{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/utility-giant-powers-up-with-partnership-for-kilmarnock-s-halo-1-4727120","id":"1.4727120","articleHeadline": "Utility giant powers up with partnership for Kilmarnock’s Halo","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524149582000 ,"articleLead": "

ScottishPower and The Halo Scotland have unveiled a “groundbreaking” partnership that will see the energy giant established as the headline partner of the Kilmarnock urban regeneration initiative.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727119.1524149579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ScottishPower: excited to explore the opportunities within this innovative project."} ,"articleBody": "

The announcement heralds the launch of a £5 million, five-year programme by ScottishPower and Halo, building upon the “utility of the future” vision.

Halo is a regeneration scheme on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in the town. It is being shaped as a “multi-faceted” brown-field regeneration.

ScottishPower will be a leader in The Halo’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre and its digital and cyber zone where The Halo and the power group will create a cyber and digital training and learning facility.

It is expected that the Halo project will contribute £120m of GDP to the Scottish economy annually, create 1,400-plus direct jobs and support some 630 construction jobs.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower, said: “Across all of our business areas, ScottishPower is working to deliver a low carbon and sustainable future. We are a leader in smart and renewable energy and a perfect fit to help The Halo achieve their objectives.

“We are excited to explore the opportunities within this innovative project. There will be a focus on young people, digital skills and energy innovations that we hope will help us move towards a decarbonised transport, heat and energy sector.”

Marie Macklin, founding director of The Halo, added: “In making this commitment ScottishPower is supporting an urban regeneration project that is going to change the lives of young people, not just in Ayrshire but across the whole of Scotland.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4727119.1524149579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727119.1524149579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "ScottishPower: excited to explore the opportunities within this innovative project.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ScottishPower: excited to explore the opportunities within this innovative project.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4727119.1524149579!/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/rbs-pushes-button-on-chief-digital-officer-role-1-4727017","id":"1.4727017","articleHeadline": "RBS pushes button on chief digital officer role","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524145416000 ,"articleLead": "

In a sign of the changing times within banking, Royal Bank of Scotland had appointed a chief digital officer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727016.1524145414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "RBS has faced criticism for closing scores of bank branches amid a migration to banking by smartphone. Picture: Stuart Cobley"} ,"articleBody": "

The Edinburgh-headquartered financial giant, which has faced criticism for closing scores of bank branches, said Frans Woelders will come on board at the start of next month, slotting into its personal and business banking operation.

It added that the creation of the position signalled a “fundamental shift in gear to build world class digital services for personal and small business customers”. Woelders was formerly chief executive, retail banking, at ABN Amro, the Dutch group targeted by RBS in a damaging acquisition in 2007.

Before taking up that post, where he oversaw the introduction of the peer-to-peer payment app Tikkie, Woelders was ABN Amro’s group chief information officer and head of technology.

Les Matheson, chief executive of personal and business banking at RBS, said: “These changes signal our intent to transform our business around the experiences and needs of our customers.

“We will do this by combining the mind-set, behaviours and approach of a fintech, with our competitive advantages; highly professional and caring colleagues, deep expertise in technology, a large existing customer base, and our great brands.

“The result will make banking with us effortless everyday and brilliant when it matters”.

Woelders added: “Customers are increasingly seeking to self-serve in their own time and looking for ease and simplicity in the way they do their banking.

“I’m looking forward to helping RBS to build upon its already award-winning platforms.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4727016.1524145414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727016.1524145414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "RBS has faced criticism for closing scores of bank branches amid a migration to banking by smartphone. Picture: Stuart Cobley","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "RBS has faced criticism for closing scores of bank branches amid a migration to banking by smartphone. Picture: Stuart Cobley","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4727016.1524145414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/future-scotland/tech/scottish-start-up-survey-finds-growing-confidence-in-tech-sector-1-4726835","id":"1.4726835","articleHeadline": "Scottish start-up survey finds growing confidence in tech sector","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524157837000 ,"articleLead": "

Growing a customer base, attracting investment and hiring talent are the biggest challenges for Scotland’s fledgling tech businesses, an industry survey has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726834.1524137059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, Patrick Renner, Suzanne Mitskchke, and Rogelio Arellano of MindMate, one of the many start-ups to have come through the EIE programme. Picture: Stewart Attwood"} ,"articleBody": "

The results of the second annual Scottish Startup Survey were revealed to coincide with the 2018 Engage, Invest Exploit (EIE) showcase which takes place in Edinburgh today.

The event will see 60 young data driven businesses pitch live to an audience of investors from all over the world.

Respondents to the survey rated the start-up scene north of the Border as growing in confidence, with companies recognising that they are pitching in an increasingly competitive market.

Among their peers, respondents identified e-learning software specialist Administrate, fashion shopping app Mallzee, identity and compliance software developer Amiqus and recently launched eSports venture Flick, co-founded by the team behind FanDuel, as the start-ups rated as having the best chance to achieve unicorn or billion-dollar valuation status over the next few years.

On the subject of Brexit, 37.6 per cent of the survey said they were “more worried” by Brexit in 2018 than they were last year, 9.9 per cent are “less worried” and 52.5 per cent are “unchanged.” 38.6 per cent of respondents said they are undertaking Brexit planning.

READ MORE: Comment: Celebrating ten years of Scotland’s top tech event

The survey was carried out by EIE organisers Informatic Ventures in association with Freer Consultants.

Introducing the findings, Dr Steve Ewing, director of operations at Informatics Ventures, said: “The survey tells us that Scotland is a great place to start a business but that we could be doing more and doing it faster. Access to finance and getting the right people on board remain issues for our most promising early stage tech startups.”

It’s an opinion shared by Susanne Mitschke, CEO and cofounder of MindMate, a free mobile health app used by over half a million people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

“Scotland is becoming a startup powerhouse and, as a nation, is a fantastic example of how government can support entrepreneurship,” she said.

“Grant funding is a differentiator for our startup community, it’s just not something you see in the US or the rest of Europe, and it allows entrepreneurship to flourish and corporate ambitions to be realised. That is reflected in the survey with 71.3 per cent of founders looking for grant funding in the next 12 months and 18.6 per cent saying government support is the biggest benefit of being based in Scotland.”

“At the same time, a high percentage of entrepreneurs also state that their biggest challenge in Scotland is access to finance. I can relate to this as MindMate was not able to raise in Scotland. Our investors for our recent $2m funding round are almost all from the US, with the exception of one fund from London. However, given the fantastic support to start a business, there should be no excuses why you should not be an entrepreneur and live your dreams in Scotland.”

71.3 per cent of the survey respondents are actively considering government grant funding, 47.5 per cent are planning for angel investment, 41.6 per cent are targeting venture capital funding. Only 8.9 per cent said they will not require any additional external monies over the next twelve months.

Now in its 10th year, over 400 companies have pitched at EIE and it has been a springboard to over £550 million in seed and later stage funding. FanDuel, Mallzee, Celtic Renewables, ZoneFox, pureLiFi and MindMate are a few of the companies to come through the EIE programme in recent years.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726834.1524137059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726834.1524137059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left, Patrick Renner, Suzanne Mitskchke, and Rogelio Arellano of MindMate, one of the many start-ups to have come through the EIE programme. Picture: Stewart Attwood","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left, Patrick Renner, Suzanne Mitskchke, and Rogelio Arellano of MindMate, one of the many start-ups to have come through the EIE programme. Picture: Stewart Attwood","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726834.1524137059!/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/scottish-news-media-company-folds-before-first-issue-1-4727102","id":"1.4727102","articleHeadline": "‘Scottish News’ media company folds before first issue","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524149698000 ,"articleLead": "

A media start-up which claimed it would hire up to 300 journalists has folded without printing a single newspaper or broadcasting any material.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727101.1524149695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish News has folded before an issue could be produced"} ,"articleBody": "

Eyebrows were raised in the sector in January when a website called Scottish News - a venture described as “Scotland’s largest multimedia platform” - appeared online.

Adverts claimed Scottish News was looking for a chief editor and 300 multimedia journalists, in both online and broadcast roles, to cover every area of the country.

Interviews took place last month at an office in Glasgow and a series of job offers were made.

But the venture has now collapsed with a lack of finance being blamed.

One applicant, who was offered a job with Scottish News, told The Scotsman he had suspicions about the venture before he even attended the interview process.

“Around 15 of us arrived and gathered in a boardroom. We were then asked to sign a non-disclosure form,” he said.

“One of the group activites we were asked to do was look at a list of items and debate which ones we would take on a trip to the Moon. At this point I thought: what has this got to do with a journalism job?”

The applicant, who asked not to be named, continued: “The event was being run by professional HR people, but there were no sign of any journalists. I was surprised my one-to-one interview was then conducted by someone with no editorial experience. I asked him: will this be a print or an online operation? And he replied: ‘both’. There were no straight answers.”

Paisley-based businessman John Wyllie, who was behind the venture, told The Sun: “Despite our very best intentions we are all extremely disappointed that the plans to launch Scottish News haven’t been able to progress as expected.

