{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/report-to-help-digital-tech-businesses-tap-into-public-sector-1-4662710","id":"1.4662710","articleHeadline": "Report to help digital tech businesses tap into public sector","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516106228275 ,"articleLead": "

ScotlandIS has compiled a comprehensive study of the public sector that launches ­later this week and aims to boost Scotland’s digital technologies industry.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662709.1516106378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ScotlandIS CEO Polly Purvis flags the study's unprecedented detail. Picture: Lisa Ferguson."} ,"articleBody": "

The digital skills body said the public sector is one of the most important vertical markets for the industry, but information about its current size and future developments has to date been “very limited”.

ScotlandIS also said its study gathers and analyses data for current and projected public sector ICT spend north of the Border.

The Public Sector ICT Expenditure in Scotland report was produced in partnership with the Scottish ­Government to help firms “assess market opportunities and take informed investment decisions”.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: “We conducted this research to respond to demand from members.The report is focused purely on the situation in Scotland with findings at a level of granularity that has not been available before.”

Colin Cook, director of digital at the Scottish Government, said: “I trust that this report will provide tech companies already supplying goods and services to the public ­sector with further guidance on future business opportunities, and provide companies that are new to public sector ­procurement with a better understanding of the ­opportunities that are available”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "emma.newlands@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662709.1516106378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662709.1516106378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "ScotlandIS CEO Polly Purvis flags the study's unprecedented detail. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ScotlandIS CEO Polly Purvis flags the study's unprecedented detail. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662709.1516106378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/future-scotland/tech/edinburgh-based-start-up-cognitive-geology-wins-shell-contract-1-4662942","id":"1.4662942","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh-based start-up Cognitive Geology wins Shell contract","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516117956000 ,"articleLead": "

Cognitive Geology, an Edinburgh-based technology start-up, has secured a $1.2 million (£872,000) contract with oil giant Shell for its geological mapping software.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662941.1516117953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh-based start-up has won a lucrative contract from Shell. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The deal will see the capital firm’s product deployed globally within the Shell empire. A second deal, of an undisclosed value, has been struck with Baker Hughes to bundle the Cognitive technology into its own software.

Founded by geologist Luke Johnson in 2014, Cognitive Geology designs and builds specialist software for geoscientists in the oil and gas industries, and is said to improve accuracy in finding, appraising and developing oil and gas reserves.

The venture recently raised a $2.7m seed funding round from Glasgow-headquartered Maven Capital Partners and Enzo Ventures to promote its geological data analysis products and to further develop a range of technologies for the oil and gas industry.

The geoscience software industry is estimated to be worth $4.5 billion and this figure is predicted to double over the next few years as out-dated software is replaced by next generation technology.

Cognitive Geology said it has ambitious plans to disrupt this potentially lucrative sector.

Johnson, founder and chief executive, believes that the fledgling business is ready to take on industry giants such as Schlumberger and Halliburton.

He said: “Much of the technology used currently by geoscientists is antiquated and here in Scotland we have the talent and ambition to challenge this. Having one of the biggest corporations in the world, Shell, using one of our products simply confirms to us that as a start-up we can compete with the established behemoths in the industry.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662941.1516117953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662941.1516117953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Edinburgh-based start-up has won a lucrative contract from Shell. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Edinburgh-based start-up has won a lucrative contract from Shell. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662941.1516117953!/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/record-number-of-scots-want-to-start-a-business-1-4662877","id":"1.4662877","articleHeadline": "Record number of Scots want to start a business","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516115619000 ,"articleLead": "

More people than ever are looking to start their own business, including more than 200,000 Scots, according to a new survey.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662876.1516115616!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ed Molyneux, chief executive of FreeAgent Holdings"} ,"articleBody": "

The poll of 1,000 workers, carried out by Edinburgh-based cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent, found that 9 per cent plan to go it alone within the next year.

Meanwhile, 28 per cent said they would like to start their own business at some point, but don’t yet have any concrete plans to do so.

The survey found that the top three reasons for wanting to become self-employed were better work/life balance, a desire to work fewer hours and the belief that you can earn more money as your own boss.

The top three concerns around setting up a business were the financial costs involved, managing company finances and complying with business regulations.

Marginally more women than men plan to set up their own business in 2018, with 52 per cent of women dreaming of becoming their own boss in comparison to 46 per cent of their male counterparts.

Ed Molyneux, chief executive and co-founder of Free­Agent, said: “Starting your own business can be an extremely rewarding, if daunting, move for people to make with their career.

“The desire for a better work/life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business.”

He added: “It’s so important for any new business owner to make sure they are fully prepared before they start up.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662876.1516115616!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662876.1516115616!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ed Molyneux, chief executive of FreeAgent Holdings","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ed Molyneux, chief executive of FreeAgent Holdings","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662876.1516115616!/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-s-historic-caledonian-hotel-sold-for-85m-1-4662646","id":"1.4662646","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh’s historic Caledonian Hotel sold for £85m","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516105484000 ,"articleLead": "

It is one of the grandest railway hotels ever built, a reminder of a time when you could take a train from the west end of Princes Street.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662644.1516105148!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Caledonian Hotel has been sold to an overseas investor in a multi-million pound deal"} ,"articleBody": "

Now the Caledonian Hotel, a red sandstone landmark beloved by generations of Edinburgh residents, has been sold to an overseas investor in a deal worth £85m.

Its new owner is Abu Dhabi-based Twenty14 Holdings – the hospitality investment arm of Lulu Group International - but the hotel will continue to operate under the Hilton’s flagship brand Waldorf Astoria.

The deal represents the biggest hotel sale in Scotland in three years and the largest in the UK in the past 12 months.

The recently refurbished, 254-room hotel opened its doors in 1903 and is affectionately known by locals as the Caley, a nod to the Caledonian Railway Company which paid for its construction as part of the now-closed Princes Street railway station.

READ MORE: Eight of the most luxurious hotel rooms in Edinburgh

The hotel has long welcomed the rich and famous. Notable former guests include US president Barack Obama, comedy legends Laurel and Hardy, Hollywood superstars Carey Grant and Liz Taylor, and King Hussein of Jordan.

“The hotel has long been seen as a jewel in the crown of the UK hotel market,” said Will Duffey of investment management firm JLL, which advised on the sale. “Our client’s recent refurbishment programme repositioned the hotel to its former glory when it reopened as the first Waldorf Astoria in the UK in 2012. We are delighted to have advised on this irreplaceable trophy hotel overlooking Edinburgh Castle to an investor who will preserve and protect this most important of assets for generations to come”.

Lulu Group International managing director Adeeb Ahamed said: “We are excited to add The Caledonian to the portfolio of Twenty14 Holdings.

“We are honoured to be part of this Scottish landmark that has a great significance for locals and visitors alike and look forward to adding to the experience The Caledonian already offers.”

The Caley opened just a year after Edinburgh’s other grand railway hotel, the Balmoral, which was originally known as the North British. Both the landmark buildings would fall into public ownership following the nationalisation of the UK’s railways in 1948, before later being returned to private control.

Princes Street railway station was closed in 1965, but the original station clock can still be viewed inside the Caledonian’s Peacock Alley lounge bar.

READ MORE: When Eurovision arrived at the Caledonian Hotel

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662644.1516105148!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662644.1516105148!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Caledonian Hotel has been sold to an overseas investor in a multi-million pound deal","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Caledonian Hotel has been sold to an overseas investor in a multi-million pound deal","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662644.1516105148!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662645.1516105149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662645.1516105149!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Film star Cary Grant pictured during his stay at the Caledonian in August 1958. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Film star Cary Grant pictured during his stay at the Caledonian in August 1958. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662645.1516105149!/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/lifestyle/red-cross-designer-bridal-dresses-star-in-fashion-charity-show-1-4663140","id":"1.4663140","articleHeadline": "Red Cross designer bridal dresses star in fashion charity show","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516129533000 ,"articleLead": "

AS speculation grows over who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding gown, a small charity shop in the heart of Edinburgh has quietly been attracting brides-to-be to its unique bridal boutique full of designer wedding dresses.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663139.1516129530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rosa Rosado, manager of the British Red Cross charity shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, with a Phillipa Lepley couture wedding dress worth �14,000 which will be auctioned on 18 Jan 2018 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.\\nPICTURE: Lisa Ferguson"} ,"articleBody": "

Now bridal dresses donated to the British Red Cross charity shop in Stockbridge - the charity’s only bridal shop in the UK - is about to hit the big time after been asked to showcase its wares at a prestigious wedding venue in the city.

Star turn at the charity’s fund-raising Bridal Fashion Show on 18 January between 7pm-9pm at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) at 9 Queen Street, is a £14,000 cream couture ballgown by Phillipa Lepley, who was hot favourite to design Kate Middleton’s gown.

Chelsea-based Lepley has created a host of luxury gowns for society weddings, Queen Charlotte’s Ball for debutantes and showbiz celebrities including designing wedding dresses for former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, Ali Astall who is married to Declan Donnelly of Ant and Dec, and model Jacqui Ainsly, bride of Madonna’s former husband Guy Ritchie.

The ballgown is one of three being auctioned at the show. Over 40 gowns will be modelled with the opportunity to try on and buy them, along with others not in the show.

Rosa Rosado, manager of the British Red Cross shop in Raeburn Place, said dresses, veils, tiaras and shoes sold in the shop were in perfect condition, and came from four wedding dress shops in the city who donated their sample dresses, from brides after their weddings or were from other British Red Cross charity shops in Scotland.

“It’s far more common now for brides not to want to spend a fortune on something they will wear for just a few hours. They feel proud of helping the Red Cross and spending the money with us instead.”

