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Scotland Office Minister backs innovation and enterprise on visit to Midlothian-based science and technology park

Deputy Scottish Secretary Ann McKechin, MP, recently visited The Roslin Institute as part of a fact-finding tour focused on seeing how much Midlothian-based science and technology ventures contribute to both the Scottish and UK life-sciences sectors.

Together with Edinburgh, Midlothian is now home to a world top-20 'science super-campus' - thanks to the number and variety of science and technology-based companies - like The Roslin Institute - which operate in the area.

The Roslin Institute is a member of the Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC), which brings together over 500 scientists from The Roslin Institute, the Moredun Research Institute and the Animal Sciences Researchers of the Scottish Agricultural College. The partnerships within the EBRC, and integration with clinical practice and education in the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, provide major opportunities for application and exploitation of the research of the consortium partners.

In 2011, The Roslin Institute will be moving to a new £60 million state-of-the-art research building - planning permission for which was recently approved by Midlothian Council - that will form a part of the University of Edinburgh's Veterinary Sciences campus

Together, the EBRC forms one of the largest groups focussed on the biology of companion and production animals in the world. It undertakes basic and translational science to tackle pressing issues in animal genetics and genomics, development, health and welfare - and their implications for human health.

By working in partnership with more than 30 universities, research institutes, hospitals and science parks and incubators, we aim to play our part in providing a business framework which encourages world-class innovation and enterprise in Scotland and the UK.

Ms McKechinParliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Scotland Office


Midlothian Council is working hard to decrease unemployment during these difficult times. We are developing initiatives to help people overcome barriers to employment and providing opportunities to improve employability and workplace skills.

The Council is a Lead partner in Midlothian for delivery of Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, advising businesses which are having to lay off staff. During the last year support has been offered to 23 businesses across Midlothian. New leaf also delivers Skills for Midlothian Businesses which supports Midlothian SME's with HR advice, staff development advice and up-skilling and through Fairer Scotland Fund also supports Midlothian residents with its Adult Careers Guidance Signposting service.

The new Midlothian Business Loan fund provides loans of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses which are based in Midlothian. Since April, 8 loans have been approved which will lead to the employment of 28 new posts in the coming year and over 50 as the businesses grow. The Council is also reviewing sector action plans for the Midlothian Economic Development Framework. Sectors with action plans include Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Construction, Education, Public Sector and Tourism. A workshop was held recently to refresh the Midlothian Tourism Action Plan.

Councillor Russell ImrieChair of Midlothian Council Planning Committee and Cabinet Member for Strategic Services