Glenrothes hairdressing salon the first in Scotland to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer

The Glenwood Salon is not only the first hairdressing salon in Glenrothes to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer, but also the first in Scotland.

A family-run business which has been trading for over 30 years, the salon became accredited because they recognised their staff needed and deserved to earn more than the minimum wage.

The Glenwood Salon received its accreditation earlier this year.  By paying the real Living Wage, the salon is committing to raising wages fairly and to protecting their staff.  The salon is also a member of the Action Group to Make Glenrothes a Living Wage Town and is leading the way in the community by encouraging other employers to follow their example.

Owner Brent Burnett said; “I’m very proud and delighted to find out that we are the first hairdressing salon to be accredited as a Living Wage employer in Scotland.  Being accredited has been a natural next step in demonstrating to my staff that they are valued for the work they do.

“I feel strongly about my local community, with both my customers and staff living locally, I feel the business is firmly rooted here in Glenwood.  By being accredited by Living Wage Scotland I not only benefit the staff, but the whole community.  If I have happy staff, I know I will have happy customers.”

 

Fife Council is offering to subsidise the accreditation fee for businesses based in Glenrothes as part of the ‘Making Glenrothes a Living Wage Town’ initiative.  To find out more and apply, click here.

 

 

 

Industry leaders back new strategy to boost tourism in the Tay Cities Region

A strategy to increase the value of tourism across the Tay Cities Region by over £100 million in the next five years has been officially launched.

 

The Tay Cities Region Tourism Strategy 2019-2024, the first of its kind for the region, was officially backed by the leaders of the area’s tourism partnerships at Discovery Point Dundee.

 

Tourism Industry members of the Angus Tourism Cooperative, Dundee & Angus Visitor Accommodation Association (DAVAA), Dundee Tourism Action Group, Fife Tourism Partnership and Perthshire Tourism Partnership met with tourism officers from the four councils, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise to discuss next steps.

 

Overnight visitors contribute around £433 million each year to the economies of Angus, Dundee, North-East Fife and Perth & Kinross.  The sector is also one of the region’s biggest employers, currently employing over 20,000 people.  One of the key aims of the new strategy is to grow the overnight visitor spend by 3% every year, to £550 million in 2024.

 

The strategy, which was developed in partnership with the local tourism industry through a series of workshops, identifies three key strengths which the tourism industry can build on.  These are food and drink, outdoor adventures and culture and creative experiences.

 

Developing a regional approach to broader strategic issues for the sector –  transport, skills and employability – have also been identified as priorities.

 

The Tay Cities Region Tourism Strategy will also ensure that the tourism sector is able to capitalise on the significant additional investment coming into the region over the next decade through the Tay Cities Deal.  This will include the Culture and Tourism Regional Investment Programme which will provide £37 million of matched funding to support a series of transformational capital projects, subject to the approval of a business case programme.

 

The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Park all day the Kirkcaldy way

Car parking is a hot topic in Kirkcaldy town centre and the Council’s Kirkcaldy Area Committee has been listening.

 

Local Councillors have been working with the Council’s Transportation Services to explore car parking options for the town and have decided to pilot a new, discounted all day parking season ticket.

 

The discounted season ticket costs £60 a quarter which works out at £20 a month – less than £1 a day for all day parking.

 

The discounted tickets go on sale from today, Tuesday 1 October and the trial will run until 10 April 2020.

 

Applying for the season ticket is quick and easy – to pay by cheque, download and complete the form at  www.fife.gov.uk/carparkseasonticket.

 

Alternatively call 03451 55 55 55 ex 480208 between 9am and 4pm.

 

Your ticket will be posted out to you or you can collect it from the Town House.

 

The trial will help inform a wider review of parking in the town so Fife Council is keen to gather feedback on both the season tickets and other parking options.

 

Launching the scheme, Councillor Neil Crooks, convener of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee said: “Car parking charges feature highly in the feedback from town centre businesses and the public.  Fife Council wants to put car parking budgets in the hands of the Local Area Committees and Kirkcaldy was chosen to pilot the approach.

