IT, Technology, TSG

TSG team set for charity challenge

STAFF at technology services company TSG are preparing to “do battle” to raise money for a right royal cause.

Four of the IT company’s Scottish workers have signed up to take part in the BlueSky Challenge – an action-packed adventure race aimed at raising cash for the Prince’s Trust.

The event – which will include mountain biking, kayaking, orienteering, wading across a river and secret tasks – will take place around historic Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire this September.

The TSG team – Neil Harding, Gillian Booth, Steven Osprey and Ian Davis – have given themselves individual Gladiator-style names for the challenge, and have been busy working a sweat in a tough training regime. The four will compete collectively as the TSG Thundercats.

Team leader Neil Harding – otherwise known as “Lion-O” – said: “The Princes Trust gives practical and financial support to young people who need it most. We hope our families and clients will dig deep and help us raise lots of money for this excellent cause.”

Neil, an account manager who’s based at TSG’s Edinburgh office, added: “We became aware of the Challenge through BlueSky Experiences, which organises the event, as they’re one of our clients. We’re more than happy to take part and hope others will rise to the challenge too.

“It should be great fun. If nothing else, we should all be much fitter after all the training and taking part!”

Edinburgh colleague Gillian Booth, a part-time marketing co-ordinator, is competing as “Cheetara”. She said: “I also have a bit of experience in mountain biking and kayaking and this event will give me the opportunity to get better at these.”

Two workers from TSG’s Glasgow Office make up the team. Account manager Steven Osprey, competiting as “Tygra”, said: “I’m not a big fan of losing, so I’m aiming to be competitive and go for a good time.”

Ian Davis, a keen footballer, is the fourth member of the team. He’ll compete in the Challenge as “Panthro”. He said: “It will give me a focus for getting fit and active again – and allows for no excuses for not spending time at the gym.”

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “This bunch are certainly no ‘computer geeks’ and may even turn out to be potential gladiators! They’re really getting into the spirit of the Challenge – and we hope they will encourage other sporty people in business to take part.”

The event hopes to raise more than £30,000 for the Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Geraldine Gammel, the Prince’s Trust Scotland director, said: “The Prince’s Trust is delighted to be benefiting from this dynamic and challenging event. The training and sheer physical effort needed shows how much people care about ensuring there are more choices and more chances for disadvantaged young people across Scotland. I wish each team the best of luck.”

For more information about The BlueSky Challenge please visit http://www.blueskychallenge.co.uk or contact James England on 07980 212355.

You can pledge support to the TSG team online via http://www.justgiving.com/tsgthundercats

To find out more about TSG, please visit http://www.tsg.com

ENDS

About The BlueSky Challenge

The BlueSky Challenge, an all day event, will take place at Drumlanrig Castle on the stunning 120,000-acre Queensberry Estate on 12 September 2008.

The BlueSky Challenge will involve teams of four taking on the unique, exhilarating and fun challenge of:

• Mountain Biking – the main mode of transport throughout the race;
• Kayaking – on a mountain loch;
• Orienteering – finding their way through a challenging course in diverse countryside;
• Aerial Runways – crossing the river Nith whilst suspended on a Tyrolean bridge;
• River Crossing – wading across the river with your shoes on or shoes off; and
• Secret Disciplines – a series of tasks designed to test your mental and physical abilities.

The BlueSky Challenge has been designed to be fun as well as challenging and is inclusive for all abilities. There is no set route and the fittest team will not necessarily come first. Planning and developing a strategy is vital for success. Teams must work out in advance their best route and tactics to maximise points. Teams will be competing non-stop against the clock and will collect bonus points at each checkpoint. The team with the most bonus points and the fastest time will win the challenge.