Alex Boyack, marketing manager for the RCPE said: “I was in the Red Cross changing rooms in Stockbridge and came out to be faced by racks of beautiful wedding dresses and thought I’m sure there’s some way we could help promote these- as where I work we already host over 30 wedding a year in our stunning Great Hall.

“We’re really pleased to be hosting such a special event to support the Red Cross, I’m had a sneak preview of the dresses and they are amazing. Our beautiful venue is just the right place to have this fashion show.”,

Lisa Scott, area retail manager for British Red Cross, said “The bridal fashion show will help the British Red Cross help millions of people in the UK and around the world to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts. Our work in 2017 included delivering medicines, sanitation and relief effort in places such as Yemen, Syria and Bangladesh as well as being there to support the victims of emergencies in the UK such the Grenfell Tower fire and the attacks at the Manchester Arena and Tower Bridge.”

To find out about volunteering at the Stockbridge shop contact Ms Rosado on 0131 446 3757 or email RRosado@redcross.org.uk or pop in anytime.

Tickets - £10, including fizz and canapés from British Red Cross shops in Stockbridge and Morningside, or at the venue.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sross@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4663139.1516129530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663139.1516129530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rosa Rosado, manager of the British Red Cross charity shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, with a Phillipa Lepley couture wedding dress worth �14,000 which will be auctioned on 18 Jan 2018 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.\\nPICTURE: Lisa Ferguson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rosa Rosado, manager of the British Red Cross charity shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, with a Phillipa Lepley couture wedding dress worth �14,000 which will be auctioned on 18 Jan 2018 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.\\nPICTURE: Lisa Ferguson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4663139.1516129530!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/scottish-festival-organisers-told-they-may-have-to-rely-on-crowdfunding-in-future-1-4662294","id":"1.4662294","articleHeadline": "Scottish festival organisers told they may have to rely on crowdfunding in future","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516054601143 ,"articleLead": "

Festival and event organisers may have to rely on crowd-funding campaigns and donations from philanthropists to keep running in the face of the public spending squeeze, one of Scotland’s leading industry experts has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662293.1516054656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "VisitScotland director Paul Bush is one of Scotland's leading festivals and events experts."} ,"articleBody": "

Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, said organisers would have to be increasingly innovative to remain sustainable as they grapple with dwindling resources, spiralling costs and security concerns.

He has predicted the next decade will be “very tough financially” for the events industry

He admitted they were likely to have to increasingly demonstrating the wider impacts of their event on society in order to secure funding.

The Edinburgh Mela, Wickerman, Brew at the Bog, Perthshire Amber and T in the Park are among the festivals to disappear from the landscape in Scotland in recent years, while the new Argyll Gathering was cancelled last summer just two weeks before it was due to be held in Helensburgh.

Mr Bush also suggested “profit-sharing” deals with public funders may become increasingly common in future.

He said: “Scotland has been very successful and probably very lucky in the last 10 years in terms of its events portfolio.

We’ve hosted some of the biggest and finest events in the world, including the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the MTV Europe Music Awards.

“But we’re at a point now where the next 10 years will be very, very tough financially. We’ve already gone through a period of austerity. Whether that remains or not is hard to say, but the pressure on public finances will increase.

“Events will need to be innovative to remain sustainable.

“There will always be the traditional model of government grants towards stellar events that we still want to attract for economic or profile reasons.

“But I also think there are two or three models that we will need to think about carefully in future.

“Crowdfunding around community events will be quite interesting.

“Campaigns are often quite successful in raising and a lot of the events in our national programme are very community-focused.

“Then there are the music, arts or small sports events in far-flung corners of Scotland which might be attractive to benefactors or philanthropists.

“There could also be a model around a joint venture, where you have the government, the event organiser and a third party come together to deliver an event.

“The third model would be where they would be shared profit. The government could seed-fund an event to get an event off the ground, then move away, but would get a share of any profits, which would be ploughed back into the events industry.

“We want to ensure we are investing in an event for the right outcomes in future - a better bang for your buck, if you like.

“We’ve got to look at the 360 degree life cycle of an event and what it does for health, education, society, young people, old people and local communities.

“The industry has got to be more savvy in demonstrating the benefits of an event and making sure it has a real impact.”

Mr Bush has oversee the staging of some of the biggest events in the world in Scotland over the last decade, including the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Others on the horizon include the multi-sport European Championships which are being staged in Scotland in 2018, the Solheim Cup golf tournament ini 2019 and the Euro 2020 football tournament, which will see Glasgow host a number of matches in 2020.

Mr Bush added: It’s an exciting time for the industry if it grasps the opportunities.

“It to ensure that it is offering the right package to its customers. Scotland has a lot of authenticity, but event organisers have to ensure that there are bespoke packages around events, including opportunities that are sold at a higher prize.\"

" ,"byline": {"email": "brian.ferguson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Brian Ferguson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662293.1516054656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662293.1516054656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "VisitScotland director Paul Bush is one of Scotland's leading festivals and events experts.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "VisitScotland director Paul Bush is one of Scotland's leading festivals and events experts.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662293.1516054656!/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/transport/one-third-of-private-car-parks-breach-consumer-laws-1-4662487","id":"1.4662487","articleHeadline": "One third of private car parks breach consumer laws","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516097832000 ,"articleLead": "

SCOTS motorists are being ripped off in private car parks after an investigation revealed that one-third of them breach consumer protection laws.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662486.1516097829!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Many private car parks breach consumer protection laws, an investigation has found. Picture: Elliot Brown/Flickr/CC"} ,"articleBody": "

Drivers are being hit with unfair penalty charges of up to £100 for ‘trivial’ offences at car parks run by private firms.

Trading Standards officers carried out a probe into the operators following a wave of complaints against unscrupulous practices.

Following a series of spot checks across the country they found drivers have been hit with unenforceable penalty charges ranging from £15 to £100, while unclear signs leave drivers in the dark about what constitutes an offence.

READ MORE: The best way to defrost your car windscreen as icy weather arrives

Private car parking at retail centres, supermarkets and standalone private car parks are subject to general consumer laws.

When drivers pay for private parking, they enter into a contract with the provider and are protected by a range of laws aimed at ensuring fairness for consumers, no different to buying goods and services from shops on the ‘high street’.

However the investigation found that one-third of car parks in Scotland are in breach of those laws.

READ MORE: Blizzard like conditions cause delays to traffic on Scotland’s roads

One-quarter of car parks that officers visited had inadequate signs and malfunctioning ticket machines.

Evidence of unfair penalties was also uncovered, including the case of one driver who paid the correct fee for parking, but was still fined £100 after they failed to type their vehicle registration correctly into the ticket machine.

Around half of car parks use automatic number-plate recognition technology to track vehicles, while some did not inform drivers that payment was required at all. The average fine levied on drivers was £75.

Peter Adamson, chairman of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), said: “The main problems we found were inadequate signage and ticket machines that were difficult to use or malfunctioning.

“We also found evidence of unfair application of penalty charges, for example a £100 charge for a very minor mistake by a driver, who paid the correct fee for parking but failed to type their vehicle registration correctly into the ticket machine.”

He added: “Private car parking is a legitimate business activity. High demand parking space in our towns and cities must be managed and consumers cannot expect to park for free in these busy urban areas.

“However, at the same time consumers must be treated fairly. They must be given all the information they need to use a car park and must not be subject to unfair terms or practices.

“We want to see an improvement in standards and are working with the industry to achieve this across Scotland. We are working with Government, trade bodies and consumer bodies to improve the lot of Scotland’s drivers when utilising private parking and we would like to see a single Code of Practice developed which addresses these issues.

“Those car parks which were unsatisfactory during our investigation have been notified of our findings and advised of the improvements required.”

The Trading Standards probe has been welcomed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, who say drivers often face “unfair” charges.

Neil Greig, IAM Scottish spokesman, said: “It’s great news that long-suffering drivers in Scotland have a supportive ally in the form of their local trading standards department.

“Many drivers have struggled to appeal on their own against unfair charges or unclear signposting so involving the consumer law experts at your council will be a great help to those seeking redress.”

Last month Tory MSP Murdo Fraser published plans for legislation to curb the companies’ ability to rip off drivers.

His proposals include a cap on the fees that can be slapped on motorists, likely to be set at £60, and an independent body to adjudicate on appeals.

The legislation, which will go to public consultation before being introduced at Holyrood, also proposes new rules on signage in car parks and the removal of ‘misleading’ terms on fines.

Despite the problems highlighted by SCOTSS, recent court cases have seen judges come down on the side of parking companies when fines have been contested.

Last year Carly Mackie, 28, was given Britain’s largest ever parking penalty of £24,500 by a sheriff who warned against the belief that private parking charges are unenforceable.

She parked outside her mother’s home in Dundee and ignored the almost daily parking charge notices on her windscreen.

Miss Mackie wrongly believed she could park her Mini on the spot in front of her family’s garage near their Dundee home and thought the tickets were unenforceable.

But Vehicle Control Services, a private firm, took her to court when she racked up a huge bill for ignoring more than 200 penalties.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STUART MACDONALD"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662486.1516097829!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662486.1516097829!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Many private car parks breach consumer protection laws, an investigation has found. Picture: Elliot Brown/Flickr/CC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Many private car parks breach consumer protection laws, an investigation has found. Picture: Elliot Brown/Flickr/CC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662486.1516097829!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/commercial-property-capital-needs-developments-to-act-as-spur-for-investment-1-4662495","id":"1.4662495","articleHeadline": "Commercial property: Capital needs developments to act as spur for investment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516097811000 ,"articleLead": "

Large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups are all keen to locate themselves in Edinburgh, which regularly ranks in the top three places in the world to live.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662494.1516097808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Mint by Chris Stewart Group contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

However, the city’s growth as major commercial centre is severely hampered by a lack of office space.

Edinburgh’s office market has experienced a prolonged period of subdued development in spite of robust demand in recent years.