“We have been on an incredible journey so far to realise our aim of launching an innovative and exciting new company which would bring new jobs to the Glasgow area and allow us to invest in a city we love.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4727101.1524149695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4727101.1524149695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish News has folded before an issue could be produced","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish News has folded before an issue could be produced","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4727101.1524149695!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/tech/product-designer-goes-global-after-sale-to-us-company-1-4726285","id":"1.4726285","articleHeadline": "Product designer goes global after sale to US company","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524114001000 ,"articleLead": "

One of the top product design and development businesses in Scotland has been bought by a US company in a move that will see the firm tap into new markets and grow its headcount.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726284.1524055744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The company has won numerous awards for product design including a European Design Award last year for the development of a mobile phone ophthalmoscope. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Glasgow-based WideBlue, which was set up as an independent entity in 2006 after a management buyout from Polaroid’s European research and development arm, has been acquired by Kansas-based Pivot International.

While the value of the deal has not been disclosed, it is described as “significant”.

The US group – founded in 1972 – is buying a majority equity stake in WideBlue and the agreement will also lead to the retirement later in the year of one of the Scots firm’s founding directors, Grant King.

WideBlue has delivered hundreds of projects for a variety of organisations from start-ups and university spin-outs to multinational corporations. It is frequently engaged in collaborative projects working with European research organisations and universities, especially in the areas of imaging, optoelectronics and bio-medical engineering.

The skill set in-house ranges from physics, optics, electronics and software through to mechanical engineering, prototyping, manufacture and supply chain management.

Managing director Russell Overend stressed that it would be “business as usual” following the buyout, including the retention of the brand.

He said: “We have been in discussions with Pivot for the past 12 months and had been working in a couple of areas already.

“They were looking for a strategic partner to have a presence in Europe. Our skill sets, commercial and management capability are very much complementary.

“With Pivot’s contract manufacturing and component sourcing facilities in the US and Far East we can now offer our clients a complete end-to-end solution going from the initial product idea to full-scale production.

“Finding an overseas manufacturing facility can be a hit or miss affair – now we can offer full project management control and complete quality assurance to our growing portfolio of clients.”

At present, the firm has a workforce of 15 engineers, many of whom have multiple degrees in electronics, physics, product design, engineering and production. Overend said the business was “going to be actively recruiting”, with that process already underway.

The company has won numerous awards for product design including a European Design Award last year for the development of a mobile phone ophthalmoscope for client Peek Vision.

The acquisition of WideBlue brings the total headcount at Pivot to 400 across the globe including an engineering team of 50.

Chief executive Mark Dohnalek said: “We are especially interested in WideBlue’s specialist expertise in optical technology which is world-class.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726284.1524055744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726284.1524055744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The company has won numerous awards for product design including a European Design Award last year for the development of a mobile phone ophthalmoscope. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The company has won numerous awards for product design including a European Design Award last year for the development of a mobile phone ophthalmoscope. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726284.1524055744!/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/bill-jamieson-here-s-how-the-world-is-leaving-scotland-behind-1-4726527","id":"1.4726527","articleHeadline": "Bill Jamieson: Here’s how the world is leaving Scotland behind","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524114000000 ,"articleLead": "

Economic optimism about the global economy doesn’t extend to Scotland, writes Bill Jamieson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726526.1524070083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shoppers take to Glasgow's Buchanan Street, but Scotland's retail sector is one of several poor performers (Picture: John Devlin)"} ,"articleBody": "

Few forecasts should have more cheered Scottish Government ministers in their efforts to boost Scotland’s trade and profile overseas than the upbeat International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for the world economy this week.

It predicts that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, hitting 3.8 per cent. That’s an encouraging backdrop for Scotland’s exporters. And the IMF has even made a modest upgrade for growth in the Brexit-bedevilled UK – up from 1.5 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

Given the IMF’s past form, readers have cause to be a tad sceptical about its forecasts. Remember Christine Lagarde’s scary warning of our prospects at the time of the Brexit vote – “really, really bad”? Now the forecast is altogether more measured. And several independent expert groups have also been nudging up their UK growth forecasts in recent weeks. These, of course, are still below our long-term trend growth rate of two per cent and barely cause for cheer among UK ministers. But the direction of travel looks more encouraging than it did in the immediate wake of Brexit and the Office for Budget Responsibility’s grim forecasts last November – though this, too, has also been nudged higher.

But what cheer can Scottish ministers take from the IMF’s global numbers? Very little, when they look at latest numbers on Scotland’s economic performance released this week. The number of people in work in Scotland fell by 17,000 between

December and February, with the employment rate marking time at 75 per cent. By contrast, across the UK as a whole, employment rose by 55,000 over this period, the highest figure since records began in 1971. This gave an employment rate of 75.4 per cent – just above Scotland’s rate.

READ MORE: Scots economy enjoys full year of growth

Meanwhile there were 115,000 Scots classed as unemployed and looking for work – after a rise of 3,000, taking the unemployment rate up to 4.2 per cent.

Until recently, Scotland’s labour market had been performing slightly better than the UK overall, working to mask a continuing poor trend in economic performance, both in absolute terms and relative to the UK. Latest figures not only show pronounced poor growth in the Scottish economy last year – growth of just 0.8 per cent, well below the UK’s 1.8 per cent – but also a continuing poor performance stretching back years. Nor does the future look any

better: the Scottish Fiscal Commission says Scotland’s economy will grow at less than 1 per cent per year until 2022.

According to analysis by economist John Maclaren, after adjusting for the abnormal short-lived upturn in construction activity, Scottish growth has been very poor, at just under one per cent a year in both absolute and relative terms for three years.

Indeed, he adds, the position is little better looked at over the past eight years, with annual growth averaging just 1.1 per cent. By contrast, the UK has grown by around double this rate – two per cent a year – over the past 3 years (or over the past eight years). Notable weak spots have been manufacturing, in particular since 2014; transport and communications, going back to 2003; retail since 2012; hotels and catering going as far back as data is published (1998); business services post 2009, and health and social work after 2009.

The sluggishness in business services is particularly worrisome, for even though it has been the strongest growing sector of the Scottish economy since 2009, its growth rate (2.5 per cent a year on average) is well behind that seen at the UK level (5.6 per cent).

READ MORE: Flatlining growth paints grim picture for Scottish economy

And, in terms of GDP per head (standard of living), Scotland has now experienced no change since the start of 2015, compared to a rise of 3.2 per cent seen for the UK over the same period.

Private sector services – in particular retail, hospitality, communications and business services – have badly underperformed in relative terms. Government ministers have not been inactive. Infrastructure projects have been launched, more funds given to skills and apprenticeship training, support pledged for regional enterprise initiatives and – yet again – life has been breathed into a Scottish investment bank. But despite all this, Maclaren concludes: “Current Scottish government policies seem unlikely to do much to remedy this. Meanwhile the lack of understanding, or interest in, why this has happened remains of worry.”

The state of the domestic economy has been cited as a barrier to growth in a survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) in Scotland. It singles out a “punishing” tax regime imposed by ministers that is hurting smaller firms. “Scottish firms are still gloomy about prospects,” says FSB Scottish policy convener Andy Willox, “and far less optimistic than the average UK business. If we’re to restore Scottish confidence and turn firms’ investment ambitions into reality, we need to do more to reassure our business community.”

What should the Scottish Government now do? Prioritise economic development for starters – this has not always been evident. Higher growth boosts tax revenues and funds available for the SNP’s social ambitions.

Stop hiking taxes is another no-brainer. Increased tax rates for middle to higher earners, coupled with rises in council tax, constrain household incomes and intensify the decline in the high streets.

Cutting the rates burden on retail outlets would help staunch the exodus. Suspending parking charges would be another. Push on with improvements in digital connectivity and make skills and apprenticeship training more effective. Give a sharp prune to the knot-weed of initiatives and strategies (16 at the last count) which confuse policy.

Meanwhile there are positives from which we can take heart. The UK has notched up the strongest half-year productivity performance since 2005. Business investment and exports across the UK hit a record high last year. Consumer price inflation fell in March from 2.7 per cent to 2.5 per cent, the lowest rate in a year; and the squeeze on personal budgets may be coming to an end as wages rise. Average pay was 2.8 per cent higher in the three months to February than it was a year earlier. Wage growth is the strongest since the summer of 2015. So there are reasons to hope that the tide may at last be turning for households.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bill Jamieson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726526.1524070083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726526.1524070083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Shoppers take to Glasgow's Buchanan Street, but Scotland's retail sector is one of several poor performers (Picture: John Devlin)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shoppers take to Glasgow's Buchanan Street, but Scotland's retail sector is one of several poor performers (Picture: John Devlin)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726526.1524070083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-why-shooting-estates-should-fear-eagle-disappearances-1-4726582","id":"1.4726582","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Why shooting estates should fear eagle disappearances","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524114000000 ,"articleLead": "

As the RSPB Scotland points out, the disappearance of a fourth satellite-tracked eagle in a part of Perthshire that’s home to several shooting estates over four years is “highly suspicious”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726581.1524075846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Why do eagles keep disappearing in Scotland? (Picture: Ian McCarthy)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association complains its members are the “first to be accused when any bird of prey goes missing”, but the illegal killing of raptors undoubtedly happens, as a 2016 report on red kites by Scottish Natural Heritage found, and few others have a motivation. Each case is a further challenge to the rule of law that will eventually force parliament to react.

