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New swap shop for R:evolve Recycle thanks to Clyde Gateway funding

New swap shop for R:evolve Recycle thanks to Clyde Gateway funding

A Lanarkshire clothes recycling project has opened the doors to its new swap shop on the busy Rutherglen Main Street, thanks to £10,000 of funding from urban regeneration company Clyde Gateway.

R:evolve Recycle is an innovative scheme run by Lightburn Elderly Association Project (LEAP), a charity that aims to enhance the lives of older people in South Lanarkshire. Anyone can sign up to become a member of the scheme, and bring their unwanted clothes to donate in exchange for points. These points can then be used to ‘purchase’ something new, completely free of charge, from one of the project’s three Lanarkshire shops.

The recent funding from Clyde Gateway has helped the project move its Rutherglen shop to 71 Main Street, a much busier location than the previous premises on Farmeloan Road.

The new shop opened on 10th January, and in the first week alone 38 new members have signed up, and 186 swaps have taken place.

R:evolve Recycle also offers creative volunteering opportunities to older people, including passing on their textile skills to allow families to repair their clothes rather than throw them away. Textile workshops – which will run from the new Rutherglen shop from February onwards – are led by skilled volunteers and include knitting, sewing, dress making and up-cycling. Since it began, the project has saved an estimated 19 tonnes of textiles and 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Niki Spence, Senior Manager, Business & Community Growth at Clyde Gateway, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help this fantastic project to move its Rutherglen shop to a busier location, which I know will bring it even more customers and even more success. There are so many great things about this project – it benefits the environment, it offers exciting volunteering opportunities, and it teaches local people how to mend their old clothes – or swap them – rather than just throw them away, which saves them money too.”

Wendy Russell, Sustainability Development Manager for LEAP said: “The support we have received from Clyde Gateway in amazing, without them we really could not have taken up this opportunity. The new shop is such a fantastic space for us and gives us such a great opportunity to expand our services to meet local demand.

“In the first week of operation we were astonished at the number of new members and people who didn’t even know we existed until now, thanks to our presence on the Main Street. What’s more exciting is that the Clyde Gateway bus now stops right outside our door. That’s great for us as it means that we can reach even more people and ensure that everyone is sharing their clothes and reducing their landfill waste.”

New Year, New Home for Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

New Year, New Home for Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is gearing up for a productive 2017 as it prepares to open the doors to its new innovation and collaboration facility to construction companies across Scotland.

The Scottish construction sector employs 170,000 people – 10% of all Scottish jobs – across 31,000 businesses. The new CSIC premises at Hamilton International Technology Park in Lanarkshire will be open to any of those people and businesses to use, and is designed to help them to innovate, collaborate and learn.

The refurbishment and fit-out of the new facility will begin in early January and will be undertaken by principal contractor akp Scotland. The project will involve alterations and refurbishment to form new two-storey offices, alterations to the warehouse area, and services installations relating to the warehouse plant equipment and machinery. Completion is scheduled for spring 2017, and the facility will formally open its doors to industry in summer 2017.

Funded by CSIC, the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, the new industry-led facility will deliver 30,000 sq. ft. of workshop space housing state-of-the-art construction and manufacturing equipment, complete with a 5 tonne overhead gantry crane for heavy lifting.
This equipment will allow construction businesses of all sizes to prototype and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to full commercialisation.

The workshop space and equipment will also be used for training purposes, allowing the industry to attract and develop fresh talent and build new skills using the latest virtual reality and drone technology, automated manufacturing equipment and advanced robotics as part of a move towards greater productivity, through adoption of digital and industrial processes.

The facility’s office space will be fitted out to cater for training delivery, events, seminars, meetings and hackathons, where partners are encouraged to work together to tackle key challenges in short, intensive workshop sessions. A suite in one of the seminar spaces will be equipped with the latest hardware and software to allow companies to prepare for impending BIM Level 2 compliance requirements in a live, interactive environment.

The facility will also include a construction incubator where start-ups and very small businesses can collaborate with industry, academic and public sector partners around innovation projects.

New dedicated staff from the Innovation Centre’s sister organisation, the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, will soon be joining the CSIC team at the new facility, creating a formidable one-stop-shop for the industry around collaboration, innovation and leadership.

Businesses can access the flexible services, facilities, training and equipment through either being part of a collaborative project, pay-as-you-go, membership or open access models, with a variety of benefits tiered to each option.

 

Stephen Good, Chief Executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre said: “We are really excited about the potential offered by this new innovation facility for industry. Our delivery team are extremely busy getting everything ready to launch this resource to industry in the summer.  It will provide a dynamic environment, away from the conventional building site, where the Scottish construction industry can innovate, take risks, explore and learn, safe in the knowledge that the activity here is protected from the perceived risks of innovating on live construction sites.

“Since we launched in October 2014, CSIC has made fantastic progress, helping 42 innovative projects get off the ground so far, and we hope that having this new facility at their disposal will inspire even more people within the construction industry to get innovating.”

Martin Rowley, Joint Managing Director of akp, said:
“We look forward to working with Anderson Bell Christie, Armour, Currie & Brown and Scott Bennett in completing this project for CSIC. Having completed tenant and landlord works within this building a number of years ago, we have acquired knowledge of the building layout and an in depth understanding of the services and existing M & E, which we feel will prove invaluable to the delivery of the project.”

CSIC’s move to Hamilton International Technology Park was brokered by Knight Frank, acting on behalf of Conygar Investment Company. The Innovation Centre will occupy a total of 34,866 sq. ft. in the recently-refurbished Watt Place as part of a 10-year lease.

