Toolkit launched to help employers create mentally healthy workplaces



According to the Mental Health Foundation, around 17.5% of the working age population have symptoms of a common mental health problem.


This means that in Fife, mental health issues are affecting over 40,000 16-24 year olds at any one time. The cost of this to businesses is significant, with estimates putting costs at around £1,300 per employee per year.


A toolkit has just been launched to help employers create mentally healthy workplaces – the best way to reduce sickness absence due to mental health issues.


The ‘just:ASK LISTEN TALK’ toolkit suggests steps you can take to improve how you and your staff view mental health at work.


It also gives you guidance on how to open up channels of communication with staff who are off sick due to poor mental health and how to support them back to work.


Click to download your copy of the toolkit or to order a printed version email


Developed by Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service, the toolkit is part of the 2019-20 Workforce Wellbeing Action Plan for Fife launched on 20 March by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.


Two Fife sites shortlisted for Heathrow logistics hubs

Two sites in Rosyth have made the final shortlist for Heathrow expansion logistics hubs.


The shortlist, announced today (28 March) narrows down the list of ten possible sites in Scotland to four.  The two Fife sites are both in Rosyth –  at Babcock and Forth Ports.


Welcoming the news, Cllr David Alexander, co-leader of Fife Council said: “This is great news for Fife.  Being part of this pioneering project would not only bring many jobs, but also upskill our communities with a world-class construction legacy for generations to come.”


Cllr David Ross, co-leader of Fife Council added: “Fife is an unrivalled position, having two out of four Scottish sites in contention for this investment.  We look forward to working with partners in making a strong case, building on Fife’s key role in recent major infrastructure schemes like the Queensferry Crossing.


“Both Fife sites offer excellent transport links, great infrastructure and competitive land along with a strong and innovative supply chain of local companies.  With work scheduled to start in 2021, if implemented this project will bring huge benefits to industry and business here.”


Heathrow’s expansion is the first major infrastructure project in the UK to pioneer the large-scale use of logistics hubs and aims to create jobs in every corner of the UK while creating a legacy of construction excellence in the UK for future generations.  The hubs will work by pre-assembling components off-site before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow when needed.


Sean Donaldson, Managing Director of Babcock’s Rosyth facility said:


“We welcome the news that Babcock has been shortlisted for the Heathrow Logistics Hub.


“Babcock’s manufacturing and logistics capabilities at our world-class infrastructure in Rosyth stands ready to provide an efficient, affordable and sustainable solution to meet Heathrow’s varying demands.


“We look forward to the next stage in this process to deliver a programme of work that will ‘make every journey better’ and help Heathrow maintain a world-leading position as a hub airport.”


Derek Knox, Senior Port Manager, Port of Rosyth:


“The Port of Rosyth is very pleased to have been shortlisted for the next stage of the process for the Heathrow Expansion Logistics Hub. In Rosyth we offer a great location, land and expertise for a logistics hub of this scale.


There has been recent significant investment in the port and it played a key role as the logistics hub for the construction project of the new Queensferry Crossing. We look forward to hearing from the Heathrow team about the next stage of the process.”


Click for more information and to see all shortlisted sites.

Green light for Fife Industrial Project signals 1,600 new jobs

City Region Deal announces £35 million funding.

Up to 1,600 new jobs are set to be created across Fife after £35 million funding was awarded to a visionary industrial regeneration project.


The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment programme will support the creation of 1,000 new skilled permanent jobs and alomst 600 short-term construction jobs.


Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal’s Joint Committee approved the £35 million investment in the long-term transformative programme for Fife on Friday (1st March).


The project will also deliver an estimated 130,000 sq ft of new offices, industrial space and new storage/distribution facilities.  These have been designed to draw in a diverse range of industries and encourage more businesses to locate and grow in the region, supporting the wider economy.


In addition to the £35 million funding through the City Region Deal, the Fife Industrial Innovation Investment programme will be bolstered by a further £9.2 million of funding from Fife Council.  Proceeds from sales of service employment land will bring the total investment in the programme to £48.4 million.


Fife Council Co-Leader, Cllr David Ross, said: “The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme is part of our commitment to build modern business premises to facilitate private sector investment to ensure that Fife’s economy is firmly fit for the future.”


