Page 1

Summer 2011

Gordon Bell, new Managing Director of STEP meets Joanne Parkin of Select Laboratories Ltd

Inside this issue‌ Business profile Thunkit

Food and drink services Interviews with No.2 Baker Street, Terraces Hotel and CafĂŠ Crema

Business Panel feature Business Panel welcomes 700th member

Trade Fair News and views from the Spring Trade Fair

Business space developments Latest on Manor Farm Business Park and take-up across Stirling

0845 277 7000



Local business news


Business profile - Thunkit


In this edition of Stirling Eye we introduce Gordon Bell, Stirling Enterprise’s new Executive Director. Gordon brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously played a key part in establishing Scottish Enterprise’s very successful Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Stirling Business Panel


Mary Portas master classes come to Stirling


30 second interview


Customer First opens in city centre


The business profile on Thunkit, a new motorcycle accessories shop in the Stirling Arcade, shows how innovative new businesses are able to find niche markets, despite the recession. The feature on food and drink highlights how Stirling businesses are collaborating through the new Food & Drink Forum to raise

Thistles Partners Against Crime


Qualifications to do the business


Business space developments


Sector feature - Food & drink


standards across Stirling, improving overall visitor perceptions of the city. The Council has been involved in a range of activities to encourage business to business networking and entrepreneurial activity, including the Business Panel’s Spring Trade Fair, at which more than 50 local businesses exhibited and the Stirling Careers and Jobs Event at the Albert Halls in June, matching local people to jobs, training and career opportunities, including advice on starting up in business.

Action in Mind launches new mental health employment initiative 22 Don’t miss out on subsidised Flexible Training Opportunities 22 Interview with Gordon Bell, Executive Director, STEP


We also report on a range of business support mechanisms, including extension of Skills Development Scotland’s Flexible Training Opportunities providing help towards training costs for small to medium sized businesses, an announcement by Stirling Enterprise of new LEADER supported Sustainable Tourism Grants and a series of Mary Portas retail master classes that will be available in Stirling soon.

At your service - Land Services


RACMSA Rally of Scotland


New Forth Valley College Stirling campus takes shape


Stirling Careers and Jobs Event


With regard business space developments, it is pleasing to note recent take-up across all property types, showing investor confidence in Stirling. News from local entrepreneur Tom Cox on significant plans for future investment at Manor Farm Business Park reaffirms this confidence.

LEADER update


Countdown to 2014


Economic facts


Thousands flock to Stirling Castle’s royal palace


Forthcoming events/training


I would like to encourage local businesses to start planning now for opportunities presented by 2014, including the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the second Year of Homecoming, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. It is going to be a huge year for Stirling’s economy! Please can I take this opportunity to encourage you to complete the Stirling Eye feedback form – we are keen to hear your ideas on what you like about the publication and your suggestions on how we can improve it.

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

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:



Focus on the local economy

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

Cover photo: Gordon Bell, new Executive Director of Stirling Enterprise with Joanne Parkin, Technical Director of Select Laboratories Ltd. Please see interview with Gordon Bell on page 23 for more information. Photo taken by M.J. Clark.

Local business news Please provide feedback on Stirling Eye Please provide your views on Stirling Eye, what you think we do well and anything you think we could do better by completing the Stirling Eye feedback form at . Alternatively you can contact Joelle Russell (Editor, Stirling Council) on 01786 4426778, email .

A new online Business Directory for Stirling Stirling Council has been working on the creation of a new online business directory. The Council’s Web Services team has now completed the new directory and it is available online, replacing the previous directory. This is a free service and any business located in the Stirling Council area can register on the directory. Almost 60% of businesses in the area already feature on the directory. Businesses can update and amend their own record online ensuring that the information provided on the directory is instantly and continuously updated. The directory provides a constantly up-to-date, valuable reference resource for local and national businesses as well as residents of, and visitors to, the Stirling area.

As an added incentive, everyone completing the feedback form will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 worth of vouchers for a Stirling shop of their choice, with the winner featured in the autumn/winter edition of Stirling Eye.

Dron & Dickson secure multi-million pound contract Dron & Dickson, specialist in design, supply and maintenance of hazardous area electrical equipment, has secured a multi-million pound contract with Talisman Energy (UK) Limited.

Dron & Dickson worker checking over electrical equipment for an offshore order

The company, which has offices in Stirling, has signed a three-year deal with two one-year extension options that will see it provide a wide range of electrical consumables in support of Talisman’s North Sea assets.

Dron & Dickson operations director Colin Maver said: “Talisman is an extremely important client for Dron & Dickson and we are delighted to be working with them. Winning this long-term contract underpins our reputation for providing cost-effective, highquality products that help our customers reduce risk and comply with the latest legislation.”

use the free of charge searchable directory,

As well as targeting growth in the oil and gas sector, Dron & Dickson operates in the renewables and decommissioning markets. It also works in additional sectors of industry ranging from pharmaceuticals to distilleries.

please go to .

To add your business to the directory or to

Alan Lockhart

New business tees off It is never easy to start a business during a time of recession, but Ladybank PGA professional golfer Alan Lockhart and partner Emma McElhill have done just that. Alan and Emma have developed a last minute booking site dedicated to helping Scottish golf clubs fill their quiet and unused tee times. Alan said: “We have developed a concept that will help golf clubs utilise the huge missed potential of selling tee times that would otherwise lie empty. All of the tee times will be advertised for a maximum of seven days in advance and will be discounted by a minimum of 50%. This is a no risk strategy for golf clubs and also offers the golfer incredible deals and the luxury of playing many different courses throughout Scotland at a fraction of the price.”


Focus on the local economy


Local business news Westerlands Care Home awarded ASPIRE Employer of the Year Congratulations to Westerlands Care Home who recently picked up an award for ASPIRE Employer of the Year. The Care Home, based in St Nininas, Stirling was awarded Employer of the Year in recognition of its

© Kingdom Photos

commitment to staff development and personal wellbeing. Irene Sharp, Care Home Manager, said: “We are delighted with the award. We are a small organisation, so it is really nice to get some recognition. The award has also provided a good boost to staff morale.” Around 10 members of staff at Westerlands received training through ASPIRE, including English language/ communication classes combined with dementia training to help communication with residents. To find out more about the ASPIRE project and possible training opportunities available for your employees, please contact Marianne Eik on 01786 432366 or email .

New owner for Stirling Health Food Store Josine Atsma recently took over the Stirling Health Food Store on Dumbarton Road, Stirling from Mr D Robison, owner for 26 years.

Stirling Wedding Show

– now on 11th September The September Stirling Wedding Show has been brought forward a week and will now take place

The Stirling Health Food Store is an independent high street retailer, specialising

on the 11th September, not the

in quality health foods, whole and dietary foods, minerals and vitamins, herbal

18th September as reported in

supplements, homeopathic remedies, non-chemical toiletries and homebrew.

the Spring edition of Stirling Eye. The show will be held in the

Josine said: “I have been working in the shop since 2007, first as shop assistant,

Albert Halls, Stirling and more

then as manager and now as the new owner.

information is available from Marie Kerr on 01786 870903.

We have a good customer base and some of our customers have been buying goods from the shop since it opened in the 1970s!” Josine Atsma

Local dog grooming business scrubs up well In just over a year, new Stirling business Scrubadug has reached its 500th client. After 20-years working in the retail industry, dog-lover Jackie Campbell followed her heart and started up the mobile dog grooming business. Now, instead of managing people, Jackie manages to wash, clip and trim her way through 36 dogs a week across the Stirling and Clackmannanshire area - all from the comfort of her expertly converted van. One of the dogs Jackie regularly grooms recently came in as a reserve at Crufts 2011. Jackie has also developed strong working relationships with two other local dog focused businesses, Top Dog Training and K9walks4u. When Jackie first came up with the business idea, she contacted Stirling Enterprise to assess her options. After speaking with a Business Gateway Adviser, she received help putting together a business plan, received basic legal advice and help to find a suitable personal loan as there were no business loans available at the time.



Focus on the local economy

Love to escape? Stirling based business is one of the UK’s fastest growing holiday accommodation and attraction websites with over 2.5 million visitors per annum. Originally focused on accommodation and attractions in the Highlands and Cumbria, the business has expanded to cover the UK, Ireland, France and beyond. Sarah Manson, Business Manager, said: “ began in our head office in Kippen but due to expansion, we have moved into a bigger office at Stirling Business Centre. Our main focus is to ensure that we provide both unrivalled quality and value for money to accommodation, attraction and business owners. We also aim to provide a one stop shop for holidaymakers – allowing them to plan and book all aspects of their holiday through one website. The site covers everything from pubs and restaurants, to tourist attractions and sport venues. The business is constantly evolving, such as through the recent launch of a mobile version of the website for smartphone users and development of a dedicated ‘iPhone App’.”

Wallingford HydroSolutions new office at Touch Business Centre, Stirling

Wallingford powers into Stirling Wallingford HydroSolutions Limited has relocated its offices in Scotland to Touch Business Centre, Stirling. Technical Director Dr Andrew Black said: “Our decision to relocate our offices to Stirling was motivated by our desire to have an office that was more centrally located and could accommodate our growing business needs.” When searching for an office, Senior Consultant Olivia Burns, responsible for the operation of the Stirling office, said: “We looked at a lot of offices within the area, but the friendly and bespoke service offered at Touch meant that it was the right choice for us. It really is a beautiful and unique setting. We feel very lucky to work here.” Wallingford HydroSolutions is a well-established environmental consultancy offering services relating to all aspects of the water cycle including river flow estimation, flood risk assessment, environmental impact assessments and services relating to water and catchment management. They also provide specialist software and training in this field, including flow estimation and hydropower assessment tools.

macrobert turns 40 macrobert, Stirling’s multi-arts centre based on campus at the University of Stirling, celebrates its 40th birthday this year, starting with a big party on 17 September. It was 1971 when the macrobert opened the doors with a jam-packed season. Over the past 40 years there have been many changes including redevelopment of the centre’s facilities in 2002. Liam Sinclair, Artistic Director, said: “What has remained constant throughout is our commitment to programming only the best entertainment for all ages, supporting artists to create exciting new work and ensuring that as many people as possible from the local community have access to quality arts experiences.” After the arrival of new Artistic Director Liam Sinclair in September 2010, the venue also appointed Darrell Williams, former Head of Sales and Marketing at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, as its new Commercial Director and Alice McGrath, former Development Director at Imaginate, as Director of Creative Development, Participation and Research.


