Posts Tagged “Glasgow Chamber of Commerce”

Deal or no Deal!

DC Scottish Chambers

Photo credit @David_Cameron

The invitation to a Business Leaders’ Breakfast Event said the speaker would be a VIP Senior Cabinet Minister of the UK Government’. It didn’t need a rocket scientist to work out that the politician in question is aka as David Cameron.

My countdown is set to the start of the XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at 19 days to go.  However the PM has his sights set on the Scottish Independence Referendum in September, so it was no surprise that the theme for the breakfast event revolved around the arguments for Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom.

David Cameron told us that there are four key business reasons to retain the Union:

  1. Solidarity
  2. Opportunity
  3. Certainty
  4.  Scale

The PM then answered questions from the floor on a broad range of topics including: Oil and Gas, Poverty, Infrastructure and Education

With all this said David Cameron could not better his announcement yesterday of a City Deal for Glasgow and the region.  City Deal means that £500 million will be injected in to Glasgow and the surrounding area to strengthen the economy.

With the Scottish Government matching the £500 million pledge and local authorities in the Clyde Valley area contributing £130m, a £1.1billion infrastructure fund will be created to support the much needed city centre airport rail link and major improvements to the region’s roads and bus network.  The City Deal is scheduled to create 28,000+ new jobs over the next 20 years.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said of the pledge We endorse the principal of City Deal on two counts.  Firstly it will involve investment in economic infrastructure across the local authorities that make up the real Glasgow economy to promote economic growth.  Secondly it requires firm discipline in agreeing the projects giving the local authorities a genuine incentive to choose projects that improve the economy and create jobs”.

Financial pledges for Scotland like this are very welcome anytime no matter what party they come from.

Behind the Scenes at Whitelee Windfarm

The day started off at 8am sharp with a visit to Whitelee Windfarm for a behind the scenes tour with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.  We met at the visitors centre high on Eaglesham moor overlooking Glasgow to the South.

Considering it’s the Easter break there was a good crowd hungry to find out all about the towering turbines that dominate the skyline (you can even see them clearly as you walk down Buchanan Street). First of all we were bused out to meet engineers on-site in the shadow of turbine 72 (extremely tall when you stand underneath one of them) and heard first hand how the turbines and the windfarm operates – here come the factoids:

  • They are stabilised underground by 8m of concrete, which is attached to bedrock
  • From base to tip of blade, they stand 145ft tall
  • They are in use for approx. 98% of the time
  • Whitelee until recently was Europe’s biggest windfarm
  • The site has 140km of road which is floated on the extensive peat bog
  • The farm generates enough electricity for 300,000 homes
  • The turbines automatically rotate and blades angle depending on the direction and speed of the wind
  • Whitelee is opening a purpose built public mountain bike track in May

When I left home at 7.30am the morning was quite pleasant but high on the moor it was a different story, it felt pretty arctic and extremely windy, a very good location for the turbines – trust me!

It was very interesting but we were all glad to head back indoors after our tour for a welcomed coffee, bacon roll and some good networking.

…I’m sure there are many more ‘geekie’ facts and lots of fun stuff to see and do at the visitors centre and farm so best get your boots and jacket on and go and explore for yourself. It offers fantastic panoramic views across the central belt, north up Loch Lomond and south and west down the Ayrshire coast – excellent photo opportunities. Below are a few pictures I’ve taken during recent visits.

Thanks to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Siemens and ScottishPower Renewables for a great event and insight into something that is ever increasing in our landscape.

Photographs by Julian Westaby

The Glasgow Business Awards 2013

Last night saw the Business Oscars of Glasgow organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce play out in the Thistle Hotel with well over 600 business people in attendance at the glittering black tie event.

In their sixteenth consecutive year the prestigious annual Glasgow Business Awards celebrates the city’s business success in a diverse range of categories, and a 10% increase in entries since 2012 clearly demonstrates the depth of talent on offer in the city.

With sixteen categories to present MC Fred MacAulay provided topical humour and kept the pace of the awards delivery swift and efficient.

The main sponsor for the twelfth consecutive year was Bank of Scotland who selected the overall winner for the Most Outstanding Business to be Barr + Wray.

Glasgow has a large number of micro businesses so the competition for the category of Best Performing Business for companies with 1-10 employees sponsored by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Jobs & Business Glasgow was tough, and was won by design and branding agency MadeBrave.

Glasgow City Council also sponsored the category for Best Performing Business with 11-50 employees and cordless phone specialists liGo were voted the winners of this award.

Best Performing Business with 51+ employees was sponsored by Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University and was won by MB Aerospace.

Scottish Water sponsored the category for Sustainable Development and Alan Thomson presented the award to worthy winners City Legacy.

Scotrail sponsored the category for Creative Marketing and awarded it to expert in employment law Law at Work.

The training arm of Arnold Clark, GTG Training were the category sponsors for Excellence in Skills and Learning and CEO David Scott presented this award to Barrhead Travel.

The Thistle Hotel sponsored the Excellence in Customer Service category with the award going to Clyde Travel Management.

JF Hilliebrand sponsored the International Trade category.  The level of entries was so high the judges decided on joint winners with Barr + Wray and William Grant & Sons Ltd ­collecting an award each.

President Varry McMenemy’s company Bellcom Worldwide sponsored the Young Business Person of the Year category.  Amongst stiff competition Dr Vicki Fiddes of Vicki Fiddes Podiatry emerged as the winner.

Specialist publishing and communications company Connect were the category sponsors for Excellence in Communications and GHA, part of the Wheatley Group, were presented with this award.

Radio Clyde presented M Squared Lasers Ltd with the award for their Innovation in Business category.

Category sponsors Scottish Power presented the Green Champion award to biodiversity champions Plan Bee Ltd.

YoYo Events and Promotions presented the Family Business of the Year to A.C. Whyte & Co. Ltd.

Amongst tough competition the readers of the Evening Times voted Glasgow Credit Union as Glasgow’s Favourite Business.

Varry McMenemy, president of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, presented the Lifetime Achievement to Vera Weisfeld OBE who, alongside her husband Gerald, founded the high street chain the ‘What Everyone Wants’.

Vera received a standing ovation when she took to the stage to accept her award.  She told the audience that she would not have achieved such success without her husband Gerald and bravely told the packed hotel that he was suffering from Alzheimers. Vera’s honest and humble words brought the audience to their feet again and it was obvious that the Weisfelds are much loved in the Glasgow business community.

The event clearly celebrated the success of many businesses within Glasgow and as Councillor Gordon Matheson said in his introduction it was very evident that Glasgow is indeed flourishing.