Listen to new Employee Ownership podcasts

Looking at selling your business?  Would you like to hear direct from businesses that have successfully made the move to Employee Ownership, as well as expert advisers on the process?


As the growth of employee ownership continues to accelerate, Co-operative Development Scotland has launched the first ever podcast series dedicated to the model.


The series features:

  • The experiences of business owners who have already sold their companies to their staff.
  • Expert insight from specialist employee ownership advisers and members of the legal and accounting profession.
  • The wide-ranging benefits that employee ownership can offer those considering a move to the model.


Click here to see the full series line-up available now for you to download and listen to.


Talgo confirms intention to bring £40m factory to Kincardine

Talgo, Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland have signed a jointly agreed framework for establishing Longannet as a manufacturing base for Talgo UK.


The framework agreement sets out each party’s commitment to ensure that the proposed multi-million pound factory at Longannet is prepared and delivered at an agreed time and to an agreed specification.


The Spanish train manufacturer Talgo is a leading specialised rolling stock engineering company focused on designing, manufacturing and servicing fast, lightweight trains.


Paul Lewis, Executive Director at Scottish Enterprise said: “This Framework Agreement is another significant milestone in our work with Talgo to achieve its ambition of establishing a world-class, high-value manufacturing facility at Longannet.


“Scottish Enterprise and our partners are incredibly excited by Talgo’s plans for Longannet, which would deliver 1,000 direct jobs and a host of supply chain opportunities for companies in Scotland.”


Click for more information.



Tay projects backed by £3m UK Government funding

A University of St Andrews initiative which will enable research and innovation into climate change, coastal ecology, clean energy and low carbon is one of four projects in the region which will benefit from a UK Government funding boost.


The money, announced on Friday (25 October), is part of the UK Government’s £150 million commitment to the Tay Cities Deal.  The £3 million was originally allocated to acquire the RM Condor Airfield.  Following the positive news earlier this year that the MoD is to retain the airfield, this money will now be reinvested in full to fund four projects in Tayside.


One of the projects to be supported by the new funding is the Stretch Dome Simulator at the University of St Andrews Eden Campus.  A world-leading environmental and energy demonstrator facility, the simulator gives scientists the ability to test theories and generate solutions in the areas of climate change, clean energy, low carbon, food security, advanced materials, coastal ecology, marine mammals and underwater acoustics.


The project is to receive £300,000 – funding which comes on top of an existing £24.5 million investment from the UK Government in the Eden Campus as part of the Tay Cities Deal.


The new funding will also support three other initiatives in the Tay Cities Region:

  • £1.6 million for Aero Space Kinross to develop a year-round visitor attraction;
  • £1 million to establish the Crieff International Highland Centre;
  • £100,000 to develop the heritage and cultural experience at Innerpeffray Library.


Click for more information.



Contracts up for grabs in Scotland’s offshore wind industry

Major renewables developer SSE Renewables is inviting Scottish businesses to bid for a host of contracts ahead of construction of Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.


SSE Renewables is building Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm, which will be one of the most significant construction projects undertaken in Scotland.


As it announced the appointment of its first business to win preferred supplier status – MHI Vestas Offshore Wind who will lead on turbine supply and operational servicing – SSE Renewables is now opening up discussions with businesses keen to win work in the renewables industry.


SSE Renewables is hosting events around the country to enable businesses to gear up to bid for contracts, meet the Seagreen team and its principal contractors, and to understand the wealth of opportunities on offer.


This includes Meet the Buyer events in Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee on 5, 6 and 7 November respectively.


Click for more information and to book your place.


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


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.”



Fife Council celebrates ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ win

Fife Council welcomes the two UK Government awards which formally recognise the region as the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’.


Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee collected the honours alongside other council representatives who attended the Ceremony held in the House of Commons in London yesterday (30 Oct 2018).


Fife was named as the winner of two categories: the ‘Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit’ category and overall winner award; marking exceptional economic successes within mid-Fife.


The awards celebrate Fife Council’s achievements in supporting young people to develop entrepreneurial skills, get into education, training or employment and in creating an environment that helps businesses flourish.


These accolades highlight the strength of partnership working within Fife, including that of Fife Task Force established by Fife Council and the Scottish Government during 2015 and the continuing focus placed on partnerships between the private and public sector through the Fife Economy Partnership.


The awards presented to Fife Council were arranged and hosted by the UK Government Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which recognised that with more than 340,000 small businesses in Scotland, entrepreneurship is thriving.

In presenting the category and overall award to Fife, the BEIS Deputy Director for Business Growth, Angie Cannizzaro, said,: “Regions across the UK competed for the coveted title of Most Enterprising Place in Britain at the fifteenth Enterprising Britain Awards, with Fife awarded the top honour this year. In addition to the Most Enterprising Place in Britain award, Fife Council won the Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit category for its achievements.”


Councillor Altany Craik thanked the BEIS Deputy Director and the award organisers, represented by the President of Investment in Young People (Neville Reyner CBE DL Hon DLitt).


Councillor Craik said, “Fife Council is delighted to accept this award and recognition from the UK Government. We thank our partners including Scottish Government and the Fife Economy Partnership in addition to our schools and young people who have helped us to create fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits by encouraging enterprise, providing good employment opportunities and securing business investment in the region.


“Fife is closely linking education and learning with employers to help us develop our young workforce, get more young people into education, training and employment, and empower future business leaders.