READ MORE: Row erupts over ‘suspicious’ disappearance of golden eagle Fred

And that could lead to the licensing of shooting estates – with the threat of licences being revoked over killings of birds of prey – or a strict liability offence so that a landowner would be found responsible for the unnatural death of any raptor on their land.

Both are measures that estates would – and should – fear.

The sooner the shooting community realises that the death of a sea eagle represents a greater threat to their business than a live bird, the better the chances will be of protecting these magnificent creatures.

READ MORE: Fears raised over fate of another protected Scottish golden eagle

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726581.1524075846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726581.1524075846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Why do eagles keep disappearing in Scotland? (Picture: Ian McCarthy)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Why do eagles keep disappearing in Scotland? (Picture: Ian McCarthy)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726581.1524075846!/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/kenny-macaskill-the-nasty-party-is-back-1-4726423","id":"1.4726423","articleHeadline": "Kenny MacAskill: The Nasty Party is back","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524114000000 ,"articleLead": "

On 4 May 1979, Margaret Thatcher stood at the doorstep of 10 Downing Street and gave her acceptance speech as newly elected Tory Prime Minister.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726421.1524141761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey was heckled by members of the public in a Holyrood committee meeting (Picture: PA)"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking softly and without triumphalism, she said; “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

Many, including me, doubted her sincerity and feared for what might befall the country, and not without good reason. – for the miners’ strike, riots, mass unemployment and the hopelessness that came with it for so many were her legacy. Harmony there was not and despair there most certainly was, despite her protestations.

She ruled imperiously though for many years before it all fell apart, as the country tired of her discord and outrage over the poll tax brought her down. Her replacement with the gentler persona of John Major was still unable to save the Tories from an electoral wipe out in 1997, as the brand proved toxic across the entire country.

Such was the antipathy that even Theresa May, speaking to the Tory party conference in October 2002, acknowledged that they had to face up to the “unfortunate truth” that they were “sometimes perceived by the public as the Nasty Party”. It was a long way from one-nation conservatism that had once been espoused by patrician grandees like Harold Macmillan or Alex Douglas-Home.

As a consequence, the Tories had to reinvent themselves, but leader after leader failed to reduce the level of toxicity, from the boyish William Hague to the eccentric but wooden Iain Duncan Smith, until a young David Cameron used his bonhomie to mask the Bullingdon Club ethos that lay behind his leadership.

READ MORE: Fury as UK minister suggests rape clause gives women ‘chance to talk’

His term in office came to an inglorious end with his spectacular misjudgement over Brexit but whether through coalition, albeit with supine Liberal Democrats, or through cuts masked by claims of required austerity, the veneer of decency remained. We were all in it together after all, as he claimed!

Fast forward to 13 July 2016, when May took over as Prime Minister and her acceptance speech bore all the hallmarks of Thatcher’s address 37 years before, rather than actualities of the Iron Lady’s 11-year tenure. The new and, in many ways, accidental Premier – given the circumstances in which she had come to power – said that her predecessor had “led a one-nation government”, that she would be “fighting against burning injustices” and that she sought “a country that works not for a privileged few, but for everyone”.

Initially, it appeared successful as election results on both sides of the Border seemed to offer the Tories opportunities amongst working people and other sections of the electorate that once shunned them. The image of a moderate Prime Minister challenged by extremists on either side and deftly trying to steer a course through stormy Brexit waters was conjured up. North of the Border, the “couthy” Ruth Davidson belied the Tories’ image as the party of the rich and reinvented it as the party of the union. Old political allegiances were breaking down just as the old image of the Tory Party was fading.

But, the mask’s now slipping from the Conservative Party and the image of the “Nasty Party” is fast returning. A week’s a long time in politics, as they say, and the UK Government has gone from the ‘strong and stable’ administration they wished to show – meeting out justice to the likes of Assad – to a bunch of heartless incompetents. Exposed for inflicting injustice on immigrants who answered the Empire’s call in its time of need and imposing misery on the poor, through heartless benefits checks on rape victims never mind the destitute.

READ MORE: Leader comment: Windrush scandal is a stain on the UK that must be cleaned up

It had been faltering for a while as a hopeless election campaign saw them almost snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, then a grubby deal with the DUP and lateness and a lack of sensitivity in responding to the Grenfell fire were sure signs of lack of awareness, as well as understanding.

This week saw them exposed both on policies and competence. Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s performance in Westminster was as hapless as Esther McVey’s was heartless at Holyrood, one displaying a lack of control over her department and the other a complete lack of empathy for victims. But the responsibility rests with the Prime Minister because the ineptitude of the Home Office predates the current incumbent and the blame for wider social policy firmly rests with her.

Both May and Davidson have been remarkably lucky in many ways, no bad thing for a politician and what Napoleon wanted his generals to be. May managed to avoid significant flack for a tenure as Home Secretary that was far from glorious to say the least – alienating the police, presiding over a prison and probation service shambles and creating an immigration system that’s as incompetent as it’s cruel. Davidson came to power and was able to rally her party to the union, which to be fair she did with aplomb. However, her image as a moderniser and moderate is falling apart as u-turn follows retreat on almost every issue related to the EU. On social policy, calling out the Scottish Government for perceived failures and demanding ever more is untenable when she now has a Westminster group and it’s there that the cuts are coming from.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Tories are doomed. Major won an election victory against the odds and Jeremy Corbyn seems unelectable at the present moment. Up in Scotland, tiredness from and with the SNP could see the Tories continue to challenge.

However, the sheen has most certainly come off both May and Davidson, as the rhetoric is not living up to the reality, any more now than it did decades ago. The treatment of the Windrush generation and the crass insensitivity of Universal Credit make the Tories look like the Nasty Party once again.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kenny MacAskill"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726421.1524141761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726421.1524141761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey was heckled by members of the public in a Holyrood committee meeting (Picture: PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey was heckled by members of the public in a Holyrood committee meeting (Picture: PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726421.1524141761!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5670822690001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/markets-economy/scotland-lags-behind-most-other-countries-in-international-trade-1-4726426","id":"1.4726426","articleHeadline": "Scotland ‘lags behind most other countries’ in international trade","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524065610000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland lags behind most other countries in terms of international exports, a new report has stated, adding that raising overseas sales to the same level of the UK would bring a £12 billion boost.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726424.1524065608!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Whisky is one of Scotland's biggest exports. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Exports were worth £76 billion to Scotland in 2016 - a drop of £3.9 billion on the previous year.

Almost £46 billion of Scottish exports went to other parts of the UK while international sales netted nearly £30 billion.

Research by the Scottish Policy Foundation (SPF) and the Fraser of Allander Institute indicated that “in terms of international trade, Scotland lags behind most other countries”.

While the Scottish Government set a target of increasing international exports by 50 per cent between 2011 and 2017, it reported these had risen by about 24 per cent between 2010 and 2016 - the latest year for which figures were available.

When looking at exports as a percentage of GDP, it said “Scotland currently exports a lower share of its overall output abroad than the UK as a whole”.

The report added: “If Scotland was to export the same amount as the UK internationally, this would be equivalent to an extra £12 billion in Scottish international exports.”

It described Scotland’s current performance in terms of exports as being “mixed”, saying while a “significant proportion” of output is sold to other nations, “this tends of to be concentrated in just one market - the rest of the UK”.

It stated: “In terms of international sales, Scotland does less well.”

Increasing exports to the rest of the world by 5 per cent could grow GDP by 1 per cent and employment by 0.9 per cent in the long run, it indicated.

The increases were calculated using a new multi-sector macroeconomic computer model of the Scottish economy, which was commissioned by the SPF to help think tanks evaluate the impact of policy ideas.

A 5 per cent increase in exports could “reflect a situation whereby a new trade deal was struck with a country, which reduced trade barriers on Scottish exports”.

If such an increase was achieved, it would also stimulate migration to Scotland and investment, with the research finding “all sectors in the economy benefit over the long run”.

However, it added that one “barrier to increasing Scottish exports is the relatively small number of companies that export” - with the Scottish Government having estimated more than half of the country’s exports come from just 70 firms.

SPF director Alison Moore said: “It is clear from the research that the Fraser of Allander Institute has carried out for us on Scotland’s export market that more analysis is needed on how Scotland can expand its export base.

“We are hoping that today’s release of this new research will act as a catalyst for think tanks in Scotland to develop policy ideas and test their effectiveness on the economy as a whole using SPF’s macro-economic model.”

READ MORE - Scottish exports soar by nearly one fifth in UK high

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Katrine Bussey"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726424.1524065608!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726424.1524065608!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Whisky is one of Scotland's biggest exports. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Whisky is one of Scotland's biggest exports. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726424.1524065608!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5772554747001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jim-duffy-comment-millennials-not-starstruck-by-home-ownership-1-4726359","id":"1.4726359","articleHeadline": "Jim Duffy comment: Millennials not starstruck by home ownership","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524060431000 ,"articleLead": "

As new research shows millennials – those born between 1980 and 1996 – face still living in rented accommodation at age 30 and that a third of young people face living in private rented housing all their lives, I ask – so what?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726358.1524060427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Duffy: 'Generation Y are not buying into the housing market.' Picture: Ian Howarth"} ,"articleBody": "

Yes, it appears that Generation Y are not buying into the housing market – for a variety of reasons. Unlike their Generation X predecessors, who appear to love bricks and mortar as an investment. But I thought the whole point of buying a house was to have a home. And this is where the bubble has burst in the narrative of home ownership being a good thing for humans versus home ownership being a way to generate and accumulate wealth in a market.

