{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/navratilova-slams-bbc-after-mcenroe-is-paid-ten-times-more-1-4707967","id":"1.4707967","articleHeadline": "Navratilova slams BBC after McEnroe is paid ten times more","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521406788000 ,"articleLead": "

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has hit out at the BBC after discovering that fellow Wimbledon pundit John McEnroe is paid at least ten times more than her.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707966.1521406783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martina Navratilova speaks to Panorama reporter Jane Corbin about pay for her work as part of the BBC's Wimbledon coverage. Photographer: Steve Anderson"} ,"articleBody": "

McEnroe’s pay packet, of £150,000-£199,999, was revealed in a list of the BBC’s top-paid talent last summer.

Navratilova, 61, told a BBC Panorama investigation that she is paid around £15,000 by the BBC for her commentator role at Wimbledon.

“It was a shock because John McEnroe makes at least £150,000… I get about £15,000 for Wimbledon and unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon he’s getting at least ten times as much money,” she said.

Navratilova said that she was told she was getting paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her, adding: “We were not told the truth, that’s for sure. [I’m] not happy … It’s shocking

“It’s still the good old boys’ network … The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”

Navratilova, who was crowned Wimbledon ladies’ champion nine times, said that her agent will ask for more money in future.

A BBC Sport spokesperson told Panorama: “John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment.

“They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this, gender isn’t a factor.”

Panorama said it estimated that McEnroe, 59, who was crowned Wimbledon champion three times, appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, compared to Navratilova’s ten appearances.

Meanwhile, former BBC News China editor Carrie Gracie, who resigned from her role in protest at inequalities and now works for the channel in London, said she could leave the corporation.

“I haven’t made a sacrifice … I may still have to leave the BBC,” she said.

And former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney said she is considering bringing a case against the broadcaster over pay.

She had just left the BBC after 20 years when the pay list was published last summer. Asked if she would take a case against the BBC over equal pay, she said: “If I find that I was entitled to have been paid at a different rate during the time I was there of course I would.”

A BBC spokeswoman said McEnroe, along with Sue Barker, “is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage” and “widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport”, and that the contracts with the two were “entirely different”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707966.1521406783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707966.1521406783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martina Navratilova speaks to Panorama reporter Jane Corbin about pay for her work as part of the BBC's Wimbledon coverage. Photographer: Steve Anderson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martina Navratilova speaks to Panorama reporter Jane Corbin about pay for her work as part of the BBC's Wimbledon coverage. Photographer: Steve Anderson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707966.1521406783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/bill-jamieson-how-the-pecking-order-was-turned-on-its-head-1-4707550","id":"1.4707550","articleHeadline": "Bill Jamieson: How the pecking order was turned on its head","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521329793000 ,"articleLead": "

Not all that long ago, the world of Scotland’s business lobby groups seemed set in stone: the giant Confederation of British Industry Scotland on top, a richly decorated cake oozing with fat cat cream and with a marzipan layer of senior business worthies across the big combines of manufacturing and construction.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707549.1521299760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tracy Black was appointed as CBI Scotland director this year, succeeding Hugh Aitken"} ,"articleBody": "

CBI Scotland, quick on the draw with policy announcements, was the “first stop shop” for business briefings and news reaction.

Below – well below – came the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, hot on local business issues, road traffic bottlenecks and planning hassles.

And at the bottom was the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, the voice of the small trader and corner shop proprietor, ever ready to gripe about rising business rates, business bureaucracy and red tape.

It seemed a settled order. But all this has changed dramatically – as the business universe too, has changed, with the ever-expanding service sector and the rise of the digital economy, bringing a host of small-scale, light-of-foot head offices and rapid changes of business function and model.

The biggest and most brutal change has been a collapse in the prestige and authority of CBI Scotland. Four years on from the shattering dispute over its pro-Union stance in the Scottish independence referendum, it is still struggling to recover.

While most big businesses supported its chief Sir Iain McMillan at the time, his bruising encounters with then First Minister Alex Salmond, coupled with the walk-out of several big public sector organisations such as the universities and the BBC – strange members for a body devoted to business concerns and lobbying – took their toll. After 18 years as CBI Scotland director, Sir Iain bowed out soon after the convulsion (though his departure had been previously scheduled) and Hugh Aitken, a senior if unassuming IT figure, brought in by CBI HQ “to steady the ship”.

That he certainly did. So low profile was Aitken, he was once likened to a pair of shuffling carpet slippers. CBI Scotland fell out of the headlines, to the relief both of the SNP administration – and, one suspects, CBI HQ in London.

Now the CBI Scotland guard has changed again. Graham Hutcheon took over as chairman, saying the organisation still had to rebuild its relationship with the SNP government – this three years on from the imbroglio. The whisky industry executive admits that he is no politician, “more a hands-on type”.

Arguably the biggest break from the past came in January with the appointment of Tracy Black as CBI Scotland director to succeed Aitken – the first time a woman has been appointed to the top post. A former executive at UBS Investment Bank and Goldman Sachs, she ran a London-based consultancy Interactive Partners.

Hand in hand with the personnel changes has been a more sotto voce approach to business issues. The effectiveness of business lobbying should not be measured in terms of decibel count: much important work is done in low-key meetings and private discussions with ministers. In recent months CBI Scotland has met organisations on issues ranging from Brexit to digital connectivity.

Black recently attended a roundtable with Scottish Secretary David Mundell on Brexit negotiations. The CBI team also met Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington on the return of powers from Brussels to UK institutions and the value of immigration to Scotland’s economy. She has also championed the formation of the CBI Scotland Under 35 Network.

However, on more immediate day-to-day issues of pressing importance to many in Scottish business, this period of self-effacing quietude by CBI Scotland has brought the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to the fore – and in particular its tireless and feisty leader, Liz Cameron.

It could fairly be said that she is now the indisputable public face of business support in Scotland and with a string of accolades attesting to her performance. The most recent of these is the Scottish Women of Inspiration Award presented on International Women’s Day earlier this month.

Her career spans more than 30 years, covering senior positions in the private sector. She is a sought-after commentator on behalf of business, and recognised for her success in setting up and successfully running a number of small businesses.

She has held a range of non-executive directorships in Scotland and the United States and was awarded an OBE in 2014 for outstanding services to business and commerce.

Her work has substantially raised the public profile of the SCC – the umbrella organisation for 11,000 members and 26 local Chambers of Commerce – representing more than 50 per cent of private sector jobs in Scotland. It has now established itself as Scotland’s premier voice for business at national and international level.

Her dealings with the SNP administration, while often critical, are professional, tightly focused on business concerns and with no evident political bias. The SCC picked up on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announced consultation on VAT in his Spring Statement, suggesting improvements to reduce bureaucracy for businesses crossing the VAT threshold.

And on business rates, where the Chancellor announced that the next revaluation would be brought forward to 2021, SCC said its priority was to minimise potential disruption to businesses paying rates on both sides of the border.

Also emerging with a notably higher profile has been the Federation of Small Business Scotland. It has around 19,000 members, and works with the Scottish Government, parliamentarians, agencies, councils, media, regulators and others to represent members’ interests and ensure the small business voice is heard.

It has recently campaigned vigorously against the closure of RBS branches in rural areas and pressed for more vigorous action against late payers. Dedicated personnel, such as Colin Borland and Stuart Mackinnon, are rarely out of the headlines and have done much to raise the FSB’s voice and profile.

As Scotland’s business has changed, much greater importance now attaches to service sector activity and in particular the fast-expanding range of small scale digital firms. There is much more to business than the traditional ‘Confederation of British Industry’.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bill Jamieson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707549.1521299760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707549.1521299760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tracy Black was appointed as CBI Scotland director this year, succeeding Hugh Aitken","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tracy Black was appointed as CBI Scotland director this year, succeeding Hugh Aitken","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707549.1521299760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/first-scots-fragrance-house-hopes-to-savour-sweet-smell-of-success-1-4707557","id":"1.4707557","articleHeadline": "First Scots fragrance house hopes to savour sweet smell of success","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521329243000 ,"articleLead": "

A fragrance house billed as the first in Scotland is looking at crowdfunding and global expansion after unveiling its first collection.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707556.1521300479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Imogen Russon-Taylor is to officially launch Edinburgh-based Kingdom Scotland next month. Photograph: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

Imogen Russon-Taylor is to officially launch Edinburgh-based Kingdom Scotland next month after moving from the Scotch whisky trade – and said that while the latter is worth £4.6 billion globally, the fragrance industry is worth more than £32bn.

The ESpark participant and recent Scottish Edge Wild Card winner teamed up with New Town perfumer Euan McCall to create scents inspired by the Scottish landscape, recently creating a collection of three gender-neutral fragrances, with another planned for September.

