The Scottish Growth Scheme could help your business thrive

Companies looking for significant investment will now be able to access an additional £200 million through the Scottish-European Growth Co-investment Programme.


The Programme is the first part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, a £500 million financial package backed by the Scottish Government, to help businesses thrive and grow.


Made up of £50 million from Scottish Enterprise and £50 million from the European Investment Fund (EIF), the Programme is expected to lever over £100 million from fund managers across Europe for investment in Scottish companies.


With advice and support from the Scottish Investment Bank, companies will be able to seek investment from EIF accredited fund managers. Successful companies will receive their investment from the fund managers, Scottish Enterprise and the EIF.


Read more and find out if you’re eligible by visiting the Scottish Enterprise website.

Thousands of young Fifers to be helped into skilled work

Around 2,000 young people in the Kingdom are to be given help to find work over the next year.

More than 150 of Fife’s schools are involved in the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) scheme, which will work with employers to give work based learning experiences.

It is part of a government plan to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.

The Scottish Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, said:

“The latest unemployment and employment figures show our labour market remains resilient with unemployment now at a record low.

“Our employment rate is also rising with 25,000 more people in employment than in the last quarter.

“The work of groups like DYW Fife is helping with this progress by working to close the gap in youth unemployment in the area.

“It is providing young people with vocational learning options and making sure employers are working with schools to encourage enterprise and business skills from an early point.

“This type of approach will help employers in Fife meet their current and future workforce needs and identify skills gaps, which will help to boost the local economy.

“I would encourage all local businesses and young people to get in touch with the DYW Fife group and see how they can benefit from this support.”

Mr Hepburn also heard more about the DYW Fife board’s new campaign which will increase activity in the area by providing a guide to businesses to find out what programmes they can become involved in.

Bob Garmory the chair of DYW Fife said:

“The DYW regional group here in Fife is now overseeing the activities of many more companies and organisations who have chosen to contribute to the programmes that enhance the knowledge of young people about the opportunities that exist in the world of work.”

Read full article…

Event Marks Multi-Million Pound Engineering Investment in Fife

Fife Council welcomes new extension that firmly secures Fife’s place on the map for world-class engineering facilities

Glenrothes- based National Oilwell Varco (NOV) Flexibles UK marked the completion of a £500K high bay extension that already houses over £1.5M of new investment in advanced welding and numerical control (CNC) machining equipment, on Friday 7 July.


This extension is part of an ongoing multi-million pound investment on the site by National Oilwell Varco.


The new 6000ft² extension and installation of new welding equipment and state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) machines are enabling the company to continue to lead technical innovation across the oil and gas industry. It is also enabling them to significantly expand their manufacturing capabilities to go after new and larger work, thanks to the installation of a new 20 tonne overhead crane and larger machines in the new high bay.


Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee,  formally opened the new NOV Flexibles extension. He said: “This is great news for Fife and for local jobs. The NOV Flexibles UK’s extension means that the company is able to house the technical expertise and equipment necessary for success. This reinforces the Kingdom’s position on the world stage for engineering innovation.


“This shows that Fife has a first-class engineering skills-base, world leading facilities and that investing in the region can reap real business benefits. This sends a strong message to other companies that Fife has a lot to offer.”


Scottish Enterprise Managing Director, Adrian Gillespie, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for NOV in Glenrothes, and marks the culmination of many years’ work.


“Scottish Enterprise has provided the company with a range of support. We are delighted to be working with such a dynamic and ambitious company and look forward to developing our strategic relationship with them as they continue to grow.”


Since acquisition in 2013, NOV Flexibles have already invested  in excess of £3M into their Glenrothes- based facility, and are looking to generate additional expansion by  introducing new processes such as pressure testing, assembly and a controlled ‘Cleanroom’ welding facility for the fabrication of stainless steel and duplex welding.


James Mullen, Operations Director, NOV Completion & Production Solutions, Subsea Production Systems, said: “National Oilwell Varco (NOV) Flexibles design, manufacture and deliver sub-sea flexible pipe-line systems and solutions to the global offshore oil and gas industry. Our facility in Glenrothes also undertakes additional precision machining and Weld Cladding work for key companies involved in the global Oil and Gas sector. This means that we need to adapt quickly to changing demands to ensure that we have the capabilities to serve a challenging and evolving industry.


“Over 90% of our completed products are destined for the overseas export market with the majority of this work being shipped to Denmark, Brazil and France.


“It is thanks to extensive and positive support from across Fife Council, the extremely quick turnaround of this ambitious extension was possible. The increased capacity and larger machines in the new high bay enable us to offer world-class technology and will open up new future business opportunities. We have already started manufacture of three new product ranges this year, and our future is looking very secure going forward with further growth and job creation forecast.


“It’s fantastic to see our hard work coming together to create a high quality finished result.”


Zero Waste Scotland is now inviting grant applications for projects up to £1,000,000 which will drive forward innovative, sustainable or more collaborative approaches to working in manufacturing, as part of the wider £18m Circular Economy Investment Fund. 

