Well it’s here. Whether you are interested in the presents or the religious significance there is really no way round it. So here is our view of the best Christmas message in appropriately digital form. Thank you for reading The Reporter. Our visitor numbers continue to increase day by day. For our Christmas present please tell six of your friends about us to keep us on track!
The Co-operative Bank has reinforced its commitment to the voluntary sector by expanding its specialist charity and social enterprise operation. The Bank has created a new Scottish-based team and doubled its North of England operation located in Manchester.
Alongside a team based in London, the two offices will give the Bank a broader nationwide presence as it seeks to offer voluntary organisations a compelling alternative to the traditional banks. The Bank believes its relationship approach, co-operative model and position as the UK’s only high street bank with a clear Ethical Policy will appeal to the sector. It is an established provider to charities and social enterprises of all sizes and offers banking services to some of the UK’s most well-known groups such as Christian Aid and Amnesty International.
Debbie Wheeler, Head of Charity & Social Enterprise Banking team said: “Our ethical approach and the commitments we make to society as a co-operative have long been aligned to the voluntary sector.
“We put great emphasis on close working relationships and hope that our supportive approach will appeal to groups in the sector at a time when they are coming under pressure through impending reductions in grant funding and people cutting back on donations during tough economic times.
“This expansion now provides the platform for the Bank to become a major force in banking to charities and social enterprises.”
The Bank provides organisations with turnover of more than £1m per year tailored banking solutions supported by a dedicated relationship manager and support team. For those with turnover under £1m free banking is available through the Community Directplus account.
The Bank has received a number of recent accolades that reinforce its responsible approach to banking. These include the ‘Best Charity Account Provider’ at the 2010 Business Moneyfacts Awards; and being named ‘World’s Most Sustainable Bank’ by the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, ahead of 110 banks from 44 countries.
The master plan for Scotland’s most scenic Business Park has been given the green light by West Dunbartonshire Council, signalling the way forward for a significant investment in Dumbarton with the potential creation of substantial numbers of new jobs. The 20 acre Lomondgate Business Park, which will be sensitively landscaped, forms part of the £100m Lomondgate major mixed-use development located to the north west of Dumbarton.
The Business Park will feature up to 10 office pavilions and a Business Village, offering a total of 190,000 sq ft of office space, along with a Hub building. The Hub will feature a 5,000 sq ft crèche, 7,000 sq ft of support services and retail space, in addition to 12,000 sq ft of office space at first floor level. It will provide high quality office accommodation for up to 1,000 employees and could significantly boost the local economy according to economic experts.
Work on constructing the first two storey office pavilion is anticipated to start in 2011. £14m has already been spent on the Lomondgate project by Walker Group, the development partner of Strathleven Regeneration Company. This includes major infrastructure works and local road improvements. Sinclair Browne, said: “Lomondgate Business Park is in an ideal location and benefits from prominent frontage to the A82 immediately west of Dumbarton. Partner: Office Agency & Development at Knight Frank, The buildings, and layout, are flexible and will be capable of catering for all sizes of office users from small organisations up to large national and international corporates.”
The Business Park is one of the most crucial elements of the £100m Lomondgate development, which is transforming redundant land including the former site of the J&B Bottling Plant, into a thriving community featuring more than 300 new homes, offices and destination services.
Councillor Ronnie McColl, Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council and a Board Member of Strathleven Regeneration Company, said: “I am delighted the Lomondgate Business Park Masterplan has been given approval. West Dunbartonshire has lots to offer new businesses and I am pleased new jobs will be created as this will be a major contribution in sustaining and growing our local economy.”
Lomondgate is already home to anchor tenant BBC Scotland where it films River City and other national productions. Aggreko last month started work on building its new £20m manufacturing and office facility on land adjacent to the Business Park. Whitbread is now close to completing its £4.1m Premier Inn and family pub/restaurant on the site.
It is expected that these will open for business in January, creating 50 full and part time jobs. The £100m Lomondgate project was launched in 2007 by Strathleven Regeneration Company, (SRC) a public-private partnership established with the support of West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and Diageo, with developer Walker Group to help deliver its plans for a mixed use development on the site.
Further information on Lomondgate is available from www.lomondgate.com
A year after opening its doors, Cookie, the award-winning eatery in Nithsdale Road, has brought forward ambitious plans for expansion that may see the roll-out of the concept throughout the UK with the opening of other outlets and the development of other revenue streams.
The founders, husband and wife team Domenico Del Priore and Dr Melanie McCallum, are now seeking venture finance or investment from like-minded food-inspired entrepreneurs to accelerate their plans for expansion.
