Manufacturing & Engineering Annual Investment Allowance

Manufacturing and engineering businesses in Fife are being encouraged by Fife Council Economic Development to take advantage of an increase of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA).


The increase of AIA enables faster tax relief for plant machinery investments between £200,000 and £1 million.


A recent survey undertaken by the Manufacturing Technologies Association and Close Brothers Asset Finance highlighted that, despite an increase in AIA until 31st December 2020, only 42 per cent of engineering and manufacturing firms were aware of the increase.


Findings also highlighted that only a minority (45 per cent of engineering and manufacturing companies) are planning to increase investment this year, as a result of the increase in AIA.  Of those, only 16 per cent were planning a significant increase.


Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Fife Council Economic Development, said: “We’re keen to encourage more local businesses to embrace the Government’s increase in the Annual Investment Allowance and invest in their future.  It offers a superb platform for local manufacturing and engineering businesses to invest in new equipment, embrace new technologies, to improve efficiencies and ultimately become more competitive.”


The temporary increase enables businesses to obtain 100 per cent tax relief on the purchase of qualifying business assets in the year of purchase such as plant, machinery, vans and tools.  Helpfully, AIA can also be claimed on hire purchase assets.  If a business utilises their full AIA of £1 million, this equated to corporation tax savings of £190,000.


Ross Oliphant, Tax Partner at EQ Accountants and Head of its Engineering and Manufacturing Group, said: “The increase in the Annual Investment Allowance provides a great opportunity for UK engineering and manufacturing businesses to invest in new plant and machinery whilst accelerating their tax relief.  Those that invest in assets critical to their business will not only benefit from the tax reliefs, but should enjoy greater productivity and growth.”


Whilst this is a welcome change, businesses with a year end that straddles 1 January 2019 should be aware of the transitional rules that apply, meaning the timing of capital expenditure should be carefully planned to ensure the AIA is maximised.


To find out more, please contact Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 or email

Fife Business Diversity Awards 2019

Nominations can now be made for the Fife Business Diversity Awards 2019.


The awards showcase the achievements of people disadvantaged by age, disability or circumstances in the workplace and employers who strive to promote Equality and Diversity within the workforce.


Nominations can be made for businesses, organisations or individuals in Fife who excel in promoting the employment of people who face disadvantages in the labour market.


Diversity and inclusion are hot topics in business right now.  These awards give recognition to remarkable people who have undergone an inspirational journey to employment and acknowledge employers in Fife who make sure people who face disadvantage, for whatever reason, are given the opportunity to secure and sustain a job.


Award categories are :

  • Health and Disabilities: Employee
  • Young People 16-24: Employee
  • Adults 25+:  Employee
  • Achiever of the year
  • Equality & Diversity Employer
  • Innovation Award


Nomination forms are available online or by emailing


Short-listed nominations will be invited to attend Fife Business Diversity Awards event in November 2019.

The nomination deadline is 1st August 2019


Further information about support offered to overcome the barriers to employment as a consequence of disadvantage can be found at Opportunities Fife.

Eden Mill Entrepreneur Wins Global Marketer of the Year Award

Eden Mill co-founder, Paul Miller, won the Global Marketer of the Year at the 22nd Academy of Marketing Science world congress at the University of Edinburgh earlier this month.


The award recognises his significant global contribution to the marketing of drinks industry along with his key role in revitalising the Scottish craft gin market and bringing whisky production back to St Andrews after 150 years.


Paul Miller said: “I am thrilled to be recognised at the AMS World Marketing Congress 2019, as well as the wider marketing and business community. It’s been a tremendous few days learning from experts and peers from around the world.”

Professor Tina Harrison, co-chair of the 2019 AMS congress, said: “Paul Miller receives this award in recognition of his significant contribution to the development of the Scottish gin, whisky and beer markets at home and globally.”


Previous winners include Olivier Dexemple, the former Marketing and Development Director of Coca-Cola Europe and Rod Drury founder and former CEO of the online accounting software company Xero.


