{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/sarah-stone-forget-singing-military-wives-are-an-untapped-resource-for-businesses-1-4909253","id":"1.4909253","articleHeadline": "Sarah Stone: Forget singing, military wives are an untapped resource for businesses","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555563616000 ,"articleLead": "

Talk to any business leader about recruitment and they will tell you how hard it is to find the right people. According to figures from the Open University’s 2018 business barometer, 86 per cent of senior business leaders in Scotland reported difficulties in finding staff with the required skills.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909250.1555508854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sarah Stone is Founder and Director of social value agency Samtaler"} ,"articleBody": "

What if employers had access to a supply of capable and highly motivated individuals who were desperate, but unable to work for a reason which had nothing to do with their skills or abilities? The good news is that this talent pool does exist. Its members are military spouses and for the past five years I’ve been visiting military bases around the UK, talking to spouses and researching their experiences in order to develop ways to allow employers to access them.

The Ministry of Defence estimates there are around 70,000 partners and spouses of currently serving members of the armed forces, 90 per cent of whom are female. In 2016 I asked over 2,000 of them about their careers, qualifications, skills and abilities. The response was astonishing; there were police superintendents, corporate lawyers, surgeons and artists, morticians, scientists, HGV drivers, athletes, engineers and jewellers. Despite the incredible diversity, what they all shared was the experience of having their careers impacted by the military lifestyle.

Military bases tend to be located in remote, rural places where jobs in your chosen field can be hard to come by. Combine this with moves every few years and gaps in CVs soon begin to appear. For those with children it gets even harder because the support networks relied on by other working parents are largely unavailable. A shortage of childcare around military bases, the absence on military duties of their partner, and geographical separation from family and friends all make working full time extremely difficult.

Many spouses choose to take positions for which they are vastly overqualified simply to remain in the workforce, or retrain into professions which are more ‘suited’ to life in the military community. Management consultants become yoga instructors and emergency theatre nurses become classroom assistants. Many more simply drop out of the workforce altogether.

The way businesses recruit, employ and retain staff is changing and this offers an enormous opportunity for both spouses and employers. Businesses who are prepared to overlook potted career histories and gaps in CVs and create roles which can be done remotely and flexibly, will have access to an untapped wealth of talent. Not only that, if you make it possible for a military spouse to work for you, you will gain a loyal, highly motivated employee.

Social value aside, there are clear commercial advantages too. Having access to a skilled, part-time flexible workforce is a lot cheaper than the costs and overheads associated with employing full time staff.

One company who has recognised this is Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS), a multinational talent acquisition agency with offices in countries all over the world. I first encountered AMS at the end of 2017 when they were trying to recruit military spouses into their business and wanted to embed Recruit for Spouses, an award-winning social enterprise, into their supply chain.

Together we sourced and trained a bespoke workforce of military spouses, many of whom had vital language skills, who were employed as recruiters working remotely and flexibly. There are now military spouses working for AMS on a part-time, flexible basis in military bases all over the UK and the company recently achieved Gold status under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

What can you do if you are an employer who wants to access this talent pool? The main thing is to think about the jobs in your business which could be done remotely by qualified, skilled spouses working flexibly from military bases. Don’t just think of ‘traditional’ remote working roles. Think about the skills your business needs to deal with peaks in demand and work back from there.

Be prepared to invest in training and equipping this workforce. This is where a social enterprise like Recruit for Spouses can help you. Many spouses will have been out of work for a while or may not have the exact experience you are looking for but they will have soft skills such as resilience, flexibility, communication and multitasking garnered from their lifestyle which could be invaluable to your business.

By employing a military spouse, you will not only be creating social value by helping members of a disadvantaged group into employment, you will also be creating economic value for your business, and giving you access to a valuable pipeline of talent.

Sarah Stone is founder and director of social value agency Samtaler www.samtaler.co.uk

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Do you sip coffee while you read the news on your smartphone? Put on lipstick during your commute?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909252.1555508857!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Slavery in a garment factory"} ,"articleBody": "

We all have morning routines – but the hidden reality behind them is that, before 9am, every one of us has likely used a product that could have been made by someone in slavery.

There are over 40 million people in slavery today – that’s more than in the entire 200 years of the transatlantic slave trade put together.

Human trafficking is one of the top three most lucrative criminal businesses worldwide, generating over $150 billion each year.

And all of us are funding it. Indirectly but inevitably.

We may not be buying directly from slave-owners themselves, but slavery is hidden in the supply chains of hundreds of the products we use every day. You might not know it, but everything from the shirt you’re wearing to roses, make-up, smartphones, prawns, rice, chocolate, and jewellery can have slavery in the supply chain.

The Ethical Trading Initiative reports that “71 per cent of [UK] companies believe there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some stage in their supply chains”.

Take a cotton shirt, for example. The brand selling this shirt may have checked to ensure that the factories sewing the garment are paying fair wages. But the cotton fabric is likely to be sourced elsewhere. It is grown, spun, knitted or woven, and dyed – each in different places and by different people. Every stage in the process presents an opportunity for hidden exploitation.

International Justice Mission (IJM) is the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world. We witness slavery’s brutal impact first-hand. Our team of investigators, lawyers, and social workers assist police around the world to find and free people in slavery – and then prosecute traffickers to stop slavery at source.

Just before Christmas, 52 women, men and children were rescued from slavery in an urgent operation by police in partnership with IJM. They had endured unspeakable violence for years on a ginger farm in South Asia – 17-hour work days, confinement, beatings with horse whips, and widespread sexual abuse. The children, all under 10, were locked up in a shed whilst their parents were forced to work.

Five suspects were arrested and charged.

In this case, IJM worked with police to rescue the families and arrest the perpetrators. The people buying the ginger likely had no idea that it had been grown by people in slavery.

This is a familiar pattern. From the cobalt used to make our smartphone batteries to the beans ground into our morning coffee.

The issue may seem overwhelming – but as a consumer, you are powerful.

Slavery in supply chains has flourished because consumers don’t know it’s happening. Corporates struggle to have full sight of supply chains and in the face of complex, organised crime, it’s a challenge for justice systems in source countries to deal with the problem.

IJM has found that slavery has decreased by up to 86 per cent in places where we’ve partnered with police and governments to find where slavery is happening, rescue survivors, and convict offenders.

So how do we all become part of the change we need to see? What can you do as a consumer?

The most effective way to end slavery is to stop it at source – make it too risky for slave-owners to operate because they know they’ll get caught. By supporting organisations like IJM who are working on the ground to stop slavery, rescue victims and convict slave-owners, you can be part of ending slavery, for good.

Plus, when you’re shopping, vote with your wallets by championing ethical brands. Look for brands that are transparent about their supply chains and taking active steps to help stop slavery and exploitation.

You can also challenge the brands that you love. From the revolution in plastic, to the growth of Fairtrade, consumers’ power works. Raise your voice – email, tweet, or write to brands and ask them where they make their clothes, products or how they source their food – and what steps they’re taking to avoid slavery.

The more brands that know their customers care, the faster brands will take action and work with governments and police to help stop slavery in their supply chains.

When consumers, corporates and global governments unite to say no to slavery, it will end.

Slavery might be normal in everyday products now – but it doesn’t have to be forever. Together, we can make slave-free normal. We’d love you to join the fight.

For more information about IJM and ways that you can combat slavery, visit www.ijmuk.org/slavefree

Andrew Bevan, Scotland Director at IJM UK

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909252.1555508857!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909252.1555508857!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Slavery in a garment factory","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Slavery in a garment factory","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909252.1555508857!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909254.1555508863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909254.1555508863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andrew Bevan, Scotland Director at IJM UK","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andrew Bevan, Scotland Director at IJM UK","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909254.1555508863!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/extinction-rebellion-is-part-of-our-capitalist-system-bill-jamieson-1-4909600","id":"1.4909600","articleHeadline": "Extinction Rebellion is part of our capitalist system – Bill Jamieson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555563600000 ,"articleLead": "

Climate change activists like the members of Extinction Rebellion are part of our capitalist system, which provides the best way to save the planet from the perils of climate change, writes Bill Jamieson.

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Climate change activism took to the streets this week – traffic chaos in London and Edinburgh, transport disrupted, street demonstrations and police arrests.

Supporters of Extinction Rebellion set out to disrupt “business as usual” and highlight the “climate and ecological catastrophe unfolding across the globe”. Scotland saw some 30 arrests and in London up to 500,000 people were affected by the diversion of 55 bus routes.

More is likely to follow. Prominent among the protestors was an organisation called the Green Anti-Capitalist Front. It accuses capitalism of “killing the Earth ... Without the imposed scarcity of capitalism and the alienation and isolation it causes,“ its leaflet claimed, “we would be able to build communities which fulfil everybody’s needs while reducing our environmental impact to a manageable level”. The choice, it concluded, was between “a future where we can flourish, or a capitalist-induced hellscape awaiting us if we do nothing”.

Not all the demonstrators might go all the way with Guardian columnist George Monbiot’s declaration that “we have to overthrow this system which is eating the planet with perpetual growth”. But I suspect the sentiment is widely shared by those glueing themselves to lorries and blocking the streets of our major cities: ‘Capitalism’ is the enemy of climate action and sustainability and it is only through government intervention that change can be made.

It is a view that is as poorly informed as it is self-defeating, for it is the opposite that is more true. It is ‘capitalism’ – the system driven by the choices and actions of millions of consumers and producers – that is the most effective means of delivering change and improvement. To this extent, climate change activism and campaigns for sustainability are part and parcel of capitalist progression, the means by which consumers – and increasingly investors – are compelling changes in consumer choice and corporate behaviour. And it is through this process of reform and adaptation that our best prospects lie.

