Direct Liaisons recently heard about the opening of a new £54 million Scottish stem cell research centre which will look at cures for a range of illnesses including multiple sclerosis and heart and liver disease. The Princess Royal gave the royal seal of approval to pioneering biomedical facilities when she officially opened the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
The University of Edinburgh- run centre will carry out cutting-edge stem cell research to help find therapies for patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and heart and liver diseases. The centre is the first large-scale, purpose-built facility of its kind and provides accommodation for up to 250 stem cell scientists.
“It’s fantastic to see a great research centre like this opening in Edinburgh,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, an Edinburgh-based sales and marketing company, “Edinburgh is already at the forefront of medical research, and this will help to push us even further.”
The centre, funded by the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Enterprise, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the British Heart Foundation through its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, was opened by the Princess Royal in her role as Chancellor of the University. It includes the most up-to-date facilities in the UK, which meet the highest guidelines, to manufacture stem cell lines that could be used for patient therapies.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Patients are already reaping the benefits of the research and development taking place in labs and centres across Scotland and I am confident this is set to continue. This is an incredibly exciting and dynamic time for health care – a life changing discovery could be made at this location.”
“Let’s hope that the investment in medical research in Edinburgh continues to grow,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “We have the potential to really make a difference in the future, and really help future generations, through the work that is being done today, in Scottish research centres, by Scottish people.”
A new £24 million bio-incubator facility, called Nine, was also opened by the Princess Royal in Edinburgh. It will work in conjunction with the new research centre.
Orchestra conductor and new city culture leader Richard Lewis has pledged to roll out theatre visits for schoolchildren across Edinburgh to develop audiences of the future. Direct Liaisons, an Edinburgh-based sales and marketing company, were interested to hear that the respected musician aims to follow European models of exposing children to culture at an early age and open up arts venues to pupils.
“It’s really important for our children to be exposed to the arts at an early age,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “It’s so important for their development into curious and creative adults.”
The Nationalist, elected a councillor last week, is among a number of elected members nominated for key leadership roles for the next five-year administration. Others include a former bit part actor and an ex-Ministry of Defence analyst. Cllr Lewis, 40, and the other leaders will be formally confirmed in their new roles later this month.
Cllr Lewis said: “Growing up in Edinburgh and going to James Gillespie’s we would read Arthur Miller and then be taken to the Lyceum to see the production and it brought the experience to life. Today there are far more barriers and paperwork for schools to get through and we’ve moved away from immersing our young people in an area that is so important to their development. Attendance at theatres has declined over the past ten years so if we can give pupils this experience early we will be preparing them to be the audience of the future.”
Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “It’s great to see a culture leader who is dedicated to getting our kids involved with theatre. It’s an art form that is sadly underappreciated, and a whole new generation is missing out on something they could really enjoy.”
The SNP have also nominated former fire-fighter Gavin Barrie to be convenor of the regulatory committee, which handles taxi rates and licences, and put forward former insurance broker Mike Bridgeman as convenor of the fire brigade board for a second term.
Labour will meet to finalise their team tomorrow but Cllr Maureen Child is in line to become housing and social care leader, and Cammy Day licensing leader. Former Lord Provost Lesley Hinds is expected to become transport leader, while Paul Godzik is set to oversee the city’s schools as education leader.
Nominees will be formally appointed to their posts later this month.
Direct Liaisons were surprised today by the story of Ben Bishop, 28, who faces a huge fitness fight if he’s going to get behind the wheel to take on a 10,000-mile adventure over mountains and across deserts. The IT worker, who lives in Bruntsfield, and his friend Tom Lee are taking part in the Mongol Rally – a charity car race, which sees teams drive from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Taking them there – under the team name No Bull Just Yaks – will be a Seat Ibiza that has most certainly seen better days. However, with the race starting on July 14, the biggest concern at this stage is a broken collarbone for Ben, which he picked up last week.
“It really put a spanner in the works because it could take up to 12 weeks to heal properly,” he said, “It’s worrying me how much time it’s going to take to get my arm back to normal strength, especially as when you are out there you don’t get any help along the way. If you get stuck or your car breaks down, you’re on your own.”
Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “It’s really inspiring to see someone just pick themselves up and carry on after a knockback. A lot of people would just give up, but it’s really important to have perseverance.”
The rally will see Ben and mechanic Tom, 29, travel through countries such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia before reaching Mongolia. Ben and Tom are fundraising for the Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust in Mongolia – which provides shelter, food and education to vulnerable children and families – and Scottish Love Action, which cares for more than 560 destitute children in India. All cars must be no more than ten years old with an engine no bigger than 1.2 litres.
