The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


Improving Lives of Disabled Scots

New funding of £1 million will help employers with support and advice to enable more disabled people to move into work, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Disabled people make up 20% of Scotland’s population, but only 11% of the private sector workforce and 11.7% of public sector staff.

The funding will help:

  • promote the benefits to      employers of recruiting disabled people as part of a more diverse      workforce.
  • encourage employers to      support disabled people through offering work experience, paid internships      and more access to Modern Apprenticeships.
  • ensure employers –      particularly those in SMEs - have access to up to date, accurate advice      and support when seeking to recruit disabled people.

The First Minister also announced a consultation on setting public sector bodies targets for employing disabled people. This will be followed by a Disability Employment Action Plan in autumn 2018 containing measures to support many more disabled people into work.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I am determined that we use all the levers we have across Scotland to address the inequality disabled people face in the workforce. Far too many who want to work are denied this opportunity.

“This investment of £1 million will provide additional support and advice to help meet our ambitions of increasing the number of disabled people who are employed.

“Disabled people have a right to work and our new devolved employment service, Fair Start Scotland will prioritise support for disabled people and treat them with the dignity and respect to which they are entitled”

LOGANAIR - Ready for Take Off

Travelling to the business hubs just got easier from Dumfries and Galloway, with your new local airport – Carlisle Lake District. It also just got a whole lot quicker, more rewarding and better value, with Loganair, Scotland’s Airline – your airline. Travelling for business with Loganair As standard you can expect;

  • 20kg luggage and complimentary in-flight service in our standard fare
  • Frequent flights to London Southend, Belfast City and Dublin
  • Guaranteed rewards for frequent flyers – Clan Reward Flights with Clan Loganair *
  • A choice of great value flexible fares to suit all needs and budgets
  • Fast-track security and lounge access at Dublin, Belfast City and London Southend with our great value fully flexible fare, Fly Flex + **



Business in London?

  • You can now do business in a day, with our convenient day-return schedule. So, you can have breakfast in London and be back home for tea. *** 
  • We also fly every day of the week totalling 26 flights per week between Carlisle Lake District Airport and London Southend.  Therefore, it is not just fast, but also frequent. 
  • London Southend Airport – was voted by Which as London’s Best Airport for 3 consecutive years.

About London Southend Airport.

  • Fast and frequent trains serve a purpose-build airport station, whisking you straight to London Liverpool Street in just over 50 minutes. 
  • The modern airport terminal, includes state of the art facilities, with a first-class lounge and security area - all in turn, making for an efficient and pleasant departure when you return from London.  Book flights to London Southend

Business in Belfast City?

Belfast City Airport offers unapparelled access to the city centre of Belfast -  just 10 minutes away from Great Victoria Street station and nearby to Titanic Quarter. Making Belfast City the airport of choice for the business traveller, with convenient access to the city centre.

  • Lounge access and fast-track security is available
  • Flights are frequent – with up to 6 per week.

Book flights to Belfast City


Business in Dublin?

Dublin Airport is the hub airport for Dublin City, convenient access to the city can be gained in just 20 minutes. For those doing business further afield, in the USA. Pre-clearance facilities are also available, meaning you can arrive in the USA as a domestic passenger.

  • Lounge and fast-track security is available
  • Flights are frequent – with up to 6 per week.

Book flights to Dublin


South Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth met with the Chief Executive of Youngs Seafood, Bill Showalter at Pinneys in Annan and called on him to halt plans to close the site, following reports that Youngs Seafood itself are to be put up up for sale. 

Commenting on the reports Colin Smyth said, "Reports that Youngs Seafood are to be put up for sale will add to the anxiety of the nearly 700 people who face losing their jobs if Pinneys closes. The company should call an immediate halt to any plans to close Pinneys as they have no idea what any potential new owners of Youngs May wish to do with the site. It may well be that they will want to retain Pinneys and the workforce and Youngs should not be making any decisions until that is clear . To do so would simply show further contempt by Youngs of a workforce and community that have been treated appallingly by the company". 


Council Reaffirm Commitment to Pinneys

Council Depute Leader, Rob Davidson, Chair of our Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Archie Dryburgh and the Council’s Business and Enterprise Manager travelled to Annan on Thursday, 19th April with Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse to meet Senior Managers from Young’s Seafood to discuss the way forward, following the recent announcement that the owners of Pinneys are to sell the Annan plant. Following a tour of the site, the group held face-to-face discussions with the CEO of Young’s, Unions and workforce representatives.

This was another step in the work our Council is taking through the Action Group which was set up following the initial announcement at the beginning of this month, and reaffirms our commitment to do everything we can to support the company and staff during this difficult period.

Council Depute Leader, Rob Davidson commented: “What struck me today was the attitude and ongoing commitment from Pinneys’ staff. Despite difficult circumstances and natural concern about the future, their dedication is admirable and they are showing themselves to be a strong and valuable asset, which would be a credit to any company.”

The Depute Leader went on to say; “I would like to reaffirm my reassurances to the employees of Pinneys from our Council:

1: We are trying everything we can to keep this factory open, and

2: We will support the staff and the wider community of Annan through this difficult time and for as long as it takes.”

Cllr Archie Dryburgh said: “I completely agree with the Depute Leader and would reiterate that our top priority is to keep the factory open with a view to maintaining as much local employment as possible. I am aware that this Company employs not only individuals, but numerous members of individual families in our area and to see it close would be devastating to them and our local economy.”


Stakeholders encouraged to take part in series of events on South of Scotland economy

Businesses, agencies, organisations and individuals in the south of Scotland are being invited to help influence an ambitious new approach to economic development.


As part of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, stakeholders can attend a series of special engagement events to help shape the economic future of the area and the new enterprise agency that is being created.

The free events, taking place from Monday 16 April to Thursday 7 June in a range of locations from Stranraer to Eyemouth, take the form of both breakfast and evening events, to make them as accessible as possible.

The events are designed to allow a single conversation with stakeholders on what powers and focus they would like the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency to have when it is established in 2020, the interim work programme of the partnership and also potential opportunities for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, with responses shaping its development and influencing what the standalone agency will do. Feedback from the upcoming events will be fed into that consultation process.

Prof Russel Griggs, chair of the partnership, said: “This is an exciting time for the south of Scotland and it is a time when our collective voice, and indeed our individual voices, are being heard at the highest levels in both Scotland and across the UK.

“It is therefore vital that the partnership hears from our local businesses and other stakeholders to ensure that their views are being taken into account. These events will enable them to influence both the future development of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency and the partnership’s work programme.”

The stakeholder events are being managed by the Southern Uplands Partnership on behalf of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership. Places can be booked at

Prof Griggs added: “The establishment of the partnership and the future development of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency will generate a renewed commitment that will bring investment, innovation and a fresh approach for the south of Scotland, shining a collective spotlight on the whole region for the first time.

“The partnership offers an opportunity for greater collaboration and closer working across all sectors. It is important for us to work with businesses of all sizes to understand the issues and opportunities that exist and how best the partnership, and in due course the enterprise agency, can attempt to address these and drive inclusive growth across the area.

“Growth will come from small and medium sized enterprises expanding and developing across the region and private sector support is crucial to the success of the partnership.”

The membership of South of Scotland Economic Partnership is made up of a wealth of business experience across sectors, sizes and locations relevant to the south of Scotland, as well as representatives from education, the third sector and the public sector.

As well as bringing together key partners to boost the economic performance of the south of the country, the Scottish Government has provided a significant investment package worth £10 million to assist the partnership.