Local Company Spanning Fife’s Bridges


A LOCAL innovative access solutions provider is showcasing its expertise on all three of Fife’s iconic bridges.


Span Access Solutions Ltd, which has offices at FRIC (Fife Renewables Innovation Centre) in Methil, and Kinross, is providing specialist equipment to support infrastructure projects on each of the Forth crossings.


This year, Span Access installed seven suspended platforms and stair-towers to support the repair and replacement of the Truss End Links on the Forth Road Bridge. It is also involved in supporting an ongoing maintenance programme on the Queensferry Crossing, with the installation of 14 gantries on runway beams located under the bridge. More recently, it has designed and built a bespoke rolling gantry for under the South span of the Forth (Rail) Bridge to again support ongoing maintenance work – this was raised into position in November.


Span Access Chairman, Kenny Wiggins said:


“Span has had an exciting year as we have supported these key projects, Working on all three of these iconic bridges simultaneously shows our innovative capabilities with alternative access. Each of the bridges required a different solution, developed and installed exclusively to meet the needs of the client.”


Span Access has also received Expert Help assistance from Business Gateway Fife.  Their adviser, Lynne Baillie, commented:


“Span has shown that it has ambitious plans for the future of its alternative access solutions business. Their work in a diverse range of sectors, including the recently announced Innovate UK backed offshore wind project proves the worth of their innovative approach to solutions for major infrastructure projects.”


Span Access has experienced significant growth in each of the last two years with focus on Infrastructure, Oil & Gas and Wind Industry Projects with further growth on the horizon.



Nursery Build Opportunities Revealed at Meet the Buyer


FIFE’S businesses were given an insight this week into what contract opportunities are available as part of the Fife Council’s Nursery Build Programme. The £30m programme of works is split into 60 construction contracts with all works to be completed by August 2020.


Over 80 businesses attended the event on 29th November held at Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline with Fife Council’s Economic Development team on hand to offer them assistance to access procurement training support, as well as a chance to network with procurement experts from Fife Council, The Robertson Group and Scotland Excel.  Fife Council’s Property Services and Building Services also provided an insight to opportunities into the Fife Nursery Build Programme and how businesses can be involved.


Councillor Altany Craik, Fife Council’s Convenor for Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee commented:


“Meet the Buyer is an excellent opportunity for local businesses to have access to a variety of agencies that they don’t normally have the chance to meet. This massive investment in Fife’s Nursery Build Programme can provide openings to businesses to be involved in the many construction contracts.


“We are committed to working in partnership with the private sector which will bring benefits to the local economy and support the supply chain delivery of our Nursery Build Programme.”


The programme of expansion has been developed by Fife Council’s Education and Children’s Services and the School Estates team in line with Scottish Government expectations to:


  • Maximise the use of existing school estate capacity
  • Expand Partner provision where capacity allows
  • Use existing council facilities to increase capacity where suitable
  • Extend existing buildings to create additional capacity
  • Create additional capacity through new build nurseries


Contact:  For information on Meet the Buyer, contact Dorothy Smith on 07850 207 540

Email:  Dorothy.Smith@fife.gov.uk


Fife Council welcomes Tay Cities Deal investment

Last week, Council leaders formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal which will finance more than 20 projects across Tayside creating over 6,000 jobs across the region.


Under the deal, £37 million of investment will be injected into local tourism and culture as well as some £25 million to be invested in the University of St Andrew’s Eden Campus.


The Tay Cities Deal commits both the Scottish and UK governments to work with partners across Tayside and Fife to deliver a deal that creates a smarter, fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.


Representatives from the Scottish and UK governments joined leaders of the council, businesses and academia at Perth & Kinross Council HQ to sign the Heads of Terms last week.


Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Ross said, “This signing of the Deal is a significant milestone for North East Fife. This investment will enable all City Deal partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region and the next steps include developing in-depth business cases for the funded programmes of work.”


Councillor Karen Marjoram of Fife Council said, “I am pleased that the Heads of Terms have been agreed by both the UK and Scottish governments, and the councils involved. This is an exciting step forward for the Tay Cities Deal. Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife of the Regional Skills Programme, Regional Culture and Tourism programme.


