FSB Small Business Awards 2019 Open for Entries

The Federation of Small Business’ annual Celebrating Small Businesses Awards are the leading celebration of small businesses, shining a light on some of the best, most innovative and most determined small businesses.


Open to all small businesses and self-employed  – whether current members of the FSB or not – the awards are free to enter.


Winning an FSB Celebrating Small Business Award is a great was to showcase your business achievements and celebrate business success and innovation.



Entries to the Scottish awards are open until 11 January 2019 – click for more information and to submit your entry.

Fife Council welcomes Tay Cities Deal investment

Last week, Council leaders formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal which will finance more than 20 projects across Tayside creating over 6,000 jobs across the region.


Under the deal, £37 million of investment will be injected into local tourism and culture as well as some £25 million to be invested in the University of St Andrew’s Eden Campus.


The Tay Cities Deal commits both the Scottish and UK governments to work with partners across Tayside and Fife to deliver a deal that creates a smarter, fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.


Representatives from the Scottish and UK governments joined leaders of the council, businesses and academia at Perth & Kinross Council HQ to sign the Heads of Terms last week.


Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Ross said, “This signing of the Deal is a significant milestone for North East Fife. This investment will enable all City Deal partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region and the next steps include developing in-depth business cases for the funded programmes of work.”


Councillor Karen Marjoram of Fife Council said, “I am pleased that the Heads of Terms have been agreed by both the UK and Scottish governments, and the councils involved. This is an exciting step forward for the Tay Cities Deal. Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife of the Regional Skills Programme, Regional Culture and Tourism programme.


“This will be of real benefit to Fife. It supports our efforts to tackle inequality, develop a Fairer Fife where everyone benefits, and will support economic growth. As well as creating new opportunities for people currently without jobs to get into employment, it will also help those who are in work to progress. This will happen in a variety of ways and improve the lives of people across the whole area.”


Councillor Tim Brett added, “The Eden Campus development will create around 500 new jobs and enhance the reputation of the region as a leader in innovation, sustainable development and biotechnology. In partnership with the University of St Andrews, investment will see this former paper mill at its Guardbridge site redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.


“The investment at the Eden Mill site in Guardbridge is great news and will hopefully lead to more employment opportunities as the site is developed. I also hope that the joint working with other three authorities will lead to closer working in the future, which will benefit us all.”


The key elements of the Tay Cities deal include:


Preparing for a Low carbon Future

  • Investment in the University of St Andrews’s Eden Campus, Guardbridge – a 32.5 acre industrial site – will include: up to £7 million to develop a primary substation power upgrade at the site, up to £13.5 million for the Scottish Centre for Clean Energy Storage and Conversion – building on strengths in carbon innovation – and up to £4 million for the Eden Enterprise Hub.
  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £2 million, alongside Fife Council, in Eden Enterprise to establish a commercially viable business incubator that caters for spin-out and start-up companies from the region’s universities.


Employability and Skills

  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million to support delivery of the Tay Cities Skills and Employability Development Programme to deliver Fair Work. This will reduce skills shortages and gaps as well as support re-skilling into new career opportunities.
  • New job opportunities for the people of Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus through research and innovation – from research and academic posts, to new start-up companies, expansion of existing companies and migration of companies to the region.


Developing a World Class Tourism Offer

  • The Scottish Government will invest £37 million, subject to approval of a programme business case, to support a regional culture and tourism investment programme. This aims to build on current tourism offerings at St Andrews, Gleneagles and V&A Dundee.


Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing

  • £10 million of investment from the Scottish Government in high value manufacturing. This includes £2 million to establish the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership, the first regional engineering and advanced manufacturing network in Scotland.


Building a World Class Renewable Energy and Decommissioning Industry

  • To maximise the significant potential economic benefits of offshore decommissioning to the Tay Cities region, the Scottish Government is committed to working with Dundeecom and the regional economic development partners to maximise opportunities to build supply chain capabilities and new technologies.
  • The Scottish and UK governments will consider how best to support additional port infrastructure investment in Methil where this contributes to, and creates additional value, in the renewable energy sector.



  • The regional transport model will help inform masterplanning across the region. Together with the regional transport partnership, TACTRAN, has commissioned a Tay Cities Regional Transport Model to help inform understanding of problems and opportunities and appraisal of potential strategic transport interventions.


An Empowered Tay – A New Regional Partnership

  • The Deal promises a “new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport planning underpinned by a new approach to city regional governance”.

Decommissioning specialist plans a new Fife facility

Decommissioning specialist, CessCon Decom Ltd, has set its sights on setting up a scrapping facility at the Energy Park Fife in Methil.


The company, which is a new Scottish-based division of the Norwegian firm, CessCon Decom AS, has signed heads of terms with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council.


The company said it was “fitting” for the numerous oil rigs that were built in the Methil yard to be returned for decommissioning.


