Tag: Commonwealth Games

‘Poster Girl’ role for CDS’ Sarah Deas

Sarah Deas Games Poster

A new exhibition celebrating the contribution of volunteers at last year’s Commonwealth Games has opened at Glasgow Green – with CDS’ own Sarah Deas featuring on the posters to promote it!

Hosted by Glasgow Life, the gallery features hundreds of photographs of the Host City Volunteers who came together to help make the event a tremendous success.

With people coming from all across the country to take part, working together to show Scotland at its’ best, it’s no wonder it was described by many as ‘the Co-operative Games’.

For more information on the exhibition, which runs until August, click here.

Tourism co-operative’s ambitious plans for 2015

Port Appin

Hosting international events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014 put Scotland firmly in the global spotlight as a top visitor destination. With such opportunity, many businesses are considering how to best take advantage of this new-found fame.

Carron Tobin, development manager of Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (ATIC), explains why being part of a consortium is helping many of Scotland’s west coast tourism businesses capitalise on the country’s time in the limelight.

Last year was an unprecedented one for Scotland, with sport, politics, the Homecoming gathering and historical anniversaries giving the country international attention like never before.

Not only did it cement our reputation as a land of spectacular scenery and a friendly welcome, it established Scotland as a vibrant and contemporary tourism destination that has the capacity to wow as much as it does charm.

This offers a tremendous opportunity for tourism businesses – and when it comes to having a competitive advantage, we believe being part of our co-operative consortium really helps us stand out from the crowd.

Coll beach

When we formed in 2012, businesses of varying sizes across the area pooled finances, contacts and industry knowledge to create an umbrella brand and marketing plan to set Argyll and the Isles apart from the rest of Scotland and the UK as an unmissable tourist destination.

By offering a range of attractive products that tour operators can sell to their customers, we have enjoyed real success, reaching more markets and potential customers than we would ever have managed individually.

This year though – more than ever – we can see the true value of being part of our co-operative as we prepare to launch our most ambitious bid yet to attract more tour operators to our area and our businesses.

For the first time, we will exhibit at three major international trade shows in a single year, supplementing our usual stand at VisitScotland’s EXPO in April, with trips to the Best of Britain & Ireland and Explore GB trade shows.

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative’s board. From left, Carron Tobin, David Currie, Calum Ross, Niall Macalister Hall, chairman Gavin Dick, Iain Jurgensen, Andrew Wilson, Brian Keating and Fiona McPhail.

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative’s board. From left, Carron Tobin, David Currie, Calum Ross, Niall Macalister Hall, chairman Gavin Dick, Iain Jurgensen, Andrew Wilson, Brian Keating and Fiona McPhail.

These events are vital to engage with tour operators across the world and have potential to attract thousands of new customers for our businesses, taking advantage of Scotland’s incredible 2014.

Quite simply, we couldn’t have done this as individual companies or local marketing groups. By working together, we have given our region a genuine competitive edge and delivered a significant boost to members’ trade – underlining just how effective being part of a consortium co-operative can be.

Glasgow Gets Gold for a Gallus Games

Sarah DeasAfter eleven days, hundreds of hours of competition and countless broken records, Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games has finally come to an end.

While the competitors have left and the city has begun to return to normal, the event’s legacy is already apparent not just in Glasgow but across the country, as Co-operative Development Scotland chief executive – and Host City Volunteer – Sarah Deas explains.

Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of being part of the team which welcomed the world to Glasgow for the twentieth Commonwealth Games.

As one of the 1,500 Host City Volunteers, it was my job to welcome visitors and help direct them around the city. With around 1,000 cultural events complementing the sporting programme there was much for the visitors to discover.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Like other volunteers, I received bronze, silver and gold medals of my own – although this was for meeting my pledged volunteer time rather than any athletic achievement!

