Fife Business Week 2020 Launched

Fife Business Week is returning for an eleventh year and this year will be like no other.  Featuring a full week of events delivered online and through a range of digital platforms, it will run from Monday 2 to Friday 6 November.

 

Fife’s main annual business event programme offers a broad range of seminars and webinars aimed at inspiring and supporting Fife’s business community and increasing their sustainability and resilience following the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Launching the programme, Michael Longstaffe, chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, commented: ” Fife’s businesses are facing challenging times as they and their local economies try to find their feet and start to create opportunities in the new ‘normal’.  We are now entering a recession for the first time in eleven years, the same age as Fife Business Week!

 

“We hope our comprehensive week of online events will give businesses inspiration for the future as well as a platform to network.

 

“Many of our events address e-commerce trading, new supply chains and markets, digital connectivity and adapting to agile business models, all vital for future business success.  I would encourage all businesses to engage in this week of events more than ever this year, to help and inspire them to move their business forward with confidence to meet the unprecedented demands of Covid-19.”

 

Hosted by Fife Council’s Economic Development and Business Gateway teams, Fife Business Week is designed to support businesses to succeed and flourish, whilst helping to make Fife the best place to do business.

 

Click to see the events listing and to sign up for programme updates.

One-stop shop launched for accessing business support services in Fife

Businesses in Fife will now be able to access a range of support services at one single place following the launch of InvestFife by Fife Council.

 

InvestFife unites the various elements of Fife Council Economic Development’s Business Enterprise and Land and Property services under a single banner, whilst working in partnership with Business Gateway Fife, making its offering more accessible to new and existing businesses.

 

Pamela Stevenson, Economic Development Service Manager at Fife Council, commented: “By creating a holistic brand – InvestFife – we are providing a clear identity and access point, making it easier for businesses of all sizes to access a wide range of support, guidance and funding, whilst showcasing what Fife can offer investors.”

 

A new look and website have been created for InvestFife at www.investfife.co.uk.  Due to the shift in online traffic to mobile usage, the website has been built with a mobile-first approach, featuring all the information businesses need to grow and develop.

 

Pamela added: “The current environment has brought about significant challenges for businesses, so there is a need, now more than ever, to ensure that we play our part in supporting local companies, whether it’s to help them to get through these difficult trading times or, perhaps, to seek routes to development or diversification.  We also hope that it will make it easier for external investors to get in touch and get the help they need to establish in Fife.”

 

Working in partnership with key stakeholders such as Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International, the InvestFife team can advise across a range of subjects  – on available funding sources, on training opportunities for existing employees or to create new jobs.

 

Information can also be provides about employment land and properties to lease.

 

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee said: “The type of support businesses seek varies so that by offering an inclusive, holistic approach, InvestFife means that from just one access point, businesses can reach specialist advice, whether from InvestFife, Business Gateway Fife or from the wider Scottish business support network.

 

“The InvestFife team can help with all business-related enquiries – businesses just need to get in touch!”.

 

To contact InvestFife, email fifemeansbusiness@fife.gov.uk or visit www.investfife.co.uk

Applications now open for grants from the UK Government’s Kickstart Scheme

Looking to create job placements for young people?

 

You may be eligible for grant support from the Government’s newly launched Kickstart Scheme.

 

The Kickstart Scheme supports new 6-month job placements for young people aged between 16 and 24 who are receiving Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

 

Funding from the scheme  is available to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic contributions.  There is also £1,500 per job placement available for set-up costs, support and training.

 

Employers who can offer 30 or more placements can apply directly to the fund.

 

Businesses who can offer fewer than 30 placements can partner with other employers to reach the minimum number.  Fife Chamber of Commerce can help put you in touch with other employers – click for more information or email alan.mitchell@fifechamber.co.uk .

 

 

 

 

University of St Andrews ranked 2nd in the UK

The University of St Andrews is the top university in Scotland and second to Oxford in the UK, according to a new higher education ranking published over the weekend (5 September 2020).

 

The University’s high ranking in The Guardian University Guide 2021 is due to its high scores for student satisfaction and experience, graduate employment and the quality of its academic programmes.

 

Commenting on the news, Professor Sally Mapstone, St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “For a small Scottish university to be competing amongst the very best in the UK reflects our commitment to the highest standards of learning, teaching and student experience.

 

“This ranking is significant because it comes at a difficult period for students across the country who have experienced a year like no other, and are facing a very difference university experience.”

 

Click to read the whole story on the University of St Andrews website.

Fife Council continues to help businesses access contract opportunities

As the third largest local authority in Scotland, Fife Council continues to work with and support businesses across the region to improve their tender writing skills and access more public and private sector contract opportunities.

 

Fife Council, along with the other 31 local authorities in Scotland, is a registered partner of the national Supplier Development Programme.

 

The Fife Supplier Development Programme provides support to the region’s businesses in 3 main ways:

  1. Raising awareness of the opportunities for SMEs from both the public and private sector.
  2. Increasing business readiness to tender.
  3. Assisting SMEs in accessing tender opportunities through specialist advisory services.

 

During 2019/early 2020, the Fife Programme delivered 10 face-to-face workshops, supporting over 90 businesses.

 

Fife Council is exhibiting at the third annual Meet the Buyer North virtual event on 2 September 2020.  This event will provide an opportunity for businesses to spend a day – or part of a day – meeting buyers from both the public and private sector located in the north of Scotland.

 

To date, more than 1,000 suppliers have registered to attend Meet the Buyer North. Confirmed buyers include Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Fife, Highland, Moray and Shetland Island Councils.

 

The Scottish Government, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Procurement Alliance and SELECT, the trade association for electricians will also be exhibiting.

