First businesses sign up to Kirkcaldy’s new ShopAppy

Kirkcaldy’s new online business platform – ShopAppy Kirkcaldy – has received a positive response from local businesses with 20 local organisations signing up in the first week that it went live.

 

Kirkcaldy was the first town in Scotland to sign up to the platform which aims to provide critical support and trade to businesses during lockdown and beyond.

 

The pilot project, which has received financial assistance from Fife Council, is the first initiative to be carried out by the new “Love Oor Lang Toun” initiative.

 

The online shopping platform, which is being hosted by Greener Kirkcaldy, is open to any business in the town and offers a free six-month trial.

 

Any business interested in participating should email hello@shopkirkcaldy.co.uk for more information and to start the sign up process.

 

Firm seeks world first with hydrogen gas for Levenmouth homes

A world-first project, using green hydrogen to heat homes, could be built in Fife if proposals are approved by energy regulator Ofgem.

 

SGN has asked the regulator for approval for its H100 Fife project to provide 300 homes in Levenmouth with energy generated from hydrogen.

 

The H100 Fife project has passed the initial screening submission process for Ofgem’s annual Network Innovation Competition and a full bid for funding will be submitted this summer.

 

If the bid is successful, a new 100% zero-carbon hydrogen network will be built in Levenmouth, producing hydrogen via an electrolysis plant powered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult‘s nearby offshore wind turbine.

 

New pipes will be laid alongside 1,000 properties, meaning home owners would have the choice of receiving their existing gas supply or the hydrogen alternative.

 

SGN hope to start construction in early 2021, with the plant operational within about three years.

 

The project will also provide critical evidence for a potential zero carbon energy source, helping to inform the UK’s long-term policy decisions for decarbonisation.

 

Click to read the full story.

 

 

 

 

Keeping it Local : Family grocer champions produce from local farmer and artisan producer

Auchtertool producer, Peter Mitchell of The Farmers Son, has partnered with local retailer David’s Kitchen to ensure his award-winning products keep the shelves fully stocked.

 

David’s Kitchen, which has three stores in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Falkirk, has been going above and beyond to serve its communities by focusing on stocking and promoting local produce to ensure a quality supply chain which can deliver quickly to meet demand.

 

Keith Fernie, Managing Director at David’s Kitchen, explains why this is so important to them: “Over the recent months, demand from customers for fresh produce, especially meat, has surged and we’ve found utilising our local Fife producers not only makes for great tasting food, low food miles and sustainable supply chains, but also helps support the local economy – especially at this difficult time.”

 

Peter Michell, founder of the award-winning The Farmer’s Son added: “Working with David’s Kitchen is a great partnership as working with other local family businesses is really important to us.  Like us, David’s Kitchen put their customers first and are ensuring that, even during the current lockdown, their communities are eating the best quality food as what we eat is vital to our health and wellbeing.”

Lang Toun leads the way in lockdown with ShopAppy

Kirkcaldy businesses are the first in Scotland to trade online using the award-winning shopping platform ShopAppy, thanks to a new community initiative – Love Oor Lang Toun.

 

 

ShopAppy Kirkcaldy, launched today (Monday 11 May 2020),  is a website which brings together the town’s businesses into one online marketplace.

 

The pilot project, which was made possible with financial support from Fife Council, gives shoppers a way to shop local during lockdown and beyond, helping support the Kirkcaldy economy by encouraging people to buy from local independent businesses.

 

The pilot project is open to businesses located in Kirkcaldy who can participate FREE of charge in the scheme for six months, thanks to Council funding.  After this period, it will cost businesses the equivalent of only £5 a week to participate.

 

Local businesses who would like to take part should email hello@shopkirkcaldy.co.uk

 

Kirkcaldy is the ONLY location in Scotland currently offering the ShopAppy service and the project is being delivered by the newly formed Love Oor Lang Toun Group with support from Greener Kirkcaldy and Fife Council.

 

Love Oor Lang Toun, which is being established as a social enterprise to support, develop and promote the town centre, builds on previous work carried out by local partners, including the former BID, Kirkcaldy4All.

 

Suzy Goodsir of Greener Kirkcaldy said she was delighted to see Kirkcaldy leading the way nationally:  “We are excited to see ShopAppy Kirkcaldy go live, and the new Love Oor Lang Toun group supporting our town. This initiative will give local people a chance to really show their support for businesses in their town at a time of great uncertainty for the local economy.

 

“We urge everyone to have a look at ShopAppy Kirkcaldy, make a purchase and support local, not only in lockdown, but beyond.”

New £100 million grant fund open for applications from SMEs and newly self-employed

A new £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people opened for applications yesterday (30 April).

 

The three separate funds, financed by the Scottish Government, will begin to pay out grants in early May:

 

 

 

  • £45 Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund – managed by Scottish Enterprise, providing bespoke grants and business support to viable, but vulnerable, SMEs who are deemed to be vital to the local or national economy.

 

The Scottish Government is also providing £1 million to top up Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries in the not-for-profit sector.

 

For more information and to apply for one or more of the funds click on the links above or visit www.FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot

Funding Call for Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund

Funding Call launched for £14 million fund to help firms compete globally.

 

The Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) invites public bodies, academic organisations and third sector organisations to enhance their existing equipment and training services to help businesses develop their manufacturing capabilities.

