Scottish Enterprise

Recommendations published for Scottish National Investment Bank

Benny Higgins

Details of the implementation plan for a publicly-owned Scottish National Investment Bank have been published today.

Developed by Benny Higgins, CEO of Tesco Bank, alongside investment professionals, academics, the Scottish Futures Trust, Scottish Enterprise and senior Scottish Government officials, the plan has recommendations covering the remit, governance, operating model and financing of the new bank.

The plan recommends that the bank should:

  • Be publicly-owned and mission-driven, focused on supporting Scotland’s economic priorities and promoting inclusive growth
  • Operate in an ethical and transparent way
  • Cowork to crowd in, not crowd out, private sector investment
  • Be supported by long-term capitalisation of at least £2 billion over the first ten years
  • Become self-sustaining in the longer term, raising its own capital to fund investments
  • Provide long-term, patient finance for both smaller firms and larger projects
  • Create opportunities and new markets for the private sector to invest in

Welcoming the report, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who first announced the plans in September, said: “To realise our ambitions for Scotland’s economy, innovative companies need access to strategic, patient finance to grow and thrive, while the business environment must encourage our young people to be the entrepreneurs of the future. That is why I committed to a publicly-owned national investment bank, which will act as a cornerstone for the economy.

“I thank Benny Higgins and the advisory group for their work to bring this aspiration a step closer. The Scottish Government will carefully consider his recommendations, as we move forward with the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank.”

Benny Higgins said: “There is an incontrovertible case for creating the Scottish National Investment Bank. The economic and social wellbeing of our country will be enhanced by an institution that complements private sector investment, with a clear focussing on SMEs and projects that require strategic patient capital.

“We have undertaken rigorous analysis through this process and engaged an extensive and broad group of individuals and bodies in both the public and private sectors. There is a strong consensus that there is an immediate and pressing need for the creation of the bank.”

The recommendations will be considered by Scottish Ministers, before a formal response in the Spring.

Scottish Renewables welcomed “positive” comments made by Benny Higgins today as he described renewable energy as a sector “in the crosshairs of what is intended for the Scottish National Investment Bank”.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland leads the world in the development of devices which can capture energy from waves and tides – but these are sectors which are at a difficult stage of their development.

“We welcome comments made by today the First Minister that the new Scottish National Investment Bank will focus on delivering ‘patient long-term strategic investment’ to cater for ‘sectors that the market currently doesn’t’.

“Wave and tidal technologies offer particular characteristics that are helpful in supporting our move towards a new, less centralised energy system and, as we’ve seen in the economic cases behind our island wind projects, can offer wider benefits to smaller, more fragile economies.

“With the right investment, our wave and tidal energy sectors can continue on the path towards full commercialisation, giving Scotland a huge first-mover advantage in an energy sector with enormous global potential.”

Stewart Milne Homes unveils vision for modern city living at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay

The former Plantation Quay and Princes’ Dock Basin, on the southern bank of the Clyde, could be transformed into a new residential development of 203 homes if planning permission is granted.

Stewart Milne Homes has submitted a planning application for a residential development comprising apartments, duplexes and family homes to regenerate the site, which is within the Pacific Quay Creative Clyde Enterprise Area, one of several strategic economic investment locations designated in the Glasgow City Development Plan.

The housebuilder is leading on the masterplan which is a collaborative venture involving Scottish Enterprise, architects HAUS Collective, Glasgow City Council Planning Department, Turley Planning Consultants, Dougall Baillie Associates, Oobe Landscaping and Wireframe Immersive.

The local community and key stakeholders have contributed to the evolution of the design and approach within the masterplan.

Allan McQuade, director of business infrastructure, Scottish Enterprise, said: “We have been working with Stewart Milne Homes to deliver the next generation of residential and amenity space at Pacific Quay. This development represents a rare and exciting opportunity to create an exemplar development at a key strategic site for Glasgow and forms a significant part of the final stages in the wider Pacific Quay masterplan.”

