Major Fife Showcase at Royal Highland Show

Thousands of visitors are enjoying the chance to sample and buy some of the best Food and drink from Fife at this year’s Royal Highland Show. Eight businesses are representing the region on a specially designed group stand, through assistance from Fife Council’s Economic Development team and Food From Fife.


The Royal Highland Show attracts around 200,000 visitors to its Ingliston showground where a four-day showcase of the very best of farming food and rural life takes place. Supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, the 179th Royal Highland Show will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, on 20th – 23rd June 2019.


Businesses from Fife attending with the support of Food from Fife and Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme comprise:


  • St Andrews Brewing Company – this brewery started brewing its range of popular beers in St Andrews in
  • Kingsbarns Distillery – this East Neuk distillery will be showcasing Wemyss malts, Darnley’s gin and the new whiskies produced at Kingsbarns.
  • Heavenly Goodies – a Dunfermline confectioner producing decadent hand made chocolates and sweets
  • Lindores Abbey Distillery – the latest addition to Fife’s growing whisky scene, this distillery will be showcasing its Aqua Vitae spirit.
  • Lundin Distilling – Lundin Distilling – this micro distillery produces a gin made with local foraged gorse flowers and their newly released Ripple Gin, which is infused with Scottish strawberries and raspberries.
  • Rumburra Scotland Ltd – a Caribbean rum with a Scottish twist
  • Never 25 – a Tayport distillery that produces spirits and liqueurs with local, hand collected Scottish grains and fruits.
  • Pilgrim’s Gina small batch handcrafted gin, made using Scottish spring water and carefully selected botanicals.


Will Docker, Chair of Food from Fife said:

“This is the first time Fife has been represented at this high profile event in this way.  I’m delighted to see food and drink businesses from across the region come together, helping to get the message about the innovation and growth in the region’s sector.”


Iain Brown of Lundin Distilling said:

“Exhibiting at high profile shows like the Royal Highland Show is a significant investment for businesses like Lundin Distilling and this grant really helps us to get the word out there, put our products in front of a new audience, make new connections and grow our business.”


Food from Fife is a not for profit company that was established in 2010 to help the diverse local food and tourism businesses work better together to grow the overall industry in Fife.


Find out more about Food from Fife and its member businesses at  Businesses interested in attending should contact Food from Fife’s coordinator, Martha Bryce on


Any business that is interested in finding out more about Fife Council’s Trade Development programme should visit


For more information, please contact Martha Bryce:

Tel. 07905 761 525 or visit

/Twitter @foodfromfife / Facebook/food-from-fife /  Instagram@foodfromfife


Fife Businesses to Benefit from Innovative Degree Programme

Fife College is to team up with Edinburgh Napier University to help businesses upskill their workforce using a new degree initiative.

The BA Business and Enterprise Degree is an innovative top up programme, the first of its kind in the region.  The programme will be hosted by Fife College’s University Hub in Dunfermline and run by Edinburgh Napier University with business support from the Fife Economy Partnership.


The programme will enable local businesses to support their workforce through personal development. The improved capability that the businesses will gain ­from the enhanced expertise of their workforce is being recognised as an important element of business sustainability and competitiveness.


Pamela Stevenson, Lead officer for Enterprise and Business Development at Fife Council Economic Development said:

“This locally delivered degree programme provides an excellent way for businesses to upskill their workforce and develop their future management team needs. Business planning and entrepreneurial leadership development skills, which build on work-based learning and enhance the organisation’s capability even while studying, are a fantastic opportunity for businesses.”


The year-long top-up BA degree programme is available for those in work (employed or self-employed) who have relevant work experience and an HND or a SCQF level 8 equivalent qualification.


The Programme involves a combination of assessments, workshops and independent study, with attendance one-day per month at the Fife College University Hub in Dunfermline. Assessments are practical and applied, including reports around work roles, work-place based assignments, presentations and case studies.


An information day is being held at the University Hub, within Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline on 20 June, when interested business owners, directors and employees can drop in between 3pm and 7pm to learn more.


Find out more here.

How does Fife benefit from the Edinburgh & SE Scotland City Region Deal?

Fife Council’s Co-Leaders explain how Fife will benefit from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.


Our job is to improve the quality of life for people who live in, work in or visit Fife. We want Fife’s economic performance to be exceptional, not just average. Despite all the changes and uncertainty in the world at present, we are forward-looking and ambitious for Fife.

Cllrs David Ross and David Alexander, Co-Leaders of Fife Council


Our participation in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is long-term, focused on creating opportunities for Fife’s people and communities to thrive and to play a full and active part in the region’s economy. We share – with regional partners – the commitment to create a region without poverty, and improved well-being for all.


Through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal regional partners will secure more than £1.3 billion of investment for the city region over the next 15 years. We believe that this can create clear opportunities for genuine inclusive economic growth and investment in Fife. The Deal focuses on growing the regional economy through collaboration and by being outward-looking, building on the region’s existing strengths in key sectors and industries. Our focus is firmly on fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits from good employment opportunities and regional investments.

The approval of the business case for Fife’s ten-year/£48.4m Industrial Innovation Investment Programme by the regional Joint Committee will deliver much-needed new industrial buildings in key locations in Mid and South Fife. This is a major economic boost through the construction activity, and the businesses that will be able to expand into the new units and private sector investment.


We believe it will also make it easier for the region’s universities and Fife’s businesses to work together to drive up competitiveness and productivity in local businesses and crucially deliver higher paid, skilled permanent jobs.


Common questions that we get asked about the City Region Deal are:


How does the regional collaboration improve outcomes for all partner local authorities?


We want to ensure that we make a positive difference to those living in our most deprived communities by creating access to skills and jobs. The Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme will invest in key business locations across Fife.


The Integrated Regional Skills and Employability Programme will provide access to new opportunities at all stages of education and training, linking into Fife schools, colleges and training providers. We are working with the region’s universities to agree how we will work with them. We know that by supporting the growth of innovative businesses, the City Region Deal collaboration will help improve the region’s economy for everyone.


Some communities in Fife – particularly mid Fife – are still recovering from the demise of mining and other traditional industries throughout the UK and beyond, so these are a priority for us.


We know that although employment levels are good – they are higher in Fife than across Scotland – the distribution of jobs, particularly highly skilled jobs, is not equal, and some communities in Fife have fragile economies where some people worry about finding work.


We believe that the City Region Deal represents a significant step forward in regenerating the areas with the most potential for economic development, helping to reverse the unemployment and social exclusion caused by the collapse of the industrial and manufacturing economy. Alongside the Industrial Innovation Investment Programme, the regional focus on developing skills and making sure there are routes to securing fairly-paid employment for everyone.


We believe that Fife is a resilient region, but we also recognise that the economy needs to diversify further.


How will the deal work?


This Deal promises a new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport, planning, backed by a fresh approach to city regional governance to empower the region.


The Governments and regional partners are embarking on a new relationship and vision. The first phase is underpinned by the activities set out in the Deal, and we will continue to work together to transfer further powers, policy and resources to strengthen the city region.


This Deal is breaking down barriers by promoting collaboration between local authorities, universities, the private sector and other public services. Through working with partners we can better realise the economic potential of the city region by unlocking economic assets, harnessing local strengths and responding to local issues.


The new governance framework empowers Fife, and the other local authorities, to create a different, more tailored, approach that enables us to better meet the needs of our communities and businesses together. Crucially this approach retains the link between regional strategy and local accountability, back through the partner councils to their local communities.


For example, often those who are disadvantaged in the job market face a range of barriers to employment, and progressing when in work. By working together – aligning stakeholders and services – we can create real change to benefit everyone, including the most vulnerable in society.


How do we make sure that there is a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth?


The Fife Industrial Innovation programme will be delivered in three phases. Over the next three years new industrial premises will be developed across four sites in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly and Dunfermline.


Seven hectares of new serviced employment land in Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay will be made available for immediate investment by new or existing businesses. During this phase, we will work up the plan for the next three years. Over the ten-year programme, we expect to deliver:


· Important investment in progressive industrial modernisation that will encourage more businesses to locate and grow within Fife.

· The creation of 1,000 new skilled permanent jobs, and 600 short-term construction jobs.

· A diverse range of companies with a growth outlook.

· A further £30m of further investment by the private sector.


We are proud that Fife was recently crowned the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ by the UK Government, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the Enterprising Britain Awards, Fife is already rightfully recognised for economic successes within mid-Fife and in developing our young workforce. This is because we’re already closely linking education and learning with employers to get more young people into education, training and employment and empower our future business leaders.


What about North East Fife?


We are also part of the Tay Cities Deal – a programme backed by the UK and Scottish Governments, along with Angus, Dundee City, and Perth & Kinross councils – designed to reduce the economic inequality gap and boost productivity. Late last year, we agreed Heads of Terms to confirm what will be included in that Deal. Under the Deal proposals, around £30m will be invested in the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus in Guardbridge that is estimated to create around 500 new jobs as the former paper mill is redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.


Cllrs David Alexander and David Ross, Co-leaders, Fife Council


Funding Call for Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund

Funding Call launched for £14 million fund to help firms compete globally.


The Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) invites public bodies, academic organisations and third sector organisations to enhance their existing equipment and training services to help businesses develop their manufacturing capabilities.


Grant funding will be distributed through competition, to support the creation of a national network of regionally-based initiatives.


The overall aim of the AMCF is for projects to be of a scale and level of ambition to have a significant impact on advancing the manufacturing capabilities of SMEs within Scotland and lead to long-term transformational change.


To launch the first funding call, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay visited Optos in Fife, a leading medical technology company that designs, develops and manufactures ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices.


Mr Mackay said:

“Scotland has an innovative and diverse manufacturing sector with world-class companies competing in international markets. However we need to make sure businesses of all sizes have the right tools and resources to lead the way in this rapidly evolving marketplace.

“This £14 million fund will provide free support to help small and medium sized businesses advance their research, develop new processes or products, and make their systems more efficient and effective. It will help to address some of the challenges manufacturers face when it comes to tapping into global markets, and provide access to training for their workforce.

“This investment will support our ambitions for Scotland to be a country inventing, designing, developing and manufacturing key products and technologies that will drive the world in decades to come.”


Information sessions are being held to help potential applicants on Tuesday 4th June in Edinburgh and Friday 14th June in Inverness.


More details on the information sessions and on how to apply are available here.

Contact Centre Firm Announced Plans to Open Flagship Office in Kirkcaldy.

Contact Centre, VeriCall, has said it plans to create more than 200 jobs over two years at the new office to be located at John Smith Business Park, Kirkcaldy.


The firm have also confirmed that the roles will be permanent and will be paid the Scottish Living Wage of £9 per hour.


The move is backed with a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant of £1 million from Scottish Enterprise.  The Government agency provide RSA grants to fund projects that will create and safeguard employment in selected areas of Scotland.


Scottish Enterprise worked in conjunction with Fife Council to secure the move to Fife and brings a welcome jobs lift to the town.


Find out more about Scottish Enterprise’s RSA grants here.

Glenrothes Business Wins Top Award

The Leviton Network Solutions business unit was awarded the prestigious ‘Expansion in the UK Award’ at the British American Business Transatlantic Growth Awards.  The award recognises Leviton’s commitment to trade, investment, and jobs between the UK and USA.


Following the acquisition of Brand-Rex in 2015, Leviton have accelerated the pace of innovation with significant capital investment into UK operations, benefiting the greater transatlantic economy.


Such investments include the recently opened Data Centre Factory in Glenrothes, Scotland.  This make-to-order facility manufactures custom configurable solutions, including products that combine best US-made network connectivity with European standards-rated cables for a complete solution, delivered rapidly.


Find out more about the awards here.

Help Shape the Future of Kirkcaldy Town Centre

Help make Kirkcaldy Town Centre a vibrant and thriving place.


Town centres across the UK are evolving and Kirkcaldy is no different. To survive and thrive, Kirkcaldy –  like all town centres – needs to broaden its role from retail, and to increase its diversity and distinctiveness.


Everyone who has an interest in Kirkcaldy Town Centre is invited to share their views by completing a Place Standard assessment online.



The questionnaire, which should only take a few minutes to complete, uses the Place Standard Tool to ask you 14 questions about what you think is important in Kirkcaldy.


Please invest some of your time to share your views on the Town Centre – from its public transport and parking to its open spaces and employment.


The Place Standard tool is used to assess the quality of a place by asking businesses, residents and visitors to rate the quality of place across 14 themes.


This information is then used to give a complete picture of where the town is now, and to identify priorities for action.


Your feedback will also help to inform ongoing conversations about future priorities and could help attract funding for projects.


Click to access the survey and have your say.

Just: Ask, Listen, Talk – Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week was Mental Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of well-being at work and the role employers have in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.


In support of this agenda,  “Just: Ask, Listen, Talk” – a Fife campaign led by Fife Council Supported Employment Service and Fife’s Health Promotion Workplace Team – encourages all Fife-based employers to make a pledge to prioritise mental health in the workplace and make sure their employees feel confident having discussions with managers when they are affected by poor mental health.


Delegates at a Mental Health and Employability Forum held at the Rothes Halls on Wednesday 15 May were made aware of the “Just: Ask, Listen Talk” toolkit for employers.


The toolkit provides straight-forward, practical advice and information about the free support services in Fife that help businesses support people at work or off sick due to mental health issues.  It also offers guidance on how to create and sustain a mentally-healthy workplace.


Angela Hamilton, Team Manager of Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service and lead for the J:ALT team said: “Poor mental health is the leading cause of work absence in the UK, with around half of all long-term sick leave due to stress, depression and anxiety.


“Stress is a known health and safety risk at work, and we are encouraging employers to address mental health issues in the same way as they would address physical injury or illness. This isn’t just about people with mental health conditions.  We all have mental health, and we can all be affected by poor mental health.  The Just: Ask, Listen Talk toolkit will help employers recognise signs that show someone may be experiencing poor mental health, encourage them to ask staff if they are OK, then listen and talk about support that might help people stay in work or return to work sooner.”


Alan Gow, from the Health Promotion Workplace Team said: “The J:ALT toolkit outlines the key building blocks of a mentally healthy workplace, and we are keen to work with employers in fife to help them put in place their building blocks and sign up to the J:ALT pledge.”


Click to download the toolkit and sign up to the Just: Ask, Listen, Talk pledge by emailing






Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study Makes Progress

Transport Scotland have published the second of three reports for the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study.


This is the latest step in the appraisal of transport in Levenmouth, and is part of Fife Council’s campaign to reconnect Leven to the rail network.


The report recommends further more detailed investigation of six transport improvement options for the Levenmouth Area.  The options include a passenger rail link, improved bus services and better active travel links.  The detailed work is ongoing with the final report on the preferred option due in June.


Welcoming the report, Cllr David Ross (Co-leader of Fife Council) said: “Transport Scotland’s endorsement of a potential rail link to Leven is significant progress and Fife Council is delighted that our strong campaign, in partnership with the Levenmouth Rail Campaign, to improve access to jobs and education in this area of Fife is now being heard.”


Cllr David Alexander (Co-leader of Fife Council) added: “This is a positive step forward and I am happy to see the completion of this stage of the study.  We will continue to work with local communities, stakeholders and Transport Scotland to develop and complete this important work with a view to  reconnecting Leven to the rail network.”


For more information, visit the project website.



Applications invited for 2020 Fife Business Awards

The 2020 Fife Business Awards are now open for entries and nominations.


The 2019 Fife Business Awards were the biggest yet, with a record number of entries and more companies applying than ever before.  The winners came from a variety of sectors – tourism, manufacturing, retail, voluntary, business service and technology.


A simple online application process makes it easy for you to enter or nominate another business or charity.


Check out the programme of ‘In the Know’ workshops to get practical tips and guidance from past judges and winners to help you apply with greater confidence.


Visit the Fife Chamber of Commerce website for information about previous winners and all you need to know about entering next year’s awards,