This week: 21/12/2018
£2m to assist Glasgow’s fire recovery
Around £1.85 million of the Scottish Government’s Fire Recovery Fund is to be used by Glasgow City Council to provide business rates relief and support business recovery. Every business in the immediate fire cordon area and eligible businesses in the wider Sauchiehall Street area will receive 100% business rates relief for the period January to March.
Real terms funding increase for local government
The Scottish Budget delivers a total funding package amounting to £11.1 billion for local government.
This provides local authorities with a £197.5 million increase for day to day spending on essential public services in 2019-20, alongside a £207.6 million increase on their capital spending budget.
Scottish economy continues to grow
Scottish businesses are investing record amounts in research and development, according to statistics published this week. The Business Enterprise Research & Development (BERD) statistics show that BERD expenditure in Scotland in 2017 was £1.247 billion – the highest level since 2001 and up by 13.9% on 2016. Meanwhile, the latest GDP statistics published this morning also show the Scottish economy continued to have stable growth for the fifth consecutive quarter.
Renewable electricity sets new record of 70% in Scotland
Electricity generated from renewable sources in Scotland has surged from meeting the equivalent of 54.4% of Scotland’s demand in 2016 to reach a new record of 70.1% in 2017, according to new official statistics.
The rise is largely attributed to more wind being used to produce renewable electricity, with an extra 1.1GW of new capacity coming online in 2017, which contributed to a 4,600GWh increase in electricity generation via wind alone.
Improving construction industry payments
Cash retention – the practice of withholding a percentage of the payment on construction projects – will be among the issues considered as part of a Scottish Government consultation planned in 2019.
The use of cash retentions in the construction industry is commonplace and when used properly is an effective project assurance tool. However, many in the industry have expressed concern around the use and abuse of retentions in contracts.
AWPR benefits delight North East drivers and businesses
Huge journey time reductions and eased congestion on local roads are ‘everything the North East hoped for’ following the opening of the lion’s share of the transformative £745 million project last week.
This was the verdict of business owners and general road users after the Craibstone Stonehaven and Charleston section opened before last Wednesday’s morning rush hour.
A new Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland
Former professional mountain bike rider and co-founder of the Adventure Syndicate, Lee Craigie, has been appointed as the new Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland.
The Scottish Government committed to appoint an Active Nation Commissioner, through the 2017 Programme for Government, to help encourage an active nation, where more people can enjoy the benefits of accessible walking and cycling than ever before.
Festive travel advice
Preparations are underway across the trunk road network to help people travel safely and keep Scotland moving throughout the festive season.
Transport Scotland will be monitoring conditions from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry, and our operating companies have already started their winter treatment plans.