The proposals aim to deliver a residential neighbourhood with unique characteristic within the Pacific Quay locale on the fringe of Finnieston, which has undergone a dramatic change in recent years through progressive developments for business, commercial and social uses.

Gerry More, managing director of Stewart Milne Homes, added: “Throughout the design process, we’ve taken account of the best aspects of the city’s architecture which have inspired the contemporary homes which are set within a carefully-planned and high amenity environment.

“From the public spaces, streets, lanes and abundance of landscaping, through to the design and detailing of the homes, the aim is to create a community of unique character which reflects the quality and heritage of its setting.

“By understanding the heritage, context and character of an area, we can ensure that all our developments are designed in such a way that they create unique places with a sense of community, pride and soul.”

Location announced for £65m manufacturing centre of excellence

Welding Iron Worker Industry Steel Welder manufacturing stockRenfrewshire will be home to the new £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) with the University of Strathclyde named as the anchor university, it was revealed today.

Work to build the centre, which will help manufacturing businesses throughout Scotland become world leaders in innovation, will begin next year.  The centre at Inchinnan will be located right next to Glasgow International Airport and the M8.

The Scottish Government will invest £48m in NMIS with £8m from the University of Strathclyde. This is in addition to the £8.9m announced in June 2017 for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step towards the wider centreRenfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1m through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work at the site.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and economy secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility in Inchinnan. Rolls-Royce is a founding member of the University of Strathclyde’s existing Advanced Forming Research Centre.

Speaking after a meeting with some of Scotland’s leading manufacturing companies, the First Minister said: “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise. Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“It will help companies right across Scotland embrace new manufacturing techniques, support cutting edge research and help to further develop the skills of our workforce. The manufacturing jobs of the future offer exciting and rewarding careers for young people. We want to inspire them to work in this sector and revive Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Inchinnan provides a gateway to the world through proximity to the airport and revives Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Although the centre will sit on the Clydeside, the benefits will be felt throughout Scotland.”

Unlocking economic potential in manufacturing and innovation is expected to play a key role in this week’s Scottish Budget, alongside digital connectivity, infrastructure and housing.

Economy secretary Keith Brown added: “Manufacturing is a key industry, already accounting for 52% of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600m of Scotland’s spend on business research and development.

“Our investment in NMIS builds on our support for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre and will support that and our ambitious target of doubling business expenditure on research and development by 2025. This centre will not only see us continue to reach out worldwide, but also see the rest of the world turning to Scotland for innovation and expertise.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scottish manufacturing, building on a great tradition of innovation. By capitalising on world-class, industry-relevant research and supporting skills-development, the new institute will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.

“The University of Strathclyde prides itself on forging new levels of collaboration between researchers and the public and private sectors to accelerate the pace of research and development, and crucially, to deliver benefit to businesses and the economy. We are delighted to be the anchor university for the Institute and will ensure close engagement with the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering representing a consortium of Scotland’s leading research intensive universities. We also look forward to working closely with new and existing partners to deliver a step-change in advanced manufacturing for Scotland.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing expertise and innovation, not least in giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“I believe through our existing manufacturing expertise combined with excellent transport connections by air, land and sea – which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects – Renfrewshire offers the perfect environment for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to flourish and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”

Managing director at Scottish Enterprise, Linda Hanna, said: “Supporting growth in Scotland’s manufacturing sector is a key priority for us and central to the future of Scotland’s economy. Today’s announcement marks a great milestone in the journey towards creating expertise and capability in a new hub to help drive increased innovation and investment. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with partners to deliver this ambitious project and grow Scotland’s reputation as a global hub for high value manufacturing.”

New jobs expected with £37m investment at Superglass manufacturing facility

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA with cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA with cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown

Glass wool insulation firm Superglass is to benefit from one of the largest investments in Scottish engineering and manufacturing in recent years, doubling its capacity and creating new jobs on the site.

