Forth crossing.” For dates of future free business Lunch & Learn sessions, please check the events section of Stirling University Inovation Park’s website .


Focus on the local economy


Best Bar None Awards 2010 Nine of Stirling’s city centre licensed premises successfully gained a highly acclaimed ‘Best Bar None’ award in 2010. The successful premises are: Drouthy Neebors, Albion Bar, Fubar, Corn Exchange, Sportsters (Sports Bar & Diner), City Walls, No.2 Baker Street, Morrisons (Cold Beer Company) and Spingkerse View. In order to achieve Best Bar None accreditation the licensees had to successfully meet the scheme’s demanding criteria demonstrating and evidencing effective management against twenty one core criteria, including staff training, fire safety, crime prevention and compliance with trading standards legislation. ‘Best Bar None’ is the UK’s largest accreditation scheme for licensed premises. Now in it’s fifth year in Stirling, the scheme is open to all types achieve good standards across a range of evening economy policies and practices.

and sizes of city centre licensed pubs, bars and nightclubs. Stirling Councillor Steven Paterson said: “By participating in this nationally recognised scheme, licensees are making a real difference

The management and implementation of the scheme is undertaken

to the residents of and visitors to Stirling’s city centre. They are clearly

by a working group, which comprises key stakeholders of Stirling’s

demonstrating their genuine commitment to their customer’s safety

Community Planning Partnership. These are Central Scotland Fire &

and well being, whilst also enhancing the city centre’s well established

Rescue Service, Central Scotland Police, Safer Cities Initiative, Stirling

reputation as a safe and vibrant place to be at night.”

Council (Trading Standards) and Forth Valley Alcohol & Drugs Partnership.

The Best Bar None scheme currently operates in over twenty cities and

Planning has begun for Stirling’s 2011 Best Bar None scheme. For

towns throughout Scotland and is recognised by the Scottish Government

further information please contact Peter Walker (Safer Cities Co-ordinator,

as the benchmark of good practice for working with the licensed trade to

Stirling Council) on 01786 443137, email .

30 second interview Name:

Mandy Flaws

Job title:



BeaDiverse, Stirling Enterprise Park

Brief company description:

Sale of beads, findings, charms, threads and wires, as well as handcrafted jewellery. I also hold jewellery-making workshops.

How do you get to work?


Where is your favourite place to eat out? Why? The Hollybank on Glasgow Road, Stirling. You always get great fresh, home cooked food. What do you think the Stirling area could most benefit from?

I think it would really benefit by offering more free activities and ‘places to go’ for under 25s.

What is your favourite colour?


What is the best thing about doing business in Stirling?

It is a central location, has a well-connected transport service and a wide catchment area.

What do you think the biggest issue is for businesses in the Stirling area?

Overheads and property rental, I would love to have a shop in the town but as a new business could never afford it.

What is the biggest issue for your business?

Getting established and the expense of marketing.

What is your favourite shop?

My own - BeaDiverse, I’m like a kid in a sweetie shop and there isn’t another dedicated bead shop in the area.

What is your greatest ambition?

To do well enough in my business so I can employ staff, to establish the company and build a reputation for good products and customer service. BeaDiverse: 01786 449442



Focus on the local economy

Feature - Tourism Development Grant Scheme Stirling Council runs a tourism small grant scheme, which is designed to encourage collaboration between local tourism businesses and to develop innovative tourism products and improve the local tourism product offering. Recent awards been made to a diverse range of tourism businesses.

Friends of Dunblane Friends of Dunblane received £900 towards producing promotional leaflets for the recently refurbished Dunblane Museum. Following Heritage Lottery funding the much enlarged museum now includes a stunning new building and houses a collection of fascinating artefacts, paintings, prints and photographs about the Cathedral and Dunblane. The support from the Tourism Development Grant enabled the Friends to produce a colourful leaflet aimed at visitors promoting Dunblane Museum, Dunblane Cathedral and the Leighton Library, Scotland’s oldest private library.

Love Loch Lomond Love Loch Lomond is a recently formed industry led destination organisation that works on a collaborative basis to capitalise on the areas strong tourism potential by marketing the area as a must see year round destination through its new website . The new industry-led organisation aims to transform the way tourism services are delivered and promoted in and around the Loch Lomond area. They have recieved £475, towards development of the web portal.

Local events Local events have also benefited, The Callander Jazz & Blues Festival received £2,000 towards bus hire, marketing and PR

Loch Earn Tourism Initiative

costs for the expanded 2010 Festival.

Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI )

2010 Festival greatly benefited from Stirling

recently received £2,000 towards

Council’s Tourism Grant. It enabled us to

website content enhancement,

provide a free bus service to all the outlying

link building and PR for the

festival venues in both the Trossachs and website.

rural Stirlingshire. The grant also allowed

Graham Oliphant, Festival Director, said: “The

us to increase and extend our promotional

LETI is funded by accommodation

activity to mainland Europe resulting in

and hospitality business owners

increased visitor numbers to the event.”

living and working in the villages of Strathyre, Lochearnhead and

The Trossachs Mushroom Festival was

Balquhidder. Annual membership

awarded £2,000, towards marketing and PR

fees and volunteers help to

costs for the 2010 Festival.

maintain the website. measure against results from last year. Our

plan and experiment with PR and marketing

press campaigns, business pages and social networking. We also aim to test key word advertising soon.“

projects that will result in fresh content, more inbound and reciprocal links, maps,

“We are sure that we will attract more website traffic, which we can easily

stunning area of central Scotland that we are

Kim Proven from LETI said: “Thanks to our Tourism Development Grant we are able to

aim is to attract more day trippers and holiday makers to visit, spend and return to this all very proud of.”

If you are involved in a collaborative tourism project, which might be eligible for support, you can contact Jason Clark (Tourism Executive, Stirling Council) for more information and an application form. Jason can be contacted on 01786 442532 or email .


Focus on the local economy


Business space developments Industrial Munro Road J & E Shepherd has confirmed that space is gradually being taken up in Muddy Field’s new build development in Munro Road, Springkerse Industrial Estate. Three units are now occupied with the latest occupier, J & G Environmental, taking 376 sq m (4,050 sq ft) of space. For more information on remaining space at Munro Road, please contact Sandy Falconer of J & E Shepherd on 01786 450438, email or John Quinn on 07876 658980, email .

Whitehouse Road

Planning applications update

J & E Shepherd has also confirmed that a substantial new build speculative industrial development (with limited trade counter consent) in Whitehouse Road is scheduled to start on site in April, with completion expected by November 2011.

