Create in Fife Fund – financial support for creative businesses in Fife

Do you have a creative business in Fife? The Create in Fife Fund is designed to support the growth of creative businesses in Fife through financial support.

 

Delivered by Business Gateway Fife on behalf of Fife Council Economic Development, the fund offers a 50% contribution up to a maximum of £500 which can support:

 

  • Market development
  • Web development
  • Feasibility research
  • Process and product development
  • Trade exhibition attendance as an exhibitor, excluding travel costs
  • E-commerce development
  • Expert help consultancy contributions
  • Capital equipment
  • Premise refurbishment

 

For further information contact Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 or email success@bgfife.co.uk

The Create in Fife Fund brochure is also free to download here.

 

Please note that completion of the application form does not guarantee funding.

 

Developing STEM skills key to success of engineering sector

Efforts should be redoubled to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education, to attract young people into engineering and to retain, motivate and improve the skills of those already in the industry, according to a national report.

2017 EngineeringUK: The State of Engineering Report , the UK engineering sector’s annual report which was launched earlier this week, found some positive signs – engineering and technology degrees are up by 9% and an increasing numbers of 11-16 year olds would consider a career in engineering.

The report however found areas for concern:  demand for graduates for engineering roles outstrips supply and the sector is highly dependent on attracting and retaining international talent from the EU and beyond to help meet this shortfall.

Efforts to attract girls and women into engineering were also found to be falling short.

To address these concerns, the report recommends that:

  • Many more pupils should be encouraged to choose STEM subjects and maintain the option of a career in engineering and technology.
  • Diversity in engineering and technology, should be increased through the education system, into and throughout employment.
  • The talent already in the workforce should be drawn on by increasing skills, improving retention, and attracting employees from other sectors.
  • The vital international dimension in UK higher education and subsequent employment should be enhanced.
  • An industrial strategy should be developed that reinforces and sustains engineering’s contributions to the UK, and recognises and helps to address the STEM skills gap.

EngineeringUK is a not-for-profit organisation which works with the engineering community to promote the vital role of engineering and engineering and to inspire the next generation of engineers.

For more information about EngineeringUK and it’s annual State of Engineering Report visit www.engineeringuk.com

 

Article posted – 24 February 2017

Fife Open for Business – with Top Office Space and Commercial Property Offerings

As research from commercial property consultants reveals that the supply of office space in Edinburgh is at low levels, Fife is very much open for business.

 

Property consultants CBRE’s new ‘Office Market News Report’ shows that supply of Grade A office space in Edinburgh is ‘critically low’. Total office availability at the end of 2016 was down 20% to 1.21 million square feet, almost its lowest level ever.

 

Demand for office space in the Central Belt remains high, and Fife Council is reminding businesses that the region is very much open for business and offers a range of high quality property options at competitive prices in a range of locations.

 

Newly refurbished Grade A office accommodation on offer includes Arrol House, Rosyth. Located within Fife’s evolving bridgehead area – Gateway Rosyth, on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. The property is adjacent to Babcock International, Forth Ports and Sainsbury’s Bank, and is available now.

 

Iona House, at John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy, offers recently refurbished well-priced, premium office space. The Park lies immediately adjacent to the A92, with excellent access to Kirkcaldy, Fife and the rest of Scotland.

 

St Leonards Lodge, St Andrews, is a former student lodge that has been converted into a business hub in the heart of St Andrews. Located in the town’s Abbey Walk, the 6,500sqft business centre provides bespoke commercial office space suited to a mix of small and medium enterprises. The state-of-the-art business centre is already welcoming its new tenants and has office space available.

 

Fife Renewables Innovation Centre (FRIC), located on Energy Park Fife, Levenmouth, is a business and renewables hub with office space available from 355 Sq ft to 2217 sq ft. With flexible, affordable office space and in-house business support – FRIC provides everything any company needs to grow and prosper.

 

Cllr Lesley Laird, Depute Leader and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “Deciding where to base your business can affect its chances of success. From actively driving investment, to offering a range of quality office and commercial property, to developing a highly skilled local workforce, Fife Council is working hard to make Fife the best place to start or grow your business.

 

“In Fife we are driving forward our vision for the Kingdom as a vibrant economy and great business destination. Productivity, innovation, education and skills development, as well as infrastructure improvements, are at the core of Fife’s focus to ensure we play a lead role in Scotland’s economy.

