Scotland’s economy grows by 0.2%

The Scottish economy grew by 0.2% during the third quarter of last year, according to the latest figures released by the Scottish Government.


An increase in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth in Scotland.


The latest GDP figures covering the period July to September 2017, show that the Scottish economy grew by 0.2% in real terms compared to the previous three months. Compared to the same period in 2016, the Scottish economy grew by 0.6%


Between July and September 2017, output in the Services sector grew by 0.2%, while output in Production (manufacturing, utilities and mining) was up by 1.2%.  However, Construction was down for a seventh quarter in a row, with a 2.9% fall.


GDP per person in Scotland was flat in real terms (0.0%) during the third quarter of 2017, compared to an increase of 0.1% in the UK a a whole.


A detailed analysis of the figures can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Applications invited for the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards

The 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards are now open for applications.


The Awards celebrate the businesses and individuals who have made a contribution to the Living Wage movement.


All accredited Living Wage Employers, Recognised Service Providers and individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the real Living Wage are invited to apply.


The deadline for entries is 20 February 2018 – click to see the award categories and submit your entry.



Grants of up to £100k available for waste prevention measures

A small or medium sized enterprise?  Don’t miss out on the grants available for the implementation of waste prevention measures from Zero Waste Scotland.


A whole range of waste prevention projects are eligible for funding from Zero Waste Scotland’s Waste Prevention Implementation Fund – from the purchase of new recycling bins to the procurement of more efficient manufacturing equipment.


Click for more information about the grants and how to apply.



Fife firm secures £1 million contract to supply power connectors to the UAE

Phase 3 Connectors in Glenrothes has secured a £1 million contract to provide power connectors to one of the largest electricity and water authorities in the United Arab Emirates.


The company, which produces industrial connectors for power generation, cable assembly and events, is hoping that winning this new contract will lead to further interest in its products in the Middle East.


The firm was bought out from administration by its current owners in 2015 and last year saw sales increase from £2 million to £3.3 million.


“Previously Phase 3 had focused solely on supplying the entertainment industry but we’ve consciously widened our reach, as any sector that requires power generation will need the connectors we produce – from hospitals to power stations, sports ground to the military,” company director Andy Glachan explained.


“When we first looked at buying the company we approached Business Gateway Fife to tap into its local knowledge and find out what support was available to us.  Our adviser opened a lot of doors for us.  He helped us secure 50% funding from the Fife Investment Fund to build a new website which was an instant success, providing us with a professional shop window.


“His input also helped us successfully apply for a £180,000 Regional Selective Assistance grant.”


Click to read the full story.


For information on the support available from Business Gateway Fife, visit or call 01592 858333.




Have your say – take part in consultation about Fife’s new waste strategy

Fife Council is preparing a new 10 year waste strategy and action plan for Fife.


To reflect the move towards a circular economy and waste being viewed as a resource rather than something to throw away, the new documents will be called the ‘Resource Strategy and Action Plan for Fife.’


The less waste is produced, the fewer carbon emissions are emitted and more money is saved that can be better used for jobs, services and investing in communities.


Your comments and ideas on how to best reduce waste and repair, recycle and reuse items are invited.


Click to take part in the online survey.

Plans submitted for Dumbarnie Links golf course

A planning application has been submitted to Fife Council on behalf of Dumbarnie Golf Links Limited by planning consultancy PPCA Ltd for an 18-hole course at Dumbarnie Links overlooking Largo Bay.


The £11 million golf course would have a clubhouse, restaurant, bar and professional shop, with the potential to create 30 full-time jobs and 10 seasonal part-time jobs, as well as work for 90 caddies.


Read the full article here.

eCom Scotland hosts a Bank of England Round Table on Building a Workforce for the Future

eCom were delighted to host a round table discussion ‘Building a workforce for the future’ supported by the Bank of England’s Agent for Scotland, William Dowson at our HQ recently.


There was some interesting debate amongst key Scottish business leaders, guided by chair, Douglas Mundie, Managing Director, Saltire Business Solutions Ltd. The event was structured around the following three key themes:


  • Businesses mood pre and post Brexit, how the current geopolitics impact and influence current day thinking on local national and international businesses and economies. Can Brexit offer the possibility for Scotland and the UK to seek a new role as a world pioneer for innovation?
  • How can Learning Technologies impact on productivity gain?
  • Learning Technologies as positive disruptor –disrupting the workforce of the future through technology – that puts the “human” back in human capital


A key theme was to use technology not only to help manage change through efficiency but seeking to revolutionise business processes too.  Attendees also considered the use of Learning Technologies to develop and retain skills, including effective knowledge transfer from experienced staff and aligning that with succession planning.


William Dowson, Bank of England’s Agent for Scotland, said, “It was a pleasure to be at the eCom round table and to be involved in the discussion of issues that are front of mind for business leaders today. It’s important for companies to maximise opportunities for productivity gains and the use of learning technologies certainly can help achieve this.”


