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Wavegarden Scotland receives green light to develop Scotland’s first artificial surf park

Wavegarden Scotland receives green light to develop Scotland’s first artificial surf park

Wavegarden Scotland, the company which will develop Scotland’s first artificial surf park, received the news today (25 April) that the planning application to redevelop Craigpark Quarry near Ratho, Edinburgh into a world-class surfing and family leisure facility has been given the green light.

This major leisure attraction is a first for Scotland and Wavegarden Scotland will now transform the disused Craigpark Quarry near Ratho into a man-made lake with revolutionary new wave technology, developed by Wavegarden in Spain – the same company that developed the technology behind Surf Snowdonia, who welcomed over 155,000 visitors last year.

The proposal, which had already received overwhelmingly positive feedback from public consultation events held last year, has been masterplanned and designed by landscape architects HarrisonStevens, with engineering and technical consultation provided by WSP, and planning and development advice by Colliers International.

Alongside a world-class surfing facility, Wavegarden Scotland also includes a surf school, self-catering luxury guest lodges, glamping pods, a waterfront café and restaurant, retail spaces, zip line, water tubing area, integrated natural play, bike skills track, and a snow-sports training jump.

Andy Hadden, the co-founder of Tartan Leisure Ltd which is developing Wavegarden Scotland said: “We are thrilled that the plans for Wavegarden Scotland have been approved. We believe that this facility will deliver many benefits for the local community and for Scotland by offering world-class adventure leisure amenities alongside a wonderful country park, for walkers, runners and cyclists to enjoy. Alongside this, we expect to create up to 130 jobs and generate up to £11m for the local economy every year.

“Another very exciting aspect of Wavegarden Scotland is the opportunity to nurture surfing and sporting talent. With Scotland’s own surfing team starting to make a mark on the global surf scene, we hope to inspire the next generation of surfers, life guards, and active outdoor enthusiasts.”

Using recently released, state-of-the-art wave generation technology called The Cove, Wavegarden Scotland will be among the most advanced surfing and water sport facilities in the world, with the capability to enable elite-level sports training and development.

Josema Odriozola, founder and CEO of Wavegarden, the company which created the wave generation technology that will power Wavegarden Scotland, said: “It’s great to see that the planning application has been approved, so now Edinburgh will have its own surf spot for everyone to enjoy. We designed our technology to create up to 1000 waves per hour, from slow moving white water for beginners through to powerful barrels up to two metres high for experts. This now means Scottish locals and tourists alike can experience the exhilarating feeling of surfing, regardless of their level.”

Mark Boyd, captain of Scotland’s national surfing team, said: “We welcome Wavegarden Scotland’s visionary project and look forward to practising our sport in safe and consistent waves. Having this facility will give the Scottish surfing team a huge edge when it comes to future competitions, to have this as a base will do wonders for the sport.

“Scotland’s surf scene is growing and we have some exciting home grown talent breaking onto the scene. With surfing making its debut as an Olympic Sport at Tokyo 2020, Wavegarden Scotland will play a key role in encouraging and developing future Scottish surfers and putting this fantastic sport in the spotlight.”

Christine Jardine, MP for Edinburgh West, said: “As the local MP for Ratho, I am delighted the village could play host to Scotland’s first surfing lagoon. This will be a great attraction West of the city creating up to 130 new jobs. It will be a fantastic facility for locals and tourists alike.

“Surfing is becoming increasingly popular and in 2020, it will be an Olympic event for the first time. Approving the surfing centre now ensures we, in Edinburgh West, will be able to make the most of the enthusiasm.”

Located beside the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Wavegarden Scotland will develop existing integrated transportation and leisure links, including with the nearby canal network, into the heart of Edinburgh as well as the wider central belt.

Andrew McNab, director of Colliers International, handled the development’s planning application said: “Wavegarden Scotland will provide a huge economic boost to Ratho and the surrounding area. We welcome the decision and we are thrilled with the outcome, from the very beginning the consultations received a very positive reception, so to hear that the application has been given the green light is fantastic.”

