Date lodged: 26 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government to what extent local businesses were consulted on how the £6 million provided to support the work of the Fife Taskforce following the Tullis Russell closure would be spent, and whether it will provide evidence of this.
Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 11 December 2018
Local business interests were directly represented on the Fife Task Force itself by the Fife Chambers of Commerce. Local businesses were represented on the Fife Task Force Operational Group, which had a remit to consider draft business cases governing the projects and respective spend, proposed. These businesses cases and formal approval were then considered and approved at formal Task Force meetings. This representation was drawn from agreed representatives of the Fife Economy Partnership, a business led partnership. In addition senior representatives of Tullis Russell attended both the Task Force and Operational Group meetings given their locus as site owners and as a Fife business operator.
Additionally, Operational Group members through business networks and relationship management meetings, regularly referred local company or business requirements to the Fife Task Force. Fife Council advise that evidence of this engagement is provided in Fife Task Force meeting papers. Specifically Paper 3: Strand 2 – Business Recovery and Growth, tabled at the final meeting of the Task Force on 25 October 2016, which in extract states:
“…All [Scottish Enterprise] account managed companies in Fife were proactively contacted to determine if proposed investment plans could be brought forward to stimulate growth, and intervention rates were increased to 50% to assist this investment.
At 31 March 2016 there were 123 account managed companies with 21 in the growth pipeline and 5 growth prospects, which had grown from 120 account managed companies the previous March with 15 companies in the growth pipeline and 6 growth prospects, respectively…
… To end-September 2016, the [Business Gateway] Advisers have carried out: 107 Diagnostic Reviews; 4 Expert Help; 11 Task Force Events. … In addition, 12 Task Force small grants have been awarded, totalling £11,709. These have created 13 jobs and safeguarded a further 4 jobs. The uplift in turnover expected as a result is forecast to be £408,300.”