Work to begin on £4.1m world-leading FASTBLADE test centre

The first major engineering works on FASTBLADE, a state-of-the-art composite structures research facility, will begin in Rosyth later this month.

A team of Babcock engineers will begin construction of FASTBLADE’s 75 tonne structural reaction frame in early July, and will start fit out of the new facility at Babcock’s Rosyth site.


The facility, part of an industry-academic partnership between Babcock International Group and the University of Edinburgh, will initially be used for lifetime fatigue testing of renewable energy tidal turbine blades, using pioneering technology which will be the first of its kind in the world.


Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and University of Edinburgh, the facility will be an international centre of innovation in the research and testing of composite materials and structures for a variety of industries such as tidal energy, marine, transport, nuclear and aerospace.


FASTBLADE is expected to be fully operational in 2021.


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Epipole secures £1.5 million investment

Inverkeithing-based Epipole has secured £1.5 million in funding to market its ground-breaking video retinal imaging device in the US.


The funding was led by new investor Greenwood Way Capital with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also participating.


Epipole’s patented technology enables clinicians to scan the retina using real-time video and then extract high quality images for further examination.  These images are smaller and less expensive than those produced by conventional desktop systems.


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Town Centre Businesses Recovery and Re-Opening Survey

Fife Council is inviting businesses in Fife’s town centres to let it know how it can help manage town centres safely for all as the lockdown restrictions ease.


Owners, managers and employees of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses based in any one of Fife’s town centres – any businesses which which are normally open to the public – are being asked to complete a short online survey.


Town Centre businesses and Fife Council will need to plan for shoppers and visitors returning, with reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements, queuing outside premises, and the requirement and opportunity for some businesses to use outdoor spaces.


Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee explained: “We are developing recovery plans to help address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on towns and local shopping centres across Fife. A vital part of this planning is to support local businesses as our town centres begin to re-open.


“We’d like to hear about your plans, and the support that you need to re-open and trade both safely and successfully, as the lockdown eases.  This will help us to manage our town centres effectively.  Recovering from the impact of Covid-19 will challenge different businesses in different ways, and we want to do all we can to help.”


The survey, which will be open until 6 July only takes a few minutes to complete and can be found at


In some areas, the council will need to reduce the amount of road space available for vehicles, in others full pedestrianisation might be needed to be in place at certain times.  These are just some of the range of options which will be considered, including measures to support walking, wheeling and cycling.


Cllr Craik added: “The council is working hard to support a range of business sectors in its town centres, including retail, hospitality and leisure, culture and public transport and we want to hear from as many businesses as possible.”


Click for information on the support and advice available for businesses during the pandemic. 





BID St Andrews launches #LoveStAndrews Marketplace App

The St Andrews Business Improvement District (BID) has launched an app to help its member businesses to continue to trade through the coronavirus pandemic.


The new app – #LoveStAndrews Marketplace – launched today (Monday 15 June) provides a platform for local businesses with existing deliver and/or click-and-collect services. as well as for businesses wishing to start offering such services.


With support from the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 BID Resilience Fund, BID St Andrews has developed the app in partnership with the Hungrrr Development Ltd, developers of an online and app food ordering system.


“BIDS across Scotland are playing a critical role during these challenging economic times.  Not only are we offering hands-on support to our BID Members, but we are working hand-in-hand with local and central government to try to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our local economies.  Town centres will play a vital role in the “bounce back” and we hope the Marketplace App will be another way we can help by providing businesses with a flexible revenue platform as they adapt the way they operate going forward.” said Jane Kennedy, BID St Andrews Manager.


Louise A Fraser, Chair of BID St Andrews and owner of the town’s Fraser Gallery added: “As Chair of BID St Andrews, I am delighted that we are able to support local businesses in accessing a new platform that will help them promote their business to both new and existing audiences – from within the town as well as further afield. As we move forward, the parameters within which businesses can operate will be changing and our Marketplace app will allow them to offer their products and service with delivery and collect options, in addition to physical sales.”


For more information, email BID St Andrews at