The following planning applications with a significant business focus have been submitted to Stirling Council since the last edition of Stirling Eye (November 2010) and are still being considered, pending a decision:

The development will extend to 3,530 sq m (38,000 sq ft) and

l An

application by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd for erection

will provide a range of units from 116 sq m (1,250 sq ft). Quoting

of extension to existing store including a mezzanine floor (to

rental is £65 per sq m (£6 per sq ft) and flexible lease terms are

accommodate new café), new entrance lobby, revised service yard

being offered.

access, associated car parking and landscaping (2,700 sq m gross

Ogilvie are constructing the units on behalf of the Fergusson Group,

increase from existing floorspace) at Sainsbury’s, Back O’Hill Road,

who are headquartered at nearby Castlecraig Business Park.

Stirling. l An

For details on lease opportunities at Whitehouse Road, please

application by the Angling Centre Stirling Ltd for a new angling

centre with residential accommodation above (388 sq m) on land

contact Ian Fergusson or Sandy Falconer of J & E Shepherd on

north and adjacent to Craigforth roundabout, Stirling.

01786 450438, email

l An

or .

application by Gladman Developments Limited for erection of

a mixed use development comprising Class 4 business use, Class

IMEX Business Centre

1 retail store, petrol filling station and associated access, parking

The Salvation Army recently took up an additional two units at

supermarket, 4,000 sq m gross offices) on land near Dunblane

and other works and environmental improvements (3,900 sq m

Imex Business Park, Broadleys.

Cemetery, Barbush.

Andrew Peel of letting agents Graham & Sibbald commented: “To achieve the letting of six units to the Salvation army has proved

The following planning applications have been approved: l An

a massive boost to Imex Business Centre in the challenging

application by Hemga Ltd for change of use from Class 1

retail to Class 3 deli and café (72 sq m) at 37 Thistles Centre, Stirling.

economic climate. Although small office space remains, the

l An

workshop space within the Centre is now fully let.”

application by HSBC Bank Plc for change of use from Class 1

to Class 2 and alterations to shop front (303 sq m) at 6 Murray

Information on remaining space within Imex Business Centre is

Place, Stirling.

available from Andrew Peel of Graham & Sibbald on The following planning application has been supported in principle but is

01786 463111, email .

subject to detailed negotiations to draw up planning agreements: l An

Bandeath Industrial Estate

application by Allan Water Developments Plc for erection of a

supermarket (6,064 sq m) at the site of the former MFI furniture

Graham & Sibbald has been appointed joint letting agent along

store, Maitland Crescent, St Ninian’s, Stirling.

with Ryden for the Stirling Development Agency’s industrial space at Bandeath Industrial Estate, Throsk. More information on lease opportunities are available from Andrew Peel of Graham & Sibbald on 01786 463111, email or Neil McAllister of Ryden on 0131 225 6612, email .



Focus on the local economy

Planning applications correct at start February 2011. Planning schedules can be viewed at

Looking for commercial property? Visit

Office Gladstone Place, Stirling

Success for Innovation Park’s rent-a-desk initiative

Property agents J

a new initiative to help young ambitious companies

& E Shepherd are

achieve their potential.

relocating in April to

The scheme offers small businesses the benefits of a

refurbished offices

large established company with reception facilities,

at Gladstone Place, Stirling. They are also acting

administration services, meeting rooms and on-site coffee shop.

on behalf of the owner, Kings Park Properties,

Lynn Blaikie, SUIP, said: “I realised from our enquiries that sole traders, start-up and small

in relation to remaining office space extending

companies were experiencing difficulty in procuring the type of space they required at a cost

to 145 sq m (1,560 sq ft) available for lease in

they could afford. I looked at how we could help and came up with the Rent-a-Desk concept

whole or part.

which offers an all–inclusive package in a shared office environment.”

Further information on remaining space is

The Rent-a-Desk initiative offers flexible accommodation, broadband access, telephone,

available from Sandy Falconer of J & E Shepherd

utilities and business rates at an all-inclusive cost of £150 per month.

on 01786 450438, email sandy.falconer@

One of the companies involved in the initial piloting of the rent-a-desk initiative was

software and consultancy company Pracius Ltd. Alan Douglas, owner, said: “Operating from

Stirling University Innovation Park (SUIP) has launched

a working office environment is focused and productive. However what also makes Rent-aDesk so worth while, is the whole atmosphere of the Innovation Park. There’s the buzz of other businesses, the good coffee shop, the gym at the University, and during the summer a quick walk to the Loch to help recharge the batteries.” For more information, please visit .

Case study: Barracks, Forthside Stirling Eye caught up with property agents Peter Fleming of Montagu Evans and Andrew Peel of Graham & Sibbald to find out more about space being marketed at ss Work in progre

s. at the Barrack

the Barracks in Forthside, Stirling…

Where are the Barracks?

What improvement works are being carried out?

“The Barracks are located within the Forthside area of Stirling,

“Following the letting to the Water Industry Commission for

between Stirling railway station and the River Forth. Recent

Scotland, the Landlords, CTP Ltd have undertaken a comprehensive

developments at Forthside include a multi-screen cinema,

refurbishment of Barrack B, with the ground floor also being

restaurants, and housing. The 16 hectare (40 acre) development is

brought up to a high standard of office accommodation. All ground

regenerating the banks of the River Forth and the new pedestrian

works around the buildings have also been completed, further

bridge provides access over the railway lines to the Barracks.”

improving the appearance of the site.”

What current opportunities are there?

How are enquiries holding up?

“There are a total of five historic Barracks buildings, offering

“There are a number of ongoing enquiries and we hope to

approximately 4,645 sq m (50,000 sq ft) of space, suitable for a

announce details in the near future.”

variety of uses including offices.”

What recent occupiers have you had? “Barrack A was sold to provide the headquarters for Volunteer Development Scotland and the first floor of Barrack B was recently let to the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.”

To find out more on lease or sale opportunities at the Barracks please contact Peter Fleming of Montagu Evans on 0131 229 3800, email or Andrew Peel of Graham & Sibbald on 01786 463111, email .


Focus on the local economy


Business space developments Ceteris case study Stirling Eye met up with Angela Ogilvie, Operations Director of Ceteris to find out more about serviced office

and photocopying. Joan and Isobel, our

accommodation at Springfield House,

reception staff, are excellent and their helpful attitude and

Laurelhill Business Park, Stirling…

warm and friendly manner are an essential part of our service. We currently have 10 tenants at Springfield House, employing over

Angela, what is Ceteris?

80 people.”

