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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

IED Manchester Conference, 10th May 2017 – Early bird booking open!

The major economic development event of the year is coming to Manchester this spring.

Taking place on 10th May 2017 at the Lowry Hotel, Manchester, the event will be bringing together economic development, regeneration and business leaders from across the UK to discuss how to achieve true economic development and create an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth.     

What's in store?

Get the latest insights from policy makers, economic development experts and thought leaders, and explore what the new mayors and devolution deals mean for economic development in the North.

Discuss and debate how sustainable and inclusive growth can be achieved, and how we can bridge the North-South divide.

Hear strategic growth ideas balanced with practical examples of innovative approaches to economic development and delivering the growth agenda NOW.

Network with economic development and regeneration professionals from the Northern region and beyond.

To book your place please visit the conference website here. If you book by the 7th April,  you will benefit from a discounted delegate rate.


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Scottish Government's Lead on Brexit Trade Issues Joins Expert Lineup for Workshop on Export Advice and Support

George Burgess, the Scottish Government's Deputy Director of Food, Drink and Trade, is to speak at a day workshop tailored for professionals who advise on and support the global aspirations of businesses and organisations in Scotland.

Delivered by EDAS and SDI on Friday 31st March in Edinburgh, the workshop will also hear expert advice and case studies from senior speakers presenting Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group, Heriot Watt University, Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd, Cultural Enterprise Office and the CEIS Group. You can read the full programme or RSVP here.

Mr Burgess will speak on Scotland's Internationalisation Strategy, particularly in the context of changing circumstances following the Brexit vote. The internationalisation expert is leading on trade issues for the Scottish Government following the Brexit vote, as well as food and drink policy, such as Good Food Nation, industry growth, grants and livestock policy.

With Scotland's exports rising by £1bn from 2014 - 2015, maintaining this trend is a key priority for the Scottish economy. This full-day learning workshop will provide the latest information on strategies, service and product provision, growth sectors, and good practice case studies. We will also discuss global networks and, based on EDAS' Route Map work, look at the importance of engendering an international outlook and culture as a backdrop to successful internationalisation in Scotland.

Importantly, there will be ample time for informal catch up with our speakers and colleagues from across the public, private and third sectors - giving you a chance to learn, share expertise, exchange views and raise questions about developments and news with peers from around the country.

Full event information can be viewed below.


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

FAI Report: Scotland’s Economy Continues to Recover – But Uncertainty Will Act as Brake on Growth

FAI - Recovery in the Scottish economy is forecast to continue this year but will remain weak with little hope of a sharp increase in growth, according to a new report published today by Scotland’s leading independent economic research institute.  To read the full report please click here.

The commentary, provided quarterly by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, suggests growth in Scotland is forecast to remain fragile over the next few years as the downturn in the North Sea continues to bite and weak levels of consumer confidence put a curb on spending. The report finds:

  • The Institute’s new central forecasts are for economic growth of 1.2% in 2017, 1.3% in 2018 and 1.4% in 2019 – broadly unchanged since December’s forecasts.
  • The downturn in the North Sea – alongside lower levels of overall confidence in the economy – suggest that the Scottish economy will continue to lag behind the UK as a whole.
  • Over the 10 years since the start of the financial crisis, the Scottish economy has grown by an average of just 0.7% each year – less than a third of its long-term trend. It is no surprise therefore, that whilst unemployment rates remain close to record lows, the incomes of most households continue to be squeezed.
  • Getting the economy moving again must be a key priority for policymakers from all political parties.
Strathclyde’s academics believe unprecedented levels of policy uncertainty will act as their own headwind on growth.  Yet, with so little clarity over the end outcomes, many businesses appear to be 

‘looking through the uncertainty’ and continue to press ahead with day-to-day activities. Indeed, a number of recent business surveys point to a modest pick-up in activity toward the end of 2016 and into 2017.

The Scottish labour market continues to hold up relatively well the report finds. Employment is close to its record high whilst the current unemployment rate of 4.7% is well below its long-run average. However, with rising inactivity, weak earnings growth and reduced hours worked, the squeeze on households remains challenging.

