{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/offshore-wind-supply-chain-gets-a-lift-thanks-to-innovation-tie-up-1-4756723","id":"1.4756723","articleHeadline": "Offshore wind supply chain gets a lift thanks to innovation tie-up","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529427600000 ,"articleLead": "

Two leading players in the renewables field have forged an alliance to advance cost reduction and safety in offshore wind operations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756722.1529417612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy group, and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult will collaborate to give firms the opportunity to test and demonstrate new technology in real-world operating conditions at Vattenfall’s dedicated offshore deployment centre, off Aberdeen.

The Catapult will manage engagement with innovators in the offshore wind supply chain and educational institutions to promote test and demonstration opportunities at the centre. It will also support Vattenfall’s selection process and the review and communication of results.

Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s business area wind, said: “Vattenfall has already delivered innovation-driven cost reduction in offshore wind with the deployment of game changing technology at the EOWDC [European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre], supported by the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

“Now we want to continue that pioneering spirit, in collaboration with ORE Catapult, by demonstrating the potential of UK innovators’ ideas to reduce costs and improve safety at an operating wind farm. We do that, and we get to freedom from fossil fuel faster.”

The EOWDC is an offshore wind test and demonstration facility. It recently completed the installation of 11 innovative wind turbines and foundations and is expected to be fully operational later this summer.

Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s operational performance director, said: “The collaboration with Vattenfall on EOWDC provides a unique opportunity for UK innovators to work with ORE Catapult to bring new technologies to market through testing in a controlled real-world environment.

“To meet the sector’s ambitious targets, innovation is going to be a key enabler. Facilitating technology demonstration opportunities is the next logical step for innovators in the de-risking process.”

Jean Morrison, chair of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, added: “From the beginning, we always envisioned the EOWDC as a pioneering project that would help drive down the costs of offshore wind.

“The North-east of Scotland is emerging as an international centre of offshore wind innovation and this partnership… provides an exciting opportunity for the industry to learn and take this knowledge forward to future projects.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756722.1529417612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756722.1529417612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756722.1529417612!/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/new-figurehead-revealed-for-scottish-screen-industry-1-4756827","id":"1.4756827","articleHeadline": "New figurehead revealed for Scottish screen industry","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529424445216 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s troubled screen industry has been given a major boost after poaching one of British film’s leading executives to become its new figurehead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756826.1529424555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Isabel Davis will start her role as executive director of Creative Scotland's new screen unit in September."} ,"articleBody": "

Isabel Davis, who worked on Oscar-nominated comedy The Lobster, and Cold War, which won Pawel Pawlikowski the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival, will lead Creative Scotland’s long-awaited new screen unit.

Ms David, who is currently head of international at the British Film Institute, also worked on a new biopic of Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, which is premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this month.

The appointment of Ms Davis, who will take up her post in September, has been confirmed exactly two years after the creation of the unit was announced at the EIFF.

Ms Davis, the screen unit’s “executive director,” will be in responsible of a £20 million budget at the quango’s new body, which was criticised by MSPs earlier this year even thought it had only been running for a few weeks.

She will be charged with more than doubling the value of the industry - inceasing its worth up to £160 million - within the space of five years.

Holyrood’s culture committee has urged the government to ensure that the screen unit is moved out of Creative Scotland and is given independence status from the quango.

However the move has been resisted by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, who was angered that a damning report on the screen unit had been published during the recruitment process for a executive director and several other roles in the screen unit.

Ms Davis has been appointed six months after the department of Creative Scotland’s director of screen, Natalie Usher, announced her departure.

She had been expected to oversee the creation of the new screen unit, which has been long demanded by industry figures in Scotland who say the nation has fallen behind the likes of Wales and Northern Ireland.

Ms Davis said: “The new screen unit represents a step change in opportunity for Scotland’s screen industries.

“With a doubling of resources to £20 million each year and a shared strategic vision, it’s time for Scotland’s talented film and TV sectors to fulfil their potential, and to create a highly attractive environment for incoming creative companies and productions.

“It’s an enormous privilege to be joining Creative Scotland and to be given the responsibility of leading the Screen Unit and promoting and supporting Scotland’s phenomenal range of screen talent, facilities, crews, locations and the broader industry.

“I’m so grateful to my amazing colleagues and collaborators who’ve made my time at the BFI such a wonderful adventure.

\"I’m looking forward to working with many of them as I now focus on helping Scotland’s screen industries achieve the level of success they so richly deserve. I can’t wait to get started.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756826.1529424555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756826.1529424555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Isabel Davis will start her role as executive director of Creative Scotland's new screen unit in September.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Isabel Davis will start her role as executive director of Creative Scotland's new screen unit in September.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756826.1529424555!/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/go-east-property-firm-broadens-reach-outside-edinburgh-1-4756769","id":"1.4756769","articleHeadline": "Go East: Property firm broadens reach outside Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529420110496 ,"articleLead": "

Property specialist Coulters is expanding outside its Edinburgh heartland by opening up in North Berwick as it mulls M&A activity to drive growth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756767.1529420221!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pictured are executive chairman Margaret McPherson and director Ben Di Rollo. Picture: contributed."} ,"articleBody": "

The residential estate agent and conveyancing firm, which has branches in Stockbridge and Marchmont plus a legal hub at Edinburgh Park, said the move is to drive growth and capture more of the East Lothian market, and marks the first step towards rapid expansion over the next three to four years.

The firm said it is also looking at growing further afield with potential opportunities in the Borders, Glasgow, Fife and Perthshire.

Ben Di Rollo, director of Coulters, said the \"time is right\" for the firm to have a presence on the ground in North Berwick to help grow its client base.

And Margaret McPherson, who recently took over as executive chairman to help accelerate Coulters' development, expects to see 35 per cent organic growth this year.

She added: “We are open to opportunities for mergers and acquisitions and are actively looking for the right businesses. We have ambitious plans for growth and with the new management team in place we are in a great place to achieve it.\"

McPherson also said the expansion would mean adding to Coulters’ current 21-strong headcount. “We expect to take on three or four staff in the next few months, some in newly created roles.”

The new Coulters office in North Berwick will be run under the management of associate director Sophie Duns who returns to the firm after a stint at Savills.

Duns commented: “I am delighted to be back at Coulters and excited about working in East Lothian - I grew up here so it’s home to me.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "emma.newlands@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756767.1529420221!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756767.1529420221!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pictured are executive chairman Margaret McPherson and director Ben Di Rollo. Picture: contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pictured are executive chairman Margaret McPherson and director Ben Di Rollo. Picture: contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756767.1529420221!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756768.1529420222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756768.1529420222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The new Coulters office in North Berwick will be run by associate director Sophie Duns. Picture: contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The new Coulters office in North Berwick will be run by associate director Sophie Duns. Picture: contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756768.1529420222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/outfitter-toasts-100k-whisky-hire-contract-1-4756508","id":"1.4756508","articleHeadline": "Outfitter toasts £100k whisky hire contract","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529404344000 ,"articleLead": "

Chivas Brothers owner Pernod Ricard has awarded a £100,000 retail contract to family-owned menswear outfitter Gibbs Inverurie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756507.1529404342!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

A contingent of hundreds of Chinese will be heading across the globe for a four-day “whisky extravaganza” next month and Gibbs is set to hire out Highland dress to help get the guests immersed in the local culture.

The firm was established 36 years ago and currently employs ten staff but will have to take on a further three or four people over the summer to cope with the demand.

Director Barry Gibb said: “We’ve been working with Pernod Ricard for the last 15 years and they know and trust we will deliver on a large scale.

“This is not just a boost to our business, but the trip creates an economic boost all round for companies throughout Scotland.”

