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Friday, 30 September 2016

COSS Events: New Rights, New Resources and Revenues

30/09/2016 - This series of five, one day events across Scotland, being delivered by Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) will cover the 3Rs that everyone involved in taking on an asset needs to think about. What New Rights do we have as communities? What New Resources are out there to help us in terms of funding? And, how will we bring in some Revenue to keep the asset sustainable?

Aimed primarily at community groups thinking about, or having newly taken on, an asset, this event is free to attend. Maximum 2 members per group. Staff from Relevant Authorities may want to attend and are welcome to sign up. Priority will however be given to community groups.  
Use the links below to book onto an event in your area.


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Borders Railway Towns to Get Cash Boost

28/09/2016 (Edinburgh Evening News) – Towns and villages along the Borders Railway are set to benefit after council chiefs agreed to pump an extra £450,000 into a string of developments.

Gorebridge town centre improvements are among a dozen projects being considered for investment by Midlothian Council. The new cash comes on top of £300,000 already committed by the council towards Borders Railway promotional activities. Council leader Councillor Catherine Johnstone said:

“More than a million passenger journeys have been made on the line since it opened in September 2015. “That’s a fantastic achievement and we need to make sure we are in as strong a position as possible to make sure Midlothian and the railway corridor are great places in which to live and learn, visit and work. “

A £10 million Scottish Government fund has been set up, managed by our blueprint partners comprising the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, VisitScotland, Abellio ScotRail and the three local authorities, including ourselves. However, to access pockets of that money, we need to match funds.”

Earlier this month, Scottish Government ministers ordered improvements to address the Borders Railway’s “unacceptable” performance. The move came as the first-year passenger journey total for the Edinburgh-Tweedbank route topped 1.4 million – around 20 per cent above target.

Read more at: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/railway-towns-to-get-450k-cash-boost-1-4242533

Monday, 26 September 2016

New International Leadership Programme to help Scottish companies achieve global ambitions

26/09/2016 - Scottish Enterprise is working with the University of Edinburgh Business School, The Rubicon Partnership and Ernst &Young to provide a new executive development programme to give Scottish business leaders the skills they need to expand globally.
The International Leadership Programme will help leaders from some of the country’s ambitious growth companies learn how to adapt to change, build resilience, grow and pursue international opportunities.
Starting in January 2017, the eight month programme will feature three intensive international leadership courses in the US, Denmark and Scotland.
The first four-day bootcamp takes place in February at the heart of one of the US’ most rapidly developing tech and biotech clusters, Memphis. There, the cohort will hear from leading international authorities on innovation, strategic change and internationalisation and will meet with executives from FedEx.
Participants will then have the opportunity to study international growth strategy in one of Europe’s business knowledge hubs, Copenhagen. Before returning to Edinburgh for comprehensive workshops on high performance leadership and meeting with leaders at FanDuel.
Professor Wendy Loretto, Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, said.
“Scotland is home to some of the world’s most innovative, high growth companies and many have an enormous international opportunities. But they need our help to achieve them.
“Working with Scottish Enterprise, leading academics, internationalisation and change leadership experts, we’ve developed this new programme to provide the country’s business leaders with a framework for global growth.
“There’s no substitute for real world experience, so we’re going to take participants on the road to learn in context, meet their US and Danish counterparts and help them build international networks.”
Adrian Gillespie, MD, Operations Scottish Enterprise, said:
“The way that markets move now, the pace of change and digital technology it is so important for companies to react to change to stay ahead of competition – on the International Leadership
“Programme participants will meet with inspiring leaders and companies in other geographies that are driving new technologies, innovations and creating new market opportunities and will have access to highly supportive and collaborative environments”.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 30 November 2016. Applicants should contact Scottish Enterprise for more information.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Inverness College £8K Business Competition 2016 Open for Entries

Ever thought that you could improve on an existing product or service?

Ever had an idea to solve a problem in the community or improve the lot of a particular group of people, for example, a business that would help students enjoy their studies more, or an idea to help the environment?  These are just a few ideas to spark your imagination and encourage you to enter this year's competition.

This is the 11th Business Competition organised by CREATE on behalf of Inverness College.

The competition is open to everybody aged 16 or over living in the Highlands or Islands, Moray or Perthshire, or any student studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands.  It is very straightforward to enter with only 4 questions to answer.  Click on the icon below to submit your entry via the on-line form.

If you have more than one idea, why not submit them all?  You may submit as many applications as you wish.