About TSG

• TSG is one of the fastest growing IT companies in the UK. It has its headquarters in Newcastle-upon-tyne, with bases around the UK, including three offices in Scotland.
• The company now provides IT support and services for more than 11,000 businesses across the UK
• TSG has recently received two awards from Sage. TSG is Sage Business Partner of 2006 in two categories: Sage MMS and Sage Vertical applications.
• TSG is Pegasus business partner of the year 2006.
• TSG is a Microsoft Gold Partner and Small Business Accredited and has recently been awarded membership to the Microsoft Presidents’ Club, one of only 7 companies in the UK to have achieved the level of accreditation.
• TSG also holds Microsoft competencies in Network Infrastructure, Advanced Infrastructure, Information Worker and MBS
• TSG employs 440 staff.
• TSG has 12 offices across the UK: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Gateshead, Teesside, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Alcester, London and Southampton
• TSG has an annualised turnover of £38m.
• TSG was founded by Graham Wylie, co-founder of Sage in 2003.

Find out more at http://www.tsg.com

For further information about TSG please contact
Adrian Mahoney, Spinney and Partners, tel. 01506 823714
Mobile: 07967 150560
Email: Adrian@spinpartners.com

For media enquiries about the BlueSky Challenge, please contact
Jo Chisholm on 01577 866776
Email: ballincrieff@aol.com

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IT, Technology, TSG

Free seminar for Aberdeen businesses

OIL and gas companies in the North east could save money and win more lucrative contracts by investing in new software.

That’s the claim of IT services company TSG, which is organising a free seminar to showcase a new accounts package from Microsoft.

The event will demonstrate how Dynamics NAV 5.0 “makes it easier than ever” to plan projects and create business success.

Dougie Stewart of TSG said: “The new software can provide more accurate and faster job estimates. This, in turn, can help companies win more work and increase their profitability.”

The free seminar will take place at TSG’s Aberdeen base at Aberdeen Science and Technology Park, in Bridge of Don, on October 25 from 2 p.m.

Log onto http://www.tsg.com/events to register.

Mr Stewart said: “Microsoft has simplified NAV with this new release, making it much easier to use. We think this will have a huge appeal to local SMEs, so we’re encouraging people to sign up for our free seminar. You don’t have to be an existing TSG customer to attend – nor is there any obligation to buy the software or use our support services.”

He added: “We’re confident this new software will benefit many companies in the north east – particularly those in the oil and gas sector. The package can suit anything from one or two users to dozens of people in a company environment.

“Companies using this package can manage each phase of their jobs and projects – using the software’s flexible planning, budgeting and accounting capabilities to ensure their business is profitable each step of the way.”

TSG is one of the UK’s fastest growing IT companies, with Scottish bases in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

To find out more, visit http://www.tsg.com

IT, TSG

TSG runs free CRM event

EDINBURGH businesses are being given the chance to see how the latest software can help them build better relationships with customers.

Technology company TSG – which has a local base at Straiton – is running a free event in the city to showcase the latest “customer relationship management” (CRM) software.

The afternoon seminar will take place on Thursday, May 17, in the Apex City Hotel in the Grassmarket. On show will be the Microsoft Dynamics CRM package.

Tom O’Hara, the managing director of TSG Scotland, said: “This event will allow local businesses to see how CRM software can integrate with their existing IT software and systems to deliver hugely-improved business productivity from staff.

“Companies wanting to better understand their customers and make more confident business decisions should attend this event. It’s free of charge and will aim to give useful insights into how to develop long-term customer loyalty.”

TSG will also host a free event on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV accounting package and Microsoft’s SharePoint system to create inexpensive intranet sites. This will be held on the morning of May 17 in the Apex City Hotel.

To register and get more details on either event, just visit http://www.tsg.com/events and click the “TSG Scotland” link.

 

About TSG

• TSG now supports over 11,000 businesses across the UK.
• TSG is one of the fastest growing IT companies in the UK and is headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne.
• TSG has recently received two awards from Sage. TSG is Sage Business Partner of 2006 in two categories: Sage MMS and Sage Vertical applications.
• TSG is Pegasus business partner of the year 2006.
• TSG is a Microsoft Gold Partner and Small Business Accredited and has recently been awarded membership to the Microsoft Presidents’ Club, one of only 7 companies in the UK to have achieved the level of accreditation.
• TSG also holds Microsoft competencies in Network Infrastructure, Advanced Infrastructure, Information Worker and MBS.
• TSG employs 440 staff.
• TSG has 12 offices across the UK: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Gateshead, Teesside, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Alcester, London and Southampton
• TSG has an annualised turnover of £38m.
• TSG was founded by Graham Wylie, co-founder of Sage in 2003.
—————————————————–