Focus on the local economy


Local business news Top Mark for Stirling A new business providing a modern twist on regular tattoo outlets recently opened in Barnton Street, Stirling. Billy Saunders and Ross Duncan opened professional studio Top Mark Tattoos as they

Billy Saunders and Ross Duncan

wanted to focus on the artistic and creative side of the business in an attempt to further get away from the stigma that some people still have of the profession.

New Castle Park & Ride route

Billy said: “Times are changing and tattoos are more fashionable, especially for women. We

If you or your guests are travelling into Stirling to visit the stunning refurbished Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle, then why not take advantage of the summer Park & Ride service? Avoid traffic jams and car parking charges by taking the Park & Ride, which will operate from Monday to Saturday until the end of September from the Castleview Park & Ride to the Castle.

that the ‘end product’ is second to none.”

wanted to create a new experience for people, embracing the new and changing clientele and providing welcoming, modern and respectful surroundings. Clients are more demanding than ever so the skill and quality at the design stage is crucial. This is all done in-house to ensure With almost fifteen years experience between them, Billy and Ross looked at different areas when setting up their business. They decided on Stirling due to its central location and their existing customer base.

City of Stirling discount leaflets Stirling Council has recently produced, on behalf of the Stirling Tourism Forum, discount vouchers aimed at visitors to the city. The Stirling discount leaflet includes basic information for visitors to the city along with a range of tear out discount vouchers for key visitor attractions, cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.

This year Stirling Council’s Economic Support & Tourism service is supporting a new route that takes in Murray Place and King Street. The route is designed to encourage visitors into the city and not just to the Castle and it is hoped that this will have a positive economic impact for businesses in the city. The Castleview Park & Ride is just off the M9 motorway at junction 10 and the service runs every 30 minutes from 8.35 am until

If your business would like leaflets to display or would like be included in the next leaflet, please contact Jason Clark (Tourism Executive) on 01786 442532 or email .

Diversification isn’t just mind games McAdam King, a recruitment consultancy based at Laurelhill Business Park in Stirling, has launched a new business, McAdam King Business Psychology. The new company offers clients a range of specialist services designed to improve business performance

6.20 pm.

through behavioural analysis and staff development. The


further expansion for the ambitious Stirling firm.

move has created two new jobs and paves the way for Maureen Blenkharn, one of McAdam King’s founding

Adults £1.20 return

directors, said: “The whole issue of talent management,

Children 60p return Holders of a concessionary pass travel for free. visit/facilities/parking



McAdam King Directors – Maureen Blenkharn with Colin McAdam (L) and Rob Miller (R)

staff retention, and leadership development is directly related to the recruitment process and we’re now equipped to work with any business that wants to invest in its staff. People are the most valuable asset for any business and ensuring that performance is optimised from the boardroom to the shop floor has a direct correlation to profitability.”

Focus on the local economy

Sun shines on Stirling Electrical Services

Central Links, new local publication

Fallin based electrical contractor Stirling Electrical Services Ltd (SES) has added to their core services with the introduction of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. Solar PV is a renewable energy technology capable of generating electricity from daylight. The electricity can then be used in the home, with any surplus being exported back to the National Grid. After the initial setup costs, homeowners save on any electricity the system produces, plus benefiting from a government-backed scheme where they can receive payment for the energy generated. SES director Scott McLean said: “As a company we carry out electrical maintenance, installation and testing work throughout Scotland and offering solar PV installations was a natural progression for us as we look to embrace sustainable energy solutions. We have already invested in and implemented a solar PV training scheme for our electricians and we are now working on solar PV installations across the country. We are well positioned to expand in this field as the market grows and this will also have employment benefits for the central Scotland area, as well as contributing to the recovery of the Scottish economy.”

Central Links is a brand new publication for Stirling and Clackmannanshire that lets people know what is on their doorstep, supporting local companies and services. The publication will be produced twice yearly, starting this autumn with a distribution of around 44,000 from Dunblane to Clackmannan. It will provide exposure for local companies to promote their products and services to their community. The publication will also include local editorial, offers, discounts, competitions and information on events and places to go in the area. Central Links is the business venture of Fiona Jones (editor of Dunblane’s theWire) and Louise Owen who feel passionately about supporting their area and being part of a community. Fiona said: “Getting people to use all the talents on their doorstep and support their local businesses is our aim. The fact that this will also protect our environment and sustain our local economy is a definite bonus!”

Stirling success at VisitScotland Expo Stirling Council recently collaborated with key local tourism businesses at VisitScotland’s major travel trade event in Aberdeen in April. Expo is Scotland’s flagship business-to-business event for the travel trade. With a new specially designed stand, ‘Stirling - Scotland’s heart’, key visitor attractions from Stirling showcased their products and services to potential buyers from around the globe. The stand was the result of collaboration between Stirling Council and partners Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park, The National Wallace Monument, Steamship Sir Walter Scott Ltd, Stirling Castle, Stirling Old Town Jail, the Smith Museum and Art Gallery and the University of Stirling. Ken Thomson from Stirling District Tourism said: “EXPO is the perfect opportunity for Stirling’s tourism businesses to showcase their products. It provides a platform to engage with contacts from the travel industry worldwide.” Stirling Council is looking for partners for next year. If your tourism business would like to be involved in EXPO next April in Edinburgh, contact Jason Clark (Tourism Executive) on 01786 442532 or email .


Focus on the local economy


Local business news Business welcome… New and relocating businesses in the Stirling area include:

Admajora Ltd A new network security services company based in Callander providing solutions and support to small and medium sized businesses. All aspects of networking, security and remote access are provided. Tel: 07403 278882

Andrew Baird Optometrist A new opticians practice, providing free NHS eye examinations and contact lenses fittings. The business is located on Main Street, Callander. Tel: 01877 330034

Bob’s Locks Bob’s Locks has opened a new shop in Upper Craigs, Stirling. The business provides 24-hour locksmith services as well as key cutting, number plates, passport photos and much more. Tel: 01786 470740

Dress Diva Ladies boutique Dress Diva recently relocated from Doune to Upper Craigs, Stirling city centre. Dress Diva sell a range of unique brands and also retail bridal wear. Tel: 01786 445800

Gartcarron Fire Engineering A new business specialising in a full range of fire safety services, from fire risk assessments and general fire safety advice to full fire engineering solutions for new and existing buildings. The business is located at the Commercial Centre, Stirling Enterprise Park. Tel: 01786 449944

Kilted Campers A new business providing fun and affordable campervan hire, such as for romantic weekends for two, family holidays and road trips with friends. The business is located on Whitehouse Road, Springkerse Industrial Estate, Stirling. Tel: 0843 2890652

Natures Abstract A new business specialising in paintings and crafts using natural materials including drift wood. The business is located on Baker Street, Stirling and opened in Spring 2011. Tel: 01786 449225

NY Slice A New York style pizza restaurant/café, specialising in a variety of New York inspired food, including fresh pizza by the slice from a 20 inch pie. NY Slice is located on King Street, Stirling and includes dine-in, home delivery and takeaway. Tel: 01786 447180

Pinky’s Nail Boutique A new nail and make-up boutique located within Dress Diva, Upper Craigs, Stirling. The business specialises in bespoke nail art including digital printing, celebrity look make-up and designer lashes. Tel: 01786 445800

Select A new designer ladies fashion store, selling designer fashion at high street prices. The store opened in the Stirling Thistles Centre in April. Tel: 01786 450502

Kelly Walker (Owne r of Pinky’s Nail Bouti que) and Laura Farrant (Ow ner of Dress Diva)

Sweet Treats Sweet Treats is a new business in the Stirling Arcade, which specialises in luxury handmade body products. The business opened in May and all products are handmade on site. Tel: 01786 478610

Tracy Rich Design A new, Stirling based Garden Design consultancy. The business launched in December 2010 and offers a full range of professional design services from planting plans to construction drawings. Tel: 01786 470243

Wren Kitchens & Bedrooms Wren Kitchens & Bedrooms recently opened a new store at Springkerse Retail Park, Stirling. The store specialises in pre-built kitchens and bedrooms. Tel: 01786 241397


Head To Toe Inc A new beauty salon specialising in nails, eyebrow threading, eye lash extensions and fish pedicures. The business is located on Main Street, St Ninians. Tel: 01786 445778

Family run bakers Stephens recently opened a new bakery in Port Street, Stirling city centre. Established since 1873, this is the Stephens family’s 15th bakery shop in Scotland. Tel: 01786 449056

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 8


Focus on the local economy

Business profile


Thunkit is a new motorcycle accessories shop located in Stirling city centre. Owned by Rodney and Marcelle Pearson, the business specialises in fashionable motorcycle accessories for men, women and children.

From South Africa to Stirling Rodney and Marcelle emigrated from South Africa to Scotland around two and a half years ago. Stirling Eye met up with Rodney to find out more… Rodney said: “We decided to emigrate due to the political unrest in South Africa. Marcelle worked in the banking industry and there were various countries that we could have emigrated to. We chose to locate in Scotland as we used to holiday at the Forest Hills Hotel in Aberfoyle and had fallen in love with the stunning scenery.” Once in Scotland, Rodney and Marcelle began scoping out various business plans. They wanted to establish a business that would bring in an income, while allowing them to spend time with their young children. The couple are keen bikers and they soon identified a gap in the market. Rodney said: “The business plan for motorcycle shops is completely different in South Africa. Motorcycling is lifestyle orientated and shops cater for women and children. We found that motorcycle shops here in the UK are much more male orientated, so we decided that there was an opportunity to bring the South African model to Scotland.”

Starting up the business Rodney and Marcelle decided to locate their business in Stirling city centre, making the shop easily accessible to families and breaking with the UK trend for motorbike shops to be located on industrial estates.

talked us through the tax system and advised us on bookkeepers, accountants, etc. We’ve also been working with local business The Write People, who produced concept designs and marketing material for us.”