READ MORE: Edinburgh police say 29 people arrested during Extinction Rebellion protest

Already there is an irreversible swing away from fossil fuels. Alternative energy sources from wind farms to solar panels are a growing feature of modern life. There is a constant drive for technological gain and improvement. Our homes are better and more efficiently powered and built. Petrol-driven vehicles are under challenge from the electric car on which billions of pounds have been invested. Emission standards have improved massively from 30 years ago. And in innumerable areas of consumer behaviour we are making wiser and more informed choices – from food to household products, toiletries to clothing.

Of course, we can despair that we could be doing better; that the pace of lifestyle change is not faster, that bad habits persist. But that is all the more reason why the forces driving change should not lose heart and should redouble their efforts.

Nor is pressure for environmental protection and sustainability coming from consumers alone. A growing number of institutional shareholders are making commitment to sustainability a key requirement for the companies in which they invest. Earlier this week, Legal & General Investment Management, the largest money manager in the UK with £1 trillion worth of pension fund money, warned that the world is facing a climate catastrophe and businesses around the world must address it urgently or face the ultimate sanction for a public company – investor boycott.

Its climate warning was the top of a list of concerns about the way companies are run. And here it is not alone. The fund managers who are pulling their investments out of fossil fuels include the World Council of Churches, the Rockefeller family and insurance giants AXA and Allianz. Collectively their portfolios are said to total about £7 trillion and they will increasingly influence firms with discretion over their use of fossil fuels. Many other investment management companies have also adopted environmental sustainability metrics while others have launched specific ‘sustainability’ funds.

READ MORE: Climate change: Where Extinction Rebellion is going wrong – Martyn McLaughlin

In all this, government has a role in setting standards and adopting tax policies that encourage companies to innovate and adapt. But it cannot be left to government alone, or for activists to assume that government ownership and control will assure a cleaner, safer environment. We surely learnt that lesson with Chernobyl and the industrial devastation exposed in eastern Europe when the Iron Curtain came down. And we are learning it again with China, where the pursuit of growth has wrought far more environmental damage than that which Monbiot and others have accused the West. ‘Capitalism’ is not the enemy of climate change activism – rather the means by which it can drive forward that constant need for innovation, adaptation and life improvement.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909441.1555525985!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909441.1555525985!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Climate protesters join Extinction Rebellion Scotland as they form a road block on the North Bridge. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Climate protesters join Extinction Rebellion Scotland as they form a road block on the North Bridge. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909441.1555525985!/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/notre-dame-donations-virtue-signalling-for-a-tax-break-bill-jamieson-1-4909603","id":"1.4909603","articleHeadline": "Notre-Dame donations: Virtue-signalling for a tax break? – Bill Jamieson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555563600000 ,"articleLead": "

Barely had the flames died down at Notre-Dame Cathedral than pledges of financial support for rebuilding began to pour in, writes Bill Jamieson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909601.1555525994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Notre-Dame is to be rebuilt 'even more beautifully' (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

A combined €800 million (£692 million) has already been pledged by a number of companies and business tycoons to help rebuild the Unesco World Heritage site in Paris.

The astonishing reverence for Notre Dame – by no means confined to France – is testimony to the huge emotional power that centuries-old buildings have over our lives.

They are integral to our national story, part and parcel of where we came from and who we are.

READ MORE: Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris suffers ‘colossal damage’ in inferno

Their magnetic attraction is well beyond their modern religious significance and reflects our constant desire to reaffirm our distinctive identity and belonging.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has vowed it will be rebuilt “even more beautifully” and has pledged all donations will be tax deductible and set aside in a special fund. But the enormity of the response so far has already sparked misgivings that so much is being pledged for a physical building when the faith it represents has constantly espoused charitable works and the imperative to help the poor and the suffering.

Excessive virtue signalling for a tax break? Restoration work will be extensive and will take many years to complete.

But before this gets underway, searching questions will be asked as to whether the ultimate cost fairly reflects the underlying purpose and mission of the original building. Meanwhile, there may be an opportunity here to demonstrate how modern technology can be put to best use to preserve this astonishing building for another 800 years.

A hologram spire, for example, visible from space?

READ MORE: Brian Pendreigh: Parisians take Notre-Dame’s ruin in their stride

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bill Jamieson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909601.1555525994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909601.1555525994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Notre-Dame is to be rebuilt 'even more beautifully' (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Notre-Dame is to be rebuilt 'even more beautifully' (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909601.1555525994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-bathroom-retailers-under-fire-for-misleading-shoppers-1-4909627","id":"1.4909627","articleHeadline": "UK bathroom retailers under fire for misleading shoppers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555563600000 ,"articleLead": "

Kitchen and bathroom retailers including Better Bathrooms and Victoria Plum have been accused of using potentially misleading discount claims to lure homeowners into rushing to spend thousands of pounds, a consumer watchdog has claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909626.1555529349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Several bathroom retailers have come under fire. Picture: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Which? warned that the practice was an industry-wide issue that the consumer enforcement authorities should investigate after analysing promotional offers for popular kitchen and bathroom retailers for a year between March 2018 and March 2019.

The organisation found firms were using techniques including ‘hurry deals’, which might pressure customers into making a quick purchase.

Four brands featured in the investigation ran ‘offers’ under various guises on at least 361 days out of 365 - a practice that might have persuaded some shoppers to rush a purchase because they may believe the sale price is available for a limited time.

Out of the retailers in the investigation, Better Bathrooms, Victoria Plum and Victorian Plumbing all used prominent countdown clocks to promote various time-limited promotions during January and February 2019 - although each of these retailers was running other primary offers that were not time-limited.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “A new kitchen or bathroom is likely to set you back thousands of pounds, so it’s unacceptable for retailers to be using potentially misleading tricks to make a sale.

“Our research suggests that this is an industry-wide issue. We want to see retailers being more transparent about their prices so that consumers aren’t misled into parting with their cash for a deal that might not be as good as it seems. If they don’t make improvements then trading standards and the ASA need to intervene.”

Victoria Plum said: “Varied promotional and website experiences recognise that different customers have different needs. This is why we work closely with the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure all our promotions meet their guidelines.”

Which? is alerting Trading Standards to its findings and asking for these practices to be investigated.

It said a retailer’s actions could be in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) if they can be shown to be misleading, and likely to cause the average person to make a transactional decision they would not have made otherwise.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909626.1555529349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909626.1555529349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Several bathroom retailers have come under fire. Picture: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Several bathroom retailers have come under fire. Picture: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909626.1555529349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-businesses-hampered-and-weakened-by-brexit-cloud-1-4909644","id":"1.4909644","articleHeadline": "Scottish businesses hampered and weakened by ‘Brexit cloud’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555563600000 ,"articleLead": "

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit has taken its toll on the confidence of Scottish businesses and is “hampering” the country’s ability to compete internationally, a report has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909643.1555532069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Businesses are struggling amid a 'Brexit cloud'. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU has caused the health of the Scottish economy to “weaken considerably” in the first few months of this year, according to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

In its new analysis with the Fraser of Allander Institute, the SCC has found that although businesses are still “relatively resilient”, the “cloud of Brexit” is making it difficult for firms to consider long-term plans.

Earlier this month, an extension was agreed with the EU to extend Article 50 until October 31, unless the UK is able to agree on a process for withdrawal before then.

Tim Allan, president of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “The prospect of a no-deal Brexit has undoubtedly taken a toll on business confidence in Scotland in the first quarter of 2019. Companies in Scotland are caught in a pincer movement of business challenges.

“On one hand, businesses are faced with increased cost pressures due to currency weakness and higher wages, and on the other they are hit by the dampening effects of political turmoil caused by the ongoing uncertainty of our future relationship with the EU.

“There is an immediate urgency to deal with Brexit, which is hampering our ability to compete on the international stage. We see this borne out in the decline in confidence, difficulties in recruitment and challenges in exporting.

“Furthermore, restraint on plans to invest will do nothing to solve Scotland’s ongoing productivity challenge which requires sustained levels of investment in skills and training if we are to see the shift the economy needs.”

The SCC’s quarterly economic indicator is Scotland’s longest running survey of its kind, operating since 1990. Its latest findings come just two days after it was revealed Scotland’s unemployment figures had reached a record low at 3.3 per cent.

Mr Allan added: “Our survey has shown some real areas of robustness which highlights the resilience of Scottish businesses and their resolve to stay focused on creating jobs and paying taxes to fund vital public services. But the pressure on Scottish firms is rising, with the prospect of increased costs due to inflation, currency volatility, Brexit preparations and the prospect of increased taxation remaining as top concerns for all sectors.”

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said: “The lack of clarity about the UK’s terms of exit from the EU continues to cast a shadow over day-to-day decision making, with businesses clearly struggling to make long-term plans in such times. Weak business investment has been a feature of recent times, and this latest survey shows that firms are becoming even more reluctant to make investment decisions at this present time. “This is an unwelcome sign given the key role that investment plays in boosting productivity.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909643.1555532069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909643.1555532069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Businesses are struggling amid a 'Brexit cloud'. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Businesses are struggling amid a 'Brexit cloud'. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909643.1555532069!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/consultancy-createfuture-set-to-scale-in-bid-to-reach-1m-turnover-1-4909141","id":"1.4909141","articleHeadline": "Consultancy CreateFuture set to scale in bid to reach £1m turnover","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555552800000 ,"articleLead": "

A creative consultancy founded in Edinburgh is preparing to scale up ahead of its third anniversary next week as it targets seven-figure turnover.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909140.1555505595!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "L-R: Dave Ward, Jessica Mullen, and Nathan Fulwood. Picture: Euan Myles."} ,"articleBody": "

CreateFuture was set up on 26 April 2016 by three digital professionals – strategy director Nathan Fulwood, MD Jessica Mullen, and creative director Dave Ward – who wanted to unite their brand, digital, service design and creative experience and “ask hard questions about the value agencies bring to clients”.