Fife Council Co-Leader, Cllr David Alexander, added: “This initiative will significantly increase the supply of new industrial, office and business space in Fife.  This will be achieved through direct investment by the council in its existing land holdings, and new acquisitions, as well as working with private sector land owners and developers to leverage additional investment and funding into Fife and the City Region.


“This programme builds on previous investment in site infrastructure, such as the Kincardine Training and Enterprise Hub, Levenmouth Business Park and new Business Units at Queensway, Glenrothes.”


The City Region Deal investment will be over 10 years and underpins its commitment to supporting long-term approaches to improving regional economies.


Infrastructure Secretary, Michael Matheson said: “Using £300 million of Scottish Government investment, the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is designed to deliver inclusive economic growth, providing opportunities and distributing the benefits fairly across the entire region.


“The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment programme will utilise £35 million of funding from the Scottish Government through the deal and is especially exciting, as it plans to facilitate partnership working with the region’s universities and business community. This joined up approach will ensure that the area benefits from the investment made elsewhere in the deal to spread high value jobs across the Kingdom of Fife. I would like to thank those involved for the work undertaken to get to this position which ensures that we can quickly capitalise on the opportunity that the City Region Deal has provided.”


Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, said:“There is good progress being made on the City Region Deal projects.  The UK Government is investing £300 million in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal to deliver transformational change, opportunities and inclusive growth to the region.  It’s important that we build on our existing strengths, maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation, and create jobs for the future – that is why we’ve so far committed £1.3 billion to city and growth deals across Scotland.”


Additional projects approved by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Joint Committee were the Central Borders Innovation Park, three skills programmes which will operate across the region, and an investment in the Edinburgh Futures Institute.


The City Region Deal, which was signed last year, secures £1.3 billion of investment for the city region over the next 15 years. It includes the UK Government, Scottish Government, and local authorities of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and the region’s universities and partners.





New Business Space for Dalgety Bay and South West Fife

Fife Council has started work on the construction of new business units at Hillend and Donibristle Industrial Estate (HADIE), signalling the start of further regeneration and economic recovery work by the Longannet Task Force in South West Fife.


Cllr Altany Craik visits the site of the new business units

HADIE is well-located and has always been popular with businesses, given its proximity to the trunk road network and railway stations.


The development proposal comprises six business units, along with an access road, car parking and landscaping.  The new units will range in size, providing a total of 800 sqm of new business space to help meet the demand within the local market for modern, fit-for-purpose business accommodation in this key location.


The project has been made possible due to the Longannet Task Force which has secured funding from the Scottish Government Local Economic Development Capital Stimulus Fund and the Big Lottery Coastal Communities Fund.  The development of the proposed units will mark a significant milestone in Fife Council’s long term commitment to the regeneration of HADIE, in addition to acting as a catalyst for future business investment and jobs growth locally.


South West Fife was heavily impacted when Longannet Power Station closed prematurely in mid-2016.  This project – along with other recent initiatives, including the opening of an Enterprise Hub in Kincardine – will help to ensure that the area thrives once more.


The project, which is being delivered by Fife Council, will offer new business units for rent from late 2019.  Enquiries on pre-letting are welcomed via


Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “These new units are targeted at existing and new businesses, whether they are already in Fife or looking to locate within the Kingdom.  We have been working on regenerating this area, and the whole of South West Fife, delivering modern business units to meet the changing needs for the 21st century.”


Cllr Alice McGarry, Convener of Fife Council’s South West Fife Area Committee added: “I’m delighted that support from the Longannet Task Force, has allowed us to speed up our plans for continued regeneration at Hillend and Donibristle Industrial Estate. The new business units will be a welcome addition locally and will help ensure that vacant or under-used parts of the estate are productive once more.”


Fife Council launches new Business Charter

A new business charter that aims to promote local jobs, apprenticeships and payment of the living wage has been launched.


The charter, which also sets out how Fife Council will support the region’s businesses, outlines the part businesses can play in making sure the benefits of Fife’s economic growth are shared by all.