The prospects of a second independence referendum are likely to dominate debate for the foreseeable future. Whilst the key issues are clear, the arguments this time are likely to be different. For example
:
  • Firstly, in 2014 there was a clear choice between a stable ‘status quo’ – albeit with more devolved powers – and independence. With Brexit and Indyref2, the debate will be set against the backdrop of two types of inevitable economic change.
  • Secondly, it is undoubtedly the case that the recent performance of North Sea oil and gas poses a challenge to any transition to independence. For example, the sharp fall in oil prices has all but eliminated North Sea tax revenues.
  • Thirdly, many of those on the ‘yes’ side in 2014 argued that there would be a degree of continuity between the then status quo and independence; e.g. plans to keep sterling, joint regulation of banks and for both to be members of the EU. This time, the Scottish Government appear open to more radical ideas on issues such as currency, financial regulation and fiscal policy.

Employability Support for Young Scots Care Leavers

TFN - Hundreds of care leavers will be helped to move into work, training or education through a new £1 million programme announced today.

The Care Experienced Employability Programme (CEEP) is a one-year pilot programme to help 270 young care leavers aged 16-29 to move into appropriate work, training or educational opportunities.
CEEP will be led by the third sector Young Person’s Consortium (YPC) which consists of Barnardo’s Scotland, Action for Children and the Prince’s Trust.

It will offer work experience, qualifications, practical skills, involvement in community projects and life coaching that are focussed on the needs of the individual.

Cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work Keith Brown, said the programme is a new approach to helping the young people who face the biggest barriers in our society.

“It will provide wrap-around support for young people who have been looked after at home, and who are recognised as having the most significant challenges to accessing education and skills training opportunities,” he said.

“Recent data shows that we have made significant progress in tackling youth unemployment and Scotland currently has the second lowest youth unemployment rate in Europe, after Germany, with levels at the lowest rate since records began.

“By supporting more young care leavers to access employment, training and education opportunities and close the attainment gap with their peers, we are sending a clear signal that we are determined to go further.

“We have set an ambitious target of achieving a 55% progression rate for the programme in year one to ensure this is delivered.”

Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, added: “Barnardo’s Works partnership with the Prince’s Trust and Action for Children will give care experienced young people the opportunity to access apprenticeships and jobs with training, working with our wide range of employer partners.

“This is a golden opportunity to make a step change in how we support care experienced young people on to apprenticeships and jobs. This is a group of young people who are often at the back of the queue when it comes to having that opportunity.

“The partnership is delighted to be able to support Scottish Government in helping to make this significant change.”

Scotland Posts Record Year for Food and Drink Exports

Food and drink exports from Scotland grew by £421 million in 2016, to a record £5.5 billion.

The latest figures show an 8% increase in the value of exports to Scotland’s successful food and drink sector over the past year. 

The figures also show that:

  • Food exports alone grew by 22% to £1.5 billion.
  • The fish and seafood category recorded the largest overall increase of £156 million (up 26%), with Europe the leading export destination. 
  • Exports to EU countries were worth £2.3 billion overall, up £133 million last year.
  • Scotch Whisky exports grew by £153 million (up 4%) to over £4 billion in 2016.
These figures come ahead of the launch of a new industry strategy on 23 March, which will outline plans to support and grow the sector to 2030.

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said:

“Since this government came into office the value of food exports has more than doubled.  Food and drink is now one of the standout success stories in our economy, increasing growth and supporting jobs across the country. 

“Our produce has an excellent reputation around the world and it’s clear the industry is going from strength to strength. The increased collaboration between industry and public sector and the Food and Drink Export Plan are helping this by identifying opportunities to support businesses and breaking down the barriers to trade.

“These figures show the importance of retaining access to the vital European markets, which are currently worth £2.3 billion to the sector, and represent our largest export market. 
"We shouldn't have to face the choice between remaining as part of the UK and the EU single market. The pursuit of a hard  Brexit is a major threat to this success and these figures show why we must work to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.   

“Scotland’s food and drink sector is in fantastic health, and next week’s strategy launch will outline how we plan to support the industry to build upon this success and further grow the sector to 2030.”
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said:
"The latest export figures are fantastic news and a new high for Scottish food and drink.  This industry is Scotland's fastest growing major sector. Yet we have huge ambitions to grow further.