For further information please contact
Adrian Mahoney, Spinney and Partners, tel. 01506 823714
Mobile: 07967 150560
Email: Adrian@spinpartners.com

TSG Head Office, One Gosforth Parkway, Gosforth Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE12 8ET http://www.tsg.com
—————————————————–

IT, TSG

Technology firm in free seminar for Aberdeen businesses

TECHNOLOGY services firm TSG is hosting a free event at its Aberdeen offices next week to make companies more aware of Microsoft’s SharePoint software.

The event will show how the package can help staff share information through their own web portal – without having to draft in costly web designers and developers.

“If you can use Microsoft Office, you can create an intranet site using SharePoint,” said Peter Brownsmith of TSG Aberdeen. “Many companies spend tens of thousands of pounds commissioning bespoke systems, when they could implement this solution from Microsoft at a fraction of the cost.”

The free, two-hour event will be run at TSG’s offices at Aberdeen Science and Technology Park in Bridge of Don on Wednesday, April 25, from 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in attending can register online at http://www.tsg.com/events

Peter added: “This particular event will demonstrate how Microsoft’s innovative SharePoint system can help your business become more productive and collaborative. We’ll also show you how you can easily design a SharePoint website and share documents, records and web content.”

TSG carries out a wide range of training courses, technology briefings and seminars. These events are run to ensure businesses gain the most out of their current software – and to showcase new solutions for local companies.

TSG specializes in providing IT services and solutions to SMEs. The company has a turnover approaching £50 million, 16 offices across the UK and more than 11,000 small and medium sized clients nationwide.
To find out more, please visit http://www.tsg.com
———————————

ENDS

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Adrian Mahoney, Spinney and Partners for TSG
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560

business support, IT, promotions

UK images for less

NEW online image library Pure Images has unveiled a cut-price offer to mark its launch.

The stock photography trader – which specialises in pictures depicting the best in UK life – is offering a 50 per cent discount on all images bought before October 1, 2004.

Full details are available online at www.pureimages.co.uk

The news comes as the company launches a direct marketing campaign to attract image buyers in design houses, newspapers, magazines and in-house art departments.

Founder Scott Davidson said: “We’ve already had a great deal of interest in the business from contributing photographers and the press. Now we’re hoping the creative community – the people who buy stock photography – will turn to us.”

The company, based in Denny, central Scotland, has spent the last six months building up an impressive portfolio of images featuring all aspects of UK life. There’s also travel photography and iconic images from around the world.

“Many online picture agencies feature lots of American shots, which just aren’t suitable for people needing images for UK newspapers, magazines and websites,” said Mr Davidson. “That’s where we can offer an alternative.”

He added: “The site works in a similar way to some of our larger competitors. You can search for images using keywords or categories and buy royalty-free or ‘rights managed’ photography to use in publications, advertising or design. There’s the usual online ‘lightboxes’ to save searches and low-res samples available for people to download.

“And – until October 1 – you can buy images for just 50 per cent of the cost. You simply log in and purchase the images online as normal, adding in the code ‘offer50’ when you confirm your order to get the discount. You’ll then pay half the cost, whether it’s for a royalty-free or rights-managed image.”

The direct marketing campaign is being carried out in-house, with additional support from the firm’s PR advisers – Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store and Linda Bruce of PR Squared.

About Pure Images
Behind Pure Images (www.pureimages.co.uk) is the internet company Oldhand Media http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk . The firm also runs a consumer photography site – http://www.kapture-it.co.uk – allowing families to store their own snaps as well as offering web design and e-commerce services to a range of clients.

Pure Images makes it easy for people to purchase images of life in Britain, but that’s not all. The site also offers travel photography, from destinations such as Cuba, France, Greece, India, Russia and the USA. You can also find images of holiday destinations, people on vacation, travelogue photography, images of cities, landmarks and some more unusual images too.