 

“The discounted season ticket will benefit those who work in the town centre, students and regular visitors, Buying your ticket will give you cheaper parking and direct access to the heart of the town.

 

“We’re continuing to look at other car-parking initiatives which we can test and hope to be able to launch these in the coming months.”

 

 

New funding available for low-carbon heating projects

A £30 million fund to support low-carbon heating infrastructure is now open for applications.

 

Businesses and organisations working on ‘innovative’ solutions to heating buildings can apply to the Scottish Low Carbon Heat Fund.

 

The funding is part of a wider Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) being delivered by the Scottish Government in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and specialists in the sector.

 

The support will provide financial assistance for up to 50% of the total eligible costs of a capital project, up to a maximum of £10 million, where that project can demonstrate innovative and low carbon ways of heating buildings, including heat pumps, as well as supporting industrial projects focused on reducing emissions.

 

Click for more information and to submit an application to the fund.

Let’s talk about Transporting People

Fife Council is starting a long-running engagement exercise to try and increase public participation in designing its core services and deciding how its budget is spent.

 

It’s kicking this off by consulting with people who live and work in Fife about its passenger transport services.  The council invests £22 million on these services each year in order to help people travel around Fife for work, studying and leisure.

 

Over the next 12 months, you’re invited to help the council explore whether these resources could be used differently, for better results.

 

Check out the range of information that’s already online at  https://our.fife.scot/transportingpeople/

 

Find out what the council invests in at the moment and have your say on what works well or what could be changed. These services includes supported bus services, rail concessions, school transport and demand-responsive transport.

 

In October and November the council will be asking what solutions people living and working in the area would like to see in an ideal world.

 

Early in 2020, the council will then start to consider how ‘the dream’ matches up with policy, legislation, existing contracts and other practicalities, so that it can refine ideas and gather more specific feedback.

 

Later in 2020, concrete options will be put up for you to vote on.

 

This is not a traditional consultation process.  Several stages of engagement, giving people opportunities to get involved off and online, will explore a complex set of services.

 

To take part in these conversations, all you need to do it to register at Let’s Talk about our Fife

 

This is one of the ways in which Fife Council is taking forward participatory budgeting (PB) in Fife.  This is a new approach for councils – you can find out about this new approach at https://pbscotland.scot/charter

 

 

Great British High Street Award Judges visit Cowdenbeath

Judges for the Great British High Street Awards will visit Cowdenbeath tomorrow (Friday 20 September), to see first hand all the great work that has been carried out in the town.

 

Cowdenbeath has been shortlisted in the Rising Star category, and is hoping that the judges will be impressed by the community-led approach to the regeneration of the High Street.

 

Run by VISA, the awards recognise where high streets are succeeding in overcoming the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.

 

The Rising Star High Street award celebrates up-and-coming local communities who are on their way to transforming for the future.

 

Cowdenbeath has been nominated due to its partnership working and creative plans to improve digital and transport connectivity to increase the town’s footfall.

 

The judges will have a walk around the town with members of the Love Cowdenbeath Group, meet representatives from Cowdenbeath Football Club and Beath High School and chat with ‘town artist’ Kerry Wilson before engaging with local shopkeepers.

 

The judging panel’s rating accounts for 80% of the overall score, the final 20% of the vote being determined by public voting.

 

You can still show your support by voting online – the public vote is open until 7 October 2019.

 

 

 

Hundreds of jobs at Rosyth secured as Royal Navy order goes to Babcock

The Royal Navy has named Babcock as the preferred bidder for designing and building a new generation of Royal Navy frigates.

 

A consortium led by Babcock has secured the order for the £1.25 billion contract for five Type 31 warships.

 

The deal will secure hundreds of jobs at Rosyth, where the ships will be assembled, with construction work spread between yards across the UK.