 

“Fife has so much to offer, and with our business friendly approach, there is no doubt that if you are looking for the best place for your business – then it has to Fife.”

 

As well as being the home to fast –evolving traditional sectors such as manufacturing, Fife also has significant finance, technology and retail businesses headquartered here. In addition, Fife is home to some of the UK’s best performing micro-businesses based on growth, according to research by Experian.

 

Fife has good infrastructure and transport throughout the region. Amongst the highly ambitious projects that are underway, include the new £1.4bn Queensferry Crossing, which is one key visible sign of investment. Once complete, the Queensferry Crossing will be the largest three-tower cable stay bridge in the world, with two 650m spans.

 

For more information and to search for commercial properties located in Fife visit www.investinfife.co.uk/content/land-property or email  business.property@fife.gov.uk

 

Applications for Scottish EDGE funding invited from entrepreneurs and start-up businesses

 

Are you an innovative, high growth potential Scottish-headquartered business?

 

Then apply now for funding of up to £100,000 from Scottish EDGE.

 

Round Ten of the sought-after funding scheme was launched earlier this month and applications will be accepted through the competition website until 2pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

 

To date, the scheme has supported 245 businesses and awarded £8 million of funding since its inception in 2013.

 

Find out more by visiting www.scottishedge.com or attending a workshop.

 

 

Article posted 14 February 2017

 

Make a pledge and help create a Fairer Fife

A Fairer Fife is in everyone’s interest.

 

Now FIfe Council and partners are encouraging individuals, businesses and other organisations to pledge to help create a Kingdom more equal for everyone by 2030.

 

You are invited to publicly pledge to make a difference by signing up online to say how you’re helping to make Fife fairer.

 

To make your pledge visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/fairerfife

 

Fife Council Leader David Ross is encouraging local businesses and organisations to get involved and sign the pledge.

 

He Said: “Everyone can do something to help Fife be fairer.

 

Our Fairer Fife Action Plan sets out all the things we’re doing in partnership with others to help combat poverty in our communities.  But we need support from all Fifers to help make a real difference to people’s lives.”

 

The Fairer Fife action plan highlights over 40 ways the council is working with partners including encouraging local employers to pay the Living Wage and take on more apprentices, persuading Fifers to take up volunteering opportunities and making wi-fi available in all public buildings.

 

Added Cllr Ross: “There are too many Fifers living in relative poverty and that’s unacceptable.  Last year the council became a Living Wage employer and is leading by example by making sure that all our employees are paid a decent living wage.

 

“We’re also creating job opportunities for our young people by offering many modern apprenticeships across a wide range of roles in the council. Since 2013 we’ve supported 155 young people, helping them achieve long term stable employment with the council. And we’re working with partners to encourage all employers and businesses across Fife to pay the living wage and create apprenticeship opportunities to help change people’s lives for the better.”

 

Dunfermline-based leading electronic manufacturing services company Dynamic EMS has taken on a Modern Apprentice thanks to support from the Fife Youth Jobs contract, a Fife Council initiative that involves Opportunities Fife Partners to create employment and training opportunities for young people.

 

Veronica Allan is HR Manager at Dynamic EMS. She said: “Modern apprenticeships offer businesses a great opportunity to ensure they have a relevant, skilled workforce, as well as help give the next generation the opportunity to reach their full potential.

 

“One of the biggest opportunities modern apprenticeships offer is the chance to build a loyal workforce to help move the business forward. We thought long and hard before taking the plunge and employing a modern apprentice, but it has paid off 100% and I’d fully recommend it to other local businesses – large and small.”

 

Added Cllr Ross: “This local business is one of many that are helping create a Fairer Fife and it’s one of the ways we’re making a difference. Fife’s Community Planning Partnership and Fife Council have already signed the Fairer Fife pledge. Now the challenge is on to get as many people as possible to pledge their commitment and create a fairer and more prosperous Fife for everyone.”

 

For more information and to see Cllr Ross’s personal pledge check out www.fifedirect.org.uk/fairerfife

 

 

Article posted 13 February 2017

Study identifies Pittenweem as one of Scotland’s entrepreneurial ‘hotspots’

Scotland’s entrepreneurial ‘hotspots’ have been identified in a new study.

 

The study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that smaller, wealthier towns in rural Scotland are the most entrepreneurial in the country, with higher levels of self-employment.

 

Pittenweem was identified as the fourth most entrepreneurial town in Scotland after Ullapool,  Newtonmore and Tarbert.