Linda Steedman, eCom CEO said, “It was great to host this round table and to hear business leaders discuss how they use learning technology to increase efficiency and facilitate knowledge transfer. We are very grateful to William Dowson and Douglas Mundie for their support and we look forward to future round table events at eCom.



Kingsbarns Distillery is delighted to welcome Scott Robertson into the position of Visitor Centre Development Manager.


Scott joined his local Distillery at the end of last year and is enjoying the getting to know his new team and making plans for the coming months.  Scott has previously worked at Blair Castle and Atholl Estates, VisitScotland and the Fairmont Hotel, so is well placed to take on this exciting role.


William Wemyss, Managing Director at Kingsbarns Distillery: “We are delighted to welcome Scott to the Visitor Centre team.  We have been open for just over two years and I am sure that we will benefit from Scott’s hospitality and tourism experience for the new season and beyond.”


The first Single Malt from Kingsbarns Distillery will be exclusively available to members of its Founders’ Club in mid 2018, with a more widely available release expected to follow later in 2018.

Hospitality staff discover strength of Fife food

On Monday 16th January, Food from Fife hosted a visit for 17 members of the local hospitality and catering industry to food producers in and around St Andrews.

The staff (largely front of house and kitchen staff) from the University of St Andrews, Kingsbarns Distillery, The Old Course Hotel and Ardross Farm Shop visited the food producers as part of Food from Fife’s work to promote increased use of local Fife produce. The group visited:

  • Balgove Larder, where they found out more about the produce farmed by the farm shop and the team of butchers working with meat produced on the estate.

  • Jannetta’s Gelateria, where they heard about the history (dating back to 1908) of this iconic ice cream producer, found out about the artisanal production of the ice cream and saw the ice cream being made St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, where they discovered how a traditional dairy farm had diversified successfully into creating award-winning cheese.

The group was joined by another 15 industry stakeholders and food and drink businesses at St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company for an informal networking session to finish off the day.

Food from Fife is a not for profit company that was established in 2010 to help food and tourism businesses work together better. The group is funded by Fife Council and membership fees. Its 47 members range from artisan food and drink producers to large-scale manufacturers, chefs, hospitality businesses (large hotels, small B&Bs and everything in between), colleges, farms shops, cookery schools, caterers, heritage organisations, markets and food photographers.

Martha Bryce, coordinator of Food from Fife said:
“I’m delighted by the feedback from both those who attended the familiarisation trip and from the producers they visited. Food from Fife is all about getting those working in the local food and drink and food tourism industry working together to enhance Fife’s offering. It was great to see those who came along discovering the strength of the local produce on their doorstep and taking that message back to their businesses and customers.”

The trip is likely to be repeated with other food producers keen to take part.

To find out more about Food from Fife membership, please contact Martha Bryce:
Tel. 07905 761 525 or visit
Twitter @foodfromfife Facebook: food-from-fife

Article posted 20 January 2017

Last chance to have your say on Fife’s New Economic Strategy

Businesses across Fife are being urged to have their say on a new Economic Strategy designed to secure fair and inclusive economic growth for the region before the consultation closes this Friday (20 January).

Fife’s Economic Strategy 2017-27 sets out the way Fife Council, the Fife Economy Partnership and Opportunities Fife Partnership will work together over the next 10 years to achieve stronger, sustainable and more resilient growth which is shared by all.

The Strategy proposes four priority areas where actions will be targeted:

  • Achieving fairer, more inclusive growth

  • Increasing investment in Fife’s business infrastructure

  • Improving business growth through increased sales and exports

  • Fostering a culture of innovation and enterprise.

Business managers and owners from all sectors can comment on the new strategy online until Friday. Their views will enable the Council and the two Partnerships ensure that the new strategy has identified and will tackle the most pressing issues and challenges that Fife companies currently face.

Councillor Lesley Laird, Depute Leader of Fife Council and Spokesperson for Economy and Planning said: “We want to encourage businesses in Fife – both large and small – to check out the proposed new Economic Strategy. It’s important for us to know what they think about our ambitious plans for a prosperous Fife.

“Recent years have seen Fife’s labour market strengthen and an increase in the number and turnover of businesses in the region. Moving forward we know there will be challenges and that’s why we want to identify them and put into place approaches that will support our economy and labour market. It is also about increasing the competitiveness and resilience of Fife’s businesses, reducing inequality and boosting economic activities that will help make Fife the best place to do business.

“We’ve already taken on board the issues businesses raised when we consulted with them last year, and this is the final opportunity for Fifer’s to have their say.”

Stephen Doran, Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, added: “We also want the business community to get more involved in helping deliver this new Economic Strategy. We’d be delighted to hear from any business interested in becoming involved in one of the Partnership’s new delivery groups.”

To have your say, complete the online survey by Friday 20 January.

For more information or to find out how to get involved with delivering Fife’s Economic Strategy, email

Article posted 16 January 2017