It now has ten staff across offices in Edinburgh and London – and works globally with brands including Expedia, Prudential, KPMG, Penguin Random House, BBC, Scuf Gaming, Zoetis and Adidas.

In the last year it has added whisky brand The Macallan and fintech FreeAgent.

Additionally, since launching it has “consistently” delivered 45 per cent growth year-on-year, with its third-year core earnings of £180,000 reflecting “above industry returns”, and project turnover to hit £1 million in year five.

The firm said it works closely with in-house teams to “help them set their strategy, unlock their own potential to creatively solve problems, and deliver work more effectively”.

Mullen said: “We were frustrated at increasing complexity and inefficiency within the industry and wanted to explore new client/agency models that delivered results faster, and helped clients build capability, rather than outsource it.”

Ward said: “Businesses want to build their own capability so that their teams stay closer to their customers and to the challenges they are looking to solve. Teams, however, often lack the creative confidence and toolkit to compete with an external agency’s offering – that’s where we come in. Working closer and collaboratively has helped get ideas delivering value faster.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909140.1555505595!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909140.1555505595!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "L-R: Dave Ward, Jessica Mullen, and Nathan Fulwood. Picture: Euan Myles.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "L-R: Dave Ward, Jessica Mullen, and Nathan Fulwood. Picture: Euan Myles.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909140.1555505595!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/average-scottish-house-prices-suffer-first-annual-fall-in-3-years-1-4909494","id":"1.4909494","articleHeadline": "Average Scottish house prices suffer first annual fall in 3 years","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555517418000 ,"articleLead": "

Property prices in Scotland dropped in February for the first time since March 2016, official figures have shown.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909123.1555517414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Average house prices in Scotland have fallen"} ,"articleBody": "

Registers of Scotland figures showed the average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 was £145,762 – a decrease of 0.2 per cent on February in the previous year.

Aberdeen saw the greatest decrease, with prices falling seven per cent to an average of £149,435, while neighbouring Aberdeenshire also suffered a fall in values of 5.8 per cent.

READ MORE: Uncertainty causes average house prices to fall

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that overall UK house prices are continuing to slow to the lowest annual increase in seven years, driven by dramatically falling prices in the previously buoyant market of London, where the value of a typical property slumped by 3.8 per cent.

Overall, prices rose just 1.7 per cent in January down to 0.6 per cent in February according to the latest official ONS figures – the lowest annual increase since September 2012. The average UK house price was £226,000 in February, £1,000 higher than a year ago.

North of the border, official figures showed that the biggest price increases were in Midlothian and Perth and Kinross where average prices increased by 9.9 per cent to £185,753 and 8.8 per cent to £192,631 respectively. Average price increases were recorded in the majority of local authorities – 22 out of 32 council areas – when comparing prices with the previous year.

Janet Egdell, accountable officer at Registers of Scotland, said: “The average price of a property in Scotland in February 2019 signalled the first annual decrease since March 2016, falling by 0.2 per cent in the year to February 2019.

“Prices increased in around two thirds of local authority areas and different property types showed a mixed picture, indicating that the market is highly variable across the country in this time of uncertainty.”

The volume of residential sales in Scotland in December 2018 was 7,392 – a decrease of 8.2 per cent on the original provisional estimate for December 2017. This compares with decreases of two per cent in England and 5.1 per cent in Wales, and an increase of 4.3 per cent in Northern Ireland.

The fall in London prices was the largest drop since mid-2009. However, the UK capital still has the highest average house price at £460,000.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Annual UK house price growth slowed to 0.6 per cent in February, the lowest annual rate in seven years. London prices fell 3.8 per cent, their largest annual fall since August 2009 in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.

“This follows efforts by policymakers to cut down on riskier mortgage lending, though clearly uncertainty over Brexit will have played a large part in the capital’s faltering housing market.”

Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: “Annual house price growth has slowed to the lowest rate in close to seven years.”

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Conor Riordan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909123.1555517414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909123.1555517414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Average house prices in Scotland have fallen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Average house prices in Scotland have fallen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909123.1555517414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/energy/edinburgh-tidal-energy-firm-lands-3-5m-investment-1-4909413","id":"1.4909413","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh tidal energy firm lands £3.5m investment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555511938000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh-based renewables firm Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) has netted almost £3.5 million to drive development of its tidal products for the Canadian market.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909412.1555511934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sustainable Marine Energy's Plat-I platform system, currently generating energy in Nova Scotia. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The tidal energy specialist has secured the seven-figure equity investment to further develop its Plat-I platform system currently in use in Nova Scotia.

German-headquartered marine propulsion and renewable energy company Schottel Hydro, which in 2018 merged its tidal energy businesses into SME to become the Scottish firm’s largest shareholder, contributed close to £2.5m in the funding round.

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, committed the remaining £1m on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Energy Investment Fund.

SME conducted initial testing of the Plat-I system in Argyll and Bute last year, before transporting the device to Grand Passage, Nova Scotia, where it generated power for the first time in February.

The funding will help to continue SME’s testing and demonstration programme in preparation for building a larger project at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy located in Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

Jason Hayman, MD of SME, said: “It is fantastic, and a great testament to the team for all their hard work, to close this funding round.

“Securing new investment from the SIB and commitment from Schottel for our work in Nova Scotia will enable us to take a significant step forward on our renewable energy journey.”

SIB director Kerry Sharp added: “This investment could ultimately see SME further its commercial activity, placing the company at the forefront of the development of tidal energy technologies and further cementing Scotland’s position as a leading player in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909412.1555511934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909412.1555511934!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sustainable Marine Energy's Plat-I platform system, currently generating energy in Nova Scotia. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sustainable Marine Energy's Plat-I platform system, currently generating energy in Nova Scotia. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909412.1555511934!/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/piper-alpha-trauma-veteran-joins-ied-training-solutions-1-4909393","id":"1.4909393","articleHeadline": "Piper Alpha trauma veteran joins IED Training Solutions","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555511427000 ,"articleLead": "

A renowned trauma specialist who has worked with people affected by major incidents, including the Piper Alpha disaster, has been appointed clinical advisor to Arbroath-based IED Training Solutions.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909392.1555511424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor David Alexander and Ian Clark. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The appointment of Professor David Alexander is set to “significantly” strengthen the firm’s team, who specialise in areas including health and safety, risk management, leadership skills, corporate resilience and trauma support.

IED was set up in 2015 by former Royal Marine Ian Clark, who was introduced to Alexander a year later by a mutual friend.

Clark, managing director, said: “We feel extremely privileged that David has formalised his arrangement with IED Training. He is, first and foremost, a very good friend, and we have an immense amount of respect for his academic and professional achievements. Many of our clients are increasingly requesting advice and assistance with their well-being strategies.”

A former Professor of Mental Health at the University of Aberdeen, Alexander has advised at many major incidents including natural disasters, accidents, bombings, and shootings both in this country and abroad throughout his career.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909392.1555511424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909392.1555511424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Professor David Alexander and Ian Clark. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor David Alexander and Ian Clark. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909392.1555511424!/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/chivas-owner-pernod-swallows-super-premium-gin-brand-1-4909213","id":"1.4909213","articleHeadline": "Chivas owner Pernod swallows ‘super-premium’ gin brand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555508352000 ,"articleLead": "

Spirits giant Pernod Ricard, which owns Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, has cheered a deal to swallow Malfy, an Italian “super-premium” gin brand.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909212.1555508349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malfy is a range of upmarket gins distilled by the Vergnano family in the Italian region of Moncalieri. Image: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The agreement has been struck with Biggar & Leith, a US-based firm which owns a small portfolio of spirits brands.

Biggar & Leith’s name originates from its founder’s great-great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Gladstone, who left his home in Biggar in 1746 for the port of Leith where he apprenticed and then started his own wine and spirits merchant.

Malfy is a range of upmarket gins distilled by the Vergnano family in the Italian region of Moncalieri, and already present in several international markets such as the UK, the US and Germany.

Each gin in the range is distilled using local ingredients such as juniper, coastal grown Italian lemons and Sicilian blood oranges and pink grapefruits.

Christian Porta, managing director in charge of global business development at Pernod Ricard, said: “This acquisition is true to our long-standing strategy of investing in brands with strong potential in growing categories.

“In line with the launch of our ‘Transform and Accelerate’ strategic plan, we will continue actively managing our fantastic portfolio of brands.”