 

The FSB study used census data to analyse self-employment in 479 towns.

 

It has now released interactive maps detailing differences in self-employment levels across Scotland.

 

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convener, said: “The great differences we see in levels of self-employment across Scotland tell a story about the country we live in.

 

“This data shows the most successful local communities have high numbers of people who are their own boss.

 

“Unsurprisingly, popular tourist destinations are awash with smaller firms. Scotland’s market towns still have thriving business communities too.”

 

He added: “We find high levels of unemployment and low self-employment in towns that bear the scars of Scotland’s industrial decline, suggesting that poverty is a barrier to self-employment and the social mobility that comes with it.

 

“Research shows that you’re less likely to set up on your own if you have few skills; have little in the way of cash reserves; if you don’t have a car or own your home.”

 

For free advice on setting up or developing your own business contact Business Gateway Fife.

 

The Scottish Government provides funding support for Scotland’s future entrepreneurs.  Applications for Round Ten of Scottish Edge funding opened on 1 February, offering up to £150,00 funding.  For more information and to apply visit https://scottishedge.com/ Applications close at 2pm on 8 March 2017.

 

Article posted 10 February 2017

 

 

New Business Funding – Start Up Loan

Are you a new or early stage business? You may be eligible for a Start Up Loan – a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.

 

With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow between £500 and £25,000, Start Up Loans offer an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life.

 

Start Up Loans are available to individuals over the age of 18 who are eligible to start a business in the UK. Individuals can only receive one Start Up Loan, however more than one partner in a business can be eligible to apply for a loan.

 

You can apply for a Start Up Loan here.

 

For more information and to check eligibility visit Business Gateway Fife.

 

Article posted 9 February 2017

Tay Cities Deal Submission Launched

 

More than £1.8 billion of planned investment forms the basis of a Tay Cities Deal which could create up to 15,000 jobs for the region.

 

Over 50 different projects are included in a submission document launched last Friday (3 February).

 

Set out as a series of “asks” and “offers” across 100 pages, the Tay Cities Deal submission lists opportunities and challenges for the Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross economy over the next 20 years, and details how investment will help the region become fairer and smarter through inclusive growth.

 

The total cost of the proposed investment is £1.84 billion of which £826 million (45%) over 10 years is being sought from the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies.

 

If every project and programme set out in the submission is funded and delivered, as many as 15,000 job opportunities could be created across tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care.

 

The document emphasises that: “The city deal is as much about offering to work differently together and with both governments as it is about seeking additional cash resource.”

 

Provided that new or additional powers are devolved to the four local authorities they say they could take on additional responsibilities more efficiently and at the right scale.

 

For example the councils confirm they will work with each other and with partners across the region to strongly focus on actively managing the performance of the whole employability and skills service.

 

They also want to work with employers to develop career pathways for existing employees, with the focus on opportunities created by job turnover and through that to make the region fairer.

 

The leaders of the region’s four councils gathered at the agri-science research institute in Invergowrie for the submission’s formal launch.

 

Iain Gaul leader of Angus Council said: “The Tay Cities region will be successful for everyone who lives here. By working together, public and private sector partners can deliver this ambitious, creative and forward thinking programme.”

 

Ken Guild, his Dundee counterpart added: “Anchored in new and exciting ways of delivering services we are going to create a region that is inclusive, innovative, international and connected creating growth that combines increased prosperity with greater equity; the kind that creates opportunities for all.”

 

David Ross, Fife Council leader, said: “The opportunity to negotiate a tailored deal represents a once in a generation opportunity to deliver on the Tay Cities Regional Economic Strategy and, in turn, to improve economic outcomes for everyone across the whole region.”

 

Ian Miller Perth & Kinross Council leader went on: “Our submission also has an unprecedented focus on cultural regeneration, supporting Perth’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and Dundee’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.

 

“In addition we want to create opportunities for people in work to progress as well as easing restrictions on access for new entrants to the jobs market to support our ambition of smarter, fairer growth through collaboration.”

 

Taking up the theme Ellis Watson chief executive of DC Thomson Publishing who chairs the cities deal regional business group, added: “The success of this hinges on the creation of long-lasting partnerships. It is these partnerships that will ultimately deliver sustainable change for people living and working in the area “

 

Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal of Dundee University and chair of the Tay Cities Deal higher and further education forum concluded: “As a result of the projects outlined in this submission the Tay Cities region will be a much more desirable place to learn, live and invest.”