I was fortunate in also getting tickets to watch some of the excitement itself. So being close to the event both as a spectator and a volunteer allowed me to look more closely at the impact the Games had on the city.Host City Volunteers logo

What stood out was the way the people of Glasgow and Scotland came together to make each day special for visitors and Glaswegians alike.

From cheering on every athlete, no matter whether they finished first or last, to celebrating the achievements of the men and women who kept the city running during its busiest ever fortnight, there was a real sense of celebration and pride throughout.

And for those people who were given a chance to shine as Games volunteers, it was a tremendous occasion. I will always remember one individual, with tears in his eyes, who told me he was dreading it finishing because it had been the best time of his life.

People Make Glasgow is Glasgow’s slogan – and one of the biggest sources of inspiration was watching how everyone worked together to make the event a true success both on and off the field.

Team Scotland logoFrom the official volunteers and organisers who kept things moving smoothly, to the artists, musicians and stallholders who contributed so much to the atmosphere in the city and even the residents who simply opened their arms and said ‘hello’, everyone played a part in making Glasgow 2014 a huge success.

It was this spirit of co-operation and collaboration that saw the event named ‘the best Games ever’ by Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Imran during Sunday’s closing ceremony.

So if Team Scotland’s legacy is anything – aside from our record-breaking medal count – it is that by working together, we can deliver on our aspirations.

Council’s ringing endorsement of co-operatives

GillianKirton-002The eyes of the world have been on Glasgow over the last week and a half as the city plays host to the Commonwealth Games.

Here, Gillian Kirton, Project Manager at Co-operative Development Scotland, looks at how the host city’s council is providing real support to co-operative businesses.

With almost 20 per cent of Scotland’s co-operatives residing in Glasgow, the ‘sector’ is thriving – these co-operatives employ almost 1400 individuals and account for £192m turnover per annum. Impressive numbers indeed.

To further enhance this, Glasgow City Council is one of just 21 Councils in the UK to commit to becoming a Co-operative Council and is certainly taking its commitment very seriously.

There’s real practical support available to companies and the council are putting their money where their mouth is – to date they have awarded 13 co-operatives a total of £210k to implement ‘transformational business development activities’.

people make glasgow

A further tranche of funding is now available with sums of between £2,500 and £25,000 available for eligible activity. And at a Glasgow Business Embassy event last week, it was announced that a pot of £3m will be available to support companies looking at business ownership transfer.

I’m confident we will see more companies following in the footsteps of Glasgow-based Page\Park and opting to transfer ownership to employees.

Co-operative Glasgow sees partnership working as key to successfully delivering their action plan and it was a pleasure to meet so many of those partners.

In collaboration with the Council, we delivered a seminar to many Business Gateway and other front line advisors. It gave them the opportunity to hear more about co-operatives, the impact they can make to the local economy, the many benefits of the model, and the support available to their clients.

Glasgow City Council logo

It’s fair to say that there was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the models – they see them as a perfect solution to meet the needs and growth aspirations of many of their clients.

CDS is delighted to continue to work in partnership with the Council, Business Gateway and other advisors to provide free advice and guidance to those businesses considering employee ownership and co-operative business models.

Our annual Collaboration Prize has seen some amazing success stories in Glasgow – Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland and Screen Facilities Scotland are going from strength to strength.

This year we will launch our Collaboration Prize on 1st October – up to three collaborative ideas will each gain a substantial £10k prize to get their idea off the ground. Will we see further success stories in Glasgow?  Watch this space!

Enjoy the Commonwealth Games – another exciting reason to celebrate all that Glasgow has to offer!

New Year Message

Sarah Deas resizedFrom Sarah Deas, Chief Executive, Co-operative Development Scotland

The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 as we host the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our country on the global stage.

Whilst we wish our sportsmen and women every success, 2014 is much more than medals – it’s a catalyst for regeneration, innovation and sustainable economic growth. An opportunity to build international business relationships, demonstrate our capability to host major events and present Scotland as a leading tourism destination. 

