Scotland’s economy grows by 0.2%

The Scottish economy grew by 0.2% during the third quarter of last year, according to the latest figures released by the Scottish Government.

 

Changes in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland.

 

The latest GDP figures covering the period July to September 2017, show that the Scottish economy grew by 0.2% in real terms compared to the previous three months. Compared to the same period in 2016, the Scottish economy grew by 0.6%

 

Between July and September 2017, output in the Services sector grew by 0.2%, while output in Production (manufacturing, utilities and mining) was up by 1.2%.  However, Construction was down for a seventh quarter in a row, with a 2.9% fall.

 

GDP per person in Scotland was flat in real terms (0.0%) during the third quarter of 2017, compared to an increase of 0.1% in the UK a a whole.

 

A detailed analysis of the figures can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Applications invited for the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards

The 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards are now open for applications.

 

The Awards celebrate the businesses and individuals who have made a contribution to the Living Wage movement.

 

All accredited Living Wage Employers, Recognised Service Providers and individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the real Living Wage are invited to apply.

 

The deadline for entries is 20 February 2018 – click to see the award categories and submit your entry.

 

 

Grants of up to £100k available for waste prevention measures

A small or medium sized enterprise?  Don’t miss out on the grants available for the implementation of waste prevention measures from Zero Waste Scotland.

 

A whole range of waste prevention projects are eligible for funding from Zero Waste Scotland’s Waste Prevention Implementation Fund – from the purchase of new recycling bins to the procurement of more efficient manufacturing equipment.

 

Click for more information about the grants and how to apply.

 

 

Fife firm secures £1 million contract to supply power connectors to the UAE

Phase 3 Connectors in Glenrothes has secured a £1 million contract to provide power connectors to one of the largest electricity and water authorities in the United Arab Emirates.

 

The company, which produces industrial connectors for power generation, cable assembly and events, is hoping that winning this new contract will lead to further interest in its products in the Middle East.

 

The firm was bought out from administration by its current owners in 2015 and last year saw sales increase from £2 million to £3.3 million.

 

“Previously Phase 3 had focused solely on supplying the entertainment industry but we’ve consciously widened our reach, as any sector that requires power generation will need the connectors we produce – from hospitals to power stations, sports ground to the military,” company director Andy Glachan explained.

 

“When we first looked at buying the company we approached Business Gateway Fife to tap into its local knowledge and find out what support was available to us.  Our adviser opened a lot of doors for us.  He helped us secure 50% funding from the Fife Investment Fund to build a new website which was an instant success, providing us with a professional shop window.

 

“His input also helped us successfully apply for a £180,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant.”

 

Click to read the full story.

 

For information on the support available from Business Gateway Fife, visit www.businessgatewayfife.com or call 01592 858333.

 

 

 

Have your say – take part in consultation about Fife’s new waste strategy

Fife Council is preparing a new 10 year waste strategy and action plan for Fife.

 

To reflect the move towards a circular economy and waste being viewed as a resource rather than something to throw away, the new documents will be called the ‘Resource Strategy and Action Plan for Fife.’

 

The less waste is produced, the fewer carbon emissions are emitted and more money is saved that can be better used for jobs, services and investing in communities.

 

Your comments and ideas on how to best reduce waste and repair, recycle and reuse items are invited.

 

Click to take part in the online survey.

Plans submitted for Dumbarnie Links golf course

A planning application has been submitted to Fife Council on behalf of Dumbarnie Golf Links Limited by planning consultancy PPCA Ltd for an 18-hole course at Dumbarnie Links overlooking Largo Bay.

 

The £11 million golf course would have a clubhouse, restaurant, bar and professional shop, with the potential to create 30 full-time jobs and 10 seasonal part-time jobs, as well as work for 90 caddies.

 

Read the full article here.

Fife celebrates another bumper year for tourism

More than eight million visitors were welcomed to Fife over the past year.

 

Worth around £570 million to the Scottish economy, new figures suggest tourism in Fife now supports 11,000 jobs in the area and, with expenditure increasing annually by 4% over the last nine years, the region appears to have weathered the impact of the recession and changes to the economic climate.

 

This year has also seen Fife enter the top five most ‘instagrammed’ regions in Scotland, with images being shared with thousands of international online and social media followers.

 

The region’s annual tourism conference recently attracted industry experts from across the country including Justin Reid, Head of Marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at TripAdvisor, who revealed that more than five million people had search for Fife on TripAdvisor over the last two years. USA, Germany, France and Canada were among the top markets viewing Fife.

 

Fife Tourism Partnership manager, Ann Camus, said:  “Fife is continuing to buck the trend in the tourism industry, and the latest figures revealed at the recent conference demonstrate just how popular Fife is as a destination for national, international and local visitors.”

