New Taskforce being set up by London Stock Exchange (LSE) plc to drive forward the development of the UK’s capital markets

The inaugural UK Capital Markets Industry Taskforce will be formed of members from across the financial ecosystem. Its objectives will be to stimulate industry engagement to ensure that the UK’s capital markets serve those who seek capital and those who have capital to invest; that they support the UK economy; and strengthen its role as a global financial centre. Chaired by Julia Hoggett, CEO, LSE plc, the Taskforce will also consider how the ecosystem can evolve and support the current and potential future regulatory change to ensure the focus on implementing reform continues and is effectively embedded.

Announcing the formation of the Taskforce, LSE plc highlighted that capital markets are often not discussed in the UK through the lens of their ultimate purpose: to direct capital into the real economy to create the jobs and innovation that have an impact on all our lives, and to help savers, pensioners and policy holders find assets to invest for life events and their retirement. Given their critical role, it is essential that capital markets work effectively. The UK has a superb start-up ecosystem, with world leading universities, a unicorn being created on average every 27 days and world leading fintech and life sciences sectors – among many others. And yet, not all of those great companies reach the scale they need or secure financing in the UK.

Commenting Nicholas Lyons, Chairman of Phoenix Group said: “This new taskforce will play an important role in effecting the change needed to further develop the UK’s thriving ecosystem for high growth companies, while enabling those investing for the long term, such as pension savers, to benefit from the potential of this important asset class. I look forward to working with other members to drive momentum behind reforms of our capital markets to enable the UK to remain a leading global financial centre supporting efficient access to capital.”

The UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, today announces the appointment of Tim Fassam as Public Affairs Director

significant experience and understanding of the UK political landscape and the financial services sector, alongside a proven track record of success in advocating for businesses and their customers.

“His arrival will further strengthen Phoenix Group’s already significant engagement with Government and policy-makers, as we seek to drive change that protects and benefits consumers in the context of all of us living longer lives.”

Tim Fassam, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to join the Phoenix team at this exciting time for the company. Phoenix Group’s scale and role in helping millions of savers, its strong values and its desire to respond to the challenges and benefits of people’s longer lives make it a key voice on a wide range of policy issues. I’m really looking forward to working with their fantastic team to grasp this opportunity.”

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, announces today that it has hired Kalina Lazarova as its Corporate Governance and Voting Lead

Within the Sustainable Investments team. Kalina will work closely with Valeria Piani, Head of Stewardship, to evolve the company’s work on proxy voting models and strategy as well as its corporate governance strategy.

Kalina joins Phoenix Group having spent over 7 years at BMO Global Asset Management as Head of Governance, Responsible Investment, where she led on policy development and implementation of global corporate governance policies, as well as working with external fund managers and meeting commitments under the UNPRI and UK Stewardship Code. Kalina also spent time at Fidelity Investments International and Governance for Owners LLP.

Valeria Piani, Head of Stewardship, Phoenix Group, said:

“We are extremely excited to welcome Kalina to Phoenix Group. We are continuing to build out our capabilities within our responsible investment team, and the development of our stewardship framework is key to that. Kalina’s vast experience in the voting and governance space will be a major asset to the team.”

Kalina Lazarova, Corporate Governance and Voting Lead, added:

“I am delighted to be joining Phoenix at such a pivotal moment in their responsible investment journey. I have watched with interest as they have made great strides within this space and I hope to be able to continue to develop the strategy on voting and governance.”

As the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, Phoenix Group is responsible for managing c. £310 billion of assets on behalf of its c.13 million customers and continues to use its size and scale to play its part in delivering a secure and sustainable future.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, announces today that is has provided £90 million of long-term funding by means of a private placement to Alliance Homes, a regulated social housing provider.

The transaction marks an increase in Phoenix’s UK social housing holdings to above £2.5 billion.

Phoenix was chosen as lead investor with funding provided through Macquarie Asset Management, a key asset management partner.

The investment by Phoenix will support Alliance in developing c.2,000 affordable homes over the next ten years to help address the UK housing crisis. Alliance will use part of the funds to invest in improving the sustainability of its current housing stock by bringing all homes to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or better.

The funding for the private placement, which was heavily oversubscribed through a tender process, was for a total value of £100 million and will be drawn in tranches aligned with Alliance’s business needs, giving long-term certainty of funding as it pursues its housing ambitions.

James Holkham-Coates, Investment Manager, Phoenix Asset Management, said:

“We are delighted to have provided Alliance with £90 million of funding to support its development programme in North Somerset and its decarbonisation ambitions. This investment further underlines Phoenix’s commitment to help tackle the UK’s housing crisis and support the levelling up of the whole of the UK in a sustainable manner.

Katrina Michael, Chief Financial Officer, Alliance added:

“The challenges of addressing the current affordable housing shortage while investing in existing homes and communities and becoming more sustainable are top of the agenda for Alliance Homes. This funding will allow us to meet our corporate goals and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Phoenix and Macquarie to achieve our ambitions.”

Gareth Edwards, a Senior Vice President at Macquarie Asset Management, said:

“We welcome the opportunity to play a role in supporting the delivery and maintenance of essential housing solutions for those most in need across the West of England. Through our long-established partnership with Phoenix, we are delighted to further support Alliance in their mission to help address the national housing shortage by building quality, affordable and energy efficient homes.”

Phoenix Group is partnering with Rest Less, a digital community for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond, as part of its age diverse recruitment strategy.

