Tay Cities Business Month

Throughout February, a series of events and workshops designed for individuals and organisations looking to start up or grow a business, learn new skills, build networks, find inspiration or gain a competitive edge will be taking place across Tayside as part of the Tay Cities Business Month.


The events will be open to everyone and will cover topics such as: E-Commerce; Book-keeping: the Circular Economy; Leadership; Procurement – meet the buyer: Finance and many more.


In addition, there will be dedicated events for key sectors such as Tourism, Food & Drink and Engineering.


Each week will focus on a different theme and the event taking place will be tailored to that theme.  The themes are: People, Sectors, Business Growth and Entrepreneurship.


Alison Henderson, Depute Chair of the Tay Cities Enterprise Forum said:  ‘In 2019, we hosted a Tay Cities Business Week, which was a great success; as such we decided to increase the offering this year and offer a wider range of events across the month. We’ve got a very strong regional partnership which has helped us pull together many opportunities – the events will inspire, motivate and help businesses to grow, achieving their goals in 2020.  I’d urge everyone to have a look at the programme and come along for what will be an engaging, informative and exciting month for businesses across the Tayside region and beyond.


‘Because of geographical spread, there will be good opportunities to make new business connections across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.  The events programme includes something for everyone and we welcome attendees from early start-up stage through to long-established companies.’


For more information or details on how to sign up for an event, visit https://taycitiesbusinessmonth.co.uk/  or follow #TCBM2020 on social media.

New service to tackle trade barriers

The UK and Scottish Governments have launched a new service to help tackle barriers to exporting faced by Scottish businesses.


A trade barrier is something that slows down, limits or prevents a UK business exporting to, or investing in, an overseas market.


After the UK’s exit from the EU, it is expected that Scottish exporters could encounter new and additional trade barriers.


Businesses, representative organisations and industry bodies can use the new tool to log any barriers to exporting goods or servicing they are experiencing.


Specialist advisors from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and/or Scottish Government will then contact you to let you know if and how they can help.


To report a trade barrier visit https://www.great.gov.uk/report-trade-barrier/


Before filling in the form:


Click for more information.

Applications invited to the Low Carbon Challenge Fund

Academic institutions, public bodies and third sector organisations in the Lowlands and Uplands (LUPS) area of Scotland are invited to apply for grant funding to support initiatives that will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)  to unlock opportunities provided by the climate emergency and contribute towards Scotland’s target of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.


Up to £6 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant funding is currently available through the Low Carbon Challenge Fund  which aims to support the creation of a national network of regionally-based initiatives, to stimulate and improve innovation in SMEs.


One key element of the fund will be for initiatives to support SMEs in preparing for new market opportunities which are emerging as a result of the global climate emergency and in the drive towards net-zero emissions.


Up to £6 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant funding is currently available.  Grant funding will awarded on a competitive basis and can contribute to up to 50% of eligible project costs.


Click for more information about the fund and an information session being run by Scottish Enterprise on 27 January and to submit an application.


The deadline for submitting applications to the fund is midnight on Friday 21 February 2020.

Fife businesses exhibiting at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show

Over 20 Fife companies will be attending the only trade show in Scotland for the speciality food and drink sector taking place later this month. .


A number of the companies are attending Scotland’s Speciality Food Show from 19 to 21 January 2020 at Glasgow’s SECC with assistance from Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme, which supports companies to attend and exhibit at trade shows and exhibitions in the UK and abroad.


Fife Council’s Economic Development Team provides a range of support services to businesses from advice and information, to customised training supporting the exhibition experience as well as wider market and trade development needs.


This support allows small and medium sized businesses the chance to exhibit to around 1,000 dedicated food buyers of delis, farm shops, speciality food retailers and food hall buyers at the show.


Fife Council will be exhibiting the very best offerings from Fife food and drink producers at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show.  There will also be Fife companies located within the show’s Launch Gallery area, giving them the opportunity to meet new trade and retail customers and accelerate the growth rate of their business.


Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “We know there’s significant potential to further develop Fife’s Food and Drink Sector and as a council we’re delighted to be able to help local businesses showcase their produce at this, the only trade show for the speciality food and drink market in Scotland.  This support is part of the continual rollout of our Food and Drink Action Plan which is designed to ensure that business support is available from both Fife Council and its partners to Fife food and drink companies of all sizes.”


To find out more about the support available from Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme contact Dot Smith on 03451 55 55 55 ex 492175 or email dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk


Fife payment business to showcase wares on international trade mission

Payment specialist Renovite Technologies has been selected to showcase its payments technology to Swiss and Austrian financial firms.


The Dunfermline business has been selected by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Scottish Development International (SDI) to take part in a fintech trade mission to Vienna and Zurich later this month.


Taking place from January 23-24, the mission aims to stimulate business between the UK delegation and financial institutions in Switzerland and Austria.  Renovite and a select group of other Fintech companies will be meeting with banks, venture capitalists and other organisations with an interest in fintech and innovation.


