Water's Edge

Water’s Edge developer Tayforth Properties Ltd. becomes the 550th member of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce

Water’s Edge developer Tayforth Properties Ltd. has become the 550th member of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce (DACC).

Managing Director Stewart Clark received a certificate to mark the milestone moment after showing DACC Chief Executive Alison Henderson around the state-of-the-art commercial office development which is currently being built by Tayforth overlooking Dundee’s City Quay marina.

Situated on the historic Shed 25 site between Camperdown Dock and Victoria Dock, Water’s Edge has been conceived as a catalyst to inspire, connect and energise 21st Century business innovators, entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Tayforth Properties Ltd., which is owned by Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns (founders of 4J Studios and developers of the Minecraft console editions), and operated by Managing Director Stewart Clark, is working with Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell Studios Ltd. and contractors Lyon Building Services to deliver the project in 2017.

Alison Henderson said: “Tayforth Properties Ltd. are a key part of Dundee’s ambitious waterfront regeneration and I am delighted to welcome them into Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce.

“It was great to get an exclusive tour of Water’s Edge and hear more about the concept behind this impressive business development.

“I am certain that it will have great appeal to entrepreneurs, freelancers, nonprofits, and businesses large and small looking for the flexibility, resources and inspiration they need to create success.”

Stewart Clark added: “Tayforth Properties is excited to be creating this incredible business space and believe it will be a unique asset to the city of Dundee and beyond.

“The whole concept of Water’s Edge is focussed on nurturing creative thinking, encouraging collaboration and ultimately enhancing productivity, by combining historic detail with modern aesthetic and cutting-edge technology.

“Water’s Edge will also offer Dundee’s most impressive co-working space complete with state-of-the-art amenities.”

Original features have been retained and incorporated into the development which boasts specification of the highest quality, including ultra-fast broadband and temperature control.

From offices with capacity for 50 people through to individual co-working desks – open-plan, flexible workspace is at the heart of Water’s Edge.

The co-working concept is popular with entrepreneurs looking for creative collaboration and larger companies needing a satellite office or temporary space between moves or renovations. It is also viewed as an alternative to working from home or leasing office space.

What will ultimately become Dundee’s largest restaurant and café, with inspiring views overlooking the water, will complete the development.

Businesses who are interested in finding out more about Water’s Edge should contact Stewart Clark on 07782 637 420 or email stewart.clark@tayforth.com

VOLPA MARKS 10 YEARS OF MARKETING SCOTLAND’S PREMIER SOUND AND LIGHT EVENT

Volpa, one of Scotland’s top independent marketing agencies, is celebrating ten successful years at the helm of marketing The Enchanted Forest; now known as Scotland’s industry-leading sound and light show and current holder of UK Event Awards’ Event of the Year.

The award winning agency has been instrumental in transforming the one-time small Perthshire event into the top attraction it is today. With the event launching today, 28 September, it has completely sold out for the first time in its history, with ticket sales topping 72,500.

The spectacular sound and light event, which has seen an increase in visitors from 1,500 in 2002 to 70,000 in 2016, has seen a 22% rise in revenues for this year’s show.  It is estimated the event brings more than £3 million to the local economy.

Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, Volpa uses its full range of services to publicise the event including public relations, marketing, digital and creative. Over the years, Volpa has won several awards for the work it has delivered on The Enchanted Forest, including three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy.

Tricia Fox, Managing Director at Volpa said: “It’s phenomenal to see how much The Enchanted Forest event has grown over these 16 years. When I first took on the marketing contract the event had no customer database, no Facebook presence, a very basic website and around 15,000 annual visitors. Today it is one of Scotland’s must see autumn happenings. Every year it continues to bring swathes of visitors to the area who are contributing more than £3 million to the local economy annually. Volpa has been a key member of the team behind the successful event for the last decade.

“We are absolutely delighted The Enchanted Forest is a complete sell out this year. It is a true testament to the quality of the show. It’s been a privilege to work on such an exciting project for ten years and to see it grow to the extent that it has is incredibly rewarding for us as a team. I am proud of the work we have put in every single year to publicise this event, the evidence of which can be clearly seen in the ever increasing number of visitors the event attracts.”

The Enchanted Forest sound and light show runs from 28 September through to 29 October 2017.

