A business in Mid-Fife? Take part in an online survey to help inform an action plan to grow the area

Are you a local business operating within the Cowdenbeath, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Levenmouth areas?

If so, you are invited to take part in a short business survey that shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete.


The survey aims to help Fife Council understand how its interventions affect you and other businesses in your area.


The results from the survey will be used to inform the development of a Mid-Fife Economic Action Plan aimed at helping to stimulate economic growth in the area.


Click to access the survey which will be available until Friday 12 July.


If you have any questions about the survey or the action plan (which is being developed by Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise), please contact Peter Corbett – tel: 03451 55 55 55 ex 440997 or email peter.corbett@fife.gov.uk


Inverkeithing celebrates another major heritage funding award

Inverkeithing is celebrating a £1,255,900 grant award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for essential repairs and improvements to its historic streetscape and buildings.


The Townscape Heritage (TH) funding, which was confirmed by the Scotland Committee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund earlier this week, means that a regeneration package of over £3 million is now available for a five-year programme of heritage themed improvement and investment in the town.


The National Lottery award will be combined with a £1 million grant awarded to Inverkeithing in April from the Historic Environment Scotland Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) along with Fife Council money and other funding contributions.


Welcoming the news, Councillor Alice McGarry, Area Convenor for Fife Council’s South and West Area Committee said: “This is more good news for Inverkeithing and its regeneration.  It reflects the positive and constructive input from local people and groups which was taken on board whilst the applications were being developed. It also represents a major step forward in starting to realise local people’s vision for the town as expressed in the Imagine Inverkeithing Community Masterplan developed last year.  People wanted to see new investment, jobs and a diversification of the local economy, whilst protecting and enhancing our built and natural heritage.”


” The National Lottery and CARS funding will enable the repair and redevelopment of the Town House as a community use hub, major streetscape uplift in the High Street and Market Square and a grant scheme for repairs to other historic buildings in the town centre.  There will also be a wide range of training and educational courses and activities for the whole community, designed to improve heritage skills and knowledge.”


Councillor Altany Craik, Covener of the council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee added: ” Like many towns today, Inverkeithing has to contend with a range of negative market forces, like changing shopping habits.  Its historic centre also needs investment to tackle dilapidation associated with an ageing building stock.  To have a sustainable future the town needs to evolve and improve its offer to attract both local residents and visitors.   The town’s heritage and history is currently underplayed, but given its location on the Fife Coastal Path and Pilgrims Way, proximity to the Forth Bridges and Edinburgh, and its major transport links, Inverkeithing has the potential for a step change through heritage-led regeneration, and this funding can enable that to happen.”


The Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration Project will be managed by Fife Historic Buildings Trust (FHBT) in partnership with Fife Council.

Fife Businesses showcased at Scotland’s Premier Royal Highland Show

Thousands of visitors enjoyed the chance to sample and buy some of the best Food and Drink offerings from Fife businesses at the 2019 Royal Highland Show (RHS). Now in its 178th year, the RHS attracted around 200,000 visitors to Ingliston showground for a four-day showcase of the very best of farming, food and rural life.


Fife Council’s Economic Development team in partnership with the Food from Fife network set up a bespoke designed group stand at the RHS, to showcase some of the very best produce that Fife has to offer. The Economic Development team secured a prime site within Scotland’s Larder Live main hall, ensuring that the eight businesses had an ideal location in which to tempt the visitors to try and buy, their produce.


Eight businesses on the Fife Stand were St Andrews Brewing Company, Wemyss, Darnley’s and Kingsbarns, Heavenly Goodies, Lindores Abbey, Lundin Distilling, Rumburra Scotland Ltd, Tayport Distillery and Pilgrim’s Gin. With Farmers Son also receiving assistance from Fife Council to exhibit with their own stall at the International show.


As well as the Fife stand attracting a lot of interest from the public, Rumburra and Heavenly Goodies also had a chance to discuss how the two companies could collaborate to create new innovative products to compliment the Rumburra Truffles already produced by Heavenly Goodies in advance of the show.  Garry from Rumburra was delighted with the impact of attending the show highlighting; “It’s the first time we have been part of a Fife group stand and our first time attending the RHS.  The level of interest in our Rum brand was fantastic which allowed us to relay the story of the product to all of the visitors. Without the support of Fife Council’s Economic Development Team through their Trade Development Programme we would have missed out on this success.”


Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Economy, Tourism Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee said: “This is the first time Fife has been represented at the RHS in this way. I’m delighted to see food and drink businesses from across the Kingdom embrace the chance to come together, showcasing the high quality and innovative produce available from Fife. The Council recently agreed a Food and Drink Action Plan and this is part of the delivery of that plan and with many more developments to come, the support available to the businesses in the Food and Drink Sector continues to be strengthened.”


Other Fife businesses that also exhibited at the 2019 RHS included The Wee Tea company, The Just Slate Co (Homeware), Eden Mill (Gin), The Growers Garden (Broccoli Crips), The Shed (Coffee) and The House of Bluebell (Clothing).


Any businesses interested in finding out more about Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme should visit www.businessgatewayfife.com/trade-development-programme.

Fife Council agrees use of town centre funding

Fife Council has set out its plans for using the £4.335 million allocated to it from the Scottish Government’s new fund for town centres.


The Town Centre Capital Grant Fund, launched in March, was set up by the Scottish Government in partnership with COSLA to support councils to ensure that their high streets are more diverse, sustainable and successful in the face of changing and evolving retail patters.


Announcing the council’s plans for spending its grant allocation, Co-Leader Cllr David Ross said: “As a council we’re already committed to investment plans for our town centres to help create thriving places all around Fife.  This funding is a welcome extra, but it has to be spent on projects that can start before the end of March 2020.


“We need to look carefully, both at where we most need additional investment, and where there are projects which can, realistically, make good use of it quickly.  It’s the town centres in Mid-Fife that are in the greatest need of support and our allocation of funding to projects reflects this.”


Co-Leader, Cllr David Alexander, added: “We know that town centres are suffering around the UK.  There are no overnight fixes but, with a range of partners, we’re working towards creating town centres where people of all ages can live, work and visit, to enjoy a mix of leisure, tourism, retail, culture and heritage opportunities.


“The committee agreed a set of spending proposals so we can start to see the benefits of this Scottish Government funding as soon as possible.  Fife was awarded the largest amount of funding, and we want to spread the benefits across the Kingdom, but must also address the pressing need for economic support in Mid-Fife in particular, as detailed in the Plan for Fife.”


The Council’s Policy and Co-ordination Committee at its meeting on 18 June agreed that the fund would be used to support the following town centre projects:


West Fife

  • Work in Dunfermline’s heritage quarter and town centre to create an enterprise hub and support new community and visitor opportunities, building on the rich heritage of the town.
  • Expanding Inverkeithing’s built heritage programme beyond the conservation area to improve the town centre environment.


  • Create a safe and attractive connection between the high street, Kirkcaldy Centre and bus station to welcome people into the town centre.
  • Enhance the Waterfront with new ‘pop-up’ style businesses, statement lighting and planting.
  • Beginning development of new residential and commercial opportunities around the town centre and in the Merchants Quarter.

Central Fife

  • Securing property in Cowdenbeath town centre to support regeneration work
  • Build the climbing tower for Fife’s Regional Climbing and Bouldering Centre (Rockgelly) and carry out landscaping to complete the vision for Lochgelly Town House Square. These works will make the area suitable for a range of open-air community events.
  • Expanding a safe and attractive pedestrian area in the town centre to boost the night time economy in Glenrothes, as well as improve cycle path links and town centre signage.

East Fife

  • Develop the Bonnygate and Inner Court in Cupar for a mixture of residential, commercial and retail use.
  • Refurbish vacant and dilapidated properties between Leven High Street and retail park to attract investment to this area.
  • Better street layouts at the north end of Leven High Street to create an attractive, pedestrian friendly connection between the High Street and the promenade and coastal path.


Fife engineering company accelerated by £40k investment from Business Loans Scotland

Situated in the heart of Fife, Glenrothes based Creo Engineering pride themselves in offering a unique manufacturing, design and overhaul service for pumps and mechanical equipment within the engineering industry.


With over 100 years of combined experience and after identifying a gap in the market for a business of its kind in the area, Creo Engineering was formed by four Directors Iain Bickett, Brian Menagh, Graham Dudgeon and Gordon Matheson.


As a brand-new start up business, the team at Creo recognised that the first few months would be crucial to its success and were determined to minimise any risk potential. With a vision in year one to carry out research and development work into producing their very own product range, the Directors were keen to raise working capital to support this and help the business in its early stages of trading.