Implementing the circular economy in Scotland’s manufacturing sector means rethinking the manufacturing value chain – from design through to material analysis to manufacture, disassembly and then remanufacture.  This regenerative design approach means that we can keep resources in high-value use, continually transforming materials into useful products.  Advances in technology and software in the digital age of Industry 4.0 are enabling rapid adoption of such new approaches, revolutionising industrial processes and in turn unlocking the potential of the circular economy.

Types of project which could be eligible for funding:  Project proposals for commercialisation are welcomed from small to medium sized businesses working across the Scottish manufacturing sector.

To help illustrate the scope of projects sought, some example scenarios include:

  • Collaborative business models, e.g. business hubs where businesses can share or lease equipment
  • Adoption of 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing
  • Maintenance, repair and overhaul
  • Re-usable items that displace single-use items
  • Manufacture of modular products
  • Digital manufacturing processes
  • Remanufacture

Proposals are invited from:  Small and medium sized businesses and higher education institutes with projects enabling transformational change in manufacturing processes, by implementing circular economy business models in order to reduce and change the way materials are consumed.

Outline project proposals invited by 12th September

To register your interest, please visit

Alternatively, for more details, please visit

Innovate UK Funding Competition: Open programme round 3

Innovate UK’s open competition aims to overcome barriers to cutting-edge, game-changing innovation becoming a successful commercial reality and/or resulting in significant, sustainable business growth,

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £15 million. This is to deliver game-changing, cutting-edge innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.


Projects may last between 6 and 36 months. Total eligible project costs should range from £25,000 to £1 million depending on the type of research and development (R&D) to be undertaken. It is important to note that any project with total costs outside this range will be deemed out of scope and ineligible.


The open research and development (R&D) competition provides support for businesses to undertake an innovative project and is designed to:

  • help businesses overcome barriers to innovation.
  • reduce the risk financially and technically in developing an innovative idea or concept for commercialisation and scale up.
  • enable businesses to address high-growth opportunities if their concept doesn’t fit one of the Innovate UK sectors or has multiple themes with differing scopes.
  • speed up the journey from an idea to commercialisation where timing can make all the difference to prospects.
  • position businesses to be able to access private investment to support their innovative ideas.
  • provide crucial support for businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth, to develop highly innovative products, processes or services with commercialisation potential and scale up, preferably with access to global markets.


Competition closes: Wednesday 9 August 2017 12:00pm

Click here to find out more and start the application.


New gin distillery and visitor centre opens at Kingsbarns

Darnley’s Gin, one of the pioneers of Britain’s flourishing gin scene, yesterday (Thurs 29 June) celebrated bringing its production home to Scotland with the opening of a new gin distillery and visitor centre at Kingsbarns.


Previously distilled in London, the award-winning premium Scottish gin will now be exclusively produced at the new distillery in the East Neuk of Fife where Darnley’s Gin founders, the Wemyss family, have lived and worked for centuries.


The new distillery is installed in what was once a derelict farm cottage tucked away in the grounds of its sister Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery. Now beautifully refurbished, it marks a significant investment for the business and will support Darnley’s Gin’s ambitious growth plans both at home and in overseas markets, creating a truly Scottish gin whilst allowing the Darnley’s team to experiment and craft future additions to the range.


The year-long renovation project of the Darnley’s Gin ‘cottage’ has focused on creating a distillery with traditional techniques and craftsmanship at its heart, incorporating copper stills from Italy. Crafting the spirit will be the responsibility of Fife local Scott Gowans, Darnley’s newly appointed Gin Distiller, who will oversee all aspects of production and recipe development.


Given the distillery’s location near St Andrew’s and Fife’s growing food and drink tourism scene, Darnley’s Gin has also invested in visitor tours to offer guests an intriguing behind the scenes experience of the gin – its production, heritage, taste and the role that botanicals play in the flavour of each Darnley’s Gin expression.


Tours will commence on 2nd July, however there will be a free local open day tomorrow, Saturday 1st July between 10am and 4pm as part of the East Neuk Festival, where guests can be amongst the first to visit the distillery and enjoy a sample of Darnley’s Gin, plus music from a local brass band.


Darnley’s Gin Owner and Managing Director William Wemyss is looking forward to welcoming visitors and to getting production underway in the cottage. He commented: ‘From a business perspective this is a momentous investment for the future of Darnley’s Gin, following on from the recent refresh of our brand and the growth in demand for our high quality gin around the world. As a Scottish family business, it is also a decision that was an instinctive one for us, bringing the making of our gin home to a part of Scotland where we have such deep roots and a connection to the land and local communities. It’s also very exciting for us to be opening the doors of our ‘cottage distillery’ to share some of the behind the scenes magic that goes into making Darnley’s Gin with guests, especially as the number of visitors seeking Scottish food and drink experiences continues to rise.’


