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15 February 2018

MSP Welcomes Success of North-East Shop's Accolade

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has congratulated a North-East tourist shop after it achieved one of the highest Quality Assurance accolades from Visit Scotland.

The Platform, in Macduff, has achieved the prestigious five-star Tourist Shop award following its first ever grading visit.

It comes after the once former railway station was renovated into a shopping destination.

The shop offers a wide selection of gifts, home furnishings and clothing.

The Platform has also joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“My constituency is full of many hidden treasures I am delighted The Platform has been recognised by Visit Scotland.

“It is clear hard work has paid off and it is a testament to staff who are clearly very valued by their customers.

“I would like to congratulate them on achieving this award on their first grading visit and I look forward to their continued success in the future.”

Jo Robinson, Regional Director at VisitScotland said:

“The Platform is an exceptional example of a business that is working in partnership with VisitScotland – making the most of our opportunities and drawing on the impartial advice and experience to invest in and develop their business.”

9 February 2018

MSP Slams Tory Broadband Claims

MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has slammed Tory claims that not enough is being done to improve broadband.

Mr Stevenson has pointed to figures published by Ofcom that show progress in properties accessing superfast broadband is faster in Scotland than elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

Between 2014 and 2016 Scotland saw a 22% increase in the proportion of properties that can access superfast broadband compared to 14% in the UK.

Rural areas in Scotland have also seen action being taken quicker than other countries with the increase in availability of superfast broadband in rural areas being at 46% in Scotland whilst England saw an increase of 38%; Northern Ireland 29% and Wales 5%.

Further figures show that had the Scottish Government not stepped in Aberdeenshire would have seen 25% of its properties access superfast broadband whilst the current figure is actually 82%.

Mr Stevenson has also pointed to The Scottish Government’s commitment to provide 100% of residential and business premises with superfast broadband which is three times faster than the UK. A commitment which has not been matched by any other country in the UK.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“It really beggers belief that a local Tory MP is having a go at the Scottish Government despite Scotland seeing faster progress in getting superfast broadband in recent years than it is being done elsewhere in the UK.

“It is the UK which is the responsibility for digital services. However, the SNP Scottish Government have made a very bold and ambitious commitment to give 100% of premises access to superfast broadband, three times that of which the UK Government will deliver, because the UK Government are not being ambitious enough. Something I know that my constituents in Banffshire & Buchan Coast are delighted about.”

Highlighting the funding being made available for the R100 programme, Stewart Stevenson MSP, said:

“£600 million is be provided to deliver this by the SNP and rural areas are being prioritised. What are we getting from the Tories? £20 million. This is less that Devon and Somerset are getting for a less ambitious programme.

“Instead of his usual deflection of SNP bad stories perhaps Mr Duguid and his Tory colleagues should stand up for Scotland at Westminster and address the measly funding we are getting from the UK Government as well as getting improvements made to mobile coverage for the communities of the North East of Scotland.”

MSP Welcomes Business Boost for Macduff Shipyard

A business boosted by more than £500,000 thanks to a new product it developed has been congratulated by an MSP.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has commended the work of staff at the Macduff Shipyard.

It comes after they were approached by client Scottish Sea Farms and asked to create a new way to remove algae from its fish pen nets.

The product designed by the shipyard was found to be more effective at removing build-up of algae.

Now six more units have been ordered worth more than £500,000.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“This is brilliant news for Macduff Shipyards. They have worked hard alongside their long-standing client to develop this technology which will help enhance both the health and welfare of salmon within pens.

“Working with communities is hugely important and this will create a real boost for the local area.

“It is clear the work has been somewhat of a game-changer and we hope this is only the beginning.”
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