Minister visits Glenrothes Energy Network

The new cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP visited the Glenrothes Energy Network yesterday (9 August 2018).


Mr Matheson said: “District heating plays an important role in the transition to an affordable, low carbon heat system for Scotland. Glenrothes Energy Network demonstrates a strong partnership approach in delivering this and it was great to see first-hand how this district heating scheme will help tackle fuel poverty locally.

Michael Matheson MSP visits Glenrothes Energy Network


“Last year, we published Scotland’s first ever Energy Strategy which sets us firmly on course for an inclusive, innovative and low carbon energy future. The strategy sets out a vision for the future of energy across the country and will guide Scottish Government decisions over the coming decades.


“It highlights connections between the energy system and all parts of the economy, and its importance to sustainable, inclusive growth. We will continue to work with businesses in Scotland, helping them use their experience, adaptability and willingness to diversify in order to become more competitive.”


Glenrothes Energy Network is a £24 million collaborative local heat scheme between the Scottish Government, RWE and Fife Council. It will provide sustainable low carbon heat to a mix of industrial, commercial, community and domestic properties in Glenrothes as well as Fife Council’s Fife House complex with an opportunity to expand the network to supply further homes across Glenrothes.


RWE will own and operate the Energy Centre which will provide the heat required for the network from its biomass plant. Fife Council will own the network and act as service provider and the Scottish Government is supporting the development through its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (match funded by the European Regional Development Fund).


The project will be operational by the end of January 2019.


Steve Hicks, RWE Project Director commented: “We are proud to be part of this project and supply local businesses and homes with low carbon heat. Our contractors are developing the Energy Centre adjacent to Markinch CHP biomass plant and construction is well underway.”


Cllr Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s spokesperson for the environment said, “Today was a great opportunity to meet Mr Matheson and share with him the innovative work happening in Fife through partnership working.


“Bringing a district heating scheme to Glenrothes will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.


“This is a major investment of nearly £24 million for Glenrothes town centre. It will not only provide clean sustainable energy but will help to secure jobs and reduce fuel poverty in Glenrothes.”


For more information on the project please visit


Decommissioning Challenge Fund

Further support has been made available for Scottish decommissioning projects as part of the Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF).


Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse announced that the DCF will reopen for a third round of funding unlocking an additional £5 million.


The DCF aims to help maximise the economic benefits from the decommissioning of North Sea infrastructure.


Mr Wheelhouse said, “I’m delighted that we can offer a third round of funding for decommissioning projects. This round of the DCF includes capital and resource funding, and widens its scope of potential projects with support now also available for business development.


“The budget for the DCF in 2018-19 will reflect the projects coming forward, and our ambition is to match the £5 million successfully awarded last year, however there is flexibility for this to increase if demand is demonstrated.”


Read the full article and find out more about the DCF Round 3.


Nominations open for the Fife Business Diversity Awards 2018

The Fife Business Diversity Awards 2018 recognises the success of businesses, organisations and individuals in Fife that excel in promoting the employment of people who face disadvantages in the labour market.


These awards specifically acknowledge determination, resourcefulness and originality in creating equal opportunities for all in the workplace.



Hosted by Opportunities Fife Partnership, the Fife Business Diversity Awards celebrates the success of

  • people who overcome disadvantage in the pursuit of their work aspirations,
  • employers who implement inclusive recruitment, selection and training processes, and
  • innovative and inclusive work practices.


Nominations are invited to be submitted by 1 September 2018.


For more information, download the Fife Business Diversity Awards 2018 information leaflet.


If you would like to nominate an individual, business or organisation, please download the nomination form and submit to Please read the information leaflet before completing the nomination form.


All shortlisted nominees will be invited to an awards ceremony in December.


For more information, please visit Opportunities Fife, email or call 03451 555 555 extension 444 815.



The number of Fife businesses engaging in new trade development activity is on the rise.

This news comes as the Fife Trade Partnership marks a year since it launched its one-stop-shop to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) trade in the UK and internationally.

Businesses have been actively engaging in a host of training events, workshops, trade exhibitions and learning journeys aimed specifically at growing their sales outside their local area and increasing their market development opportunities. Businesses already exporting out with Scotland and wanting to improve current processes and expand further, have also benefited.

Much of this increase in activity has been attributed to the joined up one-stop-shop process, which Fife Council Economic Development spearheaded. Businesses are referred to partner services via the Business Gateway Fife enquiry channel, which in turn can advise on the range of support available.