As well as running a hire service, the firm sells made-to-measure clothing, which its offers under its own brand name – Mitchell Scott.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756507.1529404342!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756507.1529404342!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756507.1529404342!/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/jim-duffy-comment-investigating-the-intriguing-case-of-the-big-four-1-4756478","id":"1.4756478","articleHeadline": "Jim Duffy comment: Investigating the intriguing case of the Big Four","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529401186556 ,"articleLead": "

There is nothing better than a good whodunnit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756477.1529401303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "We have let Inspector Clouseau run the auditing departments, says Duffy. Picture: contributed."} ,"articleBody": "

A detective character sniffing out the wrong-doing and bringing the culprits to justice. I did enjoy a good old Taggart. It was always fun to guess who the villain was, while watching DCI Matt Burke getting his knickers in a twist, in order that justice may be done and be seen to be done.

Burke was professional, totally dedicated and fearless in his approach to investigating crime. However, it appears in today’s auditing world that the detectives are bit more Inspector Clouseau than Burke.

In the week when the “Big Four” are again in the spotlight regarding their audit competence, is it not time to re-define what audit actually means and does?

A quick Google search of the term “audit” reveals the following. “An official inspection of an organisation’s accounts, typically by an independent body.” Other synonyms of the term “audit” throw up words like probe, vet, evaluate and scrutinise. So, there would appear to be a bit of the detective theme going on. To be fair, that is what I believed to be the case and probably so did you. But, not so.

KPMG, the accounting firm and one of the Big Four, has been found wanting by the industry regulator. KPMG signed off the books in the years leading up to the monumentous collapse of Carillion. But, rather than single out KPMG here, is it not time for us to re-define the remit of audit and get back to basics?

After all, the Big Four all gave Carillion financial advice before the construction and outsourcing company failed. Certainly, MPs have accused the four of “feasting” on Carillion, but perhaps we have allowed this to take place as we simply trusted accountants a little too much. Thus, we have let Inspector Clouseau run the auditing departments.

So what would DCI Matt Burke do? He would get his team of Glesga detectives around a white board and forensically examine why auditing has failed the companies it was supposed to audit and us the tax payers. He would consider the purpose of auditing and who benefits. And he would have an avenue for investigation.

Who benefits? Well, there is no doubt that the Big Four have been benefiting to the tune of millions of pounds. This dependency has to be turned upside down. But, maybe Burke and his team would want to consider the relationship between auditor and client. It’s a business relationship. And this is where it falls down.

The one great virtue about HMRC is that it is independent and acts for one boss. The Treasury wants to collect as much money as it can, as fairly as it can within the law and with no bias. After all, who can say that they pick up the phone to the tax man for a chat on business-development?

Who takes the tax man out for big steak diners and expensive nights out? No-one, right - as the tax man would then make sure that your entertainment receipts and accounting were scrutinised so as to be correct. But, the Big Four it seems are too “buddy buddy” with the companies they are supposed to investigate.

Herein lies a big win for Burke’s investigation team. On the one hand, the Big Four audit teams are embedded with clients, while offering “consultancy” services to the same clients. This simply does not compute and the accrual is that business-development and additional profit-making is more important than the work at hand - auditing.

Let us consider this. Who would you rather investigate for you when something doesn’t quite add up? The audit departments of one of the Big Four, who it seems will “feast” on as much as they can, while churning some numbers in a pre-approved format that spits out a lengthy report than does not truly reflect what is going on?

Or DCI Matt Burke, who will complete a thorough investigation in a non palsy-walsy fashion that leaves the suspects vulnerable and ready to confess… Is it not time to give the audit departments real teeth unencumbered by the need to make money as opposed to doing a great detective job?

Jim Duffy MBE, Create Special.

" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "JIM DUFFY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756477.1529401303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756477.1529401303!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "We have let Inspector Clouseau run the auditing departments, says Duffy. Picture: contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "We have let Inspector Clouseau run the auditing departments, says Duffy. Picture: contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756477.1529401303!/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/capital-s-sigma-extends-countryside-deal-1-4756405","id":"1.4756405","articleHeadline": "Capital’s Sigma extends Countryside deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529396801000 ,"articleLead": "

Sigma Capital Group, the Edinburgh-based urban regeneration and private rental specialist, has extended its strategic tie-up with Countryside Properties.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756404.1529396799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CEO Graham Barnet: 'structural shortage of housing in UK'. Picture: Paul Dodds"} ,"articleBody": "

Under the framework agreement, the firm will target the delivery of a further 5,000 private rented sector (PRS) homes over the next three years – over and above those already built or in the process of being constructed.

Sigma’s relationship with Countryside is well-established, with the latter an early partner in the Scottish firm’s PRS delivery platform. In December 2014, an initial agreement was signed with Countryside for the delivery of 927 homes – extended to include a further 900 homes in February 2016.

During the year to 30 September 2017, Countryside delivered 721 PRS homes for Sigma across the north-west of England and the West Midlands.

Sigma said that the new agreement “significantly enhances” its relationship with Countryside and supports the growth ambitions of both companies.

Graham Barnet, chief executive of Sigma, said: “There is a structural shortage of housing in the UK, across all tenures, and our unrivalled delivery platform brings together local authorities, home builders and funders with the common aim of creating new, professionally-managed rental homes for families – a largely neglected and growing part of the overall rental market.”

In April, Sigma revealed a full-year profit before tax of £4.06 million, up from £3.67m a year earlier.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756404.1529396799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756404.1529396799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "CEO Graham Barnet: 'structural shortage of housing in UK'. Picture: Paul Dodds","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CEO Graham Barnet: 'structural shortage of housing in UK'. Picture: Paul Dodds","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756404.1529396799!/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/britain-moving-towards-german-housing-model-1-4756069","id":"1.4756069","articleHeadline": "Britain moving 'towards German housing model'","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529406609000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain is moving towards a “German housing model” with a greater percentage of the population renting, a study has claimed - with two thirds of renters saying they have no intention of purchasing a property.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756068.1529323990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People are increasingly opting to rent."} ,"articleBody": "

The report found that people increasingly said they did not want to be tied down to living in a specific area and wanted flexibility to travel abroad.

Traditionally, people in Germany do not tend to rush to buy a property, opting instead to rent their home. The Direct Line study found that when it comes to levels of home ownership, official statistics place the UK ahead of only Denmark, Austria and Germany in terms of the proportion of owner-occupied dwellings.

Scotland has a higher proportion of renters than any other area of the UK, with 43 per cent of the adult Scottish population paying a landlord rather than a mortgage, the report found.

While affordability is cited as a reason for people not thinking they will buy a home, with 44 per cent of Scots citing it as a major reason to continue renting, a quarter of Scots not looking to buy claim they simply do not want the financial commitment that comes with owning a home.

For others, the attractiveness of not owning is flexibility, with 17 per cent of Scots - far higher thabn then UK average of 9 per cent - wanting to be free to travel and seven per cent saying they do not wanting to be tied to a local area.

Over a fifth of those not planning to buy think the cost of maintaining a property is too high and would rather have a landlord deal with any issues that may arise.

Christina Dimitrov, business manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting. While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into home ownership.”

Across the whole of the UK, London has the highest number of renters, with its 2.7 million tenants accounting for a sixth of all British renters.

Despite London’s fast-growing property market, which has seen prices rise by more than £12,000 in the past year, the UK capital is the region people expect to spend the shortest time renting before buying a home. The average Londoner expects to spend under 12 years renting compared to the national average of 15 years and two months.

