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Edinburgh firms making plans for growth

Posted: 30th October 2014
  • Business leaders asked about their prospects for 2015 at Bank of Scotland Gameplan event last night
  • 93 per cent say that the economic recovery has presented growth opportunities
  • 9 out of 10 businesses anticipate a growth in turnover, profits and headcount during 2015

Edinburgh-based companies say that optimism has returned to the area, with many business leaders reporting plans for growth in 2015, according to a new survey carried out by Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking.

More than 100 influential business figures from across the East of Scotland attended the latest Bank of Scotland Gameplan event in Edinburgh, hosted by former BBC journalist and broadcaster Declan Curry, last night to discuss the issues that will shape the future of business in the region.

A total 80 per cent of businesses surveyed said they were planning on increasing headcount over the course of the next year, with many (58 per cent) believing that a shortage of talent could hold their business back.

This confident view for prospects during 2015 comes as East Coast firms prepare to capitalise on the opportunities that the economic recovery has offered their businesses. Indeed, almost 50 per cent said that confidence and growth prospects are the highest they’ve been since the start of the recession.

East Coast business leaders believe that foreign markets offer the most opportunities, with 66 per cent saying they need to explore exporting if they are to continue to grow over the coming year.

The event brought together the region’s policymakers, lobbyists, academics and business leaders to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Edinburgh-based businesses.

It included a panel debate featuring the former BBC Breakfast presenter, Declan Curry, along with Scottish business leaders Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis, and Managing Director of Schuh, Colin Temple.  Scottish Regional Director of the Business Growth Fund, Simon Munro and Jeremy Blood, Partner at investment firm Manfield Partners, also provided business insights as part of the panel.

The results revealed that an 86 per cent majority of business leaders in the East Coast area are expecting to grow turnover, profits and headcount during 2015.

Jane Clark-Hutchison, Area Director, Bank of Scotland said: “These encouraging results show that businesses in the area are beginning to put the confidence they’re feeling into action, and are predicting growth over the coming year.

“The Gameplan events give us a snapshot view of how businesses are feeling in the area, and help us to understand what the future looks like from our customers’ perspective. This insight is invaluable for us, and it also allows business leaders in attendance get an idea of where they sit in comparison with other firms across the East Coast.”

Bank of Scotland Edinburgh Gameplan 1

From left to right: Tim Hinton, Lloyds Bank SME & Mid-Markets Banking Managing Director/Scottish Regional Director of the Business Growth Fund Simon Munro/Schuh Managing Director Colin temple/Former BBC journalist Declan Curry/Manfield Partners’ Jeremy Blood/Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Chief Executive, Colin Robertson/Bank of Scotland Area Director, Jane Clark-Hutchison.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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