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Proposal Launched for East Lothian Food & Drink BID: A UK First

East Lothian Council (24/7/15) - Business owners in East Lothian are being invited to create a unique food and drink based Business Improvement District (BID), which would be the first of its kind in the UK.

Making the announcement at the Chocolate Tree shop in Haddington on Thursday 23 July were proprietor Alastair Gower; Robert Knops of Knops Beer; Peter Stuart of Thistly Cross Cider, Louise Elder of Black and Gold rapeseed oil along with Councillor John McMillan, Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism at East Lothian Council and Ian Davison Porter, Director of the national body for BIDs, Business Improvement Districts Scotland.

Councillor McMillan said:

”This is really exciting news for East Lothian. Our Economic Development Strategy aims to build the strongest local economy in Scotland and projects like this all add up to bring us even closer to that goal. The speciality food and drink sector based here in East Lothian has actually thrived despite tough economic times. We have many wonderful businesses in this sector so it’s a great thing to be able to support and help them grow and encourage new start-ups. I very much look forward to seeing this develop and the business ideas that emerge.“

East Lothian has a thriving food and drink sector with almost 120 businesses and organisations located in the area. East Lothian Council’s ‘East Lothian Food & Drink’ initiative and brand which was launched in 2000, provides support to the sector through a programme of events, promotion and the fiercely contested annual awards, which are in their 10th year.

A BID is based on businesses with a shared interest and a common ambition coming together to generate funds and decide how it should be spent locally. It acts as a local voice and works with, rather than as a substitute for local government services, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise, and Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society.

For the East Lothian Food and Drink BID, a steering group of local sector-based business people will now be established and charged with the task of devising a five-year business plan tailored to their specific needs. The BID framework has been used elsewhere to enhance town centres, tourism and business parks with successful examples bringing a range of improvements such as better promotion and marketing, community events, projects and loyalty schemes, all of which can drive sales and attract more investment.

The development of this innovative Food and Drink BID was welcomed by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead, who said:

“The East Lothian Food and Drink BID is ground-breaking - not only a first for Scotland but for the UK, and possibly the world. I am very much impressed with East Lothian businesses, the local authority and key partners, as they work together to maximise opportunities for further promotion, growth and support of East Lothian’s food and drink sector. The Scottish Government recognises the important role of BIDs Scotland in working with our businesses and communities to help create a more productive, cohesive and fairer Scotland. Scotland’s food and drink sector is growing at an exponential rate. The BID model will further aid the growth and profile of this sector. I encourage other areas in Scotland to follow East Lothian’s lead and consider how they too can benefit from a Food and Drink BID.”

The national organisation Scotland Food & Drink Scotland has ambitious growth plans across the whole of Scotland to grow the national value of the sector to £16.5bn by 2017. Ian Davison Porter is Director of the national body for BIDs, Business Improvement Districts Scotland. He added:

"The development of a Food and Drink BID in East Lothian is another first for Scotland, as Scotland leads the way in the innovative development of the BIDs model. The collective working of the businesses involved in the Food and Drink BID will help drive local and international trade, in one of the key sectors of the Scottish economy, and create an opportunity to reduce business costs. This Food and Drink BID is a clear demonstration of the flexibility of the Scottish model, developed from the outset to be used in innovative and creative ways."

The BID, run independently from the local authority, is open to all businesses and organisations based in East Lothian, from within the food and drink sector with a rateable value. All of which will be encouraged to get involved over the coming months. The process of consultation to develop the business plan will begin this month and all businesses will be contacted to gather their views on how the BID could help them face local issues and create improvements to the local economy as well as individual businesses.

Further discussions with all the sector-based businesses will progress over the coming months and if all goes well the BID is expected to be fully established in around 12 to 14 months’ time.


Scotland to Adopt UN Sustainable Development Goals

Scottish Government (19/07/15) - Scotland will become one of the first countries in the world to sign up to a new international action plan to tackle poverty and inequality and promote sustainable development across the globe, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister confirmed that Scotland will adopt the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which outline a number of high-level objectives for countries, including ending poverty, ensuring access to education and achieving gender equality.

The SDGs will form the basis of a global partnership for sustainable development with the engagement of governments, as well as civil society, the private sector, and the United Nations system.