The UK’s largest savings and retirement business is marking the start of its partnership with Rest Less by advertising for more than 100 roles across the business with the website. All the roles advertised on Rest Less focus on skills and behaviours, and are being offered on a flexible, hybrid, full and part-time working basis, giving greater flexibility for those who need to balance work with caring or other responsibilities.

The adverts also avoid using language that research shows could deter older applicants. This is because some people will rule themselves out of even applying if they feel the role is meant to appeal to a younger audience.

Age diverse recruitment is part of Phoenix Group’s wider Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy.

Commenting on the new partnership with Rest Less, Phoenix Group’s Head of Talent, Development and Inclusion, Tamar Hughes, said:

“I am delighted that Phoenix Group is partnering with Rest Less as part of our ongoing efforts to promote age diverse recruitment.

“The over-50s represent a third of the UK’s workforce and yet often, due to their age, they will find it much harder to re-enter or change careers within the workforce.

“That is why we have launched our partnership with Rest Less with job adverts that focus on the behaviours and skills required, rather than the personality of an applicant, to avoid deterring any age group.

“Working to recruit, retain and retrain older workers is a vital part of Phoenix Group’s mission to help people secure a life of possibilities and I look forward to working with Rest Less and others to help deliver on this aim.”

Stuart Lewis, Chief Executive of Rest Less, added:

“We are delighted that Phoenix Group has chosen Rest Less as its partner to support its age-inclusive recruitment strategy. Older workers have much to offer the workplace yet age discrimination is still far too common. We are proud to work with organisations like Phoenix Group who value the contributions that experienced employees make in the workplace and the multitude of benefits of having multigenerational teams working together.”

Colleagues from Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, have been selected to feature in the prestigious Empower Future Leaders Role Model List for 2022.

Rabya Akhtar and Imran Khan, have both been included on the list, which showcases the ethnic minority talent working at all levels of business who are making a significant contribution inside and outside of their organisations to increase opportunities for people of colour.

Rabya, who is a workplace pensions relationship manager, is a founding co-chair of the MOSAIC network, Phoenix’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community network for colleagues that seeks to enhance the cultural awareness of diverse communities, and also helps to actively drive diversity and inclusion across Phoenix Group. This is the second year she has been included in the Empower Future Leaders Role Model List, having previously secured inclusion last year.

Imran, who is a business development manager, is also a founding co-chair of MOSAIC and has been instrumental in the inception and implementation of a successful new diversity data application – ‘Who We Are’ – that drove up diversity data completion rates to more than 75% within only eight weeks. ‘Who We Are’ provides a modern, safe and confidential way for colleagues to share their diversity data. The initiative also enables colleagues to learn more about the many areas of diversity through a corresponding educational site.

As well as this work, Rabya and Imran also lead the MOSAIC committee, made up of 12 colleagues from across the business. The MOSAIC committee has organised events to promote personal and professional development and social and cultural awareness, which have been attended by hundreds of colleagues from across Phoenix Group.

Phoenix Group is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the diverse nature of its customers and communities in which it operates.

To be included on the Empower Future Leaders Role Model List for 2022, both Rabya and Imran were nominated by peers and employees for the award. The nominations were then reviewed by an esteemed judging panel, who scored nominees on: the influence of their role; their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside of the workplace; and their business achievements.

Tamar Hughes, Group Head of Talent and Organisational Development at Phoenix Group, said:

“At Phoenix we believe that having greater diversity of thought, experience and outlook within our business will help us better understand our customers and meet their varied and changing needs.

“Rabya and Imran put their passion for building a diverse and inclusive business into action every day so it’s great to see them being recognised with this prestigious award for the work they are doing not just at Phoenix Group but across the whole industry.”

Phoenix Group’s programme of diversity and inclusion focuses on gender, ethnicity, disability and social mobility with specific objectives and priorities for each. The group has nine active colleague networks, including MOSAIC, which celebrate the diversity of colleagues, and who collaborate and contribute to making Phoenix Group an inclusive place to work.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long terms savings and retirement business, has launched a new Innovation Forum that will look to use the latest FinTech innovation to build greater engagement and support the well-being of its customers, driving forward greater financial inclusion.

In collaboration with TCS’ Co-Innovation Network (TCS COIN™) innovation ecosystem and FinTech Scotland, the Phoenix Innovation Forum will invite FinTech enterprises and entrepreneurs to explore partnership opportunities that will introduce innovative thinking and new ways of working. Phoenix will be looking to work with FinTech firms who share a passion for improving financial wellbeing, with a focus on making a genuine positive impact on customers’ lives on their journey to and through retirement.

Phoenix Group’s purpose is to “help people secure a life of possibilities” and as part of this, it is committed to building greater financial literacy and inclusion. Phoenix looks to engage with its customers throughout the different stages of their life, providing the right products and support, at the right time, to help them make the right choices.

The Phoenix Innovation Forum will give FinTech enterprises and entrepreneurs the opportunity to design, refine and present innovative solutions to senior leaders across Phoenix Group. The initial focus will be on two key engagement themes:
Curiosity – Using creative tools and interactions to spark increased levels of curiosity about saving and financial planning, which can help to nurture greater learning, especially in the area of planning for retirement.
Gamification – Using ‘gamification’ tools and rewards which are interactive to encourage greater engagement in digital channels, by creating an immersive approach and demonstrating to customers the value of saving and investing for the future.