Doing business in Stirling Rodney said: “There are a lot of women out there who ride – about 60% of the people who come in our shop are women and they currently account for around 30% of sales. Most motorcycle shops only stock male or uni-sex clothing, providing little choice or unflattering clothing for women. We have found a niche in the market, retailing fitted and fashionable biking accessories for the whole family, women and children included.” As Thunkit is the only motorcycle shop in

Future plans

Stirling city centre, they have been able to

Long term, the Pearsons would like to take on

secure stock from major brands, including

additional space within Stirling and they are

Duchinni, Buffalo, Bell, Bike It, Spada, Sidi and

also considering franchising Thunkit.

Wolf M.X. clothing for adults and children.

Rodney said: “We’ve started up Thunkit as if it’s

Rodney said: “The brand reps have been

going to be a big company, getting the business

quite excited by our business model and we

VAT registered from the outset. We have made

have received good advice from them, such

a massive investment, but this will make us

as Marian Knight of Bike It who has really

savings in the long run. This might sound like

Rodney said: “Due to the Scottish weather being so unpredictable, we decided to locate our shop within the Stirling Arcade. The Arcade’s fashion boutiques and beauty services also attract a lot of female shoppers, providing a good target market for Thunkit.”

gone out of her way to help with ideas,

overkill for a small shop, but there will be a

letting us know what is selling well, etc.

return when we expand in the future.”

Being a small shop, we are able to take

Thunkit - Tel: 01786 445501

Although the business has been self-funded, the Pearson’s received advice from Business Gateway on getting started. Rodney said: “Frank Dunne, our Business Gateway Adviser

have something a little bit

small orders and reps bring us their latest products. This means that we always different in store, catering for all types and styles of

Rodney and Marcelle Pearson toured South Africa on their motorbikes from 2000 through to 2003, travelling to places like the famous ‘God’s Window’ in Mpluanga (Eastern Transvaal) down to the most southerly point in Africa.



Focus on the local economy


Stirling Business Panel

Stirling Business Panel – Executive Group update In the last edition of Stirling Eye it was mentioned that a workshop had taken place at which members of the Executive Group had discussed the structure and objectives of the Business Panel, looking to the future. This has been a comprehensive review taking a little longer than anticipated. However, if at the end of this exercise we have a stronger and more focused Group to lead the way forward, it will be for the benefit of all businesses in the area. As Stirling Eye goes to print, we are preparing for another meeting to start planning future events and activities, building on the success of the Spring Trade Fair.

Quest becomes our 700th member! Stirling Business Panel was pleased to welcome its 700th member in June, Fiona Gavine, Director of Quest Business Consulting Ltd. The business offers business consultancy,

Hewlett Packard, Fiona became a director of

Tony Moulsdale, Chairman of the Stirling

coaching and mentoring with a particular

a European business unit with specific focus

Business Panel, said: “The Stirling Business

focus on improving performance in life

on developing a strategy for the SME market

Panel is delighted to welcome Fiona as our

science and health related companies.


700th member, almost a year to the day

Although based in Stirling, Quest serves clients across the UK, Europe and beyond.

This depth and range of experience at a senior level gave Fiona the ideal background

With 25 years experience in industry and

to start her own business consultancy,

commerce in senior roles across a number of

launching Quest in 2006.

business disciplines, Quest and Fiona are well

since we welcomed our 600th member, Morag Meighan of Comfort Zone Interior Designers. This healthy interest from Stirling

Fiona has a portfolio of non-executive

businesses in

directorships; NHS Forth Valley, Stirling

the Panel and

Starting her career in post-graduate

District Tourism and Accountant in Bankruptcy

its activities is

biochemical research, Fiona then trained

(Scotland’s Insolvency Service).


When asked why she joined the Panel, Fiona

and gives

said: “I’m very keen to support local business

confidence that

groups, get a feel for what’s happening in

we can work

and around the Stirling area and add my

together to

Fiona then moved into the electronics/

voice to a group who can influence the

make Stirling

IT sector, working with Compaq in financial

strategic direction of business development

even more of a

Fiona Gavine, Director of

and operational roles. After a merger with

in Stirling.”


Quest Business Consulting Ltd

placed to offer a range of services to clients.

with Touche Ross and Co and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before moving back into the scientific industry with ICI PLC and then Astra Zeneca PLC.



Focus on the local economy

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

2010 Annual Business Panel Survey results

MEMBER PROFILE John Epps, Crannaig House, Aberfoyle. Born of Scots grandparents in England and proud of his Scottish roots, John Epps is a Chartered Engineer and experienced tourism businessman. This unusual skill mix originates from a life in two parts. John’s first career choice was to work in the high-tech world of electronics – a number of things we accept as a normal part of life in the 21st Century have felt John’s professional influence in

As we reported in the last edition of Stirling Eye, the publication of

the late 20th Century; not least the systems that keep our sea

the 2010 Annual Business Panel Survey was delayed until April. This

lanes open to trade and our airspace safe.

was because the survey was kept open longer than usual due to the

With his children educated and with the freedom to choose

severe weather. Many businesses were focused on surviving all types

where to settle, John retired early from the rush-everywhere

of disruption that seemed at times to show no signs of abating.

life and joined his wife Ann (herself a native of Luss on Loch

The full report is now available online and can be found in the ‘Reports’

Lomondside) to start a tourism business in Stirling’s rural area 15

section of the Business Panel website, .

years ago.

One key point to note is that net satisfaction with Stirling as a place

John said: “This has been an entirely wonderful experience – not

to do business has increased by almost 14% since 2008, from 59 to

least as founder members of the Aberfoyle Traders Association

67. When most businesses also record that the key factor inhibiting

(now known as Trossachs Business Partnership) and key

productivity is the current economic climate/market conditions, rather

organisers of The Trossachs Mushroom Festival for the past

than Stirling specific issues, this is an encouraging figure. Businesses

decade. We now also have friends all over the world as a result

completing the survey also reported a decrease in the proportion of

of our business.”

full time employees and an increase in part time working over the same period.

John has been active in initiatives to promote business in the rural west of the Stirling area, not least as chairman of the

This is the third annual survey that we have conducted and while the

Trossachs Area Network, at a time when road improvements

results have a key role in influencing the priorities of the Council in

and floodwater control featured highly on a list of priorities for

addressing needs, it is disappointing that the response rate has fallen

the area.

from a high of over 50% in 2008 to around 30% in 2010. It may be that members are suffering ‘survey fatigue’ or that we need to review the questions that are asked. Alternatively, we may use very short question sets throughout the year to gather information, which take literally a couple of minutes to respond to. This is something that your Executive Group will be discussing over the next few weeks, but what do you think? Do you have a view?

He has also been involved with Destination Trossachs, sat on the steering group for the Trossachs Enterprise & Rural Mentoring Programme (TERMS) and has been a member of the Business Panel Executive Group from the outset. As a Business Panel Executive Group member, John serves the interests of the rural area and also promotes Zero Waste Scotland.

You can let us know what your view is by emailing .

Stirling Eye wishes to remember with affection the life of Ann Epps who sadly passed away on 28th June 2011.


Focus on the local economy


Special feature

ul l hosted its second successf The Stirling Business Pane Held at Strathallan Trade Fair in April this year. the Fair attracted over House, Castle Business Park, n 200 visitors. 50 exhibitors and more tha ent to find out more Stirling Eye attended the ev and to catch up with about the speed networking exhibitors and visitors…

Speed networking – what’s it all about? Janet Torley, Director of Events for Business, facilitated the speed networking events on behalf of the Stirling Business Panel.

Janet Torley, Director of

Janet, why speed network?

Events for Business

The networking events are based on round tables of delegates, who by a series of moves, speak to everyone else participating. The purpose is to facilitate business introductions and provide an opportunity for participants

Events for Business

to meet new businesses and start potential business relationships.

Events for Business is a Dunfermline based company which facilitates business to business events, exhibitions, seminars and

How did it go today? I thought the events went really well with good participation. Quite a few people seemed to be meeting new businesses for the first time.

networking. The business is geared to small businesses, focused on helping them to grow.

Exhibitor profiles The following exhibitors provided their thoughts on the Trade Fair….

Elsi Duncan, Managing Director, D-Signs

Jim and Charmain Yule from Wi Link Solutions

Elsi said: “The Trade Fair

Jim Yule, Technical Manager, said: “We came to the

and talk to other local

Trade Fair last year and made some useful contacts.

businesses, in a friendly and

We are a relatively new family run business, so

focused format. It has been

getting our name out there is important and we

great to share information,

took the opportunity to do this at the April Fair.”

find out what other people

Charmain Yule, Business Development Manager,

are doing and of course, generate enquiries and sales.

said: “We promoted the Trade Fair through our

We have just created 1.5 new jobs and after a tough winter,

website. I would encourage as many businesses as

spring is really looking up. Effective communication is

possible to promote the next Trade Fair – the more

crucially important and the Trade Fair has raised our profile

visitors we can attract, the better for all attending.”

in the local business community.”

Wi Link Solutions is a Falkirk based company offering comprehensive technology

Based in Stirling, D Signs has specialised in effective signage

led solutions to other businesses. Individual solutions are designed to help

since 1983. Products include vehicle graphics, A-boards,

customers maximise the business benefits of wireless technology in a cost

banners, posters and stickers all with free marketing advice.

effective manner. Services include WiFi help and design, wireless surveys, CCTV

Local clients include Arnold Clark, Prudential, SYHA, FES FM,

services, maintenance and project management.

United Auctions and Stirling Council.



has provided a fabulous opportunity to meet with

Focus on the local economy

Stef McCutcheon, Chris Hope and Elsi Duncan of D-Signs

Stirling Spring Trade Fair Gill Joy, Director, Intend Business Development

Visitor profiles

Gill said: “We exhibited at the Trade Fair last

Stirling Eye chatted to the following visitors as they left the event…

September and made a number of useful contacts, including a Stirling based business that we are now helping to bid for financial back this year to make more contacts and

Gordon Cowtan, Director, Department-E Ltd

provide information to local businesses on

Gordon said: “I spent around an hour and a half

the Public Contracts Scotland portal.”

at the Trade Fair today. I have hopefully made

services contracts. We were keen to come

some good contacts and would like to come

Intend helps businesses bid for public

back to the next one.”

sector contracts, in all categories of goods, works and services. Intend provide different levels of support and advice, depending on the

Fintry based Department-E Ltd design and build websites and

individual needs of their customers.

provide a range of web related services, such as commissioning

The business is based in Bridge of Allan and St Andrews.

foreign translations of website content, creating interactive cd-roms and commissioning photography and illustrations.

