A new portal developed by Fife web consultancy Horisk Leslie Development will enable good causes and communities serving 1.3 million people across the six local authority areas of Fife, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Borders to directly make community benefit requests of support from suppliers delivering projects under the £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland (ESES) City Region Deal City Deal.
‘Community Benefits’ are the method by which local communities and good causes can receive additional social value from developments.
Traditionally this has involved activities such as the guarantee of apprenticeships or school visits to new local construction projects, opportunities guaranteed to the local workforce and the use of local supply chains. Other activities can include improvements to public spaces, support for local charities and voluntary groups.
Fife web development consultancy Horisk has won the tender to build a website which will help realise Community Benefits under the £1.3bn City Region Deal after a selection process undertaken through Public Contracts Scotland. It’s hoped the website will be launched in September 2021.
The site, operationally led by Capital City Partnership, will also be a landing page for community updates on City Region Deal progress and features on organisations receiving and businesses delivering benefits. Support and guidance will also be offered on it to businesses of all sizes across the region who may wish to develop their understanding and offering of community benefits.
Although funded by the City Region Deal, the platform will also be open to facilitating Community Benefits opportunities from public and private sector developments across the region and support the wider community wealth-building agenda.
‘Exactly what we were looking for’
Explaining why Horisk was selected, Calum Munro, Community Benefits Officer at the ESES City Region Deal, said: “Horisk Leslie showed a strong understanding of the remit of our project, evidencing relevant examples of previous work. Their proposed site functionality met exactly what we were looking for. That they were a local supplier within the ESES region was an added bonus in allowing us to support local supply chains.”
‘Delighted to be helping communities’
Director Brian Horisk, said: “We’re delighted to have had another public sector client select us to develop a key tool for them using our specialism in simplifying organisational processes.
“As a company committed to helping our local community in whatever ways we can, enabling communities recovering from the effects of Covid-19 across many aspects of society to bid for assistance from suppliers to the ESES City Region Deal will be a very satisfying project to work on.”
For more about Horisk Leslie Development, go to its website.
Work has now started on site at Fife Interchange North, Dunfermline, as part of its Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme for business land and property, funded by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
Fife Interchange is a major business park with first-class location, transport connections and workforce availability and is already home to Amazon UK’s 1.1 million sq ft fulfilment centre.
The proposed infrastructure investment will deliver serviced employment land providing a range of plots which will be available for immediate development. The site will accommodate a future build as part of the Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme (i3) comprising a number of units aimed at a range of businesses, including innovative start-ups and growing companies across all sectors of the economy.
The works now being carried out are the first steps towards creating new jobs at a strategic site close to Junction 3 of the M90 and the Park and Ride at Halbeath. Fife Interchange North provides excellent transport connections including links to Mid-Fife, enabling job seekers to easily access employment opportunities.
Cllr Altany Craik, Convener - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “This is excellent news for Fife. We are committed to ensuring that Fife Council delivers modern business infrastructure. This City Region Deal project will deliver essential infrastructure at Fife Interchange North to provide greater opportunity to attract major investment. Crucially, this development will create significant employment opportunities on one of Fife’s most strategic employment sites situated immediately adjacent to the M90.
“Our intention now is to progress the development of fully serviced employment land and modern business units to meet local, regional and national market requirements. Our focus is on genuine inclusive economic growth and investment in Fife.
"Supporting business growth and jobs is a top priority for the Council, particularly in the face of the ongoing economic impact of Covid-19. This development will help with recovery, providing new opportunities for local people as well as supporting the local economy and the wider supply chain."
Cllr Helen Law, Convener- Dunfermline Area Committee, added: “Fife Council looks forward to delivering essential infrastructure at Fife Interchange. This is an exciting opportunity in an area that has significant economic growth potential and will boost more local jobs to help create a fairer Fife.”
Fife Council's investment in business land and property at Fife Interchange will help support the delivery of significant private sector investment in the local area.
This latest development forms part of a programme of strategic investment across Fife over the next seven years through the Fife i3 Programme. The site servicing work at Fife Interchange North is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.