"We are clear we want to internationalise our food industry, following in the footsteps of our greatest export, Scotch Whisky.  We have now doubled food exports since 2007, transforming the level of trade in growing markets like Asia.  That is crucial to extend our footprint beyond just Europe which is still the destination for over 70% of our food exports.

"The game changer has been developing a national brand for Scottish produce in export markets, with industry and government working hand in hand to invest in overseas trade experts and activity.  If we now further deepen that work, this success story has much further to go."
Susan Beattie, Head of Food & Drink at Scottish Development International, said:

“These excellent export figures reflect the hard work and dedication of Scottish food and drink businesses and strong consumer demand across the world for their high quality premium products.  We’re pleased to play our part in supporting these companies to grow in the top prospect markets identified in the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan. 

“A key part of this support is the SF&D team of in-market specialists who are opening doors with leading retailers and foodservice organisations, identifying business opportunities which companies are actively following up on.”

Scotland Food and Drink Exports, 2016 and 2015, £m

2016
2015
2015-2016 £m Change
2015-2016 % Change
Live Animals
66
38
29
76%
Meat
72
65
7
11%
Dairy & Eggs
59
87
-29
-33%
Fish & Seafood
759
603
156
26%
Cereals
209
180
30
17%
Fruit & Vegetables
68
63
5
8%
Sugar & Honey
16
9
7
86%
Tea & Coffee
48
48
-0
-1%
Animal Feed
153
95
58
61%
Miscellaneous
51
46
5
12%
Total Food & Live Animals
1,502
1,234
268
22%
Drink[1]
4,002
3,849
153
4%
Total Food & Drink
5,504
5,083
421
8%
[1] Drink exports are defined as exports of Scotch whisky from the UK as per SFD target.


Scottish Government Launches New Digital Strategy Aimed at Digital Employment of 150,000

Scottish Government - Plans to boost the number of digital jobs to 150,000 by 2021 have been outlined in the Scottish Government’s new digital strategy.

Realising Scotland’s full potential in a Digital World sets out how the Scottish Government intends to place digital at the heart of everything it does from reforming public services to delivering economic growth. This includes:

  • Creating the conditions which could lead to 150,000 working in digital technology jobs across Scotland by the start of the next decade.
  • Ensuring that every premises in Scotland is able to access broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2021
  • A new digital schools programme
  • A new round of funding for community digital inclusion projects and expand Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter
  • Infrastructure that is secure and resilient against cyber attack
  • A new Digital Growth Fund to address the current undersupply of digital skills.
Launching the strategy during a visit to a newly converted high-tech acceleration and growth space for aspiring businesses in Glasgow, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution Derek Mackay said:

“Digital is transforming the way we live. It is connecting us faster than ever before while putting more power into the hands of service users. There is a huge opportunity here and now to ensure that people, businesses and organisations across Scotland, are given the tools and skills they need to harness this potential.

“Our vision is for Scotland to become even more digitally competitive and attractive. By developing our existing workforce and increasing our digital capabilities across society and the business community, we will ensure that our citizens have the opportunity to improve their digital skills with everyone who wants to get connected able to do so, and public services designed by and for citizens that are secure. This will in turn will have a positive impact on growing our economy.”

Background

Click here for Realising Scotland’s full potential in a Digital World.
Click here for the Scottish Government’s 2011 Digital Strategy.
Read the recent Digital Growth Fund announcement.
Click here for the Digital Strategy Evidence Paper.

Friday, 17 March 2017

EDAS & SDI Internationalisation Workshop on Exporting, 31.03.17

Learn from Scottish Government, SDI, FSB, SLAED, Scottish Chambers and more! 

This workshop is part one of two practical learning events designed for professionals with a role or interest in supporting and growing the global aspirations of businesses and organisations in Scotland. 

Part two, to be held later this year, will focus on foreign direct investment.

With Scotland's exports rising by £1bn from 2014 - 2015, maintaining this trend is a key priority for the Scottish economy. This full-day learning workshop will provide the latest information on strategies, service and product provision, growth sectors, and good practice case studies. We will also discuss global networks and, based on EDAS' Route Map work, look at the importance of engendering an international outlook and culture as a backdrop to successful internationalisation in Scotland.