Completed entries must be received by close of business on 3 November 2016 to be eligible to win a share of the £8,000 prize-fund.

Shortlisted candidates must be available on the Finals Day, Thursday 24 November 2016, to come to Inverness College UHI to discuss their idea with our panel of expert judges and attend the prize-giving event.

Good Luck!

The Inverness College Business Competition is sponsored and supported by Bridge 2 Business, Business Gateway, Coast and Glen, Converge Challenge, dwMassey, Harper Macleod LLP, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, HISEZ, Fusion, Inverness Chamber of Commerce, Johnston Carmichael, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish and Southern Energy and the University of the Highlands and Islands.


Small Business Confidence Drops in Scotland

22/09/2016 - Confidence levels among small businesses in Scotland have fallen to their lowest level in five years, following the UK vote to leave the European Union.

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found they are more pessimistic than in other parts of the UK.

Scottish levels of confidence were below the British average.

More Scots small companies intend to shed staff than recruit more.
And while the balance of companies in the survey was positive on revenue growth, it went negative on the number seeing profits rise.

However, the sector has shown signs of willingness to invest.

Many more companies intend to invest than to cut back, helped by the lower cost of credit since borrowing conditions were further eased.

The survey is a measure of companies seeing growth, contraction or no change, and it focuses on the difference between growth and contraction.

'Key problem'

On that basis, there is a 19 percentage point gap between those FSB members who are negative about output, and those who foresee growth. That has been in decline since the middle of 2015, according to the survey.

The "state of the domestic economy" was seen as the key problem by many, ahead of consumer demand and skills shortages - though there is overlap between these elements.

The negative finding on employment was only a three point gap, and on investment, there was a 24 point positive gap between those planning to expand spending and those intending to cut back.

Andy Willox, the Scottish policy convener of the Federation, said: "These figures show that Scottish small business confidence fell following June's referendum. However, a majority of Scottish businesses have been pessimistic about business prospects for the last nine months - with pressure on 
Scotland's service sector and the decline of the oil and gas industry at least partially to blame.

"While cheaper credit is encouraging firms to get on with postponed investment, there's a lot of work to be done to restore long-term confidence.

"Businesses in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK are worried about where the economy is going. We expect those steering the country to do their utmost to provide clarity and support for Scottish smaller firms."

The survey was carried out between 12 July and 18 August, with 1,035 respondents across the UK and 117 in Scotland.

Source: BBC News


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Five Scottish Universities in Global Top 200 – Times World Rankings

21/09/2016 - The University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of St. Andrews, University of Dundee and the University of Aberdeen remained in the top 200 universities for 2016-17 in the world’s most comprehensive global league table of higher education.

The new rankings mean Scotland has more institutions per head of population in the top 200 than any other country except Luxembourg.

The THE rankings examine a university’s strengths including research, knowledge transfer, international outlook and the teaching environment.

Minister for Further Education and Higher Education Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“I welcome these figures which underline our strength in higher education and the value with which the Scottish approach is held globally. Credit is due to the staff and students at all five universities for their hard work to achieve this.

“Scotland continues to punch above its weight, having more institutions per head of population in the top 200 than any other country except Luxembourg. This continued strong performance is against a backdrop of other European universities suffering in the rankings due to the ascent of Asian institutions.

“The Scottish Government is investing over £1 billion in our higher education institutions in 2016-17, ensuring that all of our institutions receive financial support to enable them to deliver high quality teaching, world class research and knowledge exchange and remain internationally competitive.”


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Most Comprehensive China Business Event Held in Scotland

20/09/2016 - Chinese Embassy, visiting Chinese government and 30-strong business delegation join Scottish companies and government representatives to explore trade and investment opportunities.

China can be a challenging market when viewed from a distance. But the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) is confident that the SME China Forum, held this Wednesday in Celtic Park, will show Scottish SMEs that the opportunities are vast and accessible to companies who take the time to understand the market.

The Forum will cover Market Entry Strategies, China Digital Opportunity, and Securing Investment from China. In the afternoon there will be SME investment pitching sessions, in collaboration with EIE and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), as well as workshops on protecting intellectual property and with Royal Mail on the Tmall E-Commerce opportunity.

Government speakers include, Minister Counsellor Jin Xu, Commercial Section, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Ji Xiangqi, Vice-Governor of Shandong Province, Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Scottish Government and Paul Lewis, Managing Director SDI & International Operations.