“Ceteris is a Private Company Limited by guarantee. We own and manage 250,000 sq ft of flexible business accommodation

Has the recession had an impact?

in Stirling and Clackmannanshire, deliver Business Gateway in

“We lost one or two bigger tenants, but we have adapted to

Clackmannanshire and run Gean House, a conference centre in Alloa.”

changing needs, redeveloping and subdividing suites to meet demand for smaller space. Things are improving and our occupancy

Can you tell us more about Springfield House?

is now up to 90 per cent.”

“We acquired Springfield House at Laurelhill Business Park, Stirling, nine years ago. We chose the building because of its high quality

Do you have available space in Stirling?

design and strategic location in Kings Park, close to the city centre.

“We are currently marketing 1,300 sq ft of space, with units ranging

The double height entrance and unusual cherry wood spiral staircase

from 207 sq ft to 323 sq ft. We can be flexible with the space

are particularly impressive.

provided, for example, combining units.

Originally open-plan, we subdivided the building to provide bespoke

We provide flexible quarter-to-quarter agreements; though longer

space to individual requirements. Services include conferencing

agreements can be accommodated if required; and services can be

facilities and reception services, through to cleaning, franking

included in the rent.”

To find out more about available serviced office accommodation at Springfield House, Laurelhill Business Park, please contact Angela Ogilvie on 01259 721454.

Tenant case studies… Name of business: The Leadership Factory About the business: Established in 2007, The Leadership Factory provides businesses with organisational development support. Their team of qualified coaches cover all functional disciplines and work with organisations such as Scottish Enterprise, Alexander Dennis and Nick Nairn’s Cook School.

Why located at Springfield House: Dr Andy Kelly, Director, said: “We chose to locate here in 2010 because it is central, less than five minutes from the motorway, has easy parking and provides a quiet site. In addition, the offices are fully serviced with reception, admin support and meeting rooms.”

Name of business: Cloud Street Ltd About the business: Cloud Street design and build database applications, business management systems and data-driven web sites, using Microsoft Access and SQL Server database platforms. They work with a range of businesses across the UK, from small businesses through to Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Why located at Springfield House: Paul Midgely, Managing Director, said: “We are doubling the size of our development team and have moved into a bigger office at Springfield House. We liked the professional look and feel of the offices and the pleasant location. Factoring in all the services, we have secured a really competitive package.”



Focus on the local economy

Latest City of Stirling Visitor Survey published Tourism is vital to Stirling’s economy, accounting for over £374 million of revenue in 2009. A clear understanding of visitor perceptions of the city and our tourism offering is key. What are the key drivers for our visitors in making the decision to come to Stirling? Where do they come from? How do they rate our visitor attractions, accommodation, food and drink offering, transport, information provision, parking, transport, cleanliness and customer service? Stirling Council works with Lynne Jones

The city’s historical connection and its

Research to produce an annual visitor

world-class attractions continue to be

perception study. The research is based on

important assets and key drivers. In fact, the

an electronic survey, which is emailed to

significance of Stirling Castle in attracting

visitors after they return home. The overall

visitors to the city appears greater than

An area of

number of email addresses collected from

previous years with 73 per cent of visitors

concern is the

visitors to Stirling city in 2009/2010 was

indicating that the castle had been a factor

reduction in visitors walking around the

3,750, with 1,293 actual survey responses, a

influencing their decision to visit.

city, down from 71 per cent to 56 per cent.

response rate of 34 per cent.

least impressed by the quality of food.

This may be having a negative impact

The accommodation offering overall is

on the local economy. Overnight visitors

The survey reported an overall positive

highly rated. However, satisfaction with

performance in 2009/10. Customer

service decreased slightly compared with

service throughout the city showed an

previous years. Watch points continue to

improvement with higher scores than the

be the eating and drinking experience.

previous year. Whilst cleanliness in the city

Although responses on eating out

The results of the latest 12-month survey

took a small dip, the overall rating of visitors

establishments in terms of service was up

(July 2009 to August 2010) are available at

experience remains high.

on previous years, day visitors appear to be .

spend appears to be down both for UK and overseas visitors, while day visitor spend is up slightly.

Key findings l

Overseas visitors remain the largest overall group (43%) up from 39% in 2008/09. Visitors from England (22%) were mostly from the North West and South East and a third of all visitors were from within Scotland.


North America remains key with 30% of the overseas sample; Germany and Spain are increasingly important European markets.


Stirling Castle remains a major influence in the decision to visit Stirling; history is a key driver, especially for overseas visitors.


Stirling continues to attract a high percentage of first time visitors (57%).


In terms of age profile, visitors aged between 25 and 34 was the most common age group.


Those staying in Stirling stayed an average of 2.6 nights, up slightly on last year’s figure of 2.5 nights.


Accommodation offering is highly rated, 86% of staying visitors had their accommodation expectations matched or exceeded during their stay. However, this is a decrease of five per cent on last year.


Private and rented car remain most popular means of visiting (73%). Trains were used by 14% although 20% of overseas visitors arrived by train compared to only 10% of UK visitors.


The survey again highlighted Stirling as key gateway to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, as well as a leading short break destination in its own right.


Focus on the local economy


Sector feature

Retail update Impact of the recession Andy Kennedy, Stirling City Centre Manager, made comment on the impact of the recession on Stirling city centre… “The recession saw a `perfect storm`

centres. At the peak of the recession

for town and city centres. Already

an average of three pubs per week

suffering from changes in consumer

were closing. In addition, significant

behaviour, growth of internet retailing

change in the licensing laws and new

and increased costs of operation within

responsibilities through legislation

town centres, the recession resulted in

had brought increased burden on

a UK wide reduction in footfall.

individual operators.

By mid 2009 the effects of the storm

The recession also meant that

Retail update

were clear in the number of vacant

a number of major town centre

units appearing throughout UK town

schemes were put on hold or ceased

and city centres. In 2009 alone 9,500

altogether. This issue has still to

Scotland’s retail sector is worth £24 billion

retail businesses closed and 7,500

be resolved and new financial

to the economy and accounts for around

national chain units also closed,

mechanisms are being debated to

240,000 jobs. Across Scotland, retail growth

creating vacancy levels in some towns

reinvigorate necessary mixed use

has been slowing, vacancy rates increasing

of 35 per cent. Stirling’s city centre

development in town centres.

and average rental levels decreasing due to the recession (Scottish Town Centres; GVA Grimley, 2010). In Stirling city centre, prime retail rents

vacancy rate peaked at 13.5 per cent in March 2009, below the national average of 15 per cent.

As the recession eased slightly in 2010, businesses were hit with additional costs through increased business rates.

The recession also affected the pub

The increase saw implementation of

and restaurant trade in town and city

a commercial property revaluation,

and yields decreased between 2009 and 2010. There was also an increase in vacant retail property, although there has been improvement since the start of the year. On a positive note, Stirling city centre has improved its VenueScore retail ranking, moving up to sixth place in Scotland from seventh (Stirling City Centre; DTZ, 2010).