" ,"byline": {"email": "jane.bradley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756068.1529323990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756068.1529323990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People are increasingly opting to rent.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People are increasingly opting to rent.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756068.1529323990!/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/dairy-firm-s-housing-plans-rejected-by-holyrood-1-4756910","id":"1.4756910","articleHeadline": "Dairy firm’s housing plans rejected by Holyrood","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529439807000 ,"articleLead": "

Plans by Scotland’s leading dairy firm for a 600-home development on the outskirts of Stirling have been rejected by the Scottish Government.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756909.1529439804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The third-generation dairy business first submitted the planning application in 2014."} ,"articleBody": "

Graham’s the Family Dairy had submitted a joint planning application with housing developer Mactaggart & Mickel Homes for the scheme, which included a new primary school, but the proposals were rejected by Stirling Council in March 2016.

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell said the decision to reject building on the land at Airthrey Kerse between Bridge of Allan and Causewayhead was “a hard-fought victory for communities”.

“It’s a shame it has taken so long for the Scottish Government to uphold a decision by Stirling Council taken over two years ago,” he said.

“Graham’s Dairy should now cut their losses, focus on their plans at Kildean for a new dairy and talk seriously with the community about how this historic greenbelt can be brought under the stewardship of a community trust.”

Graham’s had said the project would have allowed them to finance plans for a new dairy and development facility. The third-generation dairy business first submitted the planning application in 2014.

It was recommended for approval by the council’s head of planning, but it was subsequently refused.

More than 440 letters of objection were originally submitted. The plans attracted 76 expressions of support.

Robert Graham, the dairy firm’s managing director, said the plan would have generated £65.3 million gross value each year for the Scottish economy and created a total of 1,425 jobs across the country through the dairy investment.

“For a government that talks of its commitment to growing the Scottish economy, prioritising the rural food and drink sectors as well as tackling the housing shortfall in Scotland, this decision by the planning minister sends a clearly contradictory message,” he said.

John Smith, chairman of the National Farmers Union Scotland milk committee, said: “This development ticked all the right boxes and we are disappointed in the outcome.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Ministers carefully considered this application and its economic and housing benefits. However, they accepted the independent planning reporter’s view that these benefits do not outweigh the loss of a significant area of sensitive greenbelt land.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756909.1529439804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756909.1529439804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The third-generation dairy business first submitted the planning application in 2014.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The third-generation dairy business first submitted the planning application in 2014.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756909.1529439804!/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/bank-bosses-reject-calls-to-consult-public-over-branch-closures-1-4756876","id":"1.4756876","articleHeadline": "Bank bosses reject calls to consult public over branch closures","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529430968000 ,"articleLead": "

Bank bosses have rejected calls to consult with communities before taking the decision to close local branches.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756874.1529430964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland. Picture: Scottish Government"} ,"articleBody": "

A panel of banking executives told Holyrood’s economy committee that pre-consultation with customers was not a factor in the decision-making process.

MSPs have been examining the impact of bank closures in the wake of RBS’ decision to shut at least 52 branches across the country, with a further ten under review.

SNP MSP Gillian Martin questioned the panel on whether they held any consultation with customers and communities before taking the decision to shut a branch.

Susan Allen, head of customer interactions at Santander UK, said: “We don’t do formal consultation with customers before any closures.

“We fully adhere to the access to banking standards as you would expect. The other thing we do take into account in making our decisions is representations from our own local teams.”

Robin Bulloch, managing director at Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland, said: “I would be concerned with a pre-consultation creating quite a high degree of uncertainty for customers and colleagues about the possible outcome.”

Simon Watson, managing director of personal banking at RBS, said: “There is no structured customer consultation... but we do look at what our customers actually do, where they bank and how they bank before we take any decision.

“On the issue of consultation... it is difficult to know where that would start and stop.”

Mr Watson was rebuked by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie for failing to provide information requested by the committee on the number of RBS bank branches now as compared to 2010.

She cited two examples – in Alexandria and Arrochar – where local communities had been left without facilities following an RBS closure.

Ms Baillie said: “You said that when a bank closes you wanted to leave something behind in the community. What did you leave behind in Alexandria?

“Given you talk about it wouldn’t be a closure and then nothing, it felt like a closure and then nothing in Arrochar.”

Mr Watson responded: “If we’ve fallen short on that occasion then I’m very sorry, I’m very happy to continue the discussion about Alexandria and the specifics.

“We always try to deliver on our promises and commitments and if we didn’t in that case then I’m very sorry.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CATRIONA WEBSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756874.1529430964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756874.1529430964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland. Picture: Scottish Government","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland. Picture: Scottish Government","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756874.1529430964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5664333457001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/poundworld-axes-100-jobs-as-administrations-struggle-to-find-buyer-1-4756860","id":"1.4756860","articleHeadline": "Poundworld axes 100 jobs as administrations struggle to find buyer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529427306000 ,"articleLead": "

Poundworld has axed around 100 jobs from its head office as administrators struggle to find a buyer for the business.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756859.1529427304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Poundworld collapsed last week, putting a total of 5,100 jobs at risk. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The budget retailer, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, collapsed last week, putting a total of 5,100 jobs at risk.

Poundworld’s administrator Deloitte has now been forced to make 98 staff redundant at the company’s head office in Normanton, Yorkshire.

Deloitte asked for bids for Poundworld to be submitted by last Friday, but it is thought a buyer for the whole business may not materialise.

It is understood that any interested parties could pick up just sections of its store estate.

READ MORE: Poundworld collapses into administration with Scots jobs at risk

Poundworld was considering a sweeping store closure programme even ahead of its collapse.

The budget chain has 335 stores, which are still operational and continue to receive stock from the business’ distribution centre.

Announcing Poundworld’s administration last week, Deloitte said the firm was hit by falling footfall, rising costs and weak consumer confidence.

TPG said putting the business into administration was a “difficult decision”, and that the retailer was affected by a decline in the UK retail sector.

The news came just days after House of Fraser detailed its plans to shut 31 stores, affecting around 6,000 jobs.

Several retailers have collapsed into administration this year, with both Maplin and Toys R Us disappearing from the UK.

New Look, Mothercare, Carpetright and a string of restaurant brands have also been shutting stores in a bid to stay afloat.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HELEN CAHILL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756859.1529427304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756859.1529427304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Poundworld collapsed last week, putting a total of 5,100 jobs at risk. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Poundworld collapsed last week, putting a total of 5,100 jobs at risk. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756859.1529427304!/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/wanted-600-scottish-ice-cream-tasters-1-4756613","id":"1.4756613","articleHeadline": "Wanted: 600 Scottish ice cream tasters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529413631000 ,"articleLead": "

ONE of Scotland’s top food brands is looking for around 600 volunteers from the public to take part in blind taste tests.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756612.1529413628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

In a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how products get to the mass market, Mackie’s is teaming up with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and its high-tech mobile sensory lab.

The Aberdeenshire-based family firm is using the Royal Highland Show (RHS) to gather feedback and competitor analysis on its new milk chocolate recipe as well as comparing its real dairy ice cream with an oil-based major brand product.

It will mark the largest event that the SRUC’s mobile sensory lab - a lorry trailer equipped with state-of-the-art food-testing technology and 12 illuminated taste-testing pods - will have attended to date.

Karin Hayhow, Marketing Director at Mackie’s, said: “This might well sound like an excuse for lots of fun – but we really do need a wide range of people to give us feedback on the taste of our products – that’s the most important attribute – and one that will inform what we go out to market with.

READ MORE: Seven dream jobs up for grabs in Scotland

“We always try to do something special for the RHS as it’s an integral part of the Mackie’s business, so we’re thrilled to be invited to participate on board the SRUC’s amazing new facility.

“Hopefully the participants will enjoy getting a peek into the behind-the-scenes process of testing products before they are released on to the market.”

Students at the college will be assisting with the sensory lab throughout the show, featuring a range of produce. SRUC reached out to invite Mackie’s thanks in part to its indelible links with the college.