They will be joined by 15 business speakers and 6 China-savvy ‘business ambassadors’ to share insights and encourage more trade between Scotland and China. A 30-strong visiting business delegation, led by the Vice-Governor of Shandong Province, will have 1-1 meetings throughout the day with local companies keen to engage.

Vice Chairman of CBBC, and Chairman - China Business Group at PwC, Sir Tom Troubridge said:

“I am delighted to host the 4th annual SME China Forum – this year in Glasgow. The SME China Forum is one of CBBC’s flagship events focusing on the practical day to day support that makes it easier for SMEs to trade with and seek investment from China.”

“China is such a diverse market, both geographically and in terms of its need for Scottish goods and services. The days of having a single ‘China strategy’ are largely behind us, with more in-depth understanding now necessary to navigate the vast opportunities available across this expansive market.”

“The CBBC team, with more than 130 staff across 25 strategic locations in the UK and China, has the knowledge, experience and network to support your business whether you are new to China or looking to expand into new territory.”

Paul Lewis, Managing Director, Scottish Development International & Scottish Enterprise International Operations said:

“Scotland’s exports to China have more than doubled since 2007 and are currently worth £530m, therefore it’s a growing market, as well as one with huge potential for Scottish businesses.

“We understand that the prospect of doing business in China may seem daunting for those new to the market but this conference will help equip companies with the knowledge and support to explore what trade opportunities China can offer.

“We are delighted that the Forum is being held in Scotland this year and proud that Scottish Enterprise is actively involved in supporting it. We look forward to working with many of the companies involved, to help them realise their ambitions in China.”

The event is supported by:

  • Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Shandong Tourism Group
  • Bank of China
  • Royal Mail
  • Murgitroyd, Emerging Communications, Primasia

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Growing Number of Scots Workers Choosing Self-Employment

18/12/2016 - It’s the dream of many frustrated office staff. But a growing number of Scots are taking the plunge by becoming their own boss. Self-employment in Scotland has risen by 11 per cent in the last eight years, accounting for almost 300,000 jobs.

Around one out of 10 workers north of the border have set up on their own, with the majority working in IT and the financial services sectors, according to to the Royal Bank of Scotland Regional Economic Tracker.

Experts said the rise was due to a “perfect storm”, with Scotland well-placed to support budding entrepreneurs in the years following the 2008 financial crash.

“We’re a small enough country that access to the business leaders and investment is fairly straightforward, but big enough to allow products and services to flourish,” said Kim McAllister, director of Impact Online and editor of Scottish Entrepreneur magazine.

Read more: Scotsman

Monday, 12 September 2016

Scottish Enterprise Launches Collaboration Prize 2016/17

12/09/2016 - The Collaboration Prize 2016/17 is now open for businesses in Scotland with aspirations to collaborate.

The aim of the Collaboration Prize is to encourage firms to think collaboratively and pitch an idea for a new collaborative enterprise that will help them to access new markets. This could be a new sector or a geographical market including international markets.

To be eligible the business or consortium must be based in Scotland, have an innovative idea to implement by setting up a consortium co-operative and have identified other potential members for the consortium.

Consortium co-operatives are established when businesses come together for a shared purpose; to buy or sell in scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts. By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth. Members could be businesses, partnerships or individuals, and the co-operative may be for any purpose which supports the members.

Accessing new and international markets will be a specific focus of this year’s competition and up to two of the five prizes will be awarded to those consortia who demonstrate strong international ambitions to be delivered via the collaboration.

Sarah Deas, Director, Scottish Enterprise, commented on the Prize: “The Collaboration Prize provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the business benefits of collaboration. Working with others can help a business grow, and reduce the costs and risks of tackling new markets or investing in new processes.

“Simply speaking collaboration can make your company better at what it does. Whether it’s about sharing resources or finding new markets, collaboration can bring efficiency and lead to increased profits.

“This year the Collaboration Prize focuses on accessing new markets, with a particular focus on international markets. It aims to help small businesses achieve scale and realise international ambitions.”

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is a CAN DO nation and there is no doubt that innovation and collaboration are key to adapting to changing market circumstances and customer needs, be they local, national, regional or global. The Collaboration Prize will help to bring together the best with the best, forging strong links that are vital for creating and sustaining economic growth.”

The Prize will be open for entries until 18 November 2016. Up to five winners will be selected by a judging panel to receive £5,000 (to implement their collaborative idea), support to set up as a consortium co-operative, up to £5,000 business support (delivered by Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise), and export advisor support where appropriate. The international winners will be announced at a ceremony in March 2017.

