Lidl, B&M Dunbar plans delivered

HELLO and welcome to AM Business The briefing hailed September as the best month since the pandemic began, as firms around the world struggle to secure talent amid a skills shortage.

The group saw similar wages rise 41% in its first quarter through the end of September, with the strongest wages since the start of the Covid-19 crisis last month and a record performance across a number of industries and countries.

Hays chief Alistair Cox said the group is seeing “clear signs of skills shortages and wage inflation, especially at higher salary levels”.

Separately, pizza giant Domino’s said it plans to hire more than 8,000 drivers in the UK and Ireland as part of busy Christmas season preparations, and plans to open 30 new stores this year.

Also today, two major retailers have been announced for an East Lothian retail park, an East Kilbride beverage distribution company is on track to generate sales of £1m in its first year, and an energy storage facility in Fife has been acquired by overseas investors.

Big stores opened for retail park

DunBear Pak, two major retailers announced for Dunbar.

Detailed planning applications have been submitted to East Lothian Council for Lidl and B&M stores, as well as basic road infrastructure, which creates up to 80 jobs.

With the site infrastructure, this is set to provide a £30m investment in development.

The joint application by Hallhill Developments Limited, Lidl and B&M follows planning practices for roads, trails and basic infrastructure submitted last year, along with renewable energy proposals for the area.

The 54.3-acre project was designed around The DunBear, a five-metre-high steel sculpture of a grizzly bear that pays homage to Dunbar-born naturalist John Muir and played an important role in establishing National Parks in the USA. DunBear Park is part of the Hallhill development.

Aiming to include office, industrial, retail, leisure, extra-care facilities, community and residential uses, the mixed-use development will adopt the latest low-carbon technology.

Ken Ross of Hallhill Developments Limited said: “It’s great to announce that these operators are coming to DunBear Park at a time when retailers are downscaling due to the pandemic. This will cater to increased demand and provide more competition, key themes from the community consultation work we’ve undertaken.

“This £30 million investment will provide up to 80 much needed new jobs for the local community and this is a clear vote of confidence for this location and will also serve to provide the infrastructure necessary to enable us to invest more in Dunbar. ”

Philip Mellor of the Dunbar Traders Association said: “Developments like these complement downtown Dunbar and will prevent retail leaks elsewhere in East Lothian and Edinburgh, keeping more money in town.”

Beverage firm poised to hit £1m in sales in first year

A beverage delivery service launched last year as a result of the pandemic will slash £1m in sales as it prepares for the busy festive season.

East Kilbride-based Liquid Vault offers mixed cans of beer, cider and spirits predominantly from Scottish brands. The business is led by industry veteran Craig Cowles, along with co-founders Graeme Harrowell and David Proctor.

Scottish battery storage facility acquired by overseas investors

An energy storage facility in Fife has been acquired by overseas investors in a deal reflecting strong interest in the industry during the energy transition.

TagEnergy has acquired the Roaring Hill battery storage project near Glenrothes for an undisclosed sum from renewable energy company RES.

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