Colin McKeand, Founder and Partner, Nutri-Tox Colin, of Denny based Nutri-Tox, said: “This

Valerie Smith, Owner, Valerie Smith Solutions

is the second Stirling Business Panel Trade

Valerie said: “I thought the Trade Fair this year

Fair I have exhibited at. The introduction

was better than last time, with more stalls and

of speed networking this year was a good

the addition of speed networking events. There was a real buzz

development, attracting in more visitors.

and I met lots of people through the speed networking.

My goal is to change people’s lifestyles for

This is the best event of its kind in Stirling that I have been to.

the better by helping them to accomplish

Speed networking is an effective way of communicating what I

diet, lifestyle, weight management, healthy

do. A number of people approached me about the services my

living and healthy eating goals.

business delivers and, over coffee, I had a chance to discuss these

I also have corporate and public sector clients across the Central

in more detail.”

belt, who I work with to provide staff with the knowledge, skills and

Valerie Smith Solutions is a Stirling based business start-up

understanding to choose and maintain good health and wellbeing.”

specialising in facilities management, including consultancy,

training and cost management. The business is aimed at helping other organisations make the best possible use of their workspace.

Anne Turnbull, Operations Manager, LA Resourcing & Business Solutions

Paul Rice, Director, Pura Designs llp Paul said: “I am a speed networking virgin no

Anne said: “The Stirling Trade

longer! I found the speed networking really

Fair is a good way to get

constructive, managing to speak to a lot of

to know people and make

people quickly. It got me really focused on

contacts. We exhibited

communicating what I do very succinctly.

again this year to meet more people, get our name out

Stirling Enterprise recommended that I should go to the Trade Fair

and build business relations.”

and I would definitely be interested in attending again.”

LA Resourcing & Business Solutions is a Stirling based

Pura Designs is a Stirling based web design company offering

family run generalist recruitment company. The business

starter packages to ecommerce / content managed bespoke sites.

also offers ‘full business solutions’ packages, including recruitment, sales and marketing, telesales and websites.


Focus on the local economy


Mary Portas master classes come to Stirling A two-hour Mary Portas retail master class taster session is coming to Stirling this Autumn. Developed in conjunction with Skillsmart Retail and delivered exclusively through the National Skills Academy for Retail’s skills shops, the Mary Portas guide to successful retailing gives a unique insight into improving independent retail businesses and includes Mary’s advice on essential elements such as visual merchandising, marketing, buying, finance and the all-important vision for the store. The taster session allows businesses to try before they buy, with seven specialist modules available following the taster session, covering every stage of creating and running a successful business, with hints and tips on how to improve performance. The topics include: l

My shop, my future Building, mobilising and maintaining a vision for the business


Retail finance and business planning Understanding the key financial factors driving the business and what impact they have; how to keep track of how well the business is doing; get a grip on the cash; and what to do when things aren’t going to plan


Buying for your customer Buying the products that will attract and keep your customers as well as delivering profit


Selling and service skills How to stand out from the crowd and use the customer service experience to bring more cash through the tills


Merchandising, display and windows Creating desire and the wow factor to set the shop apart from the rest


Marketing for more customers How to spread the word about the business without spending the earth


You and your team Developing both the management and store team to create a forward looking, successful business

The Stirling Arcade will host the taster session. For more information, please contact Andy Kennedy (City Centre Manager) on 01786 442534, or email .

30 second interview Name:

Bob Conway

Job title:



Bob’s Locks, Upper Craigs, Stirling

Brief company description:

24-hour locksmith and lock supplier with a dedicated door fitting service, emergency boarding up service and a retail outlet for keycutting, number plates and passport photos.

How do you get to work? Van Where is your favourite place to eat out? Why?

The Kilted Kangaroo, the food is great, the beer is cold and I can sit out in the sun after a hard shift!

What do you think the Stirling area could most benefit from?

The whole community working together for a better Stirling.

What is your favourite colour? Red What is the best thing about doing business in Stirling?

The customers.

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

Parking in the city centre.

What is the biggest issue for your business?

The first six months!

What is your favourite shop?

Bob’s Locks of course. Having completely renovated my new shop, I feel proud and pleased with the end result.

What is your greatest ambition?

To become a self made millionaire. Bob’s Locks: 01786 470740



Focus on the local economy

Customer First opens in city centre

Janice Anderson, SQA Business Development Manager for the Stirling area

Customer First, the Council’s one stop shop, has opened its doors to the public. Located in Port Street, Customer First brings new life right into the heart of the city centre by occupying a unit that stood empty for over two years.

Qualifications to do the business

Customer First provides a one-stop facility in a convenient location for people needing face-to-face help and information from the Council. Also located within the building are advisers from HM Revenue and Customs and VisitScotland. The building has confidential meeting rooms so that members of the public can make appointments to speak with Council and other partner agency staff in private.

Many people know the

Councillor Scott Farmer, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Tourism and Finance, said: “We

Scottish Qualifications

understand that these are challenging times for city centre businesses, but through

Authority (SQA) for

investing in this property the Council is playing its part in boosting city centre footfall.”

school examinations

“And, with the reopening of the magnificent Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle following

and college courses, but it also offers a wide

their £12m refurbishment, we’re anticipating an increase in visitors and we need to be

range of qualifications and services designed

ready to extend a warm, Stirling welcome. Customer First will help us do this.”

to support businesses.

Picture Shows: (L to R) Councillor Scott Farmer, Stirling Council Chief Executive Bob Jack,

SQA has a strong and consistent track record of

HM Revenue & Customs Manager Cath Joyce and Vicki Miller, Head of Local Marketing at

work with employers, Sector Skills Councils and


professional bodies. These partnerships ensure that qualifications are designed and developed to be fit-for-purpose and reflect the needs of the industries and sectors they support. If lifelong learning is the phrase on everyone’s lips, then Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are the way we can make sense of it. Designed to be delivered in the workplace, SVQs are developed by industry and based on

Thistles Partners Against Crime

national standards of performance. Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are qualifications for people already in a

In the first scheme of its kind anywhere in Scotland, the Thistles Shopping Centre has given its tenants a unique opportunity to be involved in the ongoing fight against business crime.

career who are looking to develop their skills.

By providing every tenant within the centre with membership of Retailers Against Crime

National Progression Awards (NPAs) are

(RAC), they now have access to information and images of offenders, including organised

designed to not only provide specific skills, but

shoplifting teams, purse dippers and fraudsters.

also to underpin the employability skills that

PDAs can form a central part of training and development for forward-thinking companies.

employers are looking for in their staff.

In conjunction with this membership, a new radio system aimed at making life tougher for shoplifters is now operational in the centre. The radio system, used in conjunction

SQA offers qualifications to suit all sectors and

with the images, allows the fast transfer and sharing of real-time information between

levels and also provide a customised awards,

businesses and the centre’s dedicated security staff. This helps with the quick identification

credit rating and endorsement service.

of offenders and suspicious characters and increases the ability of security staff to deliver a

Janice Anderson is SQA’s Business Development

quick response to any incidents reported.

Manager in the Stirling area and she would

Launched in February 2009 the scheme has achieved consistent success in terms of

welcome the opportunity to visit businesses to

preventing incidents and the apprehension and removal of shoplifters from the centre.

keep them up to date with new qualifications

The scheme is supported by five partner agencies: Thistles Centre, Retailers Against Crime, Central Scotland Police, VSG Security and Stirling City Centre Initiative.

and services. She can be contacted on 0303 333 0330, email .


Focus on the local economy


Business space developments Industrial Despite a continuing challenging climate Andrew Peel of Graham and Sibbald has confirmed that there has been another letting at Imex Business Centre, Broadleys Business Park, Stirling with skier Alain Baxter taking space for ski repairs and sales. There are now limited opportunities at this location although more information on remaining space is available from Andrew (Graham and Sibbald) on 01786 463111, email . The former TNT building in Broadleys Road, Springkerse Industrial Estate, Stirling has been acquired by local entrepreneurs who intend to strip back and reclad the building providing

Imex Business Centre, Broadleys Business Park

around 1,160 sq m (12,500 sq ft) of space. Quoting rental from £54 per sq m (£5 per sq ft). Sandy Falconer of property letting agents J&E Shepherd said: “Once upgraded, the space will provide a welcome addition to Stirling’s property market offer, situated within Stirling’s key industrial location.” For more information on this space please contact Sandy (J&E Shepherd) on 01786 450438, email .

Office Office space is being taken up on the fringe of the city centre reflecting confidence in quality traditional well-located accommodation in the city. Andrew Peel of Graham and Sibbald, joint letting agents with Montagu Evans said: “Two recent lettings within the traditional townhouse at 7 Melville Terrace, Stirling has left only one suite of 232 sq m (2,500 sq ft) remaining within the extended ground floor of this prominent building. It also reaffirms Stirling’s first class location for business within central Scotland.” Agape have leased the lower ground floor and Elgin based property development company, Springfield, has leased the whole of the first floor, which extends to 140 sq m (1,513 sq ft) to manage their sales and construction activities for their central 7 Melville Terrace, Stirling

Scotland sites. For more information on remaining office space at this location please contact Andrew (Graham and Sibbald) on 01786 463111, email or Peter Fleming (Montagu Evans) on 0131 229 3800, email . Although some space remains within Earlsgate House, Stirling, Simon Capaldi of GVA confirmed: “Office space has been recently leased within this impressive traditional building with terms out on other space showing service activity in the marketplace.” More information on remaining space is available from Simon (GVA) on 0131 469 6065, email or Andrew Peel (Graham and Sibbald) on 01786 463111, email . At Stirling University Innovation Park, Symbiosis Ltd has relocated within the Innovation Park to Scion House with construction of clean room accommodation

Earlsgate House, Stirling

underway for their pharmaceutical business. Within Springkerse Industrial Estate, Aqualife Services Ltd has taken a substantial amount of office space extending to 427 sq m (4,600 sq ft) for their fish vaccination business demonstrating the attractiveness of Stirling as a headquarter location of choice.