Martin Stevens, director of HarrisonStevens, the landscape architects behind Wavegarden Scotland’s design said: “This is a unique and exciting project, combining the natural ecology, heritage and character of the area with world-class leisure and sporting facilities. Wavegarden Scotland will be a positive community asset for generations to come and help put Scotland on the map in adventure leisure whilst showcasing the benefits of truly landscape-led, context-driven masterplanning.”

Paul Robertson, Principal Engineer at WSP, said: “Wavegarden is an exciting and ground-breaking project, which will require complex technical support.  WSP has a solid track record of delivering complex multi-disciplinary projects and we keenly anticipate tackling the engineering challenges associated with this exciting addition to the leisure sector in Scotland.”

Located beside the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Wavegarden Scotland will develop existing integrated transportation and leisure links, including with the nearby canal network, into the heart of Edinburgh as well as the wider central belt.

CITIZENS THEATRE CONFIRMS PREFERRED BUILDING CONTRACTOR FOR MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

CITIZENS THEATRE CONFIRMS PREFERRED BUILDING CONTRACTOR FOR MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Citizens Theatre announced today, Monday 23 April, that following a competitive tender process Kier Construction has been confirmed as the preferred contractor to deliver the first stage of the Citizens Theatre’s £19.4m redevelopment project.

This will be the most comprehensive redevelopment of the Victorian building since it opened as a theatre in 1878, with works due to commence on site in September 2018.

The building is owned by Glasgow City Council and leased to the Citizens Theatre Company for more than 70 years. The Category B listed building, will close in the summer and re-open in late 2020. Over the next two years the Company will produce shows and provide learning activity at Tramway, Scotland Street School Museum and other venues throughout Scotland and beyond.

Kier is a leading property, residential, construction and services group. The group operates across a range of sectors including defence, education, housing, industrials, power, transport and utilities.

Commenting on the appointment of Kier, Judith Kilvington, Executive Director of Citizens Theatre, said: “This appointment marks the next phase in our Redevelopment Project. Kier has a wealth of experience in delivering theatre and heritage projects and it’s hugely exciting to be welcoming them to the team, led by architects Bennetts Associates, to realise our vision for the Citizens Theatre.

“Kier will work alongside Citizens Theatre and our Design Team in achieving the Second Stage tender and will then go on to carry out the required building work to overhaul our Victorian home – alongside overseeing the demolition of our foyer and back offices to make way for a new wing, including a new studio theatre and learning spaces.

“Our new building has been redesigned to create level access for staff, participants and audiences members. When we re-open to the public they will easily be able to visit and view some of the best examples of theatre heritage in Europe.”

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland and North East managing director, said:

“We’re delighted to restore, improve and protect the iconic Citizens Theatre.  This builds on our solid record of working on major heritage projects, including The Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Aberdeen Music Hall and most recently, The Burrell Collection.

“As with all the work we carry out, we will provide jobs for the local community by working with our supply chain to offer a range of diverse employment and training opportunities throughout this exciting project. “

The Company has already successfully secured £17.8m in pledges towards the redevelopment project from Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government (Culture Budget, Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland), The Robertson Trust and a variety of other trusts and individuals. The theatre’s ‘We Are Citizens’ public fundraising campaign is inspiring, engaging, and encouraging others to help raise £1.6 million for the building redevelopment.

 

Loreburn Housing Association named best charity employer for second year running

Loreburn Housing Association named best charity employer for second year running

Dumfries and Galloway social landlord, Loreburn Housing Association, has been named Best Charity Employer at a major national recruitment awards for the second year in a row.

The s1jobs Recruitment Awards, which have been running for the past seven years, were presented by comedian and presenter Russell Kane at an event in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza on 19th April. The awards reward businesses and organisations who deliver a great candidate experience as well as an innovative approach to recruitment.

Loreburn Housing Association, which manages around 2,500 homes across Dumfries and Galloway and is building new homes every year, beat off stiff competition from fellow charity finalists Enable Scotland, The Butterfly Trust and The Simon Community Scotland to take home the prize.

