{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/bill-jamieson-brexit-should-be-the-mother-of-invention-1-4817708","id":"1.4817708","articleHeadline": "Bill Jamieson: Brexit should be the mother of invention","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540074932000 ,"articleLead": "

With every week we are nudging closer to what, by almost all accounts would be a “Brexit no-deal disaster”. From higher tariffs on food to a slump in business investment, a plunge in exports, possible shortages in medical supplies, long queues at ferry terminals and disruption of air traffic, we are heading towards chaos. In this, households and businesses alike would be losers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817707.1540042181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A deal eluded Theresa May at the Brussels summit last week. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

These gloomy prognostications are accompanied by warnings over the calamitous effects of uncertainty. Not knowing what the future holds might seem to undermine those firm predictions of impending catastrophe: if there is no certainty, how can we be so sure about the “inevitable” calamity that awaits?

And are we helpless victims in all of this? Is there no response that can be made? Is government no more than a lifeless corpse? There are practical, positive steps that can be taken at UK and Holyrood level to counter the “no-deal Brexit crash-out” chaos that has dominated commentary for months. Some useful suggestions are set out here.

There is no doubting business expansion is already being put on hold and investment decisions delayed. Business confidence overall is being damaged. The latest Quarterly Economic Survey out last week from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce reveals slowing investment across a range of sectors. The manufacturing sector has posted its first negative result for optimism/business confidence since 2016. Expectations in the sector for future revenue and investment both sit substantially lower than for the previous quarter.

The survey also recorded slowing investment trends generally throughout the third quarter, with all sectors bar retail experiencing a decline in investment relative to the second quarter.

Fears over a worst-case scenario will have been heightened by the dispiriting lack of progress on a deal evident at the meeting of European leaders last week – a summit that was supposed to put the finishing touches to an agreement. And without the UK parliament coming up with an alternative plan that would secure a majority in the Commons, a no-deal Brexit looks ever more likely.

Warnings have flooded in about the consequences. Leaked Whitehall analysis forecasts a 7.7 per cent hit to UK GDP under WTO rules and a 4.8 per cent contraction under a “Canada Plus” arrangement.

Predictions here at Holyrood are even more worrying. According to a Scottish government forecast earlier this year, Scotland’s economy faces losing up to £16 billion a year as a result of leaving the EU. It warned that a hard Brexit, in which the UK falls back on WTO rules, would cost Scotland up to £12.7bn and cause real household incomes to fall by 9.6 per cent, or £2,263 per head.

In contrast, staying in the EU could result in the UK economy growing by 2.4 per cent if integration of Europe’s single market in digital industries, energy and services intensified, adding about £3.6bn to Scotland’s economy.

Now, there are searching questions raised by these projections. The words “up to” in the Scottish Government statement are weaselly, covering a meaningless range of outcomes. Equally, no economist can forecast with any certainty what our economic growth rate two years ahead will be without a no-deal Brexit. Least of all would they be able to isolate a “Brexit effect’ from a general downturn in global trade and activity many are now predicting.

The Whitehall modelling has come without any disclosure of methodology or explanations as to how the forecasts have been arrived at. According to the pro-Brexit European Research Group, the public are now “battered and bewildered by conflicting predictions of the future path of the economy following Brexit, fuelling a growing suspicion that Whitehall is engaging in what is apparently known internally as ‘policy-based evidence-making’.” The analysis, it says, appears to believe “that the EU will behave illegally and in defiance of WTO rules that are backed by the international legal order”.

But the greater omission of both of these forecasts is the absence of any possible response the UK and Holyrood administrations would adopt in the event of a “no deal”. Is it credible that economic and fiscal policy would remain unchanged in the face of widely feared disruption?

No government would risk simply staring into space and doing nothing. Pressure for policy response would be colossal. One likely outcome would be a package of stimulus measures to help bolster business and household confidence.

That, in current conditions, is not so easy as it sounds. There are debt and deficit constraints, and previous commitments, such as £20bn more for the NHS, to be honoured. And one can appreciate the dilemma that now traps Chancellor Philip Hammond, with a budget scheduled for 29 October. Who could blame him for opting to delay any significant measures until early next year when the outcome of the miserable Brexit imbroglio may be clearer?

But the budget deficit continues to fall – down to £19.9bn in the first half of the current fiscal year, the lowest since 2001-02 and down 35 per cent from April-September 2017. He could put markers down – for example, signalling a cut in Corporation Tax to 12 or 10 per cent. He could announce a temporary cut in the 20 per cent VAT rate which would be of particular help to the retail, construction and manufacturing sectors. In 2008 the Labour government announced that it would cut the standard rate of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent for 12 months to stimulate consumer demand and to reduce the depth and duration of the recession.

The Chancellor could also announce that in the event of no deal, the UK would embark on unilateral free trade, abolishing all import tariffs on everything except food.

As for the flow of trade and goods across borders, the UK could opt for spot checks, allowing the bulk of goods traffic to pass through until paperwork has been streamlined. Technological innovation does not stop at Apple iPhones but is sweeping across all sectors of the economy. We are not helpless in the face of “no deal” – and it serves no-one’s interest to think so.

CBI warning: Page 58

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bill Jamieson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817707.1540042181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817707.1540042181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A deal eluded Theresa May at the Brussels summit last week. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A deal eluded Theresa May at the Brussels summit last week. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817707.1540042181!/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/the-big-interview-the-business-growth-fund-s-paddy-graham-1-4817706","id":"1.4817706","articleHeadline": "The Big Interview: The Business Growth Fund’s Paddy Graham","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540074042000 ,"articleLead": "

Paddy Graham takes pride in his many successes in 16 years of investing, but is philosophical about the opportunities that inevitably slip through the net along the way.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817705.1540042146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paddy Graham is looking to grow the number of businesses BGF has teamed up with in Scotland. PIcture: Jon Savage"} ,"articleBody": "

Since 2012 he has been part of the ranks at Business Growth Fund (BGF), billed as the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in small and medium-sized firms, and in 2016 he took the reins at the organisation’s investment team in Scotland’s Central Belt and Northern Ireland.

Graham acknowledges that getting it right every time is not possible. “But that’s just part of the game and the business that we’re in,” he says. “You win some and lose some and you’ve just got to move on.”

BGF was set up the year before Graham joined, backed by £2.5 billion from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered as part of the government’s efforts to boost funding for small businesses after the financial crisis. It set out aiming to offer growing companies and ambitious entrepreneurs patient capital (also known as long-term capital) and strategic support.

The organisation has to date ploughed about £1.6bn into about 240 companies – it was an early investor in children’s ride-on suitcase firm Trunki that failed to secure funds from Dragons’ Den – and about three-quarters of its investment has been outside London and the southeast of the UK.

That includes £200 million in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it has injected funds into more than 20 firms north of the border.

Last year BGF altogether made a pre-tax profit of £113m after some of its portfolio companies were sold. Scottish exits have included window and door manufacturer Stevenswood, with Edinburgh-based Graham describing his role in helping its management achieve their ultimate goal as “hugely rewarding”.

Another high note he mentions is the success of photonics and quantum technology company M Squared, whose products are used in advanced manufacturing, oil and gas research, space technology and the medical sector. BGF first injected cash into the Glasgow-based firm in 2012, and Graham says it has gained the status of a “world leader” in its field, garlanded with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2016 and International Trade in 2017. (BGF itself won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category this year, the first investment company to achieve such an accolade).

He credits himself with only a small role in M Squared’s success, with BGF providing capital and access to its wider network, while the business did all the heavy lifting. “But it’s hugely satisfying just to see what they’ve done in their own industry. We’ve been in that business now for seven years and we will continue to support it in the years ahead to whatever its ultimate plans are.”

That ties in with his emphasis on the benefits of patient capital, an approach he sees as enabling firms to leverage their potential and avoid being driven to progress at a pace that outstrips their capabilities.

Businesses will inevitably face hurdles along the way, he acknowledges. “Things are going to take longer than you expect… but our mantra is we just roll our sleeves up and work with the businesses, get through any bumps in the road and ultimately work towards getting the right end result.

“And that might be in three years’ time, that might be in seven years’ time, it might be in 15 years’ time – but we’re prepared to stand alongside the businesses to get to that point.”

BGF sees plenty of good businesses with credible teams and steady growth, which are driving value, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

“That’s forming the majority of our portfolio – and if it takes a bit longer to get to whatever the end result is, then that’s absolutely fine with us.”

The investment firm has 14 offices across the UK – including Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast – and looks to help early-stage, growth-stage and quoted firms across every region and sector of the economy.

It was established by chief executive Stephen Welton, whose previous achievements include being among the founding partners of the global private equity firm CCMP, and MD of Barclays Private Equity and Henderson Ventures, which he co-founded.

BGF is deemed the most active growth investor in the world in terms of the number of investments per year, averaging about one investment per week.

Graham says with a laugh that such a pace is “quite terrifying”, but he sees it as “just a testament in terms of how we’ve hopefully managed to spread our name in the market and also scale our own business to be able to deliver that rate of investment”.

He adds that its portfolio is sector-agnostic, and that is borne out by the appearance of names in Scotland of everything from Edinburgh-based fancy dress specialist Morph Costumes to bar and restaurant chain Bar Soba and Keenan Recycling. Also on the list is Glasgow-headquartered high-precision component manufacturer Walker Precision Engineering, which in January secured £4m to grow in the UK and mainland Europe.

