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 “

Receive funding towards gaining a Investors in People Award

The Scottish Government is providing funding for businesses to gain an Investors in Young People Good Practice award in 2018.


The Government has awarded £200,000 to Remarkable to support around 60 businesses to receive up to 100% funding towards the cost of gaining the award in this, the Year of Young People.


Remarkable (formerly Investors in People Scotland) is one of Scotland’s leading organisation and leadership development businesses.


Organisations of any size and sector are eligible for grant funding if they employ young people aged between 16-28.


A nationally recognised accreditation, Investors in Young People is designed to help organisations in Scotland recruit, develop and retain young people.


For more information, visit,  email or phone 0131 625 0155




Fife Wins Prestigious Title of ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’

Fife Council welcomes recognition as the region is crowned the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ by the UK Government, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in this year’s Enterprising Britain Awards.   


Fife has been named as winner in 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 and get into education, training or employment and for creating an environment and programmes that are helping businesses grow.


These accolades highlight the strength of new town Glenrothes, now in its 70th year, which has undergone enterprise-led regeneration, transitioning from a period of economic challenge to one with a strong business-base and industrial innovation.


Fife Council is praised for joint working between its Economy, Planning & Employability and Education & Children’s Services, and with the Fife Economy Partnership (FEP).

Fife Council’s innovative Culture of Enterprise Framework 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.

Scottish Government Fife Task Force funding and joint working to move the local economy forward and create jobs and modern, business-friendly infrastructure, including an Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes, is also recognised. 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 (WES) Female Leadership Programme – encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship.

Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, said: “This is welcome news for Fife and demonstrates the effectiveness of the strong working relationship between the Scottish Government, Fife Council and the Fife Economy Partnership to enable inclusive economic growth. The Scottish Government has provided £6 million worth of support to Fife through the Fife Task Force which has delivered enterprise initiatives and business growth projects, such as the Business Resilience Programme and the Glenrothes Enterprise Hub, and will provide modern industrial premises for business, such as the Levenmouth Business Units and Queensway Business Units. The Scottish Government continues to work alongside Fife Council to maximise the area’s undoubted potential.”

Fife Council’s co-leaders, Cllr David Alexander and Cllr David Ross, said: “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.

“We are delighted that Fife is rightfully getting recognition for creating an excellent environment to support our business community to develop and grow, which, in turn, are creating quality opportunities for our local communities.

“Fife Council and its business partners continue to work tirelessly to create fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits, provide good employment opportunities and secure investment in the region.”

Bob Garmory, Chair of Developing the Young Workforce Fife, added: “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.”

The Fife Economy Partnership (FEP) supports Fife Council by securing private sector collaboration to stimulate local economic growth.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, who named the Enterprising Britain Awards winners today, said:  “I’m proud to see such a wealth of talent, creativity and innovation in Fife being recognised at the Enterprising Britain Awards. With more than 340,000 small businesses in Scotland, entrepreneurialism is thriving.

“The UK has some of the most entrepreneurial and innovative minds in the world delivering good jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are building a Britain in which small business continues to thrive.”

Summary of Fife Council’s award-winning achievements – Supporting Fife’s Enterprise Journey

  • A Culture of Enterprise (CoE) Framework is inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs in Fife supported by school and college providers – in addition to industry. (4,450 young people took part in 2017/18)
  • Employability support is aligned with Scottish school curriculum to prioritise STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and a dedicated Developing the Young Workforce Fife (DYW) team has been introduced.
  • Support has been given to the development of new Foundation Apprenticeships within Fife. (12 programmes for 120 pupils)
  • A leadership development programme is now in place hosted within a new Enterprise Hub building. (Over 24 participants)
  • Business growth opportunities are being enabled and in there is a comprehensive industrial estate regeneration programme.  (£500m invested in industrial estate regeneration).

Glenrothes is home to Fife’s main concentration of specialist manufacturing and engineering companies, with over 130 businesses and several organisations retaining their global headquarters – including Raytheon and Bosch Rexroth.


Business people to hear & question Scotland Office Minister at Fife event

Fife businesses will have a chance to hear and question Scotland Office minister Lord Ian Duncan on Brexit and other prominent business issues at an evening event in Fife on October 25, days after a crucial EU summit.

In the ‘Meet the Minister’ event, organised by Fife Chamber of Commerce and St Andrews Business Club, Lord Ian Duncan, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, will talk about his role – which involves engaging with Scottish stakeholders on a wide range of matters relating to the UK Parliament on a total of 22 Cabinet committees and sub-committees – and reflect on current issues.

Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions about the UK Government’s role in Scotland, its priorities and policies at the event, to be held at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, six days after a potentially pivotal discussion on Brexit by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

Lord Duncan was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales between June and October 2017 and was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in October 2017. The Queen conferred a life peerage on him in 2017.