Seeking to bolster local engagement further, a new business support pathway leaflet has been developed, which helps companies review where they are in their trade journey, by highlighting key questions and posing a range of decisions to be considered. Businesses are directed to one of the Fife Trade Partners – Fife Council Economic Development, Scottish Development International, Fife Chamber of Commerce or Business Gateway Fife. Support is then offered to build their business capability to improve opportunities to access new markets and increase their trading status.  An extensive programme of business support is available to assist all SMEs.

Fife Economy Partnership Trade Chair, Michael Longstaffe, said:

“Our aim is to make it as simple as possible for businesses to increase their trading status within Scotland as well as supporting them to access other new markets within the UK and at an International level too. Our one-stop-shop approach has enabled us to provide more businesses with the tools to tap into these new markets, increase sales and create jobs.

“We’ve been encouraged by the number of businesses engaging in the Fife Trade Partnership’s support package. For some, it’s just about knowing where to start and having the confidence to access appropriate services to enable them to enter new markets and improve their trading opportunities. We offer advice on specific markets and can also support the development of ecommerce opportunities for UK and international sales.”

A host of training events have been well attended over the last year. Understanding Exporting was a full-day course offering an introduction to the role of export, and how the many elements of international trade fit together; whilst turnout to more targeted seminars, giving insight into specific markets, such as India, has been high.

Fife’s food and drink producers had the opportunity to pitch their products to key buyers from around the world. As part of Showcasing Scotland, international buyers visited Fife to sample some fantastic, quality products, to further the reach and impact of Fife’s food and drink sector abroad. For The Little Herb Farm it proved rewarding as its founder, Lindsey Anderson was introduced to a new Canadian buyer interested in its vinegars.

Dunfermline-based Greenfold Systems, a leading provider of outsource manufacturing services, has taken part in a Scottish Development International delegation to Dublin, with the aim of growing its business in Ireland. Opportunities to engage with businesses were identified, and strategic relationships built.

Bob Waterson, Managing Director of Greenfold Systems, said:

“This was an extremely worthwhile visit and provided the opportunity to familiarise us with the Irish market before fully committing to exporting.

“We had a number of fruitful one-to-one meetings, during which, we established relationships with Irish companies keen to work with us. The Irish market is very much open to Greenfold Systems and we’re working on developing opportunities as we grow the business.”

Another element of support is through Digital Boost, a national programme delivered by Business Gateway Fife. A host of emerging businesses have been advised in making improvements to their digital footprint, including local workshops on digital marketing and e-commerce strategies.

The Fife Trade Partnership will continue to help businesses identify  opportunities, reach new customers, access in-country knowledge and international market intelligence, maximise e-commerce opportunities, overcome barriers to entry and develop overseas marketing strategies.

Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Enterprise and Business Development for Fife Council Economic Development, said:

“Many of our small businesses trade at a local level, but we’re keen to encourage them, with the right tools and the right advice, to trade outside of Fife. This can open up a mass of opportunities for them, but also for the region as a whole.

“Fife is also home to a number of global brands that showcase great export success stories. So, whatever stage of your trading journey, whether it’s just an idea at the moment, or your business is established and you want to improve that process, the Fife Trade Partnership can help your business to explore new opportunities.”

An updated guide – Your Guide to Accessing New Markets – aimed at advising and supporting Fife businesses to trade nationally and internationally, is available to view online at:


Notes to Editors

  1. For more information about the Fife Trade Partnership or for a calendar of relevant trade and new market related events, please contact Business Gateway Fife (call – 01592 858333; email –;

Fishers Opens New Cupar Head Office

Fishers Laundry Group has underlined its commitment to its home town of Cupar in Fife by opening a new head office in the town.

Linda McCurdy, Chief Executive of K-Bro Linen Systems, which acquired Fishers earlier this year, performed the opening ceremony for the new facility, which will house 14 administrative staff and management. She was joined by Fife’s Provost, Jim Leishman; local MSP, Willie Rennie; and Fishers’ Managing Director, Michael Jones.

Fishers was established in 1900 and now washes, irons and delivers more than two million items a week. The company provides linen and workwear laundering and rental services to the hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors. The business currently operates from seven sites across Scotland and the North of England.

Fishers has named its new head office Edenfields – reflecting its location in Cupar Trading Estate on the outskirts of the town through which the River Eden flows.

