The latest annual figures for Fife Council Economic Development and Business Gateway Fife have been revealed with some very encouraging results.
The number of new businesses starting up in the year totalled an impressive 603, which is the highest number achieved by area in Scotland! This was up by 84 on the previous year which also highlights an amazing achievement during a year where the pandemic was still having an adverse effect on business and the economy.
During the preceding year when COVID-19 funding was at its peak, the number of applications for financial support was higher, but at 3,125 applications, £34million was processed to Fife’s businesses during the last year, and this also created an additional 246 jobs.
The Supplier Development Programme of events has always been a popular and successful draw to businesses. This year attracted 663 businesses to improve their tendering skills, 219 up on last year. Nearly 40 per cent of Fife Council contracts awarded during the year went to local Fife businesses.
The engagement of pupils in Culture of Enterprise (COE) activity, fostering vital links between education and industry, has exceeded all expectations with more than 112,000 instances of pupil engagement, which equates to around a third of the Fife population. There were also 1,989 instances where businesses supported COE delivery.
Mark Jones, Chair of the Board at Business Gateway Fife commented: “These positive figures reflect an optimism in businesses bouncing back from the pandemic. I am particularly delighted with the number of new businesses started in Fife and we are proud to be the top performer in Scotland. It shows just how hard our teams have worked and continue to work to make this happen and I wish to thank them for their exemplary effort, continued commitment and support. We hope to continue to build on this success in the coming year and maintain Business Gateway Fife as the first point of call for new and growing businesses.”
Pamela Stevenson, Service Manager, Economic Development, Business & Employability, Fife Council added: “Across the board, in all sections of our service delivery, there have been key areas of improvement which is really encouraging and testament to the efforts of our teams. Our focus ahead this year will be to support business resilience, upskilling of the workforce, continue to develop the Culture of Enterprise programme and to help our local businesses work towards delivering a net zero strategy. To meet increasing demand, the economic development team will also continue to develop new business units and serviced employment land throughout Fife.”