Phoenix’s Managing Director – Pensions and Savings, Colin Williams, said:

“This is a great opportunity for Phoenix to connect key decision makers within our organisation with innovative enterprises. We are looking to fuel creativity and come up with new solutions which really support our customers and build greater engagement and financial inclusion which is important to our Group’s social purpose and part of our long term sustainability strategy. We are looking to deliver forward-thinking propositions and to be at the forefront in developing innovative solutions, working in collaboration with TCS COIN and the FinTech Scotland community.”

Nicola Anderson, Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland commented:

“We are delighted to support the Phoenix Innovation Forum which is a further example of the valuable role FinTech innovation can play in improving customers’ financial engagement and well-being. Phoenix’s commitment to innovation to support its large customer base and its partnership approach will attract significant interest from FinTech entrepreneurs who share their ambition of helping customers more effectively engage with savings and investments.”

Vivekanand Ramgopal, Global Head – TCS BFSI Products and Platforms, commented:

“Enterprises are looking to form collaborative, purpose-driven ecosystems to launch innovative new offerings that deepen customer relationships and drive growth. To succeed, they need an extensible, open API-based, future-ready digital core like the TCS platform that powers Phoenix Group’s operations. That agile digital foundation is now enabling our two organisations to co-innovate around client analytics and customer experiences at our Innovation Lab in Edinburgh. We are delighted to expand this partnership with the Innovation Forum, and bring in partners from our extended innovation ecosystem, the TCS COIN, to innovate at scale and at speed.”

The initiative will provide the opportunity for FinTech innovators to develop a potential formal partnership with Phoenix Group to build solutions which will not just benefit Phoenix’s customers, but will contribute to innovation for wider society. FinTech firms looking to be part of the Phoenix Innovation Forum will be able to register their interest in participating via a dedicated page on FinTech Scotland’s website.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has announced it is extending its charity partnership with Samaritans for a further year.

Since the partnership launched in April 2021, Phoenix Group has donated more than £340,000 to Samaritans, the charity that is there for anyone who is struggling to cope, day and night, 365 days a year.

Phoenix Group colleagues have undertaken a variety of activities to fundraise for Samaritans and promote its work across the UK over the last 12 months, including a sponsored virtual walk of almost 300 miles equivalent to the distance between Phoenix Group’s Edinburgh and Wythall offices, as well as taking part in the ‘Santa in the City’ run in London in December. One colleague was so inspired by the way in which Samaritans is there to listen 24 hours a day, he undertook ‘24 marathons in May,’ raising an impressive £2,454.52, which was matched by Phoenix Group.

As well as supporting the charity financially, Phoenix Group colleagues have attended workplace training courses delivered by Samaritans’ experts, as well as awareness raising sessions.

By recommitting to the partnership, Phoenix Group’s employees will have the chance to continue to support the great work that Samaritans does across the UK and to learn more about how to support themselves and their colleagues, particularly at a time of economic and social uncertainty.

Commenting on the extension of Phoenix Group’s partnership with Samaritans, Andy Moss, Phoenix Life CEO and Group Director, Heritage at Phoenix Group said:

“Phoenix Group’s purpose is to help people secure a life of possibilities, and that is why I am absolutely delighted our partnership with Samaritans has reached this important milestone. Initially we entered into a two year partnership, but we very quickly realised its mutual benefits and I am pleased and excited to announce we have extended the partnership for a further year up to the end of March 2024.

“As we extend our partnership with Samaritans for another year, I hope we can build on the enormous amount we have already achieved and continue to ensure that people across the UK have someone to talk to if they are struggling to cope.

“Over the last 12 months, Phoenix Group has donated more than £340,000 to Samaritans, covering the equivalent of more than 66,000 calls for help. But our continuing partnership is an opportunity for us to work with Samaritans to support its needs, not just raising funds, but donating time and sharing skills where needed. Samaritans has also delivered awareness sessions for colleagues, supporting them with difficult conversations and emotional wellbeing.

“At this time of economic and social uncertainty, all charities are vulnerable and we urge financially able businesses to join us in providing charities with a vital lifeline through funding, as well as donating time and skills where there is a need.”

Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, added:

“As we mark the first year of our partnership, I want to thank everyone at Phoenix Group for raising an incredible £340,000 for Samaritans. Phoenix Group’s fundraising efforts will have a long-lasting impact on our services and those who need our support.

“I am delighted our partnership with Phoenix Group has been extended for a further year, until April 2024, so we can build on our work together and ensure Samaritans will be there for anyone struggling to cope in the future.

“As we continue to live through uncertain and challenging times, Samaritans is needed now more than ever. Continued support from Phoenix Group enables us to be there for anyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can’t wait to see what we will achieve together in the future.”

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, is unveiling a new and modern visual identity for its corporate brand that will provide the foundations for building even stronger brand engagement with core audiences.

The introduction of a new visual identity represents an important milestone in Phoenix Group’s evolution from a traditional closed book consolidator, to a purpose-led business with growing consumer brands. The new visual identity looks to reflect Phoenix Group’s purpose – “helping people secure a life of possibilities”- and the modern organisation it is today.

Andy Briggs, Group CEO of Phoenix Group, comments:

“The launch of Phoenix Group’s new visual identity is an important landmark in our journey and growth story, and reflects the evolution we are undergoing as a purpose-led business. We want to help everyone ‘secure a life of possibilities’ – that is our purpose – and I believe it’s a purpose that has never been more important. With an ageing population and people living longer, a savings gap for many, and the need to act sustainably, we are looking to make a difference to the things that matter most to the lives of millions of people. For us that means providing the right guidance and products at the right time, and helping to really engage people in their financial future. It also means taking responsible and sustainable investment decisions and using our scale and expertise to drive forward change for the better, on behalf of the 13 million customers we have across all our brands. The introduction of our new visual identity supports our strategy and will enable us to build our presence as a leading organisation.”