One of the winners of last year’s Collaboration Prize, ArchBlue Ltd, aims to provide an integrated service that supports site managers with the stewardship of historic buildings, structures, landscapes and archaeological sites. Founded by four organisations involved in providing complementary services to the heritage sector, the consortium provides a wide range of services including 3D measuring and modelling, archaeological recording and visualisation, conservation planning and 3D printing.

Combined, these services provide customers with a comprehensive approach to heritage site management as well as engaging methods of communicating a site’s story to the public.

Founding member John McCreadie commented on winning the Prize: “The Collaboration Prize gave us the impetus to formalise what has been an informal, ad-hoc working relationship between a number of companies. We were convinced that by working together we could better meet our clients’ needs and felt that a formal collaboration, with a clear identity and well defined service offering, would be the best vehicle for moving forward.

“Winning the Collaboration Prize has helped us to establish a brand identity for ArchBlue Ltd and market its services to potential customers. We believe the collaborative approach will add strength to tender submissions and allow us to bid for projects we wouldn’t necessarily have the ability to pursue as individual businesses.

“Collaborating is now at the core of our business. It has allowed us to bring in specialist skills, and together craft something truly unique and far beyond what we could produce on our own. Our advice to anyone considering entering the Prize is to go for it. It’s a fantastic opportunity and it has really helped us to grow and succeed.”

The Collaboration Prize is delivered by Co-operative Development Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise in partnership with Business Gateway and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

One New Wind Turbine Built Every Day Across Scotland

07/09/2016 - The number of wind turbines in Scotland has been growing by at least one a day in the last four years. 

There are now a total of 3,400 onshore turbines, up from just 1,657 in 2012. That is an increase of 1,743 – an average of more than one new turbine every day.


And an additional 1,547 have planning approval, many of them now under construction. The figures were released by the Scottish Government.

Source & rest of story: Scotsman

BIDs Job Opportunities: BID Manager & Personal Assistant / Administrator

Crieff Suceeds
BID Manager [Person SpecificationJob Description
This position is a great opportunity for an experienced, enthusiastic and self-motivated Manager to lead our team and influence the future success of Crieff.
The successful candidate must have the skills to work on their own initiative and be seen as the visible face of the BID to local businesses. The post holder will be the public face of the BID representing the BID in its dealings with local businesses, community groups, external agencies and funding bodies.
Applicants must have a good business management record preferably with experience of project management, control of budgets, and consumer facing marketing. A courteous and outgoing manner with strong interpersonal, communication and negotiating skills are essential.
Applicants must also have demonstrated success in working with stakeholders and building trusted relationships.
The BID Board is prepared to have a flexible approach as to how the requirements of the post can be delivered and is keen to hear from candidates who feel they can, not just fill the post but add value to the Crieff Succeeds BID.
Job description available at www.crieffsucceeds.com
Applications by covering letter and CV by 26th September by email only to: alan.crieffsucceeds@gmail.com First interviews to take place in Crieff early October.

Dunfermline Delivers
Personal Assistant/Administrator

Under the direction and supervision of the BID Manager, the candidate will be required to co-ordinate and deliver the BID administrative activities within the BID office. The main job description include administration, resource management and marketing and communications.

Salary is £19,000 - Monday-Saturday 37.5 hours per week
Applications to be submitted via S1 Jobs. Closing date Friday 30th September.


Scottish Enterprise Secondment Opportunity – 9th September Deadline

Scottish Enterprise is seeking to recruit an experienced individual to work within their Stakeholder & Partnership team. The post is for 12 months and they are seeking interest from colleagues who may be interested in a secondment / development opportunity.  

The Stakeholder and Partnership team works across the Scottish Enterprise area contributing to the delivery of the priorities identified in SE’s Business Plan. By facilitating external and internal partnership working, the team works to explore and maximise the opportunities that can generate greater levels of economic development activity for Scotland. The postholder will support the work of the Stakeholder & Partnership team, primarily in the East of Scotland geographic area, but also contributing to the work of the wider Stakeholder & Partnership team.

For a full role description and application form please contact Ewan Robertson. For further information and to submit applications, contact: recruitment@scotent.co.uk

Role summary

The Stakeholder and Partnership team works across the Scottish Enterprise area contributing to the delivery of the priorities identified in SE’s Business Plan. By facilitating external and internal partnership working, the team works to explore and maximise the opportunities that can generate greater levels of economic development activity for Scotland.
The postholder will support the work of the Stakeholder & Partnership team, primarily in the East of Scotland geographic area, but also contributing to the work of the wider Stakeholder & Partnership team.

