Scottish Business Buzz

Scottish Business Buzz (11.10.17)

Written by Michelle Rodger

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) invested a record £63.5m into 146 Scottish companies during 2016/17.

The investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, SIB has increased total investment by 21% compared with 2015/16  (up from £52.4m) and reflects SIB’s expanded remit to help meet the Scottish Government’s aim of increasing the breadth of support to help companies raise and secure growth finance. 

During the year the SIB investee companies supported more than 3300 full time jobs in Scotland and achieved a combined annual turnover exceeding £395m.

Commenting, Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Scotland’s continued ability to attract international investment is evidence of the quality of the investment opportunities in Scotland, and through our network of innovation and investment hubs, we’ll be looking to further expand our network of international investment partners.”

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An innovative training programme has been launched for ambitious Scottish startups.

Shoal, founded by Michael Cockburn and Steven Jeans, is a Scottish tech platform for start-ups and small businesses in Scotland to collaborate, share work space and support each other in their growth ambitions.

In addition, Shoal has collaborated with tech giant, Skyscanner and leading business coaching group, Shirlaws to develop an exciting new knowledge sharing programme called CRUX.

Aimed at ambitious companies that have the desire and drive to successfully accelerate growth, a unique six-month knowledge sharing programme has been designed for only 50 businesses to have first-hand experience of learning from Scotland’s best.

All ticket sales will be donated to the charity, Code Your Future with £1440 already raised after just one day of ticket pre-sales.

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Two ‘lost’ distilleries will be brought back into production through a £35m investment by Scotch whisky company, Diageo.

Port Ellen on the island of Islay and Brora, on the east coast of Sutherland have been closed since 1983. Now both will be reinstated to distil in carefully controlled quantities, replicating where possible the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries. Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be included on the sites of both distilleries.

The new distilleries will be among Diageo’s smallest distilleries, capable of producing 800,000 litres of alcohol per year. They will replicate as closely as possible the previous taste profiles of Port Ellen and Brora, with medium peated character at both sites.

Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, it is expected the distilleries will be in production by 2020.

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A major survey of UK accountants has revealed that business  confidence plunged in Scotland in the third quarter because of ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and the lack of a clear result from the General Election.

The Scottish reading on the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor, based on the views of more than 1,000 chartered accountants, fell back to -4.9 in quarter three.

It had been measured at +10.4 in quarter two. A score of zero on the monitor, which takes in the views of 60 accountants in Scotland, indicates that respondents are as confident as they were when previously surveyed.

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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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