I believe we humans started off living in caves. A cave was a safe place. A place where we found shelter from the elements and could rear a family and some goats. Even today in places like Spain, one can still buy cave houses built into rock. A cave provided protection and stability. This ties nicely into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs motivation theory that stems from the discipline of psychology. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and some take precedence over others. The Maslow pyramid of needs is typically wide at the base and narrows as it rises. Along the bottom of the baseline run the human basic needs. And safety and security take up a whole tier of the pyramid. Accordingly, this is where a cave in Spain or a flat in Gorgie or a caravan in Somerset all complete the picture for what we humans need. Ostensibly, a roof over our heads where we can have privacy, security and a place to watch TV.

But, the market, like all markets, has spoiled this for the younger generation. My generation were instructed to get on the housing ladder as quickly as possible and climb it. This stimulated the mortgage market, which in turn stimulated a frenzy over the last 25 years in buying property simply to make money. In postcodes around the UK, many millionaires have been created simply as a result of buying a house and sitting in it while the market boomed. This market has created wealth for us and for the lenders who provide the capital to fuel the beast. But, now we have an issue. Now, we have a group of people in society who simply cannot afford to get on “our” ladder and who don’t really care for it. And why should they? When a one-bedroom flat in Gorgie is priced at £150,000, one cannot expect a 21-year-old earning £18,000 to be able to afford to buy it, never mind run it. Firstly, a whopping 20 per cent deposit is required. I see some banks are slipping back to smaller deposits. And we know where that led in the past. More fool them and maybe more fool us. So, £30,000 needs to go into my Gorgie tenemented flat as a deposit. Enter the bank of mum and dad. Ah, I see! Because we – Generation X – have done so well, pricing out Generation Y, we now have to fund them to buy in. Then there is the guarantor status that may be needed. Many lenders will want “mum and dad” to accept some responsibility for paying the loan down. It’s not really a case of cutting the cord and becoming independent for Johnny Millenial. It’s more a case of beg and borrow and owe.

So, many of them have switched their mindsets to renting and travelling and seeing home ownership as old-fashioned and a busted business model. They see us trapped into 30 years of paying off mortgage after mortgage only to be sitting in Morningside or Colinton with a big old lump of property that gives us security, but is worth nothing to us until we hit the cemetery. Perhaps for us owning a property and making some money was a noble cause. But young people nowadays, faced with extortionate prices, eye-watering utility bills and a fresh perspective on what is important in life, do not seem to share our vision for property success. Maybe Maslow and his hierarchy of needs is making a comeback as young people opt for a different form of cave.

- Jim Duffy MBE, Create Special

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JIM DUFFY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726358.1524060427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726358.1524060427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jim Duffy: 'Generation Y are not buying into the housing market.' Picture: Ian Howarth","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jim Duffy: 'Generation Y are not buying into the housing market.' Picture: Ian Howarth","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726358.1524060427!/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/headwinds-batter-scottish-high-streets-despite-sales-rise-1-4726299","id":"1.4726299","articleHeadline": "Headwinds batter Scottish high streets despite sales rise","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524056775000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s high streets eked out some modest growth last month though the result was massaged by the timing of Easter while the retail sector continues to face a “number of headwinds”, experts warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726298.1524056771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kirkcaldy High Street"} ,"articleBody": "

Total sales rose by 0.8 per cent last month compared with March 2017, when they had fallen by 2.1 per cent, according to the latest sales monitor from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) and KPMG.

This is above the three-month and 12-month averages of 0.5 per cent, while adjusted for inflation, sales increased by 1.8 per cent.

The retail sector has been rocked by higher costs, a squeeze on household budgets and the continued migration to online shopping.

SRC director David Lonsdale said that last month’s result was likely to have been distorted by the early timing of Easter this year. He said: “While retail sales grew in March and at first blush seem to have turned in another creditable result, the figures were heavily distorted and flattered by the early Easter and overall last month’s performance will be seen as somewhat underwhelming.

“Grocery sales once again were the bright spot, bolstered by celebrations associated with Easter and Mother’s Day. The ‘Beast from the East’ weather phenomenon at the start of March had little impact on food sales over the trading period as a whole.

“The same cannot be said for non-food retail sales, with the ‘Beast’ preventing shoppers from reaching stores in the early part of March, and so this more discretionary part of retail spending struggled once again.

“Retailers will now look nervously towards April as they calibrate their efforts to tempt shoppers,” he added.

“The underlying weakness in consumer spending persists and household disposable incomes face a number of headwinds, with higher council tax bills landing on doormats and with increased pension contributions for some trebling.”

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland for KPMG, added: “It hasn’t been a positive start to the year for retailers and it is unlikely that trading conditions will drastically improve any time soon.

“Retailers will need to remain agile and make themselves stand out from the crowd. They’ll also need to strengthen their online offering if they are to succeed in this challenging climate.”

l The owner of budget fashion chain Primark has seen UK sales growth slow as it became the latest retailer to reveal a weather hit.

Associated British Foods said Primark’s UK like-for-like sales rose 3 per cent in the six months to 3 March – down from 5 per cent growth seen in the previous year.

It said trading was impacted by an unusually warm October and the Beast from the East in the final week of its first half. But AB Foods said the UK performance was “remarkable” amid difficult conditions.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726298.1524056771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726298.1524056771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kirkcaldy High Street","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kirkcaldy High Street","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726298.1524056771!/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/video-top-ten-export-destinations-for-scotch-whisky-in-2017-1-4726293","id":"1.4726293","articleHeadline": "Video: Top ten export destinations for Scotch whisky in 2017","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524056265000 ,"articleLead": "

Around 200 global markets helped Scotch exports earn £137 every second in 2017.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4709167.1524056260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "2017 was a successful year for scotch whisky exports."} ,"articleBody": "

Scotch whisky is a cornerstone of the United Kingdom’s food and drink export industry.

According to the Scottish Whisky Association, Scotch exports in 2017 surpassed the previous record set in 2012.

The 2017 export value increased by 8.9 per cent (£356 million) to £4.359 billion.

The demand for Scotland’s national drink in emerging markets across the developing world helped whisky sales earn £137 a second in 2017.

As a result, Scotch exports to 200 global markets account for around 20 per cent of all UK food and drink exports.

To give a sense of scale, emerging markets like India and Brazil imported 89 million bottles and 36 million bottles respectively, but still don’t appear in the top ten markets defined by export value in 2017.

In the video above, we look at these ten biggest value markets for Scotch.

" ,"byline": {"email": "tony.mcguire@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Tony McGuire"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4709167.1524056260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4709167.1524056260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "2017 was a successful year for scotch whisky exports.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "2017 was a successful year for scotch whisky exports.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4709167.1524056260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5772554747001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/scottish-heritage-attractions-set-new-visitor-record-1-4725504","id":"1.4725504","articleHeadline": "Scottish heritage attractions set new visitor record","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524047915000 ,"articleLead": "

More than 5 million people have visited Scotland’s heritage attractions in a single year with a new record set by the country’s historic properties.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725503.1523964295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness is the third most visited historic property in Scotland. PIC: Creative Commons/Nilfanion."} ,"articleBody": "

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is celebrating a 17 per cent increase in visitor numbers to its staffed properties during 2017/2018.

An increase in overseas tourists, the favourable exchange rate and the ongoing craze surrounding the Outlander series are credited with driving the figures with a 27 per cent rise in North American visitors alone.

READ MORE: Clan Fraser grave damaged amid Outlander effect

Three of the top ten HES attractions have been used by the Outlander series as filming locations and have all experienced a rise in visitors.

They are Glasgow Cathedral (up 27 per cent); Doune Castle (up 36 per cent) and Linlithgow Palace (up 17 per cent).

READ MORE: Video: 9 stunning castle ruins of Scotland

Overall, some 5,041,291 paid to visit a Historic Environment Scotland property during 2017/2018. Meanwhile, an estimated 7m people spent time at one of the organisation’s free sites.

Edinburgh Castle remains the top attraction with 300,000 more visitors crossings its drawbridge last year when compared to the 12 months before.

The Neolothic settlement of Skara Brae in Orkney also features in the top 10, along with Iona Abbey.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at HES, said: “Our record breaking visitor figures, including across all of our top ten sites, are a tremendous achievement for Scotland’s heritage tourism sector, reflecting the continued interest shown by tourists and home-grown visitors to learn more about our rich Scottish heritage.

“The exchange rate, as well as strong airport numbers, have both contributed to the growing figures.

“Over five million visitors have flocked to our wealth of historic sites across the length and breadth of the country, ranging from iconic attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, to landmarks such as Skara Brae in Orkney and Iona Abbey, as well as castles in Scotland’s historic towns such as St Andrews Castle.

“This rise in visitor numbers at our staffed sites has also been complemented by visitor growth at our unstaffed free access properties, bringing the overall total to an estimated 12 million.”