The owner of TechnoNICOL (the largest manufacturer of construction materials in Russia and Eastern Europe), Sergey Kolesnikov, is to invest £36.8 million (€42.3m) in the Stirling company’s facility at Thistle Industrial Estate.

Since Mr. Kolesnikov’s acquisition of Superglass in 2016 through his Inflection Management Corporation vehicle, the business has entered into a close partnership with TechnoNICOL and is now a key regional hub for the Russian construction materials giant.

Ken Munro, chief executive officer of TechnoNICOL UK, Ireland and USA, which incorporates the Superglass business, said: “TechnoNICOL’s backing is a real vote of confidence in Scottish manufacturing, both in terms of the quality of the work we do here and the expertise of the workforce. It is a validation of our strategy within Superglass over recent years and very personally satisfying for me to see further consolidation of the initial investment at our regional headquarters.

“It is also an important milestone in the total transformation that this business has experienced over the last three years – we have delivered a £10m improvement in profitability over this period and significant double digit sales growth in the current year.

“With this investment, we will have spent close to £50m on this site since the acquisition of Superglass and this is a further statement of intent regarding the long-term future of our Stirling operations. By our estimations, it’s also one of the biggest single inward investments made in Scotland’s manufacturing sector for a long time. It’s an exciting time for the business. We’ve got significant growth ambitions and this investment will certainly help propel us towards achieving those goals.”

TechnoNICOL has 52 manufacturing facilities across Russia and Europe, but it has opted to throw its weight behind Superglass.

The investment will deliver a significant growth in new full-time jobs over the next 18 months to accommodate and fulfil the increased capacity. These jobs will be created across the breadth of the organisation, but primarily in the operations team as well as in product marketing and innovation.

This project will take Superglass beyond environmental compliance, and builds on the company recently being awarded Scotland’s first ever Sustainable Growth Agreement by SEPA, while allowing the plant to double its output from 27,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes annually within two years.

Substantial building work will take place on the site to accommodate production equipment, including a 187-tonne furnace and curing ovens. Cooling, cutting and milling equipment will be replaced and an automatic packing system will be installed. Building work will start early in the New Year.

Since becoming CEO of Superglass in June 2015, Munro has guided the company through the delisting process and returned it to profitability. He subsequently was appointed to a new role running all TechnoNICOL businesses in the UK, Ireland and North America.

Cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown, said: “This investment, and the jobs it will create, is excellent news for Stirling and for the wider Scottish economy. It rightly shows real confidence in the highly-skilled Scottish workforce.

“It will help position the Stirling site to take advantage of greater opportunities in the future and will also help to deliver significant environmental benefits.

“I am delighted that Scottish Enterprise has been able to support this project with a grant of £477,000.

“I wish Superglass every success for the future and look forward hearing of the team’s achievements in the years to come.”

Superglass’ expansion is backed by Scottish Enterprise with the economic development agency committing £477,000 towards the project.

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, added: “Superglass is an ambitious Scottish company with a strong leadership team clearly focussed on its long term success. Through our account management support we work intensively with Ken and his team offering advice and assistance to support this growth ambition.

“Recognising the importance and strength of its Stirling site, together with our contribution, Superglass has successfully secured the investment needed from its Cyprus-based parent company.  As well as bringing new jobs and investment to Scotland, this project will also help improve efficiencies in its manufacturing processes and open up new European markets and potentially future research and development activities. I look forward to continuing to work with the company and wish it every success for the future.”

Mark Bevan, CEO of SCDI, added: “It’s great to see companies like Superglass thriving in Scotland. It is an innovative employer and manufacturer, working with recycled materials to create insulation products that provide an obvious benefit to the environment and economy. We are pleased to hear of this significant vote of confidence from the company’s owners, which will also create much needed high-quality jobs in Stirling.”

McLaren packaging invests £3m in construction of luxury packaging facility in Stirling

Blue box production factory

Blue box production factory, Stirlng

Port Glasgow-based drinks industry supplier McLaren Packaging has invested £3 million in the construction of a new facility in Stirling for subsidiary Blue Box Design, the specialist designer and manufacturer of bespoke presentation boxes for the UK food, drink and luxury sectors.