Linda McCurdy, CEO of K-Bro, said: “Fishers occupies an important place in the UK laundry market and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to create a new head office facility that reflects its position as a significant, modern laundry business.”

Michael Jones, Fishers’ Managing Director, said: “We’re proud to be based in Cupar and our new head office provides modern accommodation for our central services team alongside the conferencing and meeting facilities that are essential to running our business. We love the fact that we’re right across the road from our largest Scottish laundry here in the town.”

Read the full story here.

Economic boost as the Senior Open comes to St Andrews

Thousands of spectators are expected to come to St Andrews and the surrounding area as the Old Course plays host to the Senior Open for the first time in the championship’s 23-year history.


An estimated £13 million was generated when nearby Kingsbarns hosted the Ricoh’s Women’s Open last year and local businesses are expecting visitor numbers to be similar.


Golf tourism is said to be worth around £286 million annually to Scotland’s economy with 47% of visitors coming from overseas, according to VisitScotland.


Read the original article here.


Major investment programme aims to create 350 new jobs in Fife

Fife Councillors have agreed to approve the draft Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, which will secure more than £1.3 billion of investment for the city region over the next 15 years from the UK and Scottish governments.


The Deal includes a specific offer of £35 million for a new Fife Industrial Estate Regeneration Programme, which aims to invest in infrastructure and modern business premises to support economic development in the area.


Officials have set targets of creating between 300 and 350 new jobs and delivering or unlocking 10,000 square meters of development space by March 2029. They will also aim to attract £30 million worth of private investment within the timescale.


Councillor David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council, said: “This Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal investment is helping to deliver a transformational Fife Industrial Estates Regeneration Programme.


“The ambition is to develop ‘factories of the future’ by constructing new industrial and commercial stock, and ensure that Fife’s technology parks and industrial estates have cutting-edge digital capability and are energy compliant.


“The regeneration of our industrial estates will enable a new approach to working with businesses in Fife to deliver a stronger, more innovative business community, with more employers and jobs.”


Dunfermline to receive ultrafast broadband boost

Virgin Media bringing ultrafast broadband to up to 4,200 properties

Offering speeds more than 16 times faster than the local average


Virgin Media is announcing that up to 4,200 homes and businesses in Dunfermline will be next to benefit from an ultrafast broadband and entertainment boost.

As part of its ‘Project Lightning’ network expansion programme, Virgin Media is expanding its ultrafast broadband network across Scotland bringing speeds of up to 350Mbps for residents and small businesses.

To date, Project Lightning has now connected more than 120,000 premises across Scotland to ultrafast broadband since 2016. In total, more than one million premises in Scotland are now able to access Virgin Media’s gigabit-ready broadband network.

The expansion in the Headwell and Beveridgewell areas of Dunfermline will help transform the quality of broadband in the town where the average (median) download speed is currently just 21.5Mbps*. Work is underway already with completion expected by the end of 2018.

With a 350Mbps connection, files, films and games become unbelievably quick to stream, download and upload**:

  • Download a standard HD movie file (5GB) in just over two minutes, compared to over half an hour on the average local connection;
  • Download a 25GB console game in just over 10 minutes, compared to more than two and a half hours on the average local connection.


Virgin Media will be holding a drop-in community information event at Baldridgeburn Community Centre (Baldridgeburn, Dunfermline, KY12 9EH) on Monday 9th July, 4pm-6pm. This will give residents and businesses the opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns they may have.


Julie Agnew, Scotland Regional Director for Virgin Media, said: “Time-strapped families and small businesses across Dunfermline will soon be benefiting from our brilliant broadband service. Giving them greater speeds will enable them to do the things they need to do and love doing more quickly and more easily.”

Cllr Helen Law, Convener, City of Dunfermline Area Committee, Fife Council, said: “This is positive news for Dunfermline. Thanks to further investment another 4,200 homes and businesses will receive fibre in the area. Whatever you do online can be done even better with fibre. With the rise of on-line services good connectivity is essential as it allows businesses and homes to make the most of the internet. We are committed to a Fairer Fife that is ambitious, connected and empowered – increase availability of broadband is helping local people be better connected online.”

Virgin Media will be using narrow trenching techniques, where suitable conditions allow, to ensure its build is as efficient as possible and helps create minimal levels of waste and reduces the disruption to the community.

Virgin Media will post information leaflets to premises which might be affected at least a week before work starts on their street. Its Local Community Liaison Officers will also be available to discuss the community’s concerns.

