Scottish Business Buzz

Scottish Business Buzz (08.11.17)

Written by Michelle Rodger

The boss of Diageo has warned the UK Government against triggering another downturn in Scotch whisky sales with a tax rise in the Autumn Budget.

Charles Ireland, the company’s general manager for Great Britain, Ireland and France, said the move would be counterproductive because Treasury takings from Scotch fell after the Chancellor imposed a 3.9 per cent tax rise earlier this year.

Sales of the spirit dropped by one million bottles in the first half of 2017 following March’s increase, which pushed the duty on an average bottle to 80 per cent.

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VisitScotland has introduced a new digital campaign, LEGENDS, focusing on Scotland’s long-established position as the home of pioneering innovation.

Transforming how Scotland is promoted as a world-leading conferencing destination under the banner of ‘Scotland. Where ideas become legend’, the campaign highlights the reasons why event organisers should view Scotland as the perfect choice for meetings – its stellar academic credentials, pioneering spirit and history of innovation.

Starting this week the online campaign will showcase Scotland’s deep connections with a wide variety of growth sectors by creating and sharing new and original content online from experts, influencers and industry leaders from across the country #ideasbecomelegend.

Legends will give every city, region and business an opportunity to engage and spread the message of Scotland’s strengths to the world. Scotland’s city convention bureaux and regions will contribute each week to promote their own unique messaging around the specified theme.

Scotland has recognised for a long time that as well as delivering economic benefit, hosting association conferences, conventions and congresses provides a platform for new ideas and innovative thinking, paving the way for collaborations, research and new discoveries.

Life sciences, energy, creative industries and food & drink have all been identified by the Scottish Government as ‘growth sectors’. According to the latest national figures, life sciences currently turns over £4.3 billion a year, with energy £45.7 billion, creative industries £7.1 billion and food & drink £13.5 billion.

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Business confidence in the Scottish salmon farming industry is strong, according to a new report published this week.

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) says employment is up by 13%, capital investment remains steady at £63M for the second year running and more than £390M was spent last year in the Scottish supply chain.

The economic impact is particularly evident in the Highlands and Islands where £164M was spent directly with local businesses. In total, wages increased by 5% to a total of almost £75M.

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The former mining heartland of East Ayrshire is set to receive a £2.56m funding boost from the National Lottery.

The Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership is hoping to restore the natural and built heritage of the area, which spans 250 sq km (97 sq miles), and includes eight sites of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The group will also aim to create opportunities for leisure, tourism, skills and training.

Planned projects include restoration works to the banks of the River Lugar, the creation of new paths to improve opportunities for walking and cycling, apprenticeships in landscape management and the development of a sustainable fuel source using river rushes to create briquettes.

The partnership has received £194,000 in development funding from the Heritage Lottery Funding to draw up plans in more detail.

If the plans are accepted by HLF during the second stage of the funding process, it will receive £2.56m to bring them to fruition.

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Former FM Alex Salmond has joined a bid to take control of The Scotsman Newspaper and make it more ‘pro-Scotland’.

Salmond has teamed up with Christen Ager-Hanssen, the struggling newspaper publisher’s largest investor, who is looking to take control.

The former SNP leader said he would not seek to have editorial control of the Scotsman, which opposed Scottish independence, but he would like it to become more “pro-Scotland”.

“Under our plan the Yorkshire Post will be pro-Yorkshire, the Scotsman pro-Scotland, and the i trusted everywhere for the quality and accessibility of the information it provides,” he said.

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About the author

Michelle Rodger

Michelle is a former national newspaper journalist who co-founded an award-winning IT business before launching Tartan Cat Communications. A social media and crowdfunding expert she manages media and communications for Business for Scotland.

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