Russon-Taylor says she is considering crowdfunding towards the end of this year, and has received interest in her products from the US and France, “so I need to get international quite quickly”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707556.1521300479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707556.1521300479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Imogen Russon-Taylor is to officially launch Edinburgh-based Kingdom Scotland next month. Photograph: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Imogen Russon-Taylor is to officially launch Edinburgh-based Kingdom Scotland next month. Photograph: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707556.1521300479!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/retailer-next-to-unveil-fall-in-profits-amid-high-street-woe-1-4707620","id":"1.4707620","articleHeadline": "Retailer Next to unveil fall in profits amid high street woe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521328996000 ,"articleLead": "

Difficult trading conditions on the high street as inflation exceeds earnings growth will be highlighted this week as fashion retailer Next unveils a slide in annual profits.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707619.1521306901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Next has been caught up in the high street malaise."} ,"articleBody": "

Next, which along with the likes of Marks & Spencer and Primark is a bellwether for the sector, is the first non-food retail giant out of the blocks with yearly results amid concerns that another Bank of England interest rate rise is in the pipeline for spring.

That would be seen as putting further pressure on household budgets and the prospects for retailers.

The City consensus is for Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson to unveil an 8 per cent fall in earnings to £725 million, further dampening sentiment in a sector that has had a torrid start to 2018.

Toys R Us and electronics retailer Maplin have collapsed into administration, and profit warnings have been made by Debenhams, Mothercare and Carpetright (the second earnings alert at the floorings specialist since Christmas).

Next has been caught up in the high street malaise, but the chain posted a surprise rise in sales over the festive period and upgraded its profit forecast. It said full-price group sales, including Next Directory, in the 54 days to Christmas Eve rose 1.5 per cent, ahead of expectations,

It attributed part of the rise to much colder weather in late December. However, sales at the shops fell 6 per cent.

Even so, Next upped its full-year profit guidance by £8m to £725m, although the figure is still significantly shy of last year’s £790.2m.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Next’s Christmas trading update showed high street sales continuing to suffer.

“That’s a trend that looks set to continue, but the outlook for next year has improved.”

Salmon added: “Next expects sales growth to firm up as online continues to deliver good results. Meanwhile, cost inflation is expected to ease, and then disappear, over the course of 2018.

“All that bodes well – higher sales and higher margins mean doubly higher profits in the longer term.

“However, [physical] retail still accounts for a huge slice of sales, and with conditions remaining tough, it’s likely to be far from plain sailing.”

Wolfson has previously said that Next will look to cut costs by renegotiating rents with landlords and controlling wages and man hours.

Meanwhile, firms including Jamie’s Italian, burger chain Byron and Prezzo have shut hundreds of stores amid tough trading.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707619.1521306901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707619.1521306901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Next has been caught up in the high street malaise.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Next has been caught up in the high street malaise.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707619.1521306901!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/plea-for-changes-in-tax-as-one-scots-pub-a-week-closes-down-1-4707675","id":"1.4707675","articleHeadline": "Plea for changes in tax as one Scots pub a week closes down","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521328855000 ,"articleLead": "

A pub closed down in Scotland every week in the second half of last year, new figures have revealed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707674.1521359330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Glasgow pub, one of many that has closed for business in recent years. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said 28 pubs north of the Border closed their doors permanently between July and December, while across the UK, a total of 18 pubs are closing every week.

The organisation said that pubs are being hit hard by a triple whammy of one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe, rapidly rising business rates and VAT, and called for the Government to make changes to tax which could benefit pubs after Britain leaves the European Union next year.

Colin Valentine, national chairman for Camra, said: “Pubs are now facing a crippling tax burden, exacerbated by the perfect storm of the last business rates revaluation and a high level of beer duty.

“From these new pub closure figures, it is clear that a fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations.

“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has a unique opportunity to update the tax system to better support pubs.”

Valentine said that the Australian tax scheme of lowering duty on beer sold in pubs could be an option for the UK.

He added: “We can now look further afield for a new tax deal for the sector. This could include implementing the Australian model of having a lower rate of duty for beer sold in pubs, radically changing the business rates system, or charging a lower rate of VAT for pubs or, even better, all three.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pubs Association, called for cuts in duty – but warned that the Scottish Government’s proposed deposit return scheme would be “disastrous for the industry”.

She said: “These statistics clearly show that action is needed both at Westminster and in Holyrood to support pubs by lowering the unfair tax burden on pubs. Key to this is reducing the duty on beer, which has a major impact on the economic viability of a pub.

“The UK still pays one of the highest across Europe – consuming only 12 per cent of the beer yet paying nearly 40 per cent of total duty in the EU.

“In Scotland, the industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707674.1521359330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707674.1521359330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Glasgow pub, one of many that has closed for business in recent years. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Glasgow pub, one of many that has closed for business in recent years. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707674.1521359330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/what-you-re-letting-yourself-in-for-as-a-future-landlord-1-4707561","id":"1.4707561","articleHeadline": "What you’re letting yourself in for as a future landlord","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521328301000 ,"articleLead": "

From getting a property ship-shape, to understanding your new legal responsibilities, becoming a landlord for the first time can feel like a daunting prospect.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707560.1521300721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "It's worth considering what type of renter a property will appeal to, such as young professionals, families or students. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Whether you’re an “accidental” landlord after deciding to rent your house in a sluggish selling market, or you’re planning to start a property empire, getting to grips with the basics of letting out a home could save you some grief further down the line.

If you are looking to invest, you’ll want to choose your property wisely. Rising mortgage rates, as well as recent tax changes for landlords, may be leaving some seeing their profit margins squeezed. So choosing a property in the right location is even more vital for maximising returns. Research from TotallyMoney suggests university cities could be worth considering, with parts of Liverpool, Plymouth, Preston, Nottingham, Bradford, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Aberdeen identified as buy-to-let property hotspots.

Here are letting agents’ body Arla Propertymark’s top tips for budding landlords...

Do your homework

Get to know your market. Research similar properties in the local area and find out how much they are being let for per month. If your rent is set too high or too low prospective tenants will steer clear. It’s also worth considering what type of renter the property will appeal to, such as young professionals, families or students. Once you’ve done your homework, set a competitive price and aim to keep it filled at all times to minimise rental voids.

Know your responsibilities

With your new status comes great responsibility. In the first instance, check that your mortgage allows you to let out your property, as some agreements include caveats to prevent homes from being rented. If you are unsure, speak to your mortgage lender and they will be able to advise you accordingly.

Ensure you’re insured

Your existing buildings and contents insurer must be made aware of your intention to let your property as it’s likely your policy will need to be amended. Specific landlord insurance policies can protect the building, your tenants and your investment as a whole – some policies will also pay out if your tenant misses their rent payments.

Vet prospective tenants

You may wish to meet potential tenants before agreeing to let them your property, or you may prefer to leave it to your letting agent, if you use one. An agent can perform reference and credit checks on potential tenants to ensure everything is reliable.

Know the law

When it comes to being a landlord, there are more regulations to comply with than you can shake a stick at. A written tenancy agreement will help both you and your tenant understand rights and responsibilities and make sure you understand your responsibilities to make sure the property is safe.

Choose the right agent

If you do decide to use a letting agent, a good one can take away the stress of finding suitable tenants and also ensure your property complies with any regulatory changes. You will need to factor this into your budget though.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Vicky Shaw"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707560.1521300721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707560.1521300721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "It's worth considering what type of renter a property will appeal to, such as young professionals, families or students. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "It's worth considering what type of renter a property will appeal to, such as young professionals, families or students. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707560.1521300721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/tech/the-big-interview-edinburgh-bioquarter-director-hans-moller-1-4707548","id":"1.4707548","articleHeadline": "The Big Interview: Edinburgh BioQuarter director Hans Mller","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521327950000 ,"articleLead": "

The science park at Stanford University in the US was the brainchild of provost and dean of engineering Frederick Terman, who spied the potential of a site focused on research and development, generating income for the institution and community.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707547.1521299742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hans Moller admits to being concerned about the European Medicines Agency moving from London to Amsterdam. Picture: Chris Watt"} ,"articleBody": "

Now known as Stanford Research Park, it laid the foundations for the formation of Silicon Valley, and saw Steve Jobs founding the ground-breaking NeXT Computer, while Mark Zuckerberg grew Facebook to 750 million users from 20 million while its HQ was in the park.

There are now more than 400 science parks around the world and counting, according to Unesco, with Edinburgh BioQuarter among the names on the list.

It unites life science companies, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh’s medical teaching school as well as leading health and bioinformatics research institutes.

Highly complex, cutting-edge and life-changing scientific work takes place here, with the hub boasting pioneering capabilities in regenerative medicine, healthcare data and informatics and translational medicine, “from bench to bedside”.

However, Edinburgh BioQuarter director Hans Möller has in mind a simpler means of assessing its significance – what he dubs the “taxi test”.

He formerly headed up Ideon Science Park, which was the first site of its kind in Sweden and northern Europe, and under his stewardship it added a tall, highly distinctive office and hotel property known as Ideon Gateway, whose facade changes colour with the daylight.

