Your guide to who’s moving, hiring, investing and teaming up this month.
Office moves and expansions
CN Properties has acquired the Glenrothes Coachworks premises at Woodside Road following the company’s closure earlier this year after 60 years in business.
The Glenrothes-based property development and management company, which specialises in letting and managing industrial and commercial units, says it plans to give the former bodywork repair centre a new lease of life.
The firm operates nearly 40 units in and around Glenrothes covering some 75,000sq ft of space – all of which are fully occupied.
Senior partner Colin Nikolic said: “As we see the demise of the larger companies employing hundreds of people there are more and more people wishing to start up and run their own businesses and we provide the premises for these people to do so.
“Our tenant base covers many different operations and it is fascinating to see these businesses grow and do well whilst providing employment,not only for themselves but also for the staff they employ.
“The Coachworks is a tremendous addition to our portfolio given the nature of the building and its location on a busy, well-known road in Glenrothes.
“The intention is to subdivide the building and make available nine small units of varying sizes and design aimed primarily at the small business sector.
“We have had interest already with probably 35% of the building taken by two interested parties and we shall welcome enquiries for the rest from anyone who’s interested.
“Building works are due to start very soon and first occupancy will probably be in January of next year.”
To find out more, or to arrange a viewing, contact Colin Nikolic at email@example.com or on 01592 632260.
Ryden is set to relocate its Edinburgh headquarters this month after 25 years at North Castle Street.
The commercial property firm has signed a 10-year lease at The Exchange and will occupy the 582sq m ground floor of 1B Exchange Crescent at 7 Conference Square.
All 45 Edinburgh staff will relocate to the new HQ, whose neighbours include Shepherd and Wedderburn, Morrison, Colliers, Logic Now and Pure Gym.
Partner Peter I’Anson said: “We selected Exchange Crescent from a number of short-listed options to provide a high-quality space from which to develop our business.
“Moving from a townhouse to a single level will mean collaboration on projects is easier and we will be closer to our clients, friends and fellow professionals, while maintaining on-street presence at our new office.
Exchange Crescent as a business location resonates with Ryden’s quality and professionalism. We are proud to be part of an evolving area which has seen the recent development of Atria and has office proposals from Hermes and Scottish Power.”
The interior design and project management of the new, contemporary fit-out is being handled by the firm’s growing project & building consultancy team.
Ryden says it will be designed to maximise team working by arranging workspaces around a central hub, with dedicated quiet areas.
Edgar Stewart has relocated from its former West End address to a new, state-of-the-art conversion in the trendy Stockbridge area.
The professional services recruitment specialist has opened a new business incubator and start-up hub at its new Dean Park Mews base.
The Edinburgh-based firm says it’s keen to ditch the stuffy and boring image traditional recruitment firms are typically associated with and hopes its new, contemporary digs will appeal to the fresh, young talent it’s trying to attract.
Social Care Alba
Care at home specialist Social Care Alba has opened its second office in Edinburgh’s Tollcross area, following a period of “exponential growth” over the last five years.
The company, which has consistently received top billing from the Care Inspectorate, expects its workforce to increase by 75 over the next five years.
Director Stephen Wilson said: “With the expansion of our Edinburgh team we are investing in a second office aimed at meeting our growing staff and clients’ needs. A centrally located, modern and accessible office in the city’s Semple Street provides us with a dedicated space to meet with clients, family members and health care professionals.
“Due to nation-wide cut backs it’s a difficult time for anyone to be working within the health and social care field. However we truly believe that continued investment in our Edinburgh operation will secure jobs for our staff and high-quality care for service users in the city.”
Happy Days has launched a second Midlothian nursery in Eskbank.
The new facility in the Hardengreen area of the town has created 30 full-time jobs delivering a significant boost to the local economy.
Catering for up to 80 children, the nursery has been developed from a six-bed country house into a top of the range childcare centre.
The family firm’s expansion to new premises was facilitated by funding from Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Edinburgh.
With an existing nursery on Dalkeith High Street, Happy Days already offers full and part-time placements providing a high standard of care for children up to the age of twelve.
Established in 1992, the family-run nursery offers learning and development opportunities from pre-birth to toddlers to after school clubs.
It was recently named as the best outdoor learning environment in the UK by Nursery Management Today for 2015.
Victoria Fryatt, managing director of Happy Days, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our Hardengreen nursery. It’s taken a lot of hard work and investment to develop the premises to our own high standards, but it has been absolutely worth it.
“The Hardengreen property comes with 3.8 acres of grounds that we’ll be putting to use to continue and improve our outdoor learning offering.
