View Full Version : Swinney's confidence in Caithness

28-Sep-12, 18:52
"Companies like Caithness Renewables and Reids make an important contribution to Scotland's economic success" - Minister

FINANCE Secretary John Swinney visited two Caithness companies that are receiving support to realise their growth plans and to make national and international connections.
Mr Swinney opened the Thurso offices of Caithness Renewables, Renewables at No10, which will provide support and advice to businesses aiming to capitalise on opportunities in the renewable energy industry.
The firm has received a 10k Business Growth grant from Highland Council to help establish its new operations. The company will offer business services for energy companies looking to do business in the area, including advice on: connecting developers with facilities and supply chain of the Pentland Firth and Moray Firth; stakeholder engagement; energy efficiency; and grid connection.
Figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change released showed that renewable electricity generation in Scotland in the first half of 2012 was 13 per cent higher than generation over the first half of 2011 – enough to power the equivalent of an extra 147,000 homes for a year.
Following the opening, Mr Swinney visited another company receiving public sector support to realise its growth ambitions – the award winning Reids of Caithness bakery. The firm, which has been recognised for their cakes, shortbread and oaties at the Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year competition, is looking to expand its operations due to success at home and in exports to Singapore, Romania, Germany, Sweden and China.
The firm – which employs 25 full-time equivalent staff – has received approximately 96k in support between 2006-2012 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help realise its growth ambitions. The Scottish Government also granted the company a 199k Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant in this year towards the costs of refurbishing the new factory building and the purchase and installation of processing and packing equipment.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are doing all we can to retain Scotland’s position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK. We recognise the huge contribution that businesses of all sizes make to our economy and that is why we want to create a thriving business community across Scotland.”
The Minister added: “The opening of Caithness Renewables’ new offices will provide business advice and support to Scotland’s growing renewables sector. Businesses in Caithness have decades of experience and knowledge in the oil, gas and nuclear power and this makes them ideally placed to meet the needs of Scotland’s growing renewable energy sector. Scotland is recognised internationally for its fantastic array of food and drink products and the success of Reids of Caithness in international markets reflects the quality of their award winning products. With support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the company has gone from strength to strength and recently expand into larger premises to realise its growth potential. This Government is focused on driving sustainable growth and developing a more resilient and adaptable economy. Our actions to boost growth include a tax relief package worth over 500m this year and bringing forward a further 105 million package of economic stimulus. Companies such as Caithness Renewables and Reids of Caithness make an important contribution to Scotland’s economic success and I wish them every success as they take forward their plans for growth.”
Caithness Renewables Director Louise Smith said: “I am delighted to welcome Mr Swinney to ‘Renewables at No.10’. His presence highlights the Scottish Government’s commitment to helping Scotland become a leader in renewable energy. Establishing a consultancy business is not straightforward; key factors in being able to forge a start in renewable energy have included the leadership in renewables of the Scottish Government, and a supportive business community as evidenced by Scottish Renewables and the Caithness Chamber of Commerce."
Reids of Caithness Director Donald Reid said: "Reids of Caithness are absolutely delighted to be a recipient of the Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation Grant from the Scottish Government and the HIE Business Development Grant. We firmly believe it will allow us to accelerate our ambitions and development programme considerably. It also comes during an exciting period of growth for our business as we are absolutely thrilled to be distributing our produce nationally and internationally, alongside some of the best baking businesses in the world".
Mr Reid continued: “We work extremely hard and are committed to developing our products and services to a very high standard. We also believe it’s very encouraging for businesses both large and small who work hard like ourselves to bring prosperity to the Highlands and Islands, our mission is to build and improve our business to allow us to support our local people with employment and for our community to prosper.”
Highlands and Islands Chief Executive Alex Paterson said: "Reids of Caithness is a great example of the many dynamic local businesses we have here in Caithness. HIE is working closely with them to help them grow the business, from manufacturing to product development, to marketing and distribution. The company have a loyal customer base and has won numerous awards for their products. Having experienced rapid growth over the years, Reids of Caithness are investing in an expansion of their premises, as demands for their products grew. HIE and Scottish Government has supported the business in realising these plans will allow it to focus on developing new markets globally and around the UK.”