With a very limited pipeline of speculative development scheduled to complete this year and with overall vacancy rates sitting at 3.8 per cent, the lowest level in over ten years, there are no immediate signs of an improvement in the situation.

In order to accelerate development, we need to find solutions to the long-standing issues which are hindering development, one of which is a lack of available finance. Ever since 2008, developers have faced a restricted market for finance.

The major UK clearing banks have sought to reduce their exposure to the office sector and to speculative development in particular.

A small number of German lenders will fund speculative schemes, but their appetite is limited to the strongest sponsors and the major city centres.

Some debt fund lenders will lend on speculative developments but at a higher cost.

Lenders have generally preferred sectors where they perceive less void risk – markets including residential, hotels, student housing and industrial.

They also want assurance that income is quickly forthcoming on scheme completion.

However, the rent free incentive periods that are commonplace in the office market mean that other sectors are income-producing more quickly.

Competition from other uses and higher construction costs are also holding back development.

Recent growth in residential values has exceeded growth in commercial values in many UK cities, including Edinburgh.

Falling unemployment and skills shortages have made it harder to employ contractors and the renewal of the labour force has not kept pace with demand.

Furthermore, the drop in the value of the pound has pushed up the price of imported materials.

Investors will see headline rents grow steadily due to this lack of development.

In Edinburgh, rents are predicted to grow by 2.5 per cent annually until 2021, which will in turn encourage occupiers to pre-let space, adding further pressure to a stretched market.

Taking into account the likelihood of continued letting of schemes under construction, the pipeline for this year in Edinburgh looks very thin and this will exacerbate existing supply shortages.

In terms of supply, only three new developments are on site to be delivered over the next three years, including Semple Street this year and the Mint Building in early 2019.

In the near term, a lack of development will drive increased refurbishment activity, but long term, cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow need to see new development come forward to spur inward investment.

Cameron Stott is director at

JLL Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662494.1516097808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662494.1516097808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Mint by Chris Stewart Group contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Mint by Chris Stewart Group contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662494.1516097808!/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/darren-mcgarvey-carillion-giants-of-capitalism-or-scroungers-1-4662220","id":"1.4662220","articleHeadline": "Darren McGarvey: Carillion - giants of capitalism or scroungers?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516090575000 ,"articleLead": "

When things go wrong, giants of capitalism turn shameless scroungers, writes Darren McGarvey.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662219.1516090569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The future is uncertain for Carillion workers (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)"} ,"articleBody": "

Yesterday morning, thousands of employees awoke to hear the news that their employer, Carillion, the UK’s second largest construction company, was going into liquidation. Finally overwhelmed by its financial problems – namely a catastrophic debt burden – the firm, which employs nearly 20,000 people in the UK, threw in the towel after talks with creditors and government failed.

Carillion, in just seven years, has seen its debt balloon to around £1.5bn, compounded by a pension liability of between £600m and £800m. To put this in some context, Carillion is now valued at just £61m.

The company went into liquidation because trust in its ability to manage its financial affairs collapsed. But where a lot of big business is concerned, especially when it overlaps with public services and infrastructure, public trust plummeted a very long time ago, with good reason.

READ MORE: Carillion collapse puts ‘thousands’ of Scottish jobs at risk

Let’s lend some further context to why people are furious about this. This morning I, like thousands of people across the UK, received a random, strongly worded letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, informing me that I owe them £85 of overpaid benefit from nearly ten years ago.

READ MORE: Construction giant Carillion to go into liquidation

One may speculate as to why the government is so keen to deploy such vast resources and expertise in recouping paltry sums of money like this. Or why it’s so effective at clawing back cash from certain sections of the population but less keen to balance the books when it comes to others. Maybe it has something to do with the fact some, by virtue of social inequality, don’t possess the means, time or know-how to reliably contest such things?

Meanwhile, over at Carillion, former execs are probably already receiving the best public relations, legal and financial advice on how best to manoeuvre their way out of further scrutiny – with pockets full of cash. The implications of Carillion’s liquidation are massive, not only for the thousands of employees, who now face immediate and long-term job uncertainty, but also for the various public projects and services Carillion is currently building, like the Aberdeen by-pass, or managing, which covers everything from the digital surveillance agency to 32,000 school dinners across the UK. Then there’s the staff at thousands of sub-contractors, which supplied Carillion with goods and services, now owed millions and still waiting to be paid. The knock-on effect of the engineer’s collapse may affect everything from rail services to the running of prisons as well as the Ministry of Defence.

READ MORE: What the Carillion collapse means to Scotland

Carillion has been woven into the fabric of Britain’s infrastructure over the last two decades and its sudden failure will reverberate chaotically across public life for many years to come.

Given the sheer scope of the impact across the UK, surely we can be confident that those responsible for this monumental cock-up, caused mainly by risky investments and corporate over-reach (couched in the aftermath of a financial crash that was caused by the same sort of corporate behaviour) will face consequences like everyone else affected?

I guess it’s a shame that the chair of Carillion, Philip Green (not that one), was binned by Number Ten in 2016, where he’d been, ostensibly, providing advice on the important matter of corporate responsibility.

Maybe he’ll have some insight into why some executives, just months before the firm became embroiled in the accounting crisis, introduced tougher rules to protect bonuses paid to bosses. Maybe he’ll be able to explain how the good folks in charge of an ailing company were able to change the wording of its pay policy to make it harder for investors to recoup their generous payouts. After all, it certainly appears that former board members (removed in September last year when the true extent of the crisis became apparent) have managed to make millions while overseeing what can only be described as abject corporate failure.

Much of the debt will likely be absorbed by subcontractors, many of which may have to lay off staff or even face bankruptcy. Smaller firms could see their owners robbed of their capital which, thanks to the wonders of trickle-down economics, may lead to people not only losing their jobs or their businesses, but also assets – like their homes.

Then we have the immediate impact on the 19,500 employees themselves, who must be going out of their minds with worry, not knowing what the future may hold from one day to the next.

Many commentators will react with scorn at the notion that businesses of this nature should be taken into public ownership, but the sheer frequency at which ­­taxpayers are footing the bill for this kind of corporate mismanagement is nothing short of appalling. Who the hell do these people think they are?

If big companies need public money, then it’s reasonable that the shareholders concede part or complete ownership to the people stumping up the cash. Otherwise, what are we doing but greenlighting a corporate welfare system designed to insulate wealthy executives from what may be the consequences of their own greed and incompetence?

Are we so servile and stupid that we’re willing to be fooled by the daft idea that the integrity of our economy will be dangerously compromised by simply applying the same rules to them that we are subject to ourselves? Do they ever receive strongly worded, threatening letters from a government department? Is it not this reckless tier of rotating cronies, incentivised by loopholes and granted legal safe-haven by opaque, dissociative corporate jargon, that have proven themselves, time and time again, to be the biggest threat to our economic stability?

If capitalism is all about creating incentives, what incentive currently exists to discourage economic vandalism on this sort of vulgar, absurd scale? Quick answer: none. At least for now. What a bunch of shameless, hypocritical, parasitic scroungers.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Darren McGarvey"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662219.1516090569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662219.1516090569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The future is uncertain for Carillion workers (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The future is uncertain for Carillion workers (Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662219.1516090569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1504611144716"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/carillion-collapse-puts-thousands-of-scottish-jobs-at-risk-1-4662318","id":"1.4662318","articleHeadline": "Carillion collapse puts ‘thousands’ of Scottish jobs at risk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516056669000 ,"articleLead": "

Thousands of Scottish jobs are at risk following the collapse of services firm Carillion as the Scottish Government reassured the public it has contingency plans for infrastructure projects being handled by the defunct company.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662317.1516056367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Union leaders said the number of job losses would run into thousands. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The Unite trade union said it could not specify how many jobs could be lost north of the Border after the firm was taken into the hands of liquidators yesterday morning.

But union leaders said they believed the number would run into thousands following the failure to find a funding deal to save Carillion.

The UK government, which is handling the liquidation process, has told Carillion employees to turn up to work, insisting “you will get paid”.

However, those on private sector contracts, unlike their public sector counterparts, will only be protected for 48 hours after the firm’s collapse.

Carillion has a number of high-profile contracts north of the Border.

READ MORE: What the Carillion collapse means to Scotland

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is among affected projects, with the company’s list of existing clients including Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, West of Scotland Housing Association and NHS ­Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The firm was also in charge of a contract awarded last year by Network Rail to deliver platform extension works at Waverley Station. Carillion also has two UK-wide facilities management contracts with the Ministry of Defence worth £158 million, which includes 83 military sites in Scotland.

The Scottish Government said it had been “working to manage or eliminate risks” associated with Carillion after the firm’s financial difficulties became apparent in July last year.

Carillion, which has been struggling under £900m of debt and a £590m pension deficit, has seen its shares price plunge more than 70 per cent in the past six months after making a string of profit warnings and breaching its financial covenants. Lenders – including Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as HSBC, Barclays and Santander – are reportedly set to lose an estimated £2 billion as a result of the collapse.

Reports yesterday claimed Carillion had asked the government to provide funds of £20m to help it secure more money from the banks and avoid going into liquidation, but was unable to secure a deal. The firm boasts a Scot – former Weir Group head Keith Cochrane – as its interim chief executive following the departure of Richard Howson in July. Carillion has swallowed up big-name firms including Mowlem and Alfred McAlpine over the past 15 years and had a takeover bid for Balfour Beattie rejected in 2014.

Politicians, unions and trade bodies warned the situation should be a “wake-up call” for the government to highlight the risks of the privatisation of public services and over-reliance on major contractors.

Unite Scotland spokesman Pat Rafferty said: “There needs to be a government inquiry to establish just what went wrong at Carillion so that lessons can be learned. Meantime, the administrators have to determine what contracts held by Carillion can be brought into public control.”