Works started earlier this month at the new 20,000 sq ft manufacturing, design and testing centre on a greenfield site at Broadleys Business Park and is scheduled for completion in April 2018.

The investment, which has received Regional Selective Assistance through Scottish Enterprise, will create an additional 18 jobs over a four-year period, comprising a combination of shop floor operators and office-based staff. The site and building have been ‘future-proofed’ to enable the subsequent extension into two additional modules; doubling, then tripling the initial floorspace.

Blue Box Design, which currently operates from 8,000 sq ft premises in Stirling, was acquired by McLaren Packaging in 2013 and has grown to employ 30 staff with annual revenues of £1.4m.

Donald McLaren, Michael McLaren and Duncan Robertson

Donald McLaren, Michael McLaren and Duncan Robertson

Blue Box Design managing director Duncan Robertson, said: “This new facility will greatly improve ‘speed to market’ for our customers by reducing the packaging development cycle time from concept to delivery, thereby delivering production efficiencies and cost savings.

“It will expand our production capacity significantly, enable us to retain highly skilled staff and create new skilled jobs in Central Scotland for young people through the creation of a design and new product development centre of excellence for the luxury packaging sector.

“We see tremendous long-term value in a facility centrally-located within Scotland, between Edinburgh and Glasgow, close to the major operations of the whisky and food industries.”

Donald McLaren, managing director, McLaren Packaging, said: “The investment in Blue Box Design’s new-build unit demonstrates the importance of our Stirling operation and our long-term commitment to the future of luxury rigid boxes within our product portfolio. Our overall aim is to increase McLaren Packaging’s turnover to £20 million by 2020 and this facility will make a strong contribution to achieving that goal.

“We foresee significant growth in demand for luxury hand-finished boxes and this expansion will allow us to offer a comprehensive portfolio of high-end presentation boxes to the market. There is significant client interest for increasingly elaborate and bespoke packaging and this venture will enable us to deliver on this opportunity. We are proud to be a wholly independent Scottish manufacturer providing high quality products to both global and local clients.”

Rhona Allison, director of company growth at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Demand for Scottish food, drink and other premium produce is on the increase as international consumers develop an appreciation of the quality and provenance of products backed by the Scottish brand. It is great to see the impact this is having on the Scottish supply chain.

“McLaren Packaging is a good example of a company benefitting from the trend towards luxury and premium Scottish produce and it is fantastic to be able to support this ambitious company as it enters its next growth phase.

“This funding will help the company expand its footprint in Stirling and provide a welcome increase in jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with the team at McLaren Packaging as it pursues its ambitious growth plans.”

The investment in the new facility follows an investment last year by McLaren Packaging of £350,000 in Blue Box Design’s current site to increase production with the installation of a semi-automatic box-wrapping machine, digital cutting machines, construction of a mezzanine floor to increase storage and an LED lighting system to ensure items can be fully inspected to preserve the highest quality standards.

The new facility will meet the most stringent of design and build requirements and incorporate a number of environmentally friendly features, including PV solar, electric car charging points and high insulation levels.

Homes and retail space scaled-back in updated masterplan for Ravenscraig

An original artist's impression of the development on the former Ravenscraig site

An original artist’s impression of the development on the former Ravenscraig site

Revised plans to regenerate the former Ravenscraig steelworks site in North Lanarkshire have been revealed with fewer homes and retail space now included in the proposals.

An amended masterplan for the next phase of development, to be submitted by Ravenscraig Ltd in February 2018, features more than 500 new homes, primary schools, a new 17-acre park, and a range of town centre facilities including a convenience store.

The proposals also include land reserved for commercial businesses and organisations offering employment opportunities.