Graham says BGF is keen to offer its support when it spies the right opportunity where capital can help unlock growth, “and with the right management team around the table”. It makes long-term equity capital investments in return for a minority stake, with initial sums typically between £1m and £10m. “Significant” follow-on funding is a possibility, while the organisation can provide access to an “unparalleled” global network of business experts.

Graham originally studied law, and then decided to pursue his interest in maths and economics and go down the accountancy route, signing up with Arthur Andersen, but after it became embroiled in the Enron scandal he joined Deloitte.

This was followed by a move to Sigma Capital Group, a finance, residential property and urban regeneration specialist.

He arrived there with some corporate finance activity under his belt, “but no real front-facing investment experience – so I cut my teeth there”. And he worked on various earlier-stage deals, with his focus on providing development capital into the general tech and clean tech sectors across the UK and Europe.

However, after six years an opportunity at BGF presented itself, and he found the nascent investment firm an “intriguing” proposition, combining the excitement and fast pace of the start-up sector but with the copper-bottomed backing of billions in capital resources. “It’s a fairly rapid growth story – but been a very enjoyable one to date.”

Activity has continued apace, with the announcement last month that it was helping fuel the expansion by Northern Irish coffee chain Bob & Berts into Scotland.

BGF has five investors covering Scotland, and Graham is looking to grow the number of businesses it has teamed up with north of the border to 30+ in the near term. But the sky is the limit – with intelligence constantly being gathered on entrepreneurs and businesses to watch, and vastly outweighing the number of deals made. Indeed, of the 80 to 90 face-to-face meetings a year, only about three or four agreements are inked over the same period.

“In my mind there’s no great science to picking the deals,” he says. “What fundamentally I and my team look for is who are we backing… you’ve got to believe in the people that you’re supporting and get on with them and that works both ways,” he adds, citing the need for a “meeting of minds” between BGF and the relevant firm over the latter’s medium to longer-term goals.

“If you don’t get on with each other on day one it’s going to be an unenjoyable journey – and life’s too short, frankly.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Emma Newlands"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817705.1540042146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817705.1540042146!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paddy Graham is looking to grow the number of businesses BGF has teamed up with in Scotland. PIcture: Jon Savage","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paddy Graham is looking to grow the number of businesses BGF has teamed up with in Scotland. PIcture: Jon Savage","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817705.1540042146!/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/james-walker-beware-jacuzzi-clause-in-fido-s-policy-1-4817698","id":"1.4817698","articleHeadline": "James Walker: Beware Jacuzzi clause in Fido’s policy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540073801000 ,"articleLead": "

It never ceases to amaze me how varied and unusual problems with pets can be. I’ve helped sort out pet insurance claims over the years on everything from parrots that can’t balance, dogs whose legs give way when they run too fast and cats with some pretty scary personality disorders. One thing is for sure; in Britain, we really love our pets. And if they get ill, then we’ll do all we can to help them.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817697.1540042020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Canine hydrotherapy could be costly. Picture: Alexander Caminada/Rex/Shutterstock"} ,"articleBody": "

This can lead to some quite unusual scenarios. A friend of mine had a pedigree dog that was diagnosed with anxiety. It went away to a training course and treatment centre for two weeks, which cost more than the owner’s last two holidays combined. Another case I looked into involved an experimental “animal hydrotherapy centre” which someone had set up in their back garden. It was a shed with a Jacuzzi in it. That was £600 a pop apparently. Needless to say, some of his customers weren’t thrilled to discover his entrepreneurial flair when they claimed on their pet insurance and found his treatment method wasn’t covered as it was “unofficial”.

Given the costs that can arise for treating a sick or injured pet, I’d have to say that pet insurance is pretty much essential.

It is also really big business – insurers know you’ll want to avoid the terrifyingly high vet’s fees that can sometimes arise. But in recent years lots of insurers have pulled out of the pet insurance market because people are more likely to make a claim than on say, home insurance.

Don’t worry, there are still lots of policies out there, but here’s a few things to bear in mind.

The best policy you can buy is a lifetime policy, which covers your pet for treatment for life, though only for a set amount each year. These are the priciest policies, but make the most sense for pet lovers.

You can also buy “maximum benefit” policies which will pay a set amount for each illness. Finally, there are “time limited” policies (they only cover your pet for a set period) and “accident only” policies. If you’re on a budget, an accident only policy is worth considering. As the name suggests, the policies will only cover you for genuine accidents not illnesses. But if money is tight, they can really help out if your pet is injured. Take time to read the policy through to ensure you understand what is being defined as an accident – and get the insurer to explain anything that isn’t clear.

A lot of the people I speak to don’t want to think about their pet getting ill, so leaving aside some basic injections and treatments, they dodge speaking to a vet until something bad happens. I’d really encourage anyone with a pet to get to know their vet. The security of knowing that the surgery is there, its opening hours and where to go if you need emergency treatment is priceless – though I hope you never need to use it.

Speak to your vet before signing up to see if their fees are likely to be covered. There’s quite a lot of variation with vet’s fees – and if yours is pricey, check with the insurer how much they’d be willing to cover.

And finally, if you need to make a claim, speak to the insurer and tell them about the costs asap. Some vets may recommend “experimental” treatments that aren’t recognised and might not be covered.

Resolver can help you sort out complaints about pretty much anything for free. Check out www.resolver.co.uk and share your experiences at yourstories@resolvergroup.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "James Walker"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817697.1540042020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817697.1540042020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Canine hydrotherapy could be costly. Picture: Alexander Caminada/Rex/Shutterstock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Canine hydrotherapy could be costly. Picture: Alexander Caminada/Rex/Shutterstock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817697.1540042020!/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/cbi-warns-brexit-uncertainty-is-draining-investment-1-4817719","id":"1.4817719","articleHeadline": "CBI warns Brexit uncertainty is draining investment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540073558000 ,"articleLead": "

Uncertainty surrounding Brexit is “draining investment” from the UK, according to a study released today by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817718.1540042803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn says that without an agreement, 'firms will press the button on contingency plans'. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA"} ,"articleBody": "

It found that eight out of ten companies feel that Brexit has had a negative impact on investment decisions, while 39 per cent are set to trigger contingency plans if no clarity has been given by November.

These plans include cutting jobs, adjusting supply chains outside the UK, stockpiling goods and moving services or production overseas.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said: “The situation is now urgent. Unless a withdrawal agreement is locked down by December, firms will press the button on their contingency plans.

“Jobs will be lost and supply chains moved. Living standards would be affected and less money would be available for vital public services. Uncertainty is draining investment from the UK.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "hanNah burley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817718.1540042803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817718.1540042803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn says that without an agreement, 'firms will press the button on contingency plans'. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn says that without an agreement, 'firms will press the button on contingency plans'. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817718.1540042803!/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/high-hopes-for-rbs-as-it-tries-to-ditch-dark-legacy-1-4817717","id":"1.4817717","articleHeadline": "High hopes for RBS as it tries to ditch dark legacy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540073513000 ,"articleLead": "

Investors in Royal Bank of Scotland will be looking for evidence that the group’s turnaround is gaining momentum when it posts an expected strong rise in third-quarter profits this week.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817716.1540042766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Earlier this month RBS chief Ross McEwan announced the lender would pay its first dividend in almost a decade. PIcture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

The banking giant’s figures for the second quarter were hit by further provisions in respect of issues related to the financial crisis, but analysts have pencilled in a rise in attributable profits to £507 million for the three months to September, up from £392m a year earlier.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said that with legacy issues now largely behind it, the latest numbers “could well be the first time we get a clear look at the bank’s profit potential without the noise of exceptional items”.

“Having returned to profit last year as well as finally drawing a line under its dispute with the US Department of Justice, the bailed-out bank now needs to show that its underlying business model can still deliver a return in a UK economy that appears to have had a decent last six months,” he said.

Earlier this month, the lender paid its first dividend in almost a decade and Graham Spooner at The Share Centre said long-suffering investors will be hoping that Friday’s update will not derail hopes of more payouts.

“Other areas to concentrate on will be costs and any further delays to the restructuring timetable,” he added.

Lloyds will also update on trading a day before RBS, and Nicholas Hyett at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “With Brexit raising questions about the longer-term health of the British economy, we’ll be keeping a close eye on bad loans.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PERRY GOURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817716.1540042766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817716.1540042766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Earlier this month RBS chief Ross McEwan announced the lender would pay its first dividend in almost a decade. PIcture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Earlier this month RBS chief Ross McEwan announced the lender would pay its first dividend in almost a decade. PIcture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817716.1540042766!/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/don-t-be-scared-when-it-comes-to-tackling-horror-show-finances-1-4817723","id":"1.4817723","articleHeadline": "Don’t be scared when it comes to tackling horror-show finances","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540072948000 ,"articleLead": "

Halloween is looming – and if your finances are giving you nightmares, now may be the time to get to grips with any money horrors lurking around the corner.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817722.1540043019!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Take time at Halloween to make your finances less frightful. Image: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

In many cases, there may be simple steps you can take to spirit some of these problems away. Here are five money horrors and the action to take to address them.