Culture Perth & Kinross CEO Helen Smout is guest speaker at PBN’s ‘Striving For Excellence’ inspirational talks series

With a career spanning arts and culture, childcare, and a stint as library services manager, Helen Smout has been working towards the role of CEO for Culture Perth & Kinross (CPK) her entire life.

The driving force behind the county’s newly-formed cultural services organisation is the latest prominent business name to share the secrets of her success at Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network’s (PBN) ‘Striving For Excellence’ inspirational talks series on Tuesday, October 17 from 6-8pm in Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

Helen will look back at CPK’s highly successful first year which has seen footfall rise in Perth and Kinross’ museums and key libraries. She will also update members about the progress of the ambitious projects to transform Perth City Hall and Perth Museum and Art Gallery into modern cultural venues better able to showcase the county’s incredible collections to their best advantage.

She will also talk about her career path which has seen her progress through the public sector ranks to a position overseeing million pound budgets and hundreds of staff.

Helen Smout said: “I am honoured to be invited along to address PBN members. I am very impressed by the work the organisation does to support and encourage female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.”

Jane Rennie, PBN Chairwoman added: “PBN is delighted that Helen has taken time out of her busy working week to participate in PBN’s ‘Striving for Excellence’ talks series.

“It’s a great opportunity for members and guests to learn from this inspirational businesswoman and I hope her career journey will encourage more women to aim for top jobs in both the public and private sector.”

Tickets cost £16 (PBN members) and £20 for non-members are available on Eventbrite via the PBN website (www.perthshirebusinesswomen.co.uk). The event runs from 6-8pm and includes an informal buffet supper and the chance to network before and after.

For more information about Perthshire Businesswomen’s Network (PBN) or for comment, please contact Alison Lowson on 0758 409 3354 or by email a.lowson@volpa.co.uk

VOLPA CELEBRATES 15 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS WITH AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS

Volpa, one of Scotland’s top independent marketing agencies, celebrates 15 years in the business this month and is looking to the future with ambitious expansion plans.

The award winning agency, founded in 2002 by Managing Director and entrepreneur, Tricia Fox, has tripled its employees in less than three years is now targeting a turnover of £1 million within the next 18 months.

Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, the company’s diverse portfolio of clients includes Dundee Heritage Trust, Scone Palace, The Famous Grouse Experience, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Miller Hendry and most notably, the incredibly successful event, The Enchanted Forest. Over ten years, Volpa has been instrumental in transforming this small Perthshire event into Scotland’s premier sound and light event with over 70,000 visitors each year.

The full service agency boasts dedicated publicity, creative and digital departments, meaning for businesses looking for PR and marketing support, they don’t have to look any further than Volpa’s ‘one stop’ shop. The company’s incredible success to date is reflected in the raft of awards it has received over the years, including three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy.

Tricia Fox, Managing Director of Volpa, said: “Volpa has come a long way since I started the company from my spare bedroom 15 years ago! I am delighted with how the business has progressed over the years and I am extremely proud of the talented, experienced and committed team of people I now have working with me. As my team are at the heart of what we deliver, their well-being is incredibly important and in 2015 we became accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, pledging a commitment to offer a minimal wage higher than the national average.

“Our success speaks for itself given the amount of industry accolades we have achieved to date and we are fully committed to delivering industry excellence; this is reflected in our membership of the PRCA, Europe’s largest and most influential PR and communications membership body, individual membership of the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) and inclusion in the international Recommended Agency Register and more recently, membership.

“However, not one to rest on my laurels, we have ambitious expansion plans looking to the future. We are currently the largest PR & marketing agency in Perthshire and we are planning to expand our footprint geographically with a three year plan that will see us firmly established as one of Scotland’s largest independent agencies.”

Inspirational Young Scot finalist Ross Clift is keynote speaker at 2017 Glasgow Brain Game

Inspirational young fundraiser Ross Clift is the keynote speaker at the 2017 Glasgow Brain Game.

Over the past 18 months Ross, from Sandyhills in Glasgow, has dedicated his spare time to raising money and awareness for Marie Curie, the charity which helped care for his late mother Ann.

The 23-year-old personal trainer at Hilton Glasgow and his younger sister Caitlin organised a charity night which raised enough money to run Marie Curie’s Glasgow hospice on Christmas Day.