Issued by The PR Store on behalf of Pure Images
For more information, please contact:

  • Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, telephone: 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
  • Scott Davidson, Pure Images, telephone: 01324 889108
business support, IT, promotions

Image site showcases best in Britain

scottdavidson1
A NEW internet business is flying the flag for Britain – selling images which showcase the very best in UK life.

Pure Images (www.pureimages.co.uk) hopes to meet the growing demand for British images from graphic designers, sub-editors and creatives on this side of the Atlantic.

“Many online picture agencies feature lots of American shots, which just aren’t suitable for people needing images for UK newspapers, magazines and websites,” says Scott Davidson, of Pure Images. “That’s where we can offer an alternative.”

The company, based in Denny, central Scotland, has spent the last six months building up an impressive portfolio of images featuring all aspects of UK life. There’s also travel photography and iconic images from around the world.

“The site works in a similar way to some of our larger competitors,” says Davidson, one of Pure Images’ founders. “You can search for stuff using keywords or categories and buy royalty-free or ‘rights managed’ photography to use in publications, advertising or design. There’s the usual online ‘lightboxes’ to save searches and low-res samples available for people to download.”

Mr Davidson (36) knows all about his target market. For more than a decade he worked as a graphic designer – meeting the needs of clients like Reebok, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Tulloch Homes.

“As the internet came on the scene,” he said, “I had to look for stock photography – but often the established online agencies just didn’t deliver stuff that was really suitable for a UK-market, particularly when I worked in the Highlands. A shot taken in downtown San Francisco isn’t suitable to depict life in Inverness.

“Pure Images aims to fill that gap online. Best of all, because we only trade over the internet, we can keep costs down and offer competitive prices.”

Many creatives are wishing the company well.

Lynne Crossan runs a publishing business in Edinburgh, working for clients like Scottish and Newcastle and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Producing a raft of corporate magazines and newsletters, she uses clients’ in-house images, along with bespoke photography – and material from photo libraries.

“We’re always looking for images that are suitable for the Scottish market, so the arrival of Pure Images is welcome,” said Lynne. “I think there’s also an attraction dealing with people in the UK rather than a large picture site in America.

“Sometimes we’ve tried to find relevant photography and had to commission material because there was nothing suitable. Hopefully Pure Images will give us a few options.”

Adrian Brockwell of CWA Studios in Buckinghamshire is one of the contributing photographers to Pure Images.

“I’ve had quite a lot of experience dealing with picture agencies,” said Adrian, “and this is a good site. The percentage photographers are paid for their images is good and their focus on the UK is a bonus.

“I can’t stand all the American stuff you can buy online. And it’s not what clients want either.”

Adrian – who has worked with ad giant J Walter Thomson, as well as firms like John Lewis, ICI and Shell – wishes the new business well. “There’s a definite market for Pure Images and I’ve been telling all my clients about it. I’m hoping they succeed.”

About Pure Images
Behind Pure Images (www.pureimages.co.uk) is the internet company Oldhand Media http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk . The firm also runs a consumer photography site – http://www.kapture-it.co.uk – allowing families to store their own snaps as well as offering web design and e-commerce services to a range of clients.

Pure Images makes it easy for people to purchase images of life in Britain, but that’s not all. The site also offers travel photography, from destinations such as Cuba, France, Greece, India, Russia and the USA. You can also find images of holiday destinations, people on vacation, travelogue photography, images of cities, landmarks and some more unusual images too.

Issued by The PR Store on behalf of Pure Images
For more information, please contact:

  • Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, telephone: 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
  • Scott Davidson, Pure Images, telephone: 01324 889108

You can download hi-res versions of the press pictures above, by clicking on them. Screen shots of the site and other press downloads are also available from the Pure Images website.

You can also download shots of Scott Davidson and the Pure Images home page by visiting our online document system. Click the link then use the username and password “press” (in both cases).

business support, IT, promotions

Pure and simple: new site puts UK in the picture

homepage2-smThey say a picture paints a thousand words.

But getting the right image can be a struggle for busy sub-editors, designers and creatives.