Staying on your mortgage lender’s standard rate

Home-owners whose initial mortgage deal comes to an end may find themselves sitting on their lenders’ SVR – when they could potentially be better off switching. The average two-year fixed mortgage rate on the market fell to 2.49 per cent in October, from 2.53 per cent in September, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk. So now could be a good time to shop around.

Paying more than you need to for your car insurance

Comparethemarket.com has found 62 per cent of drivers don’t switch provider, meaning they could be missing out on a cheaper deal elsewhere. It says the average saving for switching stands at £113.09. Simon McCulloch, a director at comparethemarket.com, says: “If shopping around became the norm for the majority of drivers, the increased competition would help drive prices down.”

Standing by while your savings suffer

Tom Adams, head of research at savingschampion.co.uk says it’s worth seeking out the best returns available for your rainy day pot of cash savings.

“If you don’t take any action, providers will not necessarily be tripping over themselves to help improve your return,” he said. “Even with the base rate going up in August 2018, many providers did not increase all of their savings interest rates and of those that were increased, not all have been raised by the full 0.25 per cent.

“Don’t dismiss a provider because you haven’t come across it before, make sure that funds deposited with them are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and, if you have any doubts, sticking to the £85,000 limit per person, per banking licence should cover you should the worst happen. In order to improve your savings returns, you may need to take a well-informed leap of faith and consider a name you are less familiar with.The worst thing you can do is accept poor-paying accounts as, with a little effort, your pocket stands to gain by being active.”

Paying the loyalty penalty with your energy bills

A string of energy providers have recently announced bill hikes, so it is worth having a look around and asking your current provider about other tariffs as well as seeing what other suppliers are offering.

Also check that you’re not wasting energy. Making sure appliances aren’t left on standby and only boiling the amount of water in the kettle could help.

Paying more than you need to for your borrowing

It may be possible to cut the cost of your borrowing by shifting the balance to a credit card which has a 0 per cent initial interest-free period. But there are some factors to consider in weighing up whether it’s worthwhile, such as any fees for moving to the new card, and whether you can afford to clear the balance at the end of the zero interest period, after which the interest could surge.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Vicky Shaw"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817722.1540043019!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817722.1540043019!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Take time at Halloween to make your finances less frightful. Image: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Take time at Halloween to make your finances less frightful. Image: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817722.1540043019!/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/edinburgh-workers-could-save-over-80k-commuting-to-the-city-1-4817607","id":"1.4817607","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh workers could save over £80k commuting to the city","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540020706000 ,"articleLead": "

Workers in Edinburgh could save around £82,000 by commuting to the city rather than living there, according to new analysis.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817606.1540020702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Homes in Kirkcaldy are far less expensive than those in Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

Research by the Bank of Scotland found the difference in house prices between the capital and locations approximately an hour away would be enough to pay for the current annual rail cost (£2,299) for 35 years.

The study also suggests the most affordable commuter town to Edinburgh is Kirkcaldy, where the average house price is £133,589.

This is 3.2 times the average annual earnings for Edinburgh, compared to 4.4 times the average wage for those working within Kirkcaldy (£30,560).

For Glasgow, the most affordable commuter town is Greenock which sees average house prices of £114,108, 3.6 times the average annual earnings for Glasgow.

Homes in places including Dunblane, Glasgow, Motherwell, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy cost £170,927 on average – £82,088 lower than the average price in Edinburgh city centre (£253,015).

A 30-minute commute could save homebuyers £80,671, with the average price for a home in places such as North Berwick, Dunbar, Livingston, Falkirk and Bathgate at £172,345.

In contrast, it is more expensive to have a longer commute to Glasgow.

A 15-minute commute from a town such as Paisley would see homebuyers paying £124,319, 29 per cent less than the average house price in Glasgow city centre (£174,688).

An hour commute from areas including Edinburgh, Perth and Dumfries pushes house prices up to £227,525, 30 per cent (£52,837) higher than in the city centre.

Graham Blair, the bank’s mortgages director, said that house buyers should consider the long-term benefits of getting on and climbing the property ladder away the more high-profile cities.

“Many people have a desire to buy near their place of work to escape the morning commute.

“However, for some towns and cities, the premium this comes with can price out the average buyer.

“With savings of £80,000 to be gained an hour outside of Edinburgh, and £50,000 just 15 minutes from Glasgow, it is an attractive pull for any potential purchaser to look further afield.”

Mr Blair added: “However, the decision to commute is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times as quality of life is an important consideration. Family circumstances, schools, physical environment and value for money all come into the balance.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817606.1540020702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817606.1540020702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Homes in Kirkcaldy are far less expensive than those in Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Homes in Kirkcaldy are far less expensive than those in Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817606.1540020702!/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/brian-wilson-snp-s-quango-queen-is-not-alone-on-gravy-train-1-4817470","id":"1.4817470","articleHeadline": "Brian Wilson: SNP’s ‘Quango Queen’ is not alone on gravy train","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540011600000 ,"articleLead": "

The piquant revelation that Scotland’s erstwhile Quango Queen was paid to work more days in a year than actually exist highlights why the whole system is so tarnished.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817469.1539960712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Healt Secretary Jeane Freeman has been dubbed the 'Quango Queen' after it emerged she was paid by various organisations for 376 days' work in a year"} ,"articleBody": "

Jeane Freeman, for it was she, has moved on to greater things as Health Minister in the Scottish Government. In the first half of this decade, she was a useful cog in the SNP machine as a former Labour apparatchik who, when the wind changed, discovered she was really a Nationalist.

Long a habituee of the quango circuit, Ms Freeman’s new appointments included the disastrous Scottish Police Authority. In her peak year of 2013-14, she pulled in £57,000 from that source alone. There were a couple of NHS roles, not forgetting the Judicial Appointments Board.

All this added up to 376 paid days in the financial year. One might have thought the Scottish Commissioner for Public Appointments (for such a person exists) might have done the arithmetic and asked questions but that is to over-estimate the vigilance of our non-barking watchdogs.

At the same time, Ms Freeman fronted “Women for Independence” and ran a lobbying firm which targeted the public sector. When a member of the public tabled a Freedom of Information request in 2015 about her business meetings with Scottish Ministers and officials, he was given the classic brush-off – the question would cost too much to answer.

READ MORE: Brian Wilson: Laying bare Scotland’s quango state

Not unreasonably, he then wondered how lobbying activity could be monitored if ministers refused to provide information about their contacts on such implausible grounds. Another of our civic protectors, the Freedom of Information Commissioner, dismissed his complaint. Scotland really is a village.

In times past, big people were appointed to significant public roles. Sometimes there were cries of political patronage but in general, these individuals had the status to assert themselves and, where necessary, challenge government. The system was not perfect but it created necessary counterpoises to governments of the day. All that is gone.

In the 1990s, quango appointments were caught up in the remit of the Nolan Committee which John Major established to examine “Standards in Public Life” in the midst of the “Tory sleaze” misfortunes. Nolan got some things right but the appointments system which emerged was far worse than what it replaced.

It put enormous power in the hands of civil servants who could effectively block any applicant they did not fancy through vetting panels which offered ministers only the names of those they deemed “appointable”. And, of course, a political word in the ear of the civil servants could still influence that process.

READ MORE: Kevan Christie: Jeane Freeman makes good start as Health Secretary

However this has worked elsewhere in the UK, in “Scotland the Village” it had an entirely predictable effect. A “magic circle” of serial quangoteers emerged – chosen ones who had the blessing of civil servants on the grounds that they would never rock a boat. Once anointed, they would move seamlessly from one quango to the next.

I encountered all this in the early post-Nolan days in the Scottish Office. Getting anyone appointed who had not been deemed “appointable” was a major struggle. Yet the fact an individual had been vetoed might well be to their credit if it suggested an unwelcome degree of specific expertise or independence of mind.

There are still individuals floating around the Scottish quango circuit who were being put up for every chairmanship that occurred 20 years ago. The qualifications are that they challenge nothing, remain anonymous and nod their heads when directed by ministers. Political influence is as prevalent as it ever was – just much less transparent. Ask Ms Freeman.

This all fits into the wider pattern of centralisation which has systematically downgraded every other centre of influence withim Scotland – public bodies, local government, police boards, funding-dependent third sector organisations – in order to create a closely integrated structure which brooks no challenge.

There is a powerful political agenda waiting to be created around the need to restore diversity and scrutiny within Scotland in order to challenge the power of the centre. Some might see that requirement as a paradoxical outcome of devolution while others recognise it as depressing – but largely predictable.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Wilson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817469.1539960712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817469.1539960712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Healt Secretary Jeane Freeman has been dubbed the 'Quango Queen' after it emerged she was paid by various organisations for 376 days' work in a year","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Healt Secretary Jeane Freeman has been dubbed the 'Quango Queen' after it emerged she was paid by various organisations for 376 days' work in a year","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817469.1539960712!/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/john-mclellan-edinburgh-s-concert-hall-gift-horse-gets-teeth-checked-1-4817514","id":"1.4817514","articleHeadline": "John McLellan: Edinburgh’s concert hall ‘gift horse’ gets teeth checked","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540011600000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh’s planned new concert hall has its critics, but I’m keeping an open mind, writes John McLellan, who will help decide its fate as a member of the city council’s planning committee.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817513.1539963337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An artist's impression of what the planned concert hall would look like"} ,"articleBody": "

It was supposed to be a gift horse whose teeth would go unexamined, but despite the expectations of its influential backers it doesn’t appear to be working out that way for Edinburgh’s new concert hall.