Importantly, there will be ample time for informal catch up with our speakers and colleagues from across the public, private and third sectors - giving you a chance to learn, share expertise, exchange views and raise questions about developments and news with peers from around the country.




Programme and Speakers


09:30: Networking Coffee

10:15: Welcome from event Chair - Susan Love, Policy Manager, FSB Scotland and EDAS Board Member

10:25: Scotland's Strategy for Internationalisation -   George Burgess, Deputy Director, Food, Drink and Trade, Scottish Government   

10:45: The Organisational Landscape: A Team Scotland Approach

Scottish Development International will touch on trends, performance, Brexit impact and sector growth areas; followed by detailing its core functions. We will then hear from Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Scottish Local Authority Economic Development Group (SLAED) representatives, outlining their networks' roles and responsibilities in supporting internationalisation.

10:45: Lesley Frostick, Strategy Partner, Scottish Development International and Andy McDonald, Senior Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Scottish Development International 

11:05: Val Russell, Chief Executive, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce representing the Scottish Chambers of Commerce

11:20: Pamela Stevenson, Vice Chair, Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development (SLAED)

11:35: Networks and Engendering a Culture of Internationalisation - Kate MacInnes, GlobalScot Team Manager, Scottish Enterprise

11:50: Panel Discussion and Q & A

12:10: Networking Lunch

13:00: Good Practice Showcase   

A range of advisers, some teamed with their clients, will illustrate good practice examples in promoting, developing and supporting internationalisation.

13:00: Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd

13:15: Gerry Higgins, Chief Executive, CEIS Group

13:30: Joe Pacitti, Assistant Principal, Strategic Projects and Policy, Heriot Watt University

13:45: Q & A

14:00: Cultural Enterprise Office

14:15: Val Russell, Chief Executive, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce

14:30: Q & A and General Discussion

15:00: Summing Up and Close 

New Figures: Majority of Scottish Children in Poverty Live in Working Households

TFN – One million Scots are now living in poverty, new statistics show.

And campaigners warn more people in paid work are being classified as poor.

The figures, released by the Scottish Government, include 260,000 children, 70% of whom are in households where at least one person is in paid work.

Anti-poverty campaigners have responded to the findings by calling for concerted action by both the UK and Scottish governments to address the growing crisis.

They call on the Scottish Government to use all its new powers to ensure the figures do not turn into long term trends.

This will include using the power to top up benefits that are currently reserved to Westminster.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, called on the Scottish Government to top up reserved benefits to alleviate the problem.

And, he said, increasing child benefit by £5 per week would help to lift 30,000 children out of poverty and should now be a priority.

“With a child poverty bill now progressing through parliament, there is a real opportunity to improve the lives of families living on a low income and ensure that this is the last generation to grow up in poverty," Kelly said.  

“At UK level, the prime minister and chancellor have shown this week that they are willing to make u-turns when they think it is necessary.

"These figures provide ample evidence of a need to reverse the cuts that have been made to child benefit, jobseekers allowances, tax credits, which are due to be frozen until the end of this parliament. Freezing these lifeline benefits has had a devastating impact on millions of people."

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said the lack of affordable housing was having a huge impact on families and individuals living in Scotland, pushing more into poverty and damaging their wellbeing and life chances – especially children.

“That 170,000 more people have been pushed into poverty because of their housing costs should be yet another alarm bell for the Scottish Government that much more needs to be done right now to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis," she warned. 

“It’s simply wrong that one in four children should find themselves in poverty and that more than one in 10 children have been living with persistent poverty for three or more of the last four years.

“We want to see a step change in the provision of good quality and truly affordable homes being delivered in communities where they are needed across Scotland.

"We also need to protect investment in the housing safety net that helps some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society through very hard times and keeps a roof over their head.”

She added: “Poverty and homelessness are closely linked – it doesn’t take too much to tip a family over the edge into a spiral of debt, arrears and homelessness. 

"A new national strategy on homelessness is needed to tackle the issues fuelling today’s homelessness.”