Commonwealth-Games-2014For Co-operative Development Scotland it’s an opportunity to shine a light on the positive contribution that co-operative and employee ownership models are playing in the Scottish economy. Working with the Supplier Development Programme, we’ve been helping businesses to tender together to compete for Games related procurement contracts – capacity building that will have long term legacy benefits. 

One co-operative that will play a key role in helping visitors discover the best places to stay, eat and drink is the Merchant City Tourism & Marketing Co-operative. The Merchant City will be a hive of activity during Games time, including hosting the venue for high profile business events. 

Another co-operative that should benefit from the growth in tourism is the Scottish Mountain Bike Consortium. Set up to increase the range and quality of mountain bike experiences, it aspires to make mountain biking the ultimate family-friendly adventure activity.


Scotland is leading the way in the adoption of innovative business models. The coming year offers an excellent opportunity to leverage this success. Businesses that are already successfully exporting, such as employee owned Tullis Russell, Clansman Dynamics and Scott & Fyfe, are well placed to use the flexibility and power of their business model to seize new opportunities for growth. 

As Scotland ‘Welcomes the World’, hopefully you too are considering what 2014 could mean for your business. Are you capturing this once in a lifetime opportunity to profile your business and build international relationships? 

Wishing you a successful 2014

Best wishes


2014: An exciting time to collaborate

Marc Crothall picture

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is an independent trade body comprising trade associations, individual businesses, marketing and local area tourism groups who earn their living from tourism or have an active interest in tourism.

Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, explains why the organisation has partnered with this year’s Collaboration Prize at an exciting time for the Scottish Tourism industry.

The STA’s primary role is to lead, facilitate, co-ordinate and provide support to industry to help enable the successful delivery of the national strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) objectives and vision. Other activities undertaken by the STA on behalf of its members are to collaborate with and represent industry views to government and agencies, offer advice and information to its members and enable strong networking opportunities across industry sectors.

We are recognised by government and public agencies as a credible and fully representative ‘voice of the Scottish industry,’ which Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has also acknowledged, and we are pleased to have been asked to work in partnership with them as a representative of the Scottish Tourism Industry.

The STA is delighted to support CDS’s Collaboration Prize as it focus’ on one of the key elements that underpins the National Strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) “Collaboration”.

With the hook of a great £10,000 prize, the competition creates market opportunities, facilitates collaboration, endorses sustainable tourism and helps drive economic growth in the tourism sector. All of this contributes towards the Tourism Scotland vision in: “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people.”

Tourism is one of the most important industries in the Scottish economy, generating £4.3bn from overnight visitors, employing 185,900 within the tourism growth sector and attracting 15 million visitors in last year alone.

Now is an exciting time to be a part of the Scottish Tourism sector which will grow exponentially in the coming years with three landmark events taking place next year when Scotland “Welcomes the World” in 2014 with our second year of homecoming and two of the world’s biggest sporting events: the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

These events are key to the tourism industry as they will not only give us the opportunity to showcase Scotland to the world, but will provide the stepping stones to delivering the growth ambition set out in Tourism 2020. Many opportunities will also be generated for our home grown talent to work together to succeed on the world stage and compete in the world market.

With these vast opportunities on the horizon the STA is looking forward to seeing the calibre of entrants that emerge from the Collaboration Prize this year and how they plan on taking advantage of these forthcoming key events. Fundamental elements we will be looking for in the proposals are: 

  • Innovative and creative concepts
  • Collaborative opportunities identified
  • Sustainable plans and projects
  • Valuable contribution to the Scottish Tourism sector
  • And most importantly, vision for future expansion and growth

The STA is looking forward to seeing what the future stars of the Scottish Tourism Industry have to offer.

If you are not yet a member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance for more information on membership please visit www.scottishtourismalliance.co.uk or email jean.kilpatrick@stalliance.co.uk

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