After approaching their Business Gateway Adviser in Fife to explore the different funding sources available, the Directors of Creo Engineering were made aware of Business Loans Scotland (BLS) and its offering of loans from £25,000 to £100,000 for new and growing Scottish SMEs.


Identifying this as a fitting source of funding, the Directors made the decision to apply for a loan from BLS and within a matter of weeks, were delighted to secure a loan of £40,000.


Securing the funding has been fundamental to injecting much needed capital into the business and will allow the team at Creo to work towards their goal of producing their own range of pumps, selling these initially within the UK market before exploring further export potential into Europe and beyond.


Speaking of the loan secured, Director of Creo Engineering, Iain Bickett said:


“The help and assistance through our local Adviser from Business Gateway Fife and Business Loans Scotland have been instrumental in giving us the opportunity to start our business. This support has continued as we look to develop our business through innovation, design and manufacture of our own product range.”


Fund Manager of Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson, added:


“I am delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support Creo Engineering with loan finance to grow their business. We are passionate about supporting the growth and development plans of SMEs across Scotland, therefore with the help of our loans, businesses can achieve their growth ambitions without delay. With a dedicated pot of £7 million in place, we are keen to support many other businesses, like Creo Engineering, access loan funding which will allow them to flourish in the current economic environment.”


Visit https://www.bls.scot/ for more information about the support available from Business Loans Scotland.

Dates of 2019 Fife Business Week Announced

The dates of the 10th Fife Business Week have been announced – this year’s event will run from 4-8 November 2019 at various venues across Fife.


Organised by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team and branded under the Fife Economy Partnership, the week will comprise a programme of inspiring business seminars, workshops, masterclasses and networking opportunities.


The events will bring together private and public sector organisations in a bid to promote business opportunities, especially in the region’s key sectors like Food and Drink, Advanced Manufacturing, Tourism and Construction.


The Week is a fantastic opportunity to share best practice and give sound advice to new and growing businesses.


Fife Business Week 2019 will be co-ordinated by a variety of partners and will benefit from a significant amount of promotion, including radio, local press, social media and an interactive website.


A printed version of the programme will also be widely distributed to Fife businesses and stakeholders.


If you would like an event to be considered for Fife Business Week 2019, please download and complete an event submission form and email it to craig.rutherford@bgfife.co.uk by Friday 19 July.  Even if you don’t have a fully spec’d event, please submit a note of interest.


Please note that while your event will be included in the brochure and profiled on the website, you will still be responsible for booking the venue, taking the bookings and promoting the event.





Two Fife businesses benefit from Wild Card EDGE funding

Two Fife businesses have received support from the Scottish EDGE Fund for their innovative ideas.


Bplasticfree in Anstruther and Human in Glenrothes have each been awarded £10,000 from the scheme’s Wild Card EDGE category for businesses who have yet to commence trading.


Bplasticfree received funding to manufacture a biodegradable, reusable food-grade waxed cotton alternative to cling film on a commercial scale and to develop a new Vegan food wrap.


Human’s award was for the production of a unique artificial intelligence psychotherapist which enables its users to reduce psychological stress and increase levels of well-being.


Scottish EDGE is the UK’s largest business funding competition, aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.


The competition awards grants and loans of up to £100,000. Winners also receive an all-encompassing pack of support from Scottish EDGE’s partner organisations to help them fast-track and grow their businesses.


This year’s winning businesses came from 37 multisector finalists – shortlisted from 289 – who pitched their business ideas live at Glasgow’s Technology and Innovation Centre and Edinburgh’s RBS Conference Centre on 28 and 30 May to two high-profile panels chaired by Margaret Gordon OBE of EY Foundation and Simon Hannah of Filshill.


Click for more information about Scottish EDGE and its application process – round 15 of the funding scheme opens on the 29 July.

Major Fife Showcase at Royal Highland Show

Thousands of visitors are enjoying the chance to sample and buy some of the best Food and drink from Fife at this year’s Royal Highland Show. Eight businesses are representing the region on a specially designed group stand, through assistance from Fife Council’s Economic Development team and Food From Fife.


The Royal Highland Show attracts around 200,000 visitors to its Ingliston showground where a four-day showcase of the very best of farming food and rural life takes place. Supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, the 179th Royal Highland Show will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, on 20th – 23rd June 2019.