A damning statement from the Institute of Directors said the situation demonstrated that major providers of public services “must be governed in a prudent manner” and urged the government to consider “how it can better monitor the robustness of governance at key contractors”.

Roger Barker, the IoD’s head of corporate governance, said: “Today’s outcome suggests that effective governance was lacking at Carillion and we must now consider if the board and shareholders have exercised appropriate oversight prior to the collapse.

“The relaxation of clawback conditions for executive bonuses in 2016 appears in retrospect to be highly inappropriate. It does no good to the reputation of UK business when top managers appear to benefit in spite of the collapse of the organisations that they are responsible for.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Carillion’s liquidation raises serious questions for the government, not least about its over-reliance on major contractors.”

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, called for Carillion contracts to be brought back into public ownership.

READ MORE: Construction giant Carillion to go into liquidation

David Chapman, a civil servant working for the Insolvency Service, has been appointed liquidator of Carillion, backed up by six liquidators from PwC. It is thought that many of Carillion’s workers could ­ultimately be transferred over to whichever of the firm’s rivals ultimately pick up its former contracts.

David Lidington, the minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Since profit warnings were first issued in July, the government has been closely monitoring the situation and has been in constructive discussion with Carillion while it sought to refinance its business.

“For clarity, all employees should keep coming to work. You will continue to get paid.”

Insolvency experts pointed to the “extremely rare” step of moving straight into liquidation when the company is immediately wound up.

David Birne, insolvency partner at chartered accountants HW Fisher & Company, said: “For a company of Carillion’s size, it is extremely rare to opt for a liquidation rather than an administration – and a compulsory liquidation at that. It suggests there is little, if anything, of value within the company to be saved. Almost every big insolvency in recent years has been a move towards administration.”

Holyrood’s economy secretary Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government has been working to manage or eliminate risks associated with Carillion’s difficulties since July last year and we have contingency plans in place for affected contracts, including the AWPR, where the contract contains a mechanism for the remaining two joint venture partners to deliver the project and we expect that work to continue.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4662317.1516056367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4662317.1516056367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Union leaders said the number of job losses would run into thousands. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Union leaders said the number of job losses would run into thousands. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4662317.1516056367!/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/what-the-carillion-collapse-means-to-scotland-1-4661478","id":"1.4661478","articleHeadline": "What the Carillion collapse means to Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516031911000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government has said contingency plans are in place for major contracts north of the Border affected by the liquidation of Carillion.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661477.1516018581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Carillion projects could be at risk. Picture; PA"} ,"articleBody": "

A planned platform extension at Edinburgh Waverley and the new £745m Aberdeen bypass are among the most high profile works which could be impacted by the collapse of the Wolverhampton-based company.

The giant firm also has two facilities management contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth £158m which cover 83 military sites in Scotland.

Transport Scotland said today’s announcement would not impact on the delivery of the long-awaited Aberdeen western peripheral route (AWPR).

Economy secretary Keith Brown said the Scottish Government has been working to manage or eliminate risks associated with Carillion’s difficulties since July last year.

The bombshell liquidation announcement came after talks between the firm, its lenders and the Westminster government failed to reach a deal to save what is the UK’s second biggest construction company.

Thousands of jobs across the country are at risk, but MP David Lidington told the BBC that public sector contracts would continue.

“All employees should keep coming to work, you will continue to get paid. Staff that are engaged on public sector contracts still have important work to do,” he said.

In a statement, Mr Brown said: “Our first thoughts are with those Carillion employees who will be concerned for their jobs today and we are in discussions with the liquidators and the UK Government regarding the measures they intend to put in place regarding private sector, Network Rail and UK Govt backed contracts in Scotland to support Carillion employees and to secure the completion of these contracts.

“The Scottish Government has been working to manage or eliminate risks associated with Carillion’s difficulties since July last year and we have contingency plans in place for affected contracts, including the AWPR where the contract contains a mechanism for the remaining two joint venture partners to deliver the project and we expect that work to continue.

“I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Scotland this morning and my officials have also spoken with PwC to establish the situation and should it be necessary we stand ready to support for any affected employees through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative which aims to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work.”

READ MORE: Construction giant Carillion to go into liquidation

Carillion chairman Philip Green said: “This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years. “Over recent months huge efforts have been made to restructure Carillion to deliver its sustainable future and the board is very grateful for the huge efforts made by Keith Cochrane, our executive team and many others who have worked tirelessly over this period.

“In recent days however we have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision.

“We understand that HM Government will be providing the necessary funding required by the Official Receiver to maintain the public services carried on by Carillion staff, subcontractors and suppliers.”

Carillion: Everything you need to know

:: In 1999 the Tarmac Group demerged into a building materials company: Tarmac, and a service provider: Carillion.

:: After 1999 it went on to acquire further well-known companies including Mowlem in 2006, Alfred McAlpine in 2008, Vanbots in 2008, and Eaga in 2011.

:: The company employs around 43,000 globally - around 20,000 in Britain - and has its base in Wolverhampton.

:: The firm is understood to have public sector or public/private partnership contracts worth £1.7 billion, including providing school dinners, cleaning and catering at NHS hospitals, construction work on rail projects such as HS2 and maintaining 50,000 army base homes for the Ministry of Defence.

:: In the UK some of its projects have included the Royal Opera House, the Channel Tunnel, Tate Modern, the Library of Birmingham and the famous doughnut building of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

:: Internationally it has been responsible for Oman’s parliament - the Majlis, Alvito Dam in Portugal and the Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

:: As recently as January 2, Carillion celebrated the completion of what it described as “another successful project” at Edinburgh Waverley Station.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661477.1516018581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661477.1516018581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Carillion projects could be at risk. Picture; PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Carillion projects could be at risk. Picture; PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661477.1516018581!/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/shell-to-build-first-new-north-sea-installation-in-30-years-1-4661972","id":"1.4661972","articleHeadline": "Shell to build first new North Sea installation in 30 years","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516031085000 ,"articleLead": "

Energy giant Shell is to develop its first new manned installation in the northern part of the North Sea for almost 30 years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658089.1516031081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The new installation will operate in the Penguins field, 150 miles north-east of the Shetland islands. Picture: Andy Buchanan"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Government and industry body Oil and Gas UK welcomed the company’s confirmation it is to construct a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel which will begin drilling in the Penguins oil and gas field.

The oil field - 150 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands - was discovered in 1974 before being developed in 2002 and is a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil.

READ MORE: Construction giant Carillion to go into liquidation

The Penguins field currently processes oil and gas using four existing drill centres and its redevelopment will see an additional eight wells drilled.

Describing the plan as an “attractive opportunity”, Shell said it is expected to have a peak production of about 45,000 barrels of oil per day.

Discovered in 1974, the field was first developed in 2002 and is a 50 per cent joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil.

The news comes amid a resurgence in oil prices which has seen Brent touch 70 US dollars (£50) a barrel - although Shell stated the project would have a break-even point of less than 40 US dollars (£28) per barrel.

Andy Brown, of Shell, said: “Penguins demonstrates the importance of Shell’s North Sea assets to the company’s upstream portfolio.

“It is another example of how we are unlocking development opportunities, with lower costs, in support of Shell’s transformation into a world-class investment case.”

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the news was a “hugely positive announcement “ for both the Penguins field and the “future of North Sea oil”.

He stated: “This significant investment by Shell and ExxonMobil is further evidence of rising confidence in the future of the region and it will offer a significant boost to communities across the north-east of Scotland, along with boosting the wider Scottish economy.

“We have always maintained there are significant opportunities remaining in the North Sea, even in the context of a low carbon transition, and that a strong and vibrant domestic offshore oil and gas industry will play an essential role in the future energy system we set out in our recently published energy strategy.

“Our work to date to support the sector is seeing us invest £90 million in the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, and through further funding for research, innovation and skills development for the sector means that Scotland is now very well-placed to capitalise on this investment domestically and in export markets, with opportunities for workers and businesses throughout Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain.”

READ MORE: Carillion liquidation: Scottish Government moves to protect infrastructure contracts

Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “This is great news and an exciting start to the new year.

“A global leader like Shell making a commitment on this scale demonstrates the investment potential the UK Continental Shelf still holds.

“It also shows the importance of the efficiency improvements our industry has delivered which have helped make redevelopment projects like this commercially attractive.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KATRINE BUSSEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4658089.1516031081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658089.1516031081!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The new installation will operate in the Penguins field, 150 miles north-east of the Shetland islands. Picture: Andy Buchanan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The new installation will operate in the Penguins field, 150 miles north-east of the Shetland islands. Picture: Andy Buchanan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4658089.1516031081!/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/loganair-launches-flights-from-glasgow-to-donegal-1-4661561","id":"1.4661561","articleHeadline": "Loganair launches flights from Glasgow to Donegal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516010838000 ,"articleLead": "

Glasgow-based airline Loganair has today announced that it is to re-introduce services between Donegal and Glasgow, stepping in to secure the future of the route following the current operator’s decision to pull the plug.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661560.1516010835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Loganair flight."} ,"articleBody": "

It comes after Loganair said earlier this month that it had seen revenues pass the £100 million milestone despite reporting a dip in annual profits.

The new flights will begin on Sunday, 25 March, with three return flights per week all year round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Extra summer flights will operate on Wednesdays between 27 June and 19 September and Saturdays from 26 May to 3 November plus a Saturday service at Easter from 31 March until 14 
April.

Loganair has a long history on this route, having flown between Donegal and Glasgow as far back as the early 1990s. Current operator Stobart Air, which flies as Aer Lingus Regional, ceases its services on 23 March.

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s commercial director, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to Donegal – a region where the airline has a history of service stretching across 30 years.

“We’re also pleased to able to reassure the local community that there will be complete continuity when the current route provider ceases in March – without any break in service.”