 

This virtual event is free to attend, but businesses must register for a free account on the Supplier Development Programme website in advance.

 

Click for more information and to reserve your place.

 

For more information on the tendering support available to you, and how to become a member of Fife’s Supplier Development Programme, email fifemeansbusiness@fife.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Town centre small business grant scheme launched to help businesses with Covid-19 safety

Small businesses in Fife’s main town centres could now receive a £100 grant towards the cost of public health and safety measures required to enable them to reopen safely with the launch of the Small Business COVID Safety Grant Scheme.

 

Fife Council is committed to supporting town centres, and small businesses can now apply for help with the cost of implementing Covid-19 public health measures.

 

Applications are invited from businesses located in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, St Andrews, Cupar, Cowdenbeath, Leven, Lochgelly, Burntisland, Anstruther, Newburgh, Rosyth, Dalgety Bay and Kincardine.

 

What’s being funded?

Grants can reimburse costs already incurred and eligible expenditure can include:

  • PPE, such as face masks, visors and gloves
  • Hand sanitiser and sanitiser dispensing units
  • Protective screens
  • Internal signage related to public safety.

Who can apply?

Small businesses are eligible to apply which:

  • Operate from business premises that are accessed by the public
  • Have no more than three business outlets
  • Employ no more that 5 full-time equivalent employees per business outlet.

 

Apply online at Business Gateway Fife.  For help or advice on this scheme, or other forms of support available, contact Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 or email info@bgfife.co.uk

 

The Small Business COVID Safety Grant Scheme is one of a range of new initiatives being introduced in Fife to support town centres in 2020-21.  The scheme is funded by the Town and BIDs Resilience and Recovery Fund administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership on behalf of the Scottish Government.

 

 

 

University of St Andrews confirms partnership with Michelin Scotland Innovation Park

The University of St Andrews and the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) in Dundee have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore future collaborations in the fields of sustainable mobility and low carbon energy.

 

MSIP, a joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise, is a world-class Innovation Park in Dundee which will drive growth and diversity in the Scottish economy while addressing the global climate emergency.

 

The University is developing its Eden Campus in Guardbridge to enhance innovation in companies working in energy storage, conversion and other technologies, by providing scale-up facilities for research and development, early prototyping and proving technology.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the University and MSIP commit to the shared delivery of low-carbon technologies, supporting product development in companies, assisting companies in the sustainable mobility and low-carbon sectors to grow by offering test and demonstration facilities and equipment and access to external funding.

 

Both organisations will also explore the potential for work experience and apprenticeship opportunities, while the University will support the delivery of courses, modules or postgraduate training through the proposed Skills Academcy at MSIP.

 

Read the full story on the University of St Andrews website.

Your opportunity to take part in this year’s Virtual Taste of Grampian

Are you a food and drink business based in Fife?  Want to showcase your business at the biggest Food & Drink event taking place in Scotland this year?

 

The 4 local authorities along the banks of the River Tay (Fife, Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross) are organising a presence at the Taste of Grampian virtual event from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September.

 

Fife Council’s Economic Development Team is looking for food and drink producers in the region to join them in a virtual Taste of Tayside and Fife tent.

 

Working in conjunction with DC Thomson, there are four FREE 5 minute pre-recorded slots up for grabs.  Your session can be as creative as you like, from a tour of your business or a “how to” lesson to showcase your products.

 

Interested in participating?  Email dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk or graeme.ferguson@fife.gov.uk by Thursday 21 August.

 

If this show is not for you, but you are interested in finding out more about the support available to your business email Fifemeansbusiness@fife.gov.uk and an advisor will contact you.

 

 

Scottish space firm to create 170 jobs in Fife with engine testing facility

The Edinburgh-based firm designs, manufactures and deploys rockets to clear the way for small satellite manufacturers looking to access Space.

It successfully conducted Scotland’s first commercial rocket launch by a private company two years ago.

Skyrora chief executive Volodymyr Levykin said the investment in Rosyth would bring 170 highly skilled jobs to the Kingdom over the next decade.

He said: “The opening of our engine test complex represents a giant leap forward for the UK’s ambitions as a space nation and Scotland’s status as a space hub.

© Supplied
Skyrora’s testing facility in Fife

“The location and additional jobs will benefit the UK space industry and help the overall economy grow.

“It will also allow Skyrora’s highly skilled workforce and a young generation of engineers and technicians to be a part of this space revolution.

“Skyrora has developed and come so far as a team and a company, and I am really proud to see how many milestones we have achieved in a short period of time.”

Read the full article

 

DWY Fife launches a new employability app for young people

Developing the Young Workforce in Fife (DYW Fife) has launched a new app to help young people dive into the world of work, from whenever they are.

 

Developed by a partnership between Fife Council and Fife-based technology company Ember Technology Ltd, the new app creates more ways for employers, education providers and Skills Development Scotland to work together to support young people as they consider their future and potential pathways into work.

 

Through the app, young people can engage with, and learn from local employers, read helpful articles, take part in polls, discover career opportunities, placements or apprenticeships and enter competitions and win prizes.

 

DYW (Fife) is the employer-led, regional group set up to create stronger connections between local employers, education and young people in order to better prepare young people for the world of work.

 

Take a closer look at the desktop version of the app which can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple stores.

 

For more information, or to get involved, email DYW.Fife@fife.gov.uk

 

The national Developing the Young Workforce organisation has also launched a Summer Leavers programme to help young people who are leaving school this summer. A digital Resource Hub –  E-DYW  – has been created and a series of online events have been organised for young people, educators, employers and parents including the DYW Skills Academy ‘Get Industry Ready’ sessions and Scotland’s Biggest Parents’ Event.