Elwyn Gladstone, founder of Biggar & Leith, said: “We are excited to see Malfy gin move to the Pernod Ricard family of brands. We believe that with their stewardship and expertise in building super-premium spirits brands, Malfy will continue to flourish.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909212.1555508349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909212.1555508349!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Malfy is a range of upmarket gins distilled by the Vergnano family in the Italian region of Moncalieri. Image: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Malfy is a range of upmarket gins distilled by the Vergnano family in the Italian region of Moncalieri. Image: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909212.1555508349!/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/expert-advice-can-help-kick-start-the-difficult-conversation-of-family-wealth-planning-1-4897574","id":"1.4897574","articleHeadline": "Expert advice can help kick start the difficult conversation of family wealth planning","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555507836000 ,"articleLead": "

It is not easy to talk about, but help is at hand for you to express clearly what you want to happen to your estate once you have left the game, writes Fiona Russell

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4897572.1553780967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Conversations between generations about inheritance are sometimes simply not held"} ,"articleBody": "

Conservative with a small “c” by nature, most British people often remain tight-lipped about their earnings and wealth. Yet most of us would also prefer not to see our hard-earned savings disappear unreckoned.

In particular, one financial area that is typically less discussed among UK residents is family wealth planning. Conversations between generations about inheritance are sometimes simply not held, with the result that assets and money can be swallowed in government taxes or bequeathed in error after death.

“It’s something we see over and over again with families,” said Rhian Morgan, a financial planner with award-winning independent firm Acumen Financial Planning. “Grandparents, parents and their children often do not speak to each other about what they want or wish for and then, after death, it can become overly complicated.”

Indeed, a 2016 report, The Advice Nation by the website unbiased.co.uk, found that just 5 per cent of the UK population has sought advice on inheritance tax. Meanwhile, consumer research data shows that 59 per cent of respondents in a nationwide survey have never sought any kind of financial advice or guidance, whether from colleagues, family or experts.

Rhian advises that intergenerational family wealth planning is best talked about openly and with honesty. She says: “Being clear and concise about what people want to do with their money – or what they do not want to happen – when they die is very important.

“People of different generations usually have different perspectives on savings, passing on their estate and even about talking about this topic. However, it is important to start a conversation so that the future is as well planned as it’s possible to be.”

Rhian also points out that the law on inheritance can be complex, so it is vital that people have the right financial information to ensure they are fully aware of the benefits and pitfalls.

She says: “Laws change and people’s circumstances also fluctuate over time, so a trusted financial advisor, coupled with a solicitor’s advice, will ensure that people make the best plans for passing on capital and assets.

“For example, a recent change is that Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band was introduced in April 2017. It is in addition to an individual’s normal inheritance tax nil rate band of £325,000.

“Also, people often ask about gifting assets to relatives prior to their death. It is possible to do so, but there are a variety of potential tax implications and it is not always a straightforward process.

“There are ways to reduce certain taxes with gifts to family – for example by setting up a gift trust or a loan trust – that are entirely legal, yet without the right knowledge people may end up paying out when they need not.”

Pensions inherited after death can become complicated and sometimes cause for disagreements. Rhian notes: “Who might receive your pension when you die will depend on all kinds of circumstances, such as when the pension fund was started, whether you are married and who you have nominated in an expression of wish form.

“Pension Freedoms, introduced by the government in the 2015-16 tax year, allow you to leave certain pensions to anyone. An inherited pension can also be accessed before the age of 55, and it’s possible to pass this income down to others if not used in your lifetime.”

Rhian adds that there are other factors to consider with family financial planning, such as whether a person’s will states the same as a “expression of wishes” form.

She admits: “It is surprising how many times I discover that they say different things.”

A range of investments for tax planning strategies can also be recommended, including business-relief portfolios, or the use of bonds within trusts to allow for segments to be assigned to beneficiaries and tax to be paid by beneficiary rather than the trust.

Rhian adds: “There is often a lot that people have not thought about or utilised when when considering what will happen to their estate when they die, and this is where good financial and legal advice can be very beneficial.

“Every case and client is different, but there are many good solutions.”

Modern life and death

While being married or in a civil partnership can make financial planning simpler, today many more people have less “traditional” living arrangements.

“Blended” families, where couples have children from a previous relationship, are on the rise as well.

The Scottish and UK laws governing cohabitation are being modernised, but there are still different inheritance laws for married and non-marrieds.

Rhian Morgan says: “It’s important as a financial advisor to look at the full complexities of a couple or a family. They come in so many shapes, sizes and make-ups these days.

“In some cases, we will suggest legal advice for a pre-nuptial, post-nuptial or a cohabitation agreement, and always a will.

These other agreements are for use during one’s lifetime as insurance against divorce, more than on death, but there is often a benefit where someone wishes to control who benefits from certain capital and policies.”

Here we look at two hypothetical cases...

Blended family

A 50-year-old woman is remarried, and has children from her previous marriage.

The issue It is realised by her financial advisor that she has not completed an “expression of wish” form, which means that the woman’s children may end up not benefitting from her pension upon her death.

The solution In order to include her husband and children, the woman allocates percentages within a new expression of wish, so that her trustees are aware that upon her death she wishes to pass funds to her husband and children.

Trust fund for passing on assets

A couple has three grown up children and wish to gift substantial assets to their offspring.

The issue One of the children is quite young and in a new relationship, and the parents wish to protect this share of the assets.

The solution The parents are advised to ring-fence an amount for that child within a discretionary trust. The sum is below the nil-rate bands so it will not fall under immediate lifetime inheritance tax.

The trust also remains outwith the marital assets and the child can benefit from regular or ad-hoc payments from the trust as needed.

For added tax efficiency, a bond is used as the trust investment.

For more information, head to their website

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Fiona Russell"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4897572.1553780967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4897572.1553780967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Conversations between generations about inheritance are sometimes simply not held","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Conversations between generations about inheritance are sometimes simply not held","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4897572.1553780967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4897573.1553780969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4897573.1553780969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rhian Morgan, a financial planner with award-winning independent firm Acumen Financial Planning","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rhian Morgan, a financial planner with award-winning independent firm Acumen Financial Planning","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4897573.1553780969!/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/special-features-2-8786/why-going-green-could-prove-lucrative-for-scottish-business-1-4898095","id":"1.4898095","articleHeadline": "Why going green could prove lucrative for Scottish business","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555507333000 ,"articleLead": "

Resource Efficient Scotland can advise SMEs on how they can boost their bottom lines by making energy and refuse reduction a top priority, writes Rosemary Gallagher

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4898093.1555507328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Swanny Brewery"} ,"articleBody": "

Businesses know that they can cut their bills and other outgoings, and therefore boost profitability, by using less energy and water and fewer materials. However, actually achieving such savings can seem like a major challenge.

With such overheads only likely to increase, all firms, including Scotland’s large number of family businesses, are being advised to take steps now to cut usage, rather than think it is something they can put off until sometime in the future.

Using less energy, and being more resource efficient, is more than a good thing to do for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it should be seen as vital to their survival and growth. Building a more energy-efficient economy also offers opportunity for growth.

Since 2015, Scottish Ministers have designated energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority, recognising the many benefits delivered by improving the energy performance of buildings.

The Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland route map sets out the vision that by 2040 Scottish homes and buildings will be warmer, greener and more efficient.

Resource Efficient Scotland supports business owners to run greener and more efficient businesses by identifying where they can make efficiencies, and supporting with expertise and investment.

Every £100 million spent on energy efficiency improvements in 2018 was estimated to support approximately 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs across the Scottish economy.

Energy bills are one of the top three outgoings for smaller businesses – along with people and property. It has been estimated that the SME sector in the UK spends more than £15 billion a year on energy alone. Therefore, any small business looking to grow must be smart when it comes to energy use and expenditure.

Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme is all about reducing energy, water and material use. It is designed as a one-stop shop for resource efficiency and was set-up by the non-governmental agency to help the country’s small businesses save money, and thereby improve their bottom line.

Launched six years ago, the programme is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund through the £73m Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. It offers a range of services and access to finance for Scotland’s SMEs, including free assessments, where they identify energy, water and material efficiency opportunities in businesses.

To date, more than 3,000 businesses have received one-to-one in-depth support through the Resource Efficient Scotland Advice and Support Service, identifying a potential £54m in annual cost savings. The service can typically help businesses identify savings of 24 per cent on energy bills and nine out of ten surveyed clients have said that they would recommend its services to other organisations.

Businesses accessing the programme are given guidance throughout the process to help them reduce wastage and cut bills. Clients are allocated a dedicated implementation advisor who undertakes a free opportunities assessment, advising the organisation on priority measures to reduce costs and assisting with accessing funding.

Resource Efficient Scotland offers Scottish Government-funded SME loans of between £1,000 and £100,000 which are interest-free, unsecured and have an eight-year payback period for eligible businesses to pay for resource efficiency upgrades. Businesses can currently secure 15 per cent cashback up to £10,000 on energy-efficiency projects. To date, Scottish organisations have received loans exceeding a value of £26m for more than 968 projects, with cumulative identified savings worth in excess of £49m. Two of the recipients are profiled below.

Dedicated advisors are available to help plan projects, guide businesses through the loan application process and, if needs be, support implementation of the projects, from planning projects through to implementation.

Brexit poses an immediate energy cost threat to businesses as the UK untangles from a number of energy agreements signed with its former trading block. If Britain leaves the European Single Market and the EU’s Internal Energy Market then “frictionless” trade could be put at risk, due to uncertainty around the cross-border trade of electricity and which carbon-pricing mechanism would be used.

Carbon pricing is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the cost for any business emitting them. Signing up to fixed-term deals is advised for companies to limit the impact of energy price fluctuations.

Cutting energy, water, waste and resource costs might not be a top business priority, but by working with Resource Efficient Scotland, SMEs can unlock immediate savings. And the advice is that these companies should be looking to invest in order to make these savings today to future-proof their business.