“These awards show what can be achieved by applying an innovative approach to supporting businesses. We are fully committed to continually improving the prospects for our young workforce and in supporting the growth of enterprise across Fife.”


The Fife Council submission highlighted enterprise-led regeneration across Mid Fife including in Glenrothes and joint working within the Council and the Fife Economy Partnership to develop an innovative Culture of Enterprise Framework that connects the school curriculum, employability and local businesses to provide young people with the tools to develop enterprise skills – including innovation, problem solving, creativity and confidence. Fife’s Enterprise Learning Journey is benefiting school pupils (primary and secondary), young adults and business leaders.


The award recognised Fife Council’s joint working with the Scottish Government on the Fife Task Force, which aims to move the local economy forward and create jobs and modern, business-friendly infrastructure, including an Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes. The Hub offers a up ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to providing business services and has enabled Fife to host the first Women’s Enterprise Scotland Female Leadership Programme – encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship.

From right to left: Neville Reyner CBE DL Hon DLitt; George Sneddon; Councillor Altany Craik; Peter Grant MP; Angie Cannizzaro.




Approval for projects aiming to boost Kirkcaldy area economy

Four project proposals, identified as being beneficial to Kirkcaldy area’s local economy, have been approved by the Kirkcaldy Area Committee.


Earlier this year, a one-off £1 million allocation was made to support economic development in Mid-Fife. The funding has been split equally across the four committee areas and Kirkcaldy Area Committee allocated their £245,000 today with the remaining £5,000 to support a strategic economic development plan for Mid-Fife.


More than half of the funding allocated to Kirkcaldy will be used to transform the former ‘Made in Naples’ large vacant unit in the Adam Smith Merchants’ Quarter. Led by the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Partnership, the 2,600 sq. ft unit will be turned into a skills development and enterprise space.


It will house a training café / bistro that will support the development of at least 48 trainees each year into Fife’s hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.


Flexible trading space for up to 20 small independent businesses will also be provided so that businesses who want to make the leap from ‘home to high street’ can do so.


Business Gateway will provide on-site support to help businesses grow and thrive with a view to taking on other vacant units within town, adding new dimensions to the town centre mix.


The unit will also house a small artisan food hall with locally produced food from Fife being on offer.


Funding has been earmarked for a Mitchelston Masterplan to improve the business profile and attractiveness of Mitchelston Industrial Estate. It will also consider how to re-allocate town centre appropriate uses to vacant town centre properties.


A High Street shopfront and building repair scheme will be set up offering support to 15 to 20 businesses. Improvement works will be carried out to tired and inconsistent shop fronts in partnership with Kirkcaldy 4 All.


A contribution towards a wider study examining the potential for shore side infrastructure to support tourism growth has also been approved, as part of the wider Burntisland Tourism Infrastructure Project.


Cllr Neil Crooks, Convener of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee said, “Obviously the recent M&S closure announcement is extremely disappointing. Now more than ever we need to progress these sorts of projects that look to deliver new solutions for our High Street and support local businesses.


“It’s a pressure being felt on High Streets up and down the country but I’m pleased that the challenges faced by the Mid-Fife economy are being recognised through this funding. There are opportunities here to deliver quite quickly on projects that have the potential to increase employment and reduce vacant business premises.”


Securing the future of Fife’s engineering and manufacturing sector

As part of Fife Business Week 2018, Developing The Young Workforce (DYW) Fife is hosting a free breakfast briefing on the importance of getting young people career ready and other issues crucial to the future of Fife’s engineering and manufacturing sector.


The event is taking place on 6 November, 8.00- 11.00, at the Dean Park Hotel, Kirkcaldy – business owners and managers, as well as those with responsibility for recruitment, from across Fife are welcome to attend.


The interactive workshop and networking event will look at recruiting a young workforce, future employment strategies that meet the needs of the sector and issues around getting more women into Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) focused careers, as well as celebrating successes.


Cllr Altany Craik, Fife Council’s Convener – Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “This event is a great opportunity for businesses to come along, make new contacts and learn practices that will add something to their business. Find out how a more inclusive young workforce can benefit your business, and also how businesses, the education sector and the Council can work together better to attract and retain talent, and identify local skills gaps and employer demand.


“Developing and supporting Fife’s young people is so important for everyone and this event will celebrate the work that has been done so far, and mark out the opportunities that can be taken to do even more for our young people. We want even more partners to come on board – it’s good for our young people, and it’s good for the future of Fife’s businesses.”


Speakers include well-known Fife business people, such as Bob Garmory, Purvis Group, Sarah Jardine, Senior Director of Manufacturing, Optos and John Penman, Managing Director, Fife Fabrications.


Issues set to be tackled at the event:

  • Talent – developing the pipeline, addressing skills gaps and meeting employer needs.
  • Innovation – How Fife’s engineering and manufacturing businesses can identify and retain young talent.
  • Spreading the benefits – How schools and employers can work together to build the talent pipeline.


Bob Garmory, Chair of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Fife, added: “Your future workforce is currently being educated in Fife’s schools. It is everyone’s responsibility to develop future employees and shape the workforce that we need.


“Fife’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Board is a business-led partnership that represents a wide range of employers – from small enterprises to multinationals, who are seeking to raise awareness about the range of programmes that businesses can access, to support the development of our future workforce.”


Find out more about the event here and discover more events as part of Fife Business Week 2018.