Companies in Fife are being encouraged to adopt the Fife Business Charter which aims to promote the creation of employment and training opportunities for local residents, including those with disabilities. It also encourages businesses to work with schools to support learning and career opportunities for local children.


Fife Councillors and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership launch the new charter along with representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses and Fife Chamber of Commerce.

At the launch of the Charter, Cllr David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council said: “This Business Charter signals our commitment to a new way of working to ensure that we work with Fife businesses to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the Kingdom in order to create a Fairer Fife.


“Businesses are increasingly judged on their values and corporate responsibility policies and adopting the charter is a fantastic way of demonstrating your company’s commitments to those values.”


The Charter backs the Council’s drive to develop a Fairer Fife to reduce inequalities and encourages businesses to:

  • Commit to local recruitment and employment
  • Adhere to the principles of fair work and pay
  • Make a commitment to actively support and invest in the community
  • Create employment and training opportunities for local and young people
  • Promote greater inclusion for people with physical and mental health issues.


Having recently won the title of ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ Fife Council remains committed to supporting Fife’s businesses.


Co-Leader Cllr David Alexander explained: “The Charter is also designed to make contact with the council easier and more effective.


“It sets out what the council will do to help all the region’s businesses whatever their size and sector and signposts them to where they can receive advice and support to both start-up and grow.


“It commits the council to procuring as many of its goods and services from Fife suppliers as possible and outlines how we will help businesses comply with statutory requirements.”


The Charter was developed in conjunction with the Fife Economy Partnership, Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses.


Michael Longstaffe, Chair of the Fife Economy Partnership said: “The Fife Economy Partnership, along with Fife’s two main business networks – the Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses – welcome this business charter and the council’s commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors.


“We encourage businesses to check out this new charter, take up the council’s offers of support, and show their commitment to supporting inclusive economic growth in the region by taking the Fairer Fife Pledge and by signing up to the Scottish Business Charter.”


The Charter can be found at

Fife Council welcomes town centre funding from the Scottish Government

Fife is to benefit from a new £50 million Scottish Government fund to improve struggling town centres.


Fife Council is to be the largest beneficiary of The Town Centre Fund, which is to be distributed amongst all 32 local authorities to finance a wide range of investments to make town centres more vibrant, enterprising and accessible.


Convener of the Council’s Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, Cllr Altany Craik, welcomed the announcement saying: “Our recent budget called for more funding from the Scottish Government to support our efforts and I’m pleased this request has been answered with this announcement.


“The Scottish Government has recognised the importance of investing in Fife’s town centres by allocating over £4.3 million for Fife.


“The funding will be used to support our town centres to become more diverse and sustainable and to increase footfall through local improvements and partnerships.


“This new fund complements wider support for town centres available through Scotland’s Towns Partnerships.  Fife Council works closely with the Partnership and will look at both quick wins and longer-terms strategic plans for its town centres.


“We will look to focus this funding on Mid-Fife, where we are developing an action plan and working closely with partners and communities to ensure that its town centres have a vibrant and essential role in supporting future economic and housing growth.


“Across the UK, town centres are facing persistent and serious challenges as consumer behaviour and economic changes cause difficulties in filling retail units and higher vacancy rates.  This is not just a Fife issue – it is a UK issue.


“We are 100% committed to supporting the evolution of town centres, particularly where challenges have been more pronounced. For example, in Kirkcaldy, we’re working closely with the local Business Improvement District, Kirkcaldy4All, business owners, property managers and organisations such as the Kirkcaldy Ambitions Partnership to deliver an enhanced town centre experience for shoppers and visitors.”


Click for more information about the fund.





Levenmouth Local Energy Project Business Breakfast

Find out how to get involved in the  Levenmouth Local Energy Project at a Business Breakfast on 28 March.


Businesses in the Levenmouth area are invited to attend the event which which is taking place from 8.30-10.30am at the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre in Methil.


Organised by Fife Council and Green Business Fife, as part of a pilot project to reduce heat and energy consumption in the area, the event will also give you the opportunity to get free advice on how to reduce your energy and waste costs.


Resource Efficient Scotland will be on hand to outline the services it can offer, including its SME loan fund which is currently offering a 15% cash back.