 

Fife was also awarded WorldHost Customer Service Destination status earlier in 2017, with more than 100 local businesses putting at least 50% of their customer facing staff through training to achieve a top level of customer service.

 

With such a high level of customer service, it came as no surprise that Fife businesses shone at the recent Scottish Thistle Awards for tourism, with accolades for Crail Food Festival, Cruise Forth, the Boudingait in Cupar and The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry.

 

The East Neuk Festival was also awarded the highly prestigious RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Music Award for Audiences and Engagement earlier in the year.

 

Chairman of Fife Tourism Partnership Alistair Bruce, said: “2018 will be an exciting year for Fife, especially celebrating the Year of Young People.

 

“We’ll be developing augmented and virtual reality experiences around Fife’s rich history and continuing to encourage businesses to get behind the World Host initiative.”

Funding for Entrepreneurs Available from Coalfields Enterprise Programme

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is inviting applicants for support from its Coalfields Enterprise Programme.

 

The aims of the fund are to:

  • Support entrepreneurial organisations to overcome barriers to developing their business ideas;
  • Encourage enterprise development for organisations addressing skills development, employment and improving health and wellbeing.

 

Awards of up to £10,000 will be made to a limited number of successful applicants.

 

Invitations are invited from individuals, organisations and social enterprises who:

  • Are located in a former coalfield community
  • Demonstrate a clear business idea
  • Can start their project by 31 March 2018 and spend any award made within one year.

 

For more information and to discuss your idea/proposal, contact Gary Porter on 01259 272127 or email gary.porter@coalfields-regen.org.uk

 

The deadline for applications is Thursday 25 January 2018.

This year’s Fife Business Week provides opportunities for Fife companies

This year’s Fife Business Week took place in November and was packed full of events aimed at inspiring and supporting Fife’s business community.

 

A host of opportunities were created during the comprehensive range of events as businesses engaged with public and private sector support agencies, business experts and entrepreneurs.

 

Fife Council’s Meet the Buyer event was the biggest yet with around 200 attendees and over 30 exhibitors.  This major event at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline connected businesses with with buyers and decision makers to discuss how to access contracts with public sector agencies and prime private sector contractors, with upcoming opportunities highlighted across a broad range of sectors.

 

Along at Bridgehead, two key events took place at the Queensferry Hotel:

  • Invest in Fife’s annual property event was attended by over 50 attendees from the property and development industry.
  • At its Innovation in Offshore Wind event, Scottish Enterprise demonstrated how Scottish supply chain companies are providing innovative solutions to some of offshore wind industry’s biggest challenges.

 

Stephen Doran, Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, said: “This week of events showed that Fife is very much open for business and there is so much support available to help businesses to invest, grow and thrive.  Recognising this, business leaders and entrepreneurs took part in a range of events aimed at inspiring and supporting new and established businesses in a productive and proactive platform.  It was a great success with plenty of new relationships made, opportunities created and best practices shared.”

 

More information about Fife Business Week can be found at www.fifebusinessweek.co.uk

 

 

Transport, tourism and innovation projects for NE Fife in Tay Cities Deal

A range of transport, tourism and innovation projects located in north-east Fife form part of the Tay Cities Deal proposition.

 

A key component is further development of the Eden Campus in Guardbridge, which the University of St Andrews plans to develop into  an innovation centre for up to 130 start-up businesses,

 

The proposed projects also include improvements in road and rail infrastructure and new marine tourism facilities.

 

The projects located in NE Fife were outlined to councillors at a meeting of Fife Council’s NE Fife Area Committee this week (6 December).

 

The bid, which is hoped will bring up to 15,000 jobs to Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and NE Fife over the next 20 years, includes new pontoons in St Andrews and Tayport and moorings in Newburgh as part of a wider Tay Adventures project.

 

It is also hoped that an options appraisal, feasibility and design work will be funded for improvements to the A92 between the Tay Road Bridge and Preston roundabout in Glenrothes.

 

Feasibility studies for rail halts at Newburgh or Oudenarde near Perth and for a rail link to St Andrews are also in the bid.

 

Funding is also being sought for the link road and bypass for the St Andrews West and Cupar North strategic expansions.

 

Fife Council Senior Manager, Gordon Mole said:  “The Tay Cities ambition is to ensure that the economic region plays its part in ensuring Scotland meets its ambitions to be a country with an international outlook and where growth is based on innovation and new ways of doing things better.

 

“At the core of this strategy is a will to ensure that everyone who lives in the Tay Cities Region benefits and no one who is able to participate is left behind.

 

All the proposed projects will now need to be assessed and prioritised as business cases for these proposals are developed and submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments.

 

For more information on the Tay Cities Deal visit www.taycities.co.uk