Winter weather… Colin Moulson, Manager of Stirling’s Thistles Shopping Centre made comment on the winter weather… “December was the coldest on record and Stirling experienced some of the heaviest snow fall in living memory. It may come as a surprise then that December 2010 was one of the best on record for the Thistles Centre.” “Customer numbers were up by around 10 per cent on December 2009, with the extreme winter weather benefiting us in a number of ways. Confidence in internet purchasing dropped as many large retailers announced that they could not guarantee Christmas delivery. The weather related disruption to the road and rail networks also meant that a lot of local people decided to do their Christmas shopping in Stirling, instead of Edinburgh or Glasgow.”



Focus on the local economy

Sector feature

Retail update Interview with Iain McCarren, Store Manager, Slaters

Stirling Eye met up with Iain McCarren, Store Manager of Slaters in Stirling, to find out more about retailing in the current climate…

Iain, can you tell us more about Slaters? which had taken place in early 2008. It resulted in businesses being given an additional burden at a time when revenues were low. The small business rate relief scheme did help a number of smaller businesses, but many businesses in town centres did not benefit due to the high perceived values of town centre premises. Stirling is now seeing improvement, with a current vacancy rate of eight per cent and this is set to drop further due to property occupations that are still to be finalised. We do have a particular issue with King Street. It has been suffering for a number of years from significant vacancy, but other areas are healthy relative to other town and city centres. We are working with property owners and occupiers in King Street through the Stirling City Heritage Trust, to improve

“Slaters is a family owned national retailer. Slaters’ Stirling store opened around four years ago and employs 16 people. We specialise in menswear, hirewear and corporate wear, supplying uniforms to local businesses such as car garages, the Terraces Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, the Aurora Hotel Group and the University of Stirling. Our clientele range from the very young to the older generation. We have been getting more young people in for suits during the prom season, so we have extended our range to offer more slim fitting suits too. The ethos of Slaters is quality goods with discounted branded names; vast selection of menswear; value for money with goods sold below the recommended retail price; and, ‘quality of service’ – our unique selling point!”

How do you ensure quality of service? “Having the right staff is very important. Our staff are enthusiastic, well trained and empowered. Our model is based on repeat business and we aim to make customers feel comfortable, allowing people to browse or spend time with staff, no matter how big or small their purchase. We also have local discretion; so on the rare occasion that there is a customer issue, our staff take measures to resolve these to the customer’s satisfaction. Customers work hard for their money and the least they should expect is good service. Other elements that make our business model a success are providing free alterations at time of purchase or at a later date, and, an excellent refund and exchange returns policy.”

the appearance. However, it is also

Has the economic downturn or VAT increase impacted upon sales?

the responsibility of property owners

“We started to notice a change in 2008, following the collapse of Northern Rock at the end of 2007. Every trade was affected, but on a positive note, we haven’t lost as much as we initially expected.

generally to play a part in ensuring the city centre can respond to the issues and opportunities facing all core urban areas in the next 5-10 years. Business occupiers can also help – the importance of customer service and business presentation has never been greater, and that starts before

We have worked harder with the customers we have, and despite the recession, many of our 25 stores have grown over the last couple of years. In Stirling, we had a slight drop in sales, but things improved last year and we were up on the previous year. We did not have any decrease in sales in January as a result of the VAT increase. I suspect that it will affect all businesses to some degree, but I don’t think it will have a great impact on Slaters.


One change is that more customers are paying for goods in cash, rather than on credit card. People are being more conscientious about what they spend, but I think confidence in the market is returning.”

See article on page 22 for Andy’s advice

a potential customer enters the

on the presentation of shop fronts.


Focus on the local economy


Sector feature

Retail update

The good, the bad and the ugly Andy Kennedy, Stirling City Centre Manager provided some tips on how retailers can maximise the impact of their shop front to entice in customers. Andy’s key pointers are: l



Clean shop front --- Obvious but often

Colourful and eye catching --- Displays should be constructed with different

not to come in and cleanliness is a key

heights/colours/product and draw the



Clear signage --- Is the main signage


Fresh product --- Has the product been

cluttered and confusing or does it tell the

in the window too long or is it fresh

passer by the story in a few seconds?

and interesting? Is there something

Accessible shop --- Is the product

different for the passerby to consider?

restricting access especially for the



not ensured. People may take any excuse


Clear opening hours --- Are they


Good building condition --- The effort

disabled or those with sight difficulties?

displayed prominently and clearly,

made with the window display and all of

Windows should not be cluttered --- Does

or is the customer entering the shop

the above can be undermined totally by

the window make sense and explain the

with no idea of the time they can

the state of the building. `Good picture but

function of the business without obstruction?


terrible frame`.

Using examples from outside the Stirling Council area, Andy commented on the following examples of good, bad and ugly shop fronts….

The good

The ugly This picture

This picture shows a dirty

shows an

shop front. This will put off

example of

customers, people don’t want

a clear and

to buy clothes or products


where there is any question

shop front. It

about cleanliness or hygiene.

is clear just by glancing at the sign what the shop is

This picture shows a window


where little effort has been made to display products in an organised, eye catching or clear fashion.

The bad This picture shows a shop front with clear accessibility issues. The narrow doorway is obstructed by products and is not welcoming or inviting. This doorway would be difficult to manoeuvre say for someone in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy.



Focus on the local economy

Andy Kennedy, City Centre Manager, played for Stirling Albion between 1976 and 1983. The photo shows Andy scoring a goal against Dumbarton at Annfield, Stirling Albion’s former ground, now a housing estate.

Business profile

Paul Saunders Media & Photography

Drymen based Paul Saunders runs two businesses – Paul Saunders Media and Paul Saunders Photography. Through his media business, Paul helps organisations develop creative and powerful communication. He’s already worked with a number of organisations including Save The Children and Yorkhill Childrens Foundation and produces videos and podcasts. Paul has also produced a series of weekly podcasts for top Scottish comedian Des McLean which have received thousands of downloads via I-Tunes. Paul’s photography business specialises in portrait photography using natural light. Paul uses clients homes, their gardens as well as parks to make a more enjoyable photo shoot, which in turn produces better results. Paul explained: “I’ve found that because so many people are fed up with studio shots, using locations that are more personal makes for a much more relaxed shoot with images that capture the personality of the subjects and produce beautiful pictures to treasure.”