Ryan added: “This is an extremely important link which will help families stay connected, travel between the two destinations on holiday or act as a convenient transport option for football fans heading to Glasgow.”

Earlier this month, Loganair posted an 11 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £3.06m as the airline said it had invested money into improving its “operational reliability”.

Lead-in prices on the new service will start at £54.99 including a free 20kg checked baggage allowance for every customer.

Anne Bonner, Donegal Airport’s MD, said the service is a key part of the airport’s business “and in fact has become a lifeline for many of the Donegal diaspora in Glasgow and other Scottish regions”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661560.1516010835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661560.1516010835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Loganair flight.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Loganair flight.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661560.1516010835!/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/nick-freer-scottish-technology-mixing-with-the-big-boys-1-4661551","id":"1.4661551","articleHeadline": "Nick Freer: Scottish technology mixing with the big boys","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516010566000 ,"articleLead": "

CES, the largest gathering of the global consumer technologies industry, took place in Las Vegas last week and it was encouraging to see a Scottish contingent among the household names like Amazon, YouTube, Intel and Ford.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661550.1516010563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nick Freer is founding director of the Freer Consultancy"} ,"articleBody": "

We set up press interviews for Alison Grieve, founder of G-Hold, who develop handholding devices for tablets and smartphones, and multi-award winning Kafoodle, a health food startup I first met at the FutureX-run Startup Summit in Edinburgh back in November, were also in attendance. While some say that it’s hard for smaller tech players to impress at a major conference like CES, if you can make the right connections then the potential rewards outweigh the not insignificant investment required to be in the same room as the largest tech players on the planet; many of whom were, of course, small disruptive tech players at one point.

A key theme of CES was around mobile innovation and how 5G will enable the future, a subject that will be pored over again when the tech world moves on to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. pureLiFi, a former spin-out from the University of Edinburgh who are now one of Scotland’s most fancied startups, are at the forefront of emerging LiFi technology, and the team led by CEO Alistair Banham will not be at this year’s MWC to make up the numbers.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is now front and centre of every tech conference and its pros and cons being discussed. Along these lines, it was enlightening to hear David Richardson’s thinking on AI when he wrote for The Scotsman earlier this month.

Recently returned from a major conference on AI in Boston, David, a senior director at Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, talks about the exploration of new techniques like deep learning and how AI is performing well in areas like image recognition and speech processing. In the face of an army of naysayers fearful of large-scale job losses, David also noted that AI has the potential to create new jobs and enhance the capability of existing employees. Andrew Bone-founded Airts is a case in point with the team deploying AI-powered technologies to help two of the Big Four accounting firms increase workload efficiencies.

One of these firms, PwC, is running an AI-focused event in Edinburgh this week and it will be interesting to hear how advances in AI are impacting their own business.

In 2011, technology entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Marc Andresssen coined the “why software is eating the world” phrase in a Wall Street Journal article and in Scotland in 2018 software as a service (SaaS) is arguably the most exciting stream of our digital economy. Many of the leading lights from our sector are jetting off to San Francisco at the beginning of February for SaaStr 2018, the biggest event on the calendar for all things B2B SaaS. In tech terms, B2B SaaS is what we do best in Scotland and our finest proponents include companies like TVSquared, Administrate and FreeAgent.

The shining star of software development companies was Gavin Dutch-founded Kotikan. Kotikan helped develop mobile apps for Skyscanner and FanDuel before being bought out by the latter and during its time contributed to the success of businesses across Scotland. In more recent times, companies like CultivateHQ, xDesign, Bemo and Bad Dinosaur are among the software development players carrying the torch forward.

Silicon Valley remains the gold standard in the global context and if you are a digital entrepreneur who wants to make connections there, Bruce Walker of FutureX informs me there are a couple of spots left on the annual pilgrimage Bruce and the team lead to the valley every year that has historically taken in visits to software giants like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google.

l Nick Freer is a founding director of the Freer Consultancy

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661550.1516010563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661550.1516010563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nick Freer is founding director of the Freer Consultancy","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nick Freer is founding director of the Freer Consultancy","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661550.1516010563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/bill-jamieson-onwards-and-upwards-to-8-000-while-it-lasts-1-4661547","id":"1.4661547","articleHeadline": "Bill Jamieson: Onwards and upwards to 8,000 (while it lasts)","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516010361000 ,"articleLead": "

Rare were the pundits who even a few months ago predicted that the FTSE100 would be within striking distance of 8,000 – and looking to break this new peak. But here we are, with a promising start to the New Year and the index continuing to set new records.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661546.1516010358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The FTSE100 is closing in on 8,000. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Having notched up six all-time highs in the past three weeks, the FTSE 100 is now just 3.6 per cent short of the 8,000 mark, a milestone experts believe it can reach. “At the moment,” says Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, “the forces of demand are winning the day and driving equity prices higher. I believe this is likely to continue and could drive the FTSE 100 index above 8,000 for the first time in the index’s history.”

However, cautious investors, fearing for months that a correction is at hand, have opted out of this rally. Instead, they have stepped up their holdings of government and corporate bonds.

Latest figures on fund sales from the Investment Association revealed that bond funds were yet again the bestsellers, as they have been for the last six months, enjoying around three times the inflows of equity funds in November.

Investors have been keen to lock in some of the gains from stellar stock market performance over the last 18 months by opting for the perceived safety of fixed income.

But that sense of security as recompense for missing out on the latest spurt in share prices may prove misplaced

The sunshine of record equity prices last week was accompanied by ominous rumblings of thunder. There were nervous tremors in global bond markets amid worries that the multi-year run in bonds may be coming to an abrupt end.

Falling bond prices and their alter ego – rising bond yields – would signal an end, or at best an interruption, of the nine-year era of cheap money costs that have helped fuel stock markets world-wide.

The yield on that global bellwether – US ten-year treasuries – hit 2.57 per cent, its highest level in ten months. This prompted the veteran (though not always reliable) fixed-income guru Bill Gross to declare a “bond bear market”.

Meanwhile analysts at Rabobank said that while the ten-year treasury yield had reached higher levels in March last year, the latest sell-off appeared significant. Their verdict? “‘We might just have broken the long-run bull-market trade of the past few decades.”

So: worries about a bond market slide and continuing apprehension about geo-political stability: how, in the face of these, might the UK equity market be able to continue its advance to 8,000?

Impressive though the continuing strength in share prices looks, the UK market has been under-performing global stock markets – and has been doing so for the past two years. Share enthusiasts could thus argue the UK is relatively cheap compared to other markets.

At the same time the yield offered by the FTSE100 at 3.78 per cent is an additional attractive prop to share prices.

The stronger the recovery in the oil price – the price of Brent crude futures has leapt from $45 a barrel last summer to $69.88 at the end of last week – the safer the dividend yield from oil giants BP and Shell becomes.

The ‘January effect’

Finally, what of the historical record of market behaviour at the start of the year? Is there a January effect, as CityWire’s Michelle McGagh speculated last week?

Records show that a positive performance in January points to further gains over the rest of the year. This has happened 79 per cent of the time since 1984.

Analysis from Fidelity International shows that over those 34 years the FTSE 100 has risen in the first month of the year in 19 of those years and in all but four occasions has gone on to record further gains between February and December.

Says Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity, “This is an old stock market adage that states ‘as goes January, so goes the year’. As far as short term buy signals go then, the ‘January effect’ seems to have a reasonably reliable hit rate.”

However, other analysts warn that this trend has tended to weaken since 2000 and in any event the FTSE100’s gain in January despite all the hype is an underwhelming 0.4 per cent.

Nevertheless, a final charge on the FTSE100 at 8,000 looks as likely as not. But given what happened after the long wait for the market to breach 6,000 – greeted with euphoric enthusiasm only for markets to tumble back to 4,300 – private investors may be excused a preference to “pass up” on this occasion.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661546.1516010358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661546.1516010358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The FTSE100 is closing in on 8,000. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The FTSE100 is closing in on 8,000. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661546.1516010358!/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/debts-to-taxman-triggering-more-business-failures-1-4661545","id":"1.4661545","articleHeadline": "Debts to taxman triggering more business failures","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516010024000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain’s complex tax system has sparked a double-digit jump in businesses collapsing because of their debts to HM Revenues & Customs, according to a report yesterday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661544.1516010020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMRC is the largest single creditor in two-thirds of cases."} ,"articleBody": "

HMRC is now the largest single creditor in two-thirds of cases where a business has been liquidated, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has unearthed.

The tax authority was the main creditor in 1,920 (65 per cent) of the 2,955 compulsory liquidations in the last full financial year – an 11 per cent rise on an HMRC share of 54 per cent five years ago.

It comes as a separate report out today shows that UK businesses owe £4.4 billion in overdue corporation tax and VAT as they struggle to find cash to pay.

Andy Wood, technical director of Enterprise Tax Consultants, which put in the FoI request, said the Insolvency Service data showed firms were struggling with an increasingly complex tax code.

This was despite data showing businesses going bust have fallen by more than 40 per cent since 2012.

Wood said: “Some might be tempted to view the numbers as positive in that they demonstrate a significant drop in the number of compulsory liquidations but the figures become significantly less so when one considers debts owing to HMRC.

“It’s not just the increasing frequency with which the HMRC is named as either one of many creditors or, in fact, the principal creditor, but the sums owed. The total amount claimed by HMRC has risen by almost 50 per cent in the last year alone.”

He said that even if one allowed for small numbers of businesses with large tax debts to colour the overall picture, “the median average has increased by half in the last five years”.

Wood added: “I believe that is a real cause for concern and tallies with accounts from companies to which we’ve spoken, many of which describe difficulties in grappling with an ever-longer tax code.