A St Andrews Geology graduate, Lord Duncan’s professional background is as a public affairs and media relations professional working for organisations as diverse as BP, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the Scottish Refugee Council and the Scottish Parliament. He was elected to the European Parliament in 2014.

Anyone wanting to attend the event can book their place on Eventbrite. There are links on the Fife Chamber and St Andrews Business Club websites.

Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, said: “Fife Chamber is really pleased to have this opportunity to work with St Andrews Business Club to give our members and other local businesses an opportunity to discuss critically important issues with a senior member of the UK Government.”

Alan S. Morrison, President of St Andrews Business Club, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Fife Chamber of Commerce on this event, which will enable all members of the business community in North-East Fife and beyond to hear about the latest plans for issues which affect them as well as ask questions of a UK Government minister about them.”

Scotland’s first ‘Fintech Skills Academy’ launched in Fife

A consortium of international Fintech companies together with Fife Council, Fife College and Fintech Scotland have joined forces to launch Scotland’s first ‘Fintech Skills Academy‘.


The consortium, which includes Renovite Technologies and the Ingenico Group, officially launched the new Fintech Skills Academy at Paywizard‘s offices in Kirkcaldy on Friday, 13 September.


The aim of the Academy is to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applications for the growing number of specialist roles in Fintech in the region and to avoid a skills gap developing.


The core members of the consortium were joined by students at Fife College and representatives from other local Fintech business.


Speaking at the launch event, Jim Omaney, chief operating officer at Renovite Technologies said:


“As Scotland’s Fintech sector grows, so does the demand for people with the right skills.  To avoid the emergence of a skills gap, as we’ve seem happen in several other STEM industries, we’ve developed an innovative plan to pre-emptively plug it.


“The Fintech Skills Academy programme will help candidates successfully prepare for new roles while at the same time, help employers by improving candidate’s understanding of the standards Fintech employers want.  It’s a win-win scenario that we hope will be replicated nationwide.”


Matthew Jones, solution architect for Ingenico Group, added:


“The Ingenico Group is a strong investor in the training and development of its teams, but for start-ups and smaller businesses, allocating resources to bridge the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what they need to know at work is something rarely affordable.  Our aim is to help provide that extra bit of experience and training through the Fintech Skills Academy, so that when this generation of workers retire, the next generation will be ready.”


Courses, which will be piloted in January 2019, will be based on practical industry experience but taught in a structured learning framework, having been designed by Fife College in collaboration with Fintech businesses.


The syllabus is aimed both at young people about to enter work and adults with a background in IT wishing to upskill or retrain specifically for employment in financial technology environments. Subject areas will range from specialisms such as payment processing to systems testing, device certification and business domain knowledge.  The courses will be funded by participating businesses, with the potential for further support where applicable.


Krystyna Marett, Fife College, who is developing the course curricula said:


“We are launching the Fintech Academy in January 2019 with a Retail Card Business Course for IT professionals already working in the payments industry. We are excited to be working with Fife Fintech employers to develop training for their sector.”


Cllr Altany Craik, Chair of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee said,:


“This Fintech Skills Academy will provide an opportunity for Fife residents to access skills and jobs in a dynamic and growing sector within our economy.  Building on the success of the Skills Academy model in other key STEM industries, it will help to expand the Fintech Payments skills pool.”


The Fintech Skills Academy launch was the first event in Fintech Scotland’s Fintech Fortnight which runs from 13-27 September.

Fife Council takes on first Graduate Apprentices

Fife’s first Graduate Apprentices are heading off to University this week.


School leavers Jake Philp and Jenna Brown started working with Fife Council’s Transportation Service as part of a new scheme that allows young people to work in a role and study for a relevant degree at the same time.


Graduate apprentices – Jake Philp and Jenna Brown

Part funded by the Workforce Youth Investment fund the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to build a career, and provides fully funded training up to Honours or Masters degree level for your new or existing employees.


Frances Ratcliffe, who will lead the GA programme and mentor the students, is a Consultant Engineer with the council’s Roads & Transportation Service, and a former Chair of the Scottish Region of the Institution of Civil Engineers. She explained: “With the current industry-wide shortage of engineers, it is vital to attract young people into this sector. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an engineering degree, and gives a great foundation on which to build a rewarding career.


“As well as their degree Jake and Jenna will finish university with four years work experience so will already be in a better position than a full time student.”


“And from our perspective, we have the opportunity to nurture our own graduates who will leave university already equipped with the skills and experience we need in our particular work area, rather than train inexperienced graduates hired in after graduation. This is really important to address our ageing workforce and build a service that is fit for the future.  It is also good value for us as Skills Development Scotland pay the university fees.”


Jake Philp said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given to start a career that’s so interesting to me. Also to be supported through university. I’ve made friends through my whole department and on sites. No day’s been the same so far!”


Jenna Brown said: “The apprenticeship is a great chance for me to work towards my qualification while it also allows me to put my learning into practice in the work place. I have already had many opportunities to get involved in different projects and I know I have full support from everyone on my team.”