Ross – a finalist in the prestigious Young Scot awards – has bravely agreed to share his story with business leaders before they compete for the title of Scotland’s top business brains at The Hilton Glasgow on Thursday, October 12, from 7pm until midnight.

Explained Ross (pictured with his mum Ann, left, and sister Caitlin): “Last April, mum was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer which is a very rare type of tumour. At first she reacted well to the radiotherapy and seemed to be heading in the right direction, but she had a seizure and was admitted to hospital in the June.

“After treatment in the Royal Infirmary and the Beatson, mum was eventually moved to Marie Curie’s Springburn Hospice. She loved it so much – from the nurses to the food to the views. It was a holiday away from the hospitals she had been in for over a month.

Unfortunately, just under four weeks later on August 10 Ann passed away aged just 47.

Ross continued: “Mum was surrounded by the comforts of the hospice, and the family had been made aware a week prior that she was deteriorating. Most of my family moved into the hospice for that week and we can’t thank the staff enough for what they did for us, making us feel as comfortable as possible.”

After Ann’s death, Ross and Caitlin founded a new volunteer group called Glasgow City to raise money and awareness for Marie Curie.

Ross added: “Being chosen as keynote speaker at the Glasgow Brain Game is an honour and a great opportunity to talk about the work done by Marie Curie.

“When my mum was being cared for at the hospice in Springburn, my sister and I realised how much work Marie Curie does to support the families as well as the patients.

“Family members often have to stay in the hospice for weeks at a time and it’s a great comfort to know that your bed is made up for you and there is someone to talk to.”

Despite everything the siblings have gone through, they want other people to have access to the support they received from Marie Curie.

Ross added: “When mum eventually passed away, it gave us that spurt to give something back. We don’t come to the hospice feeling sad that mum died. We just come here feeling that there’s more people we can help.”

Last year’s Glasgow Brain Game saw a record breaking £136,000 raised for Marie Curie and organisers hope to beat this total next month when over 40 high profile companies battle it out for the title of Scotland’s top business brains.

Morgan Stanley, Grant Thornton, STV and Arnold Clark are among the organisations who have already signed up to take part in the event when they hope to snatch the title from reigning champions Shepherd and Wedderburn.

This year’s fiendishly tricky black-tie quiz is being hosted by TV presenters Hazel Irvine and Rob Maclean at The Hilton Glasgow on Thursday, October 12, from 7pm until midnight.

Guests will also have the opportunity to bid for exclusive lots in the live and silent auctions and win superb prizes in the grand raffle.

As well as supporting terminal illness charity Marie Curie, The Glasgow Brain Game is a perfect occasion for entertaining clients, networking or simply having a fabulous evening.

Although the event is held in Glasgow, organisers are keen to emphasise that it is open to companies Scotland-wide to attend.

David Beal, Managing Director at The Beal Group Ltd. and Glasgow Brain Game committee member, said: “2017 promises to be another exceptional occasion filled with fun, competitive quizzing and corporate networking, perfect for entertaining clients and networking.”

Marie Curie is the leading charity for people living with a terminal illness and their families. Last year the charity provided care and support to over 8,000 people through its two Scottish hospices, through the West Lothian Palliative Care Service and in people’s homes across Scotland. There’s also a free confidential support line for anyone who has questions about terminal illness – 0800 090 2309.

There’s still time to register your interest in taking a table or sponsorship packages for this year’s Glasgow Brain Game. For more information, please contact Catherine Maclean via Catherine.maclean@mariecurie.org.uk or call 0141 557 7552.

Follow the Glasgow Brain Game on Twitter and there’s more information on the website www.mariecurie.org.uk/glasgowbraingame

Crieff’s Murraypark Hotel receives prestigious Green Tourism Award for its sensational ‘Silver’ sustainability initiatives

The Murraypark Hotel in Crieff has been rewarded for its commitment to sustainability with a prestigious Green Tourism Award.

The Green Tourism initiative assesses businesses on their green credentials and the Perthshire hotel attained a high ‘Silver’ grading in recognition of its series of planet-friendly initiatives.

Murraypark won the accolade after a recent inspection found that sustainable activities being undertaken there met 74% of the Green Tourism criteria.

