Friday, 28 October 2016

New Strategy Launched to 'Double' Size of Aquaculture in Scotland

28/10/2016 - A new "roadmap" has been launched in a bid to double the size of Scotland's aquaculture sector within 15 years.

Businesses and organisations involved in the sector are seeking to boost the value of Scottish aquaculture from £1.8bn this year to £3.6bn by 2030.

They estimate this will generate more than 9,000 new jobs for the industry.
A working group has launched a new growth strategy, which identifies key actions that are required to achieve the goals.

The group includes representatives of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Scotland Food and Drink, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and businesses in the sector.

The strategy, which was developed after industry-wide consultation, sets out key recommendations for action by both the industry and government.
They include stripping industry regulator Marine Scotland of its industry development role and passing that remit on to the Scottish government's Food, Drink and Rural Communities Division.

The strategy document also recommends introducing "world-leading innovation sites to trial cutting-edge equipment, technology and fish health strategies".

Another key recommendation - creating a new industry leadership group to drive forward the plans - has already been accepted by the Scottish government.
Salmon is the largest component of the Scottish aquaculture industry, with about 170,000 tonnes produced on farms each year.

The value of export sales alone is about £450m, making it Scotland's top food export.
The strategy predicts an increase in salmon production to about 350,000 tonnes per year by 2030. It also forecasts that Scottish shellfish production - mostly mussels - will rise from about 8,000 tonnes per year to 21,000 tonnes.

According to Scottish government figures, 8,800 jobs are currently supported by the aquaculture sector in Scotland. The new strategy estimates that number could rise to 18,000 by 2030.

'Roadmap to 2030'

Stewart Graham, co-chair of the working group, said: "This new strategy reflects the industry's ambition to drive sustainable growth and for Scotland to be a world leader in aquaculture.

"We have developed a roadmap to 2030 which can make a transformational impact on Scotland's economy and our rural communities.

"However, the real work begins now and we want to forge a new partnership between the industry, government and its agencies to unlock the full potential of sustainably farming Scotland's seas."

He added: "The strategy must act a catalyst to drive growth throughout the aquaculture supply chain through innovation, skills development and investment, and by ensuring we have proportionate and enabling regulation which balances economic growth and environmental sustainability."

Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing welcomed the report. The launch coincided with the Scottish government's Finfish Summit being held in Fort William.

He described the report as "a strong signal of business confidence", adding: "Aquaculture is one of our real economic success stories of recent years, with the industry on track to grow to a value of well over £2bn annually to the Scottish economy by 2020, supporting 10,000 jobs.
"The Scottish government will now work with the industry to consider their detailed proposals and I have agreed to establish an industry leadership group to help take that forward."

Source: BBC

Latest ‘State of the Economy’ Report Published by Scottish Government

The Scottish economy was growing in the run up to the EU referendum and unemployment has continued to fall, the latest State of the Economy report published today shows.

In the report, the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist, Dr Gary Gillespie, sets out the key trends in the Scottish economy in the first half of 2016, the emerging signals in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum and the outlook for the coming year.

The report highlights:
  • The performance of the Scottish economy improved in the second quarter of 2016 despite the on-going challenges facing the oil and gas sector, with production and services driving growth and a strengthening labour market.
  • The EU referendum vote has impacted on the outlook for the Scottish and UK economy, reflecting the uncertainty triggered by the vote and the expectation that the referendum result may lead to changing investment patterns and business decisions.
  • Initial economic data is holding up following the EU referendum, however business and consumer sentiments remain weak and are expected to remain highly sensitive to information relating to the UK/EU exit and negotiation process.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said: “Today’s State of the Economy report shows that in the build-up to the EU referendum, the Scottish economy was continuing to grow, despite the on-going headwinds caused by the low oil price and weak global demand.

“Whilst the fundamentals of the Scottish economy remain strong, the EU referendum result has already started to impact on business and consumer sentiment in Scotland, reflected in the weaker outlook for the economy going forward. Scotland voted clearly to remain part of the EU and the absence of any plan at a UK level – either for Brexit, or to support the economy in the aftermath of the vote, is adding to the problem and putting at risk the progress we have made.

“That is why the Scottish Government is pursuing all options to retain our relationship with Europe, access to the single market, and all the advantages that brings. Today’s report demonstrates why this is so important, showing how our economy benefits from our trade links with the EU and the free movement of labour and capital.

“But we are also acting now to provide the immediate support our economy needs. For example, we introduced a £100m capital stimulus package, which will help to protect jobs, build on the progress already made and keep our economy moving through these challenging times and we are establishing a £500m Scottish Growth Scheme to support business expansion and exports. From today’s report, it is clear we need urgent action of an equivalent scale at a UK level, something I have consistently called for.”

For a full copy of the report visit:

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

SIB Targets Alternative Lending Market with LendingCrowd Initiative

25/10/2016 - Scottish Enterprise has today announced that its investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), has agreed to provide funding of £2.75m to LendingCrowd, an innovative Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer lending platform which provides affordable loans to SMEs.

This is the first initiative to be delivered by SIB under its expanded remit and is expected to stimulate loans of up to £35m to Scottish SMEs, leveraging significant private sector investment and substantially increasing the supply of finance for a broad range of SMEs.

The agreement will allow SMEs to access loans of between £5k and £250k over terms ranging from six months to five years. Applicants will apply directly to LendingCrowd which will undertake the appropriate due diligence on each investment case and provide funding on commercial terms.

The move represents SIB’s first venture into the alternative funding market, as it seeks to increase and broaden the variety of funding available to SMEs in Scotland.
Commenting on the announcement, Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said:

“We recognise that many Scottish companies continue to struggle to raise the funding they need to grow, and evidence points to substantial gaps in the supply and demand for finance within the Scottish market.

“Under our expanded remit, we are increasing the diversity of finance provision in Scotland, and this new initiative with LendingCrowd is the first example of how we are opening up innovative sources of alternative funding to Scottish SMEs.

“Peer-to-peer lending is one of the fastest growing areas of alternative finance and this initiative with LendingCrowd will increase competition in the marketplace and provide greater diversity and choice for Scottish SMEs.”