Ravenscraig Ltd, a joint venture partnership between Scottish Enterprise, Wilson Bowden Ltd and Tata Steel, announced its intention to update its original masterplan in September 2015 to ensure it is “fully in line with current market conditions”.

The 2001 planning application proposed a new town centre, with up to 57,000 sq m of retail floor space and forecast that 3,500 houses and flats would be constructed on the site.

The early phases of the 2017 Ravenscraig Masterplan now include:

  • Around 550 new homes between 2018 and 2021 to add to the approximately 450 completed homes to date.
  • A new primary school to be developed when there are 1,000 homes on Ravenscraig land. The developers expect this to be within three to five years.
  • A new site for a convenience store close to the Marston’s pub and hotel in addition to other local community shops.
  • Space for offices and commercial businesses in the town centre, as well as other business opportunities on the employment sites located to the west of the site.
  • Over 17 acres of parkland, including spaces for play, sport, nature and much more.

Nick Davies, director of Ravenscraig Ltd, said: “We have ongoing plans to redevelop the Ravenscraig site, one of the most important urban regeneration projects in Europe. Since development work began in 2006, we have welcomed New College Lanarkshire, Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, the Ravenscliff pub and hotel, and hundreds of homes to the site.

“The revised Masterplan reflects the needs of the growing community, with a focus on high quality housing, a range of community and commercial facilities and substantial green space all of which will combine to deliver an enhanced quality of life for the local community.

“Employment opportunities play a central role in immediate development plans and conversations are underway with potential commercial occupants.”

The new planning application follows extensive engagement by Ravenscraig Ltd and a community consultation hosted by North Lanarkshire Council in November 2016. Feedback called for a primary school, convenience store, local job opportunities and greenspace, all of which will be developed in the short term as part of the new masterplan.

Members of the public are invited to view and comment on the proposals at a series of drop-in exhibitions before the new application is submitted:

  • Tuesday 21 November, 2.30pm until 8pm, Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility
  • Wednesday 22 November, 3pm until 7.00pm, John McCormack Community Centre, Carfin
  • Thursday 23 November, 3pm until 7.00pm, Jim Fowley Community Centre, Wishaw.

Expresso Property to make £100m investment in Scottish mixed development schemes

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire  of Expresso Property

Nick Robinson and Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property

Expresso Property Limited has announced a major investment in mixed development property schemes which will transform three significant sites in Glasgow and Perth, and is actively seeking further development opportunities.

The company said its portfolio will have an end investment value of £100 million and will support the creation of over 1000 Scottish new jobs.

York-based Expresso is investing in three major projects, at Park Quadrant Residences in Glasgow’s West End; Perth’s new leisure hub, Mill Quarter, and a new mixed-use site at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.

The company is also actively seeking further UK sites and is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m.

Park Quadrant Residences A

Park Quadrant Residences will complete the missing piece of Park Circs

Designed by architects Holmes Miller and developed in conjunction with development partner, Park Quadrant Residences will complete the vision of the architect Charles Wilson’s concentric ringed design of a 19th century masterplan of the area. Building on site begins in Autumn 2017 and will complete in 2020, supporting up to 500 construction jobs. Park Quadrant will have a total end investment value of £53m.

Expresso Property has concluded missives on The Mill Quarter site, a new leisure hub at the heart of Perth, comprising a state of the art multi-screen cinema: a mix of bars; restaurants and speciality shops, a 205 space multi-storey car park and 58 new apartments. During the construction phase, the scheme will support 200 jobs, (107 direct construction jobs and 93 indirect supplier jobs), and will have an end investment value of £30m, creating around 126 new jobs in Perth on completion.

The Mill Quarter will 'transform Perth’s visitor destination offer'

The Mill Quarter will ‘transform Perth’s visitor destination offer’

The company said the scheme will be a catalyst for economic change in Perth and will significantly transform the city’s visitor destination offer. Construction works are due to commence in 2018 and is due for completion in summer 2019.