Darnley’s Gin is a premium award-winning, small batch London Dry Gin that harnesses almost two centuries of the Wemyss family’s expertise in distinctive, high quality spirits. Each expression is masterfully distilled in a time honoured style, with the finest grain spirit.


Fife Business Week 2017 – 6-10 November 2017

Following the success of last year’s Fife Business Week, Fife Council Economic Development is delighted to announce its 8th Fife Business Week, which will run from Monday 6 to Friday 10 November 2017 at various venues across Fife.


Branded under the Fife Economy Partnership, the week will comprise a programme of inspiring business seminars, workshops, masterclasses and networking opportunities that will bring together private and public sector organisations in a bid to promote business opportunities.


Fife Business Week 2017 will benefit from a significant promotion including radio, local press, social media channels and an interactive website accessible for mobile devices.  Furthermore, a hard copy brochure will be distributed to Fife businesses and stakeholders and located in various footfalls across our communities.


This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the diversity and range of business support services in Fife, that reflect the ethos of our Fife Business Week.


If you would like an event to be considered for Fife Business Week 2017, please download and complete an event submission form and return to by Friday 28 July 2017.


Take part in survey about dementia in the workplace

Businesses are being invited to complete a survey for a study on employer responses to dementia in the workplace in Scotland.


The study is being undertaken by a research team from Edinburgh Napier University, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University.  The research is funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.


The questionnaire should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.  It’s  designed to assess awareness of legal obligations and find out what current support is being provided for employees with dementia. It also asks what information would help you improve your knowledge of dementia and the support you provide for your employees.


Click here to access the survey.

Take part as Lochgelly celebrates successes and plans next steps

LOCHGELLY has changed a lot over the last few years and these changes have been celebrated locally and nationally, with the town being the current holder of the prestigious Scotland’s Most Improved Town title.


The people of Lochgelly have worked tirelessly to put the heart back into their town. Delivering projects such as the very successful Lochgelly gala, Christmas lights, community shop and improvements to the public park to name a few.



Fife Council and Ore Valley Group also remain committed to Lochgelly. Investing significantly to improve the town by creating new leisure and business opportunities as well as new housing. The Town House development site in the heart of the town has seen a total of 31 new one and two bedroom flats built.


A few years ago the community were asked for their ideas on how they would like to see the vacant St Andrews Church, which sits in the heart of the town, used and the response was an overwhelming: “something for young people to do.”


Phase one of the refurbishment of St Andrews Church to create space for Fife’s Regional Indoor Climbing and Bouldering Centre is underway. This includes an extension to the church so the building meets Mountaineering Scotland standards.  Proposed designs for the extension are now ready and Fife Council would like to invite the community to come and chat to us about them. We want your feedback so that we can create a fantastic facility for residents and visitors to enjoy.


Once the church project is complete, work will begin on the new Town Square behind the church. Again we want your ideas for the new square – what it could be used for and how should it look and feel.


Please join us at our drop in event on Tuesday 4th of July 2017 from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm in the foyer of Lochgelly Centre to celebrate what has been achieved so far and to find out more about the next steps, giving us your valuable feedback, ideas and opinions.


Cllr. Linda Erskine, Convener of the Cowdenbeath Area Committee said: “I’m delighted at how the community, Fife Council and the Ore Valley Group have worked together to achieve the changes in Lochgelly so far. There is the ambition and appetite to achieve more in the town with the remainder of the works to St Andrews Church and the development of the new town square.


“I’d urge as many people as possible to come along to the drop in event on the 4th of July to give us their feedback and ideas. It’s on throughout the day so you can come along at a time that suits you.”

Skills for the future

Skills Development Scotland in collaboration with the recently launched Centre for Work-based Learning, is working with education and industry to identify the skills needed to drive an innovative economy both now and in the future.


They’ve launched a video ‘Future jobs and industry – responding to the speed of change’.



“It is widely acknowledged that we are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution – or Industrie 4.0.  Responding to these changes is a huge focus for our work at Skills Development Scotland” said Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland (SDS).



“The unprecedented change driven by advances in technology and demographic shifts has the potential to reshape every aspect of society, particularly the economy, work and skills.  We need to develop the skills and capabilities to thrive in this environment of constant change.”



Work based learning and apprenticeships will play a key role in a responsive and adaptive skills system to ensure Scottish businesses have the right individuals needed to drive innovation.



SDS has worked with industry, education and partners to develop the range of apprenticeship on offer to meet future skills demands.



Modern Apprenticeships provide offer employers with the opportunity to shape their own workforce with the skills they need for their business.


New Foundation Apprenticeships for pupils allow young people to start their work-based learning while still at school, giving employers the chance to tap into the skills pipeline early.


And Graduate Level Apprenticeships combine academic knowledge with skills development to enable participants to become more effective and productive in the workplace.



Find out how Skills Development Scotland and the Centre for Work-Based Learning are working to help create a skilled Scottish workforce that’s ready to face the future and how you can get involved: