WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.
Scottish private sector struggles for growth in November
SCOTLAND’S private sector economy grew marginally during “challenging” conditions last month, though the rate of expansion eased, a report out today reveals. Output rose slowly, employment was unchanged and cost pressures continued during November, according to Bank of Scotland’s latest purchasing managers index (PMI) (Scotsman).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
RBS unveils £200m fund to help firms shrink their energy bills
BUSINESSES are to be offered discounted loans to help them trim their energy costs under a £200 million deal launched today by Royal Bank of Scotland. The state-backed lender is tapping into the £80 billion Funding for Lending scheme to offer reduced-rate loans for UK firms looking to install energy-efficient heating and lighting, or to generate their own power from wind turbines (Scotsman).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Pincer in Spanish export agreement
SCOTTISH drinks firm Pincer Vodka has signed its second large export deal of the year. The Glasgow business has signed a five-year agreement with a distributor in Spain just months after beginning shipments to American distribution firm Double Eagle (Herald).
Stead & Simpson to close 90 shoe stores
The owner of shoe retailer Stead & Simpson is to close 90 stores following a “thorough review” of the business. The news is a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered high street, which has seen a number of recent high-profile failures, including Clinton Cards, Comet, JJB Sports and Peacocks (Scotsman).
TechCube shaping up well with £7m funding bid for promising start-ups
THE founders of Scotland’s first privately funded tech company incubator are unveiling plans to raise more than £7 million in seed funding for promising start-ups. TechCube, based at the former Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in Edinburgh, will be almost at full capacity when it holds its official launch event on Thursday (Scotsman).
Virgin to begin UK Heathrow flights
Sir Richard Branson’s airline Virgin Atlantic is poised to begin new domestic services from Heathrow Airport. Virgin plans to begin services on March 31 2013 and will primarily focus on multiple daily flights between Heathrow and Edinburgh and Aberdeen (Scotsman).