Focus on the local economy

Looking for commercial property? Visit

Retail Stirling city centre is benefiting from the opening of a new bank, HSBC plc in a prominent retail unit within Murray Place extending to 584 sq m (6,284 sq ft). Outwith the city centre, Stirling Cycle Repairs has taken occupation of a unit on Alloa Road, Causewayhead, Stirling. A nearby retail unit at Airthrey Road, Causewayhead, Stirling, which extends in total to 386 sq m (4,155 sq ft), will benefit from subdivision into two retail units, workshop/storage and first floor office space. More information on the mixed space at Airthrey Road is available from Andrew Peel of Graham and Sibbald on 01786 463111, email .

Stirling Agricultural Centre Since taking ownership of the Stirling Agricultural Centre in March 2011, United Auctions (UA), Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists, has welcomed two significant businesses to the Centre – and to Stirling. Agricultural supply company, Carrs Billington Agriculture has opened a new 650 sq m (7,000 sq ft) ground floor retail store and CKD Galbraith, one of Scotland’s leading independent property consultants, will base their new central Scotland ‘hub’ at the Centre. CKD Galbraith’s move to Stirling marks a significant expansion of their comprehensive property services to the agricultural and rural sectors and enhances their four-year alliance with United Auctions. They initially intend to staff the new office with 20 personnel and will maintain their presence in local estate offices in Houston, Renfrewshire, and Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire.

Neil McLean, Group Joint MD of UA with James Galbraith, Chairman of CKD Galbraith outside the Stirling Agricultural Centre

Planning applications update The following planning applications with a significant business focus

The following planning

have been submitted to Stirling Council since the last edition of Stirling

applications have been

Eye (March 2011) and are still being considered, pending a decision:

supported in principle but


An application by Dental Surgery Limited to convert a shop

are subject to detailed

into a dental surgery (220 sq m) at 64-66 Port Street, Stirling.

negotiations to draw up

An application by Eduardo Zaldua for change of use from

planning agreements:

public toilets to hot food takeaway (55 sq m) at the public




development comprising Class 1 (retail), Class 3 (food and drink),

An application by Burn Stewart Distillers for change of use of

Class 7 (hotel), Class 9 (Houses) and Class 11 (assembly and leisure)

a former canteen building to form a distillery visitor centre

– 4,784 sq m retail – at land and buildings at Burghmuir Industrial

including associated new car parking facilities (1,940 sq m) at

Estate, Stirling. l

The following planning applications have been approved:

An application by Mr Craig MacFarlane for change of use from an education establishment to repair and sale of cycles and associated goods and products (60 sq m) at 2 Alloa Road,


An application by the Stirling Development Agency for a mixed use

toilets at Station Road, Stirling.

Deanston Distillery.


Stirling Cycle Repairs –

An application by Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd to erect an extension to an existing store, including a mezzanine floor (to accommodate new café), new entrance lobby, revised service yard and access, associated car parking and landscaping (3,700 sq m increase from existing store floor space) at Sainsbury’s, Back O’Hill Road, Stirling.

Causewayhead (see picture).

A planning application by the Angling Centre Stirling Ltd for a new

An application by A1 Designs for change of use to incorporate

angling centre with residential accommodation above on land near

a restaurant with takeaway element and construction of

Craigforth roundabout, has been withdrawn.

a wood burning oven and chimney (600 sq m) at the Old Schoolhouse, Alloa Road, Stirling.

Planning applications correct at mid-June 2011.

Planning schedules can be viewed at


Focus on the local economy


Business space developments Manor Farm Business Park Stirling Eye met up with local entrepreneur Tom Cox to find out more about his business investments and in particular, Manor Farm Business Park.

Tom, what is your background?

Can you tell us more about Manor Farm?

I am originally from Coatbridge where I

I bought Manor Farm near Blairlogie about

left school at 16 to start my apprenticeship

six years ago and immediately set about

as an engineer, gaining both ONC and

expanding the existing business park. Our team

HNC qualifications in Engineering. I then

designed and built a range of 1,250sq ft to

spent three years in the Merchant Navy as

3,500sq ft high quality industrial/storage units

an Engineering Officer before moving to

aimed at the start up and existing business

our new build programme. Despite the tough

Marshall Food Group where I eventually

market. We have also invested just over a

and challenging market conditions, we have

became Chief Engineer. After eight years at

million pounds in infrastructure and landscaping

successfully let out four of our new units at

Marshall’s I moved on to take up the role

with new roads, water, sewage, electricity,

Manor Farm and have a further three currently

of Group Engineer at Pinneys of Scotland,

communication now in place for our future

in negotiation. I believe this has been down

before starting up my own business,

expansion programme.

to our flexibility, the high quality of our units

Oakwood Foods Ltd in 1989.

Features of the new industrial units include

Oakwood, based in Bellshill, was the first

steel portal frames with insulated composite

chilled sauce specialist in the UK and quickly

steel profile cladding, modern air conditioned

became the market leader in this sector, with this success resulting in a new high tech 26,000 sq ft factory in Uddingston where we produced around 60 tonnes of sauce recipes per week. In December 2000 I sold the company for several million pounds to McPhie of Glenbervie

Tom Cox

and the fantastic location of our business park.

office space, eaves height of eight metres, high

What does the future hold?

load bearing polished concrete floors, automatic

We plan to expand the existing business

sectional insulated up and over doors, flexible

park and develop the land to the south

open plan layouts and designated car parking.

of the main road. We are looking at high

Plans have also been approved for a high spec

quality office space, 4/5 star hotel spa and

children’s nursery and day care facility.

conference centre, tennis academy, sports injury clinic and around 120 live/work

leverage a £50 million bank loan to invest

What impact has the recession had?

into the UK commercial property market.

I decided to offload the majority of our property

Whilst property investment is now my

portfolios just before the recession, so we sold

core business I have also been involved in

at, or near, the top of the market. This has to a

a wide range of industries including film

degree insulated us from the severe effects of

keep everyone informed in the near future.

production, branding, water cost reduction

the downturn and, on a plus side, allowed us to

For further information on available units at

and juice manufacturing to name but a few.

take advantage of lower construction costs for

Manor Farm, please contact letting agents

and after a short break, used the cash to

homes. We are currently in negotiation with a number of local and international companies and organisations on a range of bespoke development opportunities. I can’t say more at this stage, but I’m sure Stirling Eye will

Ross & Liddell on 0141 204 7355. Manor Farm Business Park

Tom has owned 15 successful companies to date and has mentored numerous businesses throughout his career. He gives £1m of his personal fortune to charity every five years and has sponsored a wide range of sports including Judo, Football, Squash and Boxing.



Focus on the local economy

Sector feature

Food & drink

Food & drink The food and drink industry is a major contributor to Scotland’s economy, generating around £10 billion per annum. The Scottish Government has also recognised the sector as having a significant role to play in growth of Scotland’s tourism industry. Tourism Intelligence Scotland recently produced a booklet on the food and drink experience in Scotland as part of a series detailing seven opportunities for growth in Scottish tourism. The booklet provides practical advice on improving the tourism experience based on three trends impacting on tourism: l

New experiences – tourists want to try famous Scottish produce and dishes, and tell family and friends about it when they return home. There is demand to sample luxury, but at affordable prices. The social element of dining is increasingly seen as an important part of the experience. Many establishments are using websites such as Trip Adviser to monitor and adapt their offering in response to feedback, seeking to achieve excellent customer reviews to help market their business.


Culture capital – people increasingly have a strong awareness of health issues and this is driving demand for healthy local produce and information about how food is prepared. In response, many eateries are adapting menus for specialist diets or introducing a social hook, such as a cultural experience that compliments the food and drink experience.


Authenticity – visitors want to experience the genuine article and are looking for a unique experience. Businesses can help make their food and drink experience stand out by providing information on ingredients, recipes and ethically sourced produce. This also provides visitors with an additional educational experience.

The Food & Drink Experience in Scotland booklet is available to download from .

Interview with... Jason Clark Stirling Eye met up with Jason Clark, Tourism Executive at Stirling Council to find out about the recently established Stirling Food & Drink Forum…

Jason, why establish a Food & Drink Forum?

What is its purpose?

Research from the City of Stirling Visitor Survey over

Stirling’s food and drink outlets and

the last three years has highlighted that there is room for improvement in Stirling’s food offering. There does seem to be a gap between what visitors are looking for in terms of food and drink and what they are actually experiencing. The food and drink element is a critical part of visitors overall experience and the chance to try local/national dishes forms part of an authentic and memorable visitor experience.

The Forum aims to raise the profile of improve their bottom line. The Forum will focus on the tourism market and look at the opportunities to increase business, exchange views, information and marketing intelligence.

Who’s involved?

How can local businesses get involved The Forum is actively looking for more

The Forum includes a number of

city centre food and drink retailers to

Stirling based businesses, such as the

join. The next meeting is Monday 19th

With help from Scottish Enterprise, two half–day tourism

Golden Lion Hotel, Terraces Hotel,

September, 10 am, at the Golden Lion

innovation workshops were held in The Golden Lion

La Ciociara Restaurant, Legends

Hotel in Stirling. New members are most

Hotel and Albert Halls in March with a range of local

Café (Wallace Monument), Imperial

welcome. Please contact Jason Clark at

food and drink retailers. From the workshop discussions,

Restaurant, No.2 Baker Street, The

Stirling Council if you are interested in

the group felt there was value in establishing the

Burgh Coffeehouse, Café Crema, Café

attending on 01786 442532 or email

private sector led Stirling Food & Drink Forum.

Nero and West Plean House. .


Focus on the local economy


Sector feature

Food & drink

Case Studies ...

Name: Teresa Farmer, General Manager Business: Terraces Hotel, Stirling 18 bedroom hotel, with bar, bistro and Teresa Farmer, General Manager of the Terraces Hotel

beer garden.

Background: Teresa has worked at the Terraces Hotel for 14 years since moving to Stirling from

Caithness. She was promoted to General Manager in January.

Can you tell us more about the Bistro? We offer really good quality Scottish pub food, combined with fantastic service and are open to the public as well as guests. Our staff are fully trained about the products we offer, so have the confidence to talk to customers about our whisky collection, wine list and food ingredients.

What is the best thing about Stirling’s food and drink offering? The variety. We often recommend other good places to eat, such as Khushi’s and Papa Joes.