“We’ll be following Ben’s progress with interest,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “He’s got a tough time ahead, but we wish him all the best in the race and hope that the injury doesn’t give him too much trouble.”
You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook and on Twitter, using the handle @nobulljustyaks
Companies that would like their logo displayed on the car or individuals who would like to donate can visit www.nobulljustyaks.com
Direct Liaisons, a local sales and marketing company, welcome the queen to Scotland and wish her a good time and stay. Her Majesty, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will mark her Diamond Jubilee with a series of engagements in Scotland between 2 and 6 July.
Holyrood Week will include an investiture and garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The week will begin with the ancient Ceremony of the Keys in the capital, and also includes a trip to Perth. During the event the Queen is handed the keys to the city and welcomed to her “ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland” by the Lord Provost. In keeping with tradition, she hands them back, entrusting their safekeeping to the city’s elected officials. The director at Direct Liaisons said, “A tradition which is a sight to see and highly recommended.”
The Queen and the Duke will also attend a jubilee thanksgiving service at Glasgow Cathedral, as well as visiting Clydebank and Greenock. She is also due to attend a thistle service and lunch as guest of Knights of the Thistle. The order represents the highest honour in Scotland and is presented to Scottish people who have held public office or who have contributed in a particular way to national life. The service celebrates the order, its history and its current members.
A source at Direct Liaisons stated, “The Order of the Thistle is the highest honour in Scotland. We welcome the queen to the service for it will be a great service for all who take part in it and one to remember.”
The week will end with a visit to Perth, which was awarded city status to mark the jubilee. Since her accession to the throne in 1952, the Queen has visited Edinburgh nearly every year, briefly setting up home for a week at Holyroodhouse. For that week it becomes the main working royal headquarters. The relocation gives the Queen the opportunity to visit parts of the UK furthest from London and to honour Scottish achievements. The managing director at Direct Liaisons said, “This will be a busy and important week for the Queen. Direct Liaisons would like to wish the Queen the best and hope she has a good time and stay while here in Edinburgh.”
Direct Liaisons are pleased to hear that the Scottish capital will enjoy a flavour of London 2012 as part of a £10 million arts programme coming to Scotland to mark the Olympic Games. Organisers of the Cultural Olympiad, dubbed the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic movement, have unveiled an entertainment schedule taking place across Scotland and the UK as London 2012 hands over to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Direct Liaisons can confirm that among the arts celebrations taking place in Edinburgh will be the Speed of Light spectacular which will see up to 5000 people running a choreographed route around the paths of Arthur’s Seat at night in specially constructed light-suits. The Edinburgh International Film Festival will host the world premiere of a suite of four short films commissioned for the London 2012 Festival. They include The Swimmer – a film by Lynne Ramsay, following a lone swimmer making their way through the lakes, rivers and coves of Britain.
The London 2012 Olympic Torch will be welcomed to Scotland by pipers from the National Youth Pipe Band and by local members of the National Youth Choir of Scotland singing the Inspire-marked Going for Gold cantata. Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “This is exactly what the event should be about. Getting our city’s youth involved in the Olympics and the cultural celebrations surrounding it. Edinburgh is such a cultural city, and so what better place to hold this event?”
Meanwhile, a major concert is to be held at Edinburgh Castle on June 13 to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in the Capital. The event will take place as the Olympic torch is carried across the country by hundreds of Scots on its way to London with about 7500 tickets to be given away.
“There’s such a huge variety of events happening,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “It’s going to be a really entertaining and fun event for the city. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival, said: “2012 brings opportunities galore. The dates are a perfect coincidence of timing between the greatest sporting and greatest cultural event which may never again happen in our lifetime.” Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This diverse programme will inspire, delight and engage communities and visitors across Scotland in a unique celebration.”
Direct Liaisons were pleased to hear that organisers of the London Olympics have insisted the Games will bring benefits for Scotland with Glasgow playing its part as a host city, with Hampden Park the venue for eight football matches. However, ticket sales have been poor – with more than 90% unsold as of mid April. But Organisers did say ticket sales would pick up once the draws were made. Glasgow City Marketing said the Games would generate more than £6m for the local economy. Direct Liaisons is a Sales and Marketing Company based in Edinburgh. The Managing Director of Direct Liaisons said, “The London 2012 Olympics is going to be watched by millions, at the events and even spectators from all over the world. It is going to benefit the Scotland hugely, whether for businesses or sales, tourism, jobs, volunteering opportunities, getting young people ambitious about sport and many other reasons, all great.”
Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 organising committee, told BBC Radio Scotland he was not concerned by the fact that only 20,000 tickets had so far been sold. “The pace at which we are selling tickets is exactly what we would expect for this stage, in fact slightly ahead, given that we don’t know who is playing,” he said.
The Managing Director of Direct Liaisons said, “There’s no doubt that the Olympics will benefit Scotland. Ticket Sales are low as Customers want to know which team they’re going to be watching before purchasing. It makes sense. Sales will rise once matches aren’t anonymous. But you never know who is going to be playing at Hampden Park, it could be Spain, Italy or even Brazil.”
Scott Taylor, the chief executive of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said the Games were a great opportunity for the city. He said “the real treat for us is that about 1.6 billion people will be watching the Olympics, and the football, taking place – so Glasgow will be on a global stage and the excitement will definitely be building here.”
A source from Direct Liaisons agrees with Scott Taylor’s statement, saying “When will the Olympics come here again? This is a once in a lifetime event to watch while your country hosts. That is why the entire UK is celebrating, and celebrating it hugely.”
Direct Liaisons were excited today, to learn that a leading United States computing company has chosen Edinburgh as its European headquarters. Minneapolis-based EnStratus has begun recruiting key staff ready for opening its base in the Capital later this year and says it will create up to 30 highly skilled jobs by the end of 2014. The company has been given a Regional Selective Assistance grant totalling £240,000. Scottish Enterprise said the cash, awarded for job creation, was based on strict criteria.
“It’s always great when foreign business wants to enter the UK,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, am Edinburgh-based sales and marketing company, “It brings new jobs and boosts the local economy. It’s a good sign that Edinburgh is starting to emerge from the economic slump of the past while as well.”
EnStratus specialises in “cloud computing,” a way for businesses to take advantage of storage and services through the internet, saving money on infrastructure and support. Its European headquarters will be based at Edinburgh University’s Appleton Tower, which is also home to part of the School of Informatics, a recognised centre for cutting-edge technology.
The announcement was made by Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop during a visit to Chicago as part of the US’ Scotland Week 2012. She said: “The quality and skills of our workforce in the digital sector have played an important part in the company’s decision to locate its European office in Edinburgh, as have the research excellence of our institutions and the competitiveness of our business environment. This investment demonstrates commitment to Scotland and confidence in what we have to offer. It can only enhance our international reputation as a fantastic investment location.”
Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “It’s a testament to how Scotland is more and more being considered a leading location for business and investment. More companies are realising just how talented our workers are, and the fantastic infrastructure the country has in place for business.”
Anne MacColl, chief executive of government agency Scottish Development International said: “Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise have worked closely with EnStratus to provide an integrated package of support towards the opening of this new office. We look forward to helping the company realise its ambitious growth plans in Scotland – driving long-term sustainable growth back into the Scottish economy.”
Direct Liaisons is a sales and marketing company in the Edinburgh, they have already experience success in the short time since opening for business this year. The managing director Nathan Lawrence commented on the recent changes on tax and benefits saying, ‘the government definitely has a tough job trying to keep everyone happy.’ Tax and benefit changes announced over the past 18 months will come into force on Friday, affecting millions. The amount of income that is tax free is to rise by £630 to £8,105. The value of some benefits will rise by 5.2%, linked to inflation last September. ‘This change is a step in the right direction for so many people in the UK,’ continues the MD of Direct Liaisons.
But the time couples with children will have to work to qualify for working tax credits will rise from 16 to 24 hours. Labour said it would “clobber” families but the government said there would be 15 times as many winners as losers. The beginning of the tax year on 6 April will see a significant number of changes to tax and benefits – affecting personal and family finances.
Direct Liaisons Sympathises
Those that are on the losing end of these tax and benefit changes, a source comments further saying, ‘the government must view these decisions as a way to benefit the masses. The minority that does not benefit from these changes begs the questions – is it worth it? The answer to this question definitely depends on what side you are on.’
The opposition’s own figures suggest 212,000 families earning less than £17,000 a year will lose their working tax credits if they cannot increase their total hours to 24 a week while 850,000 households will lose their child tax credit as a result in a reduction in the income limit for one-child families. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “There do need to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay,” Mr Balls added. “But why are people earning £150,000 soon to get a £3bn tax cut from this out-of-touch government while parents on middle and modest incomes are being clobbered?”