“Many online picture agencies feature lots of American shots, which just aren’t suitable for people needing images for UK newspapers, magazines and websites,” says Scott Davidson, of Pure Images. “That’s where we can offer an alternative.”

The company is a new stock photography business, not run from some expensive city HQ, but a base in Denny, Stirlingshire. It sells its wares purely online at http://www.pureimages.co.uk

Unashamedly flying the flag for Britain, Pure Images delivers shots featuring all aspects of UK life. Even before launch, it’s won respect from contributing photographers for the larger margins they get paid. It now hopes for the same success as it launches to paying customers.

“The site works in similar way as some of our larger competitors,” says Davidson, one of Pure Images’ founders. “You can search for stuff using keywords or categories and buy royalty-free or ‘rights managed’ photography to use in publications, advertising or design. There’s the usual online ‘lightboxes’ to save searches and low-res samples available for people to download.”

If someone buys an image – a generous 70 per cent of the sale price is paid to the photographer, with the site taking the remaining payment as commission.

Davidson (36) knows all about his target market. For more than a decade he worked as a graphic designer – meeting the needs of clients like Reebok, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Tulloch Homes.

“As the internet came on the scene,” he said, “I had to look for stock photography – but often the established online agencies didn’t deliver stuff that was really suitable for a UK-market, particularly when I worked in the Highlands. A shot taken in downtown San Francisco isn’t suitable to depict life in Inverness.

“Pure Images aims to fill that gap online. Best of all, because we only trade over the internet, we can keep costs down and offer competitive prices.”

The idea has already impressed local enterprise chiefs, which gave the company start-up premises at a local business centre in Denny, after it won a top slot in a local e-business contest.

The start-up knows it’s in a tough market. But being the new kid on the block may be a positive advantage when it comes to selling to UK creatives.

Lynne Crossan runs a publishing business in Edinburgh, working for clients like Scottish and Newcastle and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Producing a raft of corporate magazines and newsletters, she uses clients’ in-house images, along with bespoke photography – and material from photo libraries.

“We’re always looking for images that are suitable for the Scottish market, so the arrival of Pure Images is welcome,” said Lynne. “I think there’s also an attraction dealing with someone in the UK rather than a large picture site in America.

“Sometimes we’ve tried to find relevant photography and had to commission material because there was nothing suitable. Hopefully Pure Images will give us a few options.”

Adrian Brockwell of CWA Studios in Buckinghamshire is one of the contributing photographers to Pure Images. Search on the site and you’ll find everything from his shots of Big Ben to that Wimbeldon favourite, strawberries and cream. The shot almost looks good enough to eat.

“I’ve had quite a lot of experience dealing with picture agencies,” said Adrian. “And this is a good site. The percentage photographers are paid for their images is good and their focus on the UK is a bonus.

“I can’t stand all the American stuff you can buy online. And it’s not what clients want either.”

Adrian – who has worked with ad giant J Walter Thomson, as well as firms like John Lewis, ICI and Shell – wishes the site well. “There’s a definite market for Pure Images and I’ve been telling all my clients about it. I’m hoping they succeed.”

About Pure Images
Behind Pure Images (www.pureimages.co.uk) is the internet company Oldhand Media http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk. The firm also runs a consumer photography site – http://www.kapture-it.co.uk – allowing families to store their own snaps as well as offering web design and e-commerce services to a range of clients.

Pure Images makes it easy for people to purchase images of life in Britain, but that’s not all. The site also offers travel photography, from destinations such as Cuba, France, Greece, India, Russia and the USA. You can also find images of holiday destinations, people on vacation, travelogue photography, images of cities, landmarks and some more unusual images too.

Issued by The PR Store on behalf of Pure Images
For more information, please contact:

  • Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, telephone: 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
  • Scott Davidson, Pure Images, telephone: 01324 889108

You can download a hi-res version of the press picture above, by clicking on the screenshot. Further screen shots of the site and other press downloads are also available from the Pure Images website.

business support, IT, promotions

Stock image site clicks with photographers

homepage2-smPHOTOGRAPHERS across the UK are snapping up the opportunity to sell their wares on a new stock photography website.

Pure Images www.pureimages.co.uk has been set up by Scottish web firm Oldhand Media to offer pictures that reflect the best in UK life.