Cllr Vettraino, convener of Fife Council’s Environment, Protective Services & Community Safety Committee, said: “This event is a great opportunity for Levenmouth businesses to come along, make new contacts and learn how they can reduce their business energy costs from expert Resource Efficient Scotland Advisers.”


Click for further details about the event and to book your place or email


Click for more information on the Levenmouth Local Energy Project or contact

New Training and Enterprise Hub opens for business

A new £500,000 state-of-the-art Training and Enterprise Hub in Kincardine is boosting the area’s economic prospects.


The Hub is a ‘game-changing moment’ for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust which, for almost 20 years, has been supporting and improving the lives of the half-a-million people who live in Scotland’s coalfields communities.


The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) invested £250,000 of its own funds to buy and renovate the former Clydesdale Bank Building in Kirk Street, Kincardine, with Fife Council and the Scottish Government providing match funding from the Scottish Government Local Economic Development Capital Stimulus Grant Fund, supported by the Longannet Task Force.


The Hub is now the CRT’s national headquarters and the base for a ten-strong team of staff who are working to help tackle the loss of jobs and economic benefits from the closure of Kincardine Power Station.


From spring of this year, the Hub will also be a business support and enterprise location for Fife Council and Business Gateway Fife.


This will allow the council and other organisations to deliver events, training and other support services from the Hub to new and existing businesses in the area.


Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, said: “I am delighted that the Kincardine Training and Enterprise Hub is now open for business.  This facility, part-funded through the Scottish Government’s Local Economic Development Capital Grant Fund, will be an excellent asset to enterprising individuals, start-ups and businesses with growth aspirations.  It will also provide the Enterprise Hub’s tenants with access to a modern facility that will encourage collaboration, networking and business growth.”


Councillor David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council and Co-Chair of the Longannet Task Force said: “I am pleased that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has been able to support the Longannet Task Force and Fife Council in delivering local projects including this training and enterprise hub within Kincardine.


“The partnerships forged with organisations like CRT allow Fife Council, Business Gateway Fife and partners to support local people, employees and businesses to reduce the economic impact of the closure of Kincardine Power Station.”


Councillor David Alexander, Co-Leader of Fife Council added: “This new Hub is a huge step in the right direction for the economy in and around Kincardine, and is just one of the projects being driven by the council to boost innovation and provide modern business and industrial premises.”


For more information, including the facilities and services provided by the Hub and how to book, email







University of Dundee to provide new Graduate Apprenticeships

The University of Dundee is one of the providers of a major new programme of Graduate Apprenticeships launched by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).


A total of 110 places are to be funded by SDS,  with the University working in partnership with employers to provide qualifications in subjects covering Business, Civil and Manufacturing Engineering, IT and Software.


Businesses can either recommend an existing employee to undertake a Graduate Apprenticeship or take on a new member of staff.


The scheme allows Graduate Apprentices to combine their tuition at Dundee while working at an organisation involved in their relevant sector of study.


Kirsty Scott, Industrial Liaison Officer at Dundee said: “Graduate Apprenticechips are making huge contributions to employers by retaining staff and skills in the local economy. By unveiling our largest number of Graduate Apprenticeships to date, we at the University of Dundee are illustrating our commitment to our local community and helping more people fulfil their career ambitions.


The University will offer places in five courses from September 2019:


  • Business management (including Financial Services)
  • Engineering, Design and Manufacturing
  • Civil Engineering
  • IT: Management for Business
  • IT: Software


For more information, visit the University of Dundee’s website.


Research by the University of St Andrews could help in disease diagnosis

New research led by the University of St Andrews could hold the key to the diagnosis of the early stages of various diseases and lead to new drug discoveries.

The research, published in Nature Communications, has developed an innovative new way to hold samples using sound whilst they are gently imaged using light. The ability to hold and image objects will have a profound impact across biomedical sciences, especially those focused on disease identification, neuroscience and developmental biology.


Professor Kishan Dholakia from the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy said: ” This is a new way to perform drug-based studies for cardiovascular disease and developmental biology.  We anticipate this approach can also be used for high throughput drug discovery, an important topic for future healthcare.”


Click to read the full story.