Virgin Media’s gigabit-ready lines will mean residents can also sign up to Virgin TV and benefit from the latest entertainment on its new smallest, smartest, fastest, 4k-ready V6 set-top box.

This is on top of great programming with up to 260 TV channels (including up to 50 HD channels) and all the football from Sky Sports and BT Sports. Virgin Media also offers Sky Movies and Netflix, as well as an extensive on demand library of TV box sets and movies; giving customers seamless access to the TV they want, all in one place.

Residents can also benefit from Virgin Mobile’s fast 4G connectivity, which for pay monthly customers includes data free Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter, as well as the ability to rollover unused data each month and have truly unlimited data packages.


For any questions about Virgin Media engineering works, residents can do the following:


E mail:

Phone: 0333 000 5925 (option 1)


For further information, visit:

Fife’s strong financial sector hailed in UK report

A number of banking groups have operations in Fife, including Lloyds which has a base at Pitreavie by Dunfermline.

Fife has been highlighted as a major hub for financial and related professional services in a UK-wide report which shows the sector in Scotland is growing faster than London’s global cluster.

Industry body TheCityUK’s latest publication shows up to 161,000 jobs were supported by the sector north of the border last year.

The figure was 6.6% higher than the prior year, meaning the Scottish sector expanded at a faster rate than London where job numbers rose by 5%.

In total, 2.3 million UK jobs are supported by financial services, with the British capital remaining the largest single centre.

In terms of economic contribution, Scottish financial services were worth around £12 billion to the economy last year – the equivalent of 8.9% of GDP – while the UK industry as a whole was worth around £174bn.

The report highlighted four Scottish clusters in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Fife.

Edinburgh is the largest Scottish hub, contributing £4.7bn to the economy and supporting 52,00 jobs in financial or related services.

Fife was the smallest of the four clusters, but the sector still accounted for 7,160 jobs in the Kingdom.

It was worth £460 million last year, around 5.8% of the region’s total annual economic output.

Banking was the largest single discipline in Fife, accounting for 3,000 of the jobs total.

Read the full article here.

Fife Council Welcomes Cefetra announcement at Rosyth

Fife Council welcomes the announcement from leading agricultural specialist Cefetra Ltd that it has signed a long term agreement with Forth Ports Ltd to develop a new agri-hub at the Port of Rosyth.

The development will create a new purpose built facility at the Port that will be able to handle a range of agricultural products for the Scottish and Northern English markets.

Cllr Altany Craik, Fife Council’s Convener – Economy Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement. It once again demonstrates the unique set of assets we have on the Rosyth Waterfront, especially with its unrivalled location and excellent marine infrastructure. We are committed to working with the three main land owners, through our Invest in Fife team, in promoting the area’s capabilities with the Gateway Rosyth initiative.”

Rosyth’s location and logistical links to the motorway network, make it ideally suited to supply all areas of Scotland and Northern England. In addition, Rosyth, being near to continental Europe, has advantages in short sea freight.

Under the agreement Forth Ports will develop the Port of Rosyth to provide Cefetra with an unparalleled, purpose-built facility. This will become the main Agri-hub in Scotland, handling an extensive range of agricultural products.

The Port of Rosyth will be deepened to provide a true deep-water port capable of taking vessels carrying up to 50,000 tonnes of cargo. The existing storage facilities will be enhanced with the addition of a new, extensive, purpose built agricultural products terminal, increasing the storage capacity to circa 100k tonnes.

Andrew Mackay, Managing Director at Cefetra Ltd, said: “We are pleased to have been able to reach this agreement with Forth Ports and believe that the new Rosyth Agri- hub will enable us to continue to serve our valued customers. We expect to increase the efficiency of our supply chains, taking advantage of scale and location, to bring additional benefits to our customers and to Scottish agriculture. Our expectation is to develop an annual throughput in excess of 500,000 tonnes of agricultural products, worth more than £100 million.”

Charles Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of Forth Ports Limited commented, “It’s great to have reached an agreement with Cefetra that will see us execute on another significant investment programme for a customer; reflecting our strategy of working with our customers to deliver supply chain solutions.

The development at the Port of Rosyth reflects the port’s unrivalled logistics links as well as its excellent marine capability.

We very much look forward to working with Cefetra, a long-standing Group customer to deliver this significant development, building on our overall activity within Scotland’s agricultural sector”.