Set to rise up behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Georgian mansion, Dundas House on St Andrew Square, the 1,000-seater Impact Centre was included in the £1.2m Edinburgh ‘City Region Deal’ and so has both Scottish and UK Government support to the tune of £25m out of a total expected cost of £45m.

Led by Sir Euan Brown and designed by Sir David Chipperfield, the centre will replace the Queen’s Hall as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s base and has financial backing from International Festival benefactor Carol Grigor and her Dunard Fund. Dunard is also bank-rolling opposition to the hotel plan for the old Royal High School and is at the heart of the scheme to turn it into a new home for the St Mary’s Music School, also with a public performance hall.

Sold as a key component in securing the Edinburgh Festival’s place at the top of the global cultural league, and with an internationally renowned architect on board, Impact’s well-connected team might not have expected to encounter much resistance, but this week The Scotsman revealed the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland had lodged an objection because the new building will “tower above” Dundas House. “The proposal is too large and too tall for such a restricted plot ... and as such represents an overdevelopment of the site,” said the AHSS submission to the city council.

READ MORE: First look at Edinburgh’s new £45m concert hall

If this is bad news for Impact, it’s good news for the new St James Centre whose developer, TH Real Estate (THRE), has been making a similar point for some months, arguing that the height of the hall will steal the view of St Andrew Square and George Street which their hotel was expecting to enjoy and was part of the design brief.

THRE is also unhappy that large equipment trucks could access the concert hall through the currently pedestrianised Multrees Walk, something which was actually supported by the Edinburgh Design Panel when it met to discuss Impact last year. The alternative, for THRE to provide access through the St James Centre’s underground services entrance, received a predictably cool reception.

It now appears that behind-the-scenes negotiations have failed, with St James development chief Martin Perry writing a letter to locals urging them to object. In turn, Impact is now said to be consulting its lawyers about its contents. “It is not proper for their letter to include inaccuracies which may mislead others,” Impact chair, Sir Euan Brown, told The Times. “This is extremely disappointing and we are taking appropriate action.”

What those inaccuracies are is unclear, although it’s hard for THRE to argue about the adverse effect of the concert hall’s height on the city skyline when there will be no more dramatic alteration than the golden ribbon/walnut whip/turd design of the hotel at the heart of St James. But Impact faces its own challenge in arguing that such a massive construction, largely in concrete, is compatible with the surroundings when it has taken over a decade to get rid of the concrete monstrosity which was St Andrew’s House.

READ MORE: Edinburgh’s new concert hall is condemned by critics for being ‘too large and too tall’

The Cockburn Association, so often at the heart of opposition to contemporary construction in the World Heritage site, has given its blessing and that means much hangs on the position of Historic Environment Scotland and the World Heritage Trust, whose director Adam Wilkinson has been keeping his head lower down on this issue than his prominent opposition to the Royal High School hotel scheme.

At least the AHSS is being consistent in its opposition to both the Royal High hotel and the concert hall, because it’s not difficult to argue that the, well, ‘impact’ on the main High School building and Dundas House from the proposed modern additions is similar.

It might be left to the members of the city council’s planning committee, of which I’m one, to decide what happens. As it stands, my mind is entirely open.

<blob> Before that, this Wednesday my planning colleagues and I must decide whether to grant permission to the Gleneagles club and hotel proposal for the grand old Bank of Scotland office next door to Dundas House. Which means I can’t say anything about it.

Who will empty my bin?

With some understatement, Edinburgh council’s head of place management, Gareth Barwell, informed councillors this week that changes to the council’s waste service “had been disruptive for many residents”. Those residents who still wonder when their bins will be emptied, as opposed to what it says in the council’s recent letter, might read “disruptive” as “utterly shambolic”. As for the new garden waste system which now costs £25 a bin, mine is still outside on the street.

SNP-Labour coalition rift deepens by the day
Amidst the chaos, the rift between some Labour councillors and the SNP on Edinburgh council’s coalition administration is becoming deeper by the day, and is being played out publicly through the letters page of the Evening News. Now Cllrs Scott Arthur and Gordon Munro have not only accused colleagues of failing to speak up about Scottish Government funding cuts, but of interpreting opposition to education cuts as open attacks.

Tellingly, they quote the council partnership agreement which requires the administration to lobby the Scottish Government to ensure adequate funding for local services and contrast the current leadership’s silence with ex-SNP leader Sandy Howat’s public criticism.

This week they and their Labour colleagues face a further dilemma over a Conservative motion to examine options for suspending Primary One testing. Opposition puts them at odds with the national party so for once in this council, the local leadership might actually have to stand up for themselves and publicly reject SNP policy.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "John McLellan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817513.1539963337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817513.1539963337!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An artist's impression of what the planned concert hall would look like","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An artist's impression of what the planned concert hall would look like","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817513.1539963337!/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/christine-jardine-eu-remembers-uk-s-wwii-stand-and-would-take-us-back-1-4817486","id":"1.4817486","articleHeadline": "Christine Jardine: EU remembers UK’s WWII stand and would take us back","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1540011600000 ,"articleLead": "

Dutch politician says that, despite the Brexit referendum, people still remember “Britain’s heroic stand in 1940 and 1941” and remain drawn to “Britain’s cultural magnetism” and so would gladly accept the return of Europe’s ‘Prodigal Son’, writes Christine Jardine.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817485.1539963260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dutch citizens cheer Britsh tanks as they liberate the country from Nazi forces in 1944 (Picture: Jack Esten/PNA Rota/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Sometimes it’s only when you say something out loud that you really, fully comprehend it.

In the middle of a TV interview about Brexit, I said: “Generations will judge us on the decisions we take over the next few weeks.”

With escalating chaos over Brexit, the absence of any leadership from the UK Government and a looming budget based on an economic future on which we can only speculate, I’m not sure that judgement will be favourable.

After the interview, I headed to a speech by a visiting EU politician with the latest pronouncements from Brexiteers swirling round in my head. The EU is making it difficult. No-deal is now our only option. The Prime Minister isn’t going to get a deal that parliament will accept. The Irish Border issue is impossible.

At the same time, I was tormented by the thought that all the Prime Minister has to do is compromise – agree to stay in the Customs Union and there is no problem with the Irish border, or Gibraltar for that matter.

But would that be what people want? Is any of this debacle what anyone wanted? And what about the EU? Do they now just want to see the back of us?

Then I listened to Rob Jetten.

He is a 31-year-old member of the Dutch Parliament who has just been elected as the leader of one of the Lib Dems’ sister liberal parties in the Netherlands, the D66.

This second youngest political leader in Dutch history was in Westminster to speak to a group of MPs and Peers.

READ MORE: Police ‘prepared for potential disorder’ sparked by food shortages post-Brexit

Listening to him reminded me of why I have always cherished what some dismiss as the ‘European Project’ as he likened our relationship with the EU to the biblical tale of the Prodigal Son.

Although I’m not religious, I do remember the story from school. A wrestless son demands his inheritance to leave his family and make his own way in the world.

I wondered at first if this was to be a warning. That, like the son, we would find ourselves falling on hard times, our wealth squandered, and then come back, our proverbial tail between our legs. But I was wrong.

What Jetten used it to illustrate was the strength of familial feeling towards us on the continent, and the hope that we will yet again exhibit our traditional ability to grasp success from failure.

In the midst of the current disputes, some might question that feeling, but Jetten was insistent.

We have, he reminded us, been an integral part of that EU family for 45 years, a relationship built on international pain and British resolution.

Yes, the Dutch too pin the need for the EU on our joint experiences in the first half of the 20th century and especially: “... Britain’s heroic stand in 1940 and 1941.”

“It was,” he said, “in Britain that our Government and resistance movement sought and found refuge. There are few Dutch cities and towns which do not enshrine memories of British bravery.”

And, talking about more recent times, he described “Britain’s cultural magnetism” as collapsing an already minimal distance between our countries.

There is also a recognition on the continent that the EU has to move forward. Reform itself. Improve.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Brexit makes Scottish independence ‘inevitable’

All of that is why, according to Jetten, there is apparently, a widespread hope in EU capitals that we will somehow grasp the opportunity to escape Brexit and return, somehow, to our family.

It’s a hope that was reflected this weekend in the descent of countless thousands of Britons on London to call for a People’s Vote, a chance to say whether the product of this Tory-induced debacle is what anyone, both remain or leave supporter, actually wants.

I’m as aware as anyone that we still do not know what that final end product will look like. Ridiculous isn’t it? We are more than two years on from the vote, already passed the point at which we had been told it would all be settled and signed, but still completely in the darkness about our nation’s, our children’s, our own future.

It’s time for ministers to knuckle down and get some answers.

But whatever happens, if a deal is reached or not, they must remember that democracy did not end on 24 June 2016. And increasingly, as the weekend showed, the public are the ones shouting loudest for that final say. A vote on the deal itself.

But how does that fit with Jetten’s recounting of the tale of the Prodigal Son?

In the story, we are told of a man with two sons. One day the younger son suddenly demands his share of the estate, walks away from home and squanders his wealth in wild living. After a while, dejected by the failure of his adventure, he decides to return home.

His father is beside himself with joy and prepares a feast. The other brother, who had stayed behind loyally working the fields, turns angry. Why reward such disloyal foolishness?