“This will be of real benefit to Fife. It supports our efforts to tackle inequality, develop a Fairer Fife where everyone benefits, and will support economic growth. As well as creating new opportunities for people currently without jobs to get into employment, it will also help those who are in work to progress. This will happen in a variety of ways and improve the lives of people across the whole area.”


Councillor Tim Brett added, “The Eden Campus development will create around 500 new jobs and enhance the reputation of the region as a leader in innovation, sustainable development and biotechnology. In partnership with the University of St Andrews, investment will see this former paper mill at its Guardbridge site redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.


“The investment at the Eden Mill site in Guardbridge is great news and will hopefully lead to more employment opportunities as the site is developed. I also hope that the joint working with other three authorities will lead to closer working in the future, which will benefit us all.”


The key elements of the Tay Cities deal include:


Preparing for a Low carbon Future

  • Investment in the University of St Andrews’s Eden Campus, Guardbridge – a 32.5 acre industrial site – will include: up to £7 million to develop a primary substation power upgrade at the site, up to £13.5 million for the Scottish Centre for Clean Energy Storage and Conversion – building on strengths in carbon innovation – and up to £4 million for the Eden Enterprise Hub.
  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £2 million, alongside Fife Council, in Eden Enterprise to establish a commercially viable business incubator that caters for spin-out and start-up companies from the region’s universities.


Employability and Skills

  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million to support delivery of the Tay Cities Skills and Employability Development Programme to deliver Fair Work. This will reduce skills shortages and gaps as well as support re-skilling into new career opportunities.
  • New job opportunities for the people of Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus through research and innovation – from research and academic posts, to new start-up companies, expansion of existing companies and migration of companies to the region.


Developing a World Class Tourism Offer

  • The Scottish Government will invest £37 million, subject to approval of a programme business case, to support a regional culture and tourism investment programme. This aims to build on current tourism offerings at St Andrews, Gleneagles and V&A Dundee.


Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing

  • £10 million of investment from the Scottish Government in high value manufacturing. This includes £2 million to establish the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership, the first regional engineering and advanced manufacturing network in Scotland.


Building a World Class Renewable Energy and Decommissioning Industry

  • To maximise the significant potential economic benefits of offshore decommissioning to the Tay Cities region, the Scottish Government is committed to working with Dundeecom and the regional economic development partners to maximise opportunities to build supply chain capabilities and new technologies.
  • The Scottish and UK governments will consider how best to support additional port infrastructure investment in Methil where this contributes to, and creates additional value, in the renewable energy sector.



  • The regional transport model will help inform masterplanning across the region. Together with the regional transport partnership, TACTRAN, has commissioned a Tay Cities Regional Transport Model to help inform understanding of problems and opportunities and appraisal of potential strategic transport interventions.


An Empowered Tay – A New Regional Partnership

  • The Deal promises a “new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport planning underpinned by a new approach to city regional governance”.

Decommissioning specialist plans a new Fife facility

Decommissioning specialist, CessCon Decom Ltd, has set its sights on setting up a scrapping facility at the Energy Park Fife in Methil.


The company, which is a new Scottish-based division of the Norwegian firm, CessCon Decom AS, has signed heads of terms with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council.


The company said it was “fitting” for the numerous oil rigs that were built in the Methil yard to be returned for decommissioning.


Cesscon Decom Ltd said it is ready to make a “multi-million pound” investment to create an area fit for dismantling with water collection and treatment facilities.


The development could see the return of much needed jobs for the area following redundancies at the BiFab yards in Methil and Burntisland.


CessCon Decom Ltd CEO, Lee Hanlon said, “We have been working extensively with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council to secure the site at the Energy Park Fife.


“The aim is to develop an east coast facility in Scotland to complement our existing European facilities, adding to the expansion of our decommissioning services in the UK, Europe and Asia.


“The Energy Park Fife facility is advantageously located to accommodate the substantial North Sea decommissioning market and it is very fitting that assets that were constructed and commissioned at the Energy Park some 20 or 30 years ago, might return to be decommissioned and recycled, creating a true circular economy, and bringing employment opportunities to the Fife area.”


Read the full story here.

Heads of Terms signed for Tay Cities Deal

Council leaders have formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal.


After months of negotiation, the heads of terms were officially agreed at a ceremony in Perth this morning (Thursday 22 November).


The deal will finance more than 20 major projects across Tayside and Fife, creating more than 60,000 jobs. The projects to be funded include a regional culture and tourism investment programme and the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus.