Is there anything that could be done better? Market better what is on offer, and there is always room to improve the customer experience. We review websites such as Trip Adviser and Late Rooms for feedback and enhance our services accordingly.

Is there anything big on the horizon?

Name: Alex Taylor, Owner Business: Café Crema, Stirling Café Crema is a coffee and sandwich bar

Alex Taylor, Owner of Café Crema

located in Murray Place, Stirling.

Background: Alex was a professional footballer for 20 years playing for a number of clubs including Dundee United. After retiring from football, he established a number of fishmongers in South Lanarkshire with his brother. Around 10 years ago, Alex opened Café Crema in Hamilton and six years ago, opened Café Crema in Stirling.

Can you tell us more about Café Crema? I chose to open Café Crema in Stirling because it is easier to start up a business and make an impact in Stirling than in larger cities. As it is hard to make a business work on just takeaway, we also have indoor and outdoor-seating areas. The four key elements to the business are:

2014 is going to be huge for Stirling with the 700th anniversary of


Quality fresh produce made on site daily.

the Battle of Bannockburn, the second year of Homecoming, the


Excellent customer service.

Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup – it is going to be crazy for


Good look and vibe to the café.

bed nights!


Pricing pitched at a level that people can afford.

Is there anything that would improve Stirling’s food and drink offering? I think the offering is quite similar to other areas and we would benefit from more diverse independents locating here. As Stirling is a prominent tourist destination I think there is good demand for quality Scottish food. I hope that the new Food & Drink Forum will provide the opportunity to share ideas, discuss how Stirling looks and what local businesses can offer. Café Crema –

Teresa Farmer and colleagues at the Terraces Hotel recently climbed Ben Nevis in aid of the Eilidh Brown Appeal, which is raising money to build a cancer respite centre in Stirling.



01786 464620

Focus on the local economy

The designer of the interior of Café Crema also recently designed the interior of the Corinthian in Glasgow.

Sector feature

Food & drink

Interview with... Nicola Haslem Stirling Eye met up with Nicola Haslem, Chair of Stirling’s Food & Drink Forum and General Manager of No.2 Baker Street, to find out more about the local food and drink industry…

Nicola, what is your background?

Why invest in Stirling?

My mum and dad owned a hotel, so

place to invest, with so much going for it

I have been involved in the food and drink industry from an early age. I trained as a chef and ran my own pub and was also a manager at TGI

Belhaven has identified Stirling as an ideal including the university, good year round tourism base, major branded shops, visitor attractions and wealthy surrounding area. Nicola Haslem, General Manager of No.2 Baker Street

I took up the post of General Manager

What is your involvement with Stirling’s Food & Drink Forum?

at Belhaven’s No.2 Baker Street,

I attended the initial food and drink workshops

Stirling in December 2009.

held at the Golden Lion earlier this year and was

What are your aspirations for the Food & Drink Forum?

elected Chair.

I want the Forum to help establish Stirling’s


What is Belhaven’s involvement in Stirling? Belhaven, now part of the Greene King group, has its headquarters in Stirling. It owns six pubs in Stirling city centre, including No.2 Baker Street, Molly Malones, Drouthy Neebors, The City Walls, The Corn Exchange and most

I am already using information provided through the Forum to make my business more profitable

identity, with members working together to raise the tourism experience across Stirling.

and raise Stirling’s tourism experience. In

We are also looking into developing a

response to results from the City of Stirling Visitor

brochure for visitors with a footsteps map of

Survey, I have added more salads to our menu

good places to eat and drink in the city.

and extended the time we serve food for in the summer months. This is working really well – we sold 22 meals last night between 9 and 10 pm!

recently, it bought Morrisons Cold Beer

I have also introduced a ceilidh night every

Company. It also owns the Borestone

Wednesday and this is already attracting in lots of

Bar in St. Ninians.


The BBC recently filmed one of No.2 Baker Street’s ceilidh nights for BBC Alba.

The countdown begins to the inaugural Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival The inaugural Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival has been officially announced for 12th May 2012, to be held at Stirling’s Albert Halls. Festival organisers are in the process of lining up between twenty to thirty prestigious Scottish distilleries to exhibit on the day, as well as a number of other key local complementary businesses. Event co-organiser Cameron McCann said: “Our vision is to bring a new unique event to Stirling. This exciting event will enable visitors to taste their way around Scotland in one day as they ‘nip’ from one whisky region to another – in the comfort of the Albert Halls in Stirling. The initial response from the distilleries has been very encouraging. Two of the confirmed distilleries have agreed to run whisky master classes on the day for those that would love to learn a bit more about selecting, nosing and tasting Scotch whisky. We aim to attract an international audience to the event and have just launched the Festival website where everyone can read the latest news and find out where to get hold of tickets.”


Focus on the local economy


Action in Mind launches new mental health employment initiative One in four people suffer from a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. These include many talented and well-trained employees who fall victim to depression, work-based stress or more serious disorders like bipolar or schizophrenia. with members Michel Syrett (centre) Scottish the at d of Action in Min e Jun h 15t Parliament on

Recent statistics issued by Mind and the employment research centre Incomes Data Services also suggest that anything between a fifth and quarter of work-based absenteeism is due to long-term mental health disorders.

It is in this context that Action in Mind, Stirling’s largest provider of mental health services, has launched a new mental health initiative aimed at local employers called Working Well. Launched in June at Holyrood in collaboration with the Scottish Parliament’s Community Partnerships Project, Working Well seeks to work with local Stirling employers to monitor and evaluate best practice in the recruitment, training and retention of people with mental health disorders, focusing in particular on how firms are making appropriate ‘reasonable adjustments’ to working conditions as specified by the Equality Act which came into force last year. The findings of this research will be published in a guide launched at the Scottish Parliament in March 2012. Michel Syrett, Working Well coordinator and mental health champion at Action in Mind, said: “We know that gaining or retaining access to fulfilling paid work is an important milestone for anyone recovering from a mental health disorder. At the same time, employers need to find ways to reduce absenteeism due to mental illness and retain valued and skilled staff who fall victim to mental disorder. We hope to work with employers to address these issues in the coming months.” Employers interested in taking part in Working Well can contact Helena Scott, Executive Director, Action in Mind (formerly Stirling and District Association for Mental Health) on 01786 451203 or email .

Don’t miss out on subsidised Flexible Training Opportunities Skills Development Scotland’s Flexible Training Opportunities initiative has been extended, with applications invited by no later than 31 March 2012. Flexible Training Opportunities was first introduced as a concept in the summer of 2010 to help small to medium sized enterprises weather the recession by investing in staff training, and is supported by the European Social Fund. Companies with up to 150 employees - including sole traders - can have 50 per cent of their training costs met up to a maximum of £5,000. There is a limit of £500 per training session, but other than that the initiative is really flexible with businesses able to train up to 10 individuals, invest heavily in just one or two, or a number of variations in between. For further information and to download an application form, visit



Focus on the local economy

Interview with... Gordon Bell, Executive Director, STEP Stirling Enterprise (STEP) provides help and support for starting and growing a business, delivers the Business Gateway service, provides flexible business space, training and more. Stirling Eye met up with STEP’s new Executive Director Gordon Bell to find out more…

Gordon, what is your background? I trained as an accountant in Northern Ireland before joining Rolls Royce (Aerospace) in Derby 23 years ago. Following the manufacturing theme, I then worked at the Bowater Group; British American Tobacco; and, Cowie based panel processors Norbord.

We recently secured LEADER funding to deliver Sustainable Tourism Grants for local businesses (see page 28 for more details). We also help businesses’ to create websites, and can provide businesses with free audits of their websites, including advice on things like boosting Google listings.

Latterly, I worked for the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) at Scottish Enterprise, progressing to the Director’s role.

What kind of tenants do you have?

Why come to STEP? Having played a key role to establish SMAS as one of Scottish Enterprise’s most successful support programmes, I wanted a new role that would offer a bigger challenge. Being able to help and support people who want to start their own business is a great opportunity.

What does STEP offer local businesses today? Businesses can access a unique package of flexible sized business premises at very good terms combined with business support through Business Gateway. Advisers are on hand to provide advice and we deliver a range of our own commercial training.

Garry Bell, Forth Taxis (01786 449244)

allay some of these fears and support and encourage individuals to take that first step. Entrepreneurial aspiration is even lower for the 18-24 year old age group, so I would like to target this group in particular.

The tenants at our three business sites cover a wide range of sectors, with everything from painters & decorators, walking holidays and antique restoration; through to textile design, a knitted glove manufacturer, ironing service and graphic designers.

We are currently developing a project that will provide examples of local people who have successfully started up in business, providing practical advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Our biggest unit is 4,000 sq ft and is let to Select Laboratories Ltd, and our smallest unit is 150 sq ft, let to Forth Taxis.

What are your long-term priorities for STEP?

What is STEP’s history? STEP was established in the early 1980s when Imperial Tobacco Ltd closed the John Player Factory in Stirling, making around 400 people redundant. Imperial gifted the building and £400,000 working capital to STEP to convert the building into flexible workspace for business start-ups. In addition, STEP manages Enterprise House and Stirling Business Centre.

Joanne Parkin (Te chnical Director) and Robert King (La boratory Manage r), Select Laboratories Ltd (www.selectpha

What are your initial priorities for STEP? To make sure that anybody thinking about starting a business comes to talk to us so that we can help make the business a reality. I would also like STEP to engage more with communities and do more to stimulate entrepreneurship. While we already hold rural road shows and a regular clinic in Callander, I feel there is an opportunity to engage better with rural communities. In 2010, 43% of working age adults in Scotland who thought there were good opportunities for starting a business agreed that fear of failure would prevent them from doing so - STEP can help

STEP is integral to the economic prosperity of the Stirling area, and I would like to establish Stirling as the preferred location for starting and/or growing a business. STEP has a key role to play in providing practical help, support and encouragement that will be of assistance to any new start or growing business.