Mr Del Priore, said, “Having exceeded our targets for the business within the first year, Cookie is now set for its next stage of controlled expansion which will see the opening of outlets throughout the UK coupled with the development of our various other offerings, including our online shop, deli, off sales, contract catering service, Urban Gardener Barter Food Exchange and popular Chef Wars event series. We are also at an advanced stage of expanding our brand offering with the creation of a city centre lifestyle retail outlet.
“Our brand values are: the sourcing and provision of quality, locally-sourced food; the reawakening of traditional community values and the promotion of synergies with local design and cultural interests, all from within a welcoming, cool and fashionable space.
“As a brand with ample scope for further development, we are now seeking business partners with an understanding of the business thrust behind Cookie who share our vision and interpretation of the ‘Big Society’ zeitgeist by realising the commercial opportunities residing therein through the development of a sustainable approach to food production, distribution, preparation and consumption as well as exploiting broader retail and merchandising opportunities.”
Named Glasgow Newcomer of the Year 2010 for breaking the mould of local eating and drinking, Cookie is based at 72 Nithsdale Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow. For further information about Cookie log on to www.cookiescotland.com
We all have moments when we could do with our very own fairy godmother to transform us from rags to riches. Whether you’ve been slaving away or have something special to attend, Blythswood Square’s brand new ‘Cinderella Spa Packages’, in association with Scottish Ballet, will take care of your every whim, perfectly pampering you from tiara to toe and transforming you to the belle of the ball!
For ladies who cannot afford to waste time, Blythswood Square’s Cinderella Deluxe Spa package is the ultimate whirlwind transformation (pumpkin not included). Following a personal skin consultation spa guests will enjoy a tailored Anne Semonin Phyto-Aromatic Facial for effective, visible results; a seaweed foot experience to remedy the effect of any pinching glass slippers; a luxurious hand experience that will buff, polish and like Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella herself have you saying ‘You may kiss my hand’ to your very own Prince in no time, as well as a light lunch and use of all the facilities. You’ll be ready to attend the ball and unlike Cinders, the effects will last way past midnight…
Those in need of a rapid revamp, Blythswood Square’s Speedy Cinderella Spa Package will on hand to dust your delicate digits with a shape and polish as well as offering an indulgent glass of fizz to relax you in your speedy spa session.
For a short spell only, Blythswood Square will also have tickets for the Scottish Ballet’s performance of Cinderella to snap up. With limited availability from 14 – 31 December at Theatre Royal, Glasgow book now before the spell breaks! To make the most of your transformation and time in Glasgow why not combine it with some well-deserved beauty sleep? With 100 bedrooms including four spacious suites and a top floor penthouse, Blythswood Square is one of Scotland’s most environmentally friendly hotels through the incorporation of renewable energy technologies to achieve reduced carbon emissions.
The Spa at the new five star Blythswood Square Hotel has been created to reflect the glamorous sophisticated style of the hotel and the vibrant personality of its home city and houses the UK’s first indigenous Scottish treatments designed in conjunction with luxury organic skincare house, ila. The Spa also features Scotland’s first Seaweed Bath complete with organic seaweed sourced direct from the Hebrides and a decadent Dark Pool where guests can relax in warm waters.
Blythswood Square’s Speedy Cinderella Spa Package is £25, and the Cinderella Deluxe Spa Package is £255. Accommodation at Blythswood starts from £140, and tickets for Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella start from £10 with performances from 14 – 31 December at Theatre Royal Glasgow.
For further information visit www.blythswood square.com or telephone 0141 240 1622.
Political journalist and author, David Torrance, is on the hunt…. for the greatest speeches by Scots, ever.
The reporter on STV’s Politics Now – who also freelances for, among others, The Times – has most recently published an unauthorised biography of the First Minister, Alex Salmond.
And now he is turning his attention to either speeches delivered in Scotland or by Scots throughout the world.
Among the contenders are speeches by the late Jimmy Reid, Margaret Thatcher, J. M. Barrie and James Maxton. Torrance is particularly keen to locate more examples of oratory by non-politicians.
Any suggestions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Weegie Wednesday began in January 2007, inspired by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature’s salon night (last Tuesday of every month at the Wash Bar on The Mound, upstairs). Writers, booksellers, publishers, librarians, or anyone who wishes to network and talk books is welcome. Please pass the word. The meetings take place once a month at the following venue:
Upstairs at The Universal Bar Sauchiehall Lane (directly behind Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street), Glasgow
Many sons claim that their mum’s home cooking is the best, but Sanjay Majhu, CEO Apple Harlequin Group, is going one step further. This week he launches Green Chilli, a new restaurant featuring Indian pot-style cooking inspired by the working mothers and aunties of India and featuring recipes overseen by his mum.
Green Chilli’s pot-style cooking offers diners the kinds of dishes they might expect if they were invited to an Indian family’s house for dinner.