The home-from home hotel, which has 21 bedrooms, was commended on its ‘green’ efforts across the board in one of the most rigorous certification programmes in the industry.

Assessors praised Murraypark Hotel on its commitment to sustainability, particularly on its strong local food provenance, initiative to recycle used soaps from the bedrooms and good waste management.

The Murraypark Hotel has received ongoing support from the ‘Green Team’ at its sister hotel Crieff Hydro.

Murraypark Hotel’s Manager Lynne Anderson, who led the visit by Green Tourism, commented:

“The team here are all passionate about playing their part in helping to ensure we work in an eco-friendly environment. Whether it’s through our monitoring of food waste and the ways we can reduce it, or working with local community schemes like Crieff in Leaf, a local charity which maintains many of the wonderful green spaces and flower baskets in Crieff, we’ll be working hard to build on these initiatives to do even better on Green Tourism’s next visit.”

Stephen Leckie, CEO of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, continued:

“We’re always looking for new ways to make Murraypark Hotel operate more efficiently and it’s great to see Green Tourism recognise this. All of the efforts from the team at Murraypark Hotel go a long way to making the hotel a truly green and sustainable business.”

This was the first grading for Murraypark Hotel and the high Silver Award is a great achievement. Green Tourism’s Business Scheme is the UK’s leading sustainable tourism certification scheme. Businesses who opt to join are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more.

Andrea Nicholas, Managing Director at Green Tourism, commented:

“The team at Murraypark Hotel has done well to gain a Silver Award during their first grading with Green Tourism. There are a number of great sustainable practices in place, such as a strong local food provenance and recycling soaps from the bedrooms. Overall a very good first assessment and a well-deserved high Silver Award!”

Green Tourism is considered one of the most rigorous certification programmes of its kind. It is the only one independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT). It also offers support and advice on developing sustainable tourism businesses.

More information about the Murraypark Hotel online at www.murraypark.com

‘Wonky Pop’ sensation Featherwest headline ‘Wild Nights’ at Perth Museum Late

Eccentric, electro-pop sensations Featherwest will headline the second Museum Late event at Perth Museum and Art Gallery next month.

The Glasgow-based trio of Iwona Denton (synth and vocals), Kev Dunne (drums) and Ryan Denton (guitar and synth) have been described as “eccentric indietronica meets wonky pop”.

“We kinda wish we lived in Twin Peaks,” says Iwona, who says the band are “really chuffed” to be invited to headline the Museum Late: Wild Nights extravaganza on Friday, October 6.

Featherwest have played with LA’s Mini Mansions, the LA band featuring Queens of the Stone Age’s Michael Shuman (and involving Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys). The versatile band – who also toured with Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend), have headlined King Tuts Wah Wah Hut with Baltimore’s Sun Club, performed a sell-out show at Celtic Connections and wowed audiences on BBC Scotland’s Vic Galloway show.

Earlier this month, the trio entered Chem19 studios with Mogwai producer Paul Savage to work on album sessions for their September 2017 album launch.

The adults-only, after-hours Museum Live event is also an opportunity to see both the highly-acclaimed Louise Bourgeois Artist Rooms, and the 150 years of Perthshire Society of Natural Sciences exhibitions.

There will also be:

  • DJ set from Simon Duncan (Weekend Wind Down on Heartland FM).
  • Creepy-crawly handling with Zoolab.
  • Craft beer from Inveralmond Brewery.
  • A Silent Disco.
  • Tours of ARTIST ROOMS: Louise Bourgeois.

Helen Smout, chief executive of Culture Perth and Kinross, which delivers and develops museum and library services across the county, said:

“Museum Late has been hugely popular in bigger cities like Edinburgh, London and Berlin, and Culture Perth & Kinross is delighted that the concept is really firing the imagination in Perth.

“The first Museum Late was held in May to tie in with the groundbreaking Picts and Pixels exhibition and this latest event will again transform Perth Museum and Art Gallery with music and light for a unique party atmosphere to showcase Louise Bourgeois Artist Rooms exhibition. This is sure to be a must-see for locals, and a big draw for out-of-town visitors.”