Click for more information on the Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme and how it could work for your business.





Entries invited for Fife Business Awards 2019 – Your Passion. Fife’s Pride. Everyone’s Celebration.

The Fife Business Awards – the premier event for the Fife business community – is back for 2019 and is bigger and better than ever before.


Celebrating the most successful and forward-thinking businesses and not-for-profit organisations in Fife, the awards are open to organisations of all types and sizes, and from all sectors of trade, commerce and the third sector.


This year sees new and revised categories to reflect the broad range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations operating in Fife, and to reflect their contribution to the Fife economy and wider society.


Fife Free Press is the official media partners of this year’s awards and coverage of the awards campaign will appear from launch through to the Champions Lunch, so you will always be in the know.


The Fife Business Awards is the premier platform to share your success story with some of the best businesses in Fife.  The 2019 awards look set to be the best awards yet. Whatever your size, whatever your success, there’s a category for you.


There’s never been a better time, nor more reasons to enter, so submit your entry now – or nominate another great business you know.


For the award categories, FQAs, key dates and more visit





Fife Business Week 2018 launched at inspirational Fife manufacturing business

AN exciting new era for a traditional Fife joinery manufacturing business, TJ Ross, provided the location for the launch of this year’s Fife Business Week, as the company moved into new premises in Southfield, Glenrothes.


Launching Fife Business Week 2018 from left to right: Cllr Altany Craik, George Sneddon (Fife Council), Cllr David Ross (Fife Council Co-Leader), Pamela Stevenson (Fife Council) and Cllr David Alexander (Fife Council Co-Leader) with Alyn Richardson, Martin Richardson and Niall Wilson from TJ Ross.

In a week full of events aimed at inspiring and transforming Fife’s business community, Fife Business Week is set to run this year from 5th to 9th November.  It will also provide opportunities for Fife’s businesses to come together to network and exchange ideas.  Now in its ninth year, Fife’s main business event offers a broad range of seminars and workshops, covering important issues for the local economy and is once again set to be a major highlight of the Kingdom’s business calendar.


TJ Ross, originally based in Strathmiglo, are specialists in double glazed, traditional, sash and case windows, bespoke curved headed windows and doors, for all styles of buildings including ones in Conservation Areas or Listed.  They also design and make cabinetry, bookcases, wardrobes and make bespoke staircases and cabinetry, all to suit their clients’ requirements.


Martin Richardson bought over the family-owned business in 1992 and undertook to remain in Strathmiglo where most of the workforce was based. They extended the Strathmiglo facility, but quickly outgrew it. For the future of the business, he and his son, Alyn, realised it was necessary to make the move to larger premises in Glenrothes.


Martin commented: “We have fought hard to keep the traditional manufacturing at the core of the business while embracing modern technology.  We feel our new boiler plate; ‘Traditional Craft Meets Modern Performance’ describes exactly our ethos.  We offer homeowners and developers alike, high-end finished traditional products for the end users to admire and enjoy for many years to come. To this end, we have opened a new studio in city centre of Edinburgh to meet the needs of clients in the city as well.”


Convenor of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, Councillor Altany Craik commented: “Inspiring and motivated businesses like TJ Ross show that Fife has much to offer and there is so much support available to help a Fife business like them to invest, grow and thrive.  It’s fantastic that this company has been in business in Fife for forty years now and through transforming and investing in the business, its future looks very bright. Support and guidance from Fife Council’s Economic Development team has also helped with upskilling of the workforce, management skills and its leadership practices. It is therefore the perfect location to launch this year’s Fife Business Week.


“This week of events is a great showcase to promote local business and their success.  It offers the opportunity for every company in Fife to come along, hear from industry experts whilst making new contacts and exchanging ideas. The events will also demonstrate how Fife Council is working with partners across Fife to develop a highly skilled talent pool, get more people work-ready and develop skills that will help business and boost the local economy.


“The region is already home to some of the UK’s highest performing businesses, and we are proud that we can offer high calibre, highly skilled staff, good infrastructure links and centres of excellence in many sectors.


“Fife Business Week is aimed at supporting economic growth, is designed to inspire businesses to grow, and to encourage them to join us on our journey to make Fife the best place to do business.”


The theme for this year’s programme of events is Inspiring and Transforming Fife’s Businesses, aligned to Fife Economic Partnership’s objectives. The week of action will focus on key issues that are impacting Fife entrepreneurs, business start-ups and employers with fresh insights into workforce development, advanced manufacturing, finance and strategy and digital connectivity.


Hosted by Fife Council’s Economic Development Team and Business Gateway team, Fife Business Week is designed to support businesses to succeed and flourish whilst making Fife the best place to do business.


The full calendar of events to mark the eighth Fife Business Week will be rolled out at the end of September.


For more information on Fife Business Week please email or visit