The government says 24 million people will be £6.50 a week better off from Friday, something Mr Alexander described as “a fair position which encourages and incentivises work”. Ministers also point to the fact that the basic state pension is to rise by £5.30 to £107.45 a week later this month. The Managing Director of Direct Liaisons puts forward a point saying, ‘not everyone likes change and certain decisions are made for the greater good. The intentions behind certain changes and decisions is what has to be taken into account.’
With a major new wind farm factory planned for Leith Docks, paving the way for a renewable revolution, business leaders have hailed the “dawn of a new Leith”. The facility plans to create 800 skilled jobs, and bring an estimated £125m of investment. Edinburgh fought off competition from Hartlepool and Dundee to become the preferred location for the wind turbine blade factory. Spanish energy giant Gamesa aims to begin construction early next year and ramp up production of the 160-feet blades by mid-2014. Leith docks will be used to ship the components to their destinations. The number of jobs will gradually increase to 800 once orders are allocated to the facility. “I’m really excited that Edinburgh is going to be the location for this fantastic project,” said a source from Direct Liaisons, an Edinburgh based sales and marketing company.
Business leaders said the deal was a huge boost to the city economy and would encourage more renewable energy firms to choose the Lothians as a base.Tom Buchanan, the city’s economic development convener, said the Gamesa announcement was “fantastic news” for Leith, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scotland, adding: “This is the opening of a new dawn for Leith. Now it’s down to Leith to take advantage of all the factors it has in its favour and build on this.”
“A few weeks ago we were talking about the potential for Edinburgh to win the Green Investment Bank headquarters and start building a cluster of renewable energy projects in Leith,” said Graham Birse, policy director at Edinburgh Chamber of Commons, “Now here we are with the GIB headquarters confirmed and this Gamesa investment with up to 800 jobs. Now we need to make sure we win more.” Our source at Direct Liaisons said, “The whole thing about a project like this is that it can’t help but create even more jobs. Of course the original factory will create 800 jobs, but there are plans for those components to be used for wind farms in Scotland too, which creates more job opportunities.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This is terrific news. I look forward to the parties moving forward quickly to conclude the MoU [memorandum of understanding], as [the] announcement is a welcome boost to Leith and the wider Edinburgh and Lothians economy, with hundreds of quality engineering and other jobs coming to Scotland’s capital.”
“It’s a sign that Edinburgh is still recognized as a leader in engineering and industry,” said our source at Direct Liaisons, “and that’s fantastic news. Hopefully this contract will lead to others in the future.”
Direct Liaisons heard recently that Facebook was unavailable for a number of users mostly across Europe on Wednesday due to “technical difficulties”. The social network’s smartphone and tablet apps were also affected, users on Twitter reported problems accessing Facebook in many countries, including the UK, for about two hours. A spokesperson for facebook said “Today we experienced technical difficulties causing the site to be unavailable for a number of users in Europe,” the company said in a statement”
This has been a constant problem on facebook which is upsetting the many people, who hold facebook accounts, Twitter newsfeed went into over drive on Wednesday with people from all over Europe reporting the problem. A source for Direct Liaisons said “Facebook is a big company of course it will face technical problems, but they also need to learn from them and set up ways to help serve the people when these problems arise”
The site has about 850 million users worldwide and many took to twitter to share information about the down time, with #facebook down quickly becoming a trending topic on the microblogging site. More isolated accounts of inaccessibility were posted by users in further afield places such as Pakistan and South Korea. Most took a humorous view, with users tweeting such things as “Facebook is #down; expect a surge in productivity in offices everywhere today.”
What Direct Liaisons had to say
A source from Direct Liaisons said “Twitter had a field day on Wednesday with many followers sharing their reaction to the latest technical problem to hit facebook, Most of the tweets were in the humorous side however others questioned the technical difficulties, ‘Has this been one problem too many’”
Launched in February 2004, last month Facebook announced plans to float on the stock market. It seeks to raise $5bn (£3.16bn) from the move, making it the biggest sale of shares by an internet company, but this latest problem may have many rethinking if this is the way to go, “Facebook two hours down time this morning may make us rethink our login strategy,” remarked Tariq Krim, founder of cloud-based service Jolicloud and news aggregator Netvibes.”
Facebook has been consistently popular since its launch in 04 but in the last few years the problems that have plagued facebook have raised a lot of questions. A spokesperson for Direct Liaisons has said “Has Facebook lost its peak? Should the company just cut their losses and go out on a high” These are just some of the many questions that have been put into a survey and the results would be a surprise to many, Will facebook let this latest glitch pass or will another glitch be the downfall of this powerful company.”