Category Archives: Local news

The closing date is fast approaching for entries to the prestigious Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards. Businesses have until 5pm on Friday 17th November 2017 to submit their completed application forms.

Whether you’re a sole trader that’s launched a new product, an expanding SME with an innovative design, or a company that provides unsurpassed customer service, applying has never been easier and we want to hear from you.

One local company who did apply and won last year is Craig McHugh, Chief Clinical Officer at Healthsure Physiotherapy who won the 2017 Best New Business Award and said of the awards

“Winning Lanarkshire’s Best New Business Award was without doubt, the highlight of 2017. For our hard work to be recognised at such a prestigious award ceremony was pretty surreal for myself and all of our staff.  The exposure we received from the Lanarkshire Business Awards has allowed us to grow in size, with a brand new Coatbridge Clinic opening in November 2017.  Anyone shortlisted for the final is in for a special night, especially with 2018 marking the 25th year anniversary of the awards. I for one, never imagined we would be shortlisted, never mind win an award. So, my advice to anyone still undecided is stop thinking about applying and get your application in, it really is a quick and simple process”

The awards ceremony, hosted by North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council, will be held at the Motherwell Concert Hall on Friday 2nd March 2018 and promises to be a night not to be missed.

To support businesses through the application process Business Gateway is running a FREE Application Masterclass on Tuesday 14th November from 1.30pm-4.30pm at the Atrium Business Centre, Coatbridge. To book please visit www.bgateway.com/local-offices/lanarkshire/events

Applications are open to all businesses based in Lanarkshire and entries are free. Companies can enter up to two of the ten categories.

  • Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by Healthcare Environmental Group
  • Lanarkshire Community Impact sponsored by Roadbridge UK
  • Lanarkshire’s Family Business sponsored by City Facilities Management Ltd
  • Lanarkshire’s Best New Business sponsored by Clyde Gateway
  • Developing Lanarkshire’s Young Workforce sponsored by North Lanarkshire’s Working
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Food & Drink Provider sponsored by Scotland Food and Drink
  • Lanarkshire’s Best New Product or Service sponsored by Business Gateway
  • John Brinkins Best Visitor Experience sponsored by Visit Lanarkshire
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Business (0-25 employees) sponsored by Highlander International Recycling
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Business (26 employees or more) sponsored by UK Steel Enterprise

Give your business achievements the platform they deserve – apply now to the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards by visiting

www. chooselanarkshire.com/businessawards or call 0141 887 6181.

Bellshill based husband and wife team, Tracy Scott and Grant Cardwell have been shortlisted for the Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year category of the 2017 Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

XEYEX beat off some pretty tough competition in order to make the regional shortlist, with over 1000 businesses entering the awards nationally.

Scott and Cardwell’s software company for independent retail opticians XEYEX is growing fast! Having started up in 2012, They look to double their team to 10 staff by the end of 2017 and move to a bigger office at their North Lanarkshire HQ at Strathclyde Business Park at Bellshill.

Grant Cardwell explains, “As a couple, we are both highly entrepreneurial and competitive. Tracy had her first business, a newsagent’s when she was only 17. I was a regular Del Boy as a teenager. I would buy and sell anything! I tried every ‘get rich quick’ scheme I could think of.

“What interesting is, it’s being innovative and collaborative that has been the secret of our success and growth! Our software is designed to integrate with multiple other apps such as Xero, Go Cardless, Dropbox and can integrate with all other cloud based software systems.

“Our clients –  independent retail opticians – then have a bespoke system that works for each of them individually. We also offer infinite capacity as we are genuinely cloud based. All of our design is based on what makes the optician’s life easier. It gives the independent optician a bespoke edge over the optical big boys.”

Creator of the RBS Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said: “All shortlisted applicants should be extremely proud of themselves! This year has seen a record number of entrants and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the strength and diversity of applications.”

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank of Scotland said: “It is clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”

Grant concedes the final word to Tracy, “It’s amazing to be nominated as it recognises what we’ve achieved through endless hours and some sleepless nights. We’d love to win the award and I would love it to help spread the word to all independent retail opticians so we can boost demand and grow the business. That’s the truth. However, I do genuinely feel that doubling our staff in the next few months to cope with client demand is really a great position to be in. For our clients, for our business, for our staff and for the family! We are thrilled at making the shortlist… I would really love the award though!”