Find out more about the 2019 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress here.

University of St Andrews to Tackle Single Use Plastic

In partnership with BRITA, the world’s leading water filter and dispenser company, the University of St Andrews has launched the first of many green initiatives to tackle single-use plastic.


The university has installed a glass bottling system to provide bottled water for delivered catering across the campus.  This would reduce the reliance on single-use plastic bottled water by 19,000 units annually. In addition, BRITA has installed self-service still and sparkling water dispensing units in its three retail cafés for staff and students. This will save an estimated additional 21,000 single-use plastic bottles of water.


This is anticipated to remove in excess of 40,000 plastic bottles from circulating in the local community each year by eliminating the need to purchase environmentally unfriendly and expensive pre-bottled waters. The water bottling system substantially reduces the cost of purchasing single-use, pre-bottled waters and also eliminates the need to transport and store bottled water.


Gemma McNicoll-Brown, Event Operations Delivered Catering Assistant Manager, University of St Andrews, said: “Sustainability is a key element in the University’s new Strategic Plan. We strive to work with businesses whose principles and commitments to the environment and sustainability align with our own. Our new partnership with BRITA is the first in many new green initiatives we will be implementing across the University to play our part in a greener future. The elimination of single-use plastic bottles of water is our first step towards making a cleaner, greener and sustainable future for staff, students and the local community.”


Find out more about the initiative here.

Fife Tourism Barometer for Q2 2019

In partnership with local councils and destination organisations, Visit Scotland have been inviting businesses to participate in a survey to capture tourism business performance in local regions.


This survey is conducted quarterly and is anonymous. The results are used to provide timely feedback to businesses on how tourism in their area is performing.
Survey results will be presented at a regional and a sectoral level, providing a snapshot of how tourism is performing in both cases, allowing businesses to:

•    Make informed decisions about your business
•    Identify opportunities for growth and gaps in the market
•    Have evidence to support investment decisions


The survey for Quarter 2 of 2019 is not live.  Take part here.

Fruit Growing Facility Plans to Establish Year-Round Production in Rosyth

Fruit growing facility, EnerGrow, has secured an offer in principle for funding from a UK Financial Institution for its plans to establish an all-year-round strawberry production unit in Rosyth.


EnerGrow has also commenced the process of applying for planning permission for the project, which will incorporate a number of innovative technologies and approaches.  The company are working closely with Fife Council and other Government agencies to deliver the development successfully and secure up to 60 full time equivalent jobs.


The project will use innovative LED lighting technology to grow soft fruit and vegetables all year round.  Although strawberries have been selected as the initial product for growth, other potential products such as tomatoes, salad leaves and herbs are also of interest.


The project hopes to capitalise on an increasing consumer demand for strawberries over the winter period when produce is imported from Morocco, Egypt, Israel and Spain.


Find out more about the project here.

Offshore Wind Supply Chain Opportunities Survey 2019

The Forth & Tay Cluster partners are seeking to understand the areas capability to support the major developments off the area’s coastline.


The Forth & Tay Offshore Cluster was set up in 2018 to drive forward supply chain opportunities from the emerging offshore renewables sector. This partnership is made up of Angus, Borders, Dundee City, East Lothian and Fife Councils working together with Scottish Enterprise and the offshore wind developers.


The Offshore Wind Sector has the potential to bring significant business opportunities to companies in the area and the Forth & Tay Cluster partners want to identify the current and potential offshore wind supply chain companies and their capabilities.


Businesses are invited to complete this survey, by identifying what services you currently offer in other sectors that you believe could be transferred into offshore wind now, services which could be adapted for the offshore wind sector with appropriate support and services which you aspire to offer the sector in the future.


This survey will be followed up by further work, undertaken by Scottish Enterprise, to qualify in more depth your company’s full capabilities and allow the Forth & Tay Offshore Cluster to pull together a searchable database to be used by the developers and their key contractors. We want Scotland to maximise every opportunity brought by this new emerging sector.


Take part in the survey here.