Located at 1293 Argyle Street in Glasgow’s West End – Sanjay’s mum has even banished him from Green Chilli’s kitchen while she and her sisters prepare the dishes they’ve prepared for several generations of their families at home.
Mr Majhu said: “Glasgow is renowned for the quality of its Indian restaurants – and rightly so – but Green Chilli is bringing something different to the mix: great pot-style cooking prepared by Indian mothers and aunties using family recipes that have been handed down through the generations.
“This is the kind of food my mum and aunties would cook if you came over to our house for dinner. Mums seem to give the food an extra taste which only they know how to do.
“At 73 years old, my mum still cooks great Indian food and has been involved throughout all stages of Green Chilli’s product development and I can’t wait to show that my mum’s home cooking is absolutely the best!”
Green Chilli offers a seven-course taster menu, which changes daily.
“Just sit back and let us take you on a journey from North India (Punjab) to south India Dosa country!” said Majhu.
In addition, Green Chilli’s menu includes starters of Masala Dosa; Mussels Masala; Machi Amritsari; Sabzi Pakora; Keema Parcels and Jeera Chicken.
Mains include: Mumbai Lamb; Karahi Murgh; Chicken Saag; Shoray Murgh;
Tandoori Halibut; Makhan Murgh; Lamb Bhindi; Chicken Sharabi; Punjabi Fish Goan Curry; Chana Saag; Mixed Vegetable Karahi and Masala Dosa.
Why Green Chilli?
“Green chilli is my favourite spice,” explains Mr Majhu. “It enhances every dish and is iconic in Indian food. Used whole, green chillis lend dishes an underlying aromatic flavour, whilst, cut, they spice this up a bit!”
The Apple Harlequin Group operates the largest and most popular Indian restaurant group in Europe with 14 restaurants incorporating the famous Ashoka chain. Reservations at Green Chilli can be made on tel 0141 337 6378.
Graham & Sibbald’s Leisure Dept have been appointed to place the long established Bowfield Hotel and Country Club on the market.
The hotel is located in a rural setting, only 17 miles from Glasgow city centre. Set in approx. 15 acres it includes bar, dining and function room facilities, along with 23 en suite bedrooms and an extensive state of the art leisure complex incorporating swimming pool, spa, sauna, squash courts and gymnasium.
Offers over £2.75m are sought.
For any further information please contact Gary Louttit, Partner Licensed Trade & Leisure department at the Glasgow office: 0141 332 1194
The Scottish Government has moved quickly to enable scrutiny of the Scotland Bill by the Scottish Parliament.
In a Ministerial Statement to the Scottish Parliament, External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop announced that a legislative consent memorandum has been lodged today, giving Parliament the maximum amount of time to consider the Bill.
Detailed work will be undertaken by a Parliamentary Committee, but the whole Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the changes proposed.
The memorandum sets out the Scottish Government’s analysis and position on the Bill and its recommendations for making improvements.
Ms Hyslop said:-”The Bill requires consent of the Scottish Parliament, so we have moved quickly to enable full scrutiny to commence without delay.
“As we have made clear, we welcome many aspects of the Scotland Bill and the further devolution of powers it provides. However, overall, this is a missed opportunity that does not meet the ambitions this Government – nor indeed the majority of the people of Scotland – have for this country.
“The key test for this Bill should be whether it delivers the priorities of the people of Scotland – to grow the economy, to protect jobs and to ensure proper investment in public services. We do not believe the Bill as it stands will deliver on those priorities, and indeed may hinder them. Careful scrutiny is vital to achieve the improvements that we believe should be made.
“We are particularly concerned about the unanswered questions on the financial proposals which would reduce the resources available for public services in Scotland. Unfortunately, the UK Government has so far failed to give the information that will allow proper consideration of this vital element of the Bill.
“The UK Government expects the Scottish Parliament to foot the bill for implementation of the measures in the Bill. The UK Government’s partial Regulatory Impact Assessment, published today, confirmed that Holyrood will be expected to pay these costs, but provides only indicative costs of £45 million to set up HMRC systems and another £4.2 million per year to operate the flawed income tax proposals. The people of Scotland already pay for the costs of running HMRC through their taxes levied by the Treasury, now the UK Government wants them to pay a second time through the money provided in the Scottish Budget for vital public services.
“We urge the Scottish Parliament to consider the proposals very carefully and to ensure the final Bill is one which everyone can say with confidence will be better for Scotland. We will support the Parliament’s process fully and work to ensure the Scotland Bill evolves into a package of measures that delivers for Scotland.”
In the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (January 2010), 69 per cent of respondents favoured significantly more powers for the Scottish Parliament. On tax (59 per cent) and welfare benefits (60 per cent), a majority want the Scottish Parliament to make the decisions for Scotland.