Notes to editors
The development is part of the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, a partnership of local authorities, universities and colleges, and the Scottish and UK Governments to deliver a 15-year programme that will transform the regional economy.
The build forms part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, a partnership of the Scottish and UK Governments, local authorities and universities that will transform the regional economy, and the business case will now go to the Deal’s Joint Committee as the next step. The City Region Deal is a £1.3bn investment over the next 15 years designed to accelerate economic, inclusive growth and create opportunities across the entire South-East of Scotland. The UK and Scottish Government’s have partnered with six local authorities (City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian), Edinburgh’s universities and colleges and the private and third sector across the South-East of Scotland to deliver the deal.
InvestFife, home to Fife Council Economic Development’s range of business support services, is gearing up ready for a busy 2022 of exhibitions and events, as it assists businesses to market their goods and services, and to raise their company profiles, following a prolonged period of virtual events.
A bespoke ‘Tastes of Fife’ area has been secured by InvestFife, at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2022, and key businesses from Fife’s food and drink supply sector are keen to participate. ESC Packaging is exhibiting independently and will be positioned at one end of the ‘Tastes of Fife’ exhibition area, which will host Pittenweem Preserves, BPlasticFree, Rumburra and Little Herb Farm. That leaves just nine spaces for local businesses to be part of the ‘Tastes of Fife’ showcase.
The Little Herb Farm is returning to the event, having exhibited there for five years pre-lockdown. It was at the event in 2015, that The Little Herb Farm met The Cress Company – now its biggest distributor, which reinforces the supply chain opportunities and successes that can be achieved at trade events like these. Owner of The Little Herb Farm, Lindsey Anderson said:
“Nothing beats face-to-face meetings when it comes to selling food produce. Buyers need to see and taste the products on offer to ensure they are getting quality items for their customers. Getting back to trade shows and other in-person events is critical for all involved in the food industry. Scotland’s Speciality Food Show brings together buyers and producers from across the UK and the opportunities are vast. It is the best way to get your brand out there and I have always come away with more new customers than I expect year on year. I am looking forward to January!”
Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2022 takes place at Glasgow SEC in January 2022 and builds on from this year’s 12-month long online show, which closes in December 2021. Currently, Fife has five local businesses participating in the virtual event - Christopher Trotter, Inchgarvie Group, Pittenweem Preserves, BPlasticFree and Rumburra.
Councillor Altany Craik, Fife Council’s Convener - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, commented:
“Food and drink is key to economic growth in Fife. With the importance of destination experiences growing, Fife Council has a role to play to support supply chain opportunities. Fife’s food and drink action plan aims to realise this potential and provide a significant boost to the Fife economy, by ensuring that business support is available from Fife Council and its partners to ensure that Fife food and drink companies, of all sizes, are fully supported.”
Councillor Craik added:
“The revival of some of Scotland and the UK’s biggest exhibitions and events, is crucial for businesses, as not only does it show that confidence is returning to the marketplace, but it also gives our local businesses the opportunity to market their goods and services face-to-face in a safe manner. If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it is the importance of face-to-face interaction, communication and in the case of food and drink, it’s the all-important taste test! Physical events bring businesses and consumers together on a much more personal level, which in turn brings about better results for businesses.”
For more information on InvestFife’s Trade Development Programme and how it can support businesses to attend events including Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
1. Accompanying images: InvestFife’s proposed ‘Tastes of Fife’ stand for Scotland’s Speciality Food Show in 2022; Trade Development Programme Logo
2. InvestFife is a collective brand, which incorporates all of Fife Council’s Economic Development services, including Business Enterprise, Land and Property, which in partnership with Business Gateway Fife, aims to support businesses in Fife. InvestFife’s ethos and what drives its services is its commitment to making ‘Fife the best place to do business’. It offers a team approach to every enquiry that comes in, no matter the size or scope, to ensure businesses grow and succeed.
For more information visit: www.investfife.co.uk or email: email@example.com
Prospectus puts Fife firmly on investor’s map
Fife Council’s new Mid-Fife Economic Investment Prospectus – showcasing what makes Mid-Fife a great place to live, work, visit and invest - was reviewed and approved by members at the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee today, Thursday 10 June.