Möller would bet £100 that if you jumped in a taxi in Lund, where that facility is located, and asked the driver to take you to the city’s innovation centre, they would drive you to Ideon Gateway.

“If I do the same in Edinburgh, I won’t get to Edinburgh BioQuarter, but my vision, in maybe five years, is that the driver will ask: ‘Would you like to go there or some of the other innovation centres in the city?’”

The BioQuarter is certainly making vast strides in boosting its offering, with work starting in October last year on a new two-storey, 1,200-square-metre modular building offering a mix of specialist office and lab space. The building is situated in the south of the BioQuarter next to Nine and the Centre for Dementia Prevention.

Nine was the site’s first commercial building, which opened in 2012 and is now fully occupied, housing more than 20 life sciences firms, while one of the world’s largest studies into Alzheimer’s Disease is taking place at the Centre for Dementia Prevention.

NHS Lothian’s £150 million Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences is due to open this year, after some delays and bringing a further 1,100 staff or so to the site, and the University of Edinburgh’s £50m Centre for Tissue Repair will open in 2020, making the site one of the largest concentrations in the world of stem-cell scientists with the addition of around 250. Additionally, a masterplan for Edinburgh BioQuarter allocating space for new accommodation creating a “modern urban” environment, including cafés, a hotel and gym, received outline planning approval in 2013.

Möller is keen for the site to be appealing, with pedestrian-friendly walkways and cafés, to help recruit talent, “which is always a challenge”. More than 7,000 people work at the campus, and it is home to 900 hospital beds in the Royal Infirmary. By the end of this year there will be more than 1,100 hospital beds.

The aim is to revolutionise health and wellbeing with a view to changing people’s lives. “We need to be disruptive in that, and game-changing,” he says, noting the greater healthcare costs that come with an ageing population and increased focus on preventative rather than reactive medicine, for example.

The Swede took on his current role in October, moving from Newcastle, where he had been innovation director at North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

He has been getting to grips with the BioQuarter and its own structure, network and opportunities, and believes that no two science parks are alike, with each having its own stakeholder model, strengths and weaknesses.

The vast majority operate via the so-called “Triple Helix” model, fusing the public and private sectors with academia, he explains. Edinburgh BioQuarter’s partners comprise Scottish Enterprise, NHS Lothian, the University of Edinburgh and City of Edinburgh Council. “We need to develop that model, of course, but it’s a very good starting point,” says Möller.

Work is in hand to define and create the BioQuarter’s future, and a business plan covering the next five to ten years is set to be approved in the coming months.

Möller says he was born in an old city hospital in Sweden that, in fact, later became a science park.

But his professional foray into the sector didn’t come until, ironically, he was off work ill from his role as chief executive of an IT firm he had founded, having stayed on after an exit to an American company.

Waylaid by a bad cold, he grew restless and started to think about the next phase of his career. His interest was in supporting start-ups and he developed concepts around an accelerator programme. Once he was back to full health, one of the people he spoke to about such a plan was a headhunter charged with filling the chief executive seat at Ideon Science Park. “It was serendipity,” says Möller.

The Swedish facility describes itself as “one of the most exciting places in Europe” and received pivotal backing from late Ikea founder, Ingvar Kamprad, whom Möller credits with being very generous both financially but also in supporting the young entrepreneurs on-site.

The science park now hosts 9,000 people and 400 companies, with firms including Bosch, Sony, Volvo and Huawei having research and development departments or offices there. Möller plans to bring to the BioQuarter what he learnt from his time at Ideon – good and bad. “I used to say I’ve made every mistake I can think of, but hopefully I’ve learned from them. A science park is not defined, it’s a continuous development… sometimes the innovation works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Ideon Gateway, which has become a leisure destination in its own right, is a success he is keen to emulate in some form in Edinburgh. It really changed the perception of the Swedish science park “from a boring site with lots of closed buildings into something else more open and inviting”, and he is aiming for an “iconic” building in the BioQuarter. Edinburgh’s strong profile is also an advantage he is keen to leverage. “I know it helps already.”

That said, Möller acknowledges that uncertainty over how painful the UK’s exit from Europe will be is a sizeable hurdle, with EU-funded research programmes of particular concern. There has also been much debate over the European Medicines Agency upping sticks to Amsterdam from London. Such a move is “not a good sign”, he says.

As for his own task of navigating highly complex subjects under his BioQuarter remit, given that he doesn’t have a scientific background, he says: “You start to learn the language and of course you have a conceptual understanding of what they’re doing, even if you don’t understand the details or the depth of it.” It can, in fact, be an advantage not to be scientific, he says, as those with a deep insight can become too deeply entrenched in the details of the research.

His contribution to such a discussion is on the commercial potential and the business-development side of things as he looks to see the site achieve his targets.

Of his ultimate ambition he says: “I really want Edinburgh BioQuarter to be famous for being instrumental or catalytic in revolutionising health and wellbeing.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Emma Newlands"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707547.1521299742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707547.1521299742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hans Moller admits to being concerned about the European Medicines Agency moving from London to Amsterdam. Picture: Chris Watt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hans Moller admits to being concerned about the European Medicines Agency moving from London to Amsterdam. Picture: Chris Watt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707547.1521299742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/james-walker-simple-tips-to-help-you-frustrate-fraudsters-1-4707496","id":"1.4707496","articleHeadline": "James Walker: Simple tips to help you frustrate fraudsters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521285577000 ,"articleLead": "

There’s nothing worse than having to tell people they’ve been tricked out of their life savings – and there’s very little that can be done about it.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707495.1521300723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The internet is awash with finance scams"} ,"articleBody": "

Just last week, I spoke to a lady who’d been robbed as part of a telephone ‘vishing’ scam. She’d lost £80,000. The week previously, I’d spoken to a business that had been fooled in to transferring £200,000 to a fraudster.

Millions of pounds have already been stolen by fraudsters as a result of a new generation of scams. The best way we can all fight back is by staying informed. Not just updating your own knowledge, but by speaking to older or more vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives who – along with younger people – are disproportionately targeted by the scammers.

Here’s my quick guide to the fraudster’s favourite tricks doing the rounds at the moment. Sorry about the ‘vishing’ and ‘smishing’ business – I didn’t make those terms up!

Vishing: The fraudster calls you and pretends to be from your bank – or impersonates an authority figure like a policeman. You are told your account has been compromised and need to transfer your cash to a new account which is actually the fraudsters. The fraudster tells you to call the number on your bank card but stays on the line when you hang up. If you don’t check for a dialling code they pretend to be the bank and take your money.

Smishing: This method of fraud targets online banking. The fraudster uses a cheap bit of technology that means they can impersonate your bank’s number. They ask for your online banking passwords or codes and trick you in to giving them what they need to access your account Then they get you to transfer money or pinch it themselves.

Courier fraud: This kind of fraud works in the same way as vishing. Only the fraudster tells you that they will send a courier to collect your bank card after getting your details. In the worst examples, people are told their local bank staff are the fraudsters and are made to go in and transfer the money out, ignoring the cashier’s warnings.

Solicitor/business fraud: This scam targets solicitors handling big transactions or mortgage payments or businesses. It works in the same way as the others, but the sums are huge. I’ve seen £350,000 tricked out of one!

Email fraud/fake site fraud: We’ve all seen those dodgy emails that used to do the rounds asking for your details. Well, now they’re very, very convincing. I’ve seen emails ‘from’ the Inland Revenue, government, banks, ombudsmen and many others all looking convincing – all fake. Check out the end of the http address too, often the giveaway is the lack of a .com .co.uk or .gov.

Don’t forget the golden rule: No bank will ever ask you to hand over your personal passwords or details – and they’ll never ask you to transfer money out either. Be sceptical, think before you click and if you think you’ve been tricked get in touch with the business asap.

Anyone – literally anyone – can be fooled by these expert con artists. I’ve listened to telephone recordings of vishing and heard even cynical people can get worn down by the constant onslaught. Though I hate to give them credit, the modern fraudster is very convincing. They have to be when the rewards are this high.

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, please do report it. Action Fraud are the people to contact. James Walker is the founder of online complaint-resolution service Resolver.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "James Walker"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707495.1521300723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707495.1521300723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The internet is awash with finance scams","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The internet is awash with finance scams","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707495.1521300723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/richard-leonard-how-public-money-is-used-to-exploit-scottish-workers-1-4707327","id":"1.4707327","articleHeadline": "Richard Leonard: How public money is used to exploit Scottish workers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521270000000 ,"articleLead": "

SNP must do something about low pay and poor conditions, writes Scottish Labour party leader Richard Leonard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707326.1521225833!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People working for contractors employed on Scottish Government projects should not have to pay to receive their wages (Picture: PA)"} ,"articleBody": "

THE idea that a worker should be asked to pay a fee if they want to get their wages should shock all of us. No-one should have to pay for the privilege of receiving their money after a hard week’s work.

Yet that has been, and still is, the reality for many in the construction industry, who find themselves working on multi-million-pound government contracts, but employed through agencies or umbrella companies, allowing the main contractor to shirk its responsibility around workers’ rights, dodge tax, and still reap the reward of big profits from public money.