Cesscon Decom Ltd said it is ready to make a “multi-million pound” investment to create an area fit for dismantling with water collection and treatment facilities.


The development could see the return of much needed jobs for the area following redundancies at the BiFab yards in Methil and Burntisland.


CessCon Decom Ltd CEO, Lee Hanlon said, “We have been working extensively with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council to secure the site at the Energy Park Fife.


“The aim is to develop an east coast facility in Scotland to complement our existing European facilities, adding to the expansion of our decommissioning services in the UK, Europe and Asia.


“The Energy Park Fife facility is advantageously located to accommodate the substantial North Sea decommissioning market and it is very fitting that assets that were constructed and commissioned at the Energy Park some 20 or 30 years ago, might return to be decommissioned and recycled, creating a true circular economy, and bringing employment opportunities to the Fife area.”


Read the full story here.

Heads of Terms signed for Tay Cities Deal

Council leaders have formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal.


After months of negotiation, the heads of terms were officially agreed at a ceremony in Perth this morning (Thursday 22 November).


The deal will finance more than 20 major projects across Tayside and Fife, creating more than 60,000 jobs. The projects to be funded include a regional culture and tourism investment programme and the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus.


The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £150 million throughout a 10-15 year period, subject to the approval of ‘robust business cases’.


The investment also has the potential to lever in more than £400 million of investment over the next decade.


Representatives of the UK and Scottish Governments joined four council leaders and business chiefs at Perth and Kinross Council HQ for the signing.


Click to see full details of the Deal.

Supply Design reaches finals of prestigious Deep Tech Awards

Supply Design has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2018 TechWorks Awards.


The Rosyth-based company is a finalist in the Power Electronics Innovation Award category of the Techworks Awards 2018 – the highest accolade in the UK ‘Deep Tech’ Industry.


Marc Brand, Director of Business Development at Supply Design said: “We are thrilled to be a finalist in the Power Electronics Innovation Award category of these prestigious awards.  To be nominated alongside industry leaders McLaren and AVL demonstrates the level of innovation our team is delivering to the market.  Supply Design and partners Iceotope are working hard to deliver new high-performance technology to the market and we are delighted to be rewarded with this recognition of the hard work we have been doing over the years.”


Supply Design, established in 2001, designs and develops high performance power converters for industrial and harsh environment applications, offering consultancy and power product development services to a range of companies.


The technology being recognised in these awards is a collaboration between Supply Design and Iceotope in Sheffield for the work combining power and liquid cooling patents which are revolutionising the High-Performance Computing (HPC) and ExaScale Computing world.


The TechWorks Awards recognise excellence in the new ‘deep tech’  industry that is driving the tech economy and becoming such a strategic part of the UK’s future.  This year’s winners will be announced today, 22 November.


TechWorks is the UK’s leading deep tech industry association whose focus is building a better and stronger tech ecosystem in the UK, helping to connect brilliant ideas with partnerships and investments that accelerate speed and enhance routes to market and profitability.

Fife chosen as UK base by global train manufacturer

Fife Council welcomed the announcement by Talgo SA, a global train manufacturer and technology firm, that it plans to locate its UK manufacturing base in the Kingdom.


With tough national competition, Fife was announced as the preferred location for the construction of the major new factory, which will potentially employ up to 1,000 people across Scotland.


Providing Talgo is successful in its bid for the HS2 rail contract, the factory is expected to be built by 2021. The factory will provide Talgo with a modern, bespoke and easily accessible site – not just to the rest of the UK, but internationally.


Councillor David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council, said: “We, along with the Scottish Government and our partners, very much welcome this investment news, which is truly fantastic for Fife and testimony to the support that has been given by our communities and businesses in South West Fife.


“Fife has a strong and proud manufacturing tradition which continues today. The announcement by Talgo is further testimony to the attractiveness of Fife as a manufacturing base. I’m particularly pleased that all the hard work that has gone into the search for a new user for the Longannet site has paid off. This is great news for Fife and the whole of central Scotland.”


Councillor David Alexander, Co-Leader of Fife Council, added: “This is the second affirmation of Fife’s enterprise excellence we’ve had this month. Fife is now the Most Enterprising Place in Britain and today it’s been recognised, once more, by a leading global manufacturer – as the prime location in Scotland for inward investors.”


By announcing Longannet as the preferred UK site, Talgo has also committed to training, developing local supply chain business opportunities and the use of the factory to service UK and international orders, thereby increasing use of local ports.


Fife Council reaches the finals of the Living Wage Scotland Awards

Fife Council is delighted to have been recognised by Living Wage Scotland as a finalist in their 2018 awards.


The Council became an accredited Living Wage employer in 2016.  In recognition of its role in championing the Living Wage, it was shortlisted for the Scottish Living Wage 2018 Anchor Institution Award.


