On the 19th of October 2023, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce hosted a reception celebrating Scottish Business at Edinburgh Castle.

The evening was attended by over 100 senior business leaders and showcased the immense contributions made by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network in supporting businesses to grow and invest in local communities and highlighted Scotland’s place on the world stage in securing net zero opportunities and expanding international prospects.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce were delighted to be joined by Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy who opened the night sharing: “This government is committed to ensuring the consistent and effective use of the business and regulatory impact assessment, making sure businesses are engaged from the earliest possible stage of policy development. I am excited to continue working with business to create the conditions to help them flourish and, in turn, drive economic growth and contribute to strong sustainable public finances.”

On the night, Stephen Leckie, President of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “I was delighted to welcome businesses from every part of Scotland to the Scottish Business Reception at Edinburgh Castle. From the cities to the Highlands and a wide cross-sector of companies from energy, manufacturing, tourism, retail, finance, space, education and more, the event was a great celebration of Scotland’s business community.

“From expanding our international trade and exporting opportunities and accelerating our solutions to reaching net zero, the Chamber Network in Scotland and across the world are leading from the front and we look forward to collaborating with the Scottish Government to achieve our shared ambitions.”

Our attendees were also provided with the opportunity to hear from Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Director, who said: “This event showcased the breadth and depth of talent that exists in Scotland’s business community and Drax was very proud to support it.

“Scotland has all the right attributes to become a global leader in renewable energy and with the right government support, we can continue to harness the power of wind and water to deliver a sustainable future for our environment and our communities.

“That’s why at Drax we are progressing plans to invest more than £500 million in the UK’s first new pumped storage hydro plant in a generation at our existing Cruachan facility, near Oban. It will not only make our power grid greener and more secure, it will provide a huge boost to the local economy.”

Closing the evening with a vote of thanks, Charandeep Singh BEM, shared: “It is clear that we all have a shared ambition to grow and invest in our economy, we want to solve problems together in our communities and see our businesses prosper and thrive, locally and globally. We are committed to advocating for international trade and our global links as a route to growth and prosperity. This feels more important than ever before, particularly the commitment to building closer relationships between business and government.

“That’s why tonight’s engagement is so critical. The Cabinet Secretary shared his ambitions for the economy and whilst we sometimes hold different views and approaches, we recognise the leadership you and the First Minister have taken to prioritise and reset how business and government work together to grow our economy. There is a journey to go on but we are on the right track.”