Stuart Lunn, CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, added: “Our groundbreaking agreement with Scottish Enterprise, one of the first initiatives of its kind in Europe, will help to fund the next stage of growth for some of Scotland's most exciting SMEs. This recognises the increasing importance of peer-to-peer access to finance and, in practical terms, will allow a significant number of small to medium-sized businesses the chance to pursue their ambitions to expand and compete in the UK and internationally.”

Alternative and innovative new sources of funding have emerged over recent years in response to changing market dynamics. The UK Alternative Finance sector provided £3.2bn worth of loans, investments and donations in 2015, up 84% compared to 2014.

Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd has facilitated loans totalling over £7m and has over 2000 investors signed up to its platform. Deals range in size from £20,000 to over £1m, and in 2015 LendingCrowd helped Diet Chef complete one of the biggest ever peer-to-business deals seen in the UK in a £1.5m debt finance transaction.

Companies seeking to raise growth finance can access support to identify the most appropriate sources of finance for their needs, and help them to prepare to successfully secure finance from the SIB team of Financial Readiness specialists.

Reforms Outlined in Phase 1 Report of the Enterprise and Skills Review

25/10/2016 - Reform of our enterprise and skills agencies can help put Scotland among the top performing OECD nations, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said today.

The report from the first phase of the review of enterprise and skills services has outlined a raft of reforms including:

  • Creating a new Scotland-wide statutory board to co-ordinate the activities of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, including Scottish Development International, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.
  • Protecting services in the Highlands and Islands and creating a new service for the south of Scotland
  • Accelerating the delivery of the Trade and Investment Strategy and, through SDI, co-ordinating international activity across the public and academic sectors to ensure maximum benefit.
  • Improving the data and evaluation functions to ensure the new board can provide the best advice across all agencies.
  • Offering more support to businesses on innovation, productivity, digital and exporting.
  • aligning the functions of our learning and skills agencies to deliver the joined-up support that our young people, colleges, universities and businesses need to increase sustainable economic growth.
Mr Brown said:

“We are proud of our enterprise and skills agencies, and in recent years their efforts have contributed to real improvements in our economic performance.

“But we know that further improvement is required - our ambition is for Scotland to rank among the top performing OECD nations for productivity, equality, sustainability and wellbeing.

“Since the review was announced, the EU Referendum result has made the economic context more challenging. It requires that we renew our focus and prioritise our efforts

“This review has focused on how we can build on existing strengths and successes to further improve the enterprise and skills support system in Scotland. This will ensure a system in which all of our agencies work both hand in glove with each other and collaboratively with our business, academic and civic partners to optimise economic impact across the whole of Scotland.”

The full report and recommendations can be accessed here:

Scottish Empty Homes Conference is all the Buzz…

Kirsten Hubert - Scottish Empty Homes Partnership
The agenda for this year’s Scottish Empty Homes Conference is well and truly packed.
Quite a number of music-heads around the Shelter Scotland offices are particularly stoked about the afternoon keynote address which will be given jointly by John Maher (former drummer for the Buzzcocks turned photographer) and Brian Whitington of Tighean Innse Gall.  

John Maher has taken some stunning photos of abandoned croft houses in the Western Isles with household objects hauntingly left in situ as though the previous owners just vanished in the midst of everyday life.  His photos have already been displayed at various events across Scotland and Tighean Innse Gall have embarked on a project to breathe new life into some of these empty homes to stimulate local jobs as well as to demonstrate that these overlooked properties can provide viable, fuel efficient homes that people want to live in.

The musical provenance behind that keynote may be what’s exciting some, but there are others equally interested to hear what the morning’s keynote speaker Kevin Stewart MSP, the Minister for Local Government and Housing, has to say about empty homes at his first ever Scottish Empty Homes Conference.  

The Minister will also be presenting theHowdens’ Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards.  The deadline for nominations was Monday the 3rd October so we’ve all been a flutter watching the nominations come in and speculating about who the awards committee will choose to honour this year.

Of course the keynote speakers set the tone for the day and often provide the inspiration for personal eureka moments on the train home, but it is the workshops which, true to their name, provide the real nose to the grindstone work of the day.  As usual the topics range from practical best practice lessons and tools to broader policy discussions.

Steve Grimshaw from the award winning Kent ‘No Use Empty’ Project will be speaking about their 10 years of experience successfully using a range of types of empty homes loans to shift empty properties as well as what hasn’t been so successful.

Allyson Allison, Empty Homes Officer for Stirling Council, and David Sanderson, Empty Homes Officer for Carlisle City Council, are joining forces to share some practical tips for making the business case for employing a permanent Empty Homes Officer within local authorities.  Both Allyson and David have successfully achieved a permanent contract with their respective councils this year.

A Local Project Panel which includes a charity, a development trust and a commercial developer, will discuss their journey towards achieving their visions, including efforts to access external funding.  Their projects range from a single unit in Fife to multiple units across Tayside and the Western Isles.

Another exciting Panel session-style workshop will include representatives from a range of Glasgow Housing Associations who have been part of the Glasgow Empty Homes Project.  They’ll discuss what attracted them to get involved and reflect on their experiences to date, including the impressive amount they’ve managed to save in VAT charges through their involvement with the project.
he Empty Homes Officers from Fife, Joanne Saurin and Laura Beveridge, along with their Council Tax colleague Kerry Hutchison will be giving a workshop on Fife Council’s use of flexible council tax charging when it comes to applying the vacant dwelling council tax premiums.  The Empty Homes Officers in Fife have successfully used this flexibility to encourage owners to take action on their empty homes and bring them back into use sooner.

Diarmaid Lawlor from Architecture and Design Scotland will be leading a workshop to discuss some of the reasons that people chose to live in town centres and how empty homes work can contribute to national and local objectives to increase town centre living.

Last but not least, last year’s winner of the Howden’s Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards for best project, Catriona Arbuckle, Empty Homes Officer from North Lanarkshire Council will provide details of the empty homes buy back scheme that won them this accolade.

So that’s all the buzz round here as we count down the days to the conference.  

If you would like to join us on the day (15th November), more details of the programme, the venue and how to book can be found here.

Twin Towns UK: National Campaign to Boost Small Town Opportunity through Partnership

25/10/2016 - On 9th October the Carnegie UK Trust launched its TwinTowns UK programme, a major national initiative to connect up small and medium sized towns across all of the UK’s jurisdictions. The project immediately attracted nationwide attention and was featured on more than 60 radio stations, TV channels and newspapers within 48 hours.

