Record high for Scotland’s food and drink exports
Scottish food and drink exports rose to a record £5.5bn last year, according to government figures.
Exports to EU countries were worth £2.3bn, up £133m, which the Scottish government said highlighted the significance of Scotland remaining in the single market.
Whisky exports were worth £4bn, up £153m (4%) from 2015, while fish and seafood sales were up £156m to £759m.
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said the latest export figures were “fantastic news” and a new high for Scottish food and drink”.
He said: “This industry is Scotland’s fastest-growing major sector. Yet we have huge ambitions to grow further.
David Williamson of the Scotch Whisky Association said it was clear the Scottish food and drink was “leading in the way” in terms of the country’s economic and export performance, “But we need support from governments as we deal with the challenges and opportunities ahead, including Brexit.”
Scottish government grants planning consent for 12MW Dounreay Tri floating wind farm
The Scottish government has granted planning consent for the 12MW Dounreay Tri floating wind farm demonstrator project off the Caithness coast.
Located about 9km off Dounreay, the project is being developed by Swedish engineering company Hexicon. It is planned to be commissioned in June 2018.
Featuring two turbines, the project aims to demonstrate Hexicon’s semi-submersible foundation for offshore wind power.
Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “Once operational, this demonstrator project will help to develop this pioneering technology and cement Scotland’s reputation at the forefront of innovation in the renewables sector.”
Wheelhouse noted that the latest consent for project increases the Scottish Government’s approved floating offshore wind capacity to 92MW, which is enough to power almost 60,000 homes.
Housebuilder Bellway says Scottish independence wouldn’t impact growth strategy
Housebuilder Bellway has said Scottish independence would not impact its growth strategy north of the Border.
Speaking as the company revealed its business in Scotland delivered more completions in the six months to January 31 than any other part of the UK, group finance director Keith Adey said there were strong, positive market conditions ahead of the prospect of a second referendum.
“If you do end up with a scenario where Scotland becomes a different country to the UK, to separate that, it’s so embedded I can’t see how it becomes structurally a different country to invest in, in the way it’s different to invest in France,” he said. “The barriers to entry can’t be that great.”