Ekosgen Glasgow/Manchester Vacancies: Research Consultant, Consultant and Senior Consultant

We are growing our team of consultants and have vacancies at Research Consultant, Consultant and Senior Consultant level. You should have experience of economic and social research, preferably in a commercial environment, and have experience of building lasting client relationships.

As a member of our team  you would work on a wide range of commissions, including socio-economic assessments, area based economic development strategies, project development work and project appraisals.

For the Research Consultant/Consultant post you should have a good honours degree (and ideally a post-graduate qualification) in economics, social geography, politics or town planning as well as previous economic development consultancy or research experience. This will ideally include experience of economic impact assessment, strategy and bid development, as well as familiarity with socio-economic datasets. Strengths in statistical work, including analysing and presenting quantitative data are a must as are good organisational skills, and excellent IT skills.

We are looking for individuals who are committed to a career in our industry: self-starters who are flexible, work well in a team, have excellent written and oral communication skills and can effectively manage their time to work on multiple commissions at any one time.

As a Senior Consultant you will have at least 5 years professional experience in the relevant field, and have consultancy experience. Your expertise will cover all aspects of economic development, with an understanding and appreciation of government economic policy, learning and skills policy and urban and rural regeneration policy and initiatives. You will have excellent social research skills, both qualitative (focus groups, consultations with individuals and businesses, survey design) and quantitative (economic impact analysis, large scale survey analyses) and experience of evaluation and appraisal of projects and programmes. Contributing to the work winning capability of the office also forms a key part of the role.

We are looking for an individual who is a self-starter with excellent written and oral communication skills. Being able to effectively manage clients and liaise with Office Directors and junior staff is a key requirement as is experience of project management and running projects to time and to budget.
We envisage these positions being full-time, based in our Manchester or Glasgow city centre offices.


To apply, please send us a CV with a covering letter stating the position and location you are interested in to lee.williamson@ekosgen.co.uk

Fraser of Allander Institute: Perhaps not a boring budget after all?

The Fraser of Allander Institute – in association with ICAS – held a post-Spring Budget briefing today (March 10) at the University of Strathclyde.

The presentations from Director, Graeme Roy and Head of Fiscal Analysis, David Eiser, outlined how the revised forecasts for both the economy and borrowing were largely temporary – with the UK Government still on track to borrow around £100bn more over the forecast period than they thought prior to the EU referendum.

These borrowing forecasts are not that dissimilar to those put forward by the SNP during the UK 2015 General Election.

The presentations also discussed developments in the Scottish Budget, including the decision to freeze the higher rate threshold in Scotland and the additional one-off resources found to finance the deal between the Scottish Government and the Green Party to pass 2017-18 Budget.

A key part of this deal was the use of around £125 million of underspend from 2016-17 – the exact same amount of money transferred to the Scottish Government in Barnett consequentials in Wednesday’s Budget.

Charlotte Barbour – Head of Tax at ICAS – talked through the key tax changes facing businesses and individuals in Scotland as a result of changes by the UK and Scottish Governments. These reforms and policy decisions mean that different incentives – such as the decision for certain people to be self-employed or set up as an incorporated businesses – could become an increasingly important but as yet unknown factor in determining future Scottish tax revenues. Such tax inventive changes, alongside potential behavioural responses, need to be closely monitored. 


Fiscal issues facing Local Government in Scotland

The Fraser of Allander Institute has published a report today (March 10) – commissioned by the Scottish Local Government Partnership Group – examining the fiscal outlook for local government in Scotland.

The aim of this report is to shed light on some of the key issues underpinning the debate on local government finance.

Today’s report is a factual summary of these issues and we welcome comments and feedback.    

The FAI is committed to informing and encouraging public debate through the provision of the highest quality analytical advice and analysis. We therefore are happy to respond to requests for factual advice and analysis.

The FAI does not have (and will not take) a position on the specific policy objectives of the report or how it is interpreted.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

SDS - Making Skills Work for Employers: Clydebank 21st March and Forth Valley 22nd March

*Please note these events are aimed at Employers*

Europe’s highest performing economies are supported by strong systems of work based learning, contributing to low unemployment and fewer skill shortages. Whether your business will be paying the Apprenticeship Levy from 2017, or not, SDS are hosting a morning event for employers of all sizes to inform them of developments and opportunities with the Apprenticeship Family, local support for youth employment, recruiting a diverse workforce and key products supporting work based learning.