Carnegie UK’s commitment to supporting Flourishing Towns includes a range of practical and evidence-led projects, from the TestTown high street enterprise academy to the Understanding Scottish Places data platform. We’ve learnt from much of this work how important interrelationships are for boosting creativity and growth in towns. Connecting with others, sharing ideas and challenges, and forming partnerships for services and economic development.

TwinTownsUK will offer 10 towns across the UK the chance to twin, coming together with financial and staff support over the next three years. These partnerships could be between similar towns in different places (e.g. coastal towns from Essex and Aberdeenshire, or market towns from Northern Ireland and South Wales), towns that are close together, or very different types of communities. We are open to lots of different approaches.

Community and residents groups, traders associations, youth clubs and councils that think their town might benefit from this programme should visit the Carnegie UK Trust website now and fill out the simple form, post a short video, or get in touch for a discussion.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Associate Director Opportunity with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies – Deadline 31st October 2016

Associate Director
£33k – £45k (dependent on experience)
For full application details visit:

Progressive economics for people and place
Established in 1986, CLES is the UK’s leading, independent think and do tank realising progressive economics for people and place. Our aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere.

It is an exciting time to join the CLES team. Given the current political and economic climate, and with the devolution process unfolding on our doorstep here in Manchester, our work and progressive stance has taken on a new significance and urgency. We are also undergoing a rebranding exercise to better reflect our position and diverse expertise while serving our growing audiences.

Associate Director

You will play a key role in managing CLES consultancy, research and policy advice activities and a team of Senior Researchers and Researchers. You will identify new policy ideas and secure new business opportunities through developing networks and relationships with a range of organisations. You will play a key role in project managing and delivering work to a high standard as well as implementing activities. In addition you will help produce policy publications and will deliver bespoke training and membership seminars.

You will have over five years’ experience of a policy/research/consultancy environment, preferably with a think tank, local authority or other public sector agency, voluntary and community sector organisation, or consultancy. You will have experience of developing relationships with a range of stakeholders across the public, commercial and social sectors, including grant making and philanthropic organisations and securing research and policy work.  You will be self motivated, enthusiastic, up for creative thinking and keen on making a positive difference to local places and society. The role is an opportunity to work in a unique and innovative environment.

CLES actively welcomes applications from all sections of society. Our aim is that we are truly inclusive and we are committed to a culture where diversity is celebrated.
Registered charity number 1089503.

How to apply

To apply please submit a CV and full cover letter to Laura Symonds:

Laura Symonds
Office Manager
Express Networks
1 George Leigh Street
Manchester   M4 5DL

T: 0161 236 7036
For an informal and confidential discussion about the post, please contact Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of CLES on 0161 236 7036.

  • The closing date for applications: 12 noon – Monday 31st October 2016
  • Interviews will be held on Friday 11th November 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Scottish Government Seeks Partners for Simplified Planning Zone Housing Pilots

20/10/2016 - Scottish Government - In our response to the Planning Review we said we would take forward pilot Simplified Planning Zones (SPZ) for housing as an immediate action. We are now seeking interested authorities to work with us on a number of pilots exploring different uses of SPZ for housing to inform any potential legislative changes.

We want to work with pilot partners to explore how SPZ could be used to support housing in a variety of contexts, for example to:
  • support town centre living
  • support urban regeneration
  • promote diversification of housing types and supply, and innovative housing delivery
Scottish Ministers have committed £150,000 to support 3-4 SPZ housing pilots, with successful applicants likely to receive a grant offer of around £30,000 - £50,000 each.

More details about SPZs, the pilot scheme, and how to apply to take part are available in the attached documents:
  • Simplified Planning Zones housing pilots prospectus
  • Simplified Planning Zones housing pilots form
All proposals must be sent to by close of business on Friday 11 November, 2016.

Scotland after Brexit - Lessons from the Nordics

Scotland after Brexit - Lessons from the Nordics
George Square Theatre at University of Edinburgh. 
Saturday 29th October, 12-5.30pm

In co-operation with Edinburgh University's Academy of Government
Supported by the Scottish Government

How should a small nation like Scotland engage with Europe -- the Nordic countries have experienced every conceivable variant on the theme.  Denmark (since 1973), Sweden and Finland (since 1995) are all members of the EU. Iceland and Norway are not EU members but belong to the EEA – the European Economic Area that underpins the EU. Denmark’s devolved governments in the Faroes and Greenland are neither members of the EU nor EEA and only Finland has joined both the EU and the Euro zone.Travel is made easier by the fact that all Nordic nations – whether EU members or not – are part of the Schengen free travel zone. Currencies change at every border yet trade for most Nordic nations is with one another.

Inevitably though this is not the whole story. Behind the national picture, attitudes to Europe and the EU in the Nordic region are as complex as anywhere else in Europe, fractured by differences between political parties, economic sectors and social groups and between town and country, core and periphery. Maybe there is something for Scotland to learn.


Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson - ex leader of Iceland's Social Democratic Party (SPD) and former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs responsible for Iceland's EEA negotiations in the 1990's

Professor Mary Hilson - historian in the Department of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, Denmark

Tuomas Iso-Markku - Research Fellow, (The) Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Ulrik Pram Gad - Associate Professor of Arctic Culture and Politics at University of Aalborg, Denmark

Dr. Duncan Halley - Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

Bjort Samuelsen – Republican MP in the Faroese Parliament, Member of the West Nordic Council and former Minister for Trade and Industry, Infrastructure and Gender Equality

Chaired by Lesley Riddoch

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Scottish unemployment sees further fall

19/10/2016 - Unemployment in Scotland fell by 25,000 over the summer, according to the latest official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate between June and August had fallen to 4.6%, below the figure for the UK as a whole at 4.9%.
This left the number of jobless people in Scotland at 127,000.

However, employment rates also decreased slightly, down 0.1 percentage points to 74%, meaning there were 2,618,000 people in employment.

Across the UK, the jobless total rose by 10,000 - reaching 1.66 million.
The UK government welcomed the Scottish figures and said that unemployment was now at its lowest level since 2008.

'Falling again'

The Scottish government said Scotland was outperforming the rest of the UK on unemployment, female employment, and inactivity rates.

They said there were 54,000 more people in employment now compared to the pre-recession peak in May 2008.

Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, said: "Despite continuing economic concerns following the EU referendum result, these latest statistics show our policies and investment are helping to reduce unemployment.

"We will not be complacent and are absolutely committed to taking action to tackle inequalities and increase employment rates."

The UK Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said it was worrying that employment had fallen and that more people were dropping out of the labour market in Scotland when the numbers in the rest of the UK were up.

He added: "The levers to shape the Scottish economy are there for the Scottish government to pull. They need to start focusing on the day job and how they can use their new powers to support the Scottish economy.

"Because these are not just statistics - behind the fall in employment and rise in economic inactivity are thousands of people in Scotland who deserve the security and opportunity that a job brings."

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the Scottish government needed to invest in skills to raise productivity.

She said: "These latest figures present a mixed picture of the Scottish economy.
"The large fall in unemployment is good news but overall levels of employment in Scotland have fallen, economic inactivity is rising, as has the number of those claiming benefits.

"Against a background of Scottish economic growth which has lagged below overall UK growth levels since April 2015, it is clear that challenges remain to be addressed, including the need to grow Scotland's productivity, which remains low by international standards."

'Brexit uncertainty'

The Federation of Scottish Business called on ministers to think first about the impact on small firms and local economies when they were making key decisions.

Andy Willox, the organisation's Scottish policy convenor, said: "We absolutely want the impact on local business to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

"But this principle must also be applied much closer to home, especially in relation to the upcoming Autumn Statement and Scottish government budget."

The Scottish Trades Union Congress said the figures showed that there were 34,000 more women economically inactive than at this time last year.

General secretary Grahame Smith added: "With already weak growth and the impact of lower investment post-EU referendum yet to become apparent, the STUC is sceptical that the Scottish labour market will improve through the remainder of 2016.

"A major concern for next year is that real wages will once again start to fall as inflation picks up and wage settlements reflect pre-Brexit uncertainty.

"In these circumstances it is essential that the chancellor uses next month's autumn statement to stimulate jobs and growth."

Scottish Labour's economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the rise in economic inactivity was concerning.

She added: "There are many reasons for economic inactivity, including studying and looking after family members, but the data shows that 190,000 Scots want a job.

"Women in particular appear to be struggling as a result of the economic problems facing our country."

Source: BBC News

Untapped North Sea oil and gas is 'significant opportunity'

19/10/2016 - The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has published research drawing attention to the potential of "small pools" of oil and gas in UK waters.

It described the estimate of more than three billion barrels of oil untapped underneath the UK continental shelf as a "very significant opportunity".

The OGA said the North Sea could have a new lease of life if the small pools are successfully tapped.
It warned, however, that new technologies may be required.

OGA head of technology Carlo Procaccini said: "We recognise the challenges operators are facing to develop these marginal oil and gas accumulations. Small pools represent a very significant opportunity to maximise economic recovery from the UK continental shelf.

"Technology has an important role to play to reduce the cost of development wells, design optimised subsea infrastructure to existing host facilities and develop efficient standalone concepts.

"We are committed to working together with the industry, the Technology Leadership Board and the new Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) which has dedicated one of their Solution Centres to unlock the small pools potential."

Unlocking potential

The new publication from the OGA follows a series of events it held last year focussing on "small pool" reserves of oil.

These were led by the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI).

NSRI project director Dr Gordon Drummond said: "Small pools have a national importance in terms of maximising economic recovery and they must be considered as an industry asset if they are to be capitalised upon.

"Following an extensive mapping exercise, we now know exactly where these small pools are located and what is required to unlock their potential.

"If the subsea industry can rise to the challenge of economically tapping into these pools, the North Sea could have a whole new lease of life."

Dr Drummond added: "Technology is only part of the solution, the industry must be much more receptive to innovation - there must be a willingness to work more collaboratively on multi-field applications and on access to infrastructure."

Source: BBC News

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Scotland showcases progress in industrial biotechnology to European industry leaders

18/10/2016 - Glasgow will today become the host city for the ninth European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB), which is taking place 18-20 October.
Over 500 industry delegates committed to a shift towards renewable, biologically-based manufacturing will be in attendance at the largest event of its kind.

The forum will bring a wealth of potential European business to Scotland and an ongoing opportunity to increase visibility of Scottish business opportunities, European partnerships and economic benefits.

The industry is gaining momentum. There are over 50 companies currently working in Scotland’s IB sector. The sector has a turnover of £230m, with a target to increase this to £900 million by 2025. There have been significant milestones in recent years, including the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre opening in Glasgow in 2014 and CelluComp opening the first Scottish biorefinery in 2015.

EFIB is organised by EuropaBio, Europe’s largest and most influential biotechnology industry group and will be supported in Glasgow by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), Scottish Enterprise, SECC and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and partners such as The Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK.

Linda Hanna, Managing Director of Strategy & Sectors, said:
“Hosting EFIB 2016 is a fantastic opportunity and cements Scotland’s place on the world stage as a leader in industrial biotechnology. The level of Industrial Biotechnology development and investment is particularly high in Scotland thanks to a strong heritage in engineering and a wealth of natural resources that are ideal for IB activities. World-class academia combined with a highly skilled workforce and strong industry partnerships, enabled by IBioIC’s ongoing work, means that there is huge potential for the further development and the use of IB in Scotland.”

Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBioIC said: “Scotland’s IB sector although currently small, has great ambition and is already working hard in achieving the outcomes set out in Scotland’s National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology. By applying Team Scotland’s collaborative approach, we are delighted to be hosting EFIB 2016 and see it as a fantastic opportunity to really showcase that ambition.”

Monday, 17 October 2016

Waste Management Support Opportunity for SMEs

(17/10/2016) - Zero Waste Scotland would like to support three innovative initiatives to prevent waste at source, improve waste management practices and cut costs and carbon emissions for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in order to demonstrate the opportunities for more reuse and progressive waste prevention and management available across Scotland.

Three SME's or groups of SME's will be provided with technical expert support to prevent waste at source or to improve waste management and move up the waste hierarchy utilising innovative technologies, processes and/or initiatives.
We are open to suggestions around the topic and focus, however each project must demonstrate:
  • cost and carbon savings
  • collaboration
  • innovation
  • replicability
To get your ideas going, here are 3 of our ideas for approaches to the project:
  1. Locale
Work in a small geographical area across a variety of businesses with different functions. This could include working with small town centres, Business Improvement Districts, shopping centres, industrial parks or multi-tenanted multi-functional buildings.