Expresso Property has also been named as the preferred developer by Scottish Enterprise, for a new mixed-use development at Pacific Quay Glasgow, comprising offices and shops overlooking the river basin. The development will sit adjacent to the Cineworld Cinema, Glasgow Imax at the Glasgow Science Centre, the BBC and STV. With an end investment value of circa £12m, Pacific Quay will accommodate over 400 new jobs.  Works begin on site in next year with completion due in 2019.

Nick Robinson of Expresso Property said: “Expresso is funded to purchase schemes ranging from £1m to £50m and we are delighted to announce that the Scottish schemes will support the creation of 1000 new jobs in Glasgow and Perth.”

Stephen Hampshire of Expresso Property added: “We have various UK schemes underway, three of which are major Scottish projects. We turn each development on its head and look at what design fits the site, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. By replicating this success across key UK cities, our schemes will regenerate vacant, floundering and under-utilised spaces to benefit residential, and business communities for people to enjoy and be proud of.

“We share information and ideas and our teams are actively looking to invest in sites from Bath and Bristol to Birmingham and the North of the UK. To include Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, York, Leeds, Dundee and Scotland. With funding now in place we are actively looking to acquire further commercial, office, residential and retail development propositions.

“These may be currently on the market or direct approaches from company principals wishing to explore their thoughts and ideas.”

£250m masterplan launched for Rosyth waterfront as Fife ‘opens for business’

Queensferry One AerialScarborough Muir Group has today launched a £250 million development masterplan offering industrial, office, warehousing and leisure space adjacent to the new £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing.

With two new land sales near completion, the ‘Queensferry One’ development spans 120 acres and occupies a south-facing location at Rosyth waterfront with views of all three Forth bridges, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Forth Rail Bridge.

The site will integrate 450,000 sq ft of new offices; 800,000 sq ft of industrial, manufacturing and logistics warehouses; 60,000 sq ft for roadside type uses (such as a service station and food outlets) and a 120 bed budget hotel, all of which reflect the recently adopted new Local Development Plan, FIFEplan. Flexible opportunities exist from land sales to design and build on a lease or freehold basis.

William McAlister, property director of Scarborough Muir Group, said: “The opening of the Queensferry Crossing means that Fife is truly open for business as connectivity issues are addressed. Queensferry One has a unique opportunity to take advantage of this and offers the perfect multi-modal hub, with direct port, rail, motorway and public transport links.

“It is a highly flexible site and benefits from access to a skilled workforce. The masterplan reflects the primarily commercial uses that the site has been allocated for in the new FIFEplan and will provide a stunning setting for businesses looking to relocate, expand or set up. We estimate that 8,000 could be employed when the site is fully developed.”

Land sales for two plots within Queensferry One, extending to five acres, are currently near legal completion. It is also anticipated that two 10,000 sq ft units will be built speculatively.

Alongside Babcock International Group and Forth Ports, Scarborough Muir Group are also supporting an initiative set up by Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise to showcase the enterprise opportunities available at Gateway Rosyth.

(from left)  Charles Hammond, Forth Ports; Craig Watt, Scottish Enterprise; Lindsey Methven, Fife Council; William McAlister, Scarborough Muir Group; Ian Donnelly, Babcock International Group

(from left) Charles Hammond, Forth Ports; Craig Watt, Scottish Enterprise; Lindsey Methven, Fife Council; William McAlister, Scarborough Muir Group; Ian Donnelly, Babcock International Group

Two commercial ports offer businesses a wide range of services, from deep water berthing and stevedoring to extensive lay down space and quayside cranes with large lifting capacities. In addition, up to 71 hectares of prime development land is available around the ports, with design and build packages and development services on offer from a professional and experienced development team.

Councillor Altany Craik, spokesperson for Gateway Rosyth, said: “Gateway Rosyth is perfectly suited to marine, energy, logistics and engineering companies and we want the world to know that it is the ideal place for businesses to locate, invest and prosper.