Museum Late: Wild Nights runs from 7-10pm on Friday, October 6, 2017. Tickets cost £10 (adults), £8 (sudents/concessions) and £30 (group of four ticket). The event is strictly adults-only and booking is essential. Follow the link www.culturepk.org.uk/whats-on/museum-late-wild-nights/

THE FAMOUS GROUSE EXPERIENCE JOINS VISITSCOTLAND’S INFORMATION PARTNER (VIP) PROGRAMME

The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery in Crieff has become the latest business in the country to sign up to VisitScotland’s Information Partner (VIP) programme.

Scotland’s most visited and oldest working distillery has now joined an exclusive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) by committing to actively promote Crieff and the wider Perthshire area, and services offered by local businesses.

Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign and harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.

From a luxury chocolate factory and café in the most north-westerly village on mainland Scotland to a gemstone museum in Dumfries & Galloway, and from award-winning restaurants in central Glasgow to libraries in Banchory and Inverurie, the programme includes partners in every region of Scotland and covering all tourism businesses.

The programme has taken the country by storm since it was launched with visitor attractions, accommodation providers and social enterprises all joining up to do their bit to ensure visitors receive first-class information about the local region and Scotland as a whole.

Jamie Morrison, Assistant Visitor Experience Manager at The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery, is responsible for managing the VIP programme at The Famous Grouse Experience.

He said: Crieff and the wider Perthshire region have a host of things to see and do for visitors and we have a real sense of pride in being part of this exciting scheme.

“The Famous Grouse Experience welcomes over 80,000 visitors each year and the VIP programme is a great opportunity for our staff to further share their wealth of local knowledge to help showcase the tourism offer in the area.

“By joining the VIP programme, not only are we helping to further strengthen and enhance the overall visitor experience at The Famous Grouse and Perthshire, we are working together to raise the profile of Scotland as a whole.”

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery to our VIP programme as recognition of the role staff at this hugely popular attraction already play in promoting their local area.

“This region boasts a multitude of things for visitors to see and do and we look forward to working with The Famous Grouse at Glenturret to ensure that visitors receive the best local information from a variety of providers.

“VisitScotland’s VIP programme aims to ensure that all tourism providers can be local ambassadors and help provide information, assistance and advice on all there is to see and do here. This follows a growing trend among consumers to use online resources to plan their trips and we now have partners throughout the country providing high quality information and advice to visitors with whom they interact.”

The VIP programme forms part of VisitScotland’s focus on information which also includes a global online community to allow Scots and those who love Scotland to bring alive the streets, characters and landscapes of our country.

It ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign, harnessing the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of staff at the attractions helping visitors make the most of their trip to Scotland.

The VisitScotland Information Partner programme is open to all Quality Assured businesses, as well as community groups, local authority-operated library services and social enterprises.

VisitScotland provides the partner sites with official signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive first-class information about the local region and about Scotland as a whole.

Businesses and groups who sign up to the programme also become part of the accredited iKnow Scotland programme, meaning that they have made a commitment to provide local information on a range of key topics. Businesses that are part of the programme are easily recognisable by the ‘iKnow Scotland’ branding displayed at their business. For more information, visit www.visitscotland.org

 

To find out more about the VisitScotland online community, visit: www.visitscotland.com/community

THE FAMOUS GROUSE EXPERIENCE CELEBRATES 1000 REVIEWS MILESTONE ON TRIPADVISOR

The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery in Crieff is celebrating its 1000th review on TripAdvisor.

Scotland’s most visited and oldest working distillery reached the milestone moment on the world’s biggest travel review site recently with most visitors grading the Perthshire attraction as either “very good” or “excellent”.

“Unforgettable”, “fun”, “awesome” and “fascinating” were just some of the superlatives used by enthusiastic amateur reviewers who toured the five-star visitor attraction, heaping praise on the quality of the tours, the friendly and knowledgeable staff, top notch restaurant and gift shop, and beautiful surroundings.

One reviewer, GillieBean3000 from Dunfermline, had a very special reason for her trip to The Famous Grouse Experience. Describing the visit as “fantastic”, she explained: “My fiancé and I are getting married soon and we are going to be drinking from a quaich so we brought our dads here to make their own blends of whisky and we will mix these drinks in the quaich during our wedding ceremony to represent our two families coming together. Our tour was with Jamie and he was amazing!”