The programme also helps businesses tackle the challenges Scotland faces in reducing food waste – the nation throws out almost 1.4 million tonnes of food and drink every year.

From a business point of view, wasting food is expensive. Meanwhile, from an environmental point of view, it generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and squanders the water, land and energy resources that go into producing that food in the first place.

Practical and financial support is available to help the country achieve Holyrood’s commitment to reducing the food waste mountain by 33 per cent by 2025.

Contact Resource Efficient Scotland for free advice and support by telephoning 0808 808 2268, or e-mailing enquiries@resourceefficientscotland.com. See also the website at


Savings made on frozen assets

Donald’s Cream Ices, a Gourock-based family run frozen food wholesaler, used an SME Loan from Resource Efficient Scotland to install a new, high-performance freezer room.

The company’s old freezer offered limited room for growth and was vulnerable to malfunction. Overloading the unit also restricted the air flow into the freezer room, reducing efficiency and increasing the firm’s energy bills.

Resource Efficient Scotland recommended installing a modern, energy-efficient facility as the most reliable and economical option.

To this end, Donald’s was supported in applying for an unsecured, interest-free loan.

This process included providing due diligence guidance and support with procurement.

The business has since received the loan and successfully completed the installation of its new freezer room.

It is estimated that it is saving the business £4,500 per annum.

Carlo Amadei, owner of Donald’s Cream Ices, says: “I have nothing but good things to say about Resource Efficient Scotland and the SME Loan.”

Casking for more

Swannay Brewery, based in Birsay on Mainland Orkney, produces more than 300,000 litres of beer each year.

Lewis Hill, Swannay’s manager, first heard about Resource Efficient Scotland’s free advice and support service when he attended a Zero Waste Scotland circular economy workshop on the island.

The Swannay team decided to request a food waste audit – which Resource Efficient experts conducted free of charge.

Opportunities were identified for reducing waste in the brewer’s cask-filling process which could bring potential annual savings of £9,845 and reduce carbon emissions by 21 tonnes.

It emerged that a significant proportion of beer was being lost in the manual casking process, so a Resource Efficient Scotland representative recommended Swannay install a cask racker, with the financial help of Zero Waste Scotland’s Waste Prevention Implementation Fund.

A waste-saving opportunity was also identified for Swannay – the idea of using leftover beer from casks returned to the brewery as an nutritional addition to feed for local livestock.

Hill concludes: “Receiving on-site support from Resource Efficient Scotland has been incredibly beneficial.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Rosemary Gallagher"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4898093.1555507328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4898093.1555507328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Swanny Brewery","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Swanny Brewery","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4898093.1555507328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4898094.1555507330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4898094.1555507330!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Energy bills are one of the top three outgoings for smaller'businesses","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Energy bills are one of the top three outgoings for smaller'businesses","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4898094.1555507330!/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/special-features-2-8786/how-scottish-companies-can-gain-funding-to-aid-next-level-growth-1-4902417","id":"1.4902417","articleHeadline": "How Scottish companies can gain funding to aid next level growth","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555505408000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s national economic development agency is geared up to help accelerate the delivery of growth for ambitious firms, finds Sarah Devine

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4902416.1554459184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The firm is on track to begin testing TenoMiR in patients suffering from tennis elbow by the end of the year"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland has a diverse businesses base of all sizes, from early-stage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to fully-established larger firms, and so the range of funding options and support offered by Scottish Enterprise is equally diverse.

The public body, Scotland’s national economic development agency, provides tailored support on an individual basis, to help organisations across all sectors achieve their overall growth ambitions.

At all stages of a company’s life cycle, Scottish Enterprise can provide a diverse range of financial support including commercial equity investments with private sector partners; loans to fund growth and expansion; grants leading to the creation of jobs and increased innovation, as well as an array of business advice and support.

Rhona Allison, a director at Scottish Enterprise, pictured below, says: “We are focused on growing the Scottish economy and a major part of that is how we work together with companies to understand their plans. We help ambitious companies grow and deliver more and better jobs for Scotland.

“Getting the right support at the right time to develop and grow your business can be critical to success, whether that is clarifying and focusing the strategic direction; deciding which markets to expand into; what innovation to invest in and when. We can help by providing a comprehensive package of support.”

Dr Derek Gilchrist and Neal Millar, co-founders of Glasgow University pharmaceutical spin-out Causeway Therapeutics, which has developed an innovative way of treating damaged tendons, have experienced the benefits of timely funding and support.

The partners contacted Scottish Enterprise soon after discovering a molecule that regulates the production of collagens, which give tendons their strength. The pair then received the right funding and business support at the right stage to allow them to work towards putting their product to market in the next three to five years.

Gilchrist says: “We knew from the first day that we wanted to commercialise our discovery, but we needed both funding and business support. Put simply, Causeway Therapeutics would not exist at all if it wasn’t for the support that we’ve had from Scottish Enterprise.”

In 2015, the company received £603,000 from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Start-up Programme, which allowed the pair to create the drug TenoMiR to target the key pathological features of tendon disease and test it using a gold-standard clinical model. This breakthrough has allowed Causeway Therapeutics to grow its team and significantly accelerate its tendinopathy program. As a result, the firm is on track to begin testing TenoMiR in patients suffering from tennis elbow by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the High Growth Venture Programme allowed Gilchrist to take part in Scottish Enterprise’s business masterclasses. He maintains: “This has been crucial in allowing me to step into the role of CEO.

Coming from an academic background, I had no previous business experience.

Learning about leadership, finance and entrepreneurship from the team of experts at Scottish Enterprise has been invaluable.”

Ambitious companies like Causeway can also access equity funding through the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

SIB can potentially provide either loan or equity funding of up to 50 per cent for businesses that have a gap in their overall funding package, and last year it invested £43 million into 147 companies, leveraging more than £200m of private sector investment.

American bio-tech investment company Mediqventure and SIB have become co-investors in Causeway, investing £1m in 2017 and the same amount again over the last year to drive further testing.

Allison says: “The Scottish Investment Bank makes commercial investment alongside a range of private sector investors, including high-net worth individuals, venture capitalists and private-equity houses, at various stages of a company’s life cycle.”

Scottish Enterprise can also provide commercial loans of between £250,000 and £2m, and up to £5m in exceptional circumstances, to growth-focused companies that have a viable business plan and a clear ability to repay the debt.

To ensure businesses receive the right type of funding at the right time, the organisation suggests speaking to their team of experts as soon as possible. Allison explains: “Experience tells us the earlier we start the conversation with a company about their plans for expansion or growth the better, and the more impact we and the company can have in delivering the overall objective.”

And all companies in all sectors can benefit from Scottish Enterprise’s experienced advisors who are well connected throughout Scotland and beyond. The organisation’s 600-strong GlobalScot network continues to link business expertise from across the world to help make sense of the international markets.

“When we look at Scotland’s economy, we know how important it is to encourage growth and innovation for all-sized organisations,” says Allison. “Our role is to help stimulate that growth. We see massive opportunities across all sectors.”

Scottish Enterprise can offer a wealth of assistance towards business sustainability and innovation, helping companies contribute to Scotland’s prosperity. Allison adds: “We have a suite of support that can help companies expand.Come and talk to us if you are a firm with aspirations to grow. We help businesses find the solution.”

To find out how Scottish Enterprise can help your business develop, visit www.scottish-enterprise.com/funding-growth

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Sarah Devine"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4902416.1554459184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4902416.1554459184!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The firm is on track to begin testing TenoMiR in patients suffering from tennis elbow by the end of the year","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The firm is on track to begin testing TenoMiR in patients suffering from tennis elbow by the end of the year","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4902416.1554459184!/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/jessie-buckley-to-perform-songs-from-wild-rose-soundtrack-in-glasgow-gig-1-4909088","id":"1.4909088","articleHeadline": "Jessie Buckley to perform songs from Wild Rose soundtrack in Glasgow gig","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555502633364 ,"articleLead": "The Irish star who has wowed audiences playing a Glaswegian country singer in the new movie Wild Rose is to return to the city to play the music she made during filming.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909087.1555502634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jessie Buckley has won huge acclaim for her performance as a Glaswegian country singer in Wild Rose."} ,"articleBody": "

Jessie Buckley will reprise songs from the film, which was released at the weekend, with a full band at St Luke's, in the east end of the city, on June 27.

Buckley is expected to appear as her character in the new film, which she wrote a clutch of new songs for with Nicole Taylor, the Glasgow-born writer of the movie.

It follows the events which unfold when mother-of-two Rose-Lyn Harlan is released from a jail sentence and attempts to revive her dreams of becoming a country singer in Nashville.

Wild Rose, which also stars Julie Walters as Rose-Lyn's mother, was filmed on location around Glasgow, including scenes shot at the Grand Ole Opry and Old Fruitmarket.

A spokesman for promoters Regular Music said: "Six of the powerful, rousing and emotive songs which occupy the heart of this wonderful film, were co-written by the film’s BAFTA winning writer Nicole Taylor and Buckley, who performs throughout with enormous passion, sincerity and genuine vocal prowess.

"Buckley looks set to take the music world by storm as the star and voice of the gritty, inspirational and heart-warming film.

"The writing and recording experience was completely new to Jessie, who found the experience so rewarding that she has since performed the songs live and will be playing a series of shows with full band this year."

Wild Rose, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and had a Scottish launch at the Glasgow Film Festival in February, has been hailed as Scotland's answer to A Star Is Born and Billy Elliot by critics.

When the film was launched in Glasgow, Buckley told he she had fallen in love with the city during the making of the movie.

