Fife has been crowned the ‘Most Enterprising Place in Britain’ by the UK Government.
The recognition has come in the Enterprising Britain Awards, which celebrate the work of public sector and government-backed organisations that encourage entrepreneurialism across the country.
As well as scooping the overall title, Fife has also been named winner in the ‘Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit’ category, marking exceptional economic successes within mid-Fife in particular.
Fife Council’s co-leaders, Councillor David Alexander and Councillor David Ross, said: “These awards show what can be achieved by applying an innovative approach to supporting businesses.
“We are fully committed to continually improving the prospects for our young workforce and in supporting the growth of enterprise across Fife.
“We are delighted that Fife is rightfully getting recognition for creating an excellent environment to support our business community to develop and grow, which, in turn, are creating quality opportunities for our local communities.
“Fife Council and its business partners continue to work tirelessly to create fairer economic growth, where everyone benefits, provide good employment opportunities and secure investment in the region.”
Judges were said to be impressed with the strength of new town Glenrothes, now in its 70th year, which has undergone enterprise-led regeneration, moving from a period of economic challenge to one with a strong business base and industrial innovation.
Fife was similarly praised for joint working between its economy, planning and employability and education and children’s services, and with the Fife Economy Partnership (FEP)
Fife Council’s innovative Culture of Enterprise Framework connects the school curriculum, employability and local businesses to provide young people with the tools to develop enterprise skills – including innovation, problem solving, creativity and confidence.
The Scottish Government’s Fife Task Force funding to create jobs and modern, business-friendly infrastructure, including an Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes, was also recognised, with the hub’s ‘one-stop-shop’ approach enabling Fife to host the first Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) Female Leadership Programme.
Bob Garmory, chair of Developing the Young Workforce Fife, commented: “Fife is closely linking education and learning with employers to help us develop our young workforce, get more young people into education, training and employment, and empower future business leaders.”
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, who named the Enterprising Britain Awards winners today, said: “With more than 340,000 small businesses in Scotland, entrepreneurialism is thriving.
“The UK has some of the most entrepreneurial and innovative minds in the world delivering good jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are building a Britain in which small business continues to thrive.”