 

Work is to begin by the end of 2019, with the first ships delivered in 2023.

 

Click to read the full story.

 

 

Fife to host major Scotland Fintech Festival event

To mark the region’s thriving fintech community and economy, Fife is hosting what is becoming one of the most popular events in Fintech Scotland’s ‘Fintech Festival 2019’ on 17 September at DoubleTree by Hilton in North Queensferry.

 

Building on last year’s full-house event when Scotland’s first Fintech Skills Academy was launched in the Kingdom, the capacity for this year’s event has been more than doubled.

 

Within Fintech globally, the most active area of investments is payments – and Fife is the capital of payments in Scotland.

 

The event speakers – internationally recognised business leaders in the payments industry – will explain why acquiring digital skills has given them an exciting, challenging and satisfying career in an industry experiencing huge growth globally.

 

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of the Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee said: “I am very much looking forward to giving the opening address at this event which demonstrates the pivotal role that Fife is playing – and has played for many decades – in the payments industry.

 

“This event will enable experienced professionals to learn new skills and stay relevant to the industry’s rapid transformation. Also, if anyone wants to use their digital skills and build a career in Fintech, this meeting is a great place to get started.”

 

Fife is a great location for this event.  Fife’s Fintech Skills Academy is already helping avoid a potential skills gap that could hold back the growth of local companies in this sector.  It will also give people the qualifications and skills they need to work in this industry. ”

 

Speakers at the event include:

 

  • Greg Watson, Chief Technology Officer at Sainsbury’s Bank.
  • Simon Fairbairn, Director of Solution Development Western Europe at Ingenico
  • Jim Tomaney, Chief Operating Officer at Renovite Technologies Inc.

 

Click for more information and to book your place.

 

 

Cupar company involved in building world’s most powerful tidal turbine

Gray Fabrication in Cupar is providing components for what is being described as the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine.

The 72m long O2 turbine is being built by Texo Group in Dundee with key parts being made by Gray Fabrication using material from Liberty Steel in Motherwell.

 

Once completed, the turbine will be tested in Orkney at the European Marine Energy Centre.

 

Gray Fabrication is one of the UK’s leading heavy steel fabrication companies specialising in the rolling, bending and pressing of heavy plate. It provides steel fabrication and plate rolling services to leading companies in the oil and gas, general engineering and renewable energy sectors.

 

The Scottish Government has awarded the turbine project £3.4 million from its £10 million Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

 

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said: “We are delighted this landmark turbine, designed by an innovative Scottish company, will also be built in Scotland.

 

“We believe tidal energy technology can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential and this fund will help move tidal technologies closer to commercial deployment.”

 

Click to read the full story.

Fife-based women-owned businesses to benefit from growth programme

Women’s Enterprise Scotland is running a new business growth course in Fife to help local female-led businesses reach their full potential.

 

The Leadership for Growth course run by Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) on behalf of Fife Council Economic Development is designed specifically for Fife women business owners wishing to lead their business through growth to be sustainable.

 

The free 6 month programme involves four workshops, covering a range of topics and activities including leadership and motivating others, managing change, and leading for success.

 

it is designed to help businesswomen increase their confidence in leadership by enabling them to strategically analyse their business against their vision for the future, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to grow their business using models and tools.

 

This is the 4th year WES has run the programme in Fife and over 50 Fife based women-owned businesses have already benefited from the Leadership for Growth programme.

 

Previous participant Errin Todd of Dalgety Bay based Lobster Pod said; “I really benefited from participating in the Leadership for Growth programme, as it helped me to critically assess my business strategy and identify action areas. The programme boosted my confidence and our business growth has been transformational since I completed the programme. I enjoyed meeting other like-minded women on the course and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to take their business growth to the next level.” Lobster Pod produces shellfish transportation systems and the business is on track to double its 2018 turnover in 2019.

 

The first session will be held at the Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes on 16 September.

 

Click for more information and to book a place on this free course or contact info@wescotland.co.uk