Industry-led Foundation, Modern and Graduate Level Apprenticeships are beneficial to employers for a variety of reasons and attending one of these events will ensure that your business has up-to-date information on what is available.  Hear about how the Apprenticeship Family can support your business and what you need to do to make sure young people are part of your business’ future success including local initiatives to support young people into employment and recruiting a diverse workforce.

Make sure your business benefits from the range of apprenticeships and support available by registering on Eventbrite to attend your local event.



Women’s Enterprise Scotland Launches Programme to Improve Gender-Specific Support

Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) has launched a training programme to improve gender-specific support among business advisors.

Launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, the programme offers insight into gender-appropriate techniques and best practice to help staff develop effective plans, providing a route map for analysis and action planning.

Carolyn Currie, chief operating officer at WES said, “Women are clear about their business aspirations for growth and the value they place on women specific services. It is crucial that we unlock the economic opportunity represented by women in business and business advisors have a pivotal role to play in this.”


Read more: Herald

Scottish Government & COSLA Announce £25m in Regeneration Funding for Communities

SG - Local areas across Scotland are set to benefit from a share of £25 million to help regenerate their communities.

A total of 29 projects will be awarded funding in 2017/18 as part of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF), which supports projects in disadvantaged areas that engage and involve local communities.

The joint Scottish Government and COSLA investment will inject new life and opportunity into disadvantaged and fragile rural areas, helping support or create more than 2,300 jobs, support some 50 community facilities and services and refurbish or bring back into use around 25 local buildings.

Projects being funded include:

  • £1.9 million to Aberdeen City Council to deliver a new, purpose built community hub in Tillydrone
  • £1.6 million to Argyll & Bute Council for the Tobermory Light Industrial Park – a purpose built site on Mull to support the business community
  • £750,000 to City of Edinburgh Council for the Leith Walk Studios, providing workspaces for new businesses and creative entrepreneurs, and the Street Market and Community Partnership Service Hub project to re-develop derelict buildings and launch a new street market initiative
  • £1.2 million for the former Midmills campus of Inverness College, bringing back into use listed city centre buildings
  • £475,000 to Scottish Borders Council towards the Newcastleton Hub & Community Fuel Pumps regeneration project
Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart and Cllr Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, announced the funding on a visit to Out of the Blue in Leith, one of the sites that will benefit.
Mr Stewart said:

“I am delighted that 29 fantastic locally-driven projects will benefit from this major injection of funding. Spanning the length and breadth of the country, they will help regenerate local areas, stimulate economic growth and create new jobs.

“The focus of the projects range from tackling social isolation to services to address health inequalities, educational attainment, support ex-offenders and boost tourism. They are an excellent example of how national and local government are working together on shared priorities that benefit local communities.

“I’m also pleased to announce that RCGF funding has been confirmed until 2021 – and that a call for applications to the fund for 2018/19 will be made shortly.”
Cllr Hagan said:

“I’m very pleased to announce today the projects to be funded in 2017/2018 from the joint COSLA and Scottish Government RCGF. This fund is invaluable in helping to transform communities up and down the country and results in strong economic, social and physical regeneration outcomes.

“The diversity of the projects being supported is a testament to innovative thinking from local communities where regeneration activity is being tailored to local circumstances.

“The RCGF continues to go from strength to strength and the successful projects announced today reinforce local authorities’ commitment to regenerating their local communities for the benefit of local people.”

Background:

A total of 95 Regeneration Capital Grant Fund projects have been supported since 2014/15. Funding has been confirmed for the remainder of the current parliamentary term, subject to annual spending reviews.

The fund, which has been developed in partnership with COSLA and local authorities, is open to all 32 Scottish local authorities and their Special Purpose Vehicles. An independent panel makes recommendations on which projects should receive funding.