Previous fintech missions to Switzerland led by the DIT have subsequently generated £45 million in business deals.


Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer at Renovite Technologies said:


“We are thrilled to have been selected as a delegate for the mission and look forward to showcasing how our work is enabling positive change using state-of-the-art cloud technology.


“It’s really a very positive sign that major financial organisations are now rising to the challenges and demands of an increasingly complex payments environment by looking to businesses that can offer the kind of agility and innovation they can’t source from traditional suppliers.”


Renovite Technologies, which also has offices in California and New Delhi, established its European headquarters in Dunfermline in 2017.  The UK team has grown from four to 20 since then and plans to add another ten employees – including six trainees – by the end of 2019.


Click for more information about the trade mission.




Briggs Marine Turnover up by 17%

Briggs Marine and Environmental Services is reporting a 17% increase in turnover.


The Burntisland-based company, which supplies a range of services throughout the marine industry, has just published its new accounts for the year ending March 2018 at Companies House, showing an annual turnover of £58 million, 17% more than the previous year.


Collieson Briggs, Managing Director of the Briggs Group, said: “The marketplace remains challenging, but the company has delivered a profitable performance in the year to March 2018, and in the short to medium term, I expect the company to continue delivering improved operational performance in the year 2018/19.  It is great to see that across the whole group, we continue to be successful in winning new contracts, as this further develops our presence and reputation in the marine services industry.”


Click to read the whole story.



University submits plans for multi-million pound development of Eden Campus

The University’s plans for transforming the former paper mill at Guardbridge into a new University campus have been lodged with Fife Council.


The £20 million plan for the Eden Campus will involve the sensitive restoration and refurbishment of buildings to create state-of-the-art office space, library storage, a canteen and associated parking and landscaping.  The development will also create a cafe which will be open to the public as well as to University staff.


The plans provide for a total office space capacity for 500 which will see 400 University staff relocate from St Andrews to the Eden Campus.  This relocation will ease pressure on office and parking space in St Andrews and release space in the town centre and North Haugh for teaching and research purposes.


It is anticipated that around 100 jobs will be created during the two-year construction and fitting-out phase.


The university has already invested £25 million in an award-winning green energy centre at the Eden Campus which pumps hot water four miles to St Andrews to heat university buildings.


University of St Andrews Quaestor and Factor Derek Watson said: “This is a major strategic move for the University which will provide an exceptional working environment for our staff, breathe new life in the local economy of Guardbridge and have a beneficial impact on the town of St Andrews.”


Click to read the full story.





Dunfermline among first winners from new lottery fund

Dunfermline is one of the first places in Scotland to win funding from a new National Lottery Fund.


It’s historic built environment is set to benefit from a £288,200 award from the Great Place Scheme.


The National Lottery’s new fund is aimed at helping towns use their unique heritage and history to create opportunities for employment, education and income generation.


The award-winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

Dunfermline’s share could lead to revigorating a building or space in the town and additional funding from Fife Council, Fife Cultural Trust, Dunfermline Carnegie Trust and Dunfermline Delivers will give the Dunfermline Heritage Partnership more than £419,000 for the scheme.


Councillor Helen Law, convener of Fife Council’s City of Dunfermline Area Committee said: “In terms of Scotland’s history and heritage, Dunfermline has one of the best stories to tell.  This fund will allow us to make improvements to the town which are rooted in that history.


“We want to build on the momentum already achieved by the award-winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, a building which has dramatically enhanced the abbey and historic area, while helping us to boost visitor numbers and create jobs.”


Click to read the full story in The Courier.





University study examines impact of Brexit on SMEs

The findings of new research carried out by the University of St Andrews on the potential impact of Brexit on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have just been announced.


The study, the first of its kind, analysed results from the UK Government’s Longitudinal Small Business Survey.  Following the result of the referendum, the UK government inserted a number of Brexit-related questions into the survey, enabling this analysis.


The research discovered that concerns about Brexit are not felt uniformly across UK SMEs, but that Brexit-related uncertainty is likely to affect larger, export-oriented firms and those operating in hi-tech and service-related industries the most.


Click for more information about the research and to download a copy of the study.


State of Economy Report predicts growth in 2018

Scotland’s economy is expected to continue to grow in 2018, despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, with stronger global growth and an improved outlook for the oil and gas sector helping to support this growth.


The latest State of the Economy report published last week by Scotland’s Chief Economist also highlights:


  • The economy continued to grow into the second half of 2017, although at a below trend rate.
  • The Scottish labour market is performing closed to record levels in terms of employment and the rate of unemployment.
  • The outlook based on independent forecasts signals positive GDP growth for 2018 of between 0.7% and 1.4%.
  • Brexit remains the biggest uncertainty hampering further growth.


The State pf the Economy report is produced three times a year to provide a picture of the Scottish economy in the context of the UK and international economies.


Click to read the full January 2018 State of the Economy report.