Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (30.11.16)

Written by Rhona Middler

Sturgeon’s visit to Ireland: Brexit will lead to Scottish independence. 

Speaking at Trinity College Dublin the First Minister said: “I have always believed Scotland will become an independent country and I think it will become an independent country well within my lifetime – and this may be the moment for that.”

The FM addressed the audience saying we should be open-minded about the solutions that can help, whether its Scotland or individuals to retain their citizenship, such as the associate citizenship suggestion which has gained the backing go Guy Verhofstadt, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

Ms Sturgeon reiterated her belief that a second Scottish independence referendum is highly likely after Britain voted to leave the EU earlier this year.

But she added other options for Scotland to at least remain within the European single market are being explored.

Sturgeon’s historic visit to Ireland as the first serving head of a foreign government to address Ireland’s Senate, was lauded by the Senate, as one after another members of the Upper House from all parties and none got to their feet to express support for Scotland soon joining Ireland as a small independent country.


Launch of Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 

The search has begun to reward and celebrate some of Scotland’s most innovative business and academic partnerships and the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2017.

Interface, which matches businesses to world leading Scottish universities and research institutes for research and development, is calling for entries in five categories. They are:

  • Innovation of the Year: for the development of an innovative product, process or service;
  • Sustained Partnership: for a collaboration that demonstrates a long term partnership taking an initial project from a transactional to strategic relationship;
  • Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange: recognising an individual from business or Higher Education who has played a pivotal role in knowledge exchange within Scotland;
  • Multi-Party Collaboration: for groups of three or more parties working in collaboration on an innovative research project to solve a common challenge;
  • Building Skills Through Knowledge Exchange: recognising postgraduate students or Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associates who have worked within a business to increase innovation.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 2 December 2016 and the winners will be announced at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards at RBS Gogarburn Conference Centre, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 21 February, 2017.

Click here for more information on the awards, enter or to reserve a place

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Marston’s ups investment in Scotland with £10m pledge

PUB operator Marston’s is to create 300 jobs in Scotland in 2017 with a £10 million investment in expanding its sites north of the border.

The group’s Edinburgh-born chief executive Ralph Findlay said that since Marston’s entered the Scottish market in 2014 the business had been “going very well” having invested £40m in Scotland, opening 13 bar restaurants and five lodges – 30 to 40-bed inns – Marston’s now employees 500 people north of the border.

“We will open 20 new pub restaurants and three premium bars, and between five and 10 lodges [in 2017],” said Mr Findlay. “Of those 20 pub restaurants, three or four will be in Scotland… and of the five to ten lodges, three of those will be in Scotland in Stirling, Livingston and Ravenscraig.”

In addition to recently opening Foundry 39 in Edinburgh, Marston’s is working on sites in Rutherglen, Kirkcaldy and Lenzie.

When asked about the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum Mr Findlay said he would “add it to the list of uncertainties”, adding: “What I’m more interested in is whatever happens, attitudes towards business and taxes and those kinds of things. That’s what will ultimately, wherever we are in the UK, affect our decision to invest, whether it’s a UK government or not a UK government.”

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Scotland dominates UK energy sector with £10.7bn turnover and UK government needs to take this seriously

Low carbon industries in Scotland generated £10.7 billion in turnover and supported 43,500 jobs in 2014 – according to the latest data from the British government.

In the first ever figures from the Office of National Statistics to include direct and indirect jobs, this accounts for 12.9% of the total UK turnover, and 9.7% of the total employment, in the sector – both higher than Scotland’s share of the population, reinforcing the importance of low carbon industries to the Scottish economy.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Recent UK Government decisions continue to create serious uncertainty across the sector. Delays in announcing which technologies will be supported in the next round of auctions that support the renewable energy sector, for example, are putting at risk existing investments made, and jobs created, in developing renewable energy projects.

“These figures underline both the huge opportunity that decarbonising our energy system presents, as well as the critical importance of continuing to support the sector properly – encouraging investment, generating value, and creating jobs across Scotland.”

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Positioning Glasgow as Gateway to Scotland in ambitious plans to grow city’s tourism

Glasgow’s new Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 sets out a clear direction for building the city’s global profile as a successful tourist destination and is focused on increasing overnight leisure tourism visits by one million over the next seven years.

Achieving three million overnight visits per year by 2023 will deliver an economic boost of £771 million and contribute an additional 6,600 jobs in the city. It will also help to achieve Scotland’s target of an additional £1 billion of visitor expenditure by 2020 and align with the aims of the Glasgow City Region City Deal; supporting the growth of the region’s economy.

To deliver this ambition, Glasgow has prioritised the positioning of its cultural tourism offer in key UK and international markets which, for the first time, is centred around six core themes: heritage; contemporary art; music; Charles Rennie Mackintosh; events and the city’s capability as a world-class sporting destination.

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s biggest opportunity for growth is in leisure tourism and so, for the first time, we will focus our efforts on promoting the key strands that underpin our cultural tourism offer.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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