Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (28.06.17)

Scottish independence welcomed by games firm if it meant staying in the EU bloc. 

Co-founder and CEO of Outplay Entertainment, Douglas Hare, has said that Brexit uncertainty was already having an impact on business and talent recruitment and that he would welcome independence to keep his business in the EU.

Hare said: “In the context of Brexit … does that then make independence and trying to find a way back into the EU, via that, make more sense? As a business, I think it’s better for us to be inside of the EU.”

Outplay is the UK’s biggest independent mobile games firm, based in Dundee and best known for mobile games of Crafty Candy and Angry Birds POP!, receiving £2.25 million in grants from Scottish Development International over five and half years. This was linked to Outplay’s commitment to create 150 high-value jobs in the area, a number which it has since surpassed.

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Economic benefits of extending borders railway say south east SMEs

A recent independent study found that the borders railway was attracting new workers, homeowners and tourists.

FSB senior development manager for the east of Scotland Gordon Henderson said the reopening of the line had come about due to grassroots campaigning.

Henderson said: “Borders folk are travelling between Stow, Gala and Tweedbank for shopping and eating out, great for local businesses.

“The Scottish government is producing a feasibility study looking at extending the line through Hawick to Carlisle.

“But we’re in little doubt the economic benefits would be huge.”

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New Food and Drink Collaborative Innovation Fund of £650,000

Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise are investing £650,000 into a new Food and Drink Collaborative Innovation Fund, a bi-annual competition for groups of businesses within Scotland’s food and drink supply chain.

The current funding round opens on 1 July 2017 and closes at 12 noon on 30 September 2017. There will be a further two funding calls per year in 2018 and 2019.

Find out how you can apply.

Local authorities in Scotland ranked the worst in UK for broadband speeds

Current government targets are to provide 95% of UK premises with superfast broadband (speeds in excess of 24Mbps) by the end of 2017.

Consumer group Which? found that three local authorities in Scotland have been ranked the worst in the UK for average broadband speeds.

Of the 389 local authorities Which? conducted speed checks in, the Orkney Islands ranked bottom with average test speeds of just 6.3Mbps, second from bottom was was Shetland Islands where broadband speeds averaged 8.4Mbps followed by Highland with average speeds of 8.8Mbps.

However, Which? research found Dundee has the fastest average download speed in Scotland at 28.7Mbps – the fifth fastest average download speed in the UK.

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Business for Scotland responds to First Minister’s statement from 27th June

Business for Scotland has welcomed the First Minister’s call for independence supporters to “get on with the hard work” of making the case for independence, but seeks clarity on exactly what a soft Brexit will mean for Scotland.

BfS CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said:

“The Scottish Government needs to make it clear that a soft Brexit means membership of the single market, and it needs to define what extra powers need to be transferred to Holyrood to be classified as a soft Brexit.

“The First Minister is right to say that the Scottish Government, and the whole of Holyrood, should focus on getting the best outcome for Scotland and retaining single market membership, but sufficient clarity is needed on this before a decision on Scotland’s future can be put to the Scottish people.”

Despite media reports to the contrary, the time frame for putting a decision on independence to the Scottish people has not changed, despite the current legislative process being extended to offer greater flexibility under changed circumstances post GE17.

MacIntyre-Kemp added: “We will continue to put forward the business case for Scottish independence, and will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Scottish Green Party, and indeed any other group who wishes to grow support for independence.

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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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