The post will provide colleagues and partners with a proactive and responsive service helping ensure SE relationships and reputation with stakeholders and partners are strengthened and enhanced.

Key Responsibilities

You will support the manager of the Stakeholder and Partnerships team with responsibility for the East of Scotland geographies on the following:
·         As part of the Stakeholder & Partnership team lead engagement with a number of local authorities.
·         As part of the Team lead briefings for parliamentarians (MPs and MSPs), including setting up of meetings between SE and parliamentarians.
·         Represent SE at Community Planning Partnership meetings.
·         Support Location Directors in their engagement role with Local Authorities, HE and FE institutions.
·         Delivery of the wider SE Stakeholder & Partnership team functions contributing to the work and objectives of the Business Networks & Communications Directorate.
·         Events preparation as required in support of Location Directors and delivery of Stakeholder & Partnership activities.
·         Support the ELT regional lead and provide the secretariat role for the East Regional Advisory Board.
·         Support the ELT lead and the work of the Regional Account Teams

·         Support SE’s collaboration and engagement relating to City Deal

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Nicola Sturgeon Unveils £500m Business Fund in Programme for Government

06/09/2016 - Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a £500m fund to help Scottish businesses as she set out her government's plans for the next year.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs at Holyrood that the move was an "exceptional response to an exceptional economic challenge".

She also insisted that education was the "defining mission" of the Scottish government.
Proposals to help close the attainment gap were among the 14 bills the Scottish government will introduce.

The plans include a Child Poverty Bill, which Ms Sturgeon said was arguably the government's most important legislation.
The bill would establish Scotland as the only part of the UK with statutory income targets on child poverty, and see a "baby box" given to every newborn.

But much of Ms Sturgeon's focus was on boosting the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote, with the first minister promising £4bn will be spent on infrastructure next year alongside the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme package of support for private businesses.

Ms Sturgeon said the growth scheme would offer individual investment guarantees, and some loans, of up to £5m to small and medium sized firms who would otherwise be unable to grow because of a lack of investment finance.

As financial guarantees, the support will not come from existing spending plans, and will instead see the Scottish government share some of the risk faced by small companies, when they make big investment decisions.

The first minister described the fund as a "half-billion pound vote of confidence in Scottish business, Scottish workers and the Scottish economy".

Ms Sturgeon's SNP formed a minority government after winning 63 seats in May's Scottish Parliament elections.

She told MSPS that Holyrood was operating in a "new political, economic and constitutional context" following the UK voting to leave the EU.

The first minister said the Scottish government would use its newly devolved powers over tax and welfare to adapt to those changes.


Source: BBC News

Monday, 5 September 2016

EDAS Autumn 2016 Events

05/09/2016 - EDAS’ schedule of courses and events for Autumn 2016 has been published. You can read these as part of our most recent e-news [click here], or see below.
For information on all of our upcoming and past events, please visit EDAS’ event page.

Tuesday 27th - Wednesday 28th September 2016
Glasgow
£400 + VAT for EDAS members, £500 + VAT for non-members. 
[Note: this event is now fully booked. For all course enquiries, please contact Yvonne Prager]

Tuesday 4 October 2016
Edinburgh
£25 + VAT for EDAS members, £50 + VAT for non members. 

Tuesday 25 October 2016
Glasgow 
£25 + VAT for EDAS members, £50 + VAT for non members. 

Tuesday 22 November 2016
Edinburgh
£200+VAT Member £275+VAT Non Member [Join now to receive the member rate]

Tuesday 29 November 2016
Glasgow
£200+VAT Member £275+VAT Non Member [Join now to receive the member rate]

Thursday 1 December 2016
Aberdeen 
EDAS is holding its annual conference this year in partnership with the Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED), in Aberdeen on 1 December.
We look forward to announcing programme details and further information shortly.

For any enquiries, please contact Elaine Bone at ebone@edas.org.uk.

OECD: Advance Sales of "Job Creation and Local Economic Development"

05/09/2016 - Advance sales are now open for the 2016 edition of OECD LEED’s flagship publication, Job Creation and Local Economic Development.