The Living Wage Scotland 2018 Award Winners and Finalists

More than 2,000 of Fife Council’s employees benefit from the Scottish Local Government Living Wage.  Like others, the Council has financial challenges to address, but it sees its Scottish Living Wage accreditation as a positive step to creating a fairer Fife.


Fife Council is committed to making a positive difference to people’s lives, a commitment that doesn’t stop with its own employees.  Following the publication of the Fairer Fife Commission’s report in 2014, it set the ambition of helping Fife become a Living Wage region and will be working with local businesses to support them to achieve Living Wage accreditation.


For more information about the Living Wage and how to get accredited as a Living Wage Employer visit the Scottish Living Wage website.

Fife on international stage at Energy event

Invest in Fife recently attended Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) 2018 at the EICC last week in Edinburgh.


The event is billed as the most important event in the ocean energy sector calendar with over 400 professionals from all parts of the industry across Europe.


Fife Council’s Invest in Fife team put the region on the international stage once again with a stand at OEE2018.


Councillor Altany Craik, Convenor of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “Fife was recently crowned most ‘Enterprising Place in Britain’ 2018, fighting off competition across the UK, proving that this region is an excellent location for investment and growth.


“Our stand at Ocean Energy Europe OEE2018 showcased the expertise and the massive potential for the energy sector in Fife.


“Fife Council has a good track record in encouraging investment in Fife and supporting the development of businesses to help grow a vibrant local economy. We shared our expertise as well as explored a number of business opportunities to help growth and development.”


Iain Shirlaw, Economic Adviser, Invest in Fife, added: “We were delighted that Invest in Fife, Pays de la Loire and the EU Interreg CLIPPER project hosted a joint stand. OEE came back to Scotland in recognition of the skills that have been built up in Fife over the past 10 years.


“Amongst companies attending were those developing products that could be built in Fife by the well-established supply chain. At the pre-conference reception Alan Duncan of Scotia supply chain, talked about how he is working with Electricite de France, who now own the Neart na Gaoithe wind farm off the coast of Fife, to ensure that as many local companies as possible benefit from the work being contracted.


“There are many opportunities for Fife companies to develop their capability as they progress their own offshore energy industries. We met with suppliers and customers from across Europe. It was a great opportunity for Fife companies to secure new business as the sector shows renewed growth across the world.”


The annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition is the meeting point for the whole ocean energy sector. Over 400 professionals from all parts of the industry and from over 20 countries came to meet the right people and get an update on the sector’s latest news.



Longannet site reaches final factory shortlist

Fife Council welcomes the announcement that Talgo  has shortlisted the former Longannet Power Station site as a potential factory site that could employ up to a thousand people.


Talgo designs and manufactures fast, lightweight trains and operates in 28 countries worldwide.


Councillor David Alexander, Co–Leader of Fife Council said: “We are delighted that Talgo has announced that Longannet is one of only two locations the company has shortlisted to build a state-of-the-art factory.


“We have worked tirelessly with the Scottish Government and partners through the Longannet Task Force to secure Longannet as a preferred site.  We strongly hope that Longannet will be the final preferred location and stand ready with our dedicated investment team – Invest in Fife – to support the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Talgo to succeed in bringing this investment to Scotland and Fife.”


Fellow Council Co-Leader David Ross added:  “The Council will do whatever it can to ensure that Longannet is the site chosen in the final selection.  The strengths of the Longannet site are clear given its close proximity to the ports of Rosyth and Grangemouth.  This will be a facility that will manufacture trains and develop world-leading technology, employing up to a thousand people.  Longannet has excellent accessibility, infrastructure and energy supply and has access to a skilled local workforce.  If Longannet is chosen as the final site, it will have a profound positive impact on the economy of Fife and Scotland.”


Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “With potential for significant new jobs and supply chain opportunities, we are delighted that Longannet has been named as one of the final two shortlisted locations for Talgo’s factory.”


“The Scottish Government is working with Talgo and private sector partners across Scotland to ensure maximum benefit from the opportunity that Talgo’s investment represents and looks forward to Talgo’s final decision in the near future.”

Prepare for Brexit

Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Mike Russell MSP has launched the next phase of the ‘Prepare for Brexit’ campaign, extending the Scottish Government’s support to all Scottlsh businesses.


A new website www.PrepareforBrexit.scot has been launched.


The  website hosts a specially designed Brexit self-assessment tool which is designed to help you identify how Brexit might affect them.


It also provides bespoke recommendations for action and signposts you to free support, advice and resources any financial support that you might be eligible to claim.


It is also home to a Brexit 15-point checklist, news, articles, access to experts and event listings.


‘Prepare for Brexit’ is a multi-agency campaign that aims to raise awareness among businesses,  providing a one-door service to the advice and support that’s available.


The support on offer will be available to any company, anywhere in Scotland, regardless of size and sector.