“We have been really lucky to have had incredible support from Chris Wond, our Enterprise Development Officer from North Lanarkshire Council and Robert Swinburne, our Business Growth Adviser Business Gateway Lanarkshire. (Delivered in Lanarkshire by LESL / Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Limited). They have helped us to grow!”

Entries are still open for the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards 2018, sponsored by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd, however the 17th November closing date is approaching fast.

Winning an award is a great way to showcase your business and to gain the recognition you and your staff deserve.  Whether you have just started up in business or been trading for years, we want to hear from you.  With 10 categories to apply for there is something for every business in Lanarkshire.

The winners will be announced at the glitzy dinner event on Friday 2nd March.

Visit our awards website and apply today, its free to enter and open to all businesses based in Lanarkshire.

Is your business thriving, innovative, green or providing excellent customer service? Does your business have a lot to shout about? If so the Lanarkshire Business Awards want to hear from you. 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the awards and to mark the occasion the event seeks to recognise Lanarkshire’s brightest business stars.

The Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards recognises businesses which have demonstrated excellence in a variety of fields. Categories are as follows

  • Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by Healthcare Environmental Group
  • Lanarkshire Community Impact sponsored by Roadbridge
  • Lanarkshire’s Family Business sponsored by City Facilities Management Ltd
  • Lanarkshire’s Best New Business sponsored by Clyde Gateway
  • Developing Lanarkshire’s Young Workforce sponsored by North Lanarkshire’s Working
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Food & Drink Provider
  • Lanarkshire’s Best New Product or Service sponsored by Business Gateway
  • John Brinkins Best Visitor Experience sponsored by Visit Lanarkshire
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Business (0-25 employees) sponsored by Highlander International Recycling
  • Lanarkshire’s Best Business (26 employees or more) sponsored by UK Steel Enterprise

Applications are open to all businesses and entries are free. Companies can enter up to two of the ten categories.

The awards ceremony, hosted by North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council, will be held at the Motherwell Concert Hall on Friday 2nd March 2018 and promises to be a night not to be missed.

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of this year’s lead sponsor LESL said ‘We are delighted to be involved in the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards once again. Over the past 25 years the Awards have evolved into a top quality showcase for some of the best businesses in Lanarkshire. We are pleased to get the opportunity to work with our partners in continuing to support these high quality awards.’

Councillor McVey, Vice Convener of Policy and Resources at North Lanarkshire Council said, “The Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards have been recognising and rewarding outstanding work across Lanarkshire now for twenty five years.  Winning projects, innovative products and cutting edge businesses have been showcased.  These outstanding businesses have made a dramatic difference to Lanarkshire’s economy; influencing growth in the region, UK and internationally.” 

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of Community and Enterprise Services at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “Businesses play a vital part in the Lanarkshire economy and it is fitting that we have an opportunity, through these awards, to recognize their contribution and achievements.  Over the past 25 years, the standard of entries has been consistently extremely high, which is testament to their hard work and dedication and to the wealth of successful businesses in Lanarkshire that we help to start up, grow and diversify. I would expect it to be no different this year, and look forward to seeing the selection of entries which, I am sure, will epitomise the broad range of talent there is to be found in our area.”

Give your business achievements the platform they deserve – apply now to the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards by visiting www.chooselanarkshire.com/businessawards  All finalists and winners will feature in the media and we are delighted to have Media Scotland as this year’s Awards Media Partner.

Businesses have until 5pm on Friday 17th November 2017 to submit their completed application forms.

The Scottish EDGE fund is a competition that seeks to support up and coming innovative organisations. The competition offers prize funding of up to £150,000 and includes a wealth of support to successful applicants.

This workshop hosted by Business Gateway Lanarkshire aims to help you prepare your application, giving you the best chance of success. You will hear from a previous EDGE winner together with guidance on applying from a Scottish EDGE representative.

The workshop will take place on 24th August from 1.30pm to 5pm at Business Gateway Lanarkshire Coatbridge office.

Further details and booking information can be found here

The tourism industry in Scotland is growing year on year and Lanarkshire has seen the benefit of this, with more tourists coming to the area every year too. With cultural sites, fascinating heritage and its own unique personality, the area is a wonderful choice for businesses looking to grow and expand in the tourist sector.

