Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (30.03.16)

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 11.17.55Scotland’s steel works to be saved by Scottish Government deal 

After talks which began in January, a deal was finalised last week which will see the Scottish Government buy up the remaining capacity at the two North Lanarkshire plants from Tata steel, before selling them immediately to Liberty House, an international steel firm.

The deal, which is predicted to come at zero cost to the tax payer by the government, will allow the entire industrial concern to change hands without a lengthy due diligence process that usually accompanies the adoption of one company by another.

Not all of the 270 staff employed at the plants in Cambuslang and Motherwell will be immediately re-employed, though Liberty has said it will increase the workforce to former levels over time.

Full story on The Common Space.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 09.20.46Kyleakin quarry to be transformed into £80m fish plant 

An £80m investment by Marine Harvest Scotland will transform the quarry into a fish plant, providing a major boost to the west coast of Scotland economy and creating 55 full time, permanent jobs upon completion. The plant is expected to be up and running by 2018.

Ben Hadfield, managing director of Marine Harvest Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have found a site which sits at the heart of our operations – one that is already an industrial site but which has not been fully utilised for some time.

“We would like to have the chance to bring it back to life and provide well paid jobs, as well as taking the opportunity to produce our feed in the most sustainable way.

“This is a large investment in Scotland and the development of a feed plant here is part of our overall drive to become a more efficient and sustainable business.”

More on Business Quarter.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 09.25.27UK and Scottish governments announce plans for new high speed rail link

Work is scheduled to begin next year as the UK and Scottish governments have agreed to jointly improve rail links between London and Scotland to reduce journey times between London and the Scottish central belt to three hours or less.

High Speed 2 (HS2) will be extended to reach Scotland as a feasibility study report from HS2 revealed that potential upgrades to the existing West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line, and introduction of new high speed routes could deliver the three-hour journey time.

Scottish government infrastructure secretary Keith Brown said:

“High speed rail will bring billions of pounds worth of benefit to Scotland’s economy and an infrastructure project of this magnitude, possibly the biggest Scotland’s ever seen, means jobs, investment, benefits for the economy and benefits for the environment.”

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 09.29.45Scottish universities working on meshed grid of the future linking wind farms with the mainland

Aberdeen and Strathclyde Universities are taking part in PROMOTioN, a four year European initiative investigating the technology used to boost the development of ‘meshed’ offshore grids to link wind farms to the mainland.

High-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid protection systems and circuit breakers, and diode rectifier converters. HVDC transmits large amounts of electricity over long distances and the converters transform wind power into electricity. Together they are expected to shape the offshore grid of the future.

The project is being coordinated by DNV GL, an international certification and classification body specialising in technical assessment and risk management, and involves 34 partners from 34 countries.

It is funded under the EU Horizon 2020 research programme and is its biggest energy project. A meshed or interconnected grid as envisaged by the researchers could bring significant benefits in many areas – financial, technical and environmental.

Covered by The National.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 09.34.05A new civic heart is planned for the former John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank 

Plans to redevelop the former John Brown’s shipyard has been given the go ahead by councillors.

The refurbished fitting out basin and Titan Crane visitor attraction will be the centrepiece of the development, which will include housing, retail and leisure outlets and a health quarter.

The former John Brown Shipyard was bought by Clydeside Regeneration in 2004. However, due to difficult market conditions, the owners were unable to attract the investment to fund the necessary infrastructure works.

In July last year, the council agreed to invest £15m to fund this work in order to kick-start the development of the site. In return the council will recoup its investment from a share of the financial benefits of any future land sales at the site, and in the economic benefits this would bring to the area.

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 09.38.49New awards for cybersecurity announced to recognise Scotland’s commitment to excellence in the field

The awards, which will take place in November, will feature categories celebrating new innovate technologies, good practice and progress in the education sector.

The ceremony has multi-agency support from the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), Scottish Enterprise (SE), Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and a number of industry sponsors, including business services group, PwC.

The awards will be timed to coincide with the anniversary of the launch of the Scottish Government’s national cyber resilience strategy, which enshrined the ambition that Scotland should become a lead nation for cyber resilience. It will also become part of an ongoing programme of activity with SE and the SBRC, including an annual cyber conference and the well-established Christmas lectures for schools.

Scottish Business Resilience Centre director Mandy Haeburn-Little comments.


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About the author

Rhona Middler

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

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