“For smaller companies, in particular, which are unable to afford to appoint someone specialising in company finances, it can be a real strain and actually detract from their ability to get on with doing whatever they were established to do.”

The amount owed to the taxman jumped 47 per cent to £830 million in the 2016/17 tax year compared with the previous financial year.

An HMRC spokesman said: “The fluctuation in insolvencies is not due to any single cause but a range of factors.

“HMRC will always offer practical support to viable businesses and there are over 1.5 million time-to-pay arrangements in place at this time supporting British business.”

Meanwhile, today’s separate report from Funding Options, the online business finance supermarket, said UK firms currently owe £1.89bn in corporation tax and a further £2.5bn in VAT.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661544.1516010020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661544.1516010020!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "HMRC is the largest single creditor in two-thirds of cases.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMRC is the largest single creditor in two-thirds of cases.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661544.1516010020!/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/construction-giant-carillion-to-go-into-liquidation-1-4661473","id":"1.4661473","articleHeadline": "Construction giant Carillion to go into liquidation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516009701000 ,"articleLead": "

Construction giant Carillion has said it has “no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect” after talks failed to find another way to deal with the company’s debts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661472.1516009696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Costruction giant Carillion which has said that it has "no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect". Picture; PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The stricken company, which employs 20,000 workers across Britain, said crunch talks over the weekend aimed at driving down debt and shoring up its balance sheet had failed to result in the “short term financial support” it needed to continue trading while a deal was reached.

Carillion, which has been struggling under £900 million of debt and a £590 million pension deficit, has seen its shares price plunge more than 70% in the past six months after making a string of profit warnings and breaching its financial covenants.

READ MORE: Share price ‘horror’ for Carillion

Chairman Philip Green said: “This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years.

“Over recent months huge efforts have been made to restructure Carillion to deliver its sustainable future and the board is very grateful for the huge efforts made by Keith Cochrane, our executive team and many others who have worked tirelessly over this period.

“In recent days however we have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision.

“We understand that HM Government will be providing the necessary funding required by the Official Receiver to maintain the public services carried on by Carillion staff, subcontractors and suppliers.”

The company is understood to have public sector or public/private partnership contracts worth £1.7 billion, including providing school dinners, cleaning and catering at NHS hospitals, construction work on rail projects such as HS2 and maintaining 50,000 army base homes for the Ministry of Defence.

As a result, the Government has been under increasing pressure to intervene to prevent the collapse of the company.

Unions are calling for urgent reassurances over the jobs, pay and pensions of thousands of workers following the “disastrous” news.

Officials from several unions representing workers on the railways, construction sites, prisons, hospitals and schools are seeking information from the company and ministers.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This is disastrous news for the workforce and disastrous news for transport and public services in Britain.

“We have been warning since Thursday night that we thought the collapse of the company was imminent.

“The blame for this lies squarely with the Government who are obsessed with out-sourcing key works to these high risk, private enterprises.

“RMT will be demanding urgent meetings with Network Rail and the train companies today with the objective of protecting our members jobs and pensions.

“The infrastructure and support works must be immediately taken in house with the workforce protected.

“Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and his Tory colleagues must be forced to take responsibility for this crisis which is wholly of their making.”

Carillion had met with lenders HSBC, Barclays, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday to discuss options for reducing debts, recapitalise or restructure the group’s balance sheet.

It was followed by a meeting on Friday between the Government, pension authorities and stakeholders in an attempt to thrash out a rescue package for the firm.

A petition launched over the weekend calling for Carillion to be nationalised had attracted more than 1,200 signatures.

Commenting on the news Jamie Greene, the Scottish Government minister for infrastructure said: “It is disappointing to hear that efforts to restructure the company have failed.

“Carillon operates across the whole of the UK, employs thousands of staff and has responsibility for a number of vital projects in Scotland.

“Ensuring the continuation of ongoing projects and that Carillon staff impacted by this decision are afforded a fair settlement must be the immediate priority.

“The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland must outline what contingency plans are in place following the announcement that liquidators have been called in.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661472.1516009696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661472.1516009696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Costruction giant Carillion which has said that it has "no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect". Picture; PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Costruction giant Carillion which has said that it has "no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect". Picture; PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661472.1516009696!/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/two-pedestrians-hurt-in-reckless-tribute-for-killed-biker-1-4661312","id":"1.4661312","articleHeadline": "Two pedestrians hurt in ‘reckless’ tribute for killed biker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515996005000 ,"articleLead": "

Two pedestrians have been injured after a spate of incidents involving bikers across Edinburgh that have been linked to a tribute “ride out” to father-of-two David McGarvey.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661311.1515960609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David McGarvey was killed on Boxing Day."} ,"articleBody": "

City residents described bikers driving irresponsibly on Saturday, with reports of “thousands of pounds worth of damage” to green spaces.

Two pedestrians suffered minor injuries in one incident on Ferry Road.

A 61-year-old man and 58-year-old woman were struck by a motorbike near the red bridge at 1:30pm and both were treated at the scene.

Jinty Lyons said on Facebook: “There must have been 50 that we saw going past Niddrie, speeding off through residential streets.

“Fair enough with the memorial ride, but when people are injured, bikers pulling wheelies and not caring about others driving on the road then it becomes a major safety issue. Jack Kane grounds are in a complete mess.” Brian Gunn, who is a committee member at Edina Hibs at the Jack Kane Sports Centre (JKC), said injuries could have been more severe.

“There were 50 to 60 motorbikes destroying the pitches at JKC and terrorising the streets around east Edinburgh,” he said.

“Me and my sons aged five and ten were out cycling at the time on an innocent railway cycle path and they wouldn’t slow down and nearly hit us.

“Sad thing about this is that the tribute ruined the pitches where the chap who passed away’s son trains and plays football.

“I have been in talks with the police, council and Edinburgh Leisure about fencing as I am worried a child will be killed.”

Another resident, Simon Graham, said: “I was behind three of these bikes at around 11:45am going down past the Western. They were all wearing RIP shirts and one pulled a wheelie all the way down Telford Road.”

A spokesperson for north Edinburgh tenants and residents group TRIM said: “Again we are disappointed that we’ve had another motorbike related accident.

“Saturday saw numerous residents take to social media in panic to warn others that more than 30 individuals on bikes were driving dangerously, causing motorists and pedestrians to take evasive action.

“Many reported this ride-out was a part of memorial to David McGarvey, who died on Boxing Day.

“These two people are lucky not to be killed and it is just another stark reminder that motorbikes, in the wrong hands, are lethal.

“We thank the people who stopped to assist and the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland for their prompt response.”

Mr McGarvey, 28, died after his motorbike slammed into a Saab car parked on a Duddingston road in a horror holiday crash.

Chief Inspector Alan Carson, of Edinburgh south-west division, said the message of irresponsible riding was not getting through.

He said: “We take this type of behaviour extremely seriously and will use all the resources at our disposal to tackle it. Unfortunately the message is not getting through to these individuals despite several fatalities and serious injuries in the past months and years.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661311.1515960609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661311.1515960609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David McGarvey was killed on Boxing Day.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David McGarvey was killed on Boxing Day.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661311.1515960609!/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/flight-paths-not-fit-for-purpose-says-glasgow-airport-chief-1-4661315","id":"1.4661315","articleHeadline": "Flight paths ‘not fit for purpose’ says Glasgow Airport chief","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515996005000 ,"articleLead": "

Airport chiefs say flight paths are not fit for purpose as they launched a consultation on proposals to modernise the airspace.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661314.1515961000!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow Airport has launched a 13-week public\\nconsultation seeking feedback on proposals to modernise the airspace currently used by\\naircraft to fly to and from the airport."} ,"articleBody": "

Glasgow Airport managers launch the 13-week consultation today which seeks feedback from the public on proposed flight paths.

The airspace change proposals form part of the UK Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), driven by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

A key element of the proposals involves removing ground-based navigation aids across the UK in favour of satellite navigation systems.

Ground navigation aids used by Glasgow Airport, which guide the aircraft to and from the airfield, will be decommissioned in 2019.

The move to satellite systems, supporters say, will help reduce the time planes queue in the air and on the ground and reduce overall CO2 and fuel emissions.

Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said: “The flight paths used at Glasgow Airport have not changed in over 50 years and, as is the case with the wider UK airspace infrastructure, they are simply no longer fit for purpose.

“We now need to ensure the way we manage our airspace matches the advancements that have been made in aircraft technology.

“Modern aircraft are now equipped to use satellite navigation, meaning they can fly more efficient, reliable and direct routes. In moving to 
this new system, not only will we be able to improve the punctuality of flights, we will be able to reduce the amount of fuel burn from 
aircraft at Glasgow by over 4,000 tonnes.”

Airport chiefs say the move will also be more eco-friendly and allow them to reduce CO2 emissions by 21 per cent (12,910 tonnes). Mr Johnston is urging communities and stakeholders to take part in the flight path consultation

“It is important to stress we will only make changes to the arrival or departure flight paths once we have considered the views of all those who respond to the airspace change consultation.

“We will host a number of drop-in sessions over the course of the coming months and all views will then be presented to our regulator, the CAA, before the necessary approval can be granted.”

Glasgow Airport recorded its busiest year on record when more than 9.9 million people travelled through its doors in 2017, representing an annual increase of 5.8 per cent.

The are 30 airlines operating from Glasgow serving 130 destinations worldwide, including Canada, the US, the Caribbean, Europe and the Gulf.