It is surely time to call a halt to this exploitation.

The Scottish Government could do this. For too long we have heard that the Holyrood Parliament doesn’t have the powers to intervene and drive up working standards for the people of Scotland.

I say that is wrong. The £11 billion of purchasing power the Scottish Government has through procurement should be managed in the best interests of workers as well as value for money. Public procurement is in the gift of the government and therefore so is the ability to affect how the workers employed through these contracts are treated. This is about political will, not political hand-washing.

Public sector contractors’ corporate responsibility statements need to be more than a box-ticking exercise. It is taxpayers’ money which is spent on the nation’s major infrastructure works, like the Queensferry Crossing and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. The government should be ensuring that when these contracts are awarded to the likes of Carillion or Balfour Beatty, the contractors sign up to its business pledge which is supposed to guarantee workers are paid the living wage, that there is no use of zero-hour contracts, and commit to supporting young people towards and into employment.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon urged to stop public contract workers paying for wages

But it doesn’t. Not one major company which received public money has signed the pledge. And, as a result, workers’ rights are diminished and undermined.

The collapse of firms like Carillion should act as a wake-up call. It was a construction firm which won £630 million worth of public contracts, yet employed staff on zero-hour contracts then made them pay up to £100 to an umbrella company to get their wages.

It is not good enough for the SNP to wring its hands and say nothing can be done. There needs to be a wholesale review of how public procurement is used in Scotland; of how the public sector purchases goods and services, and it funds infrastructure projects; of how public money should be being used to provide decent jobs and drive up standards.

Sadly, the SNP chose to vote with the Conservatives last week on this very issue – voting down Scottish Labour’s proposed review.

Last year Scottish Labour published a report by economists Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, which looked at the Scottish Futures Trust – the SNP equivalent of the private finance intitiative. It found that the SFT was not transparent, that its projects gave too much power to companies outwith Scotland and was not delivering value for money. There were, they said, “serious concerns”.

So the government also needs to get its own house in order. Its Hubco schemes – set up through the SFT to develop and deliver community facilities – need to adhere to government procurement guidance. The value of the Hubco programme is £2.7bn, yet there is no oversight or monitoring at all on the pay and conditions of workers employed through the schemes.

So again people could well be being exploited without the knowledge of the government – even though it holds the purse strings. In total 78 per cent of the value of those schemes is delivered by small to medium-sized enterprises, and these should be being supported by government to make the right choices when it comes to employment practices.

READ MORE: Say goodbye to PFI deals, Richard Leonard says

Scottish Labour has an industrial strategy which recommends we stop awarding billions of pounds of public procurement contracts to companies that don’t pay the living wage, that use zero-hour contracts or blacklist workers. You could call it “progressive procurement”.

I have already pledged that there will be no more private finance deals under a future Scottish Labour government. Instead we will deliver decent and well-paid jobs by making sure the companies which benefit from public money believe that workers deserve to be treated properly. We simply cannot go on using taxpayers’ money to line the pockets of shareholders while workers are being exploited.

A social conscience is needed at the heart of procurement; and I will challenge the SNP on this and expose their empty excuses when they say they cannot use procurement to drive up standards because of EU rules. Using procurement, the Scottish Government must seek to make work more secure, pay the living wage and address occupational segregation.

Leading by example is what the Scottish Government needs to do – other public sector bodies will then fall in behind. The private sector too will be shamed into cleaning up its act and giving workers the secure, well-paid jobs they desire and deserve.

Campaigning for better workers’ rights is something the Labour Party has always done – it’s what we were founded to do. But 11 years of Tory austerity have introduced a low-paid, highly insecure workforce. And SNP complacency has meant the Scottish economy is stagnating, as are people’s wages.

If we want to see a high-salary, high-skilled Scotland, an economy that works for the many, then the government needs to use the powers it has at its disposal – not just complain about those it does not.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707326.1521225833!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707326.1521225833!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People working for contractors employed on Scottish Government projects should not have to pay to receive their wages (Picture: PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People working for contractors employed on Scottish Government projects should not have to pay to receive their wages (Picture: PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707326.1521225833!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-thanks-may-be-due-to-donald-and-a-beast-over-potholes-1-4707331","id":"1.4707331","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Thanks may be due to Donald and a Beast over potholes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521266400000 ,"articleLead": "

People have been known to become so frustrated with potholes that they have started growing plants in them, in a form of horticultural protest.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707330.1521227462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A large pothole in Coburg Street in Leith"} ,"articleBody": "

In Ghana, one wag took this further and planted a whole tree in a particularly large one in the middle of the road.

Few of our politicians will have been inspired to enter the tumult of the democratic process by such mundane matters, but matter it does – and to a great many people.

READ MORE: Huge repair backlog leaves Edinburgh roads ‘most potholed for 20 years’

For years this problem has been somewhat neglected, but the rash of potholes caused by the recent bad weather brought by the Beast from the East seems to have been a galvanising force.

While we can do little about the weather, attention has turned towards another major culprit: utility companies which dig up the road, but then fail to restore it properly.

Former Edinburgh council leader Donald Anderson recently wrote in this paper of his frustrations with such firms during his time in office.

News that repeat offenders could find themselves facing fines of up to £100,000 will hearten many road users.

And thanks may be due, in part, to Donald and the Beast.

READ MORE: Donald Anderson: Scotland’s pothole problem had me swearing like Gordon Ramsay

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707330.1521227462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707330.1521227462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A large pothole in Coburg Street in Leith","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A large pothole in Coburg Street in Leith","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707330.1521227462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/stephen-jardine-the-real-story-about-salt-in-chinese-meals-1-4707317","id":"1.4707317","articleHeadline": "Stephen Jardine: The real story about salt in Chinese meals","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521266400000 ,"articleLead": "

Real Chinese food is good for you, unlike the heavily salted, processed version adapted for Western tastes, writes Stephen Jardine.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707316.1521225382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Warnings about salt in Chinese meals apply to the Western version not the real thing"} ,"articleBody": "

If you were looking forward to relaxing in front of the telly tonight with your favourite Chinese takeaway meal, you might want to think again. Campaigners this week called for a health warning on Chinese food from supermarkets and takeaways after new research showed some popular dishes featured five times more salt than a Big Mac. Of the meals tested, the majority contained half the recommended adult daily salt allowance of 6g. Add in a side dish of egg fried rice and some prawn crackers and your salt intake is through the roof. That is a serious problem because too much salt in your diet can raise your blood pressure, putting you at increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and strokes.

READ MORE: Unhealthy Chinese meals ‘should carry health warning’

Those blooming Chinese. Coming over here with their highly salted food and giving us heart attacks. It makes for a good tabloid headline but totally misses the truth. Just as a Britain’s favourite curry, the chicken korma, would be unrecognisable in India, the dishes on the salt list of shame would confuse any Chinese cook. Instead they are highly processed attempts to fool us into thinking we’re eating traditional Chinese food. And to cover up the fact that most ready meals feature low-quality ingredients, the manufacturers turn to their old friend to deliver flavour, salt.

In reality, authentic Chinese food is incredibly healthy. With lots of steamed rice and green vegetables and little saturated fat, it is a recipe for staying well. But that is not the version of Chinese food we’ve been sold here.

Our taste buds have been trained to expect sodium in the Western diet so Chinese dishes have been adapted to deliver it; some supermarket rice dishes have as much salt as 12 bags of ready salted crisps.

READ MORE: Kevan Christie: You can’t offset tray bakes by eating the odd avocado

Chinese cooking has taken the hit in the great salt witch hunt but in reality the processed food industry should take the blame. Amoy, which supplies sauces and noodles, is owned by US food giant Heinz, while Blue Dragon is owned by Lancashire-based AB World Foods. With these companies serving up what we expect from Chinese food, it’s no surprise your local takeaway offers the same. It takes a brave chef like Jimmy Lee in Glasgow to serve stir-fried king scallops with mange tout in chilli garlic when he could just jump on the bandwagon. As Brexit proves, it’s always tempting to blame others for our own problems but Chinese food is really not the bogeyman when it comes to salt in our diet. Instead we need to look much closer to home. With the dangers of too much in our diet well established, the use of salt in the home has fallen but hidden salt when we eat elsewhere is the real enemy. Campaign group Action on Salt has recognised that and called on the Government to set tough new targets for reduction. They also want to see salt levels on front of pack labels and warnings on menus as is now done in New York.

