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 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.

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.

Help Shape the Future of Kirkcaldy Town Centre

Help make Kirkcaldy Town Centre a vibrant and thriving place.


Town centres across the UK are evolving and Kirkcaldy is no different. To survive and thrive, Kirkcaldy –  like all town centres – needs to broaden its role from retail, and to increase its diversity and distinctiveness.


Everyone who has an interest in Kirkcaldy Town Centre is invited to share their views by completing a Place Standard assessment online.



The questionnaire, which should only take a few minutes to complete, uses the Place Standard Tool to ask you 14 questions about what you think is important in Kirkcaldy.


Please invest some of your time to share your views on the Town Centre – from its public transport and parking to its open spaces and employment.


The Place Standard tool is used to assess the quality of a place by asking businesses, residents and visitors to rate the quality of place across 14 themes.


This information is then used to give a complete picture of where the town is now, and to identify priorities for action.


Your feedback will also help to inform ongoing conversations about future priorities and could help attract funding for projects.


Click to access the survey and have your say.

University of St Andrews reaches £100 million fundraising total

A campaign launched by the University of St Andrews in 2011 to mark its 600th anniversary has reached its £100 million total.


Launched by former student and campaign patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the campaign will provide scholarships, support for disadvantaged students and fund new student facilities.


Over 14,000 St Andrews graduates, current students, staff and supporters contributed to fundraising to help reach the target to ensure education at the University is accessible to all students, regardless of background and circumstance.


St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “The 600th Anniversary Campaign has been a remarkable team effort on the part of our staff and so many of our alumni and friends.


“In a time of tightly squeezed public funding, universities must increasingly rely on their imagination and drive to secure the resources needed for world-class teaching and research, and to support students who would otherwise miss the chance to fulfil their potential.”


Read the full article here.

Your views sought on future transport investment in Levenmouth

Businesses in Fife are being encouraged to give their views on how transport links could be improved in the Levenmouth area.


Transport Scotland would like to understand the transport problems your business is facing – and the opportunities you think are being lost – and how this impacts on businesses in the area.


The survey is being carried out as part of the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study.  This study, commissioned by Transport Scotland in partnership with Fife Council, aims to identify the opportunities and challenges presented by the existing transport network.


The study will also look at whether further consideration should be given to progressing the proposed Levenmouth rail link.


You are invited to submit your thoughts and experiences via an online survey.  The results of the survey will be used alongside information gathered from meetings with local councillors, communities, Stagecoach and Network Rail.


Click to access the survey – the deadline for participation is Monday 16 July 2018.