According to the judges, Loreburn’s victory was down to “placing employees at the heart of their business.”

Since her appointment three years ago, chief executive Lorraine Usher has brought in a major transformational change programme to Loreburn, which has seen it go from an organisation coming out of a period of regulation to one that has gained triple Investors in People Gold status and a cluster of award nominations. Lorraine Usher was also named as a finalist in the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Housing Heroes Awards 2017 in the Inspirational Leader category.

Some of the benefits Loreburn offers its employees include flexible working hours, career breaks and the opportunity to work from home when required. Its comprehensive staff health and wellbeing strategy includes private healthcare, fitness trackers for all employees, a lunchtime walking group, an after-work running club and occupational health support.

Chief executive Lorraine Usher said: “We are all delighted with this tremendous achievement. I know Loreburn is a great workplace, but to have that recognised nationally for the second time is a real bonus. I’d like to thank my entire team for helping us win this award, and the management committee for their continued support towards achieving our ambition to become the best performing housing association in Scotland.

“As part of our drive to deliver an amazing customer experience, we invest in staff development programmes with a special focus on management and future leaders. The results of that, along with the positive can-do culture within the organisation, make it a fantastic place to work.

“The wellbeing of our staff will always be a core objective for Loreburn. In 2017, our staff survey showed an 89% satisfaction rating with us as an employer. While this was a great result, we are hoping to use the feedback we received from our staff about how we can be an even better employer to aim for an even higher satisfaction rating in 2018.”

Canadian engineering company brings UK headquarters to Clyde Gateway

Canadian engineering company brings UK headquarters to Clyde Gateway

TransCanada Turbines (TCT), a North American owned and managed engineering company, has become the latest business to bring its UK headquarters into Clyde Gateway, adding to the continued success of Scotland’s largest regeneration programme.

TCT, which repairs and maintains aero-derivative gas turbines for the oil and energy markets, has signed a pre-let with Glasgow-based developers Harris Finance for a 10-year lease on a 13,000 sq ft speculatively built industrial unit at Rutherglen Links Business Park. The new premises, which sits within a multi-million pound development created by Clyde Gateway, will become home to TCT’s 15-strong highly skilled Scottish workforce. It will also contain a specialised training centre, the largest the company will have outside of Canada.

The building, which occupies a highly visible position adjacent to the M74 motorway, has been fitted out precisely to TCT’s specifications. It is ready for the company’s relocation from its existing shared premises in Cumbernauld, with the move set to be complete by early March.

Clyde Gateway created Rutherglen Links Business Park to provide development opportunities. All five industrial plots of the 5.6 acre (2.26 Ha) Business Park were acquired by Harris Finance, who have undertaken a speculative development programme of industrial units. The first phase has already secured occupiers Screwfix and Eurocell, and following the pre-let of unit 3 to TCT, the developer has already started work on unit 4 to provide an additional 15,000 sq ft of industrial space due for completion in summer 2018. Further capacity is available on the adjacent plots F and G. These will be developed in line with market demand, however based on the success of deals achieved to date, further pre-let activity is anticipated.

Ian Manson, Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway said: “We are gaining a merited reputation as a location in which everything is perfectly in place to guarantee success. The past decade has seen us make substantial investments into redeveloping brownfield sites, with superb transport and infrastructure links, to ensure they are ideally set up for high growth companies in the manufacturing, industrial and engineering sectors. The move by TransCanada Turbines into Rutherglen Links, and in particular their investment in the new training centre, is another very welcome vote of confidence for Clyde Gateway.”

Gordon Hope of TransCanada Turbines said: “When we decided to vacate our shared premises in Cumbernauld, we carried out an extensive search of what was available on the market. As the unit at Rutherglen Links was still under construction, we were able to make the adjustments to the specification that we needed. Clyde Gateway being able to provide business support made moving to this new facility possible.”