“There has been significant investment in site infrastructure in recent years to allow for the construction of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the newly opened Queensferry Crossing. Babcock Rosyth now boasts the UK’s largest non-tidal deep water basin and operates Scotland’s only direct freight ferry service to Europe. I firmly believe that there is no better location for UK businesses with global aspirations or for multinational companies looking to improve their operations.”

£10m whisky distillery and head office plan for River Clyde

Architect's impression of the new Douglas Laing headquarters

Architect’s impression of the new Douglas Laing headquarters

A whisky firm has revealed plans to build a new £10.7 million urban distillery and bottling complex on the banks of the River Clyde.

Douglas Laing & Co said the ambitious and innovative project will also house a corporate head office, a visitor centre, a whisky laboratory and archive, bar and bistro.

Beyond private family money, the Scottish Government is part-grant funding the development, which will create up to 38 new jobs and will see the existing Douglas Laing workforce almost treble from 22 to 60.

The company is to receive £855,000 through the Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme, a £70m funding programme for the food and drink business across Scotland which was launched in 2015. The grant will assist with the capital costs of distillery equipment and plant. The FPMC scheme is aimed at supporting such costs of businesses involved in the processing of primary agricultural produce to develop new and existing facilities.

Announcing the funding, environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I would like to congratulate Douglas Laing & Co Ltd on securing this funding, which will pave the way to bring quality whisky production to the heart of Glasgow. This is just one example of how the Scottish Government in supporting our world-class producers to flourish, ensuring that our food and drink continues to be the cornerstone of our economy, environment and culture.”

The site for the new project

The site for the new project

The Pacific Quay site is owned by Scottish Enterprise which has appointed Drum Property Group as preferred developers. Planning discussions with Glasgow City Council are underway

Cara Laing, the firm’s director of whisky, said: “We are enormously grateful for the support we have received from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and the city council planners in Glasgow.

“The FPMC package was very important to the project and without it we would not have been able to undertake a project of this scale, so we deeply appreciate the assistance we have received which allows us to drive the development forward and recreate not just a piece of whisky history in Glasgow but a healthy number of new jobs.

“At the same time we shall be providing a top quality, environmentally friendly facility delivering high efficiencies which will result in reduced packaging, less wastage, reduced energy consumption and lower costs allied to CO2 reductions.”

Aberdeen Harbour expansion supported by new funding

aberdeen-harbour-expansion-670-441The £350 million expansion of Aberdeen Harbour took a step forward today with the announcement that Scottish Enterprise is to contribute £11.7m towards the project.

Due for completion in 2020, the expansion will provide enhanced facilities and capacity for the oil industry and helping to capitalise on growing tourism and renewables markets.

Up to 2,300 jobs are said to be created by the project.

The Scottish Enterprise contribution to the project is in addition to a loan of up to £175m from the European Investment Bank. Support of up to £11m has also been provided by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils via the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Welcoming the funding during a visit to the harbour today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Aberdeen Harbour is Scotland’s main oil and gas port and one of Europe’s leading marine support centres for offshore energy. This funding will open up significant opportunities to diversify and exploit the rapid growth in cruise tourism and the renewables markets in Scotland.

“We are already seeing Scottish-based firms seizing decommissioning opportunities, and we are committed to supporting Scottish industry to win further valuable contracts. That’s why we developed a Decommissioning Plan last year, and have since launched the £5 million Decommissioning Challenge Fund.”

Scottish Enterprise director of energy, Maggie McGinlay, said: “The Aberdeen Harbour expansion project is strategically important to the growth of Scotland’s economy. A recent impact assessment study confirms the project will not only help sustain growth in the oil and gas sector, but will also help to maximise opportunities from the growing cruise tourism and renewables sectors.”

Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour, added: “This funding is immensely significant. It further demonstrates recognition of this strategic project as one of national and international importance. The facilities developed will transform the port’s ability to accommodate the trend for larger vessels we are witnessing across a whole range of industries, thereby encouraging commercial diversification and future-proofing the port’s ability to support large scale marine operations.”