Business Briefs - June 11

The City of Edinburgh Council has granted planning permission for the first part of the £850 million Edinburgh St James development site.

The council has approved plans to convert and make alterations to B-Listed St Andrew’s Hall, which will be “sensitively converted” to include a three-storey extension, which “will complement the existing building”.

St Andrew’s Hall is being converted to provide office and restaurant space, a base for the shopping centre management, training facilities and a security centre.

In addition, the council’s planning committee confirmed it was ‘minded to grant’ proposals for 27-31 James Craig Walk, known as the Mansion Capital building, which developer TH Real Estate is set to acquire, subject to the signing of a legal agreement, in 2016.

The proposals for Mansion Capital include conversion for up to 20 new homes and commercial space on the lower floors.

Scotland bucks UK property supply trend in May

Scotland’s supply of residential housing is rising at a quicker rate than anywhere in the UK, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

While the picture for the rest of the UK shows that, post-general election, a surge in new vendor instructions has failed to materialise, a net balance of 30 per cent more Scottish surveyors reported a contrary experience.

23 per cent more surveyors also reported a rise in new buyer enquiries, the news for Scottish house prices appears more positive than in other parts of the UK. When asked if they’d seen prices rise in May 2015, 43 per cent more members reported an increase, than those who said they hadn’t.

Additionally, 41 per cent more surveyors expect prices in Scotland will continue to rise over the next three months.

The survey also shows that supply to the rental market in Scotland remains buoyant, with 25 per cent more respondents receiving new instructions – the second highest figure anywhere in the UK (after Wales).


Administrators called in at Ayrshire fish firm

Ayrshire seafood supplier MacCallums of Troon has gone into administration.

Ian Wright and Scott Milne, of Glasgow-based WRI Associates have been appointed joint administrators.

The firm, which supplies some of the country’s leading fish restaurants, has a current workforce of 40.

It also owns the award-winning Wee Hurrie fish and chip restaurant in Ayrshire.

The company is said to have run into cash-flow difficulties arising from bad debts.

The MacCallums outlets are continuing to be traded by the joint administrators, who hope to sell the business as a going concern and talks have been held with interested parties.

Brewdog eyes US crowdfund drive to finance global expansion

Aberdeenshire-based craft beer makers Brewdog have revealed plans to employ more than 100 staff at its new American brewery.

Its US adventure is to be part-funded by the launching of a crowdfunding drive there later this year.

BrewDog unveiled details of its first brewing venture outside of Scotland by confirming it has provisionally agreed to build a 100,000 square foot, state-of-theart plant in Columbus, Ohio.

As well as a 100-barrel brew house, the Ellon-based producer plans to house its US offices, a visitor centre, craft beer restaurant and tap room at the site, which will be accessible by road and cycle path.

The company did not disclose how much it would cost to develop the site, or the target for the US crowdfunding campaign.

However a spokesman said it planned to announce further details about the investment in the coming weeks.

Irish builder raises €400m through IPO

Irish house builder Cairn Homes, has raised raised €400 million (£290m) in a sale of new shares issued at €1 each.

The stock rose five per cent to close at €1.05 after a day of conditional dealing.

Unconditional trading is scheduled to start on Monday.

The company, set up last year, focuses on construction projects in Dublin, the Dublin commuter belt, and Cork and Galway in the south and west of Ireland.

It is the first Irish housebuilder to float in almost 20 years.

Owners put Glasgow steel firm up for sale

The retiring owners of Glasgow-based steel fabrication and stockholding business, Gilchrist Steels, have put the business up for sale.

The company, which was founded in 1976, currently turns over £1 million-plus.

The Busby-based company fabricates, delivers and erects steel for customers in the Glasgow area, with products ranging from moorings and steel stairs to balconies and support structures.

The firm describes itself as a “thriving” steel fabrication and stockholding, adding that it enjoys a “strong reputation” for its reliable and efficient service, and the know-how and experience of its v12 staff.

And the owning Gilchrist family believe it would serve as an ideal “addon” business for a larger company, noting that it offers considerable development potential.

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