Ross Harris, of Harris Finance, said: “The strength of the location of Rutherglen Links Business Park, combined with the quality of our new industrial buildings, not to mention the excellent transport links and infrastructure, means that we have been able to attract high-profile tenants such as Screwfix, Eurocell and now TransCanada Turbines. We have a 20,000 sq ft industrial building available for immediate entry and we have just started work on a speculative 15,000 sq ft building which will be completed in June 2018. We’re confident that the current shortage of quality new-build industrial units across the Central Belt will mean our planned development programme for the remaining plots will prove to be popular.”

Clyde Gateway was established to carry out the regeneration of 840 hectares across the east end of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire. Working in partnership with Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, Clyde Gateway is driving forward £1.5 billion of private sector investment to establish this area as a hub of business activity.

Rutherglen Links Business Park is also home to SPIE, the UK’s leading provider of multi-technical services, who occupy the top two floors of the speculatively-built One Rutherglen Links office building.

For further information on Rutherglen Links Business Park, please visit:

http://rutherglenlinks.com/

Telephone 0141 276 1595

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 2nd March

Scottish Political Insider – Friday 2nd March

The Scottish Parliament showed its teeth this week as the SNP-led Scottish Government locked horns with the Westminster Government over Brexit enabling legislation.  Scottish ministers have now tabled their own alternative to the EU Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood – the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill. This continuity bill has been introduced as a stop-gap solution if MSPs do not consent to the UK bill.

Adding another twist, the Presiding Officer has not backed the move, saying it is not for Holyrood to legislate on. Scottish ministers disagree and are expected to press ahead with the legislation anyway.

The Spring party conference season was due to start this weekend with the Scottish Conservatives meeting in Aberdeen for a couple of days.  But as the country experienced the most severe snow falls for many years, party leader Ruth Davidson (reluctantly) said she could not expect delegates to travel north whilst an Amber warning was in place.  Our political expert, Devin Scobie, will now have more time to finish his snowman!

Aberdeen and the north-east is, of course, a new heartland for the Tories following a number of Westminster gains last June.  The rumour mill is going into overdrive around Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald, who has not been seen at Holyrood since early November following admissions of ‘inappropriate behaviour’.  A by-election is looking increasingly likely and the Tories would be a good bet to take the seat from the SNP.  However Alex Salmond is said to be looking for a comeback to frontline politics – so watch this space…

Away from election speculation, and a joint report from Shelter Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and the Equalities & Human Rights Commission Scotland, was published this week. The study reviewed Scottish Government strategic investment plans for affordable housing. It found the target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes, 70% of which should be for social rent, achievable if optimistic.

Details: Shelter report

And finally … Fairtrade Fortnight has started and new figures suggest that the majority of Scots regularly buy Fairtrade products, with 60% of consumers choosing them at least once a month. The figures, compiled by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, come as Fairtrade Fortnight begins – and will run to 11 March. Scotland was recognised as a Fairtrade Nation in 2013 after all cities and a majority of our local authorities gained Fairtrade status.

Childcare provision must work for working parents – for the sake of business too

Childcare provision must work for working parents – for the sake of business too

The ever-emotive topic of childcare is hitting the headlines again, after Audit Scotland expressed concerns about the Scottish Government’s pledge to almost double the hours of free childcare available to three and four year olds, and vulnerable two year olds, by 2020.

As a working parent, at first glance it’s hard to see what’s not to like about the First Minister’s promise to increase free provision from 16 hours a week to 30. However, auditors have flagged up a host of potential issues, including infrastructure, the recruitment of the thousands of additional staff that will be needed to deliver this, and the considerable gap between what the Scottish Government think their flagship policy will cost, and what councils anticipate the bill will be (hint: it’s considerably higher).

Logistical and financial arguments aside, in principle the Scottish Government’s plans should be welcomed not just by working parents, but by businesses too, who can only benefit if more parents can re-enter the workplace. However, for the policy to have any effect on this front, the new system must be more flexible than the current one.

