Great Scots! Ambitious Scottish companies buck economic trend

Posted on 6 Sep 2012

Companies working with Scottish Enterprise have delivered a record growth of £1.2 billion in the last year.

Scottish Enterprise works intensively with 2,000 companies in Scotland and around 1,600 of these have generated a record turnover of £1.2 billion last year.

The Scottish GDP grew at a rate of 0.2% during the same time, which makes these companies achievements even more noteworthy.

The UK’s GDP as a whole dropped in 2010, whereas Scotland saw growth in both 2010/11 and 2011/12.

This growth was supported mainly by manufacturing and engineering businesses, including the food and drink and oil and gas sectors.

Scottish Enterprise works with businesses through an account manager approach. Each company is allocated a manager who provides tailored support and works to identify new opportunities and understand challenges.

Linda Hanna, director of Company Growth at Scottish Enterprise said: “The companies we work with most intensively are those which have the ambition and capacity to grow, and that can make the greatest impact on our economic recovery. These companies tell us that our account management approach is valuable as it has a significant impact on their performance.

She added: “The results are particularly encouraging as we know that trading conditions are tough and that companies are looking at new ways of driving business growth and investment. We want to work with even more companies with ambitious growth plans, and we’ve committed to working with at least 10 per cent more companies over the next three years.”

Bill Simpson, group corporate affairs director at Alexander Dennis, a bus and coach manufacturer, said: “Last year, with Scottish Enterprise’s help, we increased our turnover by around 30% and our operating profit by more than 50% to over £25 million.”

Robert MacGeachy, managing director of Peak Scientific Instruments, which manufactures and services gas generators, said: “Without the support from our Scottish Enterprise account manager we simply wouldn’t have been able to carry out so much development, which has significantly contributed to our 10% increase in turnover, taking our turnover to £20 million this year.”

Brew Dog Brewery, MD James  Watt and co-founder Martin Dickie PIC ROSS JOHNSTON / NEWSLINE SCOTLAND
Brew Dog Brewery, MD James Watt and co-founder Martin Dickie PIC: Ross Johnston/Newsline Scotland

James Watt, MD at Brewdog, a craft brewer, said: “We’ve achieved turnover of around £11 million last year – which is a 110% increase. We now employ 100 staff and operate in 27 countries – so it’s fair to say we’ve had a great year. We’ve had amazing support from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International, especially on the exporting side. But it’s also our account manager’s advice we value, having someone to bounce ideas off of and who cares about the business as passionately as we do.”

Scottish Enterprise works with universities, colleges, local authorities and other public sector bodies to maximise contribution to the Government Economic Strategy. Their statement and financial memorandum has been drawn up by the Scottish Government’s Business, Enterprise and Energy Directorate. For more information on the support and grants available from Scottish Enterprise visit

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