The projects awarded funding for 2017/18 are:
Lead organisation
Project title
*Grant requested
Aberdeen City Council
Tillydrone Community Hub
 £1,900,000
Argyll & Bute Council
Oban Maritime Quarter- Transit Berthing Facility
 £700,000
Argyll & Bute Council
Ardrishaig Waterfront - Maritime Hub Phase 1
 £580,000
Argyll & Bute Council
Tobermory Light Industrial Park
 £1,600,000
City of Edinburgh Council
Broomhouse Community Hub
 £801,600
City of Edinburgh Council
Leith Walk Studios, Street Market and Community Partnership Service Hub
 £750,000
Clyde Gateway URC
Arena District Industrial Development - Enabling Works
 £600,000
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Isle of Lewis Heritage Programme
 £870,000
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Castlebay Harbour Initiative
 £302,195
Dumfries & Galloway Council
Stranraer Millennium Centre
 £987,735
East Ayrshire Council
Ayrshire Food from Ayrshire Folk
 £920,000
East Dunbartonshire Council                                                                          
 Auchinairn Community Regeneration Project
 £1,500,000
East Lothian Council
The Fraser Centre Capital Project: Achieving Change in Tranent
 £730,000
Falkirk Council
Arnotdale House, Falkirk - Community Hub
 £1,125,547
Glasgow City Council
Elderpark Community Centre
 £400,000
Glasgow City Council
Pollokshields Community Hub
 £550,000
Glasgow City Council
Seven Lochs-Easterhouse Community Gateways
 £675,000
Highland Council
Midmills Creative Hub
 £1,200,000
Highland Council
Redevelopment of the Gairloch AAOR Site
 £350,000
Midlothian Council
Track 2 Train
 £360,000
Orkney Islands Council
Orkney Research Campus Phase 1
 £500,000
Perth & Kinross Council
Creative Exchange Perth
 £335,000
Raploch URC Company
Kildean Employability & Enterprise hub
 £900,000
Renfrewshire Council
Paisley Town Centre Regeneration: Learning & Cultural Hub
 £1,500,000
Renfrewshire Council
Mossedge Village Project
 £800,000
Riverside Inverclyde URC
Micro-Business Enterprising Communities Hub, Greenock
 £900,000
Scottish Borders Council
Newcastleton Hub & Community Fuel Pumps
 £474,720
South Lanarkshire Council    
Community Resource Hub
£450,000
Transforming Communities: Glasgow                                                           
Citizens Theatre Redevelopment
£2,500,000


£25,261,797
*Final grants may change as they are subject to technical checks on applications being completed.
Source: Scottish Government

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Newsflash: Head of Circular Economy at Zero Waste Scotland to Highlight New Economic Development Opportunities on 17 March in Glasgow

Discover the Economic Development Opportunities and Organisational Benefits from the Circular Economy 

2pm-4.30pm, Friday 17th March, Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Glasgow

Louise MacGregor, Head of Circular Economy at Zero Waste Scotland, is to discuss the economic development opportunities being generated by circular economy strategies in Scotland, including the unveiling of new demonstrator case studies from across the country.

The presentation will be given at a unique event in Glasgow on 17th March examining the practical benefits of the circular economy for organisations in all sectors. Those attending will also hear talks from lead researchers at the University of Strathclyde, and experts at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Young Enterprise Scotland. Furthermore, attendees will have the chance to engage in Q&A, discussion, and networking over refreshments in the headquarters of the Scottish Universities Insight Institute.

This unique learning opportunity will be useful to businesses, consultancies, non-profit organisations, local and national government, public bodies, higher educational institutions, and any other organisation which can benefit from circular economy practices or offers advice and support in this area. Those interested in attending can book here to secure their place.

New Knowledge  and Practice on an Emerging Approach for Scotland

The event on 17th March is co-organised by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute and the Economic Development Association Scotland to promote knowledge and learning on the circular economy among the economic development community and further afield. It will explore  how this approach can produce organisational efficiencies, cost savings, business opportunities and job creation for organisations in Scotland.

Zero W aste Scotland is working to stimulate economic development opportunities across Scotland by engaging with businesses, trade bodies and regional organisations to identify and implement circular economy approaches across a number of key str ategic sectors.

