The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Scotland’s oil and gas sector sustains strong international reputation

ternational activity from Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain expanded to account for almost 55% of the industry’s total sales during 2016/17.

Scottish Enterprise’s annual Survey of International Activity in the Oil and Gas Sector shows the sector delivered £10.4 billion of international sales, made up of £4.5 billion from direct exports and £5.9 billion from sales via international subsidiaries.

Reflecting the challenging year for the sector, the figures also reveal a 14.4% drop in total sales (domestic and international combined) for the year with the overall figure reaching just over £19 billion.

Commenting on the results, head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, David Rennie, said: “This latest survey helps reinforce the fact that, despite the global downturn, Scotland’s skills and expertise in the oil and gas industry put it in a strong position to continue winning an impressive share of the contracted global market. While the overall level of sales fell during this period which was to be expected, the rise in the international sale reinforces our position as a global hub.

“Helping companies to grow their international activity continues to be a priority for us and we are delighted that over 70 companies have joined us this year on the Scotland pavilion at OTC in Houston, one of the world’s largest oil and gas shows.  Events like these make a huge difference to companies looking to grow their international presence, helping them showcase their world-renowned skills and experience and build important new contacts.”

According to the survey, the United States, Norway and the United Arab Emirates were the top markets for international activity and looking ahead, eight out of ten businesses are optimistic about sales growth in the coming years.

The survey, which was conducted by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Scottish Enterprise, captures responses from 250 companies who are active in 111 countries worldwide and employ over 31,000 employees in Scotland.

Commenting on the survey, Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Russell Borthwick, said: “The energy sector has long been a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and this survey tells us that despite a challenging few years we can be confident that it will remain so. The progress that has been made in collaboration and innovation gives real cause for cautious optimism that the UKCS will remain viable as a profitable oil and gas production basin for many years to come.

“And the growing trend towards supply chain companies moving into overseas markets gives real encouragement that the goal of ‘anchoring the supply chain’ in North-east Scotland is achievable based on the world-leading technology, knowledge and experience developed in the North Sea being highly sought after at an international level.”

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Its role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. It supports ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and helps build Scotland's globally competitive sectors. It also works with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

South Ayrshire businesses give their backing to the new look AMBITION

Businesses are lending their support to a new programme designed to drive economic growth and help start-up companies to succeed. South Ayrshire Council officially re-launched its AMBITION programme at a workshop at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr on Wednesday 25 April.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Councillors gather to celebrate AMBITION.]

Since 2013, more than 500 local businesses have received support via the programme for the benefit of South Ayrshire residents.

Mags Grace from Ayr set up her company Flying Feet in 2017. Her podiatry business specialises in the treatment of cabin crew. The AMBITION programme provided Mags with invaluable advice and support.

She said: “The support I received from AMBITION and the Council’s Business Gateway Service quite literally got my business off the ground.

“My adviser offered a whole range of advice from banking and accounts, to suggesting relevant workshops to develop my own business skills. Although it’s still early days, I now have the resources, connections and business knowledge I need to drive my business forward.”

The new AMBITION programme has a specific focus on supporting growth for existing businesses and help for individuals to start-up new companies.

Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: “We’re committed to supporting local companies to maximise their performance, creating business growth, and securing new jobs for South Ayrshire.  

“We’re actively working to make the most of the local economy and in the next three years we’ll be encouraging businesses to plan for growth in measured and sustainable ways.

“The new AMBITION programme is part of a bigger picture and I’m sure the new support will be welcomed in the business community. The feedback we’ve already had has been positive and I’d urge anyone with plans to expand to contact our team to find out more.”

The new Ambition to Achieve programme will provide new and existing businesses with access to a range of specialists in sales and marketing, finance, digital, procurement, people, innovation, and management development. 

Ambition to Grow discretionary grant funding will support businesses during periods of transition.  The grant is open to applications from new and existing South Ayrshire businesses to help deliver projects that create employment opportunities. Grants from £500 to £5,000 will be provided on up to 50% of qualifying project costs (10% in the case of capital expenditure).  The Ambition to Grow grant is for businesses looking to hire at least one additional full-time employee within the next 24 months.

Ambition to Start is aimed to help get businesses up and running, with grants available of up to £1,000 to cover start-up costs including capital expenditure and working capital.  The Ambition to Start grant is for also businesses with the ambition to hire at last one full-time employee within a two-year period.

For more information on AMBITION and to apply to the programme CLICK HERE 

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.