Paul’s background Paul has been interested in photography

“Throughout my career I’ve moved around

and radio since he was a boy and his first

the UK, but feel very much at home in this

job was as a DJ on a radio station in Devon.

part of the world. Establishing my own

As Programme Director he went on to run

businesses has allowed me to become

radio stations including Viking FM in Hull,

more settled and Drymen is an ideal base,

Galaxy 102 in Manchester and Vibe FM in

with the stunning Loch Lomond scenery

East Anglia.

and its excellent links to Stirling and

When the Scottish Radio company that


owned Radio Clyde bought Vibe, Paul was

Paul did a lot of research before setting up

asked to come to Glasgow to head up Clyde

his businesses, and has spent time with

1 and Clyde 2. Once in Scotland, Paul met

some of the UK’s leading photographers to

his wife Sarah and they now have a young

enhance his skills. Paul said: “In addition to

daughter Katie.

my own research and learning, I received

In a 20 year radio career Paul worked with a number of famous people including Cheryl Cole, Bryan Adams, Paul Weller and Dannii Minogue. His favourite experience though was producing a programme with Stevie Wonder who played piano and sang just for Paul and the presenter Billy Sloan.

An example of Paul Saunders portrait photography

really useful advice from Business Gateway in Stirling.”

Looking to the future Paul aims to offer organisations a route into the digital world with fresh, new, creative ideas to make an impact. He said: “Throughout 2011 I plan to increase

the number of businesses I work with in the Stirling area, both as suppliers and as clients.” Paul’s advice to others starting out in business is to make sure that they present themselves creatively. Paul said: “It’s actually easy to make an impact, to stand tall of your competitors just by taking a step back and thinking differently.”

Starting up in business © Paul Saunders Photography

Paul started up his businesses last summer. He explained: “I wanted to work for myself combining my passions for media and photography. Running my own businesses means that I can choose what I work on. I love the creative side of media, but as I moved higher up on the management side of radio, I became further removed from this

The Lonely Planet magazine recently featured one of Paul’s cityscapes taken in New York.

side of work.”


Focus on the local economy


At your service

Land Services

Land Services © M J Clark

Land Services maintain the horticultural and public amenity realm within the Stirling Council boundary, as well as countryside sites to promote tourism, public safety, and to generally enhance the appearance of the city and the surrounding countryside to contribute to the economy of the area. The service is extremely diverse, split over various Council buildings and can be contacted on 0845 277 7000, email

The Land Services team provide a wide range of services, including: Abandoned vehicles Identify and remove abandoned vehicles on public land.

Allotments Promote the establishment of allotments and public gardens. Manage and maintain allotment sites at Cornton Road, Bridge of Allan and Bridgehaugh. Contact 01786 443823.

Biodiversity Biodiversity is the variety of life around us. Promotion of biodiversity via free outdoor events and action days, biological recording and addressing factors affecting rare and threatened species and habitats.

Cemeteries Provide and maintain burial grounds throughout the area at 62 separate sites including one woodland burial site. Management of a Memorial Mason Registration

Education and enforcement

Grounds maintenance

Ranger service

Maintenance of parks and open

Rangers deal with countryside

Provide educational talks and promote educational campaigns. Carry out the administration and school inspections relating to the Schools Litter Initiative Trophies, awarded annually. Investigate and enforce litter and fly tipping offences, issuing fixed penalty fines and/or submitting reports to the Procurator Fiscal as necessary. Provide educational talks and promote educational campaigns. Investigate and enforce litter and fly tipping offences.

space including trees and their

access, biodiversity, environmental

leaves, hedges, street furniture,

education, and promote an

weeds and planted areas, open

awareness and understanding of

space signage, seasonal grass

the countryside, as well as caring

cutting, weed spraying and

for and enhancing the natural

vegetation clearance.

heritage enjoyed by visitors.

Parks and open spaces Manage Stirling’s outdoors,

Street cleaning, litter and litter bins

from urban parks and open

Provide a service for removal of

spaces to remote and wild areas

litter and street sweeping seven

of land and water, to provide

days a week, targeting town

opportunities for open-air

centres, neighbourhoods and main

recreation. Develop masterplans

thoroughfares, and the operation


for the parks to transform them

of a graffiti removal service.

Stirling Council own the fishing rights for salmon and sea trout on parts of the River Forth and the River Teith, providing a wellmanaged public salmon fishery for the benefit of both residents and visitors, whilst promoting salmon and sea trout conservation. Contact 01786 442932.

to meet the needs of the whole

This groundwork is supported

community and to provide leisure

by education awareness and

and pleasure for residents, visitors

enforcement campaigns in the

and tourists.

battle against litter. The service is

Play areas Safety inspections, repair and


in over 90 public play areas.

Management of woodlands, which preserves the landscape and supports the local economy.

standard of workmanship and

Woodlands contribute to the

working practices in relation to Contact 01786 442559.



of all public litter bins.

maintainance of play equipment

Scheme ensures a consistent

memorials at all cemeteries.

also responsible for the provision

It costs Stirling Council nearly £35,000 every week to keep the streets clean – that’s £1.8 million each year.

tourism industry as well as supporting the craft, construction and manufacturing industries.

Focus on the local economy


Land Services Willie Clark and Stephen Kerr, Land Service Operatives. What goes in to keeping the streets clean? It is a constant challenge keeping Stirling’s streets clean. A daily challenge faced by Stephen Kerr, Willie Clark and their colleagues who are out on the beat on our streets. Their daily work involves gum removal, graffiti removal, clearing leaves, litter picking, emptying litterbins and clearing fly tipping. Power washing the streets and cleaning street furniture is also carried out in the city centre to further enhance its appearance for businesses, visitors and tourists. Stirling’s audited cleanliness score is higher than the national average.

At your service PROFILE Land Services Protection Officers Name: Jim Fisher and Malcolm Roy

Role: To provide a high profile presence in public places to discourage littering, dog fouling, fly posting, fly tipping, graffiti and chewing gum dispersal to keep the streets clean for residents, tourists and visitors, taking enforcement action where necessary to promote litter prevention.

As well as their planned daily work, events often occur that require

Current workload:

immediate attention such as a recent oil spill.

Jim and Malcolm are the officers responsible for litter

In mid January, a call was received informing the team of an accident in

enforcement and fly tipping enforcement for the whole of the

the city centre. The rising bollard on Port Street that keeps traffic out of

Stirling Council area.

the pedestrianised area was lowered to provide access for a delivery van.

They work on high profile enforcement campaigns such

Unfortunately, even with warning signs in place, another vehicle tried to

as litter awareness week and dog fouling week. These

creep in behind the van as the bollard raised. This ripped the oil sump

campaigns see the police and community wardens join Jim

out of the vehicle and left oil all over the city centre pavement.

and Malcolm to increase the amount of officers patrolling the

Stephen and Willie were at the scene within 20 minutes. They used

streets, issuing fixed penalty notices for litter and dog fouling

absorbent coconut husk shavings to absorb the oil. Once absorbed, the


debris was removed and the street was cleaned.