Councillors approved the proposed framework of economic investment in Mid-Fife as set out in the prospectus. The framework was developed in response to the initial Mid-Fife Action Plan Report, bolstered by the agreed economic recovery plan designed to respond to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With successful and expanding businesses and a skilled workforce, coupled with the availability of sites, Mid-Fife has much to offer businesses and developers looking to invest. The prospectus highlights the many advantages of Mid-Fife and presents an overview of potential investment options and opportunities for key development sites in an attractive, easy-to-read document.
The prospectus and projects will be reviewed as required and the progression of specific projects are subject to the availability of resources and committee approval.
Cllr Altany Craik, Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Convener, said: “As a council we’re committed to investing in the future and creating opportunity. Supporting business growth and jobs is a top priority for the council - both to provide new opportunities for local people and so that we can support the local economy and the wider supply chain.
“Our Mid-Fife Economic Investment Prospectus has been reviewed within the context of the ongoing economic impact of Covid-19. Government support has helped mitigate the immediate impact on businesses, but the concern remains that unemployment will increase once this support is eventually withdrawn.
“Inequalities have already been exacerbated as a result of the Covid-19 , with evidence suggesting that areas and localities that were already struggling , such as those in Mid-Fife, have been worst affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.
“The Mid-Fife Economic Action Plan identifies a series of recommendations to improve the local economy. Our Mid-Fife Economic Investment Prospectus takes this to the next stage by setting out a framework of proposed projects and investment opportunities that will address these recommendations.”
The six key themes identified as priorities for investment in Mid-Fife are:
- Providing Modern, High Quality Business Premises
- Supporting Innovation & Supplier Development
- Skills Development and Progression
- Promoting a Culture of Enterprise
- Local Jobs and Access to Jobs
- Promoting Place-Based Investment
The Mid-Fife Economic Investment Prospectus can be found within the Agenda papers for the committee LR-Public-Agenda-Pack-2021-06-10.pdf
People, businesses and organisations across Fife are urged to take part in a major consultation to help shape the economic future of the region and to ensure prosperity.
The Regional Prosperity Framework is a draft plan for building the economy of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region. It looks at a wide range of important issues. Including transport, housing, education and digital inclusion, economic development and climate change. Views are now sought from across the South East Scotland Region to inform the plan’s further development.
Individuals, businesses and other organisations, professional bodies and charities are all encouraged to take part. The Regional Prosperity Framework will inform future policy creation across a range of organisations – all aimed at ensuring the region is as resilient as possible going forward, despite current challenges, and has the right infrastructure in place to be a key contributor to Scotland’s economy.
Cllr David Ross, Fife Council’s Co-Leader and Joint Committee Chair, Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, said: “The consultation has been broken down into sections with guided questions to make it as easy as possible for everyone to give us their thoughts and views.
“The draft strategy has a strong focus on addressing the challenges of climate change, sustainability, biodiversity loss, inequalities, health and well-being, and the need to create new jobs and businesses while enabling a transition to a net zero economy.
“I urge as many people who work or live in Fife to take part at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ESESRegionalProsperity ”
Key themes are:
- FLOURISHING economy, environment & ecology, households & places
- RESILIENT workforce, climate responses, infrastructure & buildings
- INNOVATIVE Private Sector, Third Sector (including Further & Higher Education) Public Sector
The consultation launches on Monday 14 June and will be available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ESESRegionalProsperity The closing date for responses is Monday 26 July.
Claire Pattullo, Chief Executive Officer at Edinburgh Social Enterprise, added:
“This is a hugely important piece of work, particularly as we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and are still assessing the effects of Brexit. The draft has been created to stimulate debate and invite comments to help shape a finalised framework. This will be a document that sets out long-term aspirations for the region and informs policy development for the next 20 years.
“It has been developed with input from public, private and third sector organisations and aims to address the region’s challenges and opportunities to make Edinburgh and South East Scotland a better place to live, work, study, visit and invest for current and future generations.”