Sarah Addis, Senior Surveyor at Knight Frank said: “CSIC’s move to Watt Place highlights the level of demand in the market for modern, well-located industrial units.  The property delivers the ideal combination of high-quality warehouse and office facilities, which in today’s market is difficult to find.

“The Innovation Centre will join companies such as Scottish Power, Babcock, First Direct and First Engineering at Watt Place, demonstrating that businesses are looking to areas outside of Glasgow’s core to meet their needs. The University of the West of Scotland has also announced the development of a state-of-the-art campus at the complex, bringing further investment to the area.”

To find out more about gaining access to the new CSIC facilities, contact hello@cs-ic.org.

Social media: how to pick your platforms

Social media: how to pick your platforms

If sorting your company’s social media in 2017 is on your New Year’s Resolution List, you’re in luck. We’ve devised a cheat sheet for which platforms to pick according to your objectives and target audience. Read on for more . . .

With today’s abundance of social media platforms, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with both the choice and pressure of so many ways to connect with your audience. And, seeing as everyone else is on social media, shouldn’t your organisation be too?

Well, probably. But only if it will actively help you deliver on your corporate objectives.

“To Tweet or not to Tweet” shouldn’t be your question so much as “Where is my target audience hanging out, and how can I best connect with them there?” (We think the Bard would agree. He was nothing if not an audience man.)

Resources versus aspirations

While using social media for business communications might appear free on the surface, it does require time and effort. It also increasingly requires budget, though usually not as much as traditional advertising might.

Before you even contemplate a social media platform, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve and how much time and money you have to do so.

You need a communications plan which outlines your business objectives, your target audiences, your key messages and your overall strategic approach.  If you need some advice on what this should look like, and how to grow your business with your communications, get in touch.

Then, taking your target audiences and key aims into account, use the below infographic to help you pick which channels are best to help you deliver your communications strategy. (Click on the image below to open it in a separate tab for easier viewing.)

Which Platform Infographic

If you would like to discuss, create or update your company’s social media strategy in 2017, Perceptive Communicators can help. We are experienced in generating outstanding results for clients’ social media profiles, and we also provide top-notch social media training for in-house teams.

New Year, New (LinkedIn) You

New Year, New (LinkedIn) You

If your LinkedIn profile deserves a bit more of your attention this year, you’re not alone.

We’ve trained over 1000 people in social media management and the number one request we get from individuals is for help with writing a great LinkedIn profile. Companies are also increasingly engaging our services to help them create a great LinkedIn presence for their business.

Once you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, it is a relatively low maintenance platform to keep on top of. Like diet and exercise it’s the little and often that works best, just 5-10 mins a day can supercharge your networking and profile.

So if you’re looking for a new year’s resolution you can keep, LinkedIn is a good place to start!

Why LinkedIn

Like good nutrition and quality sleep, keeping a LinkedIn profile up to date is a discipline worth investing in. Used properly, it is a flexible, cost-effective and simple way to:

  • Enhance your professional profile and supercharge your networking efforts
  • Discover new business opportunities and contacts
  • Attract and retain new and existing clients and staff
  • Enhance your personal brand and your company’s reputation
  • Keep up to date with your contacts and industry

We’ve used it to build a highly successful business ourselves and have also seen clients enjoy great returns such as securing sales with customers who couldn’t be reached previously. LinkedIn can open doors that were previously closed.

Face first

A profile or brand page without a picture is perceived as suspicious or incompetent at worst, and unprofessional at best.

Your LinkedIn profile image should reflect a genuine likeness to you. Make sure your face is easy to decipher and that you are the only person in the shot.

Head and shoulder shots in business attire are best. While tempting to use a photo of you looking your best at a social event, avoid using wedding, party or holiday pictures. This is your personal professional brand, so should be a photo of how you look at work.

If you’re setting up a company page, don’t be an amateur. Get your logo and banner images properly designed so that your LinkedIn presence can reflect your brand. This need not be expensive – services such as Fiverr.com are a great option for quick design tasks.

Think strategically

Your LinkedIn profile is not a standalone billboard on the internet. Nor is it a static page you create once and leave. It is an ongoing part of your overall networking toolkit or communications strategy and should be used to back up who you are in person.

Just as you need a blueprint to build a house, you need a strategy to develop a successful LinkedIn profile, whether just for yourself or for a corporate brand.

Before you even start editing your profile, think about:

  • What you want to achieve in your career or with your page
  • Who you want to network with (individuals) or who you want to target (company)
  • What networking (individuals) or wider communications activity (company) you are already undertaking

Don’t write in robotic CV-speak. Write like a person. Keep your profile brief yet interesting, and tailor it to your target audiences and objectives.

Then, once your profile is up to date, keep it alive with regular interactions and shares. These take a few minutes and will ensure you stay connected with your audience.

Social Media Policy

While less important for individuals, having a social media policy in place alongside your strategy can save companies a world of pain while helping engage a key demographic – your staff.

Providing simple and straightforward guidelines on minimum expectations for staff LinkedIn profiles will enable your employees to contribute to the company brand confidently.

It will also help you to increase your organisation’s reach with relevant audiences as your staff become more self-assured in using LinkedIn for business development.

Finally, LinkedIn is one of the key sources potential employees and business contacts research before making contact. Having a cohesive, well-maintained brand on your LinkedIn page which extends across your employee’s pages will create a good first impression.

Training and networking

If you’d like to tackle your social media in 2017, get in touch now to discuss how we can help you sort out, improve or ignite your online engagement by emailing info@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk or calling 07734 932 578 / 07762 769 659.

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