As part of its brand strategy, Phoenix Group is also introducing an endorsement approach that will show a visible connection across its consumer brands. It will spotlight the strength of Phoenix Group as a purpose-led business, while making it clear that its consumer brands, which include Standard Life and SunLife, are “part of Phoenix Group”. The endorsement approach will enhance the collective strength of Phoenix Group as a whole, while helping its customer brands to thrive and grow. Each brand within Phoenix Group continues to play an important role in delivering the Group’s purpose and growth strategy.

As a leading employer, the launch also supports the company’s focus on building a strong and engaging employer brand that encourages the diversity of thought and experience needed to foster a positive culture, and create products and services that deliver great outcomes for customers.

The new visual identity and brand strategy for Phoenix Group will be introduced in an efficient way over the coming months.

Ben Rhodes, Brand Director, Phoenix Group, comments:

“The introduction of our new visual identity and brand endorsement represents a clear commitment to engaging more deeply with our growing audiences, and an indication of the collective power of our suite of well-known brands, to help people achieve a better financial future. The changes we have made reflect our purpose, and our optimism for the future for our c 13 million customers and as we grow our organisation, while staying true to our strengths of stability and confidence. The combined scale and strength of Phoenix Group provides a platform for our customer facing brands to thrive and grow, which we reflect in the clearer endorsement of our suite of brands.”

About Phoenix Group’s new visual identity


The design work for Phoenix’s new visual identity was completed by Moving Brands. The changes across the brandmark, colour, typography, graphics, art direction, sonics and motion have been made following extensive research.

The feather icon and wordmark are keystones of the new visual identity. Both are designed to convey optimism and progression, to reflect Phoenix’s purpose of “helping people secure a life of possibilities”, while maintaining stability and confidence. This is further brought to life with the use of a new sonic identity and motion graphics in some of the digital applications of the new visual identity. New photography is also being introduced to express “a life of possibilities”, showing people captured in the moment in real life, to engage with customers and colleagues.

Brand architecture

Phoenix Group is also introducing a master brand endorsement strategy for the brands within the Group, making it clear that each is part of Phoenix Group, showing the power of the brands individually and as a sum of the whole. The approach will be deployed across the portfolio during the course of the year. Each brand within Phoenix Group is playing an important role in delivering the Group’s growth strategy and together their combined strength will deliver on Phoenix’s purpose of “helping people secure a life of possibilities”.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has become the first in the financial services industry to adopt the Social Value Portal – a tool which will enable it to measure and manage the contribution that its business and supply chain makes to society.

The partnership with Social Value Portal will enable Phoenix Group to demonstrate the holistic financial and non-financial benefits of its community engagement programme, which creates benefits for a wide range of local communities where the Group’s offices are based, including Edinburgh, London, Telford and Birmingham.

From fundraising for charity partners, to improving financial literacy in schools and supporting local businesses and councils, Phoenix Group’s community engagement programme aims to create opportunities for social mobility and address societal needs. By using the Social Value Portal, Phoenix Group will be able to quantify the difference it makes through these initiatives.

Andy Moss, Phoenix Life CEO and Group Director, Heritage at Phoenix Group said: “As a purpose-led business, enhancing our social value is really important to us, creating that all-important ‘life of possibilities’ for our customers, colleagues and communities – that is our purpose. By measuring and reporting our progress through the Social Value Portal, we will be able to elevate our community engagement programme to ensure we are best serving the needs of society. The insights gathered from reporting social value will also help us to shape our future community engagement strategy.”

Social Value Portal is an online tool that helps organisations to measure, manage and maximise social value in the community. It currently supports over 150 businesses across public and private sector to report both non-financial and financial data, rewarding them for enriching the lives of those who live and work in the community in which they operate. It also provides the tools to report the social value outcomes in meaningful ways that illustrate the benefits to key stakeholders.

Guy Battle, Chief Executive of Social Value Portal, said:

“2022 marks ten years since the Social Value Act was passed and it is hugely rewarding for us to welcome our first financial services business to the Portal at this time. We look forward to working closely with Phoenix Group to show how the financial services industry can make the most of their community engagement programme, making good go further.”

Phoenix Group’s purpose is focused on “helping people secure a life of possibilities” and its Community Engagement Strategy always looks to drive that forward, finding ways to support those in need and collectively addressing key societal issues across the UK and into Europe.

Phoenix Group has become a member of a new Taskforce that has been set up by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, Scottish Government and Scottish Financial Enterprise to develop Scotland’s position as a global centre of excellence for green and sustainable finance.

The Taskforce will bring together industry leaders and will report to Scotland’s Financial Services Growth and Development Board.

Commenting, James Wilde, Chief Sustainability Officer, Phoenix Group, said: “It’s vital we all respond to the challenges discussed at COP26 and we’re looking forward to being part of the new Scottish Taskforce for Green and Sustainable Financial Services. Working together, we have the potential to establish Scotland as a globally recognised centre for green and sustainable finance that is providing leadership in implementing the goals of Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, aligning investment to net zero.”

National law firm Blackadders LLP has announced new board appointments to serve alongside newly elected joint managing partners Emma Gray and Ryan McKay.

Laura McDowall, (Head of the Private Client Group) joins the board along with Campbell Clark (Head of the Business Services Group), who has been reappointed to the board.