The biggest problem in the city centre is smoking related

Stephen said: “We often have to react to priority incidents that impact

litter. To ensure that this problem didn’t spiral out of control,

on our daily work. When we were called to the oil spill it was clear that we had to work fast because of the health and safety implications and for the sake of the public and businesses around us.“

Spring Clean 14th March – 16th May 2011 Scotland’s biggest annual clean up is back! There are various ways that your business or workplace can get involved, by joining in a litter pick or donating equipment, refreshments or prizes to litter pickers. A litter pick can also be a great team-building exercise and businesses can build good community relationships whilst making a positive and visible difference to the area. For more information, please call 01786 443555 or email

the officers proposed that all bins located in the city centre should be those with ashtrays on top. This was implemented and did improve the problem. However, this is still a major issue with 95 per cent of city centre fines in 2010 relating to smoking litter. Fly tipping is also an issue that keeps Jim and Malcolm busy. This is a problem in urban areas as well as the rural countryside. Not only is fly tipping unsightly, it costs taxpayers money. Officers investigate all instances of fly tipping as well as arrange for its removal. Jim and Malcolm also give educational talks to schools. They are currently working on the cleaner routes to schools campaign and the Land Services litter initiative trophy. These campaigns are designed to educate pupils on litter and encourage them to take an active role in improving their local area.


Focus on the local economy


The Stirling Wedding Show – matching local brides to local businesses Is your business involved in the multi-million pound wedding industry? Then you may be interested in attending the Stirling Wedding Show in the Albert Halls. As Stirling Eye went to print, final preparations were being made for the Show on March 27th. There will also be a Show on September 18th this year. Now in its third year, the event has grown rapidly to become the biggest event of its kind in the Central Region, and this year has attracted support from the Scottish Wedding Directory, the bride-tobe’s bible. Show Organiser Marie Kerr of Kippen based Kingdom Photos said: “We’ve worked really hard marketing the Show, attracting hundreds of visitors. We aim to connect local buyers with local suppliers at the top of their game. The Show is about quality, not quantity, and we give our brides a breadth of choice and interest across the 65 © Kingdom Photos

plus exhibitors. You can source everything for your big day from a rickshaw to a magician, venue to tiara, gowns and favours and much much more!” “Every exhibitor has their own Gallery on the Show website, with links to their websites. We are actively promoting a circle of excellence locally 52 weeks of the year, helping our brides source more services from leading local businesses. It’s a real win-win and hugely beneficial to exhibitors.”

To find out more, please contact Marie on 01786 870903 or watch the Show highlights video at

New wedding venue with a difference

Bridal is located in the Stirling

Callander based Red Kite Yurts

father, said: “As people become

The luxurious wedding yurt was

last year’s Hilton Vows Awards.

recently held an open day at

more environmentally aware,

brightly decorated on the day,

Touch House to showcase their

the wedding yurts offer couples

and really stood out amidst

new wedding and events venue

a truly sensational ‘green’

the stunning setting of Touch

– a fully decorated 200 person

alternative to traditional hotel

Estate, near Cambusbarron.

capacity handcrafted yurt!

or marquee weddings. We also

Local businesses involved in the

This is a new venture for Red

provide luxurious and eco-

showcase, were:

Kite Yurts, a small rural craft

friendly yurts across the UK to

business, already the leading

campsites, hostels and hotels.”

provider of yurts to the Scottish

“The popularity of yurts

Wedding Show in the Albert

market. The business produces

has led to the blossoming


yurts using traditional steambent construction techniques learned in Kyrgyzstan and honed

Nathan Millard, who runs Red Kite Yurts with his




Kiltpin of Falkirk supplied the grooms wear.


Jennifer Morrison Florist of

Spittal Street, Stirling, provided the flowers for the event.

Photos of Kippen,

who also run the Stirling


Alison Kirk Bridal provided

‘DIY wedding’ markets, and

the bridal wear.

mushroom fields of yurts can

Alison Kirk

now be found clustering around summer festivals as luxury accommodation.”

Focus on the local economy

© Kingdom Photos

to perfection in Scotland.

of the ‘glamping’ and the

l Kingdom

Arcade and was a runner up at

Curriculum for Excellence Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is bringing life to learning and learning to life in Scotland. By taking a fresh approach to what, how and where young people learn it aims to raise standards of learning and teaching and help improve the life chances for all children and young people. Ultimately it aims to nurture young people as successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

2011 Scottish Road Race Championships

CfE is important to the business sector because it focuses on the core skills of literacy, numeracy, problem solving, team working and communication – skills that businesses have identified as often missing at the recruitment stage. Local employers can get involved to ensure

Employers already provide valuable help and

the curriculum addresses these business

assistance in delivering many of the initiatives

needs. Business partnerships can bring

that Stirling Council and its partners promote.

real inspiration and relevance to young

However, we all need to do more to ensure that

peoples’ education and in turn can provide

our young people have a future in helping our

the motivation, skills and drive needed

local economy, and the businesses that operate

to create a dynamic and more prosperous

in it, to grow.

Scotland. Businesses can gain from the input young people bring in terms of innovation and fresh ideas as well as staff development and a raised profile and reputation in the community.

For further information on CfE and how your business can get involved, please contact Helen Winton (Education Development Officer, Stirling Council) on 01786 442524, email

Determined to Succeed Prior to Curriculum for Excellence, Determined to Succeed helped prepare young people for work and life in a globalised society by embedding enterprise in education. The following examples show how practical engagement with local businesses and business planning can help to develop the enterprising nature and employability of local school students…

The cream of Scottish road racing talent will be coming to the Stirling area, when the 2011 Scottish Road Race Championships

Wallace High/Highland Spring

is hosted in the picturesque

Senior Business Management pupils from Wallace High

village of Balfron on Sunday 22nd

School have been investigating the production process

May. This exciting cycling event,

at Highland Spring. Following an in-depth discussion between the school, the organisation and Determined

which is organised by a group of

to Succeed, a tailor-made tour was created that

dedicated Scottish cyclists known

included members of Highland Spring’s staff talking

as Vortex RT and supported by

about their particular roles. This experience has allowed pupils to make links between theory

Balfron Community Council and

and industry, and Wallace High School is keen to develop this relationship in the future.

Stirling Council, will feature the women’s and men’s Scottish

Doune Primary School / Dragon’s Den

championships. The 11 km circuit will start and

The P6’s at Doune Primary School did their own

finish in Balfron, where the official

‘Dragon’s Den’ pitching their business plans to the

medal-giving ceremony will take

Dragon (Head Teacher Jane McManus) and winning

place. For further information go to

financial support for their craft products that were then .

sold for a profit at the school’s Christmas Concert.