Stephen continued: “It is an incredible achievement to celebrate record-breaking figures across all our top 10 sites. This growing interest in Scotland’s historic environment, with visitors keen to explore our country’s rich heritage looks set to continue.

“Thank you to all our dedicated staff who have helped to bring to life Scotland’s past to every single one of our five million visitors.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the figures were “very encouraging” news for Scotland’s world class attractions.

She added: “From Orkney to the Borders, Scotland’s diverse landscapes and iconic sites are of great importance to communities throughout the country, stimulating economic growth and further promoting our cultural heritage both in Scotland and internationally.”

The top 10 HES attractions in Scotland

(Attraction, visitor numbers, % rise)

1. Edinburgh Castle, 2,082,048, 15%

2. Stirling Castle, 574,348, 18%

3. Urquhart Castle, 487,837, 22%

4. Glasgow Cathedral, 400,324, 27%

5. Doune Castle, 125,772, 36%

6. Skara Brae, 110,497, 18%

7. St Andrews Castle, 90,253, 16%

8. Linlithgow Palace, 87,254, 17%

9. Fort George, 76,126, 24%

10. Iona Abbey, 66,570, 3%

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725503.1523964295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725503.1523964295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness is the third most visited historic property in Scotland. PIC: Creative Commons/Nilfanion.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness is the third most visited historic property in Scotland. PIC: Creative Commons/Nilfanion.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725503.1523964295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5701939165001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/russia-considers-banning-scotch-whisky-imports-in-diplomatic-row-1-4725819","id":"1.4725819","articleHeadline": "Russia considers banning Scotch whisky imports in diplomatic row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524047436000 ,"articleLead": "

Exports of Scotch whisky to Russia could be hit by the worsening diplomatic row between Russia and the UK, senior figures in Moscow have warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725818.1524044537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dmitry Kiselyov, an outspoken Russian journalist, with president Vladimir Putin in 2017. Mr Kiselyov said Russian interest in Scotch whisky would drop. Picture: Wikicommons"} ,"articleBody": "

Dmitry Kiselyov, who is described as the Kremlin’s chief spin doctor, has called for a boycott of British goods.

Speaking on his chat show on Russian state TV, Mr Kiselyov said: “To buy a new English car now will not be considered good manners. It will be unpatriotic.

He added: “You can also expect a drop in interest in Scotch whisky.”

Mr Kiselyov is considered so close to the Russian government he was targeted by EU sanctions in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

His comments follow a bill introduced in the Russian parliament last week which could lead to a sweeping ban on Western alcohol imports in the country.

Vyacheslav Volodin, a former top aide to Vladimir Putin, introduced the legislation as a response to the “boorish behaviour of the United States”, the Telegraph reported.

The bill could allow Russia to adopt retaliatory sanctions against the US and its allies.

READ MORE: Why Russian interests in Scotland are on the rise

But Russia is far down the list of leading importers of Scotch whisky. The largest export destination for Scotch in 2017, defined by value, was the USA at £922m. Russian exports were worth just £7.6m in comparison.

Professor Luke March, an expert on post-Soviet politics at the University of Edinburgh, told The Scotsman that Russia has increasingly put its threats into action in recent years.

He said: “Russia has taken various counter-productive measures - such as the 2014 counter-sanctions on EU foodstuffs, and the 2012 ‘Dima Yakovlev’ law that banned US adoptions of Russian children.

“Russia also has an interest in getting its own public to ‘buy Russian’. The elite will always be able to access products like whisky somehow, such as travelling abroad. Extra costs won’t be a factor given their wealth.”

Conservative MP Douglas Ross, whose Moray constituency includes many of Scotland’s best known whisky distilleries, said the sector was strong enough to deal with such threats.

“Whisky is going from strength to strength and I am sure the globally renowned quality of Scotch will have far more influence on consumers across the world, including those in Russia, as opposed to a threatened boycott suggested by this Russian broadcaster,” he said.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, a former cabinet secretary for food and the environment, said: “The Scotch whisky industry is in robust health and only this week announced further significant investment in distilleries and tourism.

“In addition, new markets are being developed all the time such as Vietnam and Africa and this is an industry active in over 180 markets with exports now well over £4 billion.

“Being such a global sector results in Scotch whisky being one of our most robust industries.”

The Scotch Whisky Association declined to comment.

READ MORE: Theresa May accuses Russia of cover up and denies following Trump’s lead

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725818.1524044537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725818.1524044537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dmitry Kiselyov, an outspoken Russian journalist, with president Vladimir Putin in 2017. Mr Kiselyov said Russian interest in Scotch whisky would drop. Picture: Wikicommons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dmitry Kiselyov, an outspoken Russian journalist, with president Vladimir Putin in 2017. Mr Kiselyov said Russian interest in Scotch whisky would drop. Picture: Wikicommons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725818.1524044537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1509376696519"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/future-scotland/tech/pinggo-secures-five-figure-investment-from-seed-haus-1-4726111","id":"1.4726111","articleHeadline": "PingGo secures five-figure investment from Seed Haus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524046234000 ,"articleLead": "

A “media engagement platform” aimed at high growth companies has secured five-figure investment from Seed Haus, the Edinburgh-based pre-seed tech accelerator.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726110.1524046230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Calum Forsyth and Robin Knox of Seed Haus. Picture: Chris Watt"} ,"articleBody": "

PingGo, which will use the funding to accelerate the development of its media search engine and grow its international customer base, has also secured a six-month residency at the tech incubator.

During its time at Seed Haus, the fledgling business aims to refine its existing product and prepare for its first major funding round. Based in the capital, PingGo has plans to recruit four members of staff over the next 12 months.

Seed Haus, co-founded by its chief executive Calum Forsyth and chairman Robin Knox, was set up in a bid to plug a gap in the start-up support system.

It has been backed by a line-up of high-profile investment partners including Sir Tom Hunter, BrewDog co-founder James Watt and technology entrepreneurs Paddy Burns and Chris van der Kuyl, co-founders of Minecraft games developer 4J Studios.

Sarah Lee, chief executive and founder of PingGo, said: “This opportunity puts us in a powerful position where we will flourish. Everything about Seed Haus is geared towards nurturing early stage start-ups and giving them the space and light they need to grow.

“As a solo founder I am particularly grateful for the environment this creates for me.”

PingGo was launched last year in response to a move towards the automation of business processes and a “lack of affordable PR services”.

With customers in the UK, Europe and the US, the firm is preparing to launch a news “match-making” service that will pair press releases with “key influencers” in the media writing on a specific subject.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726110.1524046230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726110.1524046230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Calum Forsyth and Robin Knox of Seed Haus. Picture: Chris Watt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Calum Forsyth and Robin Knox of Seed Haus. Picture: Chris Watt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726110.1524046230!/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/education/graduates-urged-to-see-hr-in-a-new-light-1-4726018","id":"1.4726018","articleHeadline": "Graduates urged to see HR in a new light","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524042396000 ,"articleLead": "

Human resource professionals are in big demand from businesses and have high earning potential, says Strathclyde Business School.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726017.1524042392!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor Tom Baum"} ,"articleBody": "

People are at the heart of any organisation - creating a positive workplace where complex issues are ironed out and staff are happy, is key to ensuring work flows.

And with tricky issues such as equal pay, gender discrimination, flexible working and well-being at work to tackle, a good human resources manager can be worth their weight in gold.

Business leaders are increasingly seeing the value of an effective HR manager who really understands the multitude of employment issues that can arise, as well as helping to retain and attract the best people to drive their business forward.

Human Resources roles regularly crop up high in lists of best graduate career prospects, with the top professionals able to command high salaries and in demand from businesses around the world.

It’s good news for anyone who has already gained a foothold in the profession, for undergraduates seeking to specialise in HR or experienced professionals looking to move into a new area with a multitude of prospects.

Getting ahead in HR

The correct qualifications and professional accreditation are crucial if you want to make strides in a career in human resources.

Whether you studied the subject as part of an undergraduate business degree or are a professional wishing to move into the field of HR, a Masters in Human Resources Management can be the perfect launchpad for a career in the rapidly evolving world of HR.

When choosing a course, it’s vital to opt for a businesss school with a strong focus on human resources, a solid background in research and staff that have links to the sector.

The Department of Human Resource Management at Strathclyde Business School (SBS), has a broad focus on human resources, organisational behaviours and industrial relations.

The department is home to the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) and undertakes research in a wide range of international and UK public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

Meanwhile department members have links to a variety of business, government and civil society organisations, including the UK and Scottish governments, the Equality and Human Rights commission, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the unions UNITE and Uni-Graphical.

On the right course

The MSc Human Resource Management course at SBS helps develop an advanced level of knowledge related to HR, and can be studied full-time or part-time.

Full-time is suitable if you’re preparing for a career in HR. Students study organisations and the management of work, with classes in leading, managing and developing people, contemporary employment relations, and people resourcing.

The part-time route is suitable for HR professionals or line managers.

Another option is the MSc International Human Resource Management, which develops an understanding of how and why human resource policies and practices differ across the world.

Real life experience

The Department of HRM has strong links with industry, so students benefit from learning from real-life scenarios in the HR field.

Professor Tom Baum, head of the HRM department, said: “All our programmes are taught through a mixture of seminars, taught modules, guest speakers and a business skills development programme.