Two further partners have been elected to serve on the board, Simon Allison (Head of Employment) and Kirk Dailly (Head of Corporate & Commercial). Peter Duff remains as Chairman.

Leading the multi award-winning Blackadders Employment Team, Simon has specialised in employment law for over 20 years and has been accredited in this field by the Law Society of Scotland since 2013. He states, “I am delighted to have been elected by my partners as a board member. Blackadders has a very exciting future and I look forward to adding my experience to the board to further support all of my colleagues from all units within the firm”.

Kirk has been appointed Head of Corporate & Commercial. He represents a number of Scotland’s leading tech companies, video game entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, and has helped establish the firm inside the top 10 corporate dealmakers in the country. “I’m excited to lead such a talented team and look forward to driving the innovation of the firm’s services in a rapidly evolving profession.”

Laura has been appointed as Head of the Private Client Group. She deals with wills, succession planning, the creation and administration of trusts and adults with incapacity including powers of attorney, guardianship orders and financial management. Laura is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialist in Incapacity and Mental Disability Law. “It is a great honour to have been appointed as Head of the Private Client Group. I am very much looking forward to working with the board to implement the firm’s strategy as we continue to grow and meet the exciting challenges of the years ahead”.

Succeeding long serving managing partner Johnston Clark, Emma Gray and Ryan McKay start their positions today as joint managing partners for the Blackadders’ board.

Ryan commented “Under Johnston’s leadership for the past 23 years, the firm has grown to become a leading national firm. The board takes over with the business in great shape and with ambitious plans for further growth. Our aim is to continue on that positive trajectory of success through both organic growth and lateral hires to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest quality of advice and service to our clients”.

Emma added “We have fantastic talent across the business and our people are very much at the centre of our success to date. We are committed to developing our people who will play a crucial role in our continued success and will help the board fully capitalise on the great opportunities ahead for Blackadders and our clients.”

Scottish firm Blackadders LLP provides business and private client services across their offices in Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.

Edinburgh College teams up with EICC to run hospitality takeover event for local secondary school pupils

Local secondary school pupils learned what it takes to become the cream of the crop in the hospitality industry at an event held in Edinburgh’s EICC yesterday (Monday 27 June).

Staff from the College’s Hospitality and Professional Cookery department teamed up with the EICC to welcome 100 third year high school children from schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians for the event.

School pupils were split into groups and had the opportunity to listen to talks from industry experts and take part in workshops to learn more about events and hospitality and about the career opportunities available in the industry.

Industry specialists featuring on the day included EICC’s catering partner Leith’s, owned by global food services company Compass Group, US-headquartered Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Archerfield in East Lothian, Dakota Hotels, and Dima Recruitment Services.

The participating schools were Gracemount, Queensferry, Castlebrae, Leith Academy, St Augustine and Thomas, Howden Hall and Kaimes School.

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “We are delighted that our College is working in partnership with important employers like the EICC to deliver events like this to showcase the many career opportunities within the hospitality sector to school pupils from across our region – ensuring that together we provide a pipeline of skilled workers for years to come.”

EICC Chief Executive Marshall Dallas said: “Scotland has a real shortage of people joining the hospitality industry, so we want to make a positive impression on these young people when they are starting to think about their future careers. Tourism, including business tourism, will suffer in the years to come if we don’t spend time now encouraging a new generation of talent into the industry.”

Automotive team support Sir Chris Hoy at C1 Club 24 hour at Silverstone

Automotive lecturers Brian Alexander, Kerry Dempsey, Martin Tracey, Robert Vass and Grzegorz Dwojak, as well as student Kyle Nisbet have helped Sir Chris Hoy raise more than £20k during 24-hour endurance race at Silverstone – the home of racing in the UK.

The team of mechanics provided car maintenance and pitlane support to Sir Chris and his Racing Lines team who were driving a Citroen C1 car around the famous track used to host Formula 1 and other motor races.

The team provided 24-hour support, including fixing the car during the race following a crash in which the car was rolled over and required a mammoth team effort to fix so that it could return to track.

Brian Alexander said: “It was a great experience, we got to work with Sir Chris Hoy and lots of experienced drivers across the weekend.

“The highlight of the race came after about an hour and a half when the team pulled together to get the car fixed as quickly as possible and back out on the track after it was involved in a crash. The car rolled on its roof, so it was all hands to the pump getting the car ready to go back out to finish the race.”

Robert Vass said: “Getting the car to the end of the 24 hours was a massive achievement.”

Martin Tracey added: “When we managed to get the car back on the road, the other drivers were amazed. An hour and half into a 24-hour race with a crash makes getting the car ready to race again, very difficult but we did it.”

Automotive apprentice Kyle Nisbet said: “It was a brilliant experience, we really had to work as a team and we did that well. We worked from 6am until 6am, more or less non-stop.

“The whole experience was really enjoyable; the layout and format of the weekend was really done well. It was really enjoyable because of all the people involved across the entire event.”

The Automotive team was approached to provide support given their knowledge of Citroen C1 racing, having been part of the College’s Scottish C1 Cup team since 2019.

The Scottish C1 Cup sees Edinburgh College line up three cars on the grid at Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife, in competition with other teams from across Scotland. Kyle Nisbet is one of the College’s racing drivers.

George hopes design competition is first of many successes as he eyes a career in the industry

An Edinburgh College student has won a creative competition to design a number of posters showcasing projects taking place across Granton and will now have his work on display at the site of the iconic Granton gas tower.

Seventeen-year-old George Kershaw won the creative competition by beating off competition from his classmates to have his designs displayed at the site of the Granton gas tower, which received significant investment last year to turn the structure into an illuminating landmark which lights up the skyline in the area.

The Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) Design student was named the winner of the competition, after the Council challenged his class to come up with a series of designs to help promote projects and events that have happened in the area, such as the Hidden Doors Festival, COP 26 Climate conference, Diwali celebrations and more.

The iconic gas tower located in the Granton Waterfront area of the city is a beacon of light on the Edinburgh skyline thanks to the partnership project between the City of Edinburgh Council, the College, and 21CC.

George said: “Whilst I expected to do well in the competition, I knew there were several other talented designers also entering so I was very happy to find out that I had won and gained such a great opportunity. I wasn’t as happy to realise that I had also given myself a lot more work than I bargained for, as the process took several months to complete!

“Edinburgh Council set our class with the challenge of designing several promotional banners for the events centred around the Granton gas tower. My design was chosen and expanded on and finalised by me and my tutor Chris Hamilton until it was ready to be printed. This involved many conversations between me and the Council and was also my first experience with the many challenges involved in the design process.

“I hope that I can find more great opportunities like this one to challenge myself and so that I can also come out of university with a portfolio full of amazing work, which will help me gain employment at a top design agency once I’ve finished my studies.”

Edinburgh College Assistant Principal for Creative Industries Jakki Jeffery said: “This was an excellent opportunity for the FA Creative Digital Media (Graphics) students to work on a live industry brief from our partnership with Edinburgh Council and 21CC lighting up the iconic Granton Gas Tower.

“We were really impressed with the standard of work submitted by all the students, supported by their lecturer Chris. George is a worthy winner and we wish him all the best in his future career.”

Leader of the Council Cammy Day said: “My warmest congratulations to George on his achievement and I’m sure this will be the first of many more to come in his design career. This poster campaign will provide a new and dynamic angle to an already iconic Edinburgh landmark. These posters showcase a wide array of local, national and cultural events. Projects like these in conjunction with Edinburgh College represent the Council’s wider commitment to Granton Waterfront and its long-term regeneration. This regeneration will spearhead the capital’s response to the climate emergency alongside providing sustainable economic growth and empowering local communities”.

Nora Senior appointed as Chair of Edinburgh College Board of Management

The Scottish Government has appointed Nora Senior CBE as the new Chair of the Edinburgh College Board of Management.

Over the course of a 30-year career in industry, Nora has held several senior leadership positions, latterly as Group Executive Chair of global communications and government relations consultancy, Weber Shandwick, and previously with Saatchi and Saatchi. A former Businesswoman of the Year, Nora holds extensive experience at non-exec board level in both public and private sector organisations, having been Chair of the Scottish Government’s independent Enterprise and Skills Board and as President of British Chambers of Commerce.

She was honoured with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017 for services to UK businesses.

“ I am really excited to be taking on the role of Chair of Edinburgh College Board of Management and working with the Board and Audrey and the team to accelerate the focus, purpose and importance of the college within not only the education sector but as part of the wider innovation and business transformation landscape. I look forward to working with our staff and students to deliver an exceptional teaching and learning experience and placing the college at the heart of our community. My thanks go to Ann Landels for her strong guidance and contribution to the work of the college as Interim Chair.

“ Having had the privilege of working with Nora in her capacity as Chair of the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Board I am both delighted and excited with her appointment as the new Chair of Edinburgh College, Scotland’s Capital College. Nora’s extensive leadership experience in industry and the public sector, alongside a deep understanding and passion for the role that colleges play in their local communities and wider regions will be invaluable as we strive to realise our full potential and ambitions – Edinburgh College Principal and Chief Executive Audrey Cumberford

Nora takes over the position from Non-Executive Board Member (and Vice Chair) Ann Landels, who acted in an interim capacity for over two years.

“ I am delighted to welcome Nora as the new Regional Chair of the Edinburgh College Board. It has been my privilege to be Interim Chair of the Board since November 2019 and to lead the Board through the challenging times presented by Covid-19. It is a testament to the work of the Principal, the Executive Team and all our staff at Edinburgh College that we continued to deliver high quality education throughout that time. As we anticipate the resumption of a more normal College experience in the 2022/23 session, I am very much looking forward to supporting Nora in her new appointment as I resume my role as Vice Chair – Edinburgh College Board of Management Vice Chair Ann Landels

ECSA Go Green project shortlisted for Green Gown Awards 2022

Edinburgh College Students’ Association (ECSA) has been shortlisted for a national award following the success of its sustainability work with the College’s wider student body over the past two years.

ECSA’s sustainability project, Go Green, has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Green Gown Awards for UK and Ireland in the Student Engagement category.

The Go Green project ran from April 2020 to June 2022 and focused on active travel, climate education, food waste reduction, and clothing re-use. Despite the project running through the global pandemic, almost all original targets were exceeded – engaging more than 3,000 students and diverting a total of around six metric tonnes of food and clothing from waste.

As part of the project, ECSA introduced Go Green Hubs at each of the College’s campuses which comprise of Community Fridges and Clothing and Accessories Swap Shops, allowing students to collect free food, clothing, accessories and books, and as a result have prevented items from going to landfill while helping to alleviate poverty during a financial crisis. The team also delivered Climate Change and Sustainability workshops to classes across the curriculum.

College receives Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award 2022

Edinburgh College has received the Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award from the Ministry of Defence in recognition of its support for the Armed Forces.

The College, one of 22 Scottish employers from the lowlands to receive the 2022 Award, has been given the accolade for its work in supporting the armed forces through engaging initiatives such as employing veterans, supporting individuals transitioning out of the forces into a new career and providing flexibility for Reservists.