Director Scott Davidson said: “From early marketing and word of mouth we’ve already had a good response from photographers around the country, interested in selling their images through the web.

“Predominantly the work has been landscapes and architectural shots. We’re now looking for more images of people and reportage shots as we gear up towards a formal launch.

“Anyone interested simply has to log onto pureimages.co.uk for more details.”

The site, with its eye-catching interface, is in the final stages of development. Oldhand will launch the service to creative professionals later in the year.

It says its “pure” focus is to showcase images showing people, places, sport and culture from across the UK.

Mr Davidson added: “Pure Images offers a great opportunity for photographers to sell their images around the world. As a trained graphic designer, I used to struggle to find original stock photography with a distinctive UK-flavour. We hope that Pure Images will fill that gap.”

The Pure Images website has been designed to be user-friendly for contributing photographers.

There is no registration fee for contributors to pay. Images are hosted for free. If someone buys an image – a generous 70 per cent of the sale price is paid to the photographer, with the site taking the remaining payment as commission.

For more information visit the site or call 01324 889108 for a Pure Images CD.

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Pure Images.

For more information, please contact:
Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560 E: Adrian@theprstore.net

business support, IT, public sector, small business, Technology

Broadband boost for businesses as FEAT celebrates 20th birthday

russell-webThe organisation helping small businesses across Falkirk district celebrated its 20th birthday today with a feast of chips . . . silicon chips, to be exact.

Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust in Grangemouth has helped nearly 2,500 start-up firms since it was launched two decades ago. It now hopes to help even more businesses with its latest attraction: an e-business demonstration centre.

The new centre – funded by Scottish Enterprise – showcases the wide variety of ways people can log onto broadband internet access, from cable and phone line services to satellite connections.

Visitors to FEAT’s base at Newhouse Business Park can also try out a wide range of hi-tech computers, including some with the latest technology, “wireless networking”.

Russell Parker, the director of FEAT, said the new facility – developed as part of Scottish Enterprise’s Broadband for Business programme – should be a hit with local firms.

He said: “Businesses will be able to try out all the latest technology and get free, impartial advice about what’s available in their area. We’ll also be running workshops to help people get to grips with the equipment.

“Things have definitely changed since FEAT was launched 20 years ago. Faxes were relatively new and the main method of communication was by phone and letter.

“Now businesses can trade on a global scale using the latest computers and broadband technology. By tapping into this, any company in Forth Valley can grow their market and become much more competitive.

“That’s why this new centre is of such importance to the local business community.”

Yvonne Hood, an e-business executive at Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, said: “The new facility at FEAT is one of eleven such centres being set up across Scotland to encourage more small and medium-sized firms to use broadband. As one of FEAT’s partners, we were delighted to help create this new centre as part of the Trust’s facilities in Grangemouth. I’m sure it will be popular with existing visitors – and businesses across Forth Valley.”

As well as helping local firms connect to broadband, the new centre will also help businesses which have broadband but want to get more value out of their high speed internet connection.

You can try out the latest hi-tech gadgets in the e-business demonstration centre and sign up for the “Using Broadband” workshop at FEAT for free. Just call 01324 665500.

Scottish Enterprise has also set up a website to help people get more information on broadband. It is available by logging onto http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/broadband

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust (FEAT) provides a range of services to help businesses across the Falkirk area. As a Small Business Gateway (operated on behalf of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley), it offers: pre-start-up advice and training, advice and training for growing businesses, IT training and support and grant aid. FEAT also offers a number of other services. These include a regular marketing club, room hire and other training facilities. The Trust also manages a number of loan funds and grant schemes for partners such as BP and Falkirk Council. To find out more, log onto: http://www.feat.org.uk

Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93 per cent of the population from Grampian to the Borders. The Scottish network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 local enterprise companies (including Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley). Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scottish people, and to encourage innovation to make Scottish business internationally competitive.