Businesses from Fife attending with the support of Food from Fife and Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme comprise:


  • St Andrews Brewing Company – this brewery started brewing its range of popular beers in St Andrews in
  • Kingsbarns Distillery – this East Neuk distillery will be showcasing Wemyss malts, Darnley’s gin and the new whiskies produced at Kingsbarns.
  • Heavenly Goodies – a Dunfermline confectioner producing decadent hand made chocolates and sweets
  • Lindores Abbey Distillery – the latest addition to Fife’s growing whisky scene, this distillery will be showcasing its Aqua Vitae spirit.
  • Lundin Distilling – Lundin Distilling – this micro distillery produces a gin made with local foraged gorse flowers and their newly released Ripple Gin, which is infused with Scottish strawberries and raspberries.
  • Rumburra Scotland Ltd – a Caribbean rum with a Scottish twist
  • Never 25 – a Tayport distillery that produces spirits and liqueurs with local, hand collected Scottish grains and fruits.
  • Pilgrim’s Gina small batch handcrafted gin, made using Scottish spring water and carefully selected botanicals.


Will Docker, Chair of Food from Fife said:

“This is the first time Fife has been represented at this high profile event in this way.  I’m delighted to see food and drink businesses from across the region come together, helping to get the message about the innovation and growth in the region’s sector.”


Iain Brown of Lundin Distilling said:

“Exhibiting at high profile shows like the Royal Highland Show is a significant investment for businesses like Lundin Distilling and this grant really helps us to get the word out there, put our products in front of a new audience, make new connections and grow our business.”


Food from Fife is a not for profit company that was established in 2010 to help the diverse local food and tourism businesses work better together to grow the overall industry in Fife.


Find out more about Food from Fife and its member businesses at www.foodfromfife.co.uk.  Businesses interested in attending should contact Food from Fife’s coordinator, Martha Bryce on martha@foodfromfife.co.uk.


Any business that is interested in finding out more about Fife Council’s Trade Development programme should visit www.businessgatewayfife.com/trade-development-programme.


For more information, please contact Martha Bryce:


Tel. 07905 761 525 or visit www.foodfromfife.co.uk

/Twitter @foodfromfife / Facebook/food-from-fife /  Instagram@foodfromfife


Fife Businesses to Benefit from Innovative Degree Programme

Fife College is to team up with Edinburgh Napier University to help businesses upskill their workforce using a new degree initiative.

The BA Business and Enterprise Degree is an innovative top up programme, the first of its kind in the region.  The programme will be hosted by Fife College’s University Hub in Dunfermline and run by Edinburgh Napier University with business support from the Fife Economy Partnership.


The programme will enable local businesses to support their workforce through personal development. The improved capability that the businesses will gain ­from the enhanced expertise of their workforce is being recognised as an important element of business sustainability and competitiveness.


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

“This locally delivered degree programme provides an excellent way for businesses to upskill their workforce and develop their future management team needs. Business planning and entrepreneurial leadership development skills, which build on work-based learning and enhance the organisation’s capability even while studying, are a fantastic opportunity for businesses.”


The year-long top-up BA degree programme is available for those in work (employed or self-employed) who have relevant work experience and an HND or a SCQF level 8 equivalent qualification.


The Programme involves a combination of assessments, workshops and independent study, with attendance one-day per month at the Fife College University Hub in Dunfermline. Assessments are practical and applied, including reports around work roles, work-place based assignments, presentations and case studies.


An information day is being held at the University Hub, within Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline on 20 June, when interested business owners, directors and employees can drop in between 3pm and 7pm to learn more.


Find out more here.

How does Fife benefit from the Edinburgh & SE Scotland City Region Deal?

Fife Council’s Co-Leaders explain how Fife will benefit from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.


Our job is to improve the quality of life for people who live in, work in or visit Fife. We want Fife’s economic performance to be exceptional, not just average. Despite all the changes and uncertainty in the world at present, we are forward-looking and ambitious for Fife.

Cllrs David Ross and David Alexander, Co-Leaders of Fife Council


Our participation in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is long-term, focused on creating opportunities for Fife’s people and communities to thrive and to play a full and active part in the region’s economy. We share – with regional partners – the commitment to create a region without poverty, and improved well-being for all.