The Silver ERS Award is the second-highest badge of honour available to civilian organisations that employ and support Reservists, service leavers, Cadet Force Volunteers, Veterans and their families. The ERS was launched in 2014 to recognise employer support for the Armed Forces and the full spectrum of Defence personnel.

Most impressive and well presented property in sought after location. New this property here –
Most impressive and beautifully presented top floor flat in the popular location known as The Links. Shared stairway leading to 4 flats. Hall. Lounge with feature multi burning stove, cornicing and ceiling rose. Breakfasting kitchen. Bedroom with walk in wardrobe. Newly fitted bathroom with shower over bath. Wooden floors. Great location. Beautiful decor. Move in condition. Early viewing recommended. EPC – D. Council Tax – A. Freehold.

Traditional hardwood door. Doors leading to – Breakfasting kitchen, lounge, bathroom and bedroom. Storage cupboard.

Breakfasting Kitchen

4.29 m X 2.21 m / 14’1″ X 7’3″

Fitted kitchen With built in oven, hob and cooker hood. Wall mounted gas boiler. Plumbing for washing machine. Space for a small dining table and chairs. Views to the hills. Side facing.


4.29 m X 3.51 m / 14’1″ X 11’6″

Well proportioned lounge with feature multi burning stove, cornicing and ceiling rose. Side facing.


3.2 m X 3.2 m / 10’6″ X 10’6″

Spacious double bedroom with large walk-in wardrobe with hanging rail and shelves. Rear facing.


2.69 m X 2.01 m / 8’10” X 6’7″

Newly installed bathroom with a white suite and shower over the bath. Matching wall and floor tiles. Storage cupboard. Rear facing.

Construction of a new transformational full fibre broadband network is underway in Fife across the two towns of Burntisland and Cardenden.

The network, provided by Scottish independent broadband provider GoFibre, will be able to connect more than 8,000 local residents and businesses to the power of full fibre.

Full fibre networks are considered to be the best type of connectivity, allowing communities to upload and download data with none of the disruption that ageing copper networks bring. However, it is only currently available to around 32% of Scottish premises, placing Burntisland and Cardenden at the forefront of a revolution.

GoFibre’s full fibre network will bring world-class digital connectivity to Burntisland and Cardenden, tackling the digital divide across Scotland. Once in place, speeds of up to 10Gbps will be available, transforming the ability for residents and businesses to work effectively, operate multiple devices simultaneously with no lag and download complete box sets in seconds.

Alex Cacciamani, GoFibre’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to begin our work to connect Burntisland and Cardenden communities to the digital connectivity they need and deserve.

“It’s vitally important for our shared future that we eliminate the digital divide across Scotland. Doing so will enable us all to reach our full potential, facilitating business growth and innovation as well as benefiting local communities through seamless connectivity.

“We would like to thank everyone for their ongoing patience during the construction phase and we look forward to them enjoying the benefits of full fibre later this year.”

Households and businesses can register their interest in GoFibre’s full fibre broadband services by visiting

29th July 2022, Dublin – Dentons has appointed Karyn Harty as Head of Litigation, Ireland. She will join the firm in late September from McCann FitzGerald.

Recognised as one of the standout practitioners in the market, Karyn advises on complex commercial disputes and regulatory and criminal investigations work in the domestic Irish market and internationally, joining Dentons’ highly rated Global Disputes and Investigations team.

Best known for her expertise in asset recovery, white-collar defence, eDiscovery and legal innovation Karyn’s experience encompasses cross-border disputes across multiple sectors most notably media and financial services. She is a member of the Sedona Conference WG6 and chair of the WG6 EU Developments Committee, a committee member of the steering group of the International Fraud Group and co-chairs the International Enforcement of Judgements and Awards.

Dentons’ Dublin office launched in September 2020 – in the middle of a global pandemic. In that highly competitive and complex operating environment, it has taken just under two years to establish itself as the busiest international law firm in Ireland.

Led by a founding partner cohort hired in from the senior ranks of top-ranked Irish law firms, Dentons has succeeded in generating a strong client following from a standing start, completed a high number of impressive blue-chip mandates, taken market share from more established competitors and continues to hire genuine market leaders in their field. Karyn’s hire is a strong endorsement of Dentons’ vision to create Dublin’s premium blue-chip international law firm.

UK, Ireland and Middle East CEO Paul Jarvis comments, ‘Karyn joining us demonstrates just what Dentons is capable of and our ability to quickly disrupt legal markets with our high-quality teams and international capability. She is an outstanding talent and brings a wealth of experience to our leading Disputes and Investigations team and even more clout and dynamism to our profile as the premium international firm in the Irish market.’

Ireland Managing Partner Eavan Saunders adds, ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have Karyn join us. We are building an A-list team in Dublin and we think it’s a great endorsement of the Firm’s strategy that someone of Karyn’s calibre wants to be part of our project to reimagine what it means to be a premium law firm in Ireland. Gareth Steen has already done stellar work to build our profile and clients in the contentious space and the addition of Karyn to that team will undoubtedly accelerate the development of our disputes practice.