The Scottish Enterprise Broadband for Business Programme – behind today’s launch – has been established to increase the uptake of broadband technology for Scots businesses. The programme includes more than a dozen interlinked projects which will:
o raise awareness of broadband and give companies unbiased, independent advice;
o trail pioneering and alternative technologies that can deliver broadband services across the country; and
o develop telecommunications infrastructure, services and tariffs to put Scottish businesses on a competitive footing with Europe’s leading locations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Russell Parker at FEAT on 01324 665500
email: russelp@feat.org.uk

Or Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
e-mail: feat@theprstore.net

For inquiries about Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, please contact Josie Saunders at The Big Partnership on 0141 333 9585 or 07881 816283

business support, IT, public sector, small business

£90,000 computer base to help small businesses

The centre helping small businesses in Falkirk district has unveiled its latest attraction: a new, hi-tech computer base.

The £90,000 e-business suite has been created at the premises of Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust (FEAT) in Newhouse Business Park, Grangemouth.

The facility – packed with the latest PCs and audio visual equipment – will be used for training seminars and to promote to the internet to new and growing businesses. It will also offer firms high-speed access to the net.

Today (February 16, 2001), local internet entrepreneurs looked on as Tom Shields, the deputy chairman of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, officially launched the new facility.

The local enterprise company, along with BP and Falkirk Council, is a partner in Enterprising Falkirk – the body which funded the e-business suite.

FEAT director Sandy Riddell said: “I’m delighted Mr Shields has been able to open the new computer facility – and I’m sure the e-business suite will prove popular with local businesses. We’re particularly grateful to Enterprising Falkirk for its funding.

“Recent research has shown that whilst the vast majority of Scottish businesses are embracing the internet, smaller firms are less willing to get online.

“At FEAT we support hundreds of these types of businesses. And we feel all of them could get some benefit from using the latest computer technology. That’s why we created the e-business suite.”

The new centre includes:

  • IBM-PCs with the latest flat screen monitors;
  • audio visual equipment;
  • printers; and
  • a “soft board”, which acts like a giant touch-screen TV.

There will also be high-speed internet access, using Telewest’s new “broadband” service, called “Blueyonder Workwise”.

Mr Riddell added: “The new centre will allow firms to find out for themselves how easy it is to get online – and how cost effective it can be for their business. As well as promoting the internet, we’ll also be running training courses on the latest computer packages, which can often help businesses cut down on costs and paper administration. And lower costs can often be vital for new or growing businesses.”

The new centre was welcomed by some small businesses which have already taken the plunge and gone online.

James McDonald who runs the Falkirk for Sale website (www.falkirkforsale.co.uk) said: “The centre’s a great idea.”

James’s portal site promotes local properties for sale. He said the support of Enterprising Falkirk, the backers of the new e-business suite, was crucial to the success of his business.

Mike Tuckerman, of Grangemouth-based Freedom Scotland Holidays (www.freedomscotland.com) agreed. “The new e-business suite is a useful development that can only help people in the area.”

Ian Jenson, project manager of Enterprising Falkirk, said supporting FEAT’s new computer facility was a natural extension of Enterprising Falkirk’s work.

He said: “It is very important for the future prosperity of this area the we embrace the digital world fully. Enterprising Falkirk has a series of initiatives that are aimed to help both local businesses and the community.

“For example, we recently launched an e-business incubator unit to support a number of e-business start-ups. This unit supports companies that provide e-commerce solutions to other businesses, and internet-based businesses that Falkirk or Scotland will gain benefit from.

“Often the internet is wrapped up in some kind of mystique – and is just too scary for some to embrace. We hope that by funding the new e-business suite at FEAT, we will be able to take the fear out of going online for many small businesses.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

FEAT provides a range of business support services – many free – to help start-up and established businesses. To find out more about FEAT, or its e-business suite, please contact 01324 665500.

Enterprising Falkirk is a unique new partnership created by BP Grangemouth, Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley and Falkirk Council to provide support and resources for the growth of new businesses and the enhancement of the local communities in the Falkirk area. To find out more visit http://www.eFalkirk.com or call 01324 878600.

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of FEAT
For more information, please contact
Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 01506 823714
M: 07967 150560
E:feat@theprstore.net

Russell Parker
Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust
Tel: 01324 665500