STEP has 22 employees There are 120 businesses located at STEP’s sites, employing around 400 people STEP provides office and workspace accommodation on flexible lease terms at three separate locations STEP assisted 251 business startups in 2010/11


Focus on the local economy


At your service

Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection The Environmental Health Service monitors and controls various aspects of the environment that have a direct impact on human health and quality of life. The service is responsible for ensuring a healthy and safe living and working environment for residents and visitors to the area. Environmental Health is based in Viewforth and can be contacted on 0845 277 7000 or email Here we focus on the various areas of work that the Public Health Team carries out:

Air quality monitoring Nitrogen dioxide levels are measured at

Animal welfare at licensed premises Smoking Issuing licences – a licence is required by anyone legislation

10 locations and particulate levels at one

wanting to operate a breeding and/or boarding

location in the Stirling Council area. This

establishment for dogs, operate a pet shop

helps to build up a picture of air quality in

or riding establishment, keep dangerous wild

the area and allows future predictions of

animal(s), performing animals or run a zoo.

air quality trends.

Contaminated land

Enforcement of smoking regulations – smoking is now prohibited in all workplaces and enclosed public spaces to which members of

Animal control

In common with local authorities throughout

the public have access. Vehicles including

Stray dogs found during office hours are

the UK, Stirling Council has a legacy of land

buses, taxis, company cars, ferries and

picked up by the dog warden service

contamination due to industrial and other historical

trains are also covered by the ban. It is also

(by Police out of hours) and taken to

land uses. The service identifies and seeks the

compulsory for all businesses to display a

Bandeath stray dog shelter. Dogs may be

remediation of contaminated land in the area and

mandatory No Smoking sign.

re-claimed by their owners within seven

has a responsibility to ensure that land is made

days. After this period, Stirling Council will

‘suitable for use’ through the planning process.

attempt to re-home the animal. The dog

Mains drinking water quality Scottish Water deals with complaints

warden service also promotes responsible

Noise and other statutory nuisances

dog ownership, investigates dog fouling

Investigation of noise from domestic, commercial

complaints and issues fixed penalty fines.

telephone 0845 601 8855. The Public Health

and industrial premises. Times when the noise,

Team is notified of any incidents regarding the

smell or smoke etc. becomes obvious should be

quality of mains water and become involved

noted to help with any investigation. A night noise

in the management of any waterborne

team is operational Thursday to Saturday 8pm-

hazard incident that could pose a threat to


public health. The Commercial Team deals

regarding mains drinking water supplies -

with private water supplies. The Scottish

Pest control service

Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) deals

Technical advice and practical treatment is

with complaints regarding pollution of rivers,

provided for a range of nuisance pests – rats,

burns and lochs – to report a complaint in the

mice, insects, lice, birds, woodworm, slugs and

Stirling area, telephone 01786 452595 and to

snails. Commercial pest control prices until 31

report a complaint in the west of Stirling area,

March 2012 are £37.50 per visit + £32.70 labour.

telephone 0141 945 6350.

Stirling Council does not treat bats, Scottish Natural Heritage should be contacted about bats on 01786 450362.

Radiation monitoring Obtain and assess data on environmental radioactivity in and around the Forth estuary in partnership with other councils bordering the estuary.



Focus on the local economy

Environmental Protection

Case study

At your service PROFILE Animal Control Officer Name: Bobby Cranie

Role: To provide a pest control service (except at food premises), inspecting licensed animal premises such as pet shops, animal breeding and boarding businesses and providing advice and consultation to Harry Preston, Contaminated Land Officer and Ian Ferguson, Head of Business Development at Active Stirling

new animal related businesses. A service to look after stray dogs and to prevent dog fouling and dog barking

Contaminated land is a serious issue. Officers Harry Preston, Helena Dewar and Joanne Wilson make up Stirling Council’s Contaminated Land team. They provide specialist advice on any contaminated land issues, especially important for residential development on brownfield sites.

issues is provided. Dog training is also provided.

The Contaminated Land team is currently working with Ian Ferguson, Head of

basis. Occasional inspections are also carried out to

Business Development at Active Stirling on a proposal to bring land back in to use

ensure that businesses comply with the conditions of

at Borrowmeadow, otherwise known as the Forthbank Loop Project.

the licence.

This derelict site was the main site for the disposal of domestic refuse from 1965

For people wanting to start an animal related business,

until 1982. It is the largest undeveloped and underused area of land within this

such as a boarding or breeding facility, Bobby gives

part of Stirling due to its location and ground conditions.

advice from the outset, even when the business is still

Active Stirling is looking to develop this site for outdoor recreation and sporting

Current workload Bobby carries out licensing inspections of pet shops, catteries, kennels and animal breeding businesses and these business premises are inspected on an annual

just an idea.

activities. The team has worked closely with Active Stirling, providing specialist

Bobby said: “It is important that before work on the

opinion on the project to ensure what is proposed on the land can reasonably be

building commences, the client benefits from our


advice to ensure any potential problems are overcome

Harry said: “Ultimately, this idea will have to go through the planning process and the land will have to be shown to be fit for purpose. This includes adding contaminated land ‘conditions’ to any planning approval and reviewing specialist consultants’ reports regarding the proposed development. If Active Stirling and their partners decide to progress with the project, we will carry on providing advice and consultation throughout the process from the application being submitted to the end result.”

at the outset. We provide advice and consultation from concept stage, all the way through the build to the opening of the business so that the end result is high quality. We inspect around 25 properties each year and we take animal welfare very seriously. We are extremely proud of the fact that boarding and breeding premises in Stirling are of such a high standard.” Bobby also works to promote dogs in a positive way, for example, he recently arranged for a professional search and rescue dog demonstration at Bridge of Allan

The Contaminated Land team screens every planning application and building warrant submitted for potential contaminated land issues, to protect public health.

Primary School. The school children hid in the local memorial park and the dogs found them.


Focus on the local economy


RACMSA Rally of Scotland Friday 7th – Sunday 9th October 2011 The spectacular high speed

backdrop for the Rally of

route for this years’ RACMSA

Scotland and will also show

Rally of Scotland – the UK’s

off the area in all its splendour

only round of the high profile

before a potential global TV

Intercontinental Rally Challenge

audience of millions, who will be

– has been announced with

watching Eurosport’s coverage of

several exciting changes in

the event.

Stirling, starting with a third

Kinross, for the third year. With

Cars will be waved off from a

blast around Carron Valley. Crews

the introduction of the Carron

place for 2011’s event.

© Les Kolcza

k www.wor

ceremonial start at Stirling Castle

then head towards Aberfoyle

Valley stages to this year’s route,

the world’s leading rally drivers

on the Friday (7 Oct) but then

for the Loch Chon and High

spectators and also the global

and teams representing top

From the 7-9 October, some of

comes an immediate change

Corrie stages that are split by a

TV audience will be able to

makes such as Ford, Skoda,

with the first two bursts of

‘remote’ service in Callander.

enjoy even more of the stunning

Proton, Peugeot and Subaru

competitive action being held

will be in action on gravel

on a new stage at Carron Valley

Councillor Scott Farmer, Depute

tracks in the forests of Stirling

near Stirling.

and Perth & Kinross.

scenery that Stirling has to offer.”

Leader of Stirling Council and

For more information on the

Portfolio Holder for Economy,

rally including the stages,

All of Saturday’s action takes

Tourism & Finance commented:

spectator options and hospitality

Again, the rolling countryside of

place in Perthshire and Sunday’s

“Stirling looks forward to hosting

packages please visit

Stirling will provide a stunning

closing action moves again to

this exciting event, with Perth & .

New Forth Valley College Stirling campus takes shape Construction is well underway on Forth Valley College’s fantastic new campus at East Kildean, Stirling. The striking building is really taking shape now and is already a prominent feature on Drip Road, Raploch. The college is set to move from their current campus on Kerse Road to the new site in April 2012. The campus promises to transform education and training opportunities. It will offer increased provision and state-of-the-art facilities and with the stunning riverside setting, overlooked by some of Stirling’s most famous landmarks, will provide an inspiring learning environment. For all the latest news, please visit or join the College on Facebook and Twitter.

Artist’s impression of new Stirling Campus



Focus on the local economy

Stirling Careers and Jobs Event Stirling Council recently held an overwhelmingly successful Careers and Jobs Event at the Albert Halls in Stirling. The event took place on 16th June 2011 and was open to the public from 10 am until 4 pm. The event was free and aimed at those who were considering a

Around 20 people came away from the event with an interview

change of career, looking for work, facing redundancy, leaving

or having applied for a job at the event. With the high

school, college or university or wanting to start their own business.

attendance numbers and such positive feedback, we will most

Over 360 people came along to the event and the feedback has

certainly be looking to deliver more of these events in future.”

been extremely positive. 95% of visitors, and all of the exhibitors

Over three quarters of visitors to the event completed feedback

found the event useful and everyone agreed that the event

forms, providing comments to help shape future events. To

should be held on an annual basis, or more frequently if possible.

encourage feedback, completed forms were entered into a prize

Forty organisations exhibited at the event including local

draw. Stirling Castle very kindly donated a family pass to the

employers, recruitment agencies, training providers and support

Castle and a goody bag. Special thanks must also go to the Stirling

organisations as well as specialist job search, career, business start up, volunteering, tax, welfare and benefits advisers.

Observer and Central FM who sponsored the event. We are looking to improve future events and include more employers, recruitment agencies, training providers, job and career advisors etc. If your organisation would be interested in exhibiting at future events please contact Laura Melville on 01786

Stirling Council’s Depute Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy, Tourism and Finance Councillor Scott Farmer said: “This event was very

443028, email .

Further information and updates will also be posted on .

much welcomed, especially in what are economically challenging times.

Comments from exhibitors:

Comments from visitors:

“We were able to make contact with a wide range of individuals who did not know about the services we provide.” Julia Mitchell, Skills Development Scotland.

“I liked the fact that you could find

“This was an excellent and worthwhile event and a great opportunity to meet and engage with people who want to start their own business. We would definitely take part in future events.” Frank Dunne, Business Gateway.

out about available jobs and speak to local employers.” “A great all round event that put hours of searching the web in to one room. I have a wealth of knowledge on where to go from here and a job interview!” “I obtained lots of information and

“An excellent event, we were able to network and speak to a number of people who could benefit from our service.” Gordon Wright, Employability Service.

learned new techniques to get the

“The event was efficiently organised. There was a good variety of visitors and exhibitors and it provided a very good opportunity for networking and to promote employment within the company.” Lesley Byars, Prudential.


best out of job hunting” “I gained a lot of information on training opportunities and careers

“I made some contacts, got information on further education and the event also made me consider new options.”