In addition to being Scotland’s largest charter hub, the airport also supports more than 7,300 jobs across the country.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Graeme Murray"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661314.1515961000!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661314.1515961000!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Glasgow Airport has launched a 13-week public\\nconsultation seeking feedback on proposals to modernise the airspace currently used by\\naircraft to fly to and from the airport.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glasgow Airport has launched a 13-week public\\nconsultation seeking feedback on proposals to modernise the airspace currently used by\\naircraft to fly to and from the airport.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661314.1515961000!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/apprentices-at-defence-giant-give-scottish-pupils-a-workplace-wow-factor-1-4660605","id":"1.4660605","articleHeadline": "Apprentices at defence giant give Scottish pupils a workplace wow factor","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515886901000 ,"articleLead": "

The first day in a work placement can be a terrifying prospect for Scotland’s secondary school pupils, facing a whole week surrounded by adults, hoping it will not be spent making the tea.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660604.1515929006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Thomas Sutherland and Emily Martin with a model helicopter, designed as part of a new work placement scheme at Leonardo MW in Edinburgh. Photograph: Alistair Linford"} ,"articleBody": "

But now, in an industry first, two apprentices at Leonardo MW in Edinburgh, Britain’s second largest defence business, have introduced the “wow” factor into work experience programmes by creating a bespoke week of “immersive” activities.

Thomas Sutherland, 22, and Emily Martin, 20, in their third year of a four-year apprenticeship HND in engineering systems, noticed that what youngsters wrote on feedback forms was very different from what they had said to the two colleagues, who had won their trust.

This year is the Westminster Government’s Year of Engineering, and Sutherland and Martin, who are both STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ambassadors, are in the forefront of a drive to recruit more pupils into a career in the sector.

“I was really, really aware that kids were coming on site where there was all this amazing stuff, but they weren’t getting the wow factor I get when I explain to people what I do,” said Sutherland, who attended Broxburn Academy in West Lothian.

“Originally I spoke to Iain Wildgoose, Leonardo’s vice-president of engineering, because of my ambassador role. It was nerve-wracking but I told him we had concerns about the work placements and that we could do better. It was all very engineering-focused and we wanted to incorporate manufacturing and buying.”

Sutherland and Martin, a former pupil at Currie High School in Edinburgh, then got together with a team of apprentices and compiled a week-long team challenge for pupils including delivering a Meccano helicopter modified with sensors, meeting customer demands, dealing with costings and giving a presentation to a senior Leonardo manager on their project’s progress.

“Thomas and I were nervous when the first batch of pupils came in to do the new programme last November. They were from different schools and when they arrived they were quite reserved but then got chattier and involved in teamwork as the week went on.”

Alan Colquhoun, STEM advisor at Leonardo, who has advised the Scottish Government on attracting more applicants to the sector, said a major advantage of apprenticeships was that young people got paid and that college or university costs were borne by employers and the Scottish Government, meaning they qualified without student debt.

Leonardo, whose headquarters are in Luton, has created a range of world-class defence systems including the electronics in the Typhoon fighter jets, the anti-missile defences in Chinook helicopters and radars. It employs more than 7,000 staff in the UK and has revenues of more than £2.3bn

Sandeep Singh, 15, a fourth-year pupil at Portobello High School in Edinburgh, said: “I thought we’d be just observing, looking at how people work. But it was very exciting and I came back to school with a lot more confidence.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660604.1515929006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660604.1515929006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Thomas Sutherland and Emily Martin with a model helicopter, designed as part of a new work placement scheme at Leonardo MW in Edinburgh. Photograph: Alistair Linford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Thomas Sutherland and Emily Martin with a model helicopter, designed as part of a new work placement scheme at Leonardo MW in Edinburgh. Photograph: Alistair Linford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660604.1515929006!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/bill-jamieson-sceptic-tries-to-turn-that-frown-upside-down-1-4660595","id":"1.4660595","articleHeadline": "Bill Jamieson: Sceptic tries to turn that frown upside-down","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515885917000 ,"articleLead": "

Are downbeat economic forecasts self-fulfilling? Are we more depressed about the economy than we need to be?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660594.1515860588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Is it time for doom-mongers to wake up and smell the coffee? Picture: Getty/iStockphoto"} ,"articleBody": "

Seldom has a year begun with such an array of miserable predictions for the year ahead – and beyond. And surrounding them has been a widespread mood of apprehension about what the future holds, evident across business, households and politics.

Such predictions may also be working to amplify the very outcome that they forecast.

Tomorrow sees the arrival of “Blue Monday” – the day widely thought to be the most depressing of the year. But now Dr Cliff Arnall, the man responsible for the Blue Monday formula, regrets making the day become so negative, and admits that the very designation has made it worse. How ironic that he describes himself as a “life coach and happiness consultant” – equivalent to being a warm-up comedian at a funeral home.

Now, we can hardly blame economists for making depressing predictions. It’s their job to tell it how they see it. And generally they work hard to try to make their forecasts as well-researched, objective and “scientific” as possible.

But economists themselves are prisoners of wider circumstance. They have not been beamed down from a distant planet. They live and work in the same atmosphere as the rest of us. And their judgments cannot but be affected.

The new year has limped in under dark clouds, the most notable here being the forecasts of our new Scottish Fiscal Commission, set up to provide independent and objective assessments of our economy, similar to the work undertaken by the UK-wide Office for Budget Responsibility.

Its report on Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts ran to 224 pages and was intended “to inform” the Scottish Parliament’s discussion of the draft Budget. Its main conclusions were well covered – and deeply pessimistic. It forecast average annual growth of less than 0.9 per cent a year out to 2022 – about half the long-term historical average of two per cent a year. Growth of just 0.4 per cent in 2016 is predicted to rise to 0.9 per cent in 2019 and fall to 0.6 per cent in 2020 before rising to 1.1 per cent in 2022.

This assessment was met with widespread lugubrious nodding of heads and with little challenge. And why would it not, echoing as it does the all-pervasive Zeitgeist of pessimism?

Little wonder that the Federation of Small Businesses recently reported that confidence has slumped, with Scottish firms still markedly more pessimistic about their prospects. After all, when presented with such depressing forecasts, what chance is there for the “little platoons” to raise their heads above the parapet?

So it was startling to read a dissenting letter fired off last week by the economist, Tony Mackay, to Dame Susan Rice, the SFC chair. It runs to seven pages and questions the SFC forecast and assumptions on a broad range of fronts.

Its most searching attack is on what he sees as the failure of the SFC to explain not only why its forecasts are more pessimistic than those of independent forecasters but also why the Scottish economy is scheduled to perform notably worse than the UK overall.

For example, the SFC compares its forecasts with the “official” ones of the Scottish Government and also those made by the OBR (neither of them, incidentally, noted for outstanding accuracy). The latest Treasury report shows estimates of 1.8 per cent growth in UK GDP in 2016, falling to 1.6 per cent in 2018 and 1.4 per cent in 2019 – all more than double those of the SFC. The Fraser of Allander Institute forecasts 1.4 per cent growth both for this year and next, while accountants EY predict 1.4 per cent this year and 1.6 per cent next – both well above the SFC prediction. As for Mackay – no apologist either for “happiness economics” or the Scottish Government’s economic analysis – his forecasts are for growth of 1.5 per cent for 2018 and 1.7 per cent in 2019, or double those of the SFC – breezy optimism on a scale North Korean cheerleaders and pom-pom shakers can only envy.

Why, he asks, is the SFC more pessimistic about the Scottish economy? Its report cites lower growth from construction and from labour market growth, a falling savings ratio and declining support from the oil and gas industry. Future downside risks, it adds, include the UK’s changing relationship with the EU, “a weakening outlook for global trade, Scotland’s industrial and demographic structure, and weak onshore demand linked to activity in the oil and gas industry… In combination, this means limited increases in average earnings and a more modest outlook for employment growth in the coming years compared to the recent past.”

But important though these variables are, they are not, Mackay argues, as important as the SFC assumes. “The analysis of the employment and productivity variables is flawed, and there is a poor analysis of the importance of exports to the Scottish economy. Further, the analysis of the contribution of the North Sea oil and gas industry to the Scottish economy is superficial and includes a number of errors”. The worst of the downturn, he argues, may now be over. Overall, the economic analysis in its 50-page chapter on the economy “is poor and the main conclusions and forecasts not justified”.

It’s a cogent and well-argued critique. And some support for his charge that low labour productivity has been over-emphasised may be drawn from subsequent recent findings that productivity picked up in the third quarter to record the best performance for six years. This rebound, says EY, “suggests that some of the first half 2017 weakness in productivity may have been cyclical… The indications are that productivity likely saw further improvement in the fourth quarter.”

And forecasts for the North Sea oil and gas industry require caution in the light of the recent marked volatility in the oil price, now nudging $70 a barrel or 50 per cent up since the summer, helped by strengthening global growth – and rising global trade.

Meanwhile ONS figures last week showed UK manufacturing output grew by 0.4 per cent in November, with annualised expansion in the three months to November at 3.9 per cent, the most rapid since March 2011.

Few wish the charge of over-optimism. But the current pessimism needs some qualification. Talking us down unnecessarily risks making it more likely.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bill Jamieson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660594.1515860588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660594.1515860588!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Is it time for doom-mongers to wake up and smell the coffee? Picture: Getty/iStockphoto","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Is it time for doom-mongers to wake up and smell the coffee? Picture: Getty/iStockphoto","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660594.1515860588!/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/five-financial-pitfalls-to-avoid-when-booking-your-2018-holidays-1-4660591","id":"1.4660591","articleHeadline": "Five financial pitfalls to avoid when booking your 2018 holidays","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515885843000 ,"articleLead": "

With 2018 signalling a fresh start, many people will be thinking about planning a getaway, to bring a ray of sunshine to the gloom of the winter months.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660590.1515860571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Do not fall into travel money traps, such as buying currency at the airports and being hit with credit and debit card fees. Photograph: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

But when making your arrangements, make sure you don’t fall foul of a holiday pitfall that could leave a dent in your pocket. Here are five tips to stop you spending more than you need to...