Maitland Mackie, the founder of Mackie’s of Scotland, is the former Chairman of SRUC, formerly known as the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), and is widely respected as an inspirational figure in Scottish agriculture and renewables.

The RHS takes place between Thursday 21st June until Sunday 24th June 2018 in Ingliston and Mackie’s sensory taste tests will run in 90-minute blocks from 11:00am till 12:30pm on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the sensory lab, (which is located at the SRUC stand on seventh avenue) every day at the show from Thursday to Sunday for a variety of taste tests before or during those times to have the best possible opportunity to take part.

Dr Neil Clelland of SRUC said: “The fact that we own high-end testing equipment which we can take anywhere with us is incredible.

“The ability given to our researches to go out to the public is of paramount importance as it opens up for more research to be collected.

“It gives us a chance to learn more about the consumers’ food preferences and distinguish between different groups of people to ensure that they receive the best possible products.

“We are delighted to be working with Mackie’s and hope to continue to build positive relations between our two establishments through projects like this.”

The mobile sensory lab which is housed within an articulated lorry was funded by the Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and Innovate UK.

Through extensive product quality research, CIEL works to continuously improve livestock production, food quality and farming systems.

The mobile sensory unit was built in order to allow consumers around the UK to play an important role in livestock genetics.

As part of a three-year programme, the sensory lab will be used by SRUC’s world-leading livestock scientists to attend regional shows and other public events to collect data to support their genetic improvement research.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756612.1529413628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756612.1529413628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756612.1529413628!/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/advice-for-edinburgh-firms-on-how-to-navigate-international-tax-audits-1-4744181","id":"1.4744181","articleHeadline": "Advice for Edinburgh firms on how to navigate international tax audits","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529413277000 ,"articleLead": "

Overseas authorities are looking at company books in greater detail than ever before, says Kevin Meaney

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4744180.1527158905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Companies often receive significant demands for tax from overseas authorities, with little time to review and appeal, and often must pay the tax before appealing."} ,"articleBody": "

With increased globalisation, and information sharing agreements in place between countries, firms working internationally are facing global tax headaches as governments aggressively attack companies using tax audits and assessments.

Overseas authorities are focusing on direct taxes, such as personal taxes of globally mobile employees or corporation taxes on intercompany transactions.

Attention is also paid to indirect taxes, ensuring companies have correct processes dealing with customs duties, VAT invoices, payments and returns.

Companies often receive significant demands for tax from overseas authorities, with little time to review and appeal, and often must pay the tax before appealing.

We have experienced tax audits tackling various group structures, intercompany transactions and arrangements, and if not planned properly from the outset, they can result in a UK company becoming liable to tax in a foreign country, which could have been avoided.

For example, if a UK company assigns employees to work for an overseas subsidiary and doesn’t have correct visa or secondment agreements in place, this can trigger permanent establishment issues within the overseas jurisdiction, depending on numbers of days spent in the country and whether there exists any double tax agreement between the UK and the overseas country.

It can also trigger payroll withholding obligations in the overseas country, which could lead to double taxation of the employees’ salaries.

Crucially, companies should ensure a strategy is in place to deal with overseas tax risks such as tax audits and investigations.

This strategy should be communicated and understood by key stakeholders within the business.

Often the local operations or finance team receive the assessment and it is critical this is passed immediately to the tax team to action within the appropriate legal timeframe.

Proactively planning is vital and can avoid unexpected disputes, liabilities and risks in future. However, if defending a large tax audit or investigation, it is vital to ensure properly experienced tax people are involved in advance, and there is a process and plan to handle responses.

If audits and investigations are not handled properly, it can lead to financial and reputational damage for the company.

For companies already operating in overseas jurisdictions, now is a good time to review tax risks there ensuring no nasty surprises are discovered.

An international tax health check can identify such risks, develop an action plan addressing any weaknesses and ensure a compliant position going forward.

We would recommend companies receiving tax assessment or audit letters take immediate action, and, if operating overseas, regular reviews or health checks of overseas tax compliance obligations are undertaken. Anderson Anderson & Brown has vast experience managing overseas tax assessments, audits and investigations, and assisting and facilitating with local advisers to ensure these are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner with a successful defence and outcome for the client.

Kevin Meaney is a tax partner at Anderson Anderson & Brown, chartered accountants and business advisors

Anderson Anderson & Brown is holding a free international tax lunchtime seminar on Tuesday 26 June in Edinburgh. If you would like to attend please contact Kevin Meaney, kevin.meaney@aab.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Kevin Meaney"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4744180.1527158905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4744180.1527158905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Companies often receive significant demands for tax from overseas authorities, with little time to review and appeal, and often must pay the tax before appealing.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Companies often receive significant demands for tax from overseas authorities, with little time to review and appeal, and often must pay the tax before appealing.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4744180.1527158905!/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/digital-marketing-agency-sees-50-revenue-jump-after-run-of-client-wins-1-4756592","id":"1.4756592","articleHeadline": "Digital marketing agency sees 50% revenue jump after run of client wins","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529410510000 ,"articleLead": "

An Edinburgh-based digital marketing consultancy has seen year-on-year revenue growth of nearly 50 per cent and boosted its ranks as it looks to grow at home and abroad.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756591.1529410508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chris Liversidge is founder and chief exec of QueryClick"} ,"articleBody": "

QueryClick said that last year it enjoyed some of the best financial results in its ten-year history, with a 47 per cent year-on-year revenue jump after new client wins including BT Group, Schuh and Johnstons of Elgin.

Founder and chief executive Chris Liversidge said such wins combined with contract extensions by existing clients to deliver additional services brought in more than £700,000 in 2017.

It has strengthened its senior team, with Edinburgh-based Haitham Fattah appointed head of search engine optimisation, in a newly created role, while Stuart Ferrie becomes head of paid search, also based in the Scottish capital.

Leeanne Weatherston has been promoted to head of HR and is also based in Edinburgh. She has been joined by Stephen McMenamin in a newly created role of talent acquisition specialist, and will be responsible for “attracting and recruiting high-performing talent as demand for QueryClick’s services grows”.

Furthermore, Kristi Hoyle joins as head of account management, based in the firm’s London office.

Liversidge said new additions will help the firm expand its footprint in the UK and internationally, also stating: “With the support of our newly strengthened senior team, I’m looking forward to building on this success even further, and fulfilling our commercial strategy and ambitious growth plans.”

QueryClick was founded in Edinburgh and has managed more than £1 billion of client revenues in 28 international markets after a decade of growth.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756591.1529410508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756591.1529410508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chris Liversidge is founder and chief exec of QueryClick","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chris Liversidge is founder and chief exec of QueryClick","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756591.1529410508!/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/commercial-property-shopping-centres-make-their-mark-1-4756517","id":"1.4756517","articleHeadline": "Commercial property: Shopping centres make their mark","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529405186000 ,"articleLead": "

Large retail and leisure sites can have a hugely positive impact on the area’s economy and two sites in Edinburgh are highlighting the benefits they bring to the city.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756516.1529405184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh"} ,"articleBody": "

A report released by Fort Kinnaird, the retail park, has underscored the significance of the centre’s contribution to Edinburgh and the Scottish economy as a whole.

With 14 million visits in 2017, Fort Kinnaird has seen its recruitment and skills centre help 3,200 people into work over the past five years.

In Edinburgh, one retail job in 20 and one job in every 200 is now supported by Fort Kinnaird, and the site directly employs a total of 2,000 people, contributing £53 million annually to the Scottish economy in gross value added.

The Fort Kinnaird recruitment and skills centre was formed in 2013 with the support of parent company British Land and in partnership with Capital City Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council including Business Gateway, the Department for Work and Pensions, East Lothian Council, East Lothian Works, Mid-lothian Council and Skills Development Scotland.

