Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (05.07.17)

Scottish economy grew 0.8% during first quarter of 2017

Despite fears of Scotland slipping into another recession, due to the fall in economic output from the last quarter of 2016, figures released today show growth of 0.8%.

During the first quarter of 2017 output in the services industry in Scotland grew by 0.3%, production grew by 3.1% and construction contracted by 0.7%.

The economy is also said to have outpaced the UK-wide figures, of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2017.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “While today’s figures are positive, we will continue to do everything possible to support the performance of Scotland’s economy, particularly as Brexit uncertainty continues to cast a shadow over the future economic outlook.”

David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, said the Scottish figures released on Wednesday are “Very encouraging figures…But, over the year, Scotland has continued to lag behind the UK as a whole – so there is still a lot of work to do.”

Springfield Properties on target to deliver 1,500 affordable homes by 2020

Through its Springfield Partnerships division, north-east firm Springfield Properties handed over 174 affordable homes in its last financial year, and plans to complete more than 300 before May 2018.

Springfield Partnerships was established in 2004. Since then, managing director Tom Leggeat says the division has built more than 1,500 affordable homes.

“Government backing has opened up new opportunities for housebuilders to positively contribute to affordable housing stock, providing high-quality homes for families all over Scotland,” he said.

The Scottish Government is investing £3.2bn to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2020-21.

Read more.

£18m fund available for manufacturing businesses with innovative circular economy ideas 

Manufacturing has been identified as a key sector to deliver circular economy benefits for Scotland, and so has become a key target of Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund.

Grant funding of up to £1million is now available to SMEs in Scotland’s manufacturing sectors from the Circular Economy Investment Fund. The fund administered by Zero Waste Scotland being £18 million in total, backed by funds from the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

Scotland is recognised as a world-leader in the shift to a circular economy, having this year won the Circular Economy Nations and Regions Category at the high profile Circulars Awards.

Realising a circular economy in Scotland’s manufacturing sector means rethinking the manufacturing process – from design, to manufacture, disassembly and then remanufacture.

Find out how to apply.

Scotcoin Project CIC is engaging with all things Fintech 

Scotcoin is Scotland’s digital currency and Community Interest Company, reinvesting profits back into growing awareness of cryptocurrencies.

You can purchase Scotcoin here here, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for more information.

The Scotcoin Project CIC is engaging with all things Fintech in Scotland, with the Scottish Fintech Directory. The Directory was created out of the necessity for IT and Fintech participants to know who to contact within Scotland, listing these useful contacts.

Scotland ranks number 18 in the world of Fintech currently, and has aspirations to be in the top 10 alongside New York, Silicon Valley and London. Get in touch here to register.

Mark Tiffney, owner of Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank on the importance of always reading the small print. 

In business, if something sounds too good to be true, it will generally be dismissed as just that, or, at the very least, the small print will be examined in detail to find out if there is, indeed, a catch.

However, when it comes to nutrition or fitness, the same is rarely true.

Recently there have been 2 studies published regarding chocolate and the positive health affects it can have. I shared one on social media and it was my most shared and liked posts of the last month.

Why? Because it’s telling people what they want to hear.

What I don’t think was as commonly noted was, the studies weren’t on your favourite fruit & nut, Mars or Galaxy bar. They were on cocoa. So, unless you are eating 100% dark chocolate, you are not entirely consuming the content the studies were talking about.

The same is true with coffee. There are numerous studies done on the positive effects of caffeine on mental clarity, focus and workouts. These are then published with headlines such as “why your morning coffee may be beneficial” or similar. But, then go on to site the findings of the caffeine studies.

The two things are not the same and have very different effects (as at least one study has shown).

In shops and supermarkets, the same ‘twisting’ of the facts occurs, even directly on the packets.

If you’ve ever seen the words “High in Omega 3” or “Wholegrain”, that doesn’t mean what you might think. If you were to compare the Omega 3 in a tub of margarine (for example) to that of a fillet of salmon (which rarely has the high in Omega 3 headline) you may suddenly be questioning the definition of ‘high’. And, something can advertise as ‘wholegrain’ if it has just 1% wholegrain content. Then there is the ‘low fat’ claim.

To make this claim the product must contain at least 30% less fat than its high fat counterpart. But that doesn’t mean low fat, it just means lower than something else.

And that still doesn’t mean healthy. What is taking the place of the fat in the equation? Quite often it’s sugar, which is far from a healthy trade off.

I’m not even going to go into the claims made by the ‘drink yourself thin’ diet solutions or the gizmos that claim to get you a six-pack while you lie on the couch.

Suffice to say, when making decision on your health and wellbeing, give your body the same respect you give your business or bank account. Rather than believing something because you want to believe it, consider the small print and discover for yourself.

If something looks too good to be true, very often it is.

If you’d like to look at a specific scenario in more detail, have a look at this article on the difference between Butter and Margarine and the claims they make in the pursuit of the health-conscious audience.

Until next time, stay vigilant, stay focused and stay healthy.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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