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11 Business Bites: Dundee bank helps homeless, Fife and Angus firms win investments and a Royal visit to Perthshire

The Courier's weekly round up of positive business stories from Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.
The Courier's weekly round up of positive business stories from Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.

Every Monday morning The Courier publishes a weekly round-up of some of the many positive business stories from Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perthshire.

Thanks to everyone who has been sending in story ideas and please keep these coming to business@thecourier.co.uk.

And also please consider signing up for the business team’s new daily newsletter (sign up box under the main image on any business story).

Now it’s time for this week’s Business Bites.

1. HSBC Dundee offers bank accounts to homeless people

The HSBC UK branch on Murraygate has launched a service where people without a fixed address can open a bank account when referred via a housing or homelessness charity.

HSBC in Murraygate, Dundee.
HSBC in Murraygate, Dundee.

Having a bank account can make it easier to claim benefits, receive wages and pay rent and break the cycle of homelessness.

The bank has opened 2,347 accounts under its No Fixed Address service since it launched in 2019.

Dundee has the eighth highest rates of homelessness in Scotland.

2. Angus firm expands operations after six-figure investment

Arborath chemical company Stakam has received a six-figure investment by Saudi Multichem and will partner with the firm.

This will increase the firm’s number of staff and the potential for multi-million-pound revenue growth.

Alistair Watson, founder and managing director of Stakam.
Alistair Watson, founder and managing director of Stakam.

Founder and managing director Alistair Watson said: “This investment by Saudi Multichem will provide access to new markets and the potential for significant growth.”

The company manufactures and supplies products into the oil and gas sector, as well as polymers for the construction industry.

3. Royal Society honour for Dundee University professor

Professor Kate Storey has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Professor Storey is head of the Division of Cell & Developmental Biology and chair of Neural Development in the School of Life Sciences.

Professor Kate Storey at Dundee University.
Professor Kate Storey at Dundee University.

Professor Storey said: “We don’t do this work in search of honours, the priority is to make new discoveries and have a positive impact on human health.

“But it is certainly nice to receive recognition for the work I have done with many students, post-doctoral researchers and numerous other collaborators over the years.”

4. MSIP awards contract for running accelerator programme

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc has awarded training provider Skillfluence a contract to continue the delivery of its MSIP Accelerator.

The programme has been designed to help ambitious young companies achieve a change in their business.

Applications of the fully subsidised programme are now being accepted for cohort 3 due to start in August.

How Inside how the MSIP innovation hub could look.
How the inside of the MSIP innovation hub could look.

Participating companies will get access to MSIP’s soon to launch Innovation Lab facilities.

Innovation Director at Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc Sarah Petrie said: “With an alumni of 19 companies, we are already seeing clear outputs of success for MSIP and across industry, with the progression of new technology that will get us to net zero.”

5. St Andrews spin-out awarded funds to make tech more sustainable

University of St Andrews spin-out SolOled will make key materials for a range of everyday technologies such as TVs and mobile phones more sustainable by removing their need for rare materials.

The firm secured £200,000 from Scottish Enterprise and has initiated a project with CENSIS.

SolOLED aim to commercialise sustainable materials.

SolOLED chief executive Eli Zysman-Colman said: “We believe we are the first company dedicated to developing sustainable materials that can replace the scarce, noble metals presently used in solution-processed OLEDs.

“While they have different physical properties, the materials have similar performance characteristics, but with the added benefit of being cheaper and more sustainable than compounds that contain iridium.”

6. Dundee financial firm appoints new directors

Henderson Loggie Financial Planning has appointed Jonathan McDowall and Ricky Clark as board directors.

The appointments further strengthen the senior team under the leadership of newly appointed managing director Susan Pringle.

Henderson Loggie Financial Planning managing director Susan Pringle with new board directors Ricky Clark and Jonathan McDowall.
Henderson Loggie Financial Planning managing director Susan Pringle with new board directors Ricky Clark and Jonathan McDowall.

Jonathan McDowall joined the firm in 2015. He provides financial planning advice to individuals and businesses, with particular expertise in tax planning advice.

Ricky Clark joined in 2013 to focus on driving expansion of the corporate services portfolio of clients.

7. Royal visitors unveil plaque at Crieff Jubilee Woodland

HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH Prince Michael of Kent visited Crieff Hydro Hotel to unveil a plaque at the entrance to a new Jubilee Woodland.

The woodland has been planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative which called on people across the UK to plant a tree for the Jubilee from the start of tree-planting season in October last year to the end of this year.

Stephen Leckie, Lord-Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, committed to the initiative which will see 70 oak trees bought by members of the public and planted on the site.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent planted an oak tree in the Crieff Jubilee Woodland.
HRH Prince Michael of Kent planted an oak tree in the Crieff Jubilee Woodland.

In addition to unveiling the plaque, The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent both planted their own trees.

8. Fife and Perth social enterprises secure accelerator course

Social enterprises EnableNet and Kingdom Off Road Motorcycle Club in Fife and Starting Step in Perth are participants on LaunchMe, Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator.

The course supports the firms to achieve scale by getting them investment ready and directly connecting them with investors looking for social and financial returns.

LaunchMe is delivered by Firstport, funded by the Scottish Government and supported by Barclays.

9. Angus manufacturer appoints new chairman

Specialist timber manufacturer Alexander Sturrock has appointed Harry MacLean non-executive chairman to its board of directors.

Mr Maclean has more than 25 years’ experience operating at senior management and board level.

Non-executive Alexander Sturrock chairman Harry MacLean.
Non-executive Alexander Sturrock chairman Harry MacLean.

The Forfar firm employs 24 people and celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Managing director Alex Sturrock Jnr said: “Harry has been providing strategic support and advice to the business for the last two years and his input has been pivotal in the growth of the business and the formulation of our long-term strategic plan.”

10. Dundee recruiter honoured for outstanding performance

Jordan Tracey, owner of the Driver Hire franchise in Dundee and Perth, has won platinum and diamond achievement awards for the outstanding sales performance achieved by his office last year.

Driver Hire chief executive Chris Chidley, Dundee and Perth franchise owner Jordan Tracey and managing director Jeremy Neale.
Driver Hire chief executive Chris Chidley, Dundee and Perth franchise owner Jordan Tracey and managing director Jeremy Neale.

The firm is an employment agency providing temporary and permanent drivers to local and national firms.

Driver Hire chief executive Chris Chidley said: “Jordan and his team in Dundee are to be congratulated on their success.

“It’s a result of their hard work, endeavour and the round the clock service they and their drivers deliver.”

11. Angus Carers Centre appoints new chief executive

Maciej Alexander has been appointed new chief executive of Angus Carers Centre.

Mr Alexander said it’s a privilege to become part of a cause that is close to his heart.

“With the local and national social care horizon changing, we have a unique opportunity and moment in time to make a true difference to the lives of carers and their families,” he said.

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