The Goals, which will be formally confirmed at the 70th regular session of the UN’s General Assembly in New York in September, align with the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework, with Scotland’s progress in achieving the objectives subject to formal reporting back to the UN.

The First Minister said:

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals offer a vision of the world that I believe people in Scotland share. From ending poverty and hunger; securing education and health services; combating inequality and achieving gender equality, the aims set out by the UN form an agenda for tackling some of the world’s greatest problems.

“Unlike their forerunner – the Millennium Development Goals – these new aims will not be restricted to developing countries. Instead they will be universal, applying to all countries – including Scotland.

“That is why I am delighted to confirm that Scotland has become one of the first nations on Earth to publically sign up to these goals and provide international leadership on reducing inequality across the globe.

“By signing up, we as a government will be required to demonstrate how we will work to achieve these targets by 2030. Fortunately, many of the goals chime with what we in Scotland are already doing to tackle poverty and inequality, not just here at home but globally too.

“We are in the fortunate position that Scotland’s aims and ambitions, enshrined in our National Performance Framework and Scotland’s National Action Plan on Human Rights– such as tackling inequality ensuring access to high quality education and healthcare – are already a key part of the Sustainable Development Goals. This will allow us to measure and report on progress in achieving the SDGs in Scotland.

“So, by becoming one of the first countries in the world to sign up to the new Sustainable Development Goals, Scotland is leading the way on addressing some of the major issues of our time.

“We need to grasp the opportunity that following this path offers to create a fairer Scotland and a better world both now and for generations to come.”

Alexander Mejia, a director of The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) said:

“The United Nations is leading the global dialogue towards a renewed agenda for development. UNITAR has been tasked with the ever important responsibility of building the capacity of national, regional and local governments to ensure the new Sustainable Development Goals are embraced and achieved as planned between 2014 and 2030.

“We are doing it with the support of important partners, including the Scottish Government, and with Scottish expertise based at our international training centre in Edinburgh: CIFAL Scotland. I sincerely admire First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's strategic vision and commend her commitment to the future of our planet.”

The move to develop the Sustainable Development Goals was agreed at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development held in Brazil in 2012. The Goals will build on the work of the Millennium Development Goals, which gave developing countries a series of high level objectives such as reducing poverty and halting the spread of HIV/Aids.

The Sustainable Development Goals will be formally confirmed at the forthcoming regular session of the General Assembly in September. This follows the agreement stuck this week in Addis Ababa for financing the Goals.

More information is available at -

The Goals are as follows:

Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Call for Participation: Review of the National Standards for Community Engagement

In light of recent policy developments in Scotland with a focus on strengthening participation and community engagement, the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and What Works Scotland are currently working with the Scottish Government to review the National Standards for Community Engagement.

The  Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 June. Once the Bill comes into force, public bodies will have to meet new duties on how they support the participation of communities in the preparation and delivery of local outcome improvement plans. The guidance accompanying the Bill will refer public bodies and others to the use of the National Standards for Community Engagement (revised and possibly renamed) as a framework to support an effective community engagement process.

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi said: 

“This important piece of work will give Scottish communities an early opportunity to engage and participate in the implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

“Launched a decade ago, the National Standards for Community Engagement still plays a crucial role in helping public authorities work more efficiently and effectively with communities across Scotland to take part in activities, plans and service delivery in their local area.  

“This review process will strengthen the standards and show communities how they can address inequalities if they have more powers and confidence to shape their own futures.”

SCDC and What Works Scotland are using a variety of methods to involve as many people with an interest in community engagement as possible in the review process. Community Planning Partnerships, VOiCE (Visioning Outcomes in Community Engagement) users and Community Learning and Development Lead Officers are currently being surveyed and a National Standards for Community Engagement Reunion will be held in August this year.  

Alongside the survey and the reunion there will be a series of focus groups, and a number of test sites for early revisions will be established before moving into a second national consultative phase. More information about the events will be made available over the coming weeks.

If you are involved in community engagement activity in any capacity, community member or paid worker, and would like to participate in any of the above review processes, please email Andrew Paterson on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to let him know your contact details and to express your preference for involvement.

Download the pdf version of this news release here.

Source: SCDC


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