HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing on Thursday, August 19, as it is announced £50 million has been set aside for the creation of new woodland and forestry management by the Scottish National Investment Bank.
The bank says the fund will support widescale new tree planting over the next five years, generating returns through the sale of timber, in the green push.
It comes as Aberdeen-based Wood Group has received the first ever UK Government-backed “green transition loan” in a deal worth £430 million.
The oil services firm says it will use the loan to accelerate the pace of investment in new clean energy sectors around the world.
Also today, Scottish social media agency Hydrogen hails a hike in turnover and staff numbers, the team that will lead the regeneration of Wester Hailes is appointed, and there’s a renewed rise in inflation despite an earlier fall-back.
Glasgow social media agency hikes turnover
Hydrogen, which says it is Scotland’s largest specialist social media agency, has hailed a 50% increase in turnover despite successive Covid lockdowns.
It said the past year has marked a huge period of growth for Hydrogen, with a 40% increase in staff numbers due to new client wins, as well as growth for existing clients.
This year also saw the creation of a new senior management team, with Nicky Logue promoted to the role of managing director for Hydrogen.
She said: “It’s been a tremendous year for growth in Hydrogen – despite the uncertain circumstances we found ourselves in. Lockdown meant that social media was more important than ever for businesses looking to promote themselves, and we were glad we were able to help and showcase some amazing companies to the world.
“This increase meant we needed to expand across every department in the business: particularly in content creation and design. We’re lucky to have been able to grow our team during lockdown, and we can’t wait for everyone to be able to meet face to face in the near future.”
Growth of Glasgow-based Hydrogen also saw the appointment of Darren Forsyth as creative director, while co-founders Mike Scott and Daniel Rae took up the group-level roles as chief executive and chief innovation officer, respectively.
Over the past year, the social media agency has won a raft of new European wide clients including The Economist, MindTools, and City of Glasgow College. Hydrogen’s client roster also includes SSE, Highland Park whisky, Macdonald Hotels and SEPA.
Most recently, Hydrogen launched a sister company, Social Media Training School, which offers social media training and help for small businesses who can’t afford – or does not need – a social media agency.
Mr Scott said: “When I launched Hydrogen from my tiny home office, the idea of having a company the scale of Hydrogen five years on was simply a pipedream.
“When Daniel and I set out our plans in those early days, we thought it would be great if we had 15 staff – now we’re double that and are almost outgrowing our third office. The last 18 months have brought their challenges but it just goes to show the importance of social media in the post Covid landscape. We’ve got a number of growth plans across the group and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.”
Edinburgh regeneration project managers appointed
Plans for the regeneration of the Wester Hailes have taken a key step forward with City of Edinburgh Council appointing the consultancy team that will head the project.
UK inflation falls back sharply to Bank of England target but renewed rise seen
Annual UK consumer prices index inflation dropped more sharply than expected last month, falling back to the Bank of England’s target of two per cent from 2.5% in June, official figures show.
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