The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £150 million throughout a 10-15 year period, subject to the approval of ‘robust business cases’.


The investment also has the potential to lever in more than £400 million of investment over the next decade.


Representatives of the UK and Scottish Governments joined four council leaders and business chiefs at Perth and Kinross Council HQ for the signing.


Click to see full details of the Deal.

Supply Design reaches finals of prestigious Deep Tech Awards

Supply Design has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2018 TechWorks Awards.


The Rosyth-based company is a finalist in the Power Electronics Innovation Award category of the Techworks Awards 2018 – the highest accolade in the UK ‘Deep Tech’ Industry.


Marc Brand, Director of Business Development at Supply Design said: “We are thrilled to be a finalist in the Power Electronics Innovation Award category of these prestigious awards.  To be nominated alongside industry leaders McLaren and AVL demonstrates the level of innovation our team is delivering to the market.  Supply Design and partners Iceotope are working hard to deliver new high-performance technology to the market and we are delighted to be rewarded with this recognition of the hard work we have been doing over the years.”


Supply Design, established in 2001, designs and develops high performance power converters for industrial and harsh environment applications, offering consultancy and power product development services to a range of companies.


The technology being recognised in these awards is a collaboration between Supply Design and Iceotope in Sheffield for the work combining power and liquid cooling patents which are revolutionising the High-Performance Computing (HPC) and ExaScale Computing world.


The TechWorks Awards recognise excellence in the new ‘deep tech’  industry that is driving the tech economy and becoming such a strategic part of the UK’s future.  This year’s winners will be announced today, 22 November.


TechWorks is the UK’s leading deep tech industry association whose focus is building a better and stronger tech ecosystem in the UK, helping to connect brilliant ideas with partnerships and investments that accelerate speed and enhance routes to market and profitability.

First Fife Council Business Charter Approved

A new Fife Business Charter that sets out how Fife Council will support the region’s businesses was approved by the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee members last Thursday (15 November).


Having recently won the title of ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ Fife Council remains committed to supporting all of Fife’s businesses and encouraging inclusive growth, so that everyone benefits, and no one is left behind.


The Business Charter both affirms the council’s commitment to delivering services to local businesses and outlines the part businesses can play in delivering commitments to Fife.


Councillor Altany Craik, Convener, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “The Charter will help us to support both Fife’s existing businesses and new companies attracted to grow within the region by making their contact with the council easier and more effective.


“It sets out what we will do to support all the region’s businesses whatever their size and sector and the steps we would like businesses to take to help make sure our economic growth is shared by all.


“These are challenging economic times where local economies are exposed to the impact of globalisation and political uncertainties. The Charter is designed to provide a framework for the working relationship between Fife Council and local businesses, so that together we can both improve the regions’ economic performance and reduce inequalities, creating a Fairer Fife.”


The region’s businesses are now being encouraged to adopt the Business Charter and includes ‘asks’ linked to the Plan for Fife. Poverty and inequality can’t be reduced without economic growth. As well as supporting business, the Charter backs the council’s drive to develop a Fairer Fife to reduce inequalities and ensure that everyone benefits.  Anyone signed up to the Charter will be encouraged to:

  • Commit to local recruitment / employment
  • Adhere to the principles of fair work and pay
  • Make a commitment to actively support and invest in the community
  • Create employment and training opportunities for local and young people
  • Promote greater inclusion for people with physical and mental health issues.


Fife Council’s commitments to businesses include that it will:

  • Support local suppliers of goods & services
  • Support business start-ups and growth
  • Support investment in infrastructure & connectivity
  • Develop our Young Workforce
  • Help businesses comply with statutory requirements.


Councillor Altany Craik added: “This Business Charter reinforces our commitment to maximising Fife’s potential and improving the economy for all. We want to work with companies and local people and further promote the creation of employment and training opportunities for local residents, including young people.”


Fife Council works closely with the Fife Economy Partnership, Fife Chamber of Commerce and other business partnerships to support local businesses, already promotes local jobs, and is piloting the first Living Wage town in the UK for workers in Glenrothes.


The Charter will be promoted to businesses online via the business pages on Fife Direct and on the websites of the Fife Economy Partnership, Business Gateway Fife and business networks like the Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses .

Fife Councillors Visit Amazon

Fife Councillors recently visited Amazon in Dunfermline, which employs more than 1,500 people permanently and some 2,000 staff on a seasonal basis. The council, alongside the Department for Work and Pensions, has been working with Amazon and its recruiters to secure additional jobs for Fifers during the peak season.


During the visit Councillors met the team and were given a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in fulfilling orders for customers across the UK and the rest of the world, particularly in the run-up to Christmas, and to understand how Amazon meets commitments to fair work and inclusive growth.


Councillors were able to question managers at the site about Amazon’s Apprenticeship Schemes and its Career Choice Programme, which was established to encourage employees to pursue qualifications and training in high-demand fields such as engineering, IT, computer science, mechanical and electrical trades, healthcare, construction, transportation, logistics, accounting and more, even if that means a career outside of Amazon.


Amazon offers to pre-pay 95% of tuition and associated fees for nationally-recognized courses, up to £8,000 over four years. The company also updated Councillors on working with Enable Scotland to support those with barriers to employment into the workplace. This work was recognised at last year’s Fife Business Diversity Awards.


Councillor Altany Craik, the Council’s Economy Convener, said: “This visit to Amazon in Dunfermline to see first-hand what goes on in this centre is an opportunity for Councillors to understand the workings of the centre and question managers on their part in supporting the inclusive growth agenda for Fife, including its commitment to fair work practices. Amazon is providing important employment with career and training opportunities in the area. It has also made a significant contribution to the wider community, including support for local charities and community groups.”


Amazon Dunfermline General Manager, Graham Allison, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Fife Council to our fulfilment centre so they could meet some of the team and see first-hand the many opportunities and range of roles we offer including operations managers, engineers, HR and IT specialists as well as people who pick, pack and ship customer orders.  We are proud to be a part of the local community in Fife and look forward to continuing to deliver an excellent service to all our customers.”

Fife chosen as UK base by global train manufacturer

Fife Council welcomed the announcement by Talgo SA, a global train manufacturer and technology firm, that it plans to locate its UK manufacturing base in the Kingdom.


With tough national competition, Fife was announced as the preferred location for the construction of the major new factory, which will potentially employ up to 1,000 people across Scotland.


Providing Talgo is successful in its bid for the HS2 rail contract, the factory is expected to be built by 2021. The factory will provide Talgo with a modern, bespoke and easily accessible site – not just to the rest of the UK, but internationally.


Councillor David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council, said: “We, along with the Scottish Government and our partners, very much welcome this investment news, which is truly fantastic for Fife and testimony to the support that has been given by our communities and businesses in South West Fife.


“Fife has a strong and proud manufacturing tradition which continues today. The announcement by Talgo is further testimony to the attractiveness of Fife as a manufacturing base. I’m particularly pleased that all the hard work that has gone into the search for a new user for the Longannet site has paid off. This is great news for Fife and the whole of central Scotland.”


Councillor David Alexander, Co-Leader of Fife Council, added: “This is the second affirmation of Fife’s enterprise excellence we’ve had this month. Fife is now the Most Enterprising Place in Britain and today it’s been recognised, once more, by a leading global manufacturer – as the prime location in Scotland for inward investors.”


By announcing Longannet as the preferred UK site, Talgo has also committed to training, developing local supply chain business opportunities and the use of the factory to service UK and international orders, thereby increasing use of local ports.


Fife Council reaches the finals of the Living Wage Scotland Awards

Fife Council is delighted to have been recognised by Living Wage Scotland as a finalist in their 2018 awards.


The Council became an accredited Living Wage employer in 2016.  In recognition of its role in championing the Living Wage, it was shortlisted for the Scottish Living Wage 2018 Anchor Institution Award.


The Living Wage Scotland 2018 Award Winners and Finalists

More than 2,000 of Fife Council’s employees benefit from the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.  Like others, the Council has financial challenges to address, but it sees its Scottish Living Wage accreditation as a positive step to creating a fairer Fife.


Fife Council is committed to making a positive difference to people’s lives, a commitment that doesn’t stop with its own employees.  Following the publication of the Fairer Fife Commission’s report in 2014, it set the ambition of helping Fife become a Living Wage region and will be working with local businesses to support them to achieve Living Wage accreditation.


For more information about the Living Wage and how to get accredited as a Living Wage Employer visit the Scottish Living Wage website.