  1. Function
A collaborative project with businesses that have similar functions which may all be in the same building or on the same site, for example shared office spaces, business parks or retail parks. As well as collaboration from the SME’s residing in the premises, the building’s owner, landlord and/or facilities’ management company may also need to be involved.

  1. Sector
Working collaboratively with one particular sector. For example the retail sector which is recognised as a major waste producer, working with an individual retailer over several consumer facing sites including storage and/or distribution.
The projects might consider (but are not limited to):
  • Supplier take-back
  • Reverse logistics
  • Local Waste Reduction Plan development and implementation.
  • New technologies to reduce contamination of wastes
  • Improve processes to reduce waste production
  • Improve segregation of wastes
  • Reduce waste management costs through collaboration
  • Improve waste management operations in a local area to reduce traffic and carbon emissions in town centre and improved visual impact, compliance and segregation
  • Take a technology used in one industry and applying it to another
  • Identify re-use streams
Projects that are out of scope:
  • Projects that relate solely to improving on-site waste management without reducing costs and cutting carbon emissions for the business
  • Projects which only help an organisation to meet regulatory requirements (unless part of a wider project).
  • Projects that include solely the development of staff awareness campaigns (unless part of a wider project).
  • Projects that do not result in waste prevention or moving up the waste hierarchy.

Are you an SME, or do you represent a group of SME’s? Do you have a project that might fit the bill? Tell us about your suggested project, we'll have a look at it and be in touch soon to let you know what we think. Please download the project proposal form from the downloads section at the top right of this page, complete it and return to by Friday 28th October 2016. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Historic Scottish knitwear brand to be revitalised

12/10/2016 - One of Scotland’s oldest luxury cashmere brands is to be resurrected in the Scottish Borders town of Hawick.

The main shareholder of 1881 J.&D. McGeorge Ltd. has purchased premises at Langlands Mill in Hawick to start production of the label McGeorge of Scotland knitwear.

Thanks to joint advice and support from Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Development International, the company plans to bring the building back to its original purpose as a textile mill, commencing production and creating approximately 20 highly skilled knitting jobs in the Spring of 2017.

McGeorge of Scotland is a luxury cashmere brand sold worldwide with origins dating back to 1881, which will, as in the past, support brands famous worldwide with its technology and expertise.
A spokesperson for 1881 J.&D. McGeorge Ltd. said: “We are delighted to revive this brand in Scotland, where we will make the best quality cashmere for “McGeorge of Scotland”, to be sold to top-end couture houses around the world.”

Managing Director of Scottish Development International Paul Lewis said: “Today’s announcement is good news for Scotland’s textile sector and reinforces our world-wide reputation as a textile producer with a proud heritage and an enduring place on the world's fashion stage. “

Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development at Scottish Borders Council said “Knitwear manufacturing still plays a key role in our local economy and is an important part of our approach to inclusive growth. It is great news for Hawick that this textiles inward investment is being made just now and I hope that the excellent work that SDI do in encouraging companies to invest in Scotland can stimulate further capital investment and jobs in a sector which is such an important part of our heritage.

“This business investment powerfully demonstrates the provenance, skills and high quality product that is available in Hawick, and which makes it an excellent inward investment location.”
Source: Scottish Enterprise

Monday, 10 October 2016

Carnegie UK Trust in Town Twinning Scheme Call

10/11/2016 - Scottish towns are being asked to apply to a new domestic twinning programme to boost their local economies.

Towns with a population of under 80,000 - such as Inverness, Perth, Paisley and Hawick - are being encouraged to submit applications to the Carnegie UK Trust.

It has launched the scheme to support matched funding, shared knowledge and the creation of an economic development plan for local areas.

Ten UK towns will be paired to share ideas and boost growth.
The twinning concept grew after the Second World War to promote cultural and commercial ties around the world.

It is being recreated across the UK as a way for councils to work together more closely.
Scottish towns and cities have established hundreds of twin town relationships around the world over the years, such as Falkirk with Creteil, in northern France, Kirkcaldy with Ingolstadt, in southern Germany, and Livingston with Grapevine in Texas.

Twinning concept

Head of development at the Carnegie UK Trust Jim Metcalfe said: "The concept of town twinning was conceived to foster greater understanding and trade between communities in different countries.

"With the devolution of power to big, overarching regions increasingly likely, smaller towns are in danger of being left behind.

"Twin Towns UK is an opportunity for local councils facing particular problems to form a partnership with a counterpart elsewhere in the country.

"Having a twinned town is something to be proud of - and we think some towns can find that partner here in the UK."

The selected towns will be supported over 18 months to build ties, receive economic planning support, and have access to funds to kick-start new commercial, voluntary and social enterprise activity, the charity said.

Source: BBC News

£5m Investment in Scotland’s Aerospace Sector

10/11/2016 - One of the world’s leading aerostructure suppliers to both Airbus and Boeing has invested £5m at their site in Prestwick.

Spirit AeroSystems’s new paint and finishing centre was today (Monday 10 October 2016) officially opened by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown.

Supported by a Scottish Enterprise Regional Selective Assistance grant of £450,000, the investment will also safeguard 75 jobs. The company has also recently been awarded a £1m Scottish Enterprise Training Aid grant which supports the creation of 16 new jobs and safeguards 52.

Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds large aerostructures, including fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components, for both commercial and defense programs. From its facilities at Prestwick, its operation is known as Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Limited. Spirit Europe is one of the largest airframe suppliers to Airbus and is a key supplier of major wing structures. Spirit Europe also produces wing structures for Boeing programs.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brownsaid:

“Aerospace is one of our highest value sectors, playing a vital role in Scotland’s economy. That is why I am delighted to welcome Spirit’s latest £5m investment in the facility, underlining the achievements of the team and showing real commitment to developing the workforce and operations in Prestwick. I am sure this will see the company continue to go from strength to strength, increasing efficiency and competitiveness and opening up new markets. I wish the Spirit team every success moving forward.”

Scott McLarty, VP UK and Malaysia commented:

“This new finishing centre allows us to better meet the needs of our customers as production rates increase for single aisle aircraft. We are grateful for the investment by Scottish Enterprise and their partnership with us. This finishing centre improves our competitiveness as a world-class manufacturer and presents us with new opportunities to continually improve the quality products we deliver for our customers.”

Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise said:

“We are delighted to support Spirit AeroSystems in the development of this new finishing centre. This significantly enhances capability at the site and demonstrates their continued commitment to developing their operations here in Scotland.”

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Scottish Government Outlines Fifty Actions to Achieve a “Fairer Scotland”

05/10/2016 (Scottish Government) - Fifty bold and ambitious actions to achieve a fairer Scotland for everyone have been outlined in a landmark plan published today by Communities Secretary Angela Constance. For more details, please see

A £29 million programme, including £12.5m from the European Social Fund, is being established for communities and the third sector to design, test and deliver new approaches to tackling poverty and improving lives.

The Fairer Scotland Action Plan (FSAP) lists 50 actions to be achieved in the next 14 years under five themes of a fairer Scotland for all, an end to child poverty, a strong start for all young people, fairer working lives and a thriving third age:

  • setting a target for councils to make at least 1% of their budgets available for community-designed projects
  • making funds available to support disabled people running for elected office
  • helping refugee families settling in Scotland under Family Reunion rules access grants as quickly as possible
  • delivering 100% superfast broadband and helping low-income households reduce costs
  • convening an affordable energy summit
  • the first national plan for BSL
  • help to promote family-friendly working
  • introducing a Bill to establish domestic abuse as a specific offence.
And for the first time anywhere in the UK, the FSAP commits the Scottish Government, councils and other public bodies to a Socio-Economic Duty – assessing the impact certain policy or service changes will have on tackling poverty – which will soon go to consultation.
Already backed by specific pledges from some of Scotland’s best-known employers and third sector bodies, the plan was launched at the Prince’s Trust’s Glasgow headquarters, where Communities Secretary Angela Constance joined in a workshop with local teenagers.

Ms Constance said:

“Our ambition is for a fair, smart, inclusive Scotland with genuine equality of opportunity for everyone.
“Our Fairer Scotland Action Plan backs up that ambition with concrete action.
“It contains 50 specific steps to create a more equal society – including eradicating child poverty – and a new £29 million programme to tackle poverty.
“We are also the first in the UK to commit to making all public bodies consider how our big decisions tackle poverty, by implementing a socio-economic duty.
“In addition, some of our best-known employers are joining us in these efforts by signing pledges to do more. They see it’s not only the right thing to do but also good business.
“This is a watershed moment in Scotland and a significant milestone in our quest for equality.
“Through these bold and ambitious steps, Scotland will be a fairer, more equal country for everyone by 2030.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:

“The Fairer Scotland Action Plan’s new £29 million programme, which has secured £12.5m from the European Social Fund, will enable communities and the third sector to develop and deliver innovative solutions to poverty and disadvantage.
“We all know that in June, Scotland voted to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government firmly believes that membership delivers many social, economic and cultural benefits for individuals, business and communities.
“This investment from the European Structural Funds is yet another illustration of these advantages and is why maintaining our EU membership and preserving this kind of funding for the long term is a top priority.”

Allan Watt, Prince’s Trust Scotland, Director, said:

“Too many young people lose hope and leave school or college with few qualifications, low levels of confidence and low aspirations for the future. An important focus of our Fairer Scotland pledge is to help close the education attainment gap for disadvantaged young people.
“The Prince’s Trust’s new education programme, Achieve, will support those young people by giving them more chances and opportunities to change their lives.”

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive of Virgin Money, which has pledged in the plan, said:

“The publication of the Scottish Government’s “Fairer Scotland Action Plan” is a timely challenge to us all to do our bit to make Scotland a fairer place in which to live and work.
“I firmly believe that businesses as well as individuals have a key role to play in this movement. I fully support the Scottish Government for taking this positive step forward.”
Jim Sweeney MBE, YouthLink Chief Executive, said:
“YouthLink Scotland, the National Agency for Youth Work in Scotland, are delighted to support disseminate and contribute to the Action Plan for A Fairer Scotland.
“With our hundred plus member organisations and networks we will promote equality and diversity, rights and participation for the 400,000 young people involved with youth work on a regular basis.”

Scottish Borders Town Centre Priority List Drawn Up

05/10/2016 - Scottish Borders Council has agreed where to target its "limited resources" for town centre regeneration.

An initial version of a resilience index shows that Hawick followed by Jedburgh and Eyemouth should be the first sites to receive attention.

The council said it wanted to intervene where the public sector could "unlock opportunities or solve problems."

Councillor Stuart Bell said it was vital they prioritised resources in order to make the "biggest difference".

"Through the Hawick Action Plan, working with partners including Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland, we are already working hard to tackle issues there, which the recently announced funding will assist with," he said.

"In Jedburgh we have been working closely with the community and have recently submitted an application for a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme to Historic Environment Scotland, following on from the success of the Selkirk scheme.

"This is a very competitive funding stream and we are not guaranteed to be successful, but the excellent work between officers and key community groups has certainly given us the very best possible chance of securing what would be an exciting opportunity for Jedburgh."

'Vital role'

He said he hoped a new approach in Eyemouth could also make a "long-term positive impact on the town".

However, a review of a pilot Galashiels town centre co-ordinator role decided it was not a model which could be rolled out more widely.

Gordon Henderson, of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: "The recognition of Scotland's town centres and the vital role they play in supporting local economies is something the FSB has been championing.

"This piece of work to look at ten key Borders towns together in a single plan is a very welcome approach and I'll be watching its progress with interest.

"Our town centres must adapt with the times to ensure they remain relevant and often this means alternatives to the old retail-only approach must be explored."

Source: BBC News

Cases made for Inverness City Region Deal funding

05/10/2016 - Business cases for projects worth about £48m have been submitted for Inverness City Region Deal funding.

About £15m has been sought for a plan to turn Inverness Castle from a criminal and civil courts building into a tourist attraction.

Cases have also been made for an £11m Northern Innovation Hub and £10m to make vacant land at Inverness' Longman available to businesses.

The Scottish and UK governments will consider Highland Council's bids.

The other projects involve funding for a new University of the Highlands and Islands School of 
Health, Social Care and Life Sciences and a network of "science rooms" to promote learning in science and engineering.