We also need to big food processers to step up to the mark as responsible members of society. Some have reformulated popular dishes to reduce salt content without any consumer backlash. The giant food producers got us to where we are today in terms of salt consumption so now they must take us somewhere better.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Stephen Jardine"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707316.1521225382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707316.1521225382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Warnings about salt in Chinese meals apply to the Western version not the real thing","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Warnings about salt in Chinese meals apply to the Western version not the real thing","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707316.1521225382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/hebcelt-festival-named-scotland-s-best-cultural-event-at-tourism-oscars-1-4706646","id":"1.4706646","articleHeadline": "HebCelt festival named Scotland's best cultural event at 'Tourism Oscars'","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521265832640 ,"articleLead": "The Hebridean Celtic Festival and Fort William's Mountain Bike World Cup were named Scotland's best cultural and sporting events at the nation's 'Tourism Oscars'","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707455.1521265872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hebridean Celtic Festival is worth more than 2 million to the economy of the Isle of Lewis."} ,"articleBody": "

The Dewar's whisky distillery in Aberfeldy was named Scotland best attraction at VisitScotland's annual Thistle Awards.

The iconic Eilean Donan Castle in the West Highlands was honoured for offering the best heritage experience in the country at the 25th annual ceremony.

National tourism agency VisitScotland organises the nationwide contest, with the winners emerging from a record 750 entries and five regional rounds.

HebCelt, the annual music festival held in the grounds of Lews Castle in Stornoway, fought off competition from Glasgow Film Festival, the Hidden Door festival which reopened Leith Theatre after nearly 30 years, Aberdeen's True North music festival and the Mhor Festival at Balquhidder.

Hebcelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is just amazing. It has been a phenomenal period for the festival where we have enjoyed unprecedented success and this latest, national award gives us enormous satisfaction and shows HebCelt is as popular as ever.

“Importantly, these awards also provide us with the opportunity to bring a sharper focus on tourism in the Outer Hebrides and we hope to attract more people to visit our beautiful islands.

“All our volunteers and those who support this event should be proud of another remarkable achievement.”

The Highland biking spectacular, which has helped promote Fort William as the "UK's outdoor capital," was honoured ahead of events like the Open Golf tournament at Troon and the Edinburgh Marathon, after attracting more than 20,000 spectators to the slopes of Anoach Mor in the Nevis Range

Teuchters Landing, in Leith, was named Scotland's best bar, while Number 16 in Glasgow won the best restaurant title.

The Moor of Rannoch Hotel, which is located beside Rannoch station on the Weat Highland Railway Line, was named the nation's most hospitable hotel.

Willie Macleod, head of the British Hospitality Association in Scotland, one of the main opponents of the campaign to have a tourist tax introduced in Scotland, received the Silver Thistle award for outstanding service to the industry. Macleod has also recently been chair of the trust which runs the UNESCO World Heritage Site at New Lanark.

Rebecca Brooks, chair of the judging panel for the Thistle Awards, which attracted a record 750 entries, said: “The Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry and for 25 wonderful years they have been shining a spotlight on success, innovation and excellence..

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs and sustains communities. The Scottish Thistle Awards lets us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.”

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Thistle Awards are the most coveted accolades in the tourism industry, celebrating quality, innovation and excellence across the industry.

“For 25 years the awards have recognised the significant value the sector contributes to the visitor economy and VisitScotland’s continued delivery underlines the organisations commitment to quality and success across the industry.”


Best Accommodation Provider

Portavadie Loch Fyne, Argyll

Best Informal Eating Experience

Venachar Lochside, Callander

Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience

Foxlake Adventures, East Lothian

Best Restaurant Experience

Number 16 Restaurant, Glasgow

Best Sporting Event

Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Lochaber

Most Hospitable B&B / Guest House

Kingsmuir House, Peebles

Best Cultural Event or Festival

Hebridean Celtic Festival, Isle of Lewis

Most Hospitable Hotel

Moor of Rannoch, Perthshire

Innovation in Tourism

Loch Earn Tourism Information BLiSS Trail 2017

Best Heritage Tourism Experience

Eilean Donan Castle, West Highlands

Best Bar

Teuchters Landing, Leith

Best Business Event

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Best Visitor Attraction

Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery, Perthshire

Tourism and Hospitality Hero

Peter Wilson, Cruise Forth

Working Together for Tourism


Silver Thistle

Willie Macleod

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707455.1521265872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707455.1521265872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Hebridean Celtic Festival is worth more than 2 million to the economy of the Isle of Lewis.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hebridean Celtic Festival is worth more than 2 million to the economy of the Isle of Lewis.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707455.1521265872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/government-blocks-snp-mp-s-bill-to-end-unpaid-trial-shifts-1-4707120","id":"1.4707120","articleHeadline": "Government blocks SNP MP's bill to end unpaid trial shifts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521216073140 ,"articleLead": "

The Government has talked out a Bill which sought to ban unpaid trial shifts, amid concerns that people with learning disabilities are more likely to \"fall victim\" to the practice.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707119.1521216421!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

The SNP's Stewart McDonald, moving his Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill at second reading, said it was often people who \"don't know their rights and can't stand up for them\" who are exploited.

The Glasgow South MP said current legislation was \"insufficient\" in dealing with unpaid trial shifts.

But business minister Andrew Griffiths said that while he was \"very keen\" to work with Mr McDonald to address the issues, he did not think there was a need for more regulation.

\"I think that there is a very clear way in which we can do this without the need for further regulation because what is clear is that the law is already very, very clear on this point,\" he explained as he talked out the bill.

READ MORE: MSPs attack firms for unpaid trial shifts

Fellow SNP MP Neil Gray said the \"greatest tragedy\" was that most often those \"exploited\" have \"learning disabilities\" and \"are desperate for work and see these as their only opportunity and that is one of the key reasons why this Bill must pass\".

Mr McDonald replied: \"Too often that is what happens and the people who fall victim to this are those who either don't know their rights and can't stand up for them, or those who are unwilling to challenge employers on their rights because they are in fear of losing their job.

\"This practice hits the lowest paid and the lowest skilled in our economy and this is a Bill to protect the lowest paid and the lowest skilled.\"

He said he would never again shop in bargain store B&M after being \"horrified\" to learn that a young man with autism had been \"stacking shelves for three or four days\" for them before being sent away with no pay.

And Mr McDonald told the Commons that supermarket chain Aldi advertised for 150 unpaid trial shifts when opening a new store in the north east of Scotland.

\"This cannot go on and today we have a chance to end it,\" he said.

Mr McDonald claimed he found an advert on website W4MP for an unpaid internship from 2012 in the office of Mr Griffiths.

The minister said he had \"never, ever had an unpaid internship\" in his office and later clarified, via a point of order, that the position had been advertised but not filled.

Mr Griffiths, amid questions as to whether the Bill would apply to work experience or taster sessions in a work environment, intervened to say: \"As it's drafted, this Bill would exclude those kinds of things - anything from making the coffee briefly would be outlawed.

\"The Bill sets the threshold at zero, so any moment spent working would be caught up within this Bill.\"

Shadow business minister Alan Whitehead replied: \"I'm not sure the minister, if I may say so, has correctly put across the idea of what working is. Various things which don't actually constitute work but constitute other things not related to work would not be covered by this particular Bill.

\"Where there is clear work being undertaken, and that work is recognised in the normal sense of the word, then it would be covered by the Bill.\"

Mr Griffiths added: \"Those kind of trials, those kinds of tests would not be covered by the national minimum wage so payment would not be applicable anyway.\"

Mr Whitehead earlier welcomed the Bill, adding it was about the principle of a \"fair day's pay for a fair day's work\".

READ MORE: Anger as gig staff go unpaid following Green Day cancellation

" ,"byline": {"email": "rj@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4707119.1521216421!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.png","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4707119.1521216421!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4707119.1521216421!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.png","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/katie-williams-deal-with-problems-or-face-a-tribunal-1-4706980","id":"1.4706980","articleHeadline": "Katie Williams: Deal with problems or face a tribunal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521209133000 ,"articleLead": "

The latest employment ­tribunal (ET) statistics released by the Ministry of Justice make ­interesting reading and if confirmation were needed, underline that the fees regime – abolished in July 2017 – deterred the bringing of thousands of cases.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706979.1521209170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Katie Williams, partner and employment law specialist at legal firm Pinsent Masons."} ,"articleBody": "

The latest employment ­tribunal (ET) statistics released by the Ministry of Justice make ­interesting reading and if confirmation were needed, underline that the fees regime – abolished in July 2017 – deterred the bringing of thousands of cases.

The figures show that between ­October and December last year, single ET claims increased by an eye-watering 90 per cent, and this followed a 64 per cent surge in the number of single claims brought in the previous quarter. This immediately ­followed the Supreme Court ruling that the requirement to pay a fee to raise a claim was unlawful and that it created a barrier to access to justice.

This massive increase in the number of single claims lodged since fees abolition is a demonstration that the court ruling was correct and it is a trend that may well ­continue.

It is interesting that cases relating to the unlawful deduction of wages rose by almost 60 per cent in the same quarter – to 8,697 – but perhaps that is not surprising, given that the expense of the fee for ­raising these often low-value claims ­regularly ­outweighed the value of the potential ­pay-out.

The unlawful deduction from wages can include claims for underpayment of holiday pay, which are sometimes ­relatively small amounts of money being disputed, but can be of significant collective value if the claim sets a precedent for other employees in the workforce.