Participating employers among Fort Kinnaird’s 70 shops and restaurants have included Marks & Spencer, JD Sports, Primark, Odeon and Fat Face.

The report, Assessing Our Contribution, found that the positive impact of Fort Kinnaird goes beyond employment and training, with 1p in every £3 in Edinburgh’s economy generated by the centre.

This equates to 1p in every £25 in the Scottish economy.

The report also highlighted that £7.2m of business rates were paid by Fort Kinnaird to the Edinburgh council in 2017, equalling 2 per cent of the council’s total collected.

Liam Smith, centre director at Fort Kinnaird, said: “Thousands of people visit Fort Kinnaird every day, but few realise the huge contribution the centre makes to families, the surrounding neighbourhood and the wider Scottish economy.

“Our investment in the community is creating a significant positive impact.”

Fort Kinnaird has plans for further investment and development in coming years.

Meanwhile, the company behind the new Edinburgh Marina development has today confirmed that the number of permanent jobs created, as a result of the £500m waterside project, will exceed the figure previously estimated by Edinburgh council in 2016.

As a result of phase one alone, which includes the new marina and hotel, the number of permanent job opportunities available was previously expected to reach 300 in council projections.

The latest details released by the developer show that phase one will now produce more than 400 permanent employment opportunities.

In addition to the increased number of new jobs provided by the Edinburgh Marina development, the percentage of affordable homes that will be delivered throughout the scheme is far in excess of original expectations and well timed to assist with Edinburgh’s need for this type of accommodation.

The marina will be operated by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas.

A spokesman for the developer said: “We are very pleased that we can deliver such a significant number of new permanent jobs at all levels from apprentices through to senior management.”

Dan Hughes, chief operating officer of Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, said: “There is no doubt that the marina brings economic benefits to the area, not only through direct employment, but also in the spin-off and secondary employment which will blossom.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "Kirsty.mcluckie@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Kirsty McLuckie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756516.1529405184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756516.1529405184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756516.1529405184!/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/energy/revealed-how-much-petrol-stations-are-overcharging-drivers-at-pumps-1-4756387","id":"1.4756387","articleHeadline": "Revealed: How much petrol stations are ‘overcharging’ drivers at pumps","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529393347000 ,"articleLead": "

Petrol stations are overcharging drivers by a minimum of £2.50 per tank, a new report has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756386.1529392694!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Analysis from FairFuel UK found the price of petrol and diesel had surged by 5p a litre since early May while wholesale costs have risen by only a fraction of a penny.

Fuel retailers are enjoying a £500million windfall while drivers are stuck paying £2.50 extra for a 50-litre tank.

Fuel prices are now at their highest in three and a half years.

While these increases were initially sparked by rising oil costs and a weaker pound, the Brent Crude price has since fallen back.

This has not resulted in any reductions in the price at the pump, leading to criticism for industry experts.

Commenting on the situation, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams described May as a “hellish month for motorists”.

AA’s fuel spokesman Luke Bosdet explained: “Less than a month ago, the petrol retailers were falling over themselves to warn of pump prices at record levels.

“Now that the price of oil has fallen away and fuel costs have followed, in true form they have kept quiet and carried on charging cash-strapped motorists the maximum for their fuel.”

The news comes after it was revealed that motorists were being charged up to 20 pence more per litre for filling up outside of city centres.

Scottish Conservative MP and chair of the FairFuel APPG, Kirstene Hair, is calling for the UK Government to look at fuel duty cuts for areas like Tayside and to set up an independent price monitoring body.

Expressing her view on the situation Ms Hair said: “It is unfair that retailers are increasing costs disproportionately for hard-working families, small businesses and the haulage industry.

“We need an independent price monitoring body, this will ensure households and businesses are no longer charged unfairly for fuel.”

The latest figures include cuts of up to 3p introduced last week by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756386.1529392694!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756386.1529392694!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756386.1529392694!/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/scots-in-rural-areas-struggling-to-find-affordable-way-to-heat-homes-1-4756329","id":"1.4756329","articleHeadline": "Scots in rural areas struggling to find affordable way to heat homes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529384683000 ,"articleLead": "

Scots living in rural areas face major challenges to affordably heat their homes, according to an in-depth study into fuel poverty.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756328.1529348760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People living in rural areas of Scotland are facing major challenges to affordably heat their homes. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Meanwhile, those who live in rented flats, rely on electric heating and are of working age were more likely than others to report that they are struggling financially or to have problems heating their homes, and were likely to express a greater need for support, according to the report by Citizens Advice Scotland.

The consumer organisation called for a range of measures to be taken, including increasing the financial support available to those worst affected by fuel poverty and conducting a review of how this can be most effectively delivered. It said this could include developing new benefits strategies, such as reviewing eligibility for existing financial support schemes such as the Warm Home Discount.

In 2016, approximately 26.5 per cent of households in Scotland were defined as being in fuel poverty. A new definition of fuel poverty put forward by the Scottish Government would continue to define it as when more than 10 per cent of household income is spent on fuel bills - but using household income after housing costs. Meanwhile, a further requirement that the household has less than 90 per cent of Scotland’s Minimum Income Standard after fuel and housing costs have been deducted.

CAS energy spokesman Craig Salter said: “This research give us a vital insight into the real life experiences of those who are defined as fuel poor, and the specific support needs of households in different circumstances.

“It comes at a crucial time, with fuel poverty rates in Scotland still unacceptably high and energy prices continuing to rise at several times the rate of inflation. Positive steps are being taken by the Scottish Government to introduce a more accurate definition of fuel poverty and develop a new strategy to eradicate it.”

He added: “However for this strategy to succeed, it must reflect the real experiences and support needs of those who are actually in fuel poverty. This research points towards some of the key priorities for the successful eradication of fuel poverty. These include: providing financial support to increase incomes or reduce fuel bills; ensuring that higher living costs in remote rural areas are taken into account; and targeting appropriate support at those with the greatest need.”

The report also found that under the existing definition most people who are defined as fuel poor do not report financial struggles.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756328.1529348760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756328.1529348760!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People living in rural areas of Scotland are facing major challenges to affordably heat their homes. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People living in rural areas of Scotland are facing major challenges to affordably heat their homes. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756328.1529348760!/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/lesley-macleod-don-t-bet-the-house-on-faults-being-fixed-quickly-1-4756006","id":"1.4756006","articleHeadline": "Lesley MacLeod: Don’t bet the house on faults being fixed quickly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529384440000 ,"articleLead": "

Would you buy a car from a dodgy dealer – or even an upstanding member of ­Scottish society advertising in the ­Scotsman? What would you reasonably expect when forking out for such a big-ticket item? Complete log book? A look under the bonnet? A chance to kick the tyres? A test drive, perhaps?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756005.1529318187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lesley McLeod, CEO, Association for Project Safety"} ,"articleBody": "

So, what do you get when spending a great deal more on a new build house?

Perhaps there was a generic showhome – all designed-to-the-nines and a different model to the one you actually chose; an ­architect’s model; a glossy ­brochure; or fly-through animation on some soft-focus website. ­

Maybe you got to choose the kitchen cabinets. Or the carpets. But, often, buyers don’t get to view their home during the build and it’s often the case that purchasers have nothing more tangible than the sales office until the day they turn up to collect the keys. Even though, by then, all the money has changed hands.

I appreciate it may be tricky to allow visitors on to building sites. Maybe, more than most as a result of my role as CEO of the Association for Project Safety representing professionals engaged in mitigating risk in construction, I understand it can be difficult to marry proportionate safety ­concerns with a buyer’s legitimate wish to see around.

But let’s be clear, health and ­safety are being invoked to keep purchasers out of the way so builders can be on with the job.