She said: “The story in the film is really a story of identity, where you are from and the four corners that you are told you are only allowed to dream in. Being a Glasgow girl is so much part of Rose-Lynn’s make-up.

“Honest to God, I love Glasgow so much now. It stole my heart. The people are so open and there is a real humanity behind Glaswegians.

“I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be authentic, but I worked my **** off so that I could get a close to the core as I possibly could.

“I based myself in Glasgow for a month before we started shooting. I was working with a dialect coach and the two of us would go out and I’d speak in a Glasgow accent all day.

“I basically just took to the streets and also went into different newsagents around Glasgow and tried to ask for a packet of fags.

“I took a lot of trips to pubs like The Ben Nevis, The Laurieston and all these other joints. They’re pure rust and real life.

“When you fall in love with the city and you fall in love with the people and fall in love with the character who symbolises all that in some way it is kind of scary letting it out.

“I want to do Glasgow proud. It means a lot to me.

“We did a cast and crew screening a few months ago (in Glasgow) and it was the most nervous I was. I don’t think I took a breath.

“When the film finished a woman turned around and gave me a hug. I literally just burst out crying.”

Buckley was taken to the Grand Ole Opry for the first time by musician Phil Cunningham, who appears in her band in the film.

The actress said: “I couldn’t believe it when I went inside for the first time. It was like a mecca for country music right in the middle of the docks.

"I felt like I had stepped into an alternate world where people are able to escape reality.

“The beauty about country music is that it is so simple, but the stories are so honest and human, and are about very simple moments that capture longing and loss. They creep into your heart and before you know it you’re crying your eyes out.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909087.1555502634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909087.1555502634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jessie Buckley has won huge acclaim for her performance as a Glaswegian country singer in Wild Rose.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jessie Buckley has won huge acclaim for her performance as a Glaswegian country singer in Wild Rose.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909087.1555502634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/scots-accountancy-stalwarts-in-sector-shake-up-1-4909041","id":"1.4909041","articleHeadline": "Scots accountancy stalwarts in sector shake-up","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555501211000 ,"articleLead": "

Two of Scotland’s longest established accountancy firms have merged, creating a joint firm with more than 500 staff.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909040.1555501207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Chris Horne of Campbell Dall, Shaun Knight of Baldwins, and Stewart MacDonald of Scott-Moncrieff. Picture: Mark Varney"} ,"articleBody": "

Scott-Moncrieff is to join forces with Campbell Dallas to become part of international business services company CogitalGroup.

The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, will see all 16 Scott-Moncrieff partners and 220 staff transfer, creating one of Scotland’s largest accountancy and business services firms.

The joint business will employ 45 partners and upwards of 500 staff in Scotland, operating across 11 offices. It will have an estimated combined fee income of almost £40 million per annum.

The deal, which takes effect from 3 May, follows on from Campbell Dallas joining Baldwins and the CogitalGroup in October 2017.

Stewart MacDonald, managing partner at Scott-Moncrieff, said: “Joining Campbell Dallas and the CogitalGroup presents an exciting opportunity for our clients and our people.

“CogitalGroup leads the industry in using technology to deliver cutting edge services to clients, with the ability to adapt quickly to changing client needs. Together, Scott-Moncrieff and Campbell Dallas will be able to provide our clients access to a wider range of additional services and to more efficient ways of working.”

Chris Horne, managing partner of Campbell Dallas, added: “By joining with Scott-Moncrieff the whole UK business gets access to one of the country’s strongest public and third sector firms as well as expanding our geographical footprint in the North and East of Scotland.

“The combined business will have the largest VAT team in Scotland and provides us access to specialist services in areas such as IT strategy and cyber security. All services we see our clients needing more of in this time of rapid change.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909040.1555501207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909040.1555501207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left: Chris Horne of Campbell Dall, Shaun Knight of Baldwins, and Stewart MacDonald of Scott-Moncrieff. Picture: Mark Varney","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Chris Horne of Campbell Dall, Shaun Knight of Baldwins, and Stewart MacDonald of Scott-Moncrieff. Picture: Mark Varney","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909040.1555501207!/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/accelerator-aiming-to-boost-north-east-creative-firepower-1-4908961","id":"1.4908961","articleHeadline": "Accelerator aiming to boost North-east creative firepower","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555496459000 ,"articleLead": "

A dozen creative start-ups in Scotland are set for a boost with the news that Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU) has launched an accelerator programme.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908960.1555496455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The venture by Robert Gordon University aims to retain 'ambitious' talent in the area. Picture: The Gatehouse - Design & Print Consultancy."} ,"articleBody": "

The scheme is being run by Look Again, part of Gray’s School of Art at the university, in collaboration with RGU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group.

Applications are now being sought from those working in the creative industries, with those selected receiving funding of up to £1,500 of each.

Those accepted on the creative accelerator will also benefit from training, mentorship and development opportunities, as well as a work space at the new Look Again project space in Aberdeen.

Classes covering creative entrepreneurship, customers, commercialisation, brand and marketing will be delivered in the RGU Innovation Space at the new ONE Digital and Entrepreneurship Hub, which opens in the summer.

The £1.5 million, 20,000 square foot hub will provide the base for the recently formed One CodeBase partnership as well as the accelerator programme.

Hilary Nicoll, co-director of Look Again, said: “Look Again Aberdeen is delighted to join forces with RGU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group to provide this new business support programme specially designed for the creative industries.

“Our aim is that this will inspire ambitious creative talent to stay in the North-east, enhancing the growing scene in the city and making it a more vibrant and exciting place to be.”

Libby Curtis, head of Gray’s School of Art at RGU, hailed Look Again supporting creative talent in the North-east.

“We know there is an issue with retaining creative talent in the region and this is an important and ambitious initiative which will be of tremendous benefit, not only to our graduates but to other creative start-ups in the North-east.”

Andrew Leitch, creative industries specialist at Creative Scotland, said keeping creative talent has been recognised as being essential to the development of a healthy creative industries ecology.

“Look Again has developed the Creative Accelerator with RGU as a new initiative which will benefit not only graduates, but also emerging creative enterprises, to help encourage ambitious creative talent to stay in the North-east, enhancing the growing creative industries sector in the city, and making Aberdeen a more vibrant and exciting place to be.”

ONE – which stands for Opportunity North East – is chaired by Sir Ian Wood, whose Wood Foundation is providing £25 million over five years.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908960.1555496455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908960.1555496455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The venture by Robert Gordon University aims to retain 'ambitious' talent in the area. Picture: The Gatehouse - Design & Print Consultancy.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The venture by Robert Gordon University aims to retain 'ambitious' talent in the area. Picture: The Gatehouse - Design & Print Consultancy.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908960.1555496455!/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/markets-economy/inflation-holds-steady-but-outlook-clouded-1-4908871","id":"1.4908871","articleHeadline": "Inflation holds steady but outlook clouded","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555492451000 ,"articleLead": "

Inflation was unchanged last month, official figures have revealed, after lower food prices offset higher fuel costs at the pumps.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908870.1555492446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inflation was unchanged despite higher fuel costs at the pumps. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the consumer prices index was flat at 1.9 per cent in March, matching February’s rate.

March inflation missed economists’ expectations of 2 per cent, which would have put it squarely in line with the Bank of England’s target.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdow, said: “All the key UK inflation measures came in slightly lower than economists expected in March, highlighting the absence of inflationary pressures in the domestic economy.

“This makes the Bank of England’s job somewhat easier, as there’s no pressure to raise rates as it grapples with continued uncertainty over Brexit.

“Meanwhile annual UK house price growth slowed to 0.6 per cent in February, the lowest annual rate in seven years.

“London prices fell 3.8 per cent, their largest annual fall since August 2009 in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis. This follows efforts by policymakers to cut down on riskier mortgage lending, though clearly uncertainty over Brexit will have played a large part in the capital’s faltering housing market.”

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “It remains probable that UK inflation will drift moderately higher in the coming months, with firms reporting that the pressure to raise prices remains significant.

“Businesses say they are struggling to absorb the high cost of imported raw materials amid tightening cashflow – a task made more difficult by the raft of extra upfront costs imposed on firms at the start of the new tax year. Higher energy bills are also likely to add to the upward pressure on consumer prices.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908870.1555492446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908870.1555492446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Inflation was unchanged despite higher fuel costs at the pumps. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inflation was unchanged despite higher fuel costs at the pumps. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908870.1555492446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/management/ten-glasgow-nightclubs-to-be-allowed-to-open-until-4am-1-4908849","id":"1.4908849","articleHeadline": "Ten Glasgow nightclubs to be allowed to open until 4am","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555488108000 ,"articleLead": "

The first nightclubs in Glasgow have been granted a licence which will allow them to operate until 4am.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908848.1555488103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Licensing chiefs launched the move. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Ten venues across the city will be allowed to take part in the council’s 12-month pilot scheme, that will be officially launched on Saturday

Bamboo, The Savoy, Sub Club, Polo Lounge, 90 Glassford Street, Kokomo and The Berkley Suite can open from 7pm until 4am.

The Cathouse and The Garage have also been granted longer hours, but can open from 6pm until 4am if a concert is on.

READ MORE: Glasgow nightclubs to be allowed to open until 4am

Retro bar Tropicana & Vogue can open from 5pm until 4am on Friday piano nights.

When the move was first announced, a Glasgow City Council licensing board said: “We see the new policy statement as a means to incentivise best practice within Glasgow’s pubs, clubs, restaurants and other licensed premises.