Research from campaign group Fair Funding for our Kids shows nine out of ten parents who want to change their working situation say lack of appropriate childcare is their main barrier. Most council nurseries only offer free childcare in slots of 3 hours 10 minutes during term time, with no option for parents to buy extra hours for the rest of the day. Only one in ten council nurseries opens from 8am-6pm. This is obviously an unusable system for many working families.

I count myself among the luckiest parents in Scotland, because I work from home three days a week, with the other two spent in the office. On home-based days, I am able to drop my four-year-old off at a council nursery at 8.45am and still make it to my desk by 9am. I have family nearby who pick my son up from his free morning session at lunchtime and look after him for the afternoon.

Those not as fortunate as myself are left with the option of using a private nursery which offers longer hours. However, UK parents currently face some of the highest childcare costs in the western world. By the time families have two pre-school children, it’s not just the low-paid who don’t have much money left to take home by the time they have paid their nursery bills. Some funded places are available at private nurseries in partnership with their council, but in many cases, these are limited.  Because of this, many working parents are missing out on their free entitlement altogether.

The situation does not improve much when children get to school. Without adequate provision of pre-school or after-school care, many parents face a logistical nightmare to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs. Incredibly, I am aware of at least one council which is currently considering axing breakfast clubs – a guaranteed meal for our most vulnerable children, but also a godsend for working parents – from its primary schools to save money. How this fits with their aspiration of lifting more families out of poverty is anyone’s guess.

The childcare conundrum disproportionately affects women, as more than three quarters of mothers shoulder the primary caring responsibility. Women are the ones, therefore, who are most likely to drop out of the workforce altogether – fine if they can afford to and want to, but many can’t or don’t. Women are also more likely to work fewer hours than they would like to, or settle for less challenging jobs. This means businesses are missing out on huge pools of female talent that could potentially address the skills shortages faced by some sectors, such as construction, science and technology.

So until the extended hours of free childcare come into place, what does this mean for business? Quite simply, companies who offer flexible hours or home working will be the winners when it comes to attracting talent. Working parents, after all, can often be some of the most focused, motivated and productive employees you are likely to meet.

Of course, enlightened employers such as mine already recognise that greater flexibility isn’t just appreciated by parents – and they will already be reaping the benefits of a happier, healthier workforce.

Three Ways You’re Blowing Your Awards Entries

Three Ways You’re Blowing Your Awards Entries

In this short guide we review the common pitfalls of drafting awards submissions, and how you can avoid them to give yourself the best chance of being shortlisted.

It’s been a busy few weeks in the entertainment industry’s awards season, and with the Oscar winner’s due next week Monday, it’s easy to get swept away by who-will-win-what and forget the work behind the scenes in actually being nominated in the first place.

But, just like every awards process, even the Oscars require have set eligibility criteria. It doesn’t happen by magic, but rather by a detailed set of rules.

I’ve spent a lot of time writing industry award entries for clients and employers over the years – at Perceptive we’ve won 50 awards for clients and ourselves in the past three years alone. In fact, we’ve recently been shortlisted for Boutique Agency of the Year at the PR Moment Awards to be announced on March 16 (fingers crossed!).

While every industry is different, there are a few common pitfalls which will usually guarantee your entry won’t make the cut:

  1. Underestimating the work involved

I’m often amused by how easy everybody thinks writing awards submissions is . . . until they don’t win.

It’s heart-breaking when your hard work and exciting project isn’t recognised, and the first hurdle is being shortlisted.

So make certain you give yourself plenty of time to sit and write the award, run it through sign off, review it and submit. This should include background reading on the previous winning entries, and in-depth interrogation of your colleagues and the work being showcased. Needless to say, the entry must be error-free in every way.

  1. Failing to answer the question

The most common complaint we’ve heard from colleagues and clients who’ve judged awards are that would-be nominees fail to answer the question properly.

Instead, applicants often go overboard on offering something incredibly dense and impenetrable or, on the other end of the scale, cut and paste something un-tailored and low on substance.

You need to write from a place of genuine understanding and insight on what was achieved, and how it demonstrates best practice against the entry criteria. Make certain that you have addressed every single point in the award’s criteria explicitly.