Potential home owners could see their future home if builders and developers took sensible precautions to allow them in. But often they don’t and, as a result if you’ve bought off-plan, it’s quite possible the first time you actually see round the house is the day the removal men turn up with your sofa.

Actually, you have more ­consumer protection on the new furniture because you can get a replacement or your money back if it’s faulty.

No such luck with the house.

That’s where this gets much scarier than the fairy tale. Although all new homes come with a warranty the policy is ­chosen for you. Developers can shop around for the insurer they like, and the homeowner gets what they’re given. Policies can be different and not everything you might expect covered.

Don’t think it won’t matter. When surveyed for an all-party investigation into new build homes, 98 per cent – that’s right, 49 in 50 – purchasers reported faults in the first two years. Some may be very minor but, if my own experience is anything to go on, perhaps not.

My ceilings have been down more often than you can say ‘kitchen drawers’ where, ­incidentally, there are still insufficient electrical sockets in the right places to be compliant with the law.

I’m not alone. A friend has ­central heating requiring her to twiddle the thermostat in her ­bedroom for the system to come on in her living-room downstairs. Her daughter has an external wall from which you can hand remove the bricks.

It takes ages, and more grief than gin can ameliorate, to get ­anything done. Not because it can’t be done but because there is no imperative or effective ­penalty. If the defect is reported within the first two years, it ­maybe gets ­sorted at a leisurely amble or until, in sheer foot-stamping ­frustration, you just get someone else in to fix it yourself.

A ‘snagging-retention’ has also been mooted to hold back a ­proportion of the purchase price until defects are made good. There are calls to introduce a binding national new-build ombudsman scheme with every likelihood this will be taken up. But that’s just closing the desirable double-garage doors after the family hatchback has left.

The country needs more skilled craftsmen and women. Better apprentice schemes that are not merely a source of cheap labour and a native replacement for the European workers who Brexit may still require to go home.

But, more than that, we need – particularly as developers rush to deliver more and more homes – a system of building control that upholds standards, deters ­shoddy work and pulls up the perpetrators. For this councils need to be adequately and ­professionally resourced to do the work.

Otherwise, I may never have a home without its unintentional internal water-feature wall.

Lesley McLeod, CEO, Association for Project Safety.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756005.1529318187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756005.1529318187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lesley McLeod, CEO, Association for Project Safety","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lesley McLeod, CEO, Association for Project Safety","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756005.1529318187!/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/developers-search-for-occupiers-for-remainder-of-lomondgate-scheme-1-4756061","id":"1.4756061","articleHeadline": "Developers search for occupiers for remainder of Lomondgate scheme","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529366400000 ,"articleLead": "

A major regeneration site at the gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is on the hunt for new occupiers following the appointment of property agents to market the development.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756060.1529323097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Lomondgate has been delivered by Walker Group and Strathleven Regeneration CIC in a development deal that was struck to regenerate the former J+B whisky bottling plant on the outskirts of Dumbarton.

Much of the site is now a thriving mixed-use development featuring commercial, retail and residential space. One of the site’s earliest tenants was BBC Scotland, which built production facilities where the filming of River City and Still Game takes place.

Current occupants at the 100-acre site also include Aggreko, Whitbread, Costa, Euro Garages and Jaconelli’s Fish Restaurant. Private sector investment in Lomondgate has exceeded £100 million since the project launched.

The last remaining 23 acres of land remains available and is now being touted for a number of commercial uses, with the scope to be divided up to provide “opportunities of a smaller scale”.

Property consultancy GVA has been instructed to identify potential occupiers.

Steven Szostak, project director for Strathleven Regeneration CIC, said: “The remaining land presents the partnership with a tremendous opportunity to leave a significant and lasting legacy in the area.

“The partnership board is really ambitious, looking to build on the historic successes. The site is too important for the usual peripheral uses, we are looking to make a statement for communities, businesses and visitors.”

Paul Broad, director of business space for GVA, added: “The strength of Lomondgate can be measured in how well it has performed to date and the confidence existing occupants have in the site. The development can be accessed easily by all modes of transport.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756060.1529323097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756060.1529323097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756060.1529323097!/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/financial/clydesdale-brand-set-to-go-as-cybg-buys-virgin-money-1-4756254","id":"1.4756254","articleHeadline": "Clydesdale brand set to go as CYBG buys Virgin Money","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529355600000 ,"articleLead": "

A combination of Clydesdale owner CYBG and Virgin Money will be headquartered in Glasgow, create a new competitor to Britain’s biggest banks under the latter’s branding but spark some 1,500 job losses.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The Clydesdale name, which can trace its roots back almost 200 years, is set to be phased out on the retail banking side under a brand licensing agreement struck with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

CYBG, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank and B digital banking service, said the deal would see each Virgin Money share exchanged for 1.2125 shares in the new combined group. It values each Virgin Money share at around 371p and the entire group at some £1.7 billion.

CYBG’s David Duffy will stay on as chief executive, leaving Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia to serve in a consultancy role as his senior adviser for a period of time and on “terms to be agreed”.

The enlarged group will see CYBG’s Jim Pettigrew continue on as chairman alongside finance chief Ian Smith.

The firms said they recognise “that there will be a loss of jobs” as a result of the takeover, likely to number about 1,500 over three years.

The bulk of the cuts will affect senior management positions, as CYBG has said there is “very little in overlap” in customer-facing roles.

“As a result of the significant operational overlap between CYBG and Virgin Money, the combined group will be able to reduce the duplication of roles, leading to a decrease in the total number of FTEs [full-time equivalent employees].

“It is currently expected that the total number of FTEs of the combined group, being approximately 9,500 FTEs, will reduce by approximately 16 per cent, some of which will take place via natural attrition.”

Rob MacGregor of trade union Unite said: “The purchase of Virgin Money… will change the face of banking in many high streets across the country.

“It is vital that the skilled and experienced workforce are given assurances that branches and contact centres will not be closed. Unite is now seeking an urgent meeting with… David Duffy in order to secure assurances about the employment of the dedicated women and men across the county.”

The banks said that the tie-up would effectively bring the combined group out of the challenger market, making it a real competitor to the big lenders.

Duffy said: “The combination of CYBG and Virgin Money will create the first true national competitor to the status quo in UK banking, offering a genuine alternative for consumers and small businesses.”

Donald Tosh, divisional director at Brewin Dolphin Glasgow, said: “A range of economic data has shown that the UK economy is beginning to stutter, so it will be more important to watch what and to whom the wider business is lending, rather than just how much it is lending.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/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/clydesdale-name-to-go-in-virgin-bank-deal-1-4756318","id":"1.4756318","articleHeadline": "Clydesdale name to go in Virgin bank deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529347296000 ,"articleLead": "

The centuries-old Clydesdale Bank name is set to disappear from Scotland’s High Street after its parent firm bought over Virgin Money in a £1.7 billion deal unveiled today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The newly enlarged operation will be headquartered in Glasgow and is now being seen as a potential competitor to established giants such as Barclay’s and RBS with a newly created customer base of about 6 million.

The Scottish Government says the move could “strengthen” Scotland’s global banking reputation.

But the move has prompted job fears with plans earmarked to shed about 1,500 of the current 9,500 staff of the combined group.

It will trade under the Virgin Money brand as the Clydesdale name is gradually phased out over the coming years.

The takeover by the CYBG group, which owns the Clydesdale, will see its current chief executive David Duffy retain this role in the new group, as will CYBG chairman Jim Pettigrew.

“We’re going to become a competitor of scale,” Mr Duffy said yesterday.

READ MORE: Clydesdale owner agrees £1.7bn Virgin Money deal

“I think we have sufficient scale - the brands, the product and the technology. We can be agile enough to deliver a much better deal for the customer.”