“An important part of our HRM and IHRM programmes sees students produce a management research report based on analysing a human resources issue in an organisation.

“This provides real-life experience working on HR issues in an organisation - an essential skill for all future managers, whether specialising in HR or not.”

Part-time students who are combining studies with a role in HR may well focus their report on their place of work.

Students emerge with a Masters, plus the knowledge requirements for Professional Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The Scottish Centre for Employment Research – or SCER – carries out important research into fair work and job quality, employability and employment regulation, and workplace innovation.

“This research is put into practice through policy implementation in the public, private and voluntary sectors in areas such as employment regulation and equality, and fair work and job quality,” added Professor Baum.

Take your career further

The Department also offers MSc Human Resources and International Management, which is suitable for anyone looking to pursue senior management roles with a strong ‘people management’ element in a global organisation.

Classes include Managing Human Resources in multinationals, Comparative Employment Relations, and Labour and Diversity in a Global Context.

Students can also opt for a Managing in Europe element, which is taught at Toulouse Business School in France.

Previous graduates have already enjoyed international success, adds Professor Baum.

“Graduates of our Masters programmes have gone on to work for global multinationals, government bodies and global NGOs such as Unicef,” he said.

“Recent graduates have gained jobs in a range of leading organisations including Standard Life, IBM, Shell and Accenture.”

Find out how to take your next steps in a rewarding career in human resources here.

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Staff Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4726017.1524042392!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4726017.1524042392!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Professor Tom Baum","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor Tom Baum","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4726017.1524042392!/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/canadian-firm-takes-over-closure-threatened-bifab-yards-1-4725554","id":"1.4725554","articleHeadline": "Canadian firm takes over closure-threatened BiFab yards","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524037291000 ,"articleLead": "

A closure-threatened engineering firm has been taken over by a Canadian company in a move which is hoped will save hundreds of jobs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725553.1524037285!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Workers at BiFab marine engineering yards in Fife and Lewis had been facing the threat of redundancy after the company ran into financial difficulties. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Workers at BiFab marine engineering yards in Fife and Lewis had been facing the threat of redundancy after the company ran into financial difficulties.

On Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Canadian company JV Driver, through its subsidiary DF Barnes, had acquired BiFab.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We are delivering on the commitment I made last year that we would stand by BiFab and work to secure a long-term future for the company.

“We have been in negotiations with DF Barnes for a number of months and today is a significant step forward in our efforts to restore BiFab to its place at the centre of Scotland’s marine energy industry.”

She added: “DF Barnes’ acquisition is a key milestone for all three BiFab yards and as a sign of our commitment to the company’s future, the Scottish Government will maintain a close interest by taking a minority shareholding in the company.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead, and there is no magic bullet for these yards, but the commitment of DF Barnes to securing a new future for the business at Burntisland, Methil and Arnish is a hugely positive step and I believe that gives BiFab the best chance of winning future contracts and securing new work.”

The company was saved from administration last year after the Scottish Government issued a loan of £15 million to ensure it could meet its commercial commitments and deadlines.

DF Barnes CEO Jason Fudge said: “Scotland has been an admired world leader in the offshore oil and gas and renewable energy sectors, and we are delighted to join with the employees of BiFab and the people of Scotland to ensure the continued growth of BiFab for the benefit of all. This is a great day for us.”

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “This agreement gives the workforce, the company and the government the best possible chance of securing a vibrant future for these yards.

“As the current contract comes to an end, and while efforts go into winning new work, there will continue to be difficult times for the yard and there can be no guarantees that contracts will be won but I am confident this agreement, which sees the Scottish Government become a minority shareholder in the company, will deliver for BiFab’s future in Fife and the Western Isles.”

JV Driver is one of Canada’s largest independently-owned industrial construction companies.

Its subsidiary DF Barnes has been a consistent employer in the oil and gas, fabrication and marine industries for over 80 years.

As part of the agreement, the Scottish Government will take a minority shareholding in the new company to demonstrate continued commitment to supporting the future of the yard.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725553.1524037285!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725553.1524037285!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Workers at BiFab marine engineering yards in Fife and Lewis had been facing the threat of redundancy after the company ran into financial difficulties. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Workers at BiFab marine engineering yards in Fife and Lewis had been facing the threat of redundancy after the company ran into financial difficulties. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725553.1524037285!/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/rbs-closures-branded-economic-vandalism-1-4725904","id":"1.4725904","articleHeadline": "RBS closures branded ‘economic vandalism’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1524029392000 ,"articleLead": "

Plans by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to close dozens of branches in Scotland have been branded “economic vandalism” by Labour’s Richard Leonard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725903.1524029387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A branch of RBS. Picture: Michael Gillen"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Labour leader also claimed the reason why the Tory government had not opposed the move was because Chancellor Philip Hammond was “fattening up the Royal Bank of Scotland to sell to his friends in the city of London”.

Speaking at a demonstration outside an RBS branch in Aviemore in the Highlands which is among those earmarked for closure, Mr Leonard said: “My grave concern is that Philip Hammond is more interested in fattening the Royal Bank up for a sale to the city of London’s institutions than he is to safeguarding services in rural communities like this one.”

RBS has put forward plans to close 62 branches in Scotland, although bosses have granted a temporary reprieve to ten of these, allowing them to remain open until the end of 2018 with an independent review on their long-term future.

However, the Labour MSP said the closures amounted to “the economic vandalism of rural communities” as he criticised the “anti-social behaviour” of RBS bosses.

He insisted there was a “social responsibility” on the bank to provide a service to its customers, particularly “older customers who rely on the face-to-face service that branches like this provide”.

Mr Leonard said: “This is not simply a question of economics and politics, it is a question of what kind of society do we want.

“There is a very clear political dimension to this because what this is about is not the economic cost of running branches in Scotland, this is about Philip Hammond fattening up the Royal Bank of Scotland to sell to his friends in the city of London.”

He insisted plans to shut the banks were not yet “a fait accompli”, arguing: “This is not a campaign about mitigation, this is not about getting a few extra mobile services into communities. This is about opposition.

“The Royal Bank of Scotland is 71 per cent owned by the people of this country and we want 100 per cent control of the activities of this bank.

“This isn’t just a campaign we can win, it is a campaign we must win, must win for communities like this the length and breadth of Scotland.”

Jane Howard, managing director for personal banking, has said RBS is committed to ensuring customers and communities were able to continue to access “quality banking services”.

Meanwhile, RBS rival, Lloyds Banking Group, announced 1,230 jobs will be cut across its network in England Wales and 49 branches closures.

Yesterday it said it hopes to redeploy affected staff where possible, with compulsory redundancies a “last resort”. The group is also creating 925 roles and insisted the overall job losses would be 305.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725903.1524029387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725903.1524029387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A branch of RBS. Picture: Michael Gillen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A branch of RBS. Picture: Michael Gillen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725903.1524029387!/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/culture/tv-radio/glasgow-bid-for-channel-4-hq-meets-all-guidelines-says-cosgrove-1-4725393","id":"1.4725393","articleHeadline": "Glasgow bid for Channel 4 HQ meets all guidelines, says Cosgrove","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523959490000 ,"articleLead": "

The producer of the hit comedy series, The Inbetweeners, has backed Glasgow’s bid to become home to Channel 4’s new national headquarters.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725392.1523959485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Cosgrove is chairing Glasgow's bid. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Chris Young, who oversaw the award-winning series on the channel and produced the 2011 film version, said it would be a “game changer” for the Scottish film and television industry if the nation’s biggest city was chosen.Mr Young, whose production company Young Films is based in Skye, said: “For over 30 years we has worked closely with Channel 4 and Film4 on many award-winning and successful TV shows and films, including The Inbetweeners.

“We have always appreciated the fact that Channel 4 has embraced our commitment to working in Scotland and I believe that having Channel 4’s national hub in Glasgow would be a game changer for the Scottish film and television industry.”

It comes as Channel 4 yesterday laid out guidelines for those cities hoping to host the broadcaster’s new headquarters or become home to one of two new creative hubs.

The publicly owned broadcaster plans to move 300 of its 800 staff out of London and will open three new sites in the nations and regions.

Jonathan Allan, commercial chief of the channel, told a briefing that the host city for the national HQ should have a working population of 200,000 and a travel time of up to three hours from London, adding the winning city should also have a high level of physical and digital creativity.

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 said the guidelines were “not set in stone”, explaining: “If a city or region can show other strengths and benefits they can offer as a potential new home for one of the Channel 4 hubs, then we want to hear from them too.”

Stuart Cosgrove, the journalist, broadcaster and author who is chairing Glasgow’s bid, said the city met all the guidelines outlined by Mr Allan, adding that he travelled from London to Glasgow “door to door” yesterday in two hours and 20 minutes. Glasgow, he said, is also serviced by more daily flights than any other bidding city.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725392.1523959485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725392.1523959485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stuart Cosgrove is chairing Glasgow's bid. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stuart Cosgrove is chairing Glasgow's bid. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725392.1523959485!/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-scottish-hotels-check-in-international-interest-1-4725346","id":"1.4725346","articleHeadline": "Commercial property: Scottish hotels check in international interest","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523957504000 ,"articleLead": "

Investment activity in the Scottish hotels market in the first quarter of 2018 totalled £105.85 million – an increase of 90.3 per cent year-on-year and exceeding the five-year average by 63.1 per cent, according to research by Savills.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4715380.1523957499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course"} ,"articleBody": "

The latest high profile deal in what is a buoyant sector is the sale of the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course, near Kelso 
in the Scottish Borders, to 12.18. Investment Management.