“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

As Rob put it, our European family doesn’t want us dead, doesn’t want us lost, and doesn’t want payback.

They want us back. I wonder then if future generations might judge us more favourably.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Christine Jardine"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817485.1539963260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817485.1539963260!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dutch citizens cheer Britsh tanks as they liberate the country from Nazi forces in 1944 (Picture: Jack Esten/PNA Rota/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dutch citizens cheer Britsh tanks as they liberate the country from Nazi forces in 1944 (Picture: Jack Esten/PNA Rota/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817485.1539963260!/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/investors-increase-offer-for-shopping-centre-group-intu-1-4817472","id":"1.4817472","articleHeadline": "Investors increase offer for shopping centre group Intu","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539960878000 ,"articleLead": "

Shopping centre landlord Intu, whose portfolio includes Braehead in Glasgow, has seen a consortium of investors up its takeover approach, valuing the company at around £2.8 billion.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817471.1539960873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The investment consortium's revised bid of 215p per share values Intu, whose portfolio includes Braehead shopping centre in Glasgow, at about �2.8bn. Picture Mark Ferguson Gibson"} ,"articleBody": "

Peel Group, the Olayan Group and Brookfield Property Group revised an initial proposal made on 11 October of 205p per share up to 215p, following engagement with Intu’s directors. Peel Group, which is owned by Intu deputy chairman John Whittaker, already holds a 26 per cent stake in the company.

The consortium, which on 4 October announced that they were in the preliminary stages of considering a possible cash offer for the company, will now be granted access to company documents for due diligence as it considers whether to make a firm offer.

A decision must be made by 1 November.

The current proposal would be reduced by any dividends paid by Intu prior to the completion of the deal, meaning the actual offer would be 210.4p per share or less.

David Brockton, analyst at Liberum, said: “We struggle to see how the Intu board will be able to recommend a cash offer below 239p.

“Management has repeatedly maintained that its prime retail assets are resilient and trading well with negligible impact from wider occupier weakness.”

The latest proposed acquisition price values the company at significantly less than rival retail property giant Hammerson considered paying for Intu before it abandoned a £3.4bn approach in April.

Hammerson – whose properties include Glasgow’s Silverburn, Abbotsinch Retail Park in Paisley, and Union Square in Aberdeen – said at the time that the tie-up was “no longer in the best interest of shareholders”.

It added that over the previous five months, “the financial strength of retailers and other tenants in the UK has softened and a number of retailers have entered into administrations or CVAs, while consumer confidence has also remained subdued”.

French group Klepierre had shortly before walked away from a potential deal with Hammerson, after holding a meeting with its takeover target to table a £5bn proposal.

But Klepierre said it would not make a formal offer because Hammerson “did not provide any meaningful engagement”, while Hammerson had branded Klepierre’s overtures “wholly inadequate” and “entirely opportunistic”.

Intu, whose other sites include the Metrocentre in Newcastle and Trafford Centre in Manchester, in July issued its interim results to 30 June, swinging to a pre-tax loss of £503.4 million from a profit of £203.3m 12 months previously.

Boss David Fischel said then that Intu sites “have remained prime because we have always adapted and responded vigorously to the ever changing retail environment with continued investment and creative asset-management.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "emma.newlands@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817471.1539960873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817471.1539960873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The investment consortium's revised bid of 215p per share values Intu, whose portfolio includes Braehead shopping centre in Glasgow, at about �2.8bn. Picture Mark Ferguson Gibson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The investment consortium's revised bid of 215p per share values Intu, whose portfolio includes Braehead shopping centre in Glasgow, at about �2.8bn. Picture Mark Ferguson Gibson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817471.1539960873!/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/first-furnishings-collapses-into-administration-1-4817455","id":"1.4817455","articleHeadline": "First Furnishings collapses into administration","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539959447000 ,"articleLead": "

A West Lothian furniture wholesaler has collapsed into administration, leading to the loss of scores of jobs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817454.1539959443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blair Nimmo, global head of restructuring for KPMG, has been appointed joint administrator. Picture: contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

First Furnishings (FFL), a supplier and installer of furniture, flooring and white goods to local authorities, housing associations, letting agents and charities, has ceased trading and all of the firm’s employees have been made redundant.

Administrators at KPMG said they are continuing to explore the option of selling the business and its assets.

FFL generated a turnover of £5.8 million in the year to 31 March, with the majority of revenue relating to contracts with local authorities.

However, despite major income growth in recent years, the firm incurred “substantial” losses due to an increased cost base and contractual obligations.

At the time of the administrators’ appointment, the firm employed 27 staff at its Broxburn head office and warehouse, and a further 30 at its warehouse in Glasgow.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and global head of restructuring for KPMG, said: “As a result of the difficult financial position facing the company, we had no choice but to make all employees redundant.

“We will be working with affected employees and relevant government agencies to ensure a full range of support is available.”

He added: “We are also exploring the possibility of securing a sale of the company’s business and assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817454.1539959443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817454.1539959443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Blair Nimmo, global head of restructuring for KPMG, has been appointed joint administrator. Picture: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blair Nimmo, global head of restructuring for KPMG, has been appointed joint administrator. Picture: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817454.1539959443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/aberdeen-north-east/fatal-fishing-boat-accident-in-aberdeenshire-nearly-resulted-in-multiple-deaths-1-4817404","id":"1.4817404","articleHeadline": "Fatal fishing boat accident in Aberdeenshire nearly resulted in multiple deaths","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539954047000 ,"articleLead": "

A fatal accident onboard a fishing boat in an Aberdeenshire harbour nearly resulted in multiple deaths, an investigation has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817403.1539954042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has made safety recommendations after the tragic accident in Fraserburgh (pictured)"} ,"articleBody": "

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has made safety recommendations after the tragic accident in Fraserburgh.

William Ironside, 52, died, while several other men fell ill while working on the Sunbeam in August.

The MAIB report contains recommendations for the boat’s owners related to entering and working in refrigerated saltwater (RSW) tanks used for storing fish onboard.

Their investigation found Mr Ironside, a second engineer, had been found lying unconscious inside one of the Sunbeam’s RSW tanks on August 14.

It is thought he had entered the tank to sweep out residual seawater as part of preparations for a deep clean.

Three of the boat’s crew, who climbed inside to try to resuscitate him, also became dizzy, confused and short of breath.

One was able to climb out of the tank unaided, while a further two members of the crew wearing breathing apparatus pulled out the others.

Mr Ironside could not be resuscitated and died.

The presence of a toxic refrigerant gas used in the RSW tank’s refrigeration plant was detected following tests.

The MAIB’s initial investigation found the refrigeration plant sea water evaporators had suffered several tube failures resulting in a number of repairs.

It said it was likely the refrigerant leaked through one or more failed tubes into the seawater system, and was released into the RSW tank.

The tasteless and mostly odourless gas, if deeply inhaled, can cut off oxygen to blood cells and the lungs.

It found no safety procedures for entering or working in RSW tanks had been completed before Mr Ironside entered the tank, while the three crew members “did not appreciate the levels of risk they were taking, even after the second engineer (Mr Ironside) has collapsed”.

The Sunbeam’s owners are recommended to “conduct risk assessments specifically for entering and working in RSW tanks and provide safe operating procedures for its crew to follow and appropriate levels of safety equipment to use”.

The MAIB report does not apportion blame, and its safety recommendations “shall in no case create a presumption of blame or liability”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817403.1539954042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817403.1539954042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has made safety recommendations after the tragic accident in Fraserburgh (pictured)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has made safety recommendations after the tragic accident in Fraserburgh (pictured)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817403.1539954042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-lothians/delta-announces-new-boston-route-from-edinburgh-1-4817278","id":"1.4817278","articleHeadline": "Delta announces new Boston route from Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539949047000 ,"articleLead": "

Air links between Scotland and the US have been boosted by the announcement of a new service to Boston.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817277.1539947647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Delta Airlines announce new Edinburgh-Boston flight."} ,"articleBody": "

Delta Air Lines will double its flights from Edinburgh next summer by adding the route to Boston’s Logan International Airport.

The service is to be operated in conjunction with Delta’s joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic and run from May 24 next year.

The airline announced there will be two flights on the Boston route every day during the peak summer months, adding to the daily service they currently operate to JFK Airport in New York.

Roberto Ioriatti, Delta vice president, said: “More American tourists visit Scotland than from any other country - over half a million in 2017 - and with more than 2,000 extra seats each week between the US and Edinburgh, Delta will help increase visitor numbers, contributing to the local economy.”

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, added: “More choice for passengers and growing Scotland’s connectivity to the world are key themes in our strategy for Scotland’s busiest airport, and Delta’s decision to grow its presence here will deliver that.

“It also strengthens our partnership with them and we look forward to working together to make the route a success.”

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, also welcomed the announcement, saying: “Not only will this give Scottish businesses a direct route into important North American markets, but it will also give inbound visitors even more options when it comes to getting a taste of the world class tourism experience on offer in Scotland.”

