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.

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.

 

 

Inverkeithing Awarded Heritage Lottery First Round Pass

THE Fife town of Inverkeithing is celebrating receiving National Lottery support.

 

Initial development funding of up to £50,500 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to Fife Council to help progress its plans for repairs and improvements to the town’s historic streetscape and buildings. More detailed proposals will then be submitted to apply for a full National Lottery grant of up to £1.2 million early next year.

 

Made possible by National Lottery players, the funding, which is distributed through HLF’s Townscape Heritage (TH) programme, could form part of c. £3 million investment in the Town. A complementary bid will be made to Historic Environment Scotland for a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) in Inverkeithing. If both bids are successful, this would be combined with Council money and other identified funding contributions, to deliver a five year heritage-led regeneration programme, starting in June 2019.

 

TH aims to encourage local authorities to invest in their historic environment, whilst helping to stimulate economic regeneration.

 

Inverkeithing is competing for this TH funding with other towns across the UK – and is the only place in Scotland to receive a First Round pass this year.

 

Gordon Mole, Senior Manager, Business & Employability, Fife Council, said:

 

“This new announcement is great news for Inverkeithing and is another step forward in its regeneration. It will build on the town’s housing-led regeneration at Fraser Avenue and would realize some of the improvements local people have called for through the current “Imagine Inverkeithing” community led Master-planning process (June-October 2018).

 

The heritage led plans for Inverkeithing would see repair and development of the Grade A Listed Town House into a fully accessible Community use hub; operating a Building Repair Grant Scheme to deliver targeted repairs & improvements to other buildings; major uplift of the streetscape at the heart of the town, enhancing and restoring historic features; and running a wide range of heritage themed training & educational activities to benefit local people and aid heritage conservation in the longer term.  With the HLF award this year, we can now work with local partners and Fife Historic Buildings Trust and to develop our second round application and hopefully see the combined CARS/TH programme begin in 2019 “