October Movers & Shakers

Your guide to who’s moving, hiring, investing and teaming up this month.

Office moves and expansions

CN Properties
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 colin@signsys.co.uk or on 01592 632260.

Press Release-coachworks elevations-page-001

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.
New surroundings for Ryden at Exchange Crescent
New surroundings for Ryden at Exchange Crescent
Edgar Stewart
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.
From left, Edgar Stewart directors Bruce Hydes, Craig Jackson and Alan Wallace
From left, Edgar Stewart directors Bruce Hydes, Craig Jackson and Alan Wallace
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
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.
Happy Days Nursery
Happy Days Nursery


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.”
Simon Fitzpatrick, Blackwood
Simon Fitzpatrick, Blackwood
Gilson Gray
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.
Alex Garioch
Alex Garioch
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.”
Rosie Walker
Rosie Walker
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.
Keith Anderson
Keith Anderson
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.”
Glen Gilson
Glen Gilson
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
  • Aquaculture industry
  • Lerwick Harbour –modern commercial port supporting all industries
  • Tourism and creative industries
  • Skilled workforce
  • 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
The move into Shetland comes shortly after Harper Macleod announced the addition of five new Partners among 10 recruits to its Edinburgh office following the administration of rival law firm McClure Naismith. Together, the moves represent growth of around 10% overall for the firm, while its overall headcount is now approaching 400.
DSR and Harper Macleod
DSR and Harper Macleod
Menzies Distribution and wnDirect
International e-commerce delivery business wnDirect has appointed Edinburgh-based Menzies Distribution as one of its supply chain providers in a move the company say underlines the press distributor’s ambitions in the logistics sector.
Menzies drivers will collect packaged orders from wnDirect’s growing portfolio of retail customers and deliver these to processing centres in Derbyshire and Kent to be combined for export loads.
Beginning with 12 routes this month, Menzies will increase its activity until it is handling all of wnDirect’s current range of 60 collection routes by early October.
Forsyth Black, managing director of Menzies Distribution, said: “This is a major milestone in our efforts to develop a broader logistics offering, building on the strengths of the press distribution business. The services we will provide wnDirect give us the opportunity to use our network resources during daylight hours, bringing additional revenue into the business and gaining more value from the company’s investment in depots and vans.”
 wnDirect works with a wide range of retailers to support their international growth plans, using a range of innovative solutions to help overcome the challenges of cross border trade. Its customers include well-known names such as ASOS and Boohoo. The company, which started trading in 2011, now employs 80 people and has a turnover of £83m. It was recognised as ‘New Business of the Year’ at the National Business Awards in 2013.
Jonathan Matchett, UK managing director of wnDirect said: “We were attracted to Menzies because of their established network reach and track record of managing multiple, time-sensitive routes. Our customers need a simple, fast and effective service and Menzies can deliver that. We are committed to supporting our retailer partners to enhance their customer satisfaction levels through a successful delivery supply chain, which is particularly important as we enter the peak period leading up to Christmas. We recognised that Menzies shares our approach to using innovation and technology to improve the customer experience.”
Earlier this year Menzies bought AJG Parcels of Inverness to allow it to enter the growing e-commerce parcel market, specialising in hard-to-reach areas where it will act as a neutral consolidation partner for major parcel carriers.
The company also secured a store distribution deal with WH Smith in 2014 and has been providing similar services for Card Factory since July 2015.
Arrayjet and CDI Laboratories
Arrayjet, the Scottish-based microarray instrumentation company based in Edinburgh, has won a contract with US-based Proteomics company, CDI Laboratories, located in Baltimore, Maryland and Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, designed to rapidly enhance CDI’s work in advancing proteomic research and development.
The contract, valued in excess of $600,000, will see Arrayjet’s Ultra Marathon II high throughput microarray printer provide the technology to allow CDI Laboratories to perform efficient analyses of thousands of protein interactions using minimal amounts of valuable research or clinical samples.
CDI Laboratories produces the largest human protein microarray in the world.
Printing close to 20,000 human proteins on one chip requires the utmost precision and quality regarding spot morphology. Additionally, since the proteins are purified and printed to retain the proteins native conformation, the ability of the printer to maintain consistency in this rigorous environment is vital.
