Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (24.09.15)

Written by Michelle Rodger
Halliday Campbell, Litigation Firm of the Year

Halliday Campbell, Litigation Firm of the Year

Congratulations to David Halliday, whose law firm Halliday Campbell has just been awarded Litigation Firm of the Year at the prestigious Law Awards of Scotland 2015.

The Law Awards of Scotland is an annual celebration of excellence within Scotland’s legal profession. The organisers conduct research amongst industry, clients and peers and then invite those firms who meet the standards to submit entries for award. From those firms, a short-list of nominees is produced. This year, the judges included a Queen’s Counsel, a Professor of Private Law from the University of Edinburgh, a former Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland and the BBC’s Principal Solicitor in Scotland: an impressive and discerning panel in anyone’s book.

David Halliday said: “We were described as ‘a firm that stood out for the judges’ for the ‘recognisable personal achievement’ of our lawyers.

“We’d like to thank the judges, and the clients and peers to whom they spoke, for what is an immense honour.”


The Scottish Design Exchange

The Scottish Design Exchange

The Scottish Design Exchange has been launched in Edinburgh, providing a unique retail showcase for Scotland’s artists, designers and makers.

The 3000 square foot unit in Ocean Terminal shopping centre opens officially today, with a collection of 60 innovators bringing their work together under the guidance of professional retailers. Aimed at both the domestic and tourist market, the retail unit will ultimately house up to 150 artists, makers and designers covering visual arts, jewellery, fashion, furniture and sculpture.

Lynzi Leroy from The Scottish Design Exchange said: “Leith and Ocean Terminal is the perfect place for this, mixing people who live and work on the doorstep with visitors from all round the world. We want everyone to explore and discover just how good Scotland is at making beautiful and practical things.”

Partially inspired by similar successful retail collectives around the world, including the V&A Waterfront designer market in Cape Town, South Africa, the venture is part of the revitalisation of the Leith shoreline.

The Exchange will capitalise on the growing tourism hub clustering around one of the country’s top visitor attractions, the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the expanding cruising market through the adjacent Cruise Ship Terminal.

Scottish Design Exchange is a social enterprise and has a mission to not only give artists a cost effective and professionally run outlet for their work, but to ensure that they receive a fair return on their work.

Lynzi Leroy, who also runs A Space to Share, added: “The Exchange reflects exactly what we do at A Space to Share; bringing people who have very specific commercial or creative needs into exciting spaces. Ocean Terminal provides an infrastructure and a footfall that most artists and designers can only dream about.

“So far Ocean Terminal has donated me free space, given a group of artists an empty building to work from, donated a number of empty shipping containers to be used as affordable studio space, and giving space to a micro-manufacturing factory (Kalopsia, The Facility).

Dennis Jones, Centre Manager for Ocean Terminal, said: “The world of retail is changing, Ocean Terminal is changing. We have a rich mix of customers at Ocean Terminal united in their demand for the new and the best.

“The success of Scotland Re:designed in the centre at Christmas 2014 showed us that there is an appetite for something different and high quality. This opening is on a different level with a larger, fully fitted out unit. We are welcoming back old friends from Scotland Re:designed as well as introducing new talent to our customers. We’re delighted to be part of this new phase in the re-growth of Leith and Ocean Terminal.”

In the weeks following the opening, the Scottish Design Exchange will run a series of events bringing artists together with their customers and increasing understanding of the skills and process that go into creating things of beauty.

The Scottish Design Exchange’s official launch will take place today (Thursday, September 24) from 5pm and after today will be open from 10-6pm seven days a week.


Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta of Di Maggios Restaurant Group, which opened new eatery, The Anchor Line

Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta of Di Maggios Restaurant Group, which opened new eatery, The Anchor Line

GLASGOW has emerged as the fastest-growing city in Scotland for new bar and restaurant openings in the last 12 months, as well as the fifth quickest riser for the hospitality industry for the whole of Great Britain.

A net 25 new sites opened in Scotland’s biggest city in the year to the end of June, which saw high-profile launches by local operators, such as the Anchor Line from the Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group on St Vincent Place, and by UK-wide companies like Bill’s, Five Guys and Cote Brasserie.

It means Glasgow enjoyed the highest number of net openings in Great Britain over the period, with its 5.2 per cent increase outpaced only by Leicester, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds.

The figures are revealed in the inaugural Market Growth Monitor from AlixPartners and CGA Peach, a property adviser and drinks analyst, which found that the number of eating and drinking outlets grew by a net 1,770 in Great Britain in the year to the end of June.

The rise in the number of eating and drinking outlets in Glasgow comes as the city is increasingly been favoured by national operators, owing to the vibrancy of the eating and drinking scene as well as its status as a destination for business conferences and tourists.