I believe those types of claims are the ones most likely to increase, now the fee barrier has been removed, but there is a number of measures businesses can take to mitigate against litigation.

Making sure rigorous payroll processes are in place, and that weekly or monthly pay packets for employees are correct, is a basic but sometimes-overlooked requirement. A more strategic audit of how ­holiday pay is calculated would be beneficial, as this is a fast-moving area of employment law. A more broad-ranging review of how holiday pay is assessed, and is therefore accurate, will cut the chances of later appearing at an employment tribunal.

Tribunal claims are often the culmination of a lengthy and enduring miscommunication and unresolved disagreement between an individual and the management or the company for which they work.

We deal with situations that have often arisen out of a very straightforward ­misunderstanding, perhaps because the employer has not made an accurate pay calculation. The situation is left to fester, and by the time it has developed into an employment tribunal claim, the parties’ positions have become entrenched and are much more difficult to resolve.

In addition to the financial outlay involved for employers in defending a tribunal case, there are many intangible effects – management time taken up in responding to and preparing for a hearing, and long-lasting consequences such as the stressful impact on colleagues, on staff morale, trade union ­relations and on the company’s reputation.

Ironically, one of the reasons put forward for the introduction of the fee regime in 2013 was to deter spurious claims from disgruntled employees. In time, the statistics have demonstrated there was no strong evidence of that deterrent effect. I don’t believe employers are at any greater risk of spurious claims now, but they are at greater risk of litigation if they fail to resolve an issue with some merit.

Now that the fees regime has been ­abolished and a significant barrier to accessing the ­tribunal system removed, it makes it all the more important for employers to quickly deal with issues. By facing them head-on in the workplace and maintaining accuracy, precision and good communications, issues can be addressed before they develop into litigation, and a process that can become complicated, long-running, expensive and often leads to the breakdown of relationships can be avoided.

Katie Williams, partner and employment law specialist at legal firm Pinsent Masons.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706979.1521209170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706979.1521209170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Katie Williams, partner and employment law specialist at legal firm Pinsent Masons.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Katie Williams, partner and employment law specialist at legal firm Pinsent Masons.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706979.1521209170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/future-scotland/tech/minecraft-studio-pumps-money-into-dundee-games-developer-1-4706802","id":"1.4706802","articleHeadline": "Minecraft studio pumps money into Dundee games developer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521199087000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish games developer founded by entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns is investing in a fledgling Dundee studio to help bring its first title to market.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706801.1521199084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Minecraft firm 4J Studios, which is based in Dundee and East Linton, has pumped a six-figure sum into Puny Astronaut. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Minecraft firm 4J Studios, which is based in Dundee and East Linton, has pumped a six-figure sum into Puny Astronaut – winner of the 2016 Dare to be Digital competition.

Since bagging the Dare award, the start-up studio has been “quietly developing” its first title, Skye, which is described as an “engrossing exploration game for children, families, and casual audiences”.

Burns and van der Kuyl have both joined the board of Puny Astronaut as directors as a result of the investment with the latter taking on the added role of chairman.

Burns, chief executive of 4J, said: “When we met Puny Astronaut, and were first introduced to Skye, we could see instantly that the team and the game had enormous potential.

“Both are a perfect fit for 4J as our philosophy is based on developing ‘games for everyone’. Although the team was understandably keen to bring Skye to market as soon as possible, Chris and I felt rushing it out would be a mistake.

“So, we offered to invest in them instead, which would give them the time, space and resources they needed to complete the game in line with their initial vision and to really do the idea justice.”

Puny Astronaut’s managing director, Cian Roche, added: “We have invested blood, sweat and tears into developing Skye both whilst as students at Abertay, and since we graduated last summer.

“We’re a small, fresh developer and up until now we had no other option but to rush Skye out to market and hope for the best. With 4J’s investment, though, we’ll be able to produce the game we first set out to create, and share our plans with the rest of the games community.”

The Dare to be Digital competition included funding from All 4 Games, while Puny Astronaut was also the recipient of an Unreal Dev Grant.

A spokesperson from All 4 Games said: “All 4 Games originally provided some funding for Skye as part of the Dare prize prior to 4J Studios, who were able to provide funds to make the game even bigger and better. We were happy to be involved at the start and can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Founded in 2005, 4J has become best known for helping with the development of Minecraft. Since 2010, it has been working on the console editions of the game.

Van der Kuyl – one of Scotland’s highest profile entrepreneurs – added: “When Paddy and I met the team at Puny Astronaut we were bowled over by their talent and enthusiasm. We remember exactly how tough a journey it can be to make it in this industry.

“Being able to not just provide the financial backing but also help the team to navigate the spider’s web of the market is something we are really looking forward to.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706801.1521199084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706801.1521199084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Minecraft firm 4J Studios, which is based in Dundee and East Linton, has pumped a six-figure sum into Puny Astronaut. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Minecraft firm 4J Studios, which is based in Dundee and East Linton, has pumped a six-figure sum into Puny Astronaut. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706801.1521199084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/scots-property-sector-enjoys-encouraging-result-in-2017-1-4706794","id":"1.4706794","articleHeadline": "Scots propertysector enjoys ‘encouraging’ result in 2017","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521198492000 ,"articleLead": "

A strong final quarter boosted returns across Scotland’s commercial property market last year, new figures have revealed, though the performance lagged other parts of the UK.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706793.1521198488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A proposed commercial and residential development in Edinburgh's Canonmills. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Property consultancy CBRE published data yesterday showing that the annual total return for 2017 in Scotland was 6.8 per cent, while the UK as a whole notched up a total return of 10.2 per cent, as measured by the IPD Quarterly Index.

Over the fourth quarter, the all-property total return was 2.1 per cent, up from 1.7 per cent in the previous three-month period.

The increase was attributed to improved capital growth, with average capital values up by 0.6 per cent. This represented the bulk of capital appreciation during the year.

Industrials were singled out as the key differentiating factor in the UK’s relative outperformance against Scotland, with the pace of rental growth in the London and south-east of England industrial markets leading the charge. However, for some other sectors, the performance gap between the UK and Scotland has narrowed, notably high-street shops and offices.

Office sector total returns for the final quarter rose to 2.2 per cent, from 1.6 per cent in Q3, representing the largest quarterly uplift in returns for any of the three principal property sectors in Scotland. It was also the highest total return for the Scottish office sector since the final quarter of 2015.

At a city level, the industrial markets in Glasgow (14.2 per cent) and Edinburgh (11.6 per cent) were the only two city/sector groupings to achieve double-digit returns in 2017. The market in Aberdeen continues to lag significantly behind the Central Belt cities, but at 2.8 per cent the industrial sector is now generating positive returns.

A total of £2.5 billion of commercial property stock was transacted in Scotland during 2017, up from £2.12bn in 2016. While investment volumes were relatively low in the first half of the year, the second half, and in particular the final quarter, had a significant impact on the strength of the year-end total, CBRE noted.

Steven Newlands, an executive director at CBRE, said: “These results are encouraging for the investment market in Scotland, where sentiment improved following the general election result last year, which reduced, in investors’ eyes, the likelihood of a second independence referendum. It should be noted that Scottish property continues to offer good value to investors.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706793.1521198488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706793.1521198488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A proposed commercial and residential development in Edinburgh's Canonmills. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A proposed commercial and residential development in Edinburgh's Canonmills. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706793.1521198488!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/topman-withdraws-shirt-which-inadvertently-mocks-hillsborough-disaster-1-4706784","id":"1.4706784","articleHeadline": "Topman withdraws shirt which ‘inadvertently mocks Hillsborough disaster’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521197785000 ,"articleLead": "

Retailer Topman has apologised and withdrawn a shirt following criticism by some that it was mocking the Hillsborough disaster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706783.1521197781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Topman has withdrawn the shirt which some have criticised for mocking Hillsborough. Picture; Topshop"} ,"articleBody": "

The red shirt with a large number 96 is being seen by some Liverpool fans as a reference to ‘inadvertently’ mocking Hillsborough and number of victims killed in the 1989 disaster.

Topman apologised “unreservedly” saying it was based on a Bob Marley track and the shirt is no longer on sale online or in stores, the shop said.

READ MORE: Hillsborough police chief faces 95 manslaughter charges

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, called for the shirt to be removed from sale, in a tweet saying the shirt was “very unfortunate”.

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The shirt provoked anger as written under the white 96 the words “What goes around comes back around”.

The word “Karma” is also written on one sleeve of the shirt.

READ MORE: Gerry Farrell: Justice at long last for dead of Hillsborough

Twitter users have been quick to point out the similarities between the number of associations with Hillsborough from he red colour, the number 96 and the rose, all of which are associated with remembrance of the victims.

The shop said in a statement: “Topman apologises unreservedly for any offence caused by this T-shirt.