Find destinations where your money may go further

Travel money expert FairFX says choosing a destination with a better exchange rate could spell savings when it comes to forking out for accommodation, shopping and dining out.

FairFX says sterling has fared particularly well against currencies in Argentina, Nicaragua and Costa Rica over the past year, for example. Destinations such as Sri Lanka, Laos, Indonesia and Hong Kong are also generally offering UK travellers better value compared with a year ago.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, chief executive of FairFX, says: “If the Brexit trade talks have some positive momentum in 2018, then we may see sterling improve against the euro. However, if Brexit negotiations impact on sterling creating another rocky year, travellers may have to look further afield at destinations where countries have performed better in the long run.”

Don’t forget to plan how you buy your currency

“Regardless of your holiday destination, there’s plenty of steps to follow to make sure that when you want to buy currency, you get the very biggest bang for your buck,” Strafford-Taylor adds. “This includes considering exchange rates before you book, tracking rates so you buy when they’re at their strongest, as well as avoiding travel money traps, such as buying currency at the airports and being hit with credit and debit card fees.”

Don’t risk it by travelling without insurance

Travelling abroad uninsured can cost thousands if a trip goes wrong. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, nearly three-quarters of people aged over-55 plan to travel abroad in 2018 and half of these have a pre-existing medical condition.

A European Health Insurance Card provides access to state medical care in the European Economic Area, but does not cover other costs, such as bringing the patient back to the UK, or additional accommodation costs in-country.

Don’t just assume you’re covered

Just because you have some form of insurance, don’t assume it will cover your particular trip without checking. Research from financial information business Defaqto shows that the level of protection for cruise holidays, for example, varies considerably. Only 58 per cent out of single trip policies and 61 per cent of annual policies it researched cover cruise holidays as standard.

Defaqto also found that only 12 per of single trip travel insurance policies it looked at cover winter sports as standard, while less than one in five annual policies include winter sports cover as standard.

Don’t forget to pack your insurer’s contact details

Take note of your insurer’s emergency phone number. That way, if something happens, you can call your insurer first for help.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Vicky Shaw"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660590.1515860571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660590.1515860571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Do not fall into travel money traps, such as buying currency at the airports and being hit with credit and debit card fees. Photograph: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Do not fall into travel money traps, such as buying currency at the airports and being hit with credit and debit card fees. Photograph: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660590.1515860571!/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/overhaul-by-gobbetti-tipped-to-lift-sales-at-fashion-label-burberry-1-4660585","id":"1.4660585","articleHeadline": "Overhaul by Gobbetti tipped to lift sales at fashion label Burberry","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515885285000 ,"articleLead": "

Luxury fashion house Burberry is tipped to reveal rising sales this week as investors see the early fruits of an overhaul by new boss Marco Gobbetti.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660584.1515860557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Burberry's trading strategy includes the closure of outlets that are not in or near communities of luxury shoppers. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Analysts at Barclays are forecasting a 3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the third quarter, which would mark the fashion label’s sixth consecutive period of positive figures.

Julian Easthope, an analyst at the bank, said Burberry could have been boosted by the Christmas gifting market.

The update comes after Gobbetti unveiled a new vision for the company in November, in an attempt to “sharpen” the brand’s positioning. The strategy includes the closure of outlets that are not in or near communities of luxury shoppers.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “All being well the group will emerge both robustly profitable and with more control over its own destiny.”

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said he expected the weak pound to play a part in the third-quarter update.

While the slump in sterling has resulted in a sharp rise in costs and knocked consumer confidence for UK shoppers, overseas consumers are now able to purchase goods at a knockdown price.

“The half-year results showed a reasonable pick-up in sales as Chinese and Hong Kong-based shoppers returned to its stores,” Spooner said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Scott Reid"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660584.1515860557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660584.1515860557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Burberry's trading strategy includes the closure of outlets that are not in or near communities of luxury shoppers. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Burberry's trading strategy includes the closure of outlets that are not in or near communities of luxury shoppers. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660584.1515860557!/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/restaurant-chain-vapiano-targets-expansion-in-scotland-1-4660588","id":"1.4660588","articleHeadline": "Restaurant chain Vapiano targets expansion in Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515885253000 ,"articleLead": "

A European chain of casual dining Italian restaurants set to open its second Scottish branch this month is considering further sites north of the Border.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660586.1515860567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vapiano in Edinburgh offers pizzas, pastas, antipasti and salads ordered directly from chefs at an open kitchen."} ,"articleBody": "

German-based Vapiano started out in 2002, launching its first branch in Hamburg and two years later embarking on a global push as a franchise concept.

Its UK and US managing director Phil Sermon told Scotland on Sunday that the Edinburgh restaurant, an 8,770 sq ft 240-cover space just off St Andrew Square, is progressing well.

The final preparations are under way for its forthcoming Glasgow premises, a 300-cover outlet at 235 Buchanan Street, above Topshop at the Buchanan Galleries end of the street. This will bring its Scottish staff total to more than 120 and UK branches to six.

Asked whether Vapiano is looking to open up anywhere else in Scotland, Sermon said the focus would likely remain on Edinburgh and Glasgow “which we think are perfect cities for us” given the large scale of the group’s restaurants. “The next opportunities may be for second sites in either city,” he added.

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are home to major out-of-town retail and leisure developments such as Silverburn in Glasgow and the capital’s Fort Kinnaird.

Vapiano offers pizzas, pastas, antipasti and salads ordered directly from chefs at an open kitchen.

It has at least 200 restaurants worldwide across more than 30 countries, having just opened up in Barcelona and Copenhagen, and construction is to start on a further site in London tomorrow.

Vapiano’s Edinburgh restaurant also sits in the city’s so-called “cuisine quarter” alongside the likes of The Ivy, Dishoom, Gaucho and Wagamama.

Sermon said when the Edinburgh branch welcomed its first customers that the firm was looking forward to bringing its “unique take to Italian food to not only Edinburgh but to Scotland”. Deloitte said in a recent study of the UK’s casual dining sector that the industry faces cost pressures combined with tightening purse strings. “However, changes in consumer tastes and the way diners engage with restaurants, alongside increasing use of technology, provide opportunities for growth if properly harnessed,” said Sarah Humphreys, lead partner, casual dining.

Sermon is unconcerned about UK consumers cutting back on discretionary spend, believing Vapiano’s offering at “very affordable” prices means “guests will come out for that”.

He added that competition “is always strong in any market, but we believe that what we do is just a little bit different”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Emma newlands"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660586.1515860567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660586.1515860567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vapiano in Edinburgh offers pizzas, pastas, antipasti and salads ordered directly from chefs at an open kitchen.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vapiano in Edinburgh offers pizzas, pastas, antipasti and salads ordered directly from chefs at an open kitchen.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660586.1515860567!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/james-walker-take-action-if-january-s-pay-packet-won-t-stretch-1-4660589","id":"1.4660589","articleHeadline": "James Walker: Take action if January’s pay packet won’t stretch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515885214000 ,"articleLead": "

January sucks, doesn’t it? It’s cold outside, everyone’s ill, we’re back to work with no holidays in sight and payday is miles away.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660587.1515860568!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Take action now if you are suffering a financial festive hangover."} ,"articleBody": "

January is especially difficult after overspending at Christmas or in the sales. We work through our pay packets a lot earlier due to holiday spending and expenses, which is why many of us are feeling the pinch now.

If you’re in that boat the last thing you need is a lecture – so just remember one thing. Check your accounts, work out if you’ve got enough cash to make it to payday, and if you don’t, contact the people you owe money to and ask for help before your payments bounce.

Your bank or credit provider should come up with short-term solutions to help you get out of the cycle of bounced payments you may find yourself in. Being realistic helps – they aren’t going to wipe off money that you’ve spent. But they can remove charges and interest that are pushing you into the red and give you a bit of breathing space to get back on top of your finances. If they refuse to help – or make things worse – you have a legitimate complaint. Check out Resolver’s free complaint app and we’ll help you get it sorted.

It’s easy to slip in to debt these days thanks to all the sneaky credit products out there. You might not even realise you’ve signed up to high-interest borrowing. Here are a few things to watch out for:

 Store cards: If you took advantage of a 10 per cent off offer by taking out a store card over Christmas, pay it off asap. Interest rates can be over 40 per cent

 Catalogues: You might not think you’re signed up to a catalogue but if you’ve joined an online store that offers credit it’s exactly the same thing. High interest, complicated methods of paying, interest-free deals that end without announcement. Watch out!

 Credit cards: Those interest free balance transfers are starting to end now, so don’t assume you can swap your balance over. Beware of the transfer fees too – they can be more expensive that a fixed interest rate.

 Hire purchase: A massive 85 per cent of car finance deals are hire purchase, now rebranded as “PCP loans”. These deals are hugely complex so set a budget before you buy and don’t get talked into overspending.

 Short-term loans: Formerly known as payday loans, the industry has rebranded after years of bad publicity. The adverts are back all over TV and the products are everywhere. The interest rates may have come down from annual highs of 2,000 per cent but they’re still huge

 Point-of-sale loans: These are the credit agreements you take out when you buy a sofa or large purchase on credit. They’re often “buy now, pay later” deals – but watch out. The interest goes through the roof as soon as the interest-free period ends. And the lenders can be lax about letting you know when that happens.

If you’ve made the decision to face down your debts once and for all well done. But one word of warning. I hear many horror stories from people who’ve been sucked in by debt management companies. These businesses charge you to manage your debts while you make a single payment each month. Don’t use them – they’re a rip-off and they sometimes make things worse. You can tackle your debts using a free organisation like StepChange.

James Walker is the founder of online complaint-resolution service Resolver.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "James Walker"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660587.1515860568!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660587.1515860568!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Take action now if you are suffering a financial festive hangover.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Take action now if you are suffering a financial festive hangover.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660587.1515860568!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}