As well as being home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Lanarkshire’s job market is significantly boosted by the tourist sector. Around £317m is brought into the local economy by the 3 million tourists who visit the area every year and this generates approximately 6000 jobs in the area. If you operate in the tourism sector and are looking for a new base, it’s clear relocating to Lanarkshire comes with many benefits.

Visit Lanarkshire

The Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership (LATP) promotes tourism in the area and helps to ensure that the county can work together to ensure there is great access to attractions and plenty of accommodation options in the area. If your tourism business is in hospitality and hotels or any other tourist sector, you can turn to the local support body LATP for guidance and help in ensuring your business is the best it can be.

Dedicated tourism offices throughout Lanarkshire provide the support needed for businesses in this sector. The Lanarkshire Tourism Action Plan helps to guide the offices and officers in their business, helping to ensure your business is supported.

Relocating your tourism business to Lanarkshire is a big decision but once you see the many benefits the area offers, it makes good sense. If you have experience in a key tourist sector then Lanarkshire could be the market you’re looking for and it will give you a chance to test your expertise in a new and emerging area.

Does your location still suit your business? Many business owners reach a time when they consider whether their business is in the right location. Perhaps you began as a small, home-based business, and now you need more physical space. Or did you originally think foot traffic would be the core of your business, when it’s actually more successful online? Whatever the reason, a new location might be the right move for your business. Here are some clues that perhaps you should start considering a business relocation.

1. You Want to Hire More Staff

This can often be the most common factor for relocating. If your existing location is already bursting at the seams then relocation should be on the cards. And this is especially true if up until now you’ve worked alone from home. If you now want to bring new staff on board, is it practical to continue working from home? You also need to think about future proofing your business. If you want your business to continue growing, then you will inevitably need more staff down the line. Bigger premises will allow you to recruit whenever you need to, without worrying about any space issues.

2. You meet with clients regularly

Holding meetings at your local cafe can work, but not always ideal. If you find that the number of client meetings is increasing and they need to come to you, this could be the green light for finding a new business premises. However, if you don’t feel it’s necessary to go that extent, you can look into hiring individual meeting rooms. This can offer a reasonable compromise, particularly for the short term.

3. You struggle to switch off

Working at home offers a number of advantages. However, you do not have any barrier between your home and work life. It can become difficult to switch off work mode to home mode and vice versa. A lack of focus might be fine when business is slow, but when your work picks up, it’s essential that you have a working environment that helps you stay productive.  If this is becoming an issue, or you worry about productivity, then consider moving to a small office unit. It will mean additional expense, but the benefits could prove enormous.

4. You need better parking or foot traffic

Sometimes a business starts in the perfect location, but gradually the area changes and no longer suitable. Perhaps due to redevelopment projects, other businesses nearby have relocated or closed. If your foot traffic is down, then you might need to consider relocating to an area with more substantial foot traffic. Or perhaps parking is becoming an issue. A lack of good parking can get in the way of businesses from being successful and widening its customer base. If poor parking is costing you customers, then you should begin looking for a new location.

Is now the right time?

If some of these points sound familiar, then you probably need to start investigating a new office or business space. You may think it’s better to stay put to keep costs down, but a new location can open the door to a number of opportunities.

Scottish culture is heralded around the world but when you choose to relocate your business, you want more than a great atmosphere. Business relocation in Scotland is a great opportunity for many businesses and comes with many benefits. Below we’re looking at just some of the reasons you should consider Scottish relocation of your business.

  1. Affordable Rent

Cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow still have the central location and value of bigger metropolitan hubs, but the rents are much cheaper. You can make even more of a saving if you choose to relocate to a business park outside one of the major cities, allowing you to use your capital more effectively for business growth.

The money you save on rents may be able to be put back into the business more effectively.

  1. Great Connections

Some of Scotland’s biggest cities are still relatively compact so commuting is never an issue. What’s more even choosing a location outside of the city does not stop you from benefitting from the great transport links across the country.

  1. Industry Leader

Scotland is a centre excellence and leading region for many different industries. Electronic technologies are one of Scotland’s leading industries and it is in the top 10 for financial services providers in Europe. The food industry in Scotland is currently thriving and there are consistently more and more opportunities in the country for new and emerging businesses and businesspeople. There’s a pool of motivated talent from the country’s highly respected universities too.