The property had been marketed by Savills for offers in excess of £3.25 million on behalf of Roxburghe Estates.

The buyer, a Düsseldorf-based project developer and hotel operator, plans to reopen the hotel and golf course in 2019 following a £30m refurbishment programme to operate as Schloss Roxburghe.

This will mark the first UK purchase for 12.18.

Steven Fyfe, associate director of hotels, for Savills says the sale was high profile, for many reasons.

He says: “It wasn’t just the size of the hotel and the land, which measures 292 acres, but the fact that the vendor was the Duke of Roxburghe added interest, as well as the stunning building plus the excellent reputation of the golf course.”

The 19th century property comprises 22 rooms, a restaurant and bar that 12.18. aims to enhance with the addition of a separate extension to feature 57 additional rooms as well as a luxurious spa and a state-of-the-art meeting space.

The Duke of Roxburghe said: “The plans which the new owners have for major investment in the Roxburghe are very exciting indeed.

“We wish 12.18. every success with the new development and the operation in future and I have no doubt that it will become one of the most outstanding resort destinations in Scotland.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to all the staff who have worked with great dedication to deliver exceptional standards of service to our guests over the years.”

In addition to the hotel, 60 lodges will be built on the surrounding estate and will be made available for sale to private investors through a sale-and lease-back concept that will allow Schloss Roxburghe to extend its room inventory further.

Fyfe says: “The lodge development planning consent also gave it a really good angle and there were national operators looking at it from that point of view.”

After an off-market approach stalled, the property was launched on to the open market at the beginning of September and was under offer within three months.

Fyfe added: “It was important we secured a buyer who could invest in the future of the hotel and golf course while respecting and maintaining the Roxburghe’s heritage, as one of Scotland’s most charming country house hotels.”

In the context of Scottish hotels he says that this is significant sale, but by no means at the top end of the market.

Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel, run under the Waldorf Astoria brand, has recently been sold to Abu Dhabi- based Twenty14 Holdings for £85m.

Fyfe says that the research shows buoyancy in the hotel sector. “There was £200m in transactions last year versus £120m the year before, and already in 2018 we have seen over £100m change hands.

“Post Brexit there was a boost to the interest from buyers from other countries but I think the initial boost has died down and now it is principally dependent on the appetite for quality assets.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kirsty McLuckie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4715380.1523957499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4715380.1523957499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4715380.1523957499!/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/johnston-press-sees-advertising-upturn-as-annual-profits-top-40m-1-4725310","id":"1.4725310","articleHeadline": "Johnston Press sees advertising upturn as annual profits top £40m","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523954637000 ,"articleLead": "

Johnston Press, the publishing group that owns The Scotsman, has delivered underlying profits of more than £40 million and said it will continue to invest in the business over the coming year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725309.1523954631!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief executive Ashley Highfield: 'Our vision remains constant ' to be at the heart of our communities'. Picture: Malcolm Irving"} ,"articleBody": "

Releasing results for the year to 30 December, the group also hailed an “exceptional” performance from the i daily newspaper and highlighted a 13 per cent hike in daily unique browsers for The Scotsman website.

Adjusted group underlying earnings came in at £40.1 million, compared with £43.9m in 2016 and in line with expectations. Total adjusted revenue amounted to £201.2m, down 4.5 per cent, though up 1.8 per cent excluding classifieds.

Chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “Our vision remains constant – to be at the heart of our communities, providing accurate, relevant and timely news and information – free of proprietorial influence. And we continue to deliver on this, despite 2017 proving to be another tough year for the sector.

“Across our regional portfolio of titles national print advertising tracked in line with prior year in the first quarter of 2018, with advertisers starting to increase spend in regional print.

“This trend is driven by a somewhat stronger overall advertising market, our ability to precisely target audiences using ‘big data’, and improving sentiment towards quality print publishers in the wake of the fake news and social media trust concerns.

“Classified advertising remains weak, but is now a significantly smaller portion of the group accounting for just 13 per cent of revenues in the quarter, following our investment in digital and the i.”

On a statutory reporting basis, total revenue was £201.6m, down from £222.7m, almost £10m of which resulted from the sale of Midlands and East Anglia titles in January 2017.

The group, which also owns the Edinburgh Evening News, the Yorkshire Post and scores of local newspapers and websites, booked a statutory loss before tax of £95m, down by more than two-thirds on the £300.7m shortfall recorded a year earlier.

Net debt rose marginally to £141.7m as a result of the increase in the market value of the group’s bond.

Analysts at house broker Liberum issued a “buy” recommendation on the shares, noting: “Johnston Press reported numbers which were broadly in line with market expectations. The i delivered another stellar year and Q1 indications seem to be in-line with current market expectations.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725309.1523954631!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725309.1523954631!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chief executive Ashley Highfield: 'Our vision remains constant ' to be at the heart of our communities'. Picture: Malcolm Irving","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief executive Ashley Highfield: 'Our vision remains constant ' to be at the heart of our communities'. Picture: Malcolm Irving","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725309.1523954631!/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/third-of-millennials-face-renting-into-retirement-1-4725294","id":"1.4725294","articleHeadline": "Third of millennials face renting into retirement","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523952137000 ,"articleLead": "

Up to half of the millennial generation could still be renting in their 40s and a third could be “retiree renters”, a report warns.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725293.1523952128!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Resolution Foundation think-tank has said that up to half of the millennial generation could still be renting in their 40s. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The Resolution Foundation think-tank said that if home ownership growth in Britain follows the “weak pattern” of the 2000s, up to half of millennials born between 1981 and 2000 could be renting either privately or in the social rented sector in their 40s, and a third could still be renting by the time they claim their pensions.

The Foundation said radical reform is needed to make the private rental sector fit for raising children and retirement “because a generation of young people face the prospect of never owning their own home”.

In a report published by the Resolution Foundation for its Intergenerational Commission, it said policy has failed to catch up with the fact that bringing up children in the private rental sector has become mainstream.

Private renting has grown rapidly in recent decades, the Home Improvements report said.

At age 30, four in 10 millennials live in this way, double the rate at the same age for generation X - the generation above millennials - and four times that for baby boomers born in the 20 years after the end of the Second World War.

A record 1.8 million families with children rent privately, up from just 600,000 15 years ago, the report said.

The Foundation said that a “rising share of retiree renters, coupled with an ageing population, could more than double the housing benefit bill for pensioners from £6.3 billion today to £16 billion by 2060 - highlighting how everyone ultimately pays for failing to tackle Britain’s housing crisis”.

Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Britain’s housing problems have developed into a full-blown crisis over recent decades and young people are bearing the brunt...

“While there have been some steps recently to support house building and first-time buyers, up to a third of millennials still face the prospect of renting from cradle to grave.

“If we want to tackle Britain’s ‘here and now’ housing crisis we have to improve conditions for the millions of families living in private rented accommodation.

“That means raising standards and reducing the risks associating with renting through tenancy reform and light touch rent stabilisation.”

The Foundation said, to give tenants longer-term stability in their homes, indeterminate tenancies should be introduced as the sole form of contract in England and Wales, following Scotland’s lead.

It said there must be a “fair balancing of the needs of tenants with the rights of landlords”, and landlords should not be able to end tenancies at short notice without good cause.

To keep rents stable, rent rises should be limited to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation over three-year periods, the report said.

A new housing tribunal should be set up, to ensure landlords and tenants can have disputes resolved swiftly, the Foundation argued.

The Resolution Foundation aims to improve the living standards of those in Britain on low to middle incomes.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “Our Help to Buy scheme and the recent cut in stamp duty are helping more young first-time buyers get on the property ladder.

“Figures show that we are seeing the highest number of first-time buyers for more than a decade.

“But we’re also helping to ensure that everyone has a safe and decent home by giving councils stronger powers to crack down on bad landlords and consulting on stronger protections for tenants themselves.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725293.1523952128!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725293.1523952128!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Resolution Foundation think-tank has said that up to half of the millennial generation could still be renting in their 40s. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Resolution Foundation think-tank has said that up to half of the millennial generation could still be renting in their 40s. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725293.1523952128!/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/management/pound-hits-highest-level-against-us-dollar-since-brexit-vote-1-4725251","id":"1.4725251","articleHeadline": "Pound hits highest level against US dollar since Brexit vote","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523950398000 ,"articleLead": "

The pound hit its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit vote as a weak greenback and prospects of a near-term interest rate hike by the Bank of England supported the UK currency.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725249.1523950391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pound has hit its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit vote. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Sterling was holding its ground at 1.435 versus the dollar on Tuesday morning, up nearly 0.2%, having first risen to those levels during Asian trading overnight.

It is the strongest level recorded for the pound since the EU referendum result was announced on June 24 2016, which sparked a sharp decline from a high of 1.50 against the US currency.

Gains against the euro were slightly more muted, trading up 0.05% at 1.158, though it still marked its highest point since May 2017.

Experts said anticipation of an interest rate hike on the back of Tuesday’s jobs data was helping support the pound.