Announced in March this year by Highland Council and the Scottish and UK governments, the £315m city region deal involves direct funding and greater borrowing powers.

Source: BBC News

Public Sector Innovation Learning – Nesta’s i-School Project

05/10/2016 (Nesta) - We're orchestrating the world’s best people to strengthen innovation capacity across governments and develop the next generation of public innovation learning.

Why are we doing this?

Governments have pioneered innovation throughout history. However, as economic, social and environmental challenges become increasingly complex, governments are struggling to effectively solve the problems they are facing. As the environments and tasks of government change, so do the competencies and skills needed to be an effective public leader or official.

The ability to innovate is ultimately about how governments operate to create public and democratic legitimacy. Governments dedicated to driving innovation are being forced to rethink and develop their structures, capabilities, methods and tools in the search for effective action.

An ever expanding landscape of potentially disruptive innovation approaches is available to public decision-makers. These include abilities to experiment, test and improve promising ideas rapidly; to generate and use data of all kinds; to harness knowledge from many sources and in multiple ways; to design interventions that resonate with people’s lives and aspirations; and to make the most of successive generations of digital technology.

The challenge is how to approach this complex innovation space. There is a genuine need among public leaders and policymakers for better strategic and practical support of this transformational process. However, current training and development offers in the field are falling short of fulfilling the task of educating and enabling better government innovation capacity.

What are we doing?

Nesta is developing the i-school – a new way of develop and supporting public innovation learning for creating public impact. The objective of the i-school is to strategically support the people, teams, labs, offices and organisations inside government with a mandate to innovate and/or tasked with developing new approaches that increase the ability of governments to innovate. These include different levels of government (city, regional, national, institutional), different parts of the government hierarchy (from cabinet offices to operational units) and different departments (across all policy areas).

The i-school will seek to create an environment for accelerated learning and a curriculum for government innovation to ensure a more useful, consistent and evidence-based field. We will co-create learning experiences, insights and approaches based on how people and organisations practically create successes in their innovation work.

The i-school aims to advance the field of innovation learning beyond methods and tools by focusing on the craft of government innovation – what it takes in practice to navigate and apply a range of innovation approaches, as well as managing the conditions and implications that these new approaches create within government organisations.

Partners in the i-school will get strategic support for their government innovators in their task to build new practices, skills, capabilities and cultures. Nesta is currently working with pioneering government partners, innovation labs, international institutions and educational organisations around the world to explore and co-create new insights, frameworks and material. This happens through multiple, peer-led parallel experiments and systematic research and co-development.   

The background

The i-school is first and foremost building on the expertise, experiences and ideas of the current community of practice within government innovation. In addition, Nesta has a wide-ranging portfolio of work focusing on government innovation. Significantly, several projects are exploring how innovation teams work in government, innovations in democracy and public participation, data-led governance innovation, and redesign of public services within core areas like health and social services.

The i-school is furthering this work and is specifically building on the i-teams research focusing on how to dedicate innovation resources within government organisations. Equally, it links to further the insights presented by the monthly newsletter focused on innovation lab practice LabNotes and the global gathering of government innovation labs atLabWorks in 2015.

Moreover, the i-school is building on the experiences of developing and leveraging innovation learning resources such as the DIY toolkitpractice-guides for innovation labs and Design for Europe.

We are currently open to including potential partners that have a significant ambition to take effective action and develop approaches and skillsets that are better suited to the challenges of the 21st century. If you wish to be a part of this movement, we are eager to hear more about your ambitions and talk about possibilities for collaboration. 

For more information, contact Jesper ChristiansenSenior Programme Manager.

Source: Nesta

Pilot Data Map of UK Local Economies Published

05/10/2016 - In the third data pilot in Arloesiadur, Nesta’s innovation analytics project for Welsh Government, the innovation charity draws on cutting edge economic geography research to identify related industries for clustering analysis, measure the complexity of local economies in the UK, explore the links between complexity and better economic outcomes such as productivity and wealth, and generate predictions about the future specialisations of UK local economies based on their current profiles. View the data map here.

Complex places for complex times: An analysis of the complexity of UK local economies, and their future evolution

Nesta - One of the key economic lessons of the last 20 years is that, in spite of globalisation and the Internet, place still matters: industries tend to cluster in particular places; the industrial composition of those places shape future opportunities and constraints [1]. Too much specialisation creates fragile local economies reliant on the fortunes of a small number of sectors. Too much variety could reduce the scope for spillovers between them. 

The questions for policymakers are: 
  • What is the current profile of a local economy? 
  • What are the potential and desired future paths of development? 
  • How to intervene (if at all) to achieve desired outcomes?
These are very topical issues: many analyses have linked the discontent behind the results of the European Referendum to regional economic divides, and the same seems to apply to the advance of Donald Trump in the USA. National and local industrial strategies to drive industrial growth are back on the agenda. 

The challenge is how to design and implement these strategies in a way that creates new markets, strengthens industrial ecosystems and drives growth, rather than prop up inefficient industries or satisfy vested interests. Ideas such as ‘smart specialisation’ or ‘entrepreneurial discovery’, originated in academia and adopted by the European Commission are an important contribution to these debates. In a nutshell, they ask regions to focus on those industries where they have established strengths rather than trying to build new clusters from scratch, and to identify what the new opportunities are in a process driven by entrepreneurs instead of officials. 

This blog post reports the findings of an innovation analytics pilot where we apply new approaches developed by economic geographers and complexity scientists with the goal of generating data that can inform policy decisions in this important area. The pilot is part of Arloesiadur, our project to develop an innovation dashboard for Welsh Government. 

We discuss some of the findings in the rest of the blog. Although we introduce key concepts and intuitions for the methods used in the relevant sections, we don’t go into their detail. If you want further information, check the GitHubrepository with the scripts we have used to process and analyse the data. We've made a visualisation of the data available here.

Before starting, we should point out this is an exploratory pilot with limitations that we highlight where relevant, so the (suggestive) results should be taken with caution. Our goal is to take this analysis further when we start building the Arloesiadur platform in the coming months, incorporating any feedback or suggestions you might have. Read full article

Monday, 3 October 2016

Michael Russell to Outline Ambitions for Economic Links with Europe

03/10/2016 (EDAS) - Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, Michael Russell, is to outline the Scottish Government’s ambitions for retaining strong economic links with Europe in forthcoming negotiations between the UK and EU.

