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.
RBS: Osborne under fire for ‘sacking’ of Hester
GEORGE Osborne was under fire last night amid accusations that he engineered the resignation of Stephen Hester as chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Questions about the role played by the Chancellor in Mr Hester’s departure came as uncertainty grew over who would succeed him as head of the nationalised bank.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Proserv boss top entrepreneur
The head of north-east energy service company Proserv was named Scotland’s top entrepreneur last night in recognition of “moulding a phenomenal business”. David Lamont, chief executive of the Westhill firm for two years, picked up the top honour at Ernst and Young’s (E&Y) annual Scottish Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Centrica plans £160m shale gas exploration
Scottish Gas parent Centrica is to invest up to £160 million in a controversial shale gas fracking project in north-west England. The group has paid £40 million in cash for a 25 per cent stake in the Bowland shale licence in Lancashire, thought to contain as much as 200 trillion cubic feet of gas – enough to meet the UK’s gas demand for 70 years if it could all be extracted.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
BrewDog outperforms rivals with mix of craft and passion
BREWDOG, the Aberdeenshire-based brewer and pub operator, has taken top spot in a chart of the UK’s fastest-growing bar and restaurant companies. The Scottish firm beat competition from major UK-wide operators, including Jamie’s Italian and Glasgow-based G1 Group.
Telesales firm to create 200 jobs at Glasgow site
AQUIRA, a direct marketing firm run by a former director of call centre operator HeroTSC, is creating 200 jobs in Glasgow following the opening of its offices at Pacific Quay. The jobs cover consumer and business-to-business sales and are being supported by a £500,000 regional selective assistance (RSA) grant from Scottish Enterprise. Some 60 posts have already been filled.
Targeting Innovation to be owned by staff
Business support group Targeting Innovation has secured a string of contracts worth more than £500,000, paving the way for its transfer into a stand-alone operation owned by its staff. The Glasgow-based group had been running as a partnership between Scottish Enterprise and various Scottish universities.