CDI will use the Arrayjet to print its HuProt™ protein microarrays that contain 19,384 proteins, covering 75% of the human proteome.  In addition, Ultra Marathon II will be used to print customized microarrays for other future applications.
The firm expects that the purchase of Arrayjet’s Ultra Marathon II, capable of printing 1000 slides in a single batch, will increase CDI’s capacity for printing large quantities of protein microarrays whilst significantly optimising quality. The laboratory currently has patents in process for a number of related technologies to increase high throughput analysis of protein-to-protein interactions, antibodies and biomarker identification processes.
CDI Laboratories provides analysis across academia and the pharmaceutical industry in areas such as autoimmune research, cancer biomarkers, cancer biological therapeutic research and vaccine production, so strong R&D and the correct tools are essential to providing the best possible service, as Scott D. Paschke, Vice President of CDI Laboratories explains;
“The CDI mission is to empower research and development in proteomics with proprietary technologies. In essence, we create tools that help accelerate research by designing products and services to improve research in the area of proteomics.
We are very excited about our new affiliation with Arrayjet.  Arrayjet’s printing technology is certainly cutting edge and we expect it to significantly improve our capacity and quality. It was chosen because of its ability to print large numbers of high quality arrays with the least amount of quality control problems. Because of the printers speed and versatility, it will significantly improve CDI’s manufacturing capabilities.”
Iain McWilliam, CEO of Arrayjet said: “This is a significant contract for us. Not only does it have an exceptionally strong international focus, but strengthens our proposition as the leading provider of microarray printing know-how and technology. The Arrayjet Ultra Marathon II printer is best in class for CDI and will give them exceptional accuracy, precision and quality they need to produce the vast amount of analysis and data for its clients.”
Arrayjet has had strong financial support from Archangels, the prominent Scottish-based business angel syndicate.
Archangel Director, Mike Rutterford said: “Arrayjet, under Iain’s leadership, grows from strength to strength on the international stage and this contract with CDI Laboratories underlines that, with a growing international capability, particularly in North America, Arrayjet is destined to be the partner of choice for so many pharma labs and biomedical technology specialists. I’m delighted they have secured this important contract.”
TAP (Taylor Architecture Practice) and DFDS Logistics
Edinburgh-based architecture firm TAP has announced it appointment to a £4.5m re-design of a Scottish salmon distribution centre in Larkhall near Glasgow for DFDS Logistics.
Its latest venture will see the practice take forward plans for a significant expansion of the existing depot including a complete revamp of the office and social areas. Working to a tight schedule, the ambitious project’s first phase is due for completion in December 2015.
Neil Taylor, managing director of TAP, said: “The food and drink industry is an increasingly important part of Scotland’s economy and we believe that there are many benefits to be gained from creating well designed and technically sophisticated buildings for the industry as it grows. Often food production companies come to us with a requirements that are, understandably, focused on the practicalities of maximising productivity. Our view is that if all of the functions; from the reception and offices, to the storage and plant areas, through to the factory floor, can be integrated within an overarching design concept, then this can achieve both the most efficient layout and also a coherent and visually powerful building. At Castle MacLellan this approach has had a huge impact on improving productivity and business culture, as well as providing the business with a building that they can be proud of.
“We are experts in this area with a detailed understanding of a wide range of food production process, but our philosophy is also driven by putting good design at the heart of the industrial workplace. It’s an idea we are committed to and believe our work to date has shown the impact that this can have on staff, productivity and ultimately on the bottom line. We are now looking forward to working with a widening range of client businesses to support Scotland’s food and drink sector and see it thrive in the future.”
Founding the practice in the mid-1960s, David Taylor has had over five decades of experience working in Scottish architecture. Following in his father’s footsteps, son Neil has brought a range of complementary skills to the well-established firm. Endeavouring to give each and every one of its projects a high degree of attention, commitment and care, the team is passionate about combining pragmatism with elegance offering the perfect design solution for clients.
David and Neil Taylor from TAP Architects.
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