Along with cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Leeds, Glasgow features highly on the list of desired locations for operators looking to build nationwide chains.

Demand for restaurants and hotels has been boosted by the emergence of major music and events venue The SSE Hydro, which has given a massive fillip to the sector in the Finnieston area.

You can read the full story in The Herald.


First supermarket to pay the Living Wage

First supermarket to pay the Living Wage

Lidl has said it will become the first UK supermarket to implement the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

From October, Lidl UK employees will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London, the supermarket said.

Lidl said its new pay rate would amount to an average wage increase of £1,200 a year, “with 53% of Lidl UK’s 17,000 workforce and all age brackets benefiting from the rise”.

The chief executive of Lidl UK, Ronny Gottschlich, said: “Lidl employees will be amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector.”

He said the company wanted to share its “success” with the staff. It now had 5.5 million customers every week and planned to expand.

The Scottish Cabinet secretary for fair work, Roseanna Cunningham, welcomed Lidl’s move.

“I am very pleased to see that such a large supermarket has taken this important step,” she said.

“Paying the Living Wage will have a significant effect on the lives of hundreds of staff in Scotland.”

Read more on this on the BBC website.


Aberdeen top for high growth businesses

Aberdeen top for high growth businesses

Aberdeen has beaten all other UK cities – including London and Edinburgh – to be home to the highest proportion of companies with high growth according to a recent report.

Figures compiled by business intelligence company Alert Research, show that Aberdeen has more than four times as many high growth businesses per person than London.

During its analysis of the 3.4million businesses in the UK, Alert Research discovered that a small group of 10,000 businesses were the driving force behind the UK economy.

Nicknamed the ‘High Growth 10000’, these businesses are growing massively and are responsible for the vast majority of UK corporate expenditure.

Aberdeen has over 130 of these economically essential businesses, which works out at 5.8 businesses per 10,000 people living in the city.

Edinburgh has just 2.4 High Growth 10000 businesses per 10,000 people.

London trails behind significantly with only 1.2.

Despite its small size, Aberdeen also comes in at fourth in the High Growth 10000 city league. Only London, Manchester and Birmingham are home to more High Growth 10000 businesses.

The figures also show that Aberdeen’s High Growth 10,000 companies collectively increased their turnover by almost £2.5 Billion in the last year.

The companies also hired over 5000 new employees in the previous twelve months, proving that these companies aren’t just economically important but also benefit the local workforce.

The CEO of Alert Research, Ray Murphy, says the figures shed a light on the City’s importance in the UK economy:

“It’s incredible to think that Aberdeen is home to almost 5% of the most important companies in the UK despite it having only 0.3% of its population.

“Although energy companies form the majority of Aberdeen’s High Growth 10000 businesses, it might be surprising to note that some of the biggest companies are involved in sectors as varied as beverages, automobiles and healthcare.

“Aberdeen clearly isn’t just the one-trick pony home to the North Sea oil business it is well known for.”

This story first appeared in the Aberdeen Business News.


Scottish manufacturers overwhelmingly want to stay within the EU, a new report has revealed.

Scots manufacturers want to stay in EU

Scots manufacturers want to stay in EU

New figures show just 4 percent of Scottish maufactuers think leaving the EU would benefit British business.

The findings from the latest annual manufacturing and engineering survey conducted by Henderson Loggie, highlighted considerable support from manufacturers for the UK retaining its membership in the European Union ahead of the proposed in/out referendum.

The survey was conducted during July and was carried out in Scotland in conjunction with Bank of Scotland, and with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking elsewhere in the UK. Over 400 companies provided information, with 48 being based in Scotland.

The Eurozone represents the most popular market (72 per cent) for those Scottish manufacturers who export, and is also number one with UK manufacturers who export at 98 per cent.

Yet, in spite of the clear desire to remain within the EU and of the Eurozone’s importance as a market, exports by Scottish manufacturers are lower than the UK average. Only 31 per of Scottish respondents said they currently export compared with 62 per cent for the UK as a whole.

Commenting on the survey findings, Henderson Loggie partner, Gavin Black, said:

“The percentage of Scottish manufacturers currently exporting is disappointing, but not totally surprising. Our survey echoes the latest findings of Scottish Engineering’s Quarterly Review to June 2015, which reports that ‘export orders in general have tumbled further into negative territory.’ It is concerning, but Scottish manufacturers are a resilient bunch.”

The full story is in The Scotsman.


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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 crowd-funding expert she sits on the Board of Business for Scotland and is the leader of the Glasgow Business for Scotland Group.

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