“We’ll be welcoming 80 new children and 30 new staff which is very exciting. Nursery places are in high demand in Midlothian so we decided the time was right to expand.
“Clydesdale Bank helped us develop our business when an opportunity arose. They’ve been trusted partners and advisers throughout the process.”
Stephen Buchan, head of Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Edinburgh, said: “Happy Days is already a very well respected brand in the local community and their latest expansion will only serve to cement that reputation.
“After spotting a chance for growth and finding appropriate premises, Clydesdale Bank was approached to provide funding for purchase and renovation.
“The new nursery looks great and I’m sure all those who work and play there will enjoy the wide open spaces and top of the range facilities.”
Clydesdale Bank recently launched a series of lending initiatives for UK businesses, designed to encourage growth for new and existing customers. As well as capital-free periods for up to five years, the Bank has also introduced high percentage funding for businesses to purchase trading premises.
Clydesdale a Bank has strengthened its support for UK SMEs by becoming the first to partner with the British Business Bank under its ENABLE Guarantees scheme. Up to £125 million of new lending by Clydesdale Bank will help more small businesses achieve their growth ambitions.
Innovative housing and care provider Blackwood has announced the appointment of its first ever strategic development director.
Simon Fitzpatrick, who lives in Dundee, has more than 15 years of experience in asset management and will take up the newly-created role.
He will be responsible for the delivery of Blackwood’s pioneering Concept House, as well as its digital care innovations and asset portfolio.
According to the firm, Fitzpatrick will take the lead in driving forward Blackwood’s plans to introduce greater innovation; developing the new wave of digital care to improve the lives of service users and helping commissioning partners to drive efficiencies in the integration of social care.
He said: “I’m thrilled to step up and take on this exciting new role. After accumulating over 15 years of asset management experience, I feel I have a sound knowledge of how to develop Blackwood’s exciting objectives for the future.
“It’s definitely an inspiring time to be a part of the organisation as it gears up to revolutionise the housing and care sector with its impressive reputation of service quality and new technological innovations.”
Fitzpatrick has worked in a number of asset management roles across the private and third sector and is returning to Blackwood – where he previously worked as a property investment manager – after spending two years working with CrossReach, a provider of social care for vulnerable people in Scotland.
Fanchea Kelly, chief executive at Blackwood, said: “We are delighted to bring the new role of strategic development director to Blackwood as it will enable us to continue to grow as industry innovators.
“Simon will be an important part of the Blackwood team and will contribute significantly as we continue to develop the organisation and build our reputation of delivering high quality services and supporting our customers to live full and independent lives.
“We know that the strong mix of experience in our team – as exampled by Simon – plays a leading role in setting us apart in the sector. I am very much looking forward to working alongside Simon again as Blackwood goes from strength to strength.”
Gilson Gray LLP says it has recruited some of the top names in commercial dispute resolution and insolvency after “completing a swoop on Morisons Solicitors”.
The legal firm, which launched last year, says it has recruited a raft of big hitters from the commercial dispute resolution team at Morisons, including litigation specialist Alex Garioch and Rosie Walker, who recently acted for Alistair Carmichael MP in Scotland’s first election trial for 50 years.
Managing partner Glen Gilson, said: “We are extremely proud what we have achieved in our first year of trading and sincerely thank the Scottish business community for their ongoing support.
“The appointment coups to our Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Insolvency Teams position us as one of the most compelling and experienced dispute resolution groups in Scotland. It means we have award-winning experts covering multiple disciplines, including commercial and private client litigation, arbitration, international arbitration, adjudication, insolvency, Solicitor Advocacy, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.”
Garioch said: “I am excited about the prospect of becoming part of Gilson Gray, given their impressive dynamism and approach to client service. In my mind there is no doubt that Gilson Gray is quickly establishing itself as one of Scotland’s leading full service law firms, such is their skill base and ethos.
“My team has always taken great pride in the quality of our representation of client interests, and, within Gilson Gray, there is clearly the same approach. It seems to me the Gilson Gray story will be one of success and I am proud to be part of it.”
Walker said: “I am thrilled about bringing my clients and our team to Gilson Gray. The partners have impressed me enormously with their enthusiasm and commitment to outstanding customer service and to achieving great results. I am very much looking forward to working with the existing wider team at Gilson Gray, which already has incredible strength and depth.”
Iain K Clark, solicitor advocate, partner and head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, added: “We are delighted to attract top lawyers such as Rosie and Alex to our expanding Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team.
“Their breadth and depth of experience compliments the services we provide to our existing clients and affords us the opportunity to become the ‘go to’ team in Scotland for complex litigation and dispute resolution.”