Through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal regional partners will secure more than £1.3 billion of investment for the city region over the next 15 years. We believe that this can create clear opportunities for genuine inclusive economic growth and investment in Fife. The Deal focuses on growing the regional economy through collaboration and by being outward-looking, building on the region’s existing strengths in key sectors and industries. Our focus is firmly on fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits from good employment opportunities and regional investments.

The approval of the business case for Fife’s ten-year/£48.4m Industrial Innovation Investment Programme by the regional Joint Committee will deliver much-needed new industrial buildings in key locations in Mid and South Fife. This is a major economic boost through the construction activity, and the businesses that will be able to expand into the new units and private sector investment.


We believe it will also make it easier for the region’s universities and Fife’s businesses to work together to drive up competitiveness and productivity in local businesses and crucially deliver higher paid, skilled permanent jobs.


Common questions that we get asked about the City Region Deal are:


How does the regional collaboration improve outcomes for all partner local authorities?


We want to ensure that we make a positive difference to those living in our most deprived communities by creating access to skills and jobs. The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme will invest in key business locations across Fife.


The Integrated Regional Skills and Employability Programme will provide access to new opportunities at all stages of education and training, linking into Fife schools, colleges and training providers. We are working with the region’s universities to agree how we will work with them. We know that by supporting the growth of innovative businesses, the City Region Deal collaboration will help improve the region’s economy for everyone.


Some communities in Fife – particularly mid Fife – are still recovering from the demise of mining and other traditional industries throughout the UK and beyond, so these are a priority for us.


We know that although employment levels are good – they are higher in Fife than across Scotland – the distribution of jobs, particularly highly skilled jobs, is not equal, and some communities in Fife have fragile economies where some people worry about finding work.


We believe that the City Region Deal represents a significant step forward in regenerating the areas with the most potential for economic development, helping to reverse the unemployment and social exclusion caused by the collapse of the industrial and manufacturing economy. Alongside the Industrial Innovation Investment Programme, the regional focus on developing skills and making sure there are routes to securing fairly-paid employment for everyone.


We believe that Fife is a resilient region, but we also recognise that the economy needs to diversify further.


How will the deal work?


This Deal promises a new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport, planning, backed by a fresh approach to city regional governance to empower the region.


The Governments and regional partners are embarking on a new relationship and vision. The first phase is underpinned by the activities set out in the Deal, and we will continue to work together to transfer further powers, policy and resources to strengthen the city region.


This Deal is breaking down barriers by promoting collaboration between local authorities, universities, the private sector and other public services. Through working with partners we can better realise the economic potential of the city region by unlocking economic assets, harnessing local strengths and responding to local issues.


The new governance framework empowers Fife, and the other local authorities, to create a different, more tailored, approach that enables us to better meet the needs of our communities and businesses together. Crucially this approach retains the link between regional strategy and local accountability, back through the partner councils to their local communities.


For example, often those who are disadvantaged in the job market face a range of barriers to employment, and progressing when in work. By working together – aligning stakeholders and services – we can create real change to benefit everyone, including the most vulnerable in society.


How do we make sure that there is a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth?


The Fife Industrial Innovation programme will be delivered in three phases. Over the next three years new industrial premises will be developed across four sites in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly and Dunfermline.


Seven hectares of new serviced employment land in Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay will be made available for immediate investment by new or existing businesses. During this phase, we will work up the plan for the next three years. Over the ten-year programme, we expect to deliver:


· Important investment in progressive industrial modernisation that will encourage more businesses to locate and grow within Fife.

· The creation of 1,000 new skilled permanent jobs, and 600 short-term construction jobs.

· A diverse range of companies with a growth outlook.

· A further £30m of further investment by the private sector.


We are proud that Fife was recently crowned the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ by the UK Government, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the Enterprising Britain Awards, Fife is already rightfully recognised for economic successes within mid-Fife and in developing our young workforce. This is because we’re already closely linking education and learning with employers to get more young people into education, training and employment and empower our future business leaders.


What about North East Fife?


We are also part of the Tay Cities Deal – a programme backed by the UK and Scottish Governments, along with Angus, Dundee City, and Perth & Kinross councils – designed to reduce the economic inequality gap and boost productivity. Late last year, we agreed Heads of Terms to confirm what will be included in that Deal. Under the Deal proposals, around £30m will be invested in the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus in Guardbridge that is estimated to create around 500 new jobs as the former paper mill is redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.


Cllrs David Alexander and David Ross, Co-leaders, Fife Council