  1. Arrogance, verbosity, vagueness

This relates closely to the two points above and is sadly something we hear a lot of.

Too often, awards submission writers assume their audience is just as excited or knowledgeable about their particular piece of work as they are. So they fail to explain the results clearly and concisely, which often irritates judges and comes across as arrogant even if not intended to be so.

Being too verbose, or alternatively favouring style over substance, puts up unnecessary barriers between your submission and the shortlist.

Be careful to avoid jargon and clichés, and never assume insider knowledge on the part of your judges. While they likely are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable themselves, they also have hundreds, potentially thousands of other submissions to read. There is no guarantee they will recognise or care as deeply about your brand as you do.

Hopefully the above tips will help you get your next submission into great shape. If you would like a professional consultation on how you could improve your hit rate with awards submissions, or would like to discuss how we could write and help you win your next award entry, get in touch.

Permanent, Full time and Part Time PR and Social Media Account Manager

Permanent, Full time and Part Time PR and Social Media Account Manager

Would you like to join a winning and growing team with fantastic clients?

Perceptive Communicators helps clients communicate more effectively to achieve commercial results.  Whether it be marketing, PR or social media, our team delivers results to help clients succeed.  We have won awards in our field in 2015 and 2016 and have been shortlisted for the CIPR awards in 2016, ranking among the top PR agencies in the UK.

Unlike many consultancies, all those who undertake the work are at a senior level, so clients can be assured of expert advice. We don’t field the big guns to win the work only to pass it to junior staff.  With us, it is the experts hired who actually do the work.

We currently have a fantastic opportunity for a driven candidate looking for their next career move into a well-respected, forward thinking growing agency.

Working at Perceptive Communicators will give the chosen candidate the opportunity to work with exciting clients on a variety of projects with a supportive team beside them.  There is the opportunity for flexible working and great benefits alongside the competitive salary.  All this along with 33 days holiday per year makes the role a good move for a career conscious, forward thinking PR professional.

The role
As a PR and Marketing Account Manager, under the guidance of an Account Director, you will be responsible for the delivery of several client contracts from the development of the communications strategy to implementation.  Your role will include the following:

  • Working with the Perceptive team to develop and implement successful communications strategies for our clients that deliver results
  • Building positive relationships with clients
  • Attending monthly client meeting and ensuring actions are delivered and agreements are adhered to
  • Identifying appropriate contacts and then developing and maintaining good working relationships with the media, key stakeholders e.g. community leaders to help implement client strategies successfully
  • Arranging and project managing events on behalf of clients and Perceptive Communicators and representing clients and Perceptive Communicators at events
  • Writing and editing leaflets, publications, brochures, press releases, award submissions, speeches, newsletters, websites and social media
  • Monitoring the public and media’s opinions of clients in the media and online
  • Representing clients and Perceptive Communicators in person and online e.g. Perceptive Communicators’ website and social media channels e.g. LinkedIn company pages
  • Identifying potential new business opportunities
  • Attending networking events on behalf of Perceptive Communicators, including external and internal events e.g. Perceptive Communicators and Perceptive Directors Clubs
  • Contributing to new business activities e.g. tenders

 

Essential skills

  • PR and social media experience
  • Proactive and proven ability to work in a fast paced environment
  • An understanding of and an ability to implement PR and social media
  • An ability to deliver high quality written content and marketing material strategy over various platforms including Press, Websites and Social Media
  • An ability to deliver agreed goals and work to tight deadlines to ensure clients’ targets and expectations are met
  • Organised work processes and ability to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively
  • Flexible can do attitude
  • Ability to work on own and as part of a team
  • Driving Licence

Work experience
Candidates will have more than five years’ work experience in a PR or communications role.  Experience of working in a PR agency and delivering successful results on behalf of clients is desired but not essential.

To apply
If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and covering letter detailing why you would be good for this role to emma.fair@perceptivecommunicators.co.uk.  No agencies please.

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