UK Head of Disputes Louisa Caswell comments: ‘Karyn is such an outstanding lawyer. I’m incredibly pleased she’s joining up with our existing team of talented disputes lawyers, including regulatory and investigations partners Katharine Harle and Chris Brennan, as we cement our position as the go-to firm for complex domestic and cross-border disputes and investigations for Dentons’ growing global corporate client base


Harvey Nichols Edinburgh will be raising a toast to the return of the Edinburgh festivals with the arrival of the Nyetimber Terrace Takeover at the Forth Floor. Launching today the producer of English Sparkling Wine will be taking over the Forth Floor Terrace for the month of August. The fashionable city centre hot spot, which enjoys spectacular views of the Edinburgh skyline and historic Edinburgh Castle, has been transformed with a special seaside theme, offering customers a space to unwind between shows and performances during the festival month.

Nyetimber’s “British Seaside” theme is set to bring the beach to the city this August, sporting colourful stripes reminiscent of quintessentially British beach huts, life rings and pretty wildflower planters, featuring floral varieties commonly found at the British seaside. Guests can both wine and dine on the Terrace and enjoy a selection of Nyetimber wines in a bespoke menu specially created for Harvey Nichols.




The Nyetimber Sky High Seaside Terrace Takeover is available to book from 1st until 31st August. To make your reservation at the Forth Floor Terrace, please:
Visit, Call +44 131 524 8350 or Email

This year’s international acts for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo have officially arrived at Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade for this year’s Show, Voices.

Performers from the New Zealand Army Band, The United States Army Field Band, The United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, Top Secret Drum Corps, Banda Monumental De Mexico and Highland Divas will wow crowds on the Castle Esplanade from 5 August – 27 August.

This year’s Show, Voices, is a celebration of people across the world who, despite physical separation, continue to connect and share their voices trough spoken word, song, music, and dance.

The Show will run from 5-27 August 2022. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or on the phone on 0131 225 1188.

Leading Scottish law firm, Gillespie Macandrew, announces the appointment of former RBS/NatWest Group General Counsel, Michael Shaw, as their new chair. Michael brings a wealth of legal, commercial and business expertise to Gillespie Macandrew and replaces Fiona Morton, who retired from the role in early July after five years with the firm. Michael spent over 20 years in private practice at Herbert Smith Freehills and Clifford Chance, before becoming Deputy Group General Counsel at Barclays in 2009, and then RBS/NatWest Group General Counsel in 2016, prior to retiring earlier this year.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Graham-Campbell commented: “Michael’s appointment reflects the continued ambitions we have for our business. He has a remarkable track record and brings further depth and commercial expertise to our Board. We are also grateful to our outgoing Chair, Fiona Morton for her significant contribution and leadership over the past five years and who has nurtured our culture of transparency, professionalism and inclusion.”

Michael Shaw added: “Gillespie Macandrew is an ambitious and forward-thinking firm and I look forward to working closely with Robert and the other Board members at what is an exciting period of growth for the firm.”

Gillespie Macandrew has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth and in the last six months welcomed three new partners. Lois Newton was promoted to partner in the firm’s market-leading rural team, experienced lawyer Sandy Telfer joined the planning team from DLA and most recently, the firm appointed construction specialist Ross Taylor from Wright Johnston & Mackenzie. The firm advises clients on all areas of land and rural business, private client, commercial real estate, energy, tax and disputes, combining a personal approach with industry-leading expertise.

Homeowners wanting to learn more about making their homes more eco-friendly have been urged to secure their tickets for the upcoming Green Home Festival, which starts a week today at part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The clock is ticking for environmentally-aware householders who want to learn about heat pumps, electric vehicles, sustainable materials, transforming traditional buildings and more in the event organised by the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV).

The last few tickets are still available for the week of shows starting on Monday 8 August, which will deliver practical assistance and expert advice to help homeowners transform their homes and turn Scotland into a net zero nation.

The five-day event, which will be opened by Scottish Government Minister Patrick Harvie, will see the delivery of 12 in-person and virtual presentations on green topics, targeting homeowners, professionals, housing associations and local authorities.

Topics of particular interest to homeowners include:

• Demystifying heat pumps – a fascinating demonstration of the future of home heating and what kind of homes it’s suitable for
• Protecting against floods – flooding and its impact on people and buildings and how to access support and resources to protect your property
• Hitting the road with EVs – what to consider when choosing an EV, current models and how to go about installing an EV charge point at your home
• Retrofitting a tenement – how renewable renovations can reduce heating costs and cut carbon emissions in Scotland’s traditional buildings
• Living safely in the future – the potential dangers of the domestic gadgets of tomorrow – and how we can ensure our high-tech homes are safe to live in.

Live sessions will take place at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at 10 Charlotte Square in central Edinburgh, with six other sessions available online via webinar.

One of the organisers, Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Tickets for the Green Home Festival are going fast and we have been encouraged by the interest shown by homeowners, which shows the level of awareness by people preparing for the transition to net zero.

“The events will help householders understand new technology and we are aiming to make this inaugural event an annual occasion that will help to build a long-term legacy and demonstrate our commitment to greener, low-carbon solutions.”

Co-organiser John McKinney, secretary of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, said: “We are really looking forward to sharing ideas through the Green Home Festival and we hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to book their place at some, or all, of the events.

“The climate emergency, net zero and soaring energy prices are the driving factors behind this event, and our aim is to engage the public and businesses in the global challenge, offering demonstrations and hands-on guidance.”

Full details, including how to book tickets for each event, are available on the Festival’s website at

The festival is the latest in a string of practical and constructive initiatives launched by the CICV since its creation at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Made up of 29 trade associations, professional services bodies and companies, it has maintained a steady supply of information and practical advice to the sector as well as carrying out surveys, producing animations and posters, hosting webinars and maintaining close dialogue with Scottish Government ministers.