Focus on the local economy


LEADER update l LEADER is the European funding programme for the rural area.

LEADER supporting sustainable tourism One area of activity that Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER is keen to support is the start-up and growth of sustainable rural enterprises. LEADER is currently looking at ways of supporting sustainable tourism and would like to hear from businesses or communities that have sustainable tourism projects in the pipeline that may need a small amount of funding to get started. This is on the back of VisitScotland’s Sustainable Tourism Programme

Assistance with the development of ideas for sustainable tourism

which held its final sustainability event at Stirling Castle in January

products or activities is also available from the following sources:

2011, involving 100 tourism businesses from across the Forth Valley. Hot on the heels of this event, LEADER would like to support initiatives that have been inspired by the ‘Living the Legacy’ materials or the Sustainable Tourism Toolkit produced by Visit

l Business


l Stirling

Enterprise (STEP)

l VisitScotland

l Scottish


l Stirling

l Scottish

Business in the Community


Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland and Keep Scotland Beautiful as part of

l Local

development trusts

l Local

this programme.

l Local

business associations

l Tourism

Sue Wyllie, LEADER Development Officer, said: “As many tourism

l Community

businesses are already well aware, sustainable tourism is about more than just energy saving light bulbs. Community involvement in tourism projects, environmental education, use of public

community planning groups associations


LEADER is particularly keen to hear about initiatives that will create or sustain jobs, involve young people, benefit a wide number of businesses, or involve the community directly in the design or

transport, facilities for cyclists and walkers, dealing with waste, recycling, and sourcing local produce and services are all elements

delivery of the project.

of sustainable tourism which will benefit the wider area – and this

If you have a sustainable tourism project in mind, please contact the

is not an exhaustive list. And given that visitors come to the area

LEADER team on 01786 442687 or email .

because of our beautiful environment, activities that enhance or

More information on the LEADER programme in the Forth Valley

improve that environment are going to be good for business too.”

and Lomond area is available at .

For more information on sustainable tourism, the sustainability toolkits and other useful resources, go to

Latest LEADER awards Project (and applicant)


Regeneration and Development Including Disabled Access (Tillicoultry Allotment Association)


Fruit-full Schools Falkirk (Grounds for Learning)


KYG – Widening the Experience (Killin Youth Group)


Trossachs Area Service Development (Trossachs Area Community Transport)


Carbeth Futures (Carbeth Hutters)


Blane Community Allotments (Strathblanefield Community Development Trust)


Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Rural Housing Enabler (Rural Housing Service)


ClacksMax wireless broadband for the Forth Valley (Clackmannanshire Council and consortium)


More information on the Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER programme is available on the website where you can also download an enquiry form.



Focus on the local economy

Wireless broadband is coming to rural businesses in Stirling Businesses in Bandeath Industrial Estate, Throsk and Touch Business Centre near Cambusbarron suffer from varying and intermittent broadband access. To address this issue, Stirling Council, Stirling Development Agency Ltd and Touch Business Centre have teamed up with Clackmannanshire Council, who has been investigating a wireless solution to take care of a similar problem in Alloa West Business Centre and the Hillfoots area. Working in partnership with this group, Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER led a successful bid to the Scottish Government’s Rural Broadband Challenge Fund that will fund a pilot wireless broadband solution for the identified areas. The service will be called ClacksMax and will be available to businesses and communities in the target areas of Touch Estate and Bandeath in the Stirling Council area. Stirling Development Agency board member Andy Richardson said: “We are delighted with the success of the bid as it recognises the benefits and significance of high speed broadband for businesses in rural Stirling. We expect the new service to have a positive impact on future demand for business space at Bandeath Industrial Estate and for the rural economy as a whole.”

Stirling Eye met up with Sandy Frickleton (Business Liaison Executive, Stirling Council) to find out more about the pilot broadband project... Sandy, what broadband speed will the new service offer?

where a computer can be used to

Initially the available speeds will be between 2 Mbps and 20

a common way for businesses to

Mbps, this said the equipment used will be upgradeable to take

reduce monthly phone costs.

advantage of next generation technology that will offer 100 Mbps and beyond.

Do businesses need any special equipment to connect?

How much will the service cost businesses?

Any special equipment will be

Costs will be comparable to other broadband services.

provided through the service and will consist of a dongle or a

Who will provide the broadband connection?

wireless router with or without an external antenna, depending on

The infrastructure will be provided through a partnership between

call landlines or mobiles is becoming

the needs of the individual business.

developer will be chosen after a mandatory procurement process is

Will the service also be available to members of the community?

completed. The connection to the internet will be by any internet

Yes, although full quality of coverage won’t be fully known until

service providers that decide to provide a service through the

the system is commissioned and tested. The service will be open

infrastructure, just as you would normally find on a fibre optic or

to members of the communities who surround the target areas of

copper cable internet connection.

Bandeath and Touch Estate.

How can businesses get connected?

When is the service likely to come on stream?

Businesses keen to sign up to this high speed broadband service

Once the procurement process for a broadband wireless developer is

are asked to wait until more details are announced, this information

complete, it should only take 3-4 months to have the service up and

will be coming soon and will be detailed in the summer edition of


Stirling Eye.

Is there potential to develop the service to a wider area?

Do businesses need a telephone line to connect?

Yes, the modular nature of the infrastructure will allow the system

No, there is no need for a telephone line. As a matter of fact,

to be added to and improved. This offers the ability to cover other

using a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service such as Skype

areas that would also benefit from the service.

Clackmannanshire Council and a broadband wireless developer. The

To find out more about ClacksMax, please contact Sandy Frickleton (Stirling Council) on 01786 443403 or email


Focus on the local economy


Economic facts Population and Households Figure 1: Population

Stirling 2002-2009 % Change 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Stirling Scotland

Total Population











Working Age Population











Total Number of Households













Source: General Register Office for Scotland

Figure 2: Employment Rate (as % of Working Age Population)

Figure 3: Unemployment Rate (as % of Working Age Population)

74.0 73.5 73 72.5 72 71.5 71 70.5 70 69.5

Unemployment rate

Unemployment Rate

Employment rate

Employment Rate



Source: Annual Population Survey (Nomis)

4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0

January 2006

Stirling Scotland

January 2011

Source: Claimant Count with Rates and Proportions (Nomis)

Employment 2008 2009 2008-2009 2008-2009 Figure 4: Number of Change % Change People in Employment Stirling Scotland









Source: Annual Business Inquiry (Nomis)