 

Grant funding will be distributed through competition, to support the creation of a national network of regionally-based initiatives.

 

The overall aim of the AMCF is for projects to be of a scale and level of ambition to have a significant impact on advancing the manufacturing capabilities of SMEs within Scotland and lead to long-term transformational change.

 

To launch the first funding call, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay visited Optos in Fife, a leading medical technology company that designs, develops and manufactures ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices.

 

Mr Mackay said:

“Scotland has an innovative and diverse manufacturing sector with world-class companies competing in international markets. However we need to make sure businesses of all sizes have the right tools and resources to lead the way in this rapidly evolving marketplace.

“This £14 million fund will provide free support to help small and medium sized businesses advance their research, develop new processes or products, and make their systems more efficient and effective. It will help to address some of the challenges manufacturers face when it comes to tapping into global markets, and provide access to training for their workforce.

“This investment will support our ambitions for Scotland to be a country inventing, designing, developing and manufacturing key products and technologies that will drive the world in decades to come.”

 

Information sessions are being held to help potential applicants on Tuesday 4th June in Edinburgh and Friday 14th June in Inverness.

 

More details on the information sessions and on how to apply are available here.

Contact Centre Firm Announced Plans to Open Flagship Office in Kirkcaldy.

Contact Centre, VeriCall, has said it plans to create more than 200 jobs over two years at the new office to be located at John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy.

 

The firm have also confirmed that the roles will be permanent and will be paid the Scottish Living Wage of £9 per hour.

 

The move is backed with a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant of £1 million from Scottish Enterprise.  The Government agency provide RSA grants to fund projects that will create and safeguard employment in selected areas of Scotland.

 

Scottish Enterprise worked in conjunction with Fife Council to secure the move to Fife and brings a welcome jobs lift to the town.

 

Find out more about Scottish Enterprise’s RSA grants here.

Glenrothes Business Wins Top Award

The Leviton Network Solutions business unit was awarded the prestigious ‘Expansion in the UK Award’ at the British American Business Transatlantic Growth Awards.  The award recognises Leviton’s commitment to trade, investment, and jobs between the UK and USA.

 

Following the acquisition of Brand-Rex in 2015, Leviton have accelerated the pace of innovation with significant capital investment into UK operations, benefiting the greater transatlantic economy.

 

Such investments include the recently opened Data Centre Factory in Glenrothes, Scotland.  This make-to-order facility manufactures custom configurable solutions, including products that combine best US-made network connectivity with European standards-rated cables for a complete solution, delivered rapidly.

 

Find out more about the awards here.

Just: Ask, Listen, Talk – Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week was Mental Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of well-being at work and the role employers have in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

 

In support of this agenda,  “Just: Ask, Listen, Talk” – a Fife campaign led by Fife Council Supported Employment Service and Fife’s Health Promotion Workplace Team – encourages all Fife-based employers to make a pledge to prioritise mental health in the workplace and make sure their employees feel confident having discussions with managers when they are affected by poor mental health.

 

Delegates at a Mental Health and Employability Forum held at the Rothes Halls on Wednesday 15 May were made aware of the “Just: Ask, Listen Talk” toolkit for employers.

 

The toolkit provides straight-forward, practical advice and information about the free support services in Fife that help businesses support people at work or off sick due to mental health issues.  It also offers guidance on how to create and sustain a mentally-healthy workplace.

 

Angela Hamilton, Team Manager of Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service and lead for the J:ALT team said: “Poor mental health is the leading cause of work absence in the UK, with around half of all long-term sick leave due to stress, depression and anxiety.

 

“Stress is a known health and safety risk at work, and we are encouraging employers to address mental health issues in the same way as they would address physical injury or illness. This isn’t just about people with mental health conditions.  We all have mental health, and we can all be affected by poor mental health.  The Just: Ask, Listen Talk toolkit will help employers recognise signs that show someone may be experiencing poor mental health, encourage them to ask staff if they are OK, then listen and talk about support that might help people stay in work or return to work sooner.”

 

Alan Gow, from the Health Promotion Workplace Team said: “The J:ALT toolkit outlines the key building blocks of a mentally healthy workplace, and we are keen to work with employers in fife to help them put in place their building blocks and sign up to the J:ALT pledge.”

 

Click to download the toolkit and sign up to the Just: Ask, Listen, Talk pledge by emailing hwlfife@nhs.net

 

 

 

 

 

Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study Makes Progress

Transport Scotland have published the second of three reports for the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study.

 

This is the latest step in the appraisal of transport in Levenmouth, and is part of Fife Council’s campaign to reconnect Leven to the rail network.

 

The report recommends further more detailed investigation of six transport improvement options for the Levenmouth Area.  The options include a passenger rail link, improved bus services and better active travel links.  The detailed work is ongoing with the final report on the preferred option due in June.

 

Welcoming the report, Cllr David Ross (Co-leader of Fife Council) said: “Transport Scotland’s endorsement of a potential rail link to Leven is significant progress and Fife Council is delighted that our strong campaign, in partnership with the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, to improve access to jobs and education in this area of Fife is now being heard.”

 

Cllr David Alexander (Co-leader of Fife Council) added: “This is a positive step forward and I am happy to see the completion of this stage of the study.  We will continue to work with local communities, stakeholders and Transport Scotland to develop and complete this important work with a view to  reconnecting Leven to the rail network.”

 

For more information, visit the project website.