This second edition of Job Creation and Local Economic Development examines how national and local actors can better work together to support economic development and job creation at the local level. It sheds light on a continuum of issues – from how skills policy can better meet the needs of local communities, to how local actors can better engage employers in apprenticeships, to how to improve the implementation of SME and entrepreneurship policy.

It includes international comparisons that allow local areas to take stock of how they are performing in the marketplace for skills and jobs. It also includes a set of country profiles featuring, among other things, new data on skills supply and demand at the level of OECD sub-regions (TL3).

It is designed to be user friendly and accessible to all government officials, academics, practitioners and civil society with an interest in local economic development and job creation. 

Through this advance sale, it is available for only 12.77 € per copy (compared to the normal price of 75 € per copy). 

Place your order here.  For over 200 copies, please contact the Advance Sales team.

Advance sales close 12 September. After that date, the publication will only be available at the full price.

Share Your Success with SURF

SURF is currently welcoming applications to our 2016 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration. 

Each year, SURF and the Scottish Government team up to highlight, share and celebrate success and innovation in efforts to improve the physical, social and/or economic fabric of disadvantaged communities across Scotland through the prestigious SURF Awards.
This year, there are five categories of entry, which are designed to reflect the full range of regeneration activity. These are: Scotland’s Most Improved Town, Large Scale Infrastructure, Youth Employability, Creative Regeneration and Community Led Regeneration.
Our application process is free and straightforward and the benefits of SURF Awards recognition include:
  • Demonstrate value to key partners and funders;
  • Shortlisted entries will be highlighted in a widely distributed publication;
  • The winning initiatives will be showcased throughout 2016/17;
  • A leading Scottish Government Minister will present the SURF Awards at a celebratory presentation dinner event on 6th of December 2016 in Glasgow.
So if you know of a deserving Scottish regeneration project, please consider submitting a nomination before this year’s closing date o fMonday 19th September 2016.

The application materials are available on the SURF website at the following link:
www.scotregen.co.uk/surf-awards


Please do not hesitate to contact SURF’s Derek Rankine directly on 0141 440 6393, or by email to derek@scotregen.co.uk, for any further information on the SURF Awards.

Friday, 2 September 2016

£6.4 Million Renewable Energy Investment Boost for Scottish Economy

02/09/2016 - Scotland’s renewable energy sector gets a boost today with a £6.4 million investment by Land Energy Girvan Limited as they launch their new site expansion in Girvan.

The firm, a manufacturer of “Woodlets” brand biomass wood pellets for the renewable energy market, as part of their expansion has secured a £250K Regional Selective Assistance grant from Scottish Enterprise in a bid to increase capacity and drive productivity.

The investment will see at least 10 permanent full-time jobs created, whilst safeguarding a further 28 jobs. Furthermore the business plans to increase output from 60,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes per annum increasing turnover by 50% per annum.

Land Energy Girvan’s state of the art manufacturing facility produces premium grade wood pellets using locally sourced sustainable timber. Their pellets contain no additives and are certified by the European Pellet Council with ENPlus A1, the highest quality mark in the industry, which ensures that the pellets burn efficiently and cleanly.

The expansion includes:
  • An increase in the capacity of the combined heat & power plant, including a new condenser and an extension to the dryer
  • An upgrade to the pellet line including new pellet mill grinders and silo
  • Additional on-site storage facilities
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

"Scotland is home to a thriving and innovative business sector and I’m delighted that Land Energy Girvan Limited are investing in a £6.4 million expansion of their site. This welcome investment is projected to create 10 new jobs and safeguard 28 existing jobs in the Scottish supply-chain supporting generation of renewable, biomass energy, and will reduce biomass customers' reliance on imported wood pellet supplies.
“The RSA grant award we have made is a tribute to the success of the team at Girvan, supported and enabled by Scottish Enterprise, and it demonstrates our commitment to make Scotland as competitive a place to do business as possible.”
Commenting on the grant, Managing Director of Land Energy Girvan Ltd, John Westmacott, said: “The UK premium wood pellet market has grown rapidly in the last 5 years and is now worth £100m per annum. The new investment in the Girvan plant will ensure that Land Energy continues to be a leading player in this market as it continues to grow.”
Total imports of pellets to the UK more than doubled between 2012 and 2013. In fact, the UK is the largest importer of wood pellets in the world. Currently Russia and Lithuania are the largest supplier to both the UK and the EU with a 26% per cent share. With Land Energy Ltd manufacturing only the highest grade wood pellet and now at an increased capacity, they hope to have a major sales advantage over the imported product.