Local film production company Small Majority captured the event on video. This excellent footage captures the experiences of visitors and exhibitors on the day. The video can be viewed at stirlingeye.html .


Focus on the local economy


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

Sustainable Tourism Grant Scheme tops the LEADER board

Sandy Slater, STEP Rural Bus iness Adviser with Sue Wyllie, FVL LEADER Development Officer

Sustainable tourism projects in rural Forth Valley and parts of West Dunbartonshire are set to benefit from a £150,000 cash boost thanks to an innovative grant scheme designed by Stirling Enterprise. The award is one of the largest made by Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, reflecting the potential for the scheme to deliver LEADER aims. The one year pilot initiative

to introduce, what we feel, will

tandem with

aimed at new and expanding

be a very worthwhile scheme.


sustainable tourism projects and

We recognised early on that it


with grant giving powers won

would not be an easy decision

Our view is that our small

the approval of the Forth Valley

for the LAG to take. Our rural

tourism businesses are an integral

and Lomond LEADER programme

businesses are not traditionally

and essential part of the fabric of

in its April 2011 funding round.

thought to be drivers of

community life.”

Stirling Enterprise (STEP), who

community or environmental

When devising the grant scheme,

with potential projects in the

developed the innovative

benefit. The motivating factor

STEP was conscious of the need

pipeline is to come forward

new rural grant scheme,

was to challenge that belief

to keep the application steps as

and speak to us at the earliest

will be responsible for

and to explore the capacity for

user-friendly and straightforward

opportunity, discuss your plans

assisting businesses and

our rural tourism businesses

as possible. Sandy continued: “We

with us and let us guide you as

social enterprises through the

to embrace set social and

want to bring to the fore adviser

to whether the project is a good

application stage. Businesses

environmental outcomes in

input and timely decision making

fit with this scheme.”

© Monachyle Mhor

to provide support specifically for small businesses in the tourism sector. Our message to local tourism businesses

with sustainable tourism ambitions can apply for a grant of up to £10,000 (or 50% of costs, whichever is bigger) for projects that show community benefit and support.

How it works:

What can be funded:

Paper-based application form. Advisor

Funds start-up and expanding sustainable tourism

support to complete if necessary. Four

projects. Eligible items include feasibility studies,

funding panels in the year. A Business

capital expenditure, machinery, equipment, etc.

Plan will also be required.

What’s not supported:

There will be four funding

Key requirement:

panels held in the scheme’s

A project must be able to demonstrate

12-month duration, with the

and achieve social and / or

LEADER Local Action Group (LAG)

environmental benefits to fulfil the grant

having the final say on whether

scheme’s sustainability objective. The

short-listed projects receive

project must be able to demonstrate

grant support.

How grant is paid out:

community support.

Subject to grant award letter. After completion of the

Sandy Slater, STEP Rural


project and on submission of proof of expenditure.

Business Adviser, welcomed the

Open to small rural tourism businesses

news and commented: “STEP

in the Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER

is delighted to have secured

area (includes part of Dunbartonshire).

the approval of Forth Valley and

Must have 10 employees or fewer.

Lomond LEADER and the funds



Any expenditure already committed prior to a decision being made by the LEADER LAG. Accommodation and self-catering projects are ineligible. The scheme cannot support staffing costs.

How do I find out more? Contact Sandy Slater, Rural Business Adviser, Stirling Enterprise on 01786 463416 or email

Focus on the local economy

Countdown to 2014 ‘Start planning now’ is the message from Stirling Council to local businesses as the countdown to Bannockburn 700 in 2014 gets underway. In three years’ time, Stirling will consolidate

clan gatherings,

its position as a world-class tourism

living history

destination with a programme of events to

and activities for

mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of

people of all ages

Bannockburn. 2014 has been designated

to join in.

Scotland’s second year of Homecoming, and ex-pats and friends of Scotland around the globe are being encouraged to get the date in their diary now. Thousands are also set to visit the area during 2014, with the Commonwealth Games hosted in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Stirling is set to benefit from the anticipated boost to tourism and business.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “2014 will be a momentous year for Stirling and for Scotland as whole. Celebrations to mark one of the most significant battles in Scottish history,

substantial boost to the local and national economy.

the 700th anniversary of the Battle of

We want to see 2014 generate jobs and

Bannockburn - will put Stirling on the map

opportunities for local people. To do this,

in a year when Scotland will be centre stage

we are calling on local businesses to make

Plans for Bannockburn 700 are already

as we host the Commonwealth Games

the most of this opportunity both in the

underway and it is set to be a colourful

and the Ryder Cup in our second year of

run up to, during and after 2014. Our aim

and enjoyable mix of the best Scotland has


is to deliver long-lasting international and

to offer. A new £5 million visitor centre is being built in Bannockburn in time for the anniversary. This will be a worldclass visitor attraction incorporating digital

Councillor Scott Farmer, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Economy, Tourism and Finance, said: “We already have high hopes

national tourism benefits and a higher profile of Stirling as a great place to do business.”

for visitor numbers this year with the re-

The Council’s Economic Support & Tourism

opening of the renovated Royal Apartments

team will be working with local businesses

at Stirling Castle and the 150th anniversary

to identify opportunities to increase trade

at the National Wallace Monument. This is

in relation to the various events being

There will be events to mark the

a great starting point and I’m convinced that

planned. Businesses interested in finding

anniversary itself as part of a summer of

the international events and celebrations

out more or wishing to register an interest

celebration including highland games,

being planned for 2014 will give a very

can visit .

technology transporting visitors back the 14th century battle – King Robert the Bruce’s finest hour.

Latest LEADER awards Applicant Project


Cowie United

Berryhills Pitch Project

£ 84,108

Gargunnock Community Trust

Gargunnock Community Centre Refurbishment

£ 147,982

Gartmore Community Trust Ltd

Gartmore Village Hall and Rural Arts Venue

£ 200,000

Loch Lomond Steamship Company

Maid of the Loch

£ 8,050


Administration of Sustainable Tourism Grant Scheme

£ 15,000


Inner Forth Landscape Partnership

£ 30,093

The Barrwood Trust

Composting Toilet

£ 19,750

Throsk Community Enterprise Ltd

Throsk Hub

£ 22,050

The Ochil Allotment Association

Ochil Allotment Development Project

£ 5,957

Communities Along the Carron Association

CLEAR Project

£ 17,440

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


Economic facts Population and Households Figure 1: Population and

Stirling 2003-2010 % Change 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Stirling Scotland


Total Population

86,370 86,370 86,930 87,810 88,190 88,350 88,740 89,850 4.0%


Working Age Population

53,667 53,268 53,588 54,310 54,367 54,341 54,530 58,212 8.5%


Total Number of Households 36,454 36,658 36,958 37,164 37,328 37,555 37,789 38,048 4.4%


Source: National Records of Scotland

Figure 2: Employment Rate (as % of people aged 16-64)

Figure 3: Unemployment Rate (as % of people aged 16-64)

76 75 74 73 72 71 70 69 68 67

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 Figure 4: Number of People in Employment Stirling Scotland

2008-2009 Change

2008-2009 % Change









Source: Business Register and Employment Survey (Nomis)

Enterprise 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2003-2010 2003-2010 Figure 5: New Business Change % Change Starts Stirling

534 460 452 474 480 351 272 329 -205 -38%


21,468 20,808 21,383 23,468 25,041 20,028 15,726 15,439 -6,029 -28%

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




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

Focus on the local economy

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: Work Based 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) Notes: * data excludes farm agriculture

Source: Annual Population Survey - Workplace Analysis (Nomis)


Visitors to the Stirling Area

% of Working Age Population

Figure 11: % of People Aged 16-64 Qualified to SVQ Level 4+ (or equivalent) and % with No Qualifications, 2010 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

2009 2010

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: Moffat Centre Visitor Attraction Monitor; 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

2006-2010 % Change






£472.1 £427.9 £419.3 £428.1

£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 12% £486.9 14% £499.1 19% £488.2 14%

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (Nomis)


Focus on the local economy


Thousands flock to Stirling Castle’s royal palace Stirling Castle’s renaissance royal palace is now open to visitors, following the grand opening in June attended by around 5,000 visitors. Historic Scotland’s palace project has involved investment of £12 million, returning the palace apartments to how they may have looked in the 1540s. It has also included the creation of new exhibitions and interactive displays and the modernisation of three shops.

Service contacts

Forthcoming events/training

Building Standards, Stirling Council Joyce Wighton, Tel: 01786 432032, email:

Free Business Gateway training events:

City Centre Management, Stirling Council Andy Kennedy, Tel: 01786 442534, email:

August 2011

Culture and Adult Learning, Stirling Council Lynne Gibbons, Tel: 01786 432360, email:

24th afternoon – Falkirk – Advertising & promotion.

24th morning – Falkirk – Marketing your business.

Economic Support & Tourism, Stirling Council Deborah Murray, Tel: 01786 442467, email:

24th evening – Stirling – Bookkeeping Part 1.

Employability Service, Stirling Council Gordon Wright, Tel: 01786 442866, email:

25th morning – Stirling – Getting real results from your website.

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

25th evening – Stirling – Bookkeeping Part 2. 31st evening – Stirling – Marketing your business.

September 2011

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

1st morning – Alloa – Getting real results from your website.

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

13th evening – Falkirk – Trading online.

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

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 –

7th evening – Stirling – Advertising & promotion. 20th morning – Falkirk – Bookkeeping Part 1. 20th afternoon – Falkirk – Bookkeeping Part 2. 20th morning – Alloa – Improve your search engine ranking Part 1. 20th afternoon – Alloa – Improve your search engine ranking Part 2. 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:

August 2011 16th evening – Stirling – Finance. 17th evening – Stirling – ICT.

September 2011 13th evening – Stirling – Business planning. 14th evening – Stirling – Marketing. 20th evening – Stirling – Finance. 21st evening – Stirling – ICT. For more information on the business start-up workshops, please contact Denise Mallinson on 01786 463416.

Economic Support & Tourism, Stirling Council, Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET phone: 0845 277 7000 email: text: 0771 779 0001 web:

Stirling Eye - Summer 2011  

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

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