Keith Anderson also joins Gilson Gray from Morisons, as an associate in the Insolvency Team. Keith has had a number of high profile instructions in recent history including being lead solicitor to BDO prior to, and during, the successful 12 month administration of Heart of Midlothian football club. He was also in-house legal counsel (on secondment) for Rangers Football.
He said: “I firmly believe Gilson Gray have some of the very best and most passionate people in law. I look forward to working with existing contacts and growing the client base and sectors with whom I am currently working.”
Steven Jansch, solicitor advocate, partner and head of Insolvency, said: “The additions to the team help us build on the solid progress already made at Gilson Gray. We have an exciting opportunity to continue on that development path. We are committed to offering leading insolvency services and Keith’s appointment reflects that.”
Gilson said the firm’s impressive first year financial results, during which the firm posted seven figure profits, and its many award wins, are a positive endorsement of its client-focussed business strategy, which is firmly directed on changing perceptions on how legal services should be delivered.
He added: “We provide a transparently and persuasively priced service. We also only employ partners and staff that know how to engage properly with clients to make the service exceptional and wherever possible enjoyable. We wish to break from the perception that lawyers are detached and unapproachable.
“We hope to announce further senior appointments over the next few weeks, and continue to encourage the very best of Scottish talent to join us.”
Contract wins & collaborations
Harper Mcleod and Dowle, Smith & Rutherford
Harper Macleod LLP has expanded into Shetland after acquiring law firm Dowle, Smith & Rutherford (DSR).
The DSR team of 12 which is headed up by partners Christopher Dowle and Paul Rutherford joined Harper Macleod on October 1 (2015) and will add to the firm’s existing offices in Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow and Thurso.
The Shetland operation, which Harper Macleod says will make a significant contribution to its circa £22 million turnover, will be renamed ‘Harper Macleod incorporating Dowle, Smith & Rutherford’.
Chairman professor Lorne Crerar said: “This is a unique opportunity for our firm to enter one of the most interesting and dynamic economies in the whole of Scotland.
“DSR is one of the islands’ leading legal brands and this is a mutually beneficial opportunity for both firms, adding the full weight of Harper Macleod’s commercial and personal legal offering to the existing services provided to current and future clients.
“We know Chris and Paul very well, having worked closely with the firm for many years through our HM Connect referral network of 275 firms across the country. We are delighted to be welcoming them to the firm and to have the opportunity to deliver excellent legal services both on Shetland and beyond.”
Based in St Olaf’s Hall in Lerwick, Dowle, Smith & Rutherford has a broad legal practice and is one of Shetland’s leading estate agencies.
Rutherford said: “There has been a close bond between Dowle, Smith & Rutherford and Harper Macleod for many years and this integration is great news for our all of our clients and our people. The most important factor for us is being able to deliver excellence of service to our clients. Being part of such a successful business will give them access to a much greater range of expertise and strength in depth, while providing continuity of the service they have come to expect.
“Through Lorne and others, Harper Macleod knows the islands well and shares our vision, both for now and the future. We look forward to growing even stronger as part of such a renowned brand in the Scottish legal market.”
Harper Macleod is already on the panel of law firms which provide support to Shetland Islands Council, and Crerar explained the reasons behind one of Scotland’s largest firms establishing a presence in its most remote community.
He said: “We are already established as the leading full service legal brand across the Highlands and Islands, with offices in Inverness and Thurso, and have never been afraid to go where we see an opportunity. We have built a sustainable legal business at a time when other models clearly aren’t succeeding.
“There are huge opportunities for the Shetland economy going forward and we want to be part of that. Shetland is one of the most prosperous parts of the Highlands and Islands. It has a strong export base and its role in supporting the oil and gas industry, along with renewables, aquaculture, tourism and more have seen it thrive. Home ownership and employment are both high and it has a growing population requiring personal legal services.”
The West of Shetland offshore oil and gas discoveries, allied to its renewable energy potential have resulted in a thriving energy industry including some massive projects both on and offshore. The support and supply chain is also thriving, with a long-term role in North Sea decommissioning expected, while Lerwick Harbour, literally the UK’s top port, is a hive of activity.
The islands’ key economic opportunities include:
Offshore oil & gas industry
Renewable energy industry
Energy support and supply chains
Decommissioning base for oil & gas industry
Lerwick Harbour –modern commercial port supporting all industries
Tourism and creative industries
Increased connectivity – both digital and transport
One of most prosperous parts of Highlands and Islands
Recently named second best place in UK to raise a family