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817277.1539947647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817277.1539947647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Delta Airlines announce new Edinburgh-Boston flight.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Delta Airlines announce new Edinburgh-Boston flight.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817277.1539947647!/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/discount-tickets-for-the-scottish-listed-property-show-in-edinburgh-1-4817317","id":"1.4817317","articleHeadline": "Discount tickets for The Scottish Listed Property Show in Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539947881457 ,"articleLead": "The Scottish Listed Property Show takes place on Saturday, 27 October at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh, where a series of experts will be on hand to answer all your questions and queries.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817316.1539947263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Owners of a delightful property like this could find the answers to all their questions at the Listed Property Show in Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

Book tickets in advance for a discounted price of £8 when you quote SM3.

Visit www.lpoc.scot or call 0131 357 3300.

Do you need help from one of their experts? Email your questions to info@lpoc.scot. Advice is given without responsibility.

Here we asked one of the team to tackle a typical query.

QUESTION: We are about to exchange contracts on the purchase of a Grade C listed house in Aberdeen and our specialist surveyor has unearthed unauthorised works by previous owners including replacement windows. Where does the liability fall to put these right? Should I still proceed with the purchase?

ANSWER: All alterations which affect the character of a listed building require listed building consent. If a previous owner failed to get consent for any alterations you need to be aware that you, as owner, could be required to reverse the alteration at your cost. Buyers need to be particularly vigilant because there is no time limit on enforcement action. As well as being potentially very costly and inconvenient to you it could make the house very difficult to sell in the future if the issues are not resolved.

Listed building controls extend to the inside as well as the outside of the listed building and to any object or structure fixed to the building or within its curtilage which pre-dates 1948. As an intending purchaser it is always worth instructing your specialist surveyor and solicitor to look out for unauthorised alterations.

Ideally you should look to resolve any outstanding issues prior to agreeing to the purchase. This normally involves negotiation with the vendors and the local planning authority. You may need to consider applying for listed building consent retrospectively or reversing the changes. Whether to proceed with the purchase or not will depend on whether the vendors are prepared to resolve some of the issues and whether you have the time and the inclination to wait. In most situations it would be unwise to proceed with the purchase until the issues have been fully resolved.

For detailed expert advice specific to your home become a member of The Listed Property Owners’ Club Scotland. From as little as £4 a month, as well as access to a free telephone helpline your membership will include two free tickets to The Scottish Listed Property Show. Here, you can meet face-to-face with a whole host of listed building experts for advice on planning, conservation, VAT, and legal issues and specialist suppliers including windows, damp, energy efficiency and more.

Don't forget the discount ticket offer here or by phone on 0131 357 3300.

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Staff Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817316.1539947263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817316.1539947263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Owners of a delightful property like this could find the answers to all their questions at the Listed Property Show in Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Owners of a delightful property like this could find the answers to all their questions at the Listed Property Show in Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817316.1539947263!/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/ian-murray-edinburgh-s-world-leading-cancer-research-is-at-risk-1-4817177","id":"1.4817177","articleHeadline": "Ian Murray: Edinburgh’s world-leading cancer research is at risk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539939353000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh is a wonderful city. From its rich cultural diversity and history to the vibrancy of its citizens and sheer beauty, all of us who are lucky to call Edinburgh our home should be very proud.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817176.1539939349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nearly half of Scotland's population is likely to get cancer at some point in their lifetime"} ,"articleBody": "

Nothing gives me greater pride than when I hear that some of the most advanced research and development in the world is taking place here. From the deepest depths of the Earth with the work of some of the world’s top palaeontologists to the farthest away places in the universe through our astronomers, and everything in between, we are at the heart of developing the technologies and understanding of the future.

None more so than in medical research. Edinburgh has a centuries-long tradition in this area and I was delighted to meet with Cancer Research UK this week to see the work they are doing into finding the best diagnosis and cures for cancer, and particularly brain cancer.

The statistics are stark. Almost half of everyone will get cancer in their lifetime and, with a growing and ageing population this will only increase. Of course, governments and individuals must tackle the preventable risk factors such as smoking, obesity and alcohol, but to achieve the best outcomes for patients, we must create the most conducive environment for our scientists to find treatments and cures.

In Edinburgh and the Lothians, over 4,700 people are diagnosed with cancer every year and there are around 2,200 deaths as a result. Everyone will know someone who has been affected by cancer. That is why the work of charitable organisations like Cancer Research UK, which alone spends over £420m a year on research, are so vital.

READ MORE: Brexit: No-deal pension warning for Scots in finance sector

And our position in the European Union helps make it all happen.

More than a quarter of all cancer clinical trials involve at least one other EU country. Half of all international research involve partnering with more than 400 organisations based all over the EU. In the last 10 years, the UK collaborated in 4,800 clinical trials with at least one other EU country, and over a quarter of all PhD students, researchers, and staff are from the EU.

So, why then would Government policy be making their lives more difficult and uncertain? In the interests of current and future cancer patients, vital research must be safeguarded if the UK leaves the EU. It is essential that cross-national collaboration on major projects with EU partners continues so adequate volumes of data can be accessed for clinical trials. The industry needs to be able to continue to recruit and retain the very best global scientific talent that drives the research forward. Patients need to have instant access to the most innovative treatments and drugs across the EU without unnecessary and lengthy delays in implementation in the UK.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson and David Mundell in quit threat over Brexit plan

But the Government policy on Brexit puts this all at risk. Cancer Research UK made this very clear.

Researchers in Edinburgh are at the heart of the breakthroughs that benefit cancer patients all over the world but as the Government take us closer to a no-deal or very bad deal Brexit, it is putting the city’s position at the forefront of critical scientific and medical research at risk. The Prime Minister couldn’t be making more of a mess of Brexit as she panders to her colleagues who want a no-deal and tries to keep her fragile coalition with the Democratic Unionists together. Given there is no majority in Parliament for any way forward and Brexit will be an unprecedented but avoidable tragedy of self-harm, the best way forward, in my view, would be to let democracy flourish and allow a People’s Vote on any deal with the option to remain in the EU.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ian Murray"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817176.1539939349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817176.1539939349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nearly half of Scotland's population is likely to get cancer at some point in their lifetime","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nearly half of Scotland's population is likely to get cancer at some point in their lifetime","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817176.1539939349!/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-glasgow-people-s-palace-closure-would-be-symbol-of-austerity-1-4817000","id":"1.4817000","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Glasgow People’s Palace closure would be symbol of austerity","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539938236000 ,"articleLead": "

If a 120-year-old promise is broken and Glasgow’s People’s Palace closes, it would be a powerful symbol that austerity is still very much with us, despite Theresa May’s claim the end is in sight.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817147.1539938228!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow People's Palace is set to close. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

As he opened the People’s Palace in 1898, Lord Rosebery, a former Prime Minister, told a crowd of several thousand assembled on Glasgow Green that it would be “open to the people for ever and ever”, describing the building as “a palace of pleasure and imagination around which the people may place their affections and which may give them a home on which their memory may rest”.

It may have survived two World Wars, economic recessions and a decade of austerity, but Rosebery’s optimistic pledge could be about to be broken. The adjoining Winter Gardens glasshouse needs multi-million-pound repairs and is to close indefinitely at the end of this year.

A knock-on effect may also be the closure of the palace, although Glasgow City Council still hopes to prevent this.

READ MORE: Glasgow’s People’s Palace and Winter Gardens to close ‘indefinitely’

Councillors all over Scotland will sympathise, given the pressures they have been under in recent years.

Local authority spending on frontline services like school support, children’s services, rubbish disposal and social care has fallen by nearly £750 million over the past five years – a 7.1 per cent cut that has been contrasted with the 1.8 per cent reduction in the Scottish Government’s revenue budget. The figures prompted local government body Cosla to complain in May that councils had “suffered the brunt of cuts” and had “no room left to manoeuvre in terms of budgets”.

The Scottish Government, meanwhile, has sought to leave such complaints at the door of Theresa May; according to Bute House, this is Tory, not SNP, austerity.

For her part, the Prime Minister recently made an even more optimistic pledge than her predecessor, declaring the end of austerity was within our grasp – if only the right Brexit deal could be struck.

However, the closure of the People’s Palace would be a powerful symbol that our economic woes are very much still with us and that it is the “people” who continue to pay the highest price. The museum is famously home to Sir Billy Connolly’s ‘big banana boots’, but it also details the lives of everyday working-class Scots.

One of its highlights is the Single End display, showing a typical single-roomed house of the 1930s, where a family would eat, sleep, cook and wash.

It acts as a reminder that austerity today is still an improvement on the past, but also a warning of how much worse life can be. Both are valuable lessons that should not be lost.

READ MORE: Faded majesty: The People’s Palace losing ground with the passage of time

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817147.1539938228!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817147.1539938228!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Glasgow People's Palace is set to close. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow People's Palace is set to close. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817147.1539938228!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816998.1539938233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816998.1539938233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Billy Connolly's 'big banana boots' are famously displayed in the People's Palace (Picture: Robert Perry)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Billy Connolly's 'big banana boots' are famously displayed in the People's Palace (Picture: Robert Perry)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816998.1539938233!/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/health/ayrshire-oaps-we-re-trapped-in-our-own-homes-by-waiting-lists-1-4809862","id":"1.4809862","articleHeadline": "Ayrshire OAPs: 'We're trapped in our own homes by waiting lists'","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539935235051 ,"articleLead": "Scots are being warned they are leaving it too late before taking steps to remain mobile and independent in their own homes.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4809861.1538656750!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A generation of Scots faced being trapped"} ,"articleBody": "

Many are put off considering home improvements – like a stairlift – until their mobility problems have already significantly deteriorated, it is claimed.