“The plan for the 12-month pilot of a 4am terminal licensed hour for nightclubs is a good example of the approach of incentivising good practice.”

Donald MacLeod, 57, who owns the Garage and the Cathouse on Sauchiehall Street, said: “I think it’s brilliant, it’s a fair policy.

“It is a pilot scheme but I think it should be more concentrated on nightclubs rather than pubs.

“There are many reasons why I say this, clubs engage with communities, they have first aid resources, CCTV and trained stewards.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908848.1555488103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908848.1555488103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Licensing chiefs launched the move. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Licensing chiefs launched the move. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908848.1555488103!/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/alva-s-omega-diagnostics-sees-underlying-sales-grow-1-4908842","id":"1.4908842","articleHeadline": "Alva’s Omega Diagnostics sees underlying sales grow","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555486693000 ,"articleLead": "

Omega Diagnostics, the Alva-based medical testing kit developer, said it had made “significant progress” restructuring its business as it flagged full-year results in line with market hopes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908841.1555486688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Omega's Visitect CD4 product enables people with HIV to test their immune systems. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

In a trading update, the group noted that revenues for the year to the end of March 2019 would be around £9.74 million.

While that would mark a 28 per cent decline on the year before, Omega has significantly streamlined its operations having divested its infectious disease business and discontinued its German allergy division.

Like-for-like sales are up by 3 per cent while revenues at the group’s core food intolerance business are expected to have risen 7 per cent to £8.05m.

The firm said it was set to post an adjusted loss before tax – before share-based payments and amortisation of intangible assets – of about £300,000 for the year.

Omega, whose business is focused on allergies, food intolerance and infectious diseases, told investors: “The board’s decisions since the strategic review announced last year have enabled the company to focus on its key growth areas and to achieve delivery targets against development timelines.

“The board also continues to explore opportunities for realising value for shareholders in line with the company’s strategic review objectives.

“The food intolerance division has returned to revenue growth of 7 per cent over the prior year and has made good progress with partners in developing the opportunities for this division in China and the United States, which the board anticipates will lead to further growth in the current financial year.”

It added: “There are now two CE-marked versions of the company’s Visitect CD4 test and the board is confident that it can bring the advanced disease version of this unique test through the ERPD regulatory channel in the current financial year for the benefit of many people living with HIV.”

The group’s chief executive, Colin King, said: “We have made significant progress in the last 12 months to streamline our business and to focus on those areas that can deliver the most shareholder value.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908841.1555486688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908841.1555486688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Omega's Visitect CD4 product enables people with HIV to test their immune systems. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Omega's Visitect CD4 product enables people with HIV to test their immune systems. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908841.1555486688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/media-leisure/edinburgh-founded-spa-specialist-pure-extends-reach-with-four-new-uk-locations-1-4908604","id":"1.4908604","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh-founded spa specialist Pure extends reach with four new UK locations","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555484400000 ,"articleLead": "

An Edinburgh-founded business that bills itself as one of the fastest-growing players in the UK’s beauty and wellness sector has announced the opening of four branches – one in Scotland and three south of the Border.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908602.1555432685!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Move adds 30-plus jobs, amid plans for 25 sites by 2022. Picture: contributed."} ,"articleBody": "

Pure Spa & Beauty has teamed up with David Lloyd Leisure Clubs to debut sites in Peterborough (opening yesterday), followed by Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, Purley located south of London, and Cheadle in Cheshire that will open their doors over the course of this and next month.

It brings the total number of Pure Spa locations to 13 across the UK, having started out with a single site on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road in 2002.

It has now added two branches each in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London (in the City and Canary Wharf).

Headcount now amounts to about 150, and it positions itself as one of the UK spa industry’s biggest employers.

The launches will create 30 jobs at the point of opening, with more positions predicted to become available as the locations expand.

The business said it has pioneered a spa partnership model that has seen it create “highly profitable” operations within hotels, retail malls and leisure centres, as well as standalone city-centre outlets. Pure also said the launches tie in with its plans to grow to 25 sites by 2022, reaching “hundreds of thousands” of new clients every year.

Founder chief executive and Becky Woodhouse said: “We are thrilled to be opening four new Pure Spa & Beauty locations this spring. It is exciting to be launching in new areas for the business, allowing us to introduce Pure to a brand-new audience. The demand for Pure nationwide continues to grow and we plan to continue our expansion in 2019 and beyond.

“We are also delighted to be partnering once more with David Lloyd Leisure Clubs in order to launch the new spa and beauty facilities. We look forward to the new openings and to serving four new districts with our award-winning spa and beauty experience.”

Woodhouse – who Pure notes became the first Scottish woman to be accepted on the global EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme, which supports high-potential female entrepreneurs – founded the business in a bid to offer “high-quality, accessible and affordable” spa treatments.

It has branched out into offering its own retail and professional range of natural skin care products that are sold in its spas, online and through selected retailers, as well as being used in Pure treatments.

About 18 months ago, the company launched the Pure Beauty Zone, a new marketplace for the “flourishing” clean beauty sector, which sources and sells clean face, hair and bodycare brands.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908602.1555432685!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908602.1555432685!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Move adds 30-plus jobs, amid plans for 25 sites by 2022. Picture: contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Move adds 30-plus jobs, amid plans for 25 sites by 2022. Picture: contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908602.1555432685!/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-yellowlees-new-cockenzie-port-would-have-a-huge-impact-1-4908252","id":"1.4908252","articleHeadline": "John Yellowlees: New Cockenzie port would have a huge impact","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555477833000 ,"articleLead": "

The growth of more than 70 per cent in cruise ­journeys over the last ten years in Europe has been mostly in the colder northern waters as the Mediterranean market has been complemented by new UK based opportunities where people can avoid the need to fly to reach cruise ships.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908250.1555409582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh has been voted the top cruise destination in western Europe"} ,"articleBody": "

Edinburgh has become one of the most popular attractions for these tours. In February 2019, the ­Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport met to debate the merits of a proposal by Prestonpans Community Council for a cruise-liner ­terminal on the site of the old power station at Cockenzie.

Cruise ship calls in Scotland rose from 369 in 2010 to 918 expected in 2019, with the number of passengers up from 268, 000 to 920,000. Last year Edinburgh ports saw 114 calls compared with Orkney’s 150, and 62 at Greenock serving Glasgow, mainly from larger ships. The Cruise Lines International Association sees 70 new ships coming into service by 2020 adding 180,000 annual capacity. With 23 of these taking more than 4000 passengers, the average ship size will become 3000.

Edinburgh was voted the top cruise destination in western Europe by Cruise Critic in 2018, but passengers do not like the transfer, which is slow and can be cancelled in bad weather.

With no new investment in 100 years, the ports presently serving Edinburgh are Victorian. Leith is ­tidal with lock gates, and has draught and width limitations. ­Newhaven also is shallow and, like Hound Point at Queensferry, requires transfers by tender. Rosyth has limited potential due to Forth bridge height restrictions. With sailings spread between four terminals, there is little incentive to invest in any of them. Tenders don’t scale up with the size of the ship, and the more time spent waiting around means less time for spending.

A potential solution is a new port with a 10 metre draught and the width for several berths with room also for luxury yachts. Some inspiration can be provided by the Hatston terminal at Kirkwall, opened at a cost of £25 million in 2003 and extended ten years later.

For 400 years, Prestonpans had a port at Morrison’s Haven through which trade passed to and from the Continent. Prestonpans Community Council have highlighted the potential linkages between tourism and East Lothian’s traditional strengths in food and drink.

Preston Links is close to the A1, and retains the railway line, formerly used for Cockenzie Power ­Station. As well as cruise ships, ferries could be accommodated. It was the long journey time that killed Rosyth-Zeebrugge, but using Preston Links would cut an hour in each direction. With the ever-increasing focus on decarbonisation, electric barges might be used for onward distribution, with the port itself becoming all-electric powered by the Inchcape windfarm.

Direct local employment opportunities would include tours, transport, accommodation, ship provisions, port services, marketing and the potential for a free port. The port would also act as an economic engine creating jobs across the Lothians through improved connectivity to European markets, reduced travel time, reduced fuel costs and a potential doubling of cruise ship traffic in the Forth. There is also the prospect of creating a dedicated cruise ship hospitality college to train staff to the high standards expected.

There are opportunities to build new tourist itineraries including not just Edinburgh but more East Lothian attractions. There are also opportunities for servicing the needs of liner traffic and local waste ­management company Viridor gives East Lothian strong recycling capability.

Attracting funding for major ­transport investment can learn from ­other investments taking place elsewhere at Nigg Bay (Aberdeen South Harbour), Ullapool, Oban, Dundee, Peterhead, Cromarty, Scrabster, ­Lerwick, Montrose and Greenock.

These demonstrate the increasingly wide variety of funding sources ­ranging from the European Investment Bank through Royal Bank of Scotland to local authorities, port owners and even nuclear decommissioning.

Competition with other development at this site and with other port facilities across the country is important to ensure the economy continues to thrive. The window of opportunity for the development of the Prestonpans site is narrow.

However, by ensuring that new ideas are heard and communicated, CILT helps to raise the potential of the whole ­industry.