CYBG, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank brand, said the terms of the agreement will see each Virgin Money share exchanged for 1.2125 shares in the new combined group, which will gradually be re-branded under the Virgin Money banner. Virgin Money was founded in 1995 and expanded its business substantially in 2011 when it bought the remnants of Northern Rock for about £747m.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The plan for the combined group to be headquartered in Glasgow will be welcome as well as the plan to build on the expertise and skills of both companies which will strengthen Scotland’s global reputation in the banking industry. It is also good to see the commitment that there is no intention to materially alter the overall size or nature of operations at the Glasgow headquarters.”

The prospect of job losses prompted concerns from Rob MacGregor, a national officer at Unite.

“It is vital that the skilled and experienced workforce are given assurances that branches and contact centres will not be closed leaving customers without their much valued access to local banking,” he said.

The prospect of bank branch closures was played down by CYBG’s finance chief Mr Smith, who said it was “early days” for any estimates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CYBG has agreed a brand licensing agreement with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as part of the deal. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756253.1529347294!/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/financial/video-key-players-shaping-scotland-s-fintech-future-1-4756247","id":"1.4756247","articleHeadline": "Video: Key players shaping Scotland’s Fintech future","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529338045000 ,"articleLead": "

Let us introduce you to ten of Scotland’s authoritative voices at at the frontier of financial technology.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756245.1529338043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meet the key players shaping your Fintech futures. Pic: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

As innovation sculpts the digital financial landscape, consumers are looking to fiancial leaders to show them the way.

Instrumental figures, be they at the head of a multinational company or a co-founder of a fresh start-up business, are guiding consumers towards the bright future of banking.

Some work to embrace Fintech from within global businesses, like Kent Mackenzie of Deloitte and Louise Smith or RBS.

Daniel Broby, Director at the Centre of Financial Innovation and Regulation at Strathclyde Business School is playing a part in ensuring Scotland can continue to meet the need for skilled workers.

Read more: Scottish companies driving forward the Blockchain revolution

Homegrown start-ups such as Castlight, Sustainably and FreeAgent are all influential voices in the Fintech start-up community, preaching the benefits of open banking and utilising Fintech for good.

In the video above, we’ve introduce you to ten people who are driving Scotland towards the top 5 global Fintech hubs by 2020.

" ,"byline": {"email": "tony.mcguire@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Tony McGuire"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756245.1529338043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756245.1529338043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Meet the key players shaping your Fintech futures. Pic: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meet the key players shaping your Fintech futures. Pic: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756245.1529338043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5798789749001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/comment-bricklaying-has-given-my-career-a-solid-foundation-1-4756233","id":"1.4756233","articleHeadline": "Comment: Bricklaying has given my career a solid foundation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529336459553 ,"articleLead": "

Bricklaying is not a typical career aspiration for young girls, and I was no different – I loved drama at school and thought perhaps I would try becoming an actress one day.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756232.1529336570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "What I have gained is great confidence from learning a trade Ill always have, says Carlin. Picture: Robert S Winning."} ,"articleBody": "

But, by the time I finished school, I had lost the acting bug and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Most of my friends were going into beauty or social care, but none of that was for me. I knew I wanted to do something ­fairly active, and my mum, who has always shown me that I can do any job I wanted to, suggested working in construction.

I applied for a National Progression Award (NPA) Construction Course at ­Glasgow Kelvin College and got in. It was a one-year course where I did one day in the classroom and two days in the workshop doing hands-on assessments each week, and I got to try a range of trades.

I found that I enjoyed bricklaying the most and I stayed at college and completed a one-year NPA Bricklaying course, where I really honed my skills. After that I applied to ­various companies and secured a job with Cruden Building in 2017.

Since then I have been working with a team where I am the only female, and it has been great fun. I’m not treated any ­differently, and am made to feel part of the wider “Cruden family”.

The company has really invested in developing their employees through the Cruden Academy, which includes the full modern apprenticeship programme I’m in, as well as ­lifelong learning, training and further education support.

About 300 people work here, including joiners, bricklayers, plumbers, painters and labourers, and there are around 90 apprentices throughout the Cruden Group. For me, it’s exciting to see how my bricklaying plays part of a much bigger role.

You don’t need to be macho to work in construction – I’ve always been a girl that likes wearing make-up and doing my hair, and that hasn’t changed. What I have gained is great confidence from learning a trade that I’ll always have, alongside a real sense of achievement and independence.

I also love building something lasting and practical – I could be doing beauty and paint someone’s face, but then they wash it all off afterwards. When I’m building a wall, I’m creating something that is ­permanent and gives me a sense of pride.

I especially love being able to work on building a house and seeing people then living in that house – being able to build a home for a family is pretty special.

I’m now in my first year of a four-year apprenticeship. As well as getting a trade, I get paid while getting put through my training. Beyond that, I see construction as a very good career option.

It’s a shame that more young people, particularly girls, are still unaware of the huge number of opportunities available in the construction industry. At school, the careers advice I was given didn’t even ­consider this amazing sector, even though there are so many different routes in and different jobs available – and there are no restrictions regarding men versus women.

Working in a trade doesn’t have to mean tools for the rest of your life unless you want it to. There is a real opportunity for career ­progression. For example, I could go into ­lecturing or maybe even become a site manager one day. But, for now, I really enjoy my daily bricklaying and am looking forward to progressing through my apprenticeship.

I’m also determined to bust the myths about working in the construction sector. The Cruden Academy supports a lot of initiatives to help young people get a better insight of the industry, and I’ve already had the chance to speak to secondary school children about what it’s like being an apprentice bricklayer.

If I can inspire one girl to wake up to the amazing opportunities that lie await in this fantastic sector, I’ll have done my job.

Nicole Carlin is an apprentice bricklayer with Cruden Building and is currently taking part in Cruden Academy where she is completing a four-year Modern Apprenticeship.

" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "NICOLE CARLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756232.1529336570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756232.1529336570!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "What I have gained is great confidence from learning a trade Ill always have, says Carlin. Picture: Robert S Winning.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "What I have gained is great confidence from learning a trade Ill always have, says Carlin. Picture: Robert S Winning.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756232.1529336570!/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/sainsbury-s-asda-merger-could-lead-to-higher-prices-for-consumers-1-4756199","id":"1.4756199","articleHeadline": "Sainsbury’s-Asda merger ‘could lead to higher prices for consumers’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529333050000 ,"articleLead": "

Sainsbury’s £12 billion merger with Asda could result in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers, according to supermarket rivals and suppliers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756198.1529333047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sainsbury's �12bn merger with Asda could result in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers."} ,"articleBody": "

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is probing the deal, on Monday published a summary of responses to the tie-up.

It takes in the views of rival supermarkets, wholesalers, suppliers and members of the public.

“A number of submissions raised concerns about the impact of the proposed merger at the national level, on the belief that it would lead to increased concentration in the market and fewer national players, with two companies - Tesco and the combined Sainsbury’s/Asda - holding high market shares.

READ MORE: Suppliers fire warning shot over Sainsbury’s and Asda merger

“Some respondents suggested that this could give rise to higher prices, reduced choice, or a loss of innovation within the supply of groceries.”

A merger between the duo, the UK’s number two and three supermarkets, will create a supermarket titan bigger than Tesco with revenues of £51 billion and a network of 2,800 Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos stores.

They have pledged to cut prices on everyday products by around 10 per cent after the deal.

But fears have been expressed that suppliers could get squeezed as a result, with the tie-up giving the merged entity increased buying power.

“Some respondents raised concerns that the proposed merger would provide the combined company with increased buyer power, which they said would allow it to negotiate lower prices with suppliers and/or to pass on excessive risks and unexpected or disproportionate costs to suppliers,” the CMA’s document read.