 

Cabinet Secretary for Economy Keith Brown said: “Cities and their regions play a crucial role driving economic growth which is why the Scottish Government is working individually and collectively with Scotland’s cities, regions, businesses and people to boost this growth.

 

“It’s fantastic to see the local authorities working collaboratively to bring together this proposal. This partnership approach has been clearly demonstrated through the region’s asks and proposed innovative projects. We will continue to work closely with the councils to understand and help develop their ambitious proposals.”

 

UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop added: “The UK Government is fully behind a Tay Cities Deal, as was made clear by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement.  We look forward to working through the detailed proposals with partners.

 

“Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements which will benefit everyone.

 

“The UK Government is committed to delivering a UK Cities Deal for each of Scotland’s seven cities.  We look forward to working with the Tay Cities partners.”

 

Among the 56 projects structured around inclusivity, innovation, international, connectivity and empowerment that make up the Tay Cities Deal submission are the following projects in Fife:

 

  • Dundeecom a private/public partnership aimed at creating a major centre in Scotland for oil and gas decommissioning pulling together the regional assets of Dundee, Montrose and Methill (Port and Energy Park Fife);

 

  • increased investment at the University of St Andrews’ Guardbridge Eden Campus, which will create the UK’s first energy carbon neutral university, and enhance Scotland’s position as a leader in both sustainable development and biotechnology;

 

  • marine tourism infrastructure at St Andrews, Tayport and Newburgh to support the region in its aspiration to deliver a world class tourism offer; and

 

  • establishing the Tay Cities Region as the location for the cybersecurity sector in Scotland.

 

The Tay Cities Deal submission will be discussed at Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross councils over the coming weeks and the final document submitted to both governments by the end of the month.

 

Note: The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

 

In total the 56 projects submitted require investment of £1.84 billion of which £826 million (45%) over 10 years is being sought from the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies.

 

If every project and programme set out in the submission is funded and delivered, up to 15,000 job opportunities could be created across tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care.

 

For more information visit www.taycities.co.uk

 

Article posted 6 February 2017

Group set up to help businesses respond to opportunities and challenges from Brexit

With the triggering of Article 50 just two months away, the Fife Brexit Advisory Group held its first meeting last week to shape Fife’s response to the opportunities and challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

 

Covering areas such as attracting students and research, funding for employability and business support, attracting and retaining talent and investment, the group reinforced the need for the newly developed Fife’s Economic Strategy 2017-2027 to prioritise making Fife the best place to do business during, and after, the Brexit process.

 

Council Leader, Councillor David Ross, chair of the group said:  “The meeting agreed priority areas to consider as the UK and Scottish Governments approach negotiations with the EU. In pulling this Advisory Group together, Fife Council wanted to ensure that we are in a position to articulate and contribute a strong Fife voice to this ongoing debate.  We have agreed to work together, across a range of sectors, to understand the impacts on the labour market in the Kingdom, promote investment and understand the risks, and opportunities, that the Brexit decision will mean for Fife.”

 

Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce added: “We will develop a response which assists the needs of Fife’s diverse businesses.  There are opportunities, as well as impacts, and by working together, we will be well prepared to face these with a collective voice.”

 

 

 

Article posted 6 February 2017.

Cupar Burgh Chambers project transforms iconic building

Construction work is now underway to transform the iconic Cupar Burgh Chambers building into a unique holiday let apartment, giving it a new lease of life.

 

The project will also provide a business opportunity for a company or organisation to manage the holiday let.

 

The Burgh Chambers is a key project within the Cupar Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme which is managed by Fife Historic Buildings Trust working with Fife Council.

 

Christine May, Chair of Fife Historic Buildings Trust,  said: “We are very pleased to be working with Fife Council to deliver this landmark project.  It’s a great example of how a building can be given a new lease of life through careful repairs to the historic fabric and by sympathetically adapting the interior for a new use.  We are also delighted that traditional skills training for young people, apprentices and local contractors will take place during the construction phase.”

 

David Grove, Lead Officer, Town Centre Development at Fife Council added: “This project will provide the Burgh Chambers with a sustainable new use that will contribute to the social and economic life of the town centre and provide an income stream for the future maintenance of the building.

 

“Fife Council is keen to hear from any organisation or individual who would be interested in managing the holiday let once the works are finished, which is expected to be in the autumn.”

 

For further information  email david.grove@fife.gov.uk

 

 

Article posted  2 February 2017