The research team, led by Jasper Lawler at London Capital Group, said: “Overnight the pound struck 1.435 US dollars, its highest level since the Brexit referendum in anticipation of a more hawkish BoE (Bank of England) at the next MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) meeting in May.

“Traders are looking optimistically towards today’s UK jobs data, with expectations that it will support a spring rate rise by the central bank.

“Whilst UK unemployment is forecast to remain constant at 4.3%, average earnings are forecast to hit 3% in the three months to February.

“Given that inflation was 2.7% in February, we could start to finally see the pressure of falling wages in real terms ease for the UK consumer.

He said a strong reading stands to “pile the pressure” on the Bank of England as “good inflationary pressures pick up”.

Last month, two of the nine Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members voted to hike rates to 0.75%, marking the first split vote since last November when rates were raised from 0.25% to 0.5%.

Despite keeping rates on hold, the committee said that “ongoing tightening of monetary policy” would be needed to bring inflation back to the Bank’s 2% target.

It confirmed earlier comments from Governor Mark Carney, who said rates would need to rise “somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater degree” to bring CPI back on track.

Experts widely believe rates will rise in May and possibly again in November, with another due in 2019, which would see rates climb to 1.25% next year.

Dollar weakness also played a part in driving the UK currency higher, having fallen on the back of further social media posturing by US President Donald Trump.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “The US dollar continued to sink yesterday, pressured to some extent by a rather bizarre tweet from President Trump that claimed that Russia and China were playing a devaluation game with their currencies, when the evidence doesn’t support that assertion at all.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4725249.1523950391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4725249.1523950391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The pound has hit its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit vote. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The pound has hit its highest level against the US dollar since the Brexit vote. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4725249.1523950391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5670822690001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/bound-to-succeed-getting-youngsters-and-employers-outdoors-together-1-4724590","id":"1.4724590","articleHeadline": "Bound to succeed – getting youngsters and employers outdoors together","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523941783000 ,"articleLead": "

In Scotland, our government has done much to facilitate and encourage the education sector to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to flourish once they enter the working world. Initiatives such as Developing the Young Workforce bring together schools and employers in working partnerships to encourage and deliver learning opportunities.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4724588.1523874971!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Senior pupils on challenging Outward Bound courses can learn many 'soft' skills which will be of use in the world of work, while future employers can also help with active mentoring and even taking part"} ,"articleBody": "

This echoes the work we do at The Outward Bound Trust, linking local employers with local schools. For more than ten years, Whyte and Mackay has been giving opportunities to young people within their ­communities by supporting pupils from Invergordon Academy and Falkirk High School to attend ­residential learning programmes at our Loch Eil centre.

Invergordon Academy’s ­programme is designed for senior pupils aged 16-18, with a focus on raising and sustaining their attainment. This programme is supported by Pupil Equity Funding as well as the funding assistance from Whyte and Mackay. Company employees get involved with this programme and actively mentor the young ­people. Falkirk High’s programme compliments the school’s Step Forward ­initiative which aims to prepare them for the transition into further education, training or work.

Fluid systems specialist Swagelok Scotland also participate in a similar scheme. In 2016, employees (known as Associates), acted as employee ambassadors to accompany pupils from St Machar Academy in ­Aberdeen on a five-day Trust course, a series of outdoor adventures in beautiful wilderness surroundings.

Working with pupils to build confidence, leadership and resilience, Swagelok Scotland worked as a team with experienced instructors and teachers from the school. Swagelok wanted to become involved not only by providing financial support, but by being fully involved, hence the direct participation of their Associates.

This works well because the Trust seeks partners who are passionate about helping young Scots in their area/region to develop life-long skills, alongside schools. The companies pledge funds to be used over a sustained period, so that young people, many of whom might require financial assistance to access an Outward Bound residential course, can gain from a week in a challenging group environment.

Our work at the Trust not only involves schools and corporate partnerships but also extends to early career development programmes specifically designed for apprentice and graduates. We understand the skill sets that employers are looking for and for more than 75 years we’ve been working with apprentices to help them to navigate the demands within a workplace and instill behaviours that enable them to thrive. In fact, last year, in addition to working with more than 400 schools, we worked with over 3,200 graduates and apprentices to do just that.

We are doing something new on 27-28 April at our Loch Eil Centre by bringing together teachers and regional/national employers for a free taster weekend so they can ­personally engage with how the Trust weaves employability skills into ­residential programmes. In addition to the networking opportunities, attendees will go through our ­experiential learning processes and see the benefits first hand.

Key employability skills form the core elements of the courses. ‘Soft skills’ are increasingly regarded as essential for the world of work. In fact, employers say that these are as important as academic qualifications. Once good communication, punctuality and team work have been inculcated, a young employee is more effective at work.

At the Trust, we help improve pupils’ organisation and time-management skills, through giving them responsibility for planning tasks, setting and carrying out goals. We stress the importance of punctuality and encourage schools to follow this up throughout the school year.

Pupils also learn about the value and importance of working with others and that working as a team allows you to achieve more than working as an individual. Most of our outdoor adventure challenges are based on co-operation within a team. Leadership and motivation flow directly from team work too.

Employers also look for the ability to persevere, even when things go wrong. Tasks during our courses are designed to demonstrate how determination and perseverance can help pupils achieve their goal. A positive side-effect is the increase in confidence and self-belief achieving a difficult task can bring. Listening and clearly communicating are vital skills threaded through all the tasks pupils do. When working together to scale a difficult hill for instance, the importance of these skills becomes apparent. Planning and resource management are skills developed through practical decision-making, like deciding what food and equipment is needed for an overnight camp.If you are a teacher or an employer and interested in finding out more, or wish to attend the free weekend taster Developing Young People for Work on 27-28 April at our Loch Eil Centre, then visit outwardbound.org.uk/employabilitytaster or contact: Freda.Fallon@outwardbound.org.uk for more information.

Martin Davidson, Scottish director at The Outward Bound Trust.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4724588.1523874971!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4724588.1523874971!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Senior pupils on challenging Outward Bound courses can learn many 'soft' skills which will be of use in the world of work, while future employers can also help with active mentoring and even taking part","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Senior pupils on challenging Outward Bound courses can learn many 'soft' skills which will be of use in the world of work, while future employers can also help with active mentoring and even taking part","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4724588.1523874971!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4724589.1523874973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4724589.1523874973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Davidson, Scottish Director at The Outward Bound Trust","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Davidson, Scottish Director at The Outward Bound Trust","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4724589.1523874973!/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/news/opinion/john-mclellan-comment-trinity-swoop-on-northern-shell-could-be-resolved-rapidly-1-4724144","id":"1.4724144","articleHeadline": "John McLellan comment: Trinity swoop on Northern & Shell could be resolved rapidly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1523941201000 ,"articleLead": "

The Competition and Markets Authority announcement that the Trinity Mirror acquisition of Daily Express publisher Northern & Shell raises “public interest considerations” feels like a throwback to the 1980s and a time when social media, live streaming and mobile technology were the stuff of science fiction.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4724143.1523787185!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McLellan is director of the Scottish Newspaper Society. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

With the migration of so much advertising content to social media platforms – 90 per cent of all new business is being snapped up by Google and Facebook alone – the issue in commercial terms is not whether the Daily Mirror-Daily Express link distorts the advertising markets but how effective competition can be mounted against the social media giants. The Northern & Shell portfolio also includes magazines like OK, but again that is unlikely to make much difference in competitive terms when the real battleground has moved away from the newsstands.

The only other possible impediment would be the impact on breadth of opinion in the news market, but Trinity has already said that there are no plans to dictate a different editorial policy to the paper’s traditional right-of-centre position. In the interests of increasing commercial market reach, it wouldn’t be in its interests to do so.

Integration of the two publishers has been on pause since the CMA issued a holding order last month, and now a deadline of 25 April has been set for comments from interested parties and they are unlikely to be inundated with objections. The short timescale might indicate that the CMA feels it has to go through the motions, but if anti-competitive issues emerge than a decision might not be taken until the end of the year. If no problems arise then the go-ahead could be given on 7 June when an indicative announcement is made.

- The Defamation and Malicious Publications (Scotland) Bill published by Scottish Law Commission chair Lord Pentland at the end of last year is now under consideration by the Scottish Government, the first step towards its inclusion in a legislative programme.

Discussions are now being arranged by civil servants with interested parties for later in the spring, so there is optimism that the reforms to Scottish defamation law the Bill proposes could be adopted as Government policy and be passed into law before the end of this parliament in 2021.

- The once-a-year gathering of the Scottish newspaper industry takes place next Thursday evening with the annual Scottish Press Awards, held for the first time at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Cambridge Street in Glasgow. Hosting the event this year is TV and radio presenter and long-standing Scotsman columnist Stephen Jardine.

All eyes will be on the Daily Record to see if it can make it four Newspaper of the Year awards in a row, following the departure of both editor Murray Foote and managing director Allan Rennie in recent weeks.

- John McLellan is director of the Scottish Newspaper Society

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOHN MCLELLAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4724143.1523787185!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4724143.1523787185!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McLellan is director of the Scottish Newspaper Society. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McLellan is director of the Scottish Newspaper Society. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4724143.1523787185!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}