John Yellowlees, chair, CILT Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "John Yellowlees"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908250.1555409582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908250.1555409582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh has been voted the top cruise destination in western Europe","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh has been voted the top cruise destination in western Europe","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908250.1555409582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908251.1555409583!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908251.1555409583!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Yellowlees, Chair, CILT Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Yellowlees, Chair, CILT Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908251.1555409583!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/highland-main-line-investment-not-enough-david-spaven-1-4908248","id":"1.4908248","articleHeadline": "Highland Main Line investment not enough – David Spaven","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555477513000 ,"articleLead": "

Ten years ago the rail freight industry had good cause to feel confident about the prospects for shifting freight from trucks to trains along the Perth-Inverness corridor.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908247.1555409516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Spaven, Scottish Representative, Rail Freight Group"} ,"articleBody": "

In 2008, the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) identified upgrading the largely single-track Highland Main Line (HML) as the third-top priority among 29 road and rail schemes across Scotland.

Investment of between £200 million and £450m was envisaged, including ‘additional loops, dynamic loops or lengthening of double track sections‘ – designed to benefit both passenger and freight traffic.

Targeted infrastructure enhancements for HML freight traffic in the STPR document included provision of bi-directional signalling to reduce the impact of engineering works on the route (permitting it to remain open for freight throughout the day and week), increased length of freight loops (allowing longer trains), and removal of speed limits on ­various bridges below the 75 mph line speed.

The outcome would be that ‘the freight improvements would make it considerably more attractive for freight hauliers to move containers and other goods by rail, by reducing journey times’.

So where does rail freight stand, ten years on? Work will soon be ­completed on a drastically scaled-down infrastructure programme, with just £57m invested in track and signalling upgrades of the Aviemore and Pitlochry crossing loops. The benefit will go almost entirely to ­passenger trains, since the capacity of these enhanced loops will be taken up for most of the day by a new hourly frequency of train service between Perth and Inverness.

Rail freight needs long, high-capacity trains to compete effectively with road haulage, but current works on the HML will do little or nothing to help.

Class 66 locomotives which haul the daily Stobart/Tesco ­container train from Central ­Scotland to Inverness can pull 28 containers – the equivalent of 28 lorries – but the lack of long crossing loops restricts the operation to just 20. The crossing loop being extended at Aviemore was already the longest on the line, and at Pitlochry – the shortest loop on the line – there is to be no extension, so HML freight train lengths will remain ­significantly ­constrained.

It is frustrating for rail hauliers that each train could carry up to 40 per cent more goods, yet this opportunity is blocked by Scottish Government funding parsimony.

In the meantime, A9 dualling is progressing steadily – part of a £3bn project – and there is a real danger that the absence of a level playing field for investment will lead to a switch of freight from rail to road, the opposite of Government policy.

In recent years, a regular trainload of oil from Grangemouth to Lairg, north of Inverness, has been lost to road haulage. And a Scottish national newspaper revealed last year that an expert report commissioned by the Scottish Government – which Ministers did not intend to publish – concluded that 80 more lorries a day would travel the A9 in each direction by 2025, but rail freight’s share of the market would drop by a tenth.

In contrast, a sensible investment policy for HML capacity would lengthen key loops, construct new loops on the longest single-track sections and remove punitive speed restrictions on three bridges.

Amongst traffic which could then transfer from the A9 – improving road safety, cutting CO2 and reducing the road maintenance burden – are more supermarket supplies, timber and forest products, and bulk spirit from Speyside to Central ­Scotland maturation plants. The line’s ability to handle the modern generation of tall and wide containers also needs to be addressed. Upgrading work on tunnels and ­overbridges and provision of a dedicated fleet of low-platform container ­wagons would allow rail to ­compete for chilled and frozen produce (which needs wider refrigerated containers) moving between the Central Belt and the north.

In its admirable 2017 High Level Ouput Specification for the 2019-24 period, Scottish Ministers ‘require all reasonable steps to be taken to facilitate growth of 7.5 per cent in rail freight traffic carried on the Scotland route, of which, at least 7.5 per cent will represent a growth in new business (i.e. new traffic flows, not previously moving by rail)’.

Achieving that growth on the ground – and avoiding loss of existing freight traffic from rail to road – will be the real test of policy.

Along the Highland Main Line in particular, the rail freight industry needs serious infrastructure investment so that it can deliver the significant economic and environmental prizes which freight on rail offers.

David Spaven, Scottish representative, Rail Freight Group.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Spaven"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908247.1555409516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908247.1555409516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Spaven, Scottish Representative, Rail Freight Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Spaven, Scottish Representative, Rail Freight Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908247.1555409516!/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/three-cities-now-vying-to-be-scotland-s-cultural-capital-brian-ferguson-1-4908635","id":"1.4908635","articleHeadline": "Three cities now vying to be Scotland’s cultural capital – Brian Ferguson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555477200000 ,"articleLead": "

Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow could all make a bid to become Scotland’s leading city of culture, writes Brian Ferguson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4905995.1555435992!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dundee's new V&A Museum. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

It seems a long time since news emerged that Dundee was in talks with the Victoria and Albert design museum in London to create the city’s own V&A attraction overlooking the River Tay. It is actually 12 years this month since Dundee University’s first announcement. The project would never have got off the ground without a huge amount of vision and drive from the taskforce behind the initial business case and brief for the museum. When the city launched an international design contest three years later it was adamant it wanted a “world-class building” on the site.

The cavalcade of headlines made around the world since the appointment of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in 2010 would suggest it has lived up to those expectations. It has also captured the imagination of the public, with more than half a million visitors – the forecast for its first full year – notched up within six months.

But could anyone in Dundee have imagined how the V&A project would have helped transform perceptions of the city? It has been hard to keep pace with the plaudits and accolades that have been heaped on Dundee in the last couple of years and, somewhat remarkably, there is no sign of them slowing down.

Lonely Planet, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic have all placed Dundee on must-visit lists.The last few days alone have see the Sunday Times name Dundee as the best place to live in Scotland and Conde Nast Traveler name it as one of Britain’s top 10 places for a city break. Glasgow and Edinburgh were notable by their absence. Cynics there may point to a “V&A” effect largely propelling Dundee to become what is now described by Conde Nast Traveler as “Scotland’s renaissance city”.

READ MORE: V&A Dundee named the world’s best public building

But most of its glowing reports have rightly acknowledged the thriving and constantly evolving cultural sector that Dundee has long boasted, with the city perhaps unfairly overlooked in favour of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and their mega-events.

What the rise of Dundee has highlighted, however, is a degree of complacency that, in different ways, has afflicted Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It was telling to read the views of Sir Ewan Brown, the man leading the project Edinburgh’s first concert hall in 100 years, over the city’s failure to ensure its cultural infrastructure has kept pace with the city’s tourism industry – or the modern-day demands of audiences and performers. While the £45 million New Town venue is likely to get the go-ahead next week, it has been opposed by the developers of the St James hotel, retail and leisure complex, and the Gleneagles resort, although their neighbouring projects are a long way from completion. Bigger challenges lie ahead in trying to replace the largely obselete Ross Bandstand – despite ambitions from promoters for it to be established as “Scotland’s Hollywood Bowl” – due to a vociferous lobby against the staging of commercial events there. Glasgow has not been shy in promoting itself as Scotland’s leading cultural desination since the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but that has rung a bit hollow since the closure of The Arches, the two fires that have struck Glasgow School of Art and the threat of demolition over the blaze-hit O2 ABC.

It was notable that Dundee was one of the alternatives suggested by festival organiser Geoff Ellis when he threatened to pull the plug on TRNSMT and the Summer Sessions over a planned “ticket tax”.

No-one in Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow would be happy to admit it publicly, but there is an inescapable sense that the crown of Scotland’s culture capital is there for the taking.

READ MORE: Insight: Glasgow – City of Culture 25 years on

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4905995.1555435992!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4905995.1555435992!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dundee's new V&A Museum. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dundee's new V&A Museum. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4905995.1555435992!/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/divorce-law-specialist-to-take-charge-at-turcan-connell-1-4908611","id":"1.4908611","articleHeadline": "Divorce law specialist to take charge at Turcan Connell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555476039000 ,"articleLead": "

Legal firm Turcan Connell has appointed divorce lawyer Gillian Crandles as its new managing partner, only the second person to hold the title in the firm’s 22-year history.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908610.1555433109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Turcan Connell's land and property partner Alistair Rushworth; chairman Simon Mackintosh; managing partner Gillian Crandles; and tax and succession partner Graeme Gass. Picture: Julie Broadfoot."} ,"articleBody": "

Crandles will assume leadership of the practice while continuing in her current capacity as head of divorce and family law.

She succeeds Ian Clark, who returns to a client-facing partner role after seven years at the helm.

Graeme Gass and Alistair Rushworth, who joined the private client firm on the same day as trainees, have been promoted to partner.

Crandles said it would be “a great honour” to lead Turcan Connell, which has 24 partners and around 200 staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

She said: “It’s a great honour to take on the role of managing martner and I very much look forward to working with my fellow partners and colleagues as we continue to grow Turcan Connell and meet the exciting challenges of the years ahead.

“Ian Clark hands over the reins of a firm that is performing extremely well and our continuing focus is on maintaining our position as the country’s leading provider of legal services in the tax and succession, land and property, divorce and family and charity sectors.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908610.1555433109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908610.1555433109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left: Turcan Connell's land and property partner Alistair Rushworth; chairman Simon Mackintosh; managing partner Gillian Crandles; and tax and succession partner Graeme Gass. Picture: Julie Broadfoot.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Turcan Connell's land and property partner Alistair Rushworth; chairman Simon Mackintosh; managing partner Gillian Crandles; and tax and succession partner Graeme Gass. Picture: Julie Broadfoot.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908610.1555433109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}