Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (06.04.16)

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.27.58New investment hailed as breakthrough for Scottish tidal power generation 

Equitix plans to put more than £100m into Scottish tidal power over the next two years in partnership with Atlantis, a leading tidal developer.

The deal is a significant boost to Atlantis, which expects to begin generating electricity from its MeyGen scheme in the Pentland Firth, billed as the world’s largest tidal stream project under construction. Atlantis already has £51m committed for the current construction of the first phase of the MeyGen project, which is now connected to the National Grid and is scheduled to produce first power this summer.

Tidal power can play an important part of electricity generation in the UK and other countries with strong coastal currents. Generation output varies sharply with the tides, but unlike wind power it is highly predictable and variation can more easily be smoothed out by developing a variety of locations. Equitix plans to acquire at least 25 per cent of each “project vehicle” Atlantis develops for tidal power development in Scotland.

More on this story in the The Herald.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.32.56Aberdeen City and Shire startups outperform the rest of Scotland

Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire’s latest figures show that Elevator – the Scottish social enterprise dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees – has helped 1,276 people to start their business through Business Gateway services in the past 12 months, 27% more than the 1,000 target set for the area.

Of those, 555 (43%) were in Aberdeen city, while 721 (57%) were started in the Shire. The figures show that more than half of those starting a new business (51%) were women, while almost 6% were started by people who had been made redundant from the oil and gas industry.

Through its £1million Centre for Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen, Elevator has created an environment in which budding entrepreneurs and supporters of enterprise can come together to get free advice, generate ideas, receive support and mentoring and network.

Elevator Chief Executive Prof Gary McEwan comments.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.35.52Crowdfunding for ‘clean water’ craft beer on track to beat £50,000 target

The Social Bite sandwich chain teamed up with beer company BrewDog to launch Brewgooder’s Clean Water Lager using crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

It aims to supply clean drinking water to one million people in the first five years, through tie-ins with Oxfam, WaterAid and MercyCorps.

The campaign was launched just two weeks ago and has already raised £45,000 of the £50,000 needed. Alan Mahon, of Social Bite said: “We’re absolutely thrilled at getting off to such a great start – the public and licensed trade alike have really bought into the Brewgooder concept.”

Full story in The National.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.39.28Bank of Scotland launch drive to help first time exporters

Lloyds has today unveiled a pledge to help 5,000 new exporters this year across its UK operations, and a total of 25,000 by 2020. The targets form part of its 2016 “charter” aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Graham Blair, director of Scottish SME banking at Bank of Scotland, said: “The future success of the Scottish economy hinges on small businesses looking to overseas markets for growth. Through this new pledge, we want to support a new legion of Scottish exporters, and ultimately to help the Scottish economy to prosper.”

Mr Blair said that the bank had been working with UK Trade & Investment, looking at ways to boost Scottish exports.

Economic surveys have, in recent times, consistently provided disappointing news on exports.

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.43.21Duncan’s of Deeside family bakery expansion  

Founded over three decades ago, Duncan’s of Deeside is led by managing directors Len and Dawn Duncan. Len’s mother, Betty, started the business by baking biscuits in her kitchen for her friendly neighbours and the local village shop. Now into its third generation with son Paul, Duncan’s of Deeside produces more than 140,000 biscuits daily, still proudly using Betty Duncan’s original recipes.

Currently, Duncan’s of Deeside employs 15 full time staff. Creating extra space will allow the company to upscale operations considerably. Plans are in place to introduce a new double shift system and recruit up to 10 new staff. The project was assisted by a funding package from Clydesdale Bank’s Aberdeen Business and Private Banking Centre.

Paul Duncan said: “As Scotland’s reputation for fantastic food and drink continues to grow, demand is increasing for our quality hand baked goods. Clydesdale Bank’s experience and knowledge of the sector is helping us to expand and make the most of the appetite for our biscuits.”

Scottish Business News.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 09.48.09Green energy is meeting more than half of Scotland’s electricity demand for first time

Statistics published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change show 57.7 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption last year came from renewables – 7.7 per cent ahead of the 50 per cent target.

It means Scotland has smashed through the halfway point in its quest to have renewable technology produce 100% of its electricity by 2020.

Scottish politicians and green groups hailed the figure, but warned further progress would be hindered by UK Government policy. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said Scotland had “continually led on climate change”, in stark contrast to the UK Government, which he said had snubbed renewables in favour of “extremely expensive and delayed” new nuclear power stations.

More on Energy Voice.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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