It means in many cases, older people are missing the benefits of being able to move freely around their own home and can be eventually find themselves left without access to their own bedroom and bathroom.

According to Ian Thomson, of Lomond Stairlifts Ltd, which has launched a new stairlift service in response to rising demand, even people who are referred for a stairlift by their local health service can find themselves trapped on a long waiting list while their condition worsens.

“I have heard of people waiting months for a stairlift, and being virtually ‘trapped’ downstairs in their own homes, unable to get upstairs safely,” he says.

“In many cases, people end up sleeping in their living rooms or wash in their kitchen and using mobile toilets because they simply can’t get upstairs.

“But there is no need for that if they plan in advance and make sure you have the right equipment in place to improve the quality of their life as they age.”

Ian, a former police officer, who runs Troon-based Lomond Stairlifts Ltd, has just launched a new stairlift service after finding many customers making use of the business’s adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs were pointing out the difficulties of getting upstairs in their own home.

“I found people had put off considering a stairlift for far too long. It was often the last thing they thought about, when in fact, it probably should be one of the first.

“Being able to get up and downstairs safely is really important, and a stairlift can be fitted with much less fuss than they think.”

He points out that Lomond Stairlifts Ltd can fit a straight stairlift within seven days of it being ordered, and just two weeks if it’s a bespoke stairlift specially designed to cope with curved or ‘awkward’ staircases.

Once in place, it can transform lives, bringing easy access to upper floors which might otherwise be out of bounds due to a range of conditions.

“I come across people with poor circulation, osteoporosis, arthritis and all kinds of mobility problems such as amputations, who almost all tell me they wish they had installed their stairlift sooner.

“Because we’re a Scottish company with a good relationship with the three key stairlift manufacturers – Stanna, Acorn and Companion – we are able to negotiate trade prices as well as provide a caring and trusted service.

“Often customers are worried about the costs,” he adds. “But by installing a stairlift in good time, they get the best value for their money – and soon find their independence is really valuable.”

If you have concerns about your mobility now or in the future, contact New Life Mobility to find out how a stairlift or other mobility aids could improve your lifestyle. Visit www.lomondstairlifts.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Sandra Dick"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4809861.1538656750!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4809861.1538656750!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A generation of Scots faced being trapped","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A generation of Scots faced being trapped","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4809861.1538656750!/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/michael-matheson-scotland-s-most-ambitious-infrastructure-plan-is-here-1-4817003","id":"1.4817003","articleHeadline": "Michael Matheson: Scotland’s most ambitious infrastructure plan is here","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539925200000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s most ambitious infrastructure plan is here, writes Transport Secreatary Michael Matheson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817162.1539938708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Matheson. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

When the First Minister announced a reshuffle of her Cabinet in the summer, I was honoured to take on the role of Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
The creation of this portfolio highlights the importance we as a Government place on investment in infrastructure as a key driver of economic growth. As the title suggests, it’s a broad remit, which goes beyond focusing solely on transport, and growing Scotland’s infrastructure is critical for future economic prosperity.

We know the value of investing in infrastructure goes beyond modern homes, schools, hospitals and world-leading engineering projects such as the Queensferry Crossing. It unlocks economic potential, supports jobs and allows our businesses and communities to flourish. And it plays a crucial role in connecting our people, businesses and communities. Research by the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank and the EU all draws the conclusion that infrastructure investment is a key driver of productivity growth.

That’s why this year’s Programme for Government sets out the most ambitious long-term level of infrastructure spend Scotland has ever seen. We are increasing infrastructure investment to £1.5 billion per year higher by 2025-26 than in 2019-20.

READ MORE: Watchdog warns Scotland must slash transport and agriculture emissions

Scottish Government infrastructure investment will increase by an additional one per cent of current Scottish GDP and to achieve it we will need to continue to innovate in our models for investment and work across the public sector. It will be a step change in infrastructure investment that will deliver a long-term boost to Scotland’s economy. It will be direct investment in our housing, schools, hospitals, transport and digital infrastructure.

The National Transport Strategy is looking at policies to address the challenges facing our transport system and how we can take advantage of opportunities to create the kind of system we want for the whole of Scotland. The Strategic Transport Project Review will set out the infrastructure investment priorities, taking a whole-systems approach to deliver the outcomes we are seeking for Scotland’s economy, climate change, health and tackling inequalities. And most importantly, it’s an investment that will be enjoyed by future generations.

While the levels of investment look impressive as numbers, spending figures can seem quite abstract. In real terms, we’ll create at least 20 electric towns across Scotland; make £20 million available to enable more people and businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles; add more than 500 new ultra-low-emission vehicles to public sector fleets; add over 100 green buses to the fleet through the £1.7m Green Bus Fund; and much more.

READ MORE: Scottish Government Cabinet reshuffle: Who’s in and Who’s out?

The modernisation of our infrastructure is also progressing. We are investing £25m to improve access to 4G mobile connectivity, whilst looking to the future, we are developing a forward-looking 5G strategy for Scotland. We have exceeded our target of 95 per cent fibre broadband coverage across Scotland and, building on that, an initial investment of £600m will see a future-proofed fibre network reach some of our most challenging areas, whilst ensuring superfast speeds for every home and business in the country.

The Programme for Government commits to a mission to raise Scotland’s infrastructure spending to internationally competitive levels – it also underlines our progress on revolutionising our digital infrastructure and helps our people and businesses prepare for the work of the future.

Michael Matheson is the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Michael Matheson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817162.1539938708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817162.1539938708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michael Matheson. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Matheson. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817162.1539938708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4817002.1539938713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4817002.1539938713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Queensferry Crossing was a major project but the SNP plans to massively increase spending on infrastructure over the next few years","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Queensferry Crossing was a major project but the SNP plans to massively increase spending on infrastructure over the next few years","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4817002.1539938713!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/amazon-to-create-hundreds-of-edinburgh-jobs-1-4816989","id":"1.4816989","articleHeadline": "Amazon to create hundreds of Edinburgh jobs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539918024000 ,"articleLead": "

Amazon has revealed that it is to create up to 250 jobs by expanding its development centre in Edinburgh, in a boost to the Scottish tech sector and broader economy.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816988.1539885258!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The retailing giant has announced plans for 250 'Silicon Valley jobs' as it grows operations in the Scottish capital. Picture: Alex Hewitt"} ,"articleBody": "

The retail giant will move its Edinburgh customer service centre to new state-of-the-art premises in the capital, making way for the additional staff dedicated to research and development at the Waverley Gate site.

The new roles will focus on projects such as developing new advertising technology and improving personalised shopping recommendations.

Amazon currently has more than 2,500 employees in Scotland across its development centre and customer service sites in Edinburgh, fulfilment centres in Dunfermline and Gourock, Prime Now site in Glasgow, and delivery stations in Dundee and Motherwell.

Graeme Smith, MD of Amazon Development Centre Scotland, said: “Edinburgh was Amazon’s first research and development centre outside of North America and it has a well-earnt reputation as a global centre for innovation, software engineering and machine learning.

“The new roles are Silicon Valley jobs right here in the heart of Scotland and will join teams working on large-scale projects using cutting-edge technology, which helps benefit hundreds of millions of Amazon customers around the world.

“Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, are home to some of Europe’s most exciting start-ups, so it is fantastic we are able to expand our presence here.”

Economy secretary Derek Mackay called the news “welcome, additional investment”. He added: “This expansion will provide capacity for 250 new, high-skilled roles and shows the level of talent in the Scottish workforce.

“The Scottish Government has an ambitious economic strategy to create the right environment for job growth.

“This includes delivering enhanced physical and digital infrastructure, core skills and increased innovation and use of technologies in key industries.”

Amazon also announced plans to open its first UK corporate office outside London with a new site set to launch in Manchester next year.

The company said its expansion plans show its commitment to the UK, as it expects to create 2,500 jobs across the country in 2018, taking its total workforce to more than 27,500 nationwide.

Amazon hit headlines at the start of the month by announcing it would up its minimum wage for all UK workers outside of London to £9.50 an hour, a raise of 18.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, Filipino fast food chain Jollibee revealed it will create up to 1,500 jobs in the UK by 2023 as part of a multi-million-dollar expansion plan.

The restaurant, known for its fried chicken and sweet spaghetti, opens its first UK store in London on 20 October and announced plans to launch 25 stores in the UK over the next five years.

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816988.1539885258!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816988.1539885258!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The retailing giant has announced plans for 250 'Silicon Valley jobs' as it grows operations in the Scottish capital. Picture: Alex Hewitt","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The retailing giant has announced plans for 250 'Silicon Valley jobs' as it grows operations in the Scottish capital. Picture: Alex Hewitt","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816988.1539885258!/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/comment-tackling-ethnic-pay-gap-could-bring-24bn-boost-1-4816649","id":"1.4816649","articleHeadline": "Comment: Tackling ethnic pay gap could bring £24bn boost","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539910559000 ,"articleLead": "

“As with gender pay gap monitoring, the time has come to tackle the ethnicity pay gap,” RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said recently, adding that greater diversity within businesses boosts shareholder value. This pledge to put race-wage disparity under the spotlight comes as the government announced that UK employers could be required to publish data on their pay gaps for workers from different ethnic backgrounds.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816648.1539853093!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "It is recommended that businesses with more than 50 employees be required to publish ethnic pay data, says Donaldson. Picture: Peter Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

A consultation has been launched to gather views from employers about the best approach to ethnicity pay reporting, noting that few businesses currently publish this information voluntarily. The consultation will ask what employers should publish in order to allow for “decisive action” on workplace diversity, without placing undue burdens on businesses.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the consultation on the first anniversary of the government’s Race Disparity Audit, which sought to establish how people of different ethnic backgrounds are treated across society. This exercise found significant disparities in the pay and progression of employees from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds when compared to their white colleagues.