Kevinrichie from Aberdeenshire, said: “We had a great time at the distillery. Great tour. Our guide Michael was brilliant. The cafe and shop was really good. Only cost us £10 a head for tour and that included a couple of nips of whisky. Would definitely recommend. Within walking distance of Crieff.”

And Drvaibhavmisra from Dehli, said: “The trip to the distillery was an everlasting experience, the rich legacy and the process of making the best Scotch was memorable. A must for every visitor to the region.”

The distillery’s famous cats also got a mention, with Rjrobbin from Ohio saying: “We enjoyed the visit. We enjoyed hearing about the cat who was responsible for killing over 28,000 mice during its 24 years.”

Mandy Ingram, Visitor Experience Manager at The Famous Grouse Experience, welcomed the feedback.

She said: “The team at The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery is delighted and humbled to receive such meaningful and favourable feedback. We always strive to offer our visitors a welcoming, enjoyable and informative experience that showcases our incredible whiskies. It is hugely rewarding to have those efforts recognised by TripAdvisor reviewers.”

Living Wage accredited employers speak at Ayrshire business breakfast event promoting family-friendly working practices

Two Living Wage accredited employers from Ayrshire were among the guest speakers at a special business event promoting the benefits of flexible, innovative and family-friendly working practices.

Jackie Hamilton (Senior Manager, Employment Services, North Ayrshire Council) and Victoria Edwards (CEO, VOCA) addressed business leaders, people managers and HR professionals at the Breakfast Briefing in the GSK Conference Centre in Irvine on Friday, September 8, from 9-11.30am.

Organised by Family Friendly Working Scotland, the event was held in partnership with Ruth Maguire MSP, who herself is a Recognised Living Wage MSP.

Ruth Maguire MSP, said: “This was a great opportunity to engage with experts and Ayrshire business leaders who have embedded a family-friendly approach in their organisation, and are reaping the rewards.

“I also used the event as a springboard to highlight the benefits of paying a Living Wage. I’m proud to be a Recognised Living Wage MSP and I’m happy to support the Poverty Alliance’s drive to encourage other businesses to help to make in-work poverty a thing of the past.”

Accredited as a Living Wage employer in 2016, Senior Manager Jackie Hamilton shared North Ayrshire Council’s experiences of being a family friendly employer, which has led to improved business efficiencies, enhanced services for the local community and improved work life balance of employees.

Speaking after Friday’s event, Fiona Walker, Head of Service for People and Transformation at North Ayrshire Council, said: “For the last two years we have been acknowledged as being one of the top Scottish employers for family friendly working, this in conjunction with our accreditation as a Living Wage employer are titles we wear with pride. Having family friendly policies and paying the Living Wage are an important indication of our commitment to fair work practices, and to a positive approach to our workforce. As part of our commitment to the Living Wage we also ask contractors who provide services for or on behalf of the Council to do so too. We are leading by example and that’s why we – as the largest single employer in North Ayrshire – are proud to show support for all employees. One of the most important reasons we think employers should embrace family friendly policies and strive for Living Wage accreditation is so they can become part of the Family Friendly and Living Wage community making these the norm rather than the exception.”

Telemarketing company VOCA became the first UK call centre to pay its staff a Living Wage when it gained accreditation in 2016.

CEO Victoria Edwards said: “VOCA is the first call centre in the UK to pay the Real Living Wage and we are passionately committed to our customers and have built an outstanding track record providing services to some of the UK’s best-known companies.

“Being a responsible business is about making a difference to both your customers and your employees, it’s not just about delivering profit to the bottom line in any given year. Employees are at the heart of any business and it’s important to have a team that are focused on delivering exceptional results. For an employee it is about more than the Real Living Wage. That was an easy decision for us to make – why would you not do it and our clients have been very supportive. But it is broader than just financial. Retaining and nurturing the best means a broader context within the working environment that fits for the needs of the staff. If I want full focus, I want to provide an environment where staff are not afraid to fail, they are proud to tell their family of the work that they do, that they know that there are services in the office to help with both their working and family life and that we provide stability, consistency and flexibility.”

For more information about Family Friendly Working Scotland visit www.familyfriendlyworkingscotland.org.uk

For more information about the Living Wage visit www.scottishlivingwage.org