Enterprise 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2002-2009 2002-2009 Figure 5: New Business Change % Change Starts Stirling Scotland





















Source: The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers

Business Survival Rates 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61

2003 2006 Year business started up

Source: Business Demography (Office for National Statistics)



Figure 7: Number of Active Businesses per 10,000 Population


Focus on the local economy



Scotland No. Active businesses per 10,000 population

3 Year Survival Rate - %

Figure 6: 3 Year Survival Rate of Newly Born Enterprises

Business Density Scotland

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0



Source: Business Demography (Office for National Statistics) Notes: Active businesses cover PAYE and VAT registered businesses only

Active Businesses, Business Births and Business Deaths Figure 8: Businesses in 2009 – Percentages based on Stock of Active Businesses

Stirling – Number

Stirling - %

Scotland - %

305 310 3.435

8.9% 9.0% -

9.8% 10.2% -

Business Births Business Deaths Stock of Active Businesses

Source: Business Demography (Office for National Statistics) Notes: Active businesses cover PAYE and VAT registered businesses only


Occupational Distribution

Figure 9: Employment by Industrial Sector (%), Stirling, 2009

Figure 10: Occupational Distribution of Workers (%), Stirling, 2009

Industry Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing


Mining, Quarrying & Utilities






Motor Trades






Transport & Storage (Inc Postal)


Accommodation & Food Services


Information & Communication


Financial & Insurance




Professional, Scientific & Technical


Business Administration & Support Services


Public Administration & Defence






Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Other Services


Source: Business Register and Employment Survey (Nomis)

Source: Annual Population Survey - Workplace Analysis (Nomis)


Visitors to the Stirling Area

% of working age population

Figure 11: % of the Working Age Population Qualified to SVQ Level 4+ (or equivalent) and % with No Qualifications, 2009 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

SVQ Level 4+ No qualifications

Figure 12: Visitors to Key Attractions in the Stirling Council Area Visitors 2008 2009 Argyll’s Lodging


Bannockburn Heritage Centre



Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park



Mugdock Country Park



National Wallace Monument



Old Town Jail



Stirling Castle





Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum Stirling


Source: Visit Scotland; Mugdock Country Park; Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park


Source: Annual Population Survey (Nomis)

Earnings Figure 13: Median Gross Weekly Earnings of People Working Full Time

Median Gross Weekly Earnings – Residents – Stirling Median Gross Weekly Earnings – Residents – Scotland Median Gross Weekly Earnings – Workers – Stirling Median Gross Weekly Earnings – Workers – Scotland

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

2006-2010 % Change

£472.1 £427.9 £419.3 £428.1

12% 14% 19% 14%

£479.9 £440.9 £434.1 £441.7

£496.9 £462.9 £454.1 £462.6

£499.2 £471.2 £460.2 £472.8

£529.1 £486.9 £499.1 £488.2

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (Nomis)


Focus on the local economy


On the Verge Local businesses have lent support to a project called On the Verge to aid recovery of local bee populations. The environmental campaign is aimed at using as many green spaces as possible in and

The project has been funded through donations from a

The photograph is from one of On the Verge’s

around Stirling to sow nectar

number of local businesses,

recent projects, the

including Superglass, Belhaven,

revival of a box hedge garden by

donated by Dobbies Garden

rich wildflowers, with the aim

Graham’s the Family Dairy,

Allan’s Primary School, turning

Centre and Janet Owen of local

of providing readily available

Forth Housing, Value Tyres,

it into a wildlife haven. Leigh

florist So Blooming Marvellous.”

food sources for ailing bee

STOMP shoe shop and United

Biagi from On the Verge, said:

To find out more about On the


Closures & Plastics.

“This project was made possible

Verge, please contact Leigh Biagi

through permission from The

on 01786 451615, email

Cowane’s Trust and plants .

Service contacts Building Standards, Stirling Council Joyce Wighton, Tel: 01786 432032, email: City Centre Management, Stirling Council Andy Kennedy, Tel: 01786 442534, email: Culture and Adult Learning, Stirling Council Lynne Gibbons, Tel: 01786 432360, email: Economic Support & Tourism, Stirling Council Deborah Murray, Tel: 01786 442467, email: Employability Service, Stirling Council Gordon Wright, Tel: 01786 442866, email:

Forthcoming events/training Free Business Gateway training events: April 2010 13th evening – Stirling – Marketing your business. 19th morning – Alloa – Build your own website 1. 19th afternoon – Alloa – Build your own website 2.

Environmental Health & Trading Standards, Stirling Council Leslie Fisher, Tel: 01786 432180, email

19th morning – Falkirk – Mastering Selling 1.

Planning, Stirling Council Peter Morgan, Tel: 01786 442914, email:

19th morning – Stirling – What you need to know before

19th afternoon – Falkirk – Mastering Selling 2.

Rates Team, Stirling Council Alison McLean, Tel: 01786 443236, email:

setting up a website.

Waste Services, Stirling Council David Hopper, Tel: 01786 443038, email

20th evening – Stirling – Advertising & promotion.

Useful web links Active Stirling – Business Gateway – Forth Valley College – Forth Construction Forum - Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER – Funding Search Facility – The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park - Lottery Fund – Property Search Facility – Raploch Urban Regeneration Company – Scottish Chambers of Commerce – Scottish Enterprise – Scottish Government – Scottish Parliament – Stirling Business Directory – Stirling Business Panel – Stirling Council Business Pages – Stirling Enterprise (STEP) – Stirling Eye – Stirling University Innovation Park – Trossachs Rural Mentoring Scheme – University of Stirling – VisitScotland – VisitStirling –

20th morning – Alloa – Understanding your financial statements.

May 2011 24th morning – Stirling – Get real results from your website. 25th morning – Falkirk – Bookeeping 1. 25th afternoon – Falkirk – Bookeeping 2. 27th morning – Falkirk – Trading online. To book your free place, call 0845 609 6611 or check for up-to-date listings.

Business start-up workshops Stirling Enterprise (STEP) run free training and awareness sessions specifically for people looking to start up their own business. Forthcoming training dates are:

May 2011 10th evening – Stirling – Business start up: Business planning. 11th evening – Stirling – Business start up: Marketing. 11th evening – Stirling – Business start up: Finance. 18th evening – Stirling – Business start up: ICT. 24th evening – Stirling – Business start up follow on session: HMRC. For more information on the business start-up workshops, please contact Denise Mallinson on 01786 463416.

Stirling Council Environment Services, Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET phone: 0845 277 7000 email: text: 0771 779 0001 web:

Stirling Eye - Spring 2011  

Stirling Eye is a quarterly round up of business news and key facts and figures on Stirling's economy.

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