In her government-commissioned independent review “Race in the Workplace”, which made the business and moral cases for developing BAME talent in the workplace, Baroness McGregor-Smith recommended that businesses with more than 50 employees be required to publish ethnic pay data. However, only 11 per cent of employers surveyed by business body Business in the Community (BITC) are currently collecting this sort of data.

According to McGregor-Smith, tackling ethnicity-related barriers to workplace participation and progression could boost the UK economy by £24 billion annually, or 1.3 per cent of GDP. The government has, however, stressed in its new consultation that tackling inequality of opportunity in the workplace is not just about the economy, but about social justice.

However, measuring the ethnicity pay gap is more complex than measuring the gender pay gap, as there are multiple ethnic groups with different gaps, and many people with mixed ethnicity.

According to the government, the new consultation will seek to develop a consistent methodological approach to pay data reporting “which drives meaningful action while remaining proportionate and without adding undue burdens on businesses”. The consultation proposes a number of different approaches to reporting: a single pay gap figure comparing average hourly earnings of ethnic minority employees as a percentage of white employees; or more granular figures which compare the average hourly earnings of different ethnic groups. It also raises the possibility of reporting ethnicity pay information by pay band or quartile, similar to the requirements already in place for gender pay gap reporting.

Contextual factors, such as geographical, gender or age variations, could also form part of the information that is reported, as could narrative information or action plans to address any disparities identified by their data.

Alongside the consultation, the government announced a new “Race at Work Charter”, developed in conjunction with BITC. Businesses that adopt the charter commit themselves to various principles and actions designed to encourage recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees. Public sector employees, including the NHS, armed forces, schools and police, have also committed to publishing plans to increase the proportion of senior staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Baroness McGregor-Smith, who headlined her 2017 report “The time for talking is over. Now is the time to act”, must take some comfort at these developments in addressing the ethnicity pay gap in UK society.

- Susannah Donaldson, employment law expert at Pinsent Masons

" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SUSANNAH DONALDSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816648.1539853093!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816648.1539853093!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "It is recommended that businesses with more than 50 employees be required to publish ethnic pay data, says Donaldson. Picture: Peter Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "It is recommended that businesses with more than 50 employees be required to publish ethnic pay data, says Donaldson. Picture: Peter Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816648.1539853093!/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-whisky-growth-driven-by-far-east-demand-1-4817029","id":"1.4817029","articleHeadline": "Scottish whisky growth driven by Far East demand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539893007000 ,"articleLead": "

A soaring appetite for Scotland’s national drink in Far East countries such as China and India helped drive whisky exports up to almost £2 billion in the first half of this year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4793075.1539893003!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotch Malt Whisky"} ,"articleBody": "

Exports increased in value by 10.8 per cent to £1.97bn compared with the same period last year. Official HMRC figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association also showed the volume of exports increased by 5.6 per cent to almost 558 million bottles.

Exports to emerging markets continued to grow, with a 34.8 per cent increase in the value of Scotch whisky going to China and a 44.4 per cent increase to India.

The US remains the largest export market by value at more than £400 million. Single malts make up 28 per cent of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4793075.1539893003!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4793075.1539893003!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotch Malt Whisky","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotch Malt Whisky","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4793075.1539893003!/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/scottish-financial-enterprise-partners-with-the-prince-s-trust-1-4816984","id":"1.4816984","articleHeadline": "Scottish Financial Enterprise partners with The Prince’s Trust","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539883773000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) is teaming up with The Prince’s Trust to support the development of industry skills in young people.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816983.1539883769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SFE's annual event will be in partnership with The Prince's Trust, which supports young people across Scotland. Picture: Rebecca Lee"} ,"articleBody": "

The charity will be the official partner for the SFE Annual Dinner in Glasgow on Thursday 25 October, where donations will go towards the charity’s programmes.

Its “Enterprise” initiative helps young people to develop entrepreneurial skills and start their own business, while “Get Into” provides courses to build skills and confidence through work experience in various sectors, including financial services.

Some 600 guests from finance, business and government are expected to attend the event, where the winners of the 2018 Scottish Financial Services Awards will be announced. Finalists include Barclays, Copylab, CYBG, Origo and Previse.

Graeme Jones, SFE chief executive, said: “Supporting the next generation is integral to the ongoing success of financial services in Scotland.

“We’re proud to be partnering with The Prince’s Trust as it’s a charity that really chimes with the work SFE and our members are doing to ensure we have a pipeline of talent to support our industry’s growth and the evolving skills required by financial services businesses.”

Kate Still, director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland said: “Thanks to support from organisations like SFE, The Trust is able to support young people across Scotland to reach their potential.

“An investment in young people is an investment in Scotland’s future economy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816983.1539883769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816983.1539883769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "SFE's annual event will be in partnership with The Prince's Trust, which supports young people across Scotland. Picture: Rebecca Lee","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SFE's annual event will be in partnership with The Prince's Trust, which supports young people across Scotland. Picture: Rebecca Lee","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816983.1539883769!/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/scotgold-resources-secures-430-000-scottish-enterprise-grant-1-4816979","id":"1.4816979","articleHeadline": "Scotgold Resources secures £430,000 Scottish Enterprise grant","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539882542000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish Enterprise has offered to provide funding of up to £430,000 to support the planned development of a Scottish gold mine.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816978.1539882539!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Gray, 'chief executive of Scotgold Resources, which has secured six-figure funding to develop a Scottish gold mine. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotgold Resources said the Regional Selective Assistance grant offered by the economic development agency is dependent on the Cononish mine near Tyndrum creating 36 full-time jobs as part of a planned £8.6 million capital expenditure at the site.

The company, led by chief executive Richard Gray, said the offer was £70,000 more than had been pencilled in under its current financial models although the increase is not expected to have a material increase on project returns. Discussions are now taking place to finalise the grant contract and the timetable for receipt of money.

Further grant funding may be available for an expansion project at the site, which would create a further 27 full-time jobs.

The funding news came in a stock market update in which Scotgold also revealed that it has decided to wind up its French susbidiary after failing to complete a sale deal announced in March.

The liquidation process has now begun and apart from costs related to the process of some £12,000, Scotgold said the move will not result in any loss.

Scotgold also said progress continues to be made in the finalisation of the planning application for the Cononish mine from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Planning Authority and that a formal decision notice is expected shortly.

Earlier this year the company raised £9m to press ahead with the development. The funding round included £4m through an oversubscribed placing and subscription offer for new shares and a secured loan facility of £5m from chairman Nat le Roux.

" ,"byline": {"email": "perry.gourley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "PERRY GOURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816978.1539882539!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816978.1539882539!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Gray, 'chief executive of Scotgold Resources, which has secured six-figure funding to develop a Scottish gold mine. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Gray, 'chief executive of Scotgold Resources, which has secured six-figure funding to develop a Scottish gold mine. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816978.1539882539!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/aberdeen-north-east/case-of-mad-cow-disease-confirmed-on-farm-in-aberdeenshire-1-4816705","id":"1.4816705","articleHeadline": "Case of Mad Cow Disease confirmed on farm in Aberdeenshire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539873070000 ,"articleLead": "

A new case of so called “mad cow” disease has been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire, it has been confirmed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816872.1539936660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A case of BSE commonly known as Mad Cow Disease has been confirmed. Stock image. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Restrictions have now been put in place around the farm believed to be in Huntly, although the case of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is not believed to be a threat to humans.

It is the first case in the UK for three years and the first Scottish case in a decade.

READ MORE: ’My son caught human form of mad cow disease from his baby food’

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Following confirmation of a case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire, I have activated the Scottish Government’s response plan to protect our valuable farming industry, including establishing a precautionary movement ban being placed on the farm.

“While it is important to stress that this is standard procedure until we have a clear understanding of the diseases origin, this is further proof that our surveillance system for detecting this type of disease is working. Be assured that the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to any further confirmed cases of the disease in Scotland.”

Investigation are now being carried out to identify the cause of the outbreak.

Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas said: “While it is too early to tell where the disease came from in this case, its detection is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job. We are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to answer this question, and in the meantime, I would urge any farmer who has concerns to immediately seek veterinary advice.

Ian McWatt, Director of Operations in Food Standards Scotland said: “There are strict controls in place to protect consumers from the risk of BSE, including controls on animal feed, and removal of the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE infectivity.

“Consumers can be reassured that these important protection measures remain in place and that Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors working in all abattoirs in Scotland will continue to ensure that in respect of BSE controls, the safety of consumers remains a priority. We will continue to work closely with Scottish Government, other agencies and industry at this time.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4816872.1539936660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4816872.1539936660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A case of BSE commonly known as Mad Cow Disease has been confirmed. Stock image. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A case of BSE commonly known as Mad Cow Disease has been confirmed. Stock image. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4816872.1539936660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5850319629001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}