From this work ZWS has a number of interesting case studies that demonstrate the potential benefits of this approach that the organisations would like to share with the wider economic development community.

Other speakers include: 

Dr Richard Lord & Fiona Deans from the University of Strathclyde  presenting cutting edge collaborative research on removing barriers to the circular economy in Scotland, as well as findings on best practice from other countries;
 
Martin Valenti of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency  on SEPA's One Planet Prosperity regulatory strategy and how organisations across sectors can benefit from this;
 
Geoff Leask and Lucy Morrison from Young Enterprise Scotland  presenting an innovative project to embed circular economy practices now and for the next generation. 
The circular economy is a key focus for the Scottish Government and was described in its Making Things Last circular economy strategy as "an economic, environmental and moral necessity [that] will help conserve our finite resources, help support jobs in our communities and improve our quality of life".

With representatives of national enterprise agencieslocal authoritieseconomic development consultancies, and key charities already confirmed as attending, all those interested are encouraged to RSVP as early as possible to avoid disappointment. More information can be found below.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Centre for Local Economic Strategies: Power of Procurement – Policy and Practice from Manchester City Council

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has undertaken an array of work around procurement in recent years. A key component of this has been work undertaken collaboratively with Manchester City Council for the last ten years.

CLES has now written the key activities, achievements, next steps, and lessons learnt from this work into a publication which you may find of interest:


Monday, 6 March 2017

Non Executive Chair Opportunity with EDAS: Applications Close 31st March 2017

NON EXECUTIVE CHAIR, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION SCOTLAND (EDAS)

The Board of EDAS wishes to appoint a new Chair to lead the organisation into its next era – a period that will be exciting yet challenging for our economic development community, set in a time of change and uncertainty, both locally and globally.

As the leading organisation for all individuals and organisations with an interest in Scotland’s economic development, EDAS’ mission is to ensure that key aspects of economic development are kept at the forefront of economic debate and comment in Scotland. Through shared experience, networks and skills; as well as referencing evidence and facts, EDAS is positioned as one of Scotland’s most authoritative and respected sources of informed commentary on economic development.

This is an exciting time to be involved in EDAS, as the organisation refreshes its strategy and policy work following our Annual Conference in December 2016, held jointly with SLAED. Importantly, last year saw the culmination of our policy analysis framework, A Route Map for Common Ambition. Our Route Map was developed to reconsider, in a collaborative manner, some of the big policy issues facing our economic development community. This work was progressed through the efforts of three working groups with a cross-section of our members, on Innovation, Internationalisation and Skills.
An infographic on our performance in 2016 can be viewed here.

As Chair of EDAS, you would serve for one term of three years, with the option to serve for a maximum period of two terms of three years.
The Chair must ensure good corporate governance, which involves chairing quarterly
Board meetings, the AGM, as well as ad hoc meetings and events. Board meetings and other meetings and events are normally held in the central belt of Scotland.  The estimated time commitment is up to 2 – 3 days per month averaged over an annual period.

The Chair has a particular responsibility for providing effective strategic leadership to the Board on matters such as:

• Ensuring that Board meetings are effective, efficient and appropriate with important strategic issues raised and discussed
• Encouraging high standards of propriety, and promoting the efficient use of executive team and other resources throughout the organisation
• Representing the views of EDAS externally

For details of current Board members and further information about EDAS, please view our website at www.edas.org.uk

The post is unremunerated although essential expenses will be covered if required.
The EDAS Chair is supported by the following structure: two Vice Chairs, a Board of Directors, three sub-committees (Finance & Governance, Policy & Strategy, Membership & CPD), and an executive team (Executive Officer, Strategy Implementation Executive, and a Finance / Admin Officer):

If you have the relevant experience and are interested in this prestigious opportunity to help support and inform economic development across Scotland, please send a covering letter with your CV, detailing two referees, to Executive Officer, Elaine Bone: ebone@edas.org.uk  For queries please email ebone@edas.org.uk or phone 07801 354591.


Closing Date for applications: 5pm on 31 March 2017.  Interviews will be conducted by the EDAS Nominations Committee.

This article can be viewed in e-bulletin format here