Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (25.01.17)

Scotland’s travel industry receives welcome boost.

With help by a grant from Scottish Enterprise, Julie Grieve has launched Criton, the UK’s first self-build app service for the hospitality and travel industry.

Inspired by Julie’s own experience of writing guest information books and the constant updating needed to ensure the guests’ experience was the best it could be, she designed and launched a ‘digital concierge’.

The bespoke mobile app can be updated at any time, is user friendly and capable of incorporating instruction videos on use of appliances through to contact details and information on nearby restaurants and attractions. The app also works offline, vital to areas in Scotland where there is no phone signal.

With the innovation award grant, Julie plans to bring the number of staff employed to five, and promote the app service to Scotland’s 12,000 holiday lets, serviced apartments, guest houses and B&Bs.

Read more.

Renewables target set to deliver half of Scotland’s energy by 2030

A new target set by the Scottish Energy Strategy to deliver 50% of Scotland’s energy from renewables by 2030, and a draft strategy for energy including up to £50million in funding for 13 projects across the country.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business Innovation and Energy, said,

“Decisions over the country’s power sources was one of the most important choices we face as a society.

“The renewable energy sector, which now employs more than 11,000 people in Scotland, and been a major diver of Scotland’s economy in recent years, has the potential to grow even further.

“Through this, we can build the right environment for innovation, investment and the creation of even more high value jobs in Scotland.”

Read more.

Article 50 ruling leading Scotland straight to independence 

With a vote being pushed through the Commons by the UK Prime Minister, with a strict timetable of less than three weeks for both Houses to pass the Bill, the First Minister of Scotland has said that promises made over the consultation of Brexit were “not worth the paper they are written on”.

Brexit Minister Mike Russell said,

“Time is running out for the UK Government to show how it intends to respect Scotland’s interests. If it does not, the Scottish people will face a choice as to whether we continue down the damaging path of a hard Brexit, or choose a better way for Scotland.”

The Supreme Court also ruled unanimously that the Westminster Government does not have to consult the devolved administrations within the UK before triggering Article 50.

The court’s decisions are certain to cause a major constitutional crisis in the UK, not least because there is now no legal bar to the UK Government doing what it wants to Scotland, even against the declared will of the Scottish people who voted by 62 per cent to remain in the EU.

Read more.

Scotch Whisky Association calls for cuts in excise duty

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) says the industry creates £5bn annually for the economy, supports more than 40,000 jobs and is the largest net contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods and that a tax cut would encourage further investment and create more jobs.

As people around the world raise a dram to celebrate Burns, research published today The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK says Scotch Whisky is strategically important for the UK in terms of value added to the economy, jobs supported and investment and export performance.

The SWA says the uncertainty created by Brexit means the industry needs more reassurance that it will receive fair treatment from the government.

Acting chief executive of the SWA Julie Hesketh-Laird said,

“We are calling on the UK Government to cut excise by 2% in next month’s Budget, supporting a great Scottish and British industry at a time of uncertainty, giving us a stronger domestic platform to invest and grow to make a success of Brexit.”

Read more.

Mark Tiffney, of Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank writes on creating your unique fitness regime

Do you live the celebrity lifestyle?

It’s January and so…

Every lifestyle magazine is promoting a celebrity diet or workout; every fitness magazine has a celebrity on the cover showing how you too can have a physique like them and celebrity workout DVDs are consuming the charts (currently 4 or the 6 top selling DVDs on Amazon fall in this category).

And why does this happen every year? Because people buy into them.

But is a popular option the best option?

Think of it this way. If one of those celebrities bought a beat up classic car and a month later it was restored to peak condition, would you look to them for car maintenance advice? Would you think they did it themselves or would you be more inclined to believe they had help? And either way, would you believe that, if you bought a car in similar condition, you could do the same in a similar timeframe?

I’m going to suggest the answer is no.

And why? Because we all know that many high profile celebrities have lives that allow them the luxury of employing the right people to get the job done and even if they did feel they wanted to work on it, if they were going to get a DVD contract out of it, they could afford to take the time to do it.

After all, it’s now their job.

But it’s not (most likely) yours.

So, when it comes to health and fitness, why do so many people follow celebrities?


We may have spent so much time in their ‘company’ that we feel an affiliation with them. We may well have spent more time listening to them than many members of our family. So, we trust them.

However, most of us don’t have lives that even closely match theirs. We have jobs with deadlines, responsibilities and in most cases, we don’t have the financial capability to hire a nutritional advisor, a full time trainer and a personal chef.

Whatever your line of business, you wouldn’t expect someone to be able to do your job as well as you by watching and following along with one video or reading one article. So why should it follow that the person whose job it is to get in shape for these DVDs is the expert that should be followed to improve your fitness and physique?

Do you honestly believe all they did was follow the workouts on the DVDs or written in the magazines?

The same goes for following bodybuilders or physique models.

If you want to follow a path, follow one that is similar to your own.

Or better yet, carve your own path by learning what works for you as the unique individual that you are.

Having role models and inspirations is fantastic as a visualization and aspiration tool, but as a path to follow, I would suggest you look elsewhere.

About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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