Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (05.04.17)

Much anticipated Scottish film and TV studio approved.

In a bid to kick start Scotland’s film industry, planning permission was agreed in principle on Monday for the studio in Straiton, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with the proposed timescale that the studios would be open by late 2018.

Developers PSL Land said that the studios would help to create over 900 jobs, a spokesperson for PSL said:

“We will be moving forward immediately with the application for planning permission in detail for the film studio, academy and energy centre sections of the development.

“Working together with Midlothian Council, we hope this next stage will be expedited accordingly, recovering the construction scheduling that will enable delivery of the key studio operation by late 2018.

Read more.

 Genpact expands European operations in Scotland

Global professional services firm Genpact plans to create more than 300 new jobs in Glasgow over the next five years, following a decision to expand its European operations in Scotland.

Mohit Thukral, senior vice president and business leader, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Genpact, said:

These roles will encompass digital solutions, risk management, insurance claims, business process transformation, and customer service. This significant investment is supported by a £3.1 million Regional Selective Assistance grant from Scottish Enterprise.

“Expanding our presence in Scotland with this strong government partnership advances our strategy of strengthening both our onshore delivery and digital solutions capabilities.  The Glasgow metro area has provided an exceptional talent base and favourable economic climate, especially for our financial services business. Our planned expansion will further leverage these benefits as we drive more digital-led transformation business impact for our clients.”

Marie Macklin named IoD Scotland’s Non-Executive Director of the Year

Marie Macklin C.B.E. has been named as the Bank of Scotland Non-Executive Director of the Year at the IoD Scotland Director of the Year Awards for her work with Edinburgh-based online scheduling software developer, Appointedd.

After receiving her award, Marie said:

“I am so proud to receive this award for my work with Appointedd. It’s an exciting time for the whole tech sector and Leah Hutcheon and her team are leading the way with their online booking system, which revolutionises cross time zone scheduling for businesses.

“It’s fantastic to be recognised by my peers at IOD Scotland, whose work in promoting entrepreneurship makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy.”

The awards recognise individuals who have displayed the highest standards of leadership and business success in their organisations.  Marie was nominated by Appointedd, where she is an investor and a board member.

US tech firm invests £4.9m in Scotland

US tech firm Xilinx Inc. is to invest £3.8 million in its specialist research centre in Edinburgh.

The centre will also be supported by a £1.01 million research and development grant through Scottish Enterprise, creating 12 new jobs and protecting 30 existing jobs.

Xilinx Scotland will develop technologies for communications applications, specifically targeting 5G opportunities and aims to establish itself as a centre of excellence and a leading developer of new products for future communications systems.

Dr Colin Carruthers, Director of Xilinx Scotland, said

“We are very excited to be at the centre of this truly innovative research and development. This is a unique opportunity to define and develop the technologies that will enable next generation wireless communication devices.

“Scotland has a long history of invention and innovation, and it is a privilege to be able to help architect the communication platforms of the future.”

Read more.

Mark Tiffney from Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank asks: eating healthy is too expensive … or is it?

Last time I discussed the importance of covering the essentials when it came to optimal functioning of your body.

However, the common follow up to this is, “I’d love to eat healthy, but it’s so expensive”.

Unfortunately, for those seeking a good excuse, this is not, in fact, the case.

Yes, there are some extremely cheap choices out there that are literally pennies, but eating dirt from your garden would be free, but you wouldn’t eat it just based on price.

When comparing things like organic to non-organic or fast food to healthy snacks, there are 2 ways to look at it. Value or price.

If you go on price alone, often it does appear you are getting more with the cheaper option.

However, as discussed in the previous post, your body’s operation requires a level of nourishment from specific micro level nutrients to operate optimally.

So, whilst the calorie equation (energy in versus energy out) is the critical factor in weight change, how you feel and perform daily has more to do with the quality of your food choices. It is possible to lose weight eating only doughnuts, but you’ll feel awful and your body will start to shut down non-essential functionality.

Whereas, if you were to eat less quantity, but more nutrient rich food, you may still be in a shortfall and feel low on energy due to having too little intake, but the effects would not be as severe. You would not lose as much energy digesting food and the nutrients would all be utilized for improved bodily function.

A while ago, I put together a comparison between a £2 salmon & egg salad and a £3 Big Mac. Prices have changed since then, but the principle still holds. The cost for the salad was based on purchasing a large wild Alaskan salmon and a box of free range eggs and dividing the costs appropriately to 1 egg and 3oz of salmon but the Salad, whilst a very small portion and containing under half the calories, had more protein, essential fats, fiber, Vitamins & Minerals and fewer unhealthy elements (such as sugars) meaning it would satisfy you to a much larger degree.

Then the argument could be that organic is so expensive compared to non-organic. Again, a quick google search brought back a result of a full organic chicken costing 63p/ 100g, where if you were to purchase non-organic chicken breasts in a 300g pack it works out at 83p/ 100g. The organic version will be richer in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and nurture your system better with less.

In both these examples, you must do more prep work with the healthier option. So, it’s not that eating healthier is more expensive, it is just less convenient. There is an old adage, “if you don’t make time for health you will have to make time for illness”.

The point is, there may be reasons why eating unhealthy options is something you feel is necessary, but the excuse of it being too expensive is not one of them.

Rather than trying to fill your body, try nurturing it and see what a difference it makes to how you feel every day.

About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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