“The design was inspired by a Bob Marley track with the number referring to the year of re-release. The garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706783.1521197781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706783.1521197781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Topman has withdrawn the shirt which some have criticised for mocking Hillsborough. Picture; Topshop","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Topman has withdrawn the shirt which some have criticised for mocking Hillsborough. Picture; Topshop","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706783.1521197781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/scotland-has-most-visited-attractions-outside-london-1-4706626","id":"1.4706626","articleHeadline": "Scotland has most visited attractions outside London","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521196927000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland is home to the most visited attractions outside London for the first time in four years, according to new tourism figures.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4703029.1521196924!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh Castle"} ,"articleBody": "

The National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle hosted more than 2 million visitors last year, ranking the 11th and 12th most popular attractions in the UK and welcoming more visitors than anywhere outside of London, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva). Overall, attractions in Scotland saw an increase of 13.9 per cent over the period, compared to 7.3 per cent in the UK.

The four National Galleries in Edinburgh saw numbers rise to 2.5 million, boosted by a 30 per cent increase at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, known as Modern Two. Meanwhile, Mary King’s Close on the capital’s Royal Mile had a record breaking 9 per cent increase in visitor numbers to 245,700.

Other attractions outside of Edinburgh to enjoy large increases in visitors included Glasgow Cathedral and Stirling Castle, which saw number rise by 36 per cent and 18 per cent respectively and Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire, with a near-24 per cent rise.

Tourism experts attributed these increases to a boom in inbound and domestic tourism to Scotland. Recent data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in January found that the combined number of domestic and overseas tourists in Scotland increased by two percent, taking the total to 14.1 million visitors. They also said that the number of visitors to some major attractions in London dropped slightly this year, due to “economic factors” influenced by the high associated costs of a visit to London.

Bernard Donoghue, director of Alva, said: “2017 was a remarkable and record-setting year for Scottish attractions. The fact that Scottish visitor attractions are outperforming the rest of the UK in visitor growth reflects years of strong investment by central and local government in Scotland, and by organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

He added: “We know from research that overseas leisure visitors say that their primary reason to visit the UK, and Scotland especially, is to experience our history, heritage and world-leading cultural institutions, and this is borne out by 2017 visitor numbers.”

UK-wide, the British Museum continued to be the most popular visitor attraction overall for the 11th year running with 5.9 million visitors and moving to second place was Tate Modern with 5.6 million. In third position was the National Gallery with 5.2 million visitors and the Natural History Museum remained in fourth with 4.4 million. The most visited in England outside London was Chester Zoo,with 1.9 million visitors.

Tourism secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland boasts high-quality attractions that, as these latest figures confirm, are continuing to draw increasing numbers of visitors. Our tourism sector is of vital importance to Scotland’s economy. We have a rich heritage, a global reach and are confident of our place in the world.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, pointed to new attraction openings in the coming year, including the V&A in Dundee and Fingal, the Royal Yacht Britannia’s new floating hotel.

He said: “2017 was another fantastic year for tourism in Scotland and the sky is the limit.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4703029.1521196924!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4703029.1521196924!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh Castle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh Castle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4703029.1521196924!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-scotland-s-ailing-economy-needs-tourists-1-4706575","id":"1.4706575","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Scotland’s ailing economy needs tourists","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521180000000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland must find a way to better accommodate the large numbers of tourists this country attracts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706574.1521143422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A tourist takes a selfie with a deer in Glen Coe (Picture: Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland’s economy is growing, but so slowly that it’s hardly noticeable.

Gross domestic product rose by 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 – about half the overall UK level, which is already one of the lowest of the world’s developed countries. A sector that contributes more than £11 billion to the Scottish economy – tourism – is of significant importance.

Recently published figures showed there were some 14.1 million tourists in Scotland last year, up by two per cent. And it has now been revealed that Scotland’s visitor attractions have seen a rise in visitors of 13.9 per cent, compared to 7.3 per cent across the UK.

READ MORE: Five things locals love to hate about Edinburgh

So it would appear that our tourist industry may be out-performing many other sectors in our economy and, for that reason, it is something that should be cherished.

However, there has recently been a backlash as the most popular places struggle to cope with the sheer numbers of visitors.

There are fears that Edinburgh could become the “Venice of the North”, which may sound good but is actually nothing to do with scenic bridges over canals. Instead it refers the exodus of local people from the centre of the famous Italian city as it has been taken over by all things designed to cater for visitors. The author Alexander McCall Smith has suggested the Scottish capital risks becoming a “vulgar wasteland of tourist tat shops, big hotels and nothing much else”.

So what to do? If we take steps to reduce the tourist numbers the economy will suffer, but if we carry on regardless our most beautiful places may become tarnished.

The fairly obvious answer is to find ways to encourage some of these millions of visitors to go to less travelled parts of Scotland. Skye, for example, is inundated with tourists in the height of summer, but Scotland’s other Hebridean islands can be just as beautiful and are less busy.

READ MORE: Skye named in CNN list of ‘12 destinations to avoid in 2018’

In Edinburgh, former army officer George Lowder, now chief of Transport for Edinburgh, has been promoting “wayfinding” as a means of handling the deluge of tourists. This involves creating “mapping products including digital resources” to help visitors find places off the rather-too-well beaten path. If it works, perhaps similar techniques could be used across the whole of Scotland. But, whatever works, we need to make sure we take full advantage of the world’s fondness for our beautiful country.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706574.1521143422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706574.1521143422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A tourist takes a selfie with a deer in Glen Coe (Picture: Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A tourist takes a selfie with a deer in Glen Coe (Picture: Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706574.1521143422!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/edinburgh-named-as-uk-s-most-attractive-city-to-live-and-work-1-4706589","id":"1.4706589","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh named as UK’s most attractive city to live and work","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521146200000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh is the UK’s most attractive city to live and work in, according to a new study.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706588.1521391927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh scored highly for education, earnings and green space"} ,"articleBody": "

The Capital has the edge over other significant UK cities on a number of measures including education, business community, earnings, job opportunities and green space – which makes up 28 per cent of the city.

Commissioned by the Royal Mail, the study shows earnings in Edinburgh are second only to London, with the average wage being £578 per week for employees.

Edinburgh’s employment rate is strong at 70.8 per cent, and access to education takes first place.

Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: “It is welcome news that Edinburgh is yet again receiving recognition as the UK’s top city to live and work in.

“The facts demonstrating the city’s attributes are plentiful and our own statistics in Edinburgh by numbers show that Edinburgh is a vibrant capital city with a diverse economy, an increasing population with strong investment potential.”

The city also has the second highest number of start-ups, while office space costs are about half that of London.

CEO and founder of online shopping app Mallzee, Cally Russell, said: “Edinburgh is a fantastic city to live and work in. The city is home to many successful businesses and has strong transport links connecting residents to the rest of the UK. Edinburgh combines the benefits of a metropolitan city with easy access to the outdoors and beautiful Scottish scenery.

“A big part of the growing appeal of Edinburgh is the thriving start-up scene and the community being built around this sector.”

Edinburgh features highly on all accounts bar housing affordability, with only property in London and Bristol considered more expensive.

Glasgow places first for share of the city which is green space, at 35 per cent. Ranking third for rich cultural services, Glasgow has 7.1 theatres and 60.2 libraries per million people. Access to education in Glasgow is also strong, with 47.2 per cent of the working age population qualified above A-level equivalent.

London achieves strong scores on earnings (average £697 per week) and employment levels (73.7 per cent). It also has good access to education and strong levels of business activity compared with other locations, whilst housing affordability and office costs are the highest in the UK.

Royal Mail spokesman David Gold said “This shows there is hot competition among the UK’s leading cities to be the most attractive location for people to live and work in. Edinburgh has the edge on other economically significant UK cities. Bristol also performs well in categories including job opportunities, healthcare, business community and culture.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706588.1521391927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706588.1521391927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh scored highly for education, earnings and green space","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh scored highly for education, earnings and green space","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706588.1521391927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/glasgow-gin-school-stars-in-national-geographic-traveller-1-4706303","id":"1.4706303","articleHeadline": "Glasgow ‘Gin School’ stars in National Geographic Traveller","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521134790000 ,"articleLead": "

A gin school in The Barras in Glasgow has been chosen as the top place in Scotland for a “Wild Weekend” by a prestigious global travel magazine.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4705667.1521134787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Crossbill Gin's gin school is one of 35 experiences listed as best Wild Weekends in the UK by National Geographic Traveller."} ,"articleBody": "

The latest edition of National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Best of the British Isles 35 Wild Weekends’ lists five places in Scotland in its ‘Best of the British Isles 35 Wild Weekends.

However, Crossbill Gin’s gin school, in the shadow of the legendary Barrowlands, is the only ‘city break’ on the list focussing totally on alcohol - with others ranging from joining an RSPB puffin patrol in East Yorkshire, wild swimming in North Wales to kayaking by moonlight in West Cork.