Some suppliers could also be forced out of business, it added.

For their part, Sainsbury’s and Asda have claimed that only large suppliers will experience any pain.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s and Asda see sales slow before merger

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe and his Asda counterpart Roger Burnley will appear before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on June 20, with the treatment of suppliers to be a focus of the grilling.

The CMA is in the “pre-notification” phase of its investigation, which entails gathering information before a formal inquiry can begin.

Sainsbury’s said in a statement: “We are working closely with the CMA and look forward to making our case when the formal review begins.

“The combined business would aim to reduce prices on everyday items by around 10 per cent, lowering the cost of living for millions of UK households.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RAVENDER SEMBHY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4756198.1529333047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4756198.1529333047!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sainsbury's �12bn merger with Asda could result in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sainsbury's �12bn merger with Asda could result in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4756198.1529333047!/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/scottish-companies-driving-forward-the-blockchain-revolution-1-4744270","id":"1.4744270","articleHeadline": "Scottish companies driving forward the Blockchain revolution","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529331908000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland has worked hard to establish a reputation for being a hub for business in the Financial Technology (or Fintech) sector.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4744269.1528906928!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blockchain technologies are now well recognised for managing digital identities and making online transactions secure and efficient"} ,"articleBody": "

One of the biggest innovations in Fintech, and perhaps one of the most disruptive innovations in any sector in recent years, is the Blockchain technology which powers cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is most famous cryptocurrency and operates using a Blockchain which is a form of encryption technology that aims to allow for something akin to a crowd-sourced security platform.

Each transaction between two users adds a new block of data to the chain, meaning that any suspicious activity (such as attempted theft or an invalid transaction) triggers a response that alerts every user.

As banking giants start to embrace the technology in the transferring of data, money, and other secure transactions, will become commonplace in the public and private sector.

Callum Sinclair, Head of Technology and Commercial at Burness Paull LLP, believes that Scotland is an attractive place for investors in Blockchain innovation because it has already been established as a Fintech hub.

“Scotland has good academic institutions producing high quality graduates, as well as strong government support for the sector,” Mr Sinclair told the Scotsman.

He added: “The lower cost of living and doing business than London is also a factor, and the country’s historical associations with innovation especially in the finance and banking sector.”

We look at three companies in Scotland that are driving forward this revolution.


Wallet.Services is moving Blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency.

Based out of Scotland’s Fintech incubator Codebase, Wallet.Services have ambitions they say are inspired by the original vision for the world wide web set out by its founder Tim Berners-Lee.

Their mission statement says: “Blockchain’s transformative technology is the missing link needed to bring integrity and control to your digital life.”

They aim to harness the benefits of Blockchain for use across society and have worked with clients including Strathclyde University.

Their ‘Siccar’ platform utilises Blockchain for the storage of data, using the new form of cryptography to ensure data is secure.

The amount raised in an initial seed funding round wasn’t disclosed, but was described as highly successful.


It might have been founded in Switzerland, but Avaloq’s Scottish base now employs over 500 people in Edinburgh.

Avaloq is not only using its own talent pool to improve their use of Blockchain, but are making canny investments in the sector, recently acquiring a significant stake in blockchain and cryptocurrency specialist Metaco.

As a leader already in digital banking, Avaloq is uniquely placed to work with its existent client base to tailor Blockchain solutions to some of that industry’s problems.


The use of data in public services has long been a difficult question.

Blockchain could however be used to make it easier to protect sensitive patient data.

On the potential benefits, Mr Sinclair was enthusiastic, telling the Scotsman: “Any scenario where a tamper-evident record is required which notes a series of facts at a given time is a potentially good use for blockchain.

“In the public sector things like identification services would be an obvious one, creating a shared and secure system of verifying ID across local services so you don’t have to verify who you are with the GP or the library or the Job Centre for example.”

That is an area where Spiritus could become a market leader thanks to a pilot scheme which involves NHS National Services Scotland.

Announced last year, the Data Lab backed project will track connected medical devices throughout their life, helping to manage chronic conditions.

CEO Susan Ramonat said: “ We believe that both organisations will bring the best to bear through this exciting project. We’re also inspired to Scotland’s commitment to find new ways for delivering health and social care with patient safety and cyber-security at the forefront.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4744269.1528906928!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4744269.1528906928!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Blockchain technologies are now well recognised for managing digital identities and making online transactions secure and efficient","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blockchain technologies are now well recognised for managing digital identities and making online transactions secure and efficient","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4744269.1528906928!/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/paul-wheelhouse-leading-the-way-into-future-of-money-management-1-4744146","id":"1.4744146","articleHeadline": "Paul Wheelhouse: Leading the way into future of money management","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1529331772000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland boasts a proud, world-renowned history of innovation in financial services, dating back centuries; indeed, Scotland can be said to have invented retail banking and ATM technology.

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We continue to punch far above our weight in the global finance sector and we’re now leading the way into the next generation of money management.

As minister for both business and innovation – and also an economist by trade – I’ve been able to witness an exciting and dynamic period in which Scotland is positioning itself as a potential world centre for financial technology (or fintech) industries.

Financial services are going through a global transformation, driven by demand from customers and the growth of smartphone use, so there’s never been a more vibrant time to mark our place in this sector on the world stage.

While the trend in consumer preferences presents challenges, such as branch closures, there also exists a wealth of opportunity for fintech in Scotland.

As well as opening up new markets, this is stimulating continued innovation – one of the things we already do best.

Fintech in Scotland has attracted nearly £37 million of investment over the last decade, with a flourishing network bringing together start-ups, large firms, universities and public sector partners.

Scotland is an important location for many multinationals – JP Morgan, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, NCR, Ingenico and Avaloq, to name a few. Indeed, JP Morgan’s European Technology Centre in Glasgow, for example, is a vital strategic technology hub that hosts 1,300 employees. The 2017 Global FinTech Hubs Federation report from Deloitte identified Scotland as the most complete financial and business services industry cluster in the UK outside London and the south-east, with Edinburgh ranked 15th out of 44 global fintech centres.

I want Scotland to make it into the top five in the next couple of years.

Scotland has created an environment that will help firms in this sector to evolve and thrive, as well as supporting the evolution of start-ups and attracting investment. Our universities are already world leaders in many of the technologies driving this revolution, including artificial intelligence, data analytics and blockchain.

Moreover, they are providing a stream of graduates with world-class technical skills in these crucial areas in which there are excellent career prospects.

We are building on Scotland’s global reputation for banking, asset management and insurance, underpinned by academic and research expertise.

Change in the nature of financial services is inevitable and the Scottish Government is determined to ensure Scotland capitalises on opportunities that arise and retains its place at the forefront of the industry.

FinTech Scotland was launched last year with £250,000 Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise funding combined with financial and practical support from Edinburgh University. A further £250,000 was provided by Scottish Financial Enterprise members. This exciting initiative sees us work with industry and academic partners to unlock the economic benefits of a successful fintech sector.

Our support for FinTech Scotland will help drive sustainable economic growth in financial services through innovation, collaboration and inclusion.

We want FinTech Scotland to make financial services more open, creative and inclusive to all through new innovative technologies and assert Scotland’s capability as a leading and thriving fintech environment.

FinTech Scotland aims to create an integrated (fintech) ecosystem through funding, support, infrastructure and talent that recognises and responds to the needs of all stakeholders.

It will provide an opportunity for business creation and growth, as well as attracting diverse entrepreneurs and talent; securing Scotland’s place as a significant player in the global fintech sector and associated funding circles.

A key objective for FinTech Scotland is creating a better Scotland through financial innovation, collaboration and inclusion – and that’s an exciting legacy for those who forged Scotland’s leading reputation in global finance.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP is Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy for the Scottish Government.

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