Mr Russell will this Tuesday give an address stating the Scottish Government’s position on economic matters following the EU referendum. Speaking to an audience of senior figures from the public, private, academic and third sectors, he will also touch upon the potential economic ramifications of Brexit for Scotland.

Mr Russell said:

“Scotland’s economy has benefitted tremendously from our EU membership in terms of trade, skills, funding, policy and networking. Remaining a member of the single market is crucial to businesses and communities in Scotland and across the UK, and the trade benefits and social protections of single market membership are an integral part of our vision for Scotland’s economy.

As the UK Government grapples with responding to the referendum, we’re doing everything we can to ensure the UK approach delivers the least damage to our economy and our interests. As part of this, we have injected a further £100 million for capital projects that support and create employment this financial year.

“It’s important I hear first-hand the concerns and views of Scotland’s economic development practitioners following the EU referendum. Given the uncertainty it has raised it’s crucial that we collectively work to maintain the capacity of Scotland’s economic development organisations in delivering a successful, productive and inclusive economy – one that is outward-facing, and maintains strong links with our trading partners in the EU and beyond.” 

The Minister will be joined by the Chair of the Scottish Government’s Standing Council on Europe, University of Glasgow’s Principal Professor Anton Muscatelli. Professor Muscatelli will give a keynote address on the potential economic implications, challenges and opportunities presented by the Brexit vote for Scotland.

Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist and Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre in Brussels, will explain the view of key EU institutions toward Scotland and the UK in light of the UK decision to leave the EU.

Hosted by the Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS) at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, the aim of the event “Scotland’s Economy & Brexit” will be to gain insight into the shifting landscape for Scotland’s economic development following the Brexit vote in June.

A survey of EDAS members following the referendum, which heard from a diverse range of economic development practitioners, highlighted that among the profession there are a range of uncertainties regarding current funding streams for economic development, regeneration and rural development and the implications that new trade and migration rules will have on the national and local economies, both urban and rural.

Robert Pollock, Chair of EDAS said:

“The vote for the UK to leave the EU has profound implications for Scotland's economy and for economic development practitioners whether working in the public, private and third sectors, both in urban or rural settings.

“However, even with the negotiation and implementation of a Brexit settlement likely to take several years, consideration is required as to the consequences, challenges and opportunities presented by a shift in the relationship with the EU. No matter where you turn in Scotland from city centres, to industrial and commercial parks, university labs or rural communities, the positive impact of EU funding and policy is evident.  

“Together with its members, EDAS is committed to bringing as much possible clarity to the scale and parameters of the coming challenge and highlight the issues that need addressed to promote economic development and enhance the performance of Scotland's economy”.


Note to editors

The event “Scotland’s Economy and Brexit” will take place on Tuesday 4th October, 5pm - 7pm and the Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh.

For more information about the event and booking information, please see the event page: 

Any direct enquiries, please contact Elaine Bone:, 07801 354591.

About EDAS

EDAS is Scotland’s foremost membership driven association for all organisations and individuals with an interest in economic development.

With 2500+ members from across the public, private, academic and third sectors, we aim to facilitate a substantial improvement in the effectiveness of economic development activity in Scotland by helping to raise the knowledge, skills and networks of those involved in all aspects of economic development. Our activities include networking seminars on key economic development issues; independent, collaborative policy work; CPD training courses in economic development; and larger events and conferences.

Support for Local Economies Announced

New business hubs will be delivered in four local communities, thanks to the Local Economic Development fund.

Clackmannanshire, Fife, Hawick and Irvine will each receive a share of the £10 million fund, which was announced in the Programme for Government.

These funds will be used to deliver a variety of business infrastructure projects; including an enterprise hub in Kincardine, small industrial workshops, spaces for small and growing businesses as well as a new industrial business space in the Irvine Enterprise Area.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:

“As was made clear in the Programme for Government, we wanted to introduce measures to boost business confidence and keep our economy moving. I’m pleased to now be able to confirm the four areas that will receive a share of the £10 million, I have no doubt that these projects will help to drive our economy and provide a real benefit to people across the country.

“In the wake of the EU referendum, we have committed to protecting Scotland’s interests, particularly our economic interests. We have been working to ensure that money reaches businesses, communities and individuals where it is most needed. Local businesses can be the engines of our economy and strong local economies are crucial to our success.”

Full detail:

A breakdown of funding is as follows:
  • Clackmannanshire - £2m
  • Fife - £2.7m
  • Hawick - £3.625m
  • Irvine - £1.675m
Further details on the Programme for Government announcement:

The Scottish Government has made a commitment to recognise and prioritise the importance of town centres in our Town Centre Action Plan and the Town Centre First Principle. The Principle calls on central government, local authorities, communities and the wider public sector to put the health of town centres across Scotland at the heart of decision-making processes. It helps protect our town centres and the public services within them.

• £2.0m to Clackmannanshire Council – to support the creation of business units and a community enterprise hub
• New business units to enable increased SME development within Clackmannanshire
• Support for growing businesses to relocate to more suitable premises to enable continued expansion
• Creation of an enterprise hub for businesses, community and social enterprises.
• £2.7m to Fife Council – to support an enterprise hub and industrial workshops in Kincardine to support diversification and business growth
• Create an Enterprise Hub to be a multi-use building in Kincardine offering support services, for businesses and community enterprise and accommodation for SMEs.
• Build eight new industrial units in Kindcardine, with site infrastructure, for SMEs responding to the current shortage of such units in the area.

• £3.625m to Scottish Borders Council – to deliver actions in the Hawick Action Plan to revitalise the town to encourage start-ups and retain growing business in the town.
• Resources will deliver projects that are key to revitalising Hawick, making it a great place in which to live, work and invest. They will help develop business accommodation and an enterprise centre which would match future business needs, retaining growing companies in the town and encourage enterprise to start up and grow.


• £1.675m – Irvine, North Ayrshire – i3 Strategic Investment Campus Gateway Development and enabling infrastructure
• To construct business infrastructure: new industrial business space, road and utility expansion to attract growth companies and investment from life and chemical sciences sector to the Irvine Life Science Enterprise Area
• Ensuring quality accommodation to attract growth businesses to locate to the enterprise area, creating 3000 square metres of business space and 2.5 hectares of land brought back into use