Scotland’s other recommended wild weekends are a survival skills course at Skye Ghillies on Skye; learning to drive a pack of huskies at the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre; travelling the 516-mile North Coast 500 route; stargazing at Europe’s first Dark Sky Park in Galloway Forest Park; coasteering involving jumping on and off cliffs and exploring cave off Arbroath with Vertical Descents and visiting Ardnamurchan Peninsula to enjoy the wildlife.

Award-winning Jonathan Engels, founder and master distiller of Crossbill Gin, launched The Hatchery Laboratory & Gin School last summer offering three-hour courses to beginners and gin fans.

Pupils learn the art of using a still to make gin and adding botanicals such as Scottish juniper berries, kaffir lime leaves and rosehips to the mix. At the end of the session they take home a bottle of gin they have made and personalised with a range of botanicals.

Last year Mr Engels moved his distillery from the outskirts of Aviemore in the Highlands to Glasgow to Barras Art and Design, a multipurpose creative hub.

“It’s a great honour to be in National Geographic Traveller, and a double-page spread at that,” said Mr Engels.

“People were curious about what we were doing so I decided to create a Saturday event. Those attending are very, very interested in the back story and how gin is produced, compared with even just five years ago.

“Around 95 per cent of people attending the our Gin School are coming to Glasgow just for that, often to celebrate special occasions.”

Pat Riddell, the magazine’s editor, said: “By all means plan your European jaunts, book your long-haul flights, but in the meantime pack yourself of somewhere for a weekend closer to home and remember what travel’s all about - spontaneity, new experiences and shaking off that wintery state of apathy.

“Your Monday self will thank your Friday self.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sross@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4705667.1521134787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4705667.1521134787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Crossbill Gin's gin school is one of 35 experiences listed as best Wild Weekends in the UK by National Geographic Traveller.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Crossbill Gin's gin school is one of 35 experiences listed as best Wild Weekends in the UK by National Geographic Traveller.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4705667.1521134787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/glasgow-office-complex-to-boast-scotland-s-first-cycle-in-ramp-1-4706154","id":"1.4706154","articleHeadline": "Glasgow office complex to boast Scotland’s first cycle-in ramp","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521116734000 ,"articleLead": "

A new speculative office building in Glasgow is set to boast Scotland’s first ramp allowing cyclists to ride straight into their office.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706153.1521134454!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cadworks would be built in Glasgow city centre and would boast Scotland's first cycle-in ramp"} ,"articleBody": "

The 94,000 qft city centre development has been billed as Glasgow’s most sustainable building when completed in 2020.

The building would replace traditional underground car parking with high-spec cycle, fitness and shower facilities accessed by the city’s first cycle-in ramp.

Named Cadworks, the Grade A building would also boast virtually column-free office accommodation as well as animated ground and first floors.

Cadworks would link with many of the city’s existing and new cycle routes to the city centre.

Real estate investment platform FORE Partnership said the development would have the highest cycling ratio in Glasgow with 108 cycle racks.

FORE managing partner Basil Demeroutis said: “Cadworks will be our flagship Scottish development and, as with our other buildings across Europe, we will deliver the highest quality space possible whilst refusing to compromise on our absolute values of ethical investment, sustainable development and, social responsibility.

“Our way of working represents a sea change in how development across the world needs to happen.

“We have a collective responsibility to build and operate buildings in a way that protects our built and natural environments as well as serves our communities. We have to prove that we are able to bring the best possible products to market responsibly.”

READ MORE: Aberdeen bypass opening delayed until the summer

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706153.1521134454!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706153.1521134454!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cadworks would be built in Glasgow city centre and would boast Scotland's first cycle-in ramp","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cadworks would be built in Glasgow city centre and would boast Scotland's first cycle-in ramp","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706153.1521134454!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/tiree-restaurant-scoops-industry-award-1-4706103","id":"1.4706103","articleHeadline": "Tiree restaurant scoops industry award","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521114110179 ,"articleLead": "

A small restaurant run by a craft brewery on the island of Tiree has scooped a top industry award - beating off competition from top Scottish chefs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706102.1521114159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The restaurant in Tiree was named Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant."} ,"articleBody": "

The Ceabahr restaurant, run by Bun Dubh Brewery, was last night named the Society of Independent Brewers’s Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant at the organisation's annual business awards. Caebahr was up against rivals including the Scran and Scallie restaurant in Edinburgh, which is run by Michelin starred chef Tom Kitchin.

Loch Lomond Brewery also took home the Individual Design award for their unique Dr Peppercorn can which used drone images of the area.

Judges praised the restaurant for its \"fantastic food\".

Neil Walker, chair of the SIBA Business Awards, said: “Despite being 60 miles off the Scottish coast, this restaurant has grown a loyal following of fans who return season after season to this truly stunning part of the world to enjoy freshly brewed craft beer, fantastic food and undisturbed views at this truly unique restaurant. Of all the contenders in the competition this year, judges were unanimous in their agreement that Caebahr is something very special.”

Duncan Castling, owner of Ceabahr & Bun Dubh Brewery, said: “It’s amazing to win, we are so enthusiastic about food and have tried to do something different with Caebahr. We’re an environmental restaurant – no packaging, no waste, only locally sourced food and beer that is brewed on site. It’s all about being true to the area and championing this amazing community.”

Waitrose was named the best Independent Craft Beer Retailer (Multiple) by competition judges, while Brewery Business of the Year was won by Signature Brew in London.

Mike Benner, chief executive of Siba, said: “The quality and quantity of entries this year was simply staggering and to be named a winner in the awards represents a huge achievement for these breweries – they really are the best of the best in terms of passion, innovation and excellence in the independent craft brewing industry.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "jane.bradley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706102.1521114159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706102.1521114159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The restaurant in Tiree was named Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The restaurant in Tiree was named Best Independent Craft Beer Restaurant.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706102.1521114159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/morrisons-launch-10-meat-box-which-will-feed-a-family-for-two-weeks-1-4706029","id":"1.4706029","articleHeadline": "Morrisons launch £10 meat box which will feed a family for two weeks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521110749000 ,"articleLead": "

Morrisons have created a tasty treat for meat-lovers across the country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706028.1521110746!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrions create �10 meat box. Picture: Morrisons"} ,"articleBody": "

After the success of the wonky veg box, the supermarket giant recently launched a 2.3kg meat box containing a range of products for just £10 - but you’ll have to be quick as it’s available for a limited time only.

The meat box is so big, Morrisons claim it’s filled with enough meat to feed an average UK family for two weeks.

The British Meat Pack, so-called because its meat only comes from animals farmed in the UK, contains a 900g Pork Loin Joint, 420g of Steak Mince, 450g of Lean Diced Beef and eight of “The Best” Pork Sausages.

Morrisons will also offer customers advice on how to use the items in the pack, which has been designed around popular British family meals, such as chilli con carne, beef stew and bangers and mash.

According to the supermarket, customers will save £5.03 (more than 30 per cent) buying the meat pack, compared to purchasing each individual cut of meat.

Aidan Buckley, Meat Buyer at Morrisons, said: “Meat is typically one of the most costly items in customers’ baskets.

“This British meat pack makes it more affordable so customers can enjoy it with their families.”

The meat deal will be avaialble at Morrisons’ 488 butcher counters nationwide for the duration of National Butcher’s Week, which runs from 12 March to 18 March.

This story originally featured on our sister site inews.co.uk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4706028.1521110746!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4706028.1521110746!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Morrions create �10 meat box. Picture: Morrisons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrions create �10 meat box. Picture: Morrisons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4706028.1521110746!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/aberdeen-north-east/aberdeen-bypass-opening-delayed-until-the-summer-1-4706007","id":"1.4706007","articleHeadline": "Aberdeen bypass opening delayed until the summer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1521108869000 ,"articleLead": "

The Aberdeen bypass will not be opened until this summer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4696583.1521108867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will bypass the traffic-choked current A90 route through the city"} ,"articleBody": "

Contractor Balfour Beatty, which is working on the £745 million project, has issued a statement about the delay.

Despite repeated calls for clarity over the timetable following Carillion’s liquidation in January, ministers had refused to revise the spring target for the 36-mile road.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown had said in January he hoped the bypass would open in April or May, but was unable to give an exact date.

The Scottish Government had flagged earlier this year it hoped the bypass would be finished by the spring, but has now said it was still trying to get an agreed date.

“The Scottish government continues to have discussions with Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) in order to achieve an agreed date for the earliest possible completion of this project, despite the recent insolvency of Carillion,” a government spokesman said.

“We expect these to conclude shortly and will provide a full update to parliament at that time.”

The bypass is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland.

Cost overruns on the project, which was first proposed to alleviate congestion in the Granite City in the 1950s, have been described as a key reason behind Carillion’s demise.

The new timetable emerged as Balfour Beatty announced its annual results, with the firm saying “completion is now expected in the summer of 2018”.

READ MORE: 12 of Professor Stephen Hawking’s most memorable quotes

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4696583.1521108867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4696583.1521108867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will bypass the traffic-choked current A90 route through the city","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will bypass the traffic-choked current A90 route through the city","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4696583.1521108867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}