  1. Quality Work and Home Life

Quality of living in Scotland is always ranked highly. With huge swathes of green space and towns buzzing with life and opportunity, there is something for everyone in Scotland. Families have many great schools and communities to become part of and thrive in.

Relocating your business to Scotland, whether that’s from another part of the UK or overseas, has many benefits. There is huge potential for already flourishing companies as well as new firms and start-ups. There are many different business centres and parks in Scotland, allowing for innovative and like-minded communities to develop.

Are you considering relocating your business? Perhaps you’ve already made the decision you just need to get everything in motion. You aren’t alone. Many small business owners come to the point when face the dilemma of deciding how much office space they need. A relocation could be to move to a new location, or to restructure or expand your existing space. But whatever the reasons, it’s crucial that you consider the process carefully.

Research the market

There is little point in moving your business if there is no demand for what you do in the area that you’re moving to. This is something that a lot of businesses fail to understand, and this can ultimately be their downfall. Spend some time researching, to make sure that there is a definite gap in the market for you to slot into once you arrive.

How much space do you need?

Whatever your reasons for relocating, you’ll need to think about how much space you require in your new premises. Make sure you think about potentially expanding in the future too. Don’t try to squeeze into a new building that does not allow room for expansion down the road. You never know when your business will grow, and having room for additional employees and equipment is always a big bonus.

Plan your removal

During the time you have spent in your current building, you will have likely amassed lots of things – and all of these will need to be taken to your new place of work. Don’t underestimate what you have, as there may be more than you think. If you think you can fit everything in cars, then you should plan who is taking what, so that it works smoothly on the day. If you need to hire a van then double check the time and date that it is available, and ensure that everything will fit into the van you’ve hired.

Employees’ relocation packages

You’ll probably want to transfer some, if not all of your employees to the new location. Although there is no obligation for an employer to offer any form of financial compensation for moving, many companies nevertheless provide relocation packages to help smooth the way. The more generous relocation packages may also include the provision of bridging loans or mortgage subsidies to help finance the cost of a new home.

Inform your old clients

If you are moving, it is vital that you tell any clients who may have attended your office for meetings in the past. While you may be able to carry out work for them from where you’re moving to, they may not be happy to travel the extra distance – and knowing this is key, as you need to be sure of exactly how many clients you’re going to retain.

A business move can be a great choice for many reasons, but only if it is managed properly. By taking these tips into account, you can be sure that you have the best possible chance of success in your new location.

Whether you’re a start-up or an established business you need to find the right location to base your headquarters. If you’re looking to relocate or simply find your first premises, it makes logical sense to consider the business parks Scotland has to offer. Business parks are purpose-built for enterprise and they offer many immediate benefits for companies of all shapes and sizes. Below is a closer look at exactly why you should consider a business park HQ for your company:

Business Focus

As mentioned, choosing a business park means you are actively choosing a location for your company that was built or re-purposed with business in mind. Offices may be serviced, warehouses may be fully equipped with the fixtures and fittings required. A business park offers premises which combine the blank canvas you may need with the facilities which help you get off the ground or get started quickly and effectively.

Like-Minded Neighbours

It may not seem like a particularly important thing but basing your company on a dedicated business park means you are surrounded by like-minded driven professionals. Other entrepreneurs and business leaders are running their companies alongside you and many may share your drive and passion. Some business parks have get togethers, networking and more for your tenants so this can be a great way of getting the most out of the ready-made business community around you.

Flexible Growth

Most business parks have capacity and opportunity for you to move premises as your business grows. You may begin only needing a small office space but in time, your need grows and it is much easier to move to a new office on the same premises than having to find a brand-new location. Most business parks are flexible with their requirements if you’re hoping to upgrade to larger premises and they can also facilitate your need to downsize, should this become necessary.

Cost Effective

Most business parks are based outside of major cities and towns yet still boast great transport connections. However, not being in the heart of a city or busy town means the rental prices on business parks are usually much cheaper than central premises. The connected nature of most parks now means there’s no downside to basing yourself outside of town. You get the benefit of more capital to put into your business and the same high quality facilities as an inner city base.

january, 2018

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