Annual Charity Cycle Fundraising Success

On Wednesday 6th of June the Bruce Stevenson Annual Charity Cycle took place in the Trossachs. Our corporate ambassador, Mark Beaumont best known for cycling the world in 78 days joined 50 cyclists on the day. Participants tackled an arduous 52 mile route surrounded by some fantastic scenery and raised over £1400 for charity.

The funds raised from the event will go to Fareshare, our charity of choice for 2018, The organisation collects good quality, in date surplus food from retailers and producers and redistributes it to more than 476 frontline charities and community groups across Scotland. All with the aim of improving the life chances of vulnerable people. For more information on FareShare Scotland, please visit

We would like to thank everyone for their support of the event and especially to ActiPH water who kept us hydrated throughout the day.


Self-Build Home Insurance – What you need to know

‘Selfie’s’ really are all the rage these days! The awareness and popularity of self-build homes in the UK has been rocketing, with many self-builders realising the considerable advantages of their construction.  A self-built home offers many exciting possibilities, but it also represents a significant investment in both time and money. Self-building carries risks of injury and damage to property and so it is important to understand what your risk exposures are and how to protect against them. Insuring your self build project doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but it is important to get it right.

When should I think about self-build insurance?

In a nutshell, plan as early on in the process as possible.  Once you have exchanged on your plot of land or property you are responsible for the insurance on it.  You are liable for any third parties that may enter your land and suffer injury, damage or loss if there has been negligence on your part.

You may have bought your plot with a view to building in years to come, in which case self-build insurance won’t be suitable, because Self-build insurance only starts to operate once the self-build project is due to start.  If this is the case, you can purchase ‘plot insurance’ and usually the cheapest way to secure property owner’s insurance for a plot of land is to speak to your existing home insurers.  They may be able to extend the ‘legal liability to the public’ section of your household policy to include your new plot.

If your existing insurer is not agreeable to this, then a ‘plot insurance’ policy can be bought and these start at around £180 for £1m worth of cover.  Higher limits can be obtained if deemed necessary, however, pricing does vary depending on the location, size and type of plot.

What does self-build insurance cover?

If you have bought your plot and plans are underway to erect your self-build, you need to take out self-build insurance. This type of insurance is a property and liability package for those individuals undertaking a self-build home project for their own occupation upon completion.  It is not for developers.

There are essentially two areas of cover: The Contracts Works – where you are covered against perils such as fire, theft, storm damage and accidental damage during the contract works and then your Liabilities which provides cover for accidents that occur on site to members of the public or contractors working for you.

Contract Works covers you for loss or damage to:

  • the buildings whilst in the course of erection
  • the plant, tools and equipment being used

Public and Products liability will cover you for:

  • Your legal liability to pay compensation, costs and expenses in respect of personal injury or damage to the property of a third party.

Employers liability will cover you for:

  • Your legal liability to pay compensation, costs and expenses in respect of bodily injury sustained by an employee arising out of and during the course of employment with you.

Cover starts the moment you exchange contracts on the property or plot of land and during the construction process right up to the point that the home is completed and signed off.   Once completed, you then require full home insurance.

My contractor is insured – do I still need self-build insurance?

It is always advisable to remain in control of insuring your project to ensure that there are no grey areas or gaps in cover.  If your project is being financed with a mortgage, it is highly unlikely that the lender will accept a contractor’s policy and may insist you source your own insurance.  Your contractor is likely to have some insurance, indeed you should always check that as a minimum they have liability cover, but their policy might not cover materials that you have sourced and bought. Their policy may have other restrictions and exclusions that leave you and your build vulnerable.

How is self-build insurance priced?

The risks a property faces can differ depending on where it is built. An inner-city property is more susceptible to theft and malicious damage.  Generally, a self-build site will lack the security of a larger development, so they can be a target for thieves with materials and tools proving particularly popular. Rural properties may be less attractive to thieves, but can be more susceptible to weather related claims such as storms.

In general the value of the construction forms the basis of how the project is rated for insurance along with the length of time cover is required.  Some policies offer a 9 month period of insurance, whilst others 12 months with the option to extend to 24 months thereafter.  You could expect that a 9 month policy with a construction value of £200,000 to start at around £450.

What sort of claims can arise?

Theft is the most frequent claim for self-build insurance where materials, tools and machinery are stolen from the site.  There continues to be targeted thefts of Non-Ferrous Metals (NFM) such as copper, lead, tin and related alloys such as brass and bronze, but aluminium and ferrous metals such as iron and steel are also sought after.  Construction sites can be prone to a ‘strip out’, where nearly all metal is removed by thieves. This can include electrical cables and switchgear, pipework, radiators, flashings, boilers, gates, fencing and so on.

Should an accident occur on site for which you are held responsible the claims can run into a great deal of money which can delay your build or make it financially impossible to complete it.  This even includes trespassers. Accidents are certainly one area where your liability cover comes into operation.

Are there any exclusions?

There will be exclusions in an insurance policy, so a thorough understanding of the policy wording is crucial.  Some key exclusions are listed below:

  • The first part of any claim (your excess)
  • Damage to vehicles
  • Gradual deterioration or wear and tear, faulty or defective design, materials or workmanship
  • Damage to existing structures and contents (unless a sum is shown is shown opposite)
  • Repair to or replacement of your plant or hired in plant caused by its own mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • Terrorism (unless cover is specifically requested)
  • Damage to existing structures unless these have been noted.
  • Loss or damage from pollution or contamination

Risk management is key and as is having a solid working relationship with clear lines of communication with your contractor, should you be using one Whenever the site is left unattended all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure the site or premises are secure.  This would include ensuring that the tools and equipment are kept inside a locked and secured building or unit.

On completion

Congratulations!  You’ve built your dream home and hopefully haven’t had to make an insurance claim.  However, if you have, you want to take comfort from the fact that you have been in control of the insurance, having bought a self- build insurance product that gives you that peace of mind.  It is important that you read the policy wording carefully on purchase so that you know what the policy will do for you in the event of loss or damage and so that you know what your obligations are in order for cover to be effective. The last thing to arrange is full household insurance in order to continue the protection of your greatest investment.

For more information or to obtain a quotation on your self-build project please contact Alexandra Richards on 07464 545648 or [email protected]

Farming Insights – Goat Farming

This month we found out a little more about one of our clients who have been specialising in Goat meat.

Maxine Tarry and her partner, Ian Garden are farmers in Aberdeenshire. Between them, they manage an arable, sheep, beef and goat enterprise, specialising in High Health Status Goats for both breeding and meat production.

They have a regular contract for their weaned goat kids and also supply finished carcasses to local butchers. Additionally goat breeding stock are sold from the farm.

The sheep and cattle are commercially farmed and they supplement their animal feed from their own arable crops.

Maxine and our Farms & Estates Account Executive, Jean Arnott-Glennie met on a fresh spring day, with clear blue skies overhead.

Q: How long have yourself and Ian been goat farming?

A:We started nine years ago with the traditional Boers and then diversified into full red Boers in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Boers originate from South Africa.

Q: You have breeding sheep as well as breeding goats – what do you see as the main differences?G

A: Goats are a more specialist market. You need more money to invest in the breeding stock and feed costs more than with sheep. Goats are friendlier to work with – they each have their own distinct personality. And sheep are more prone to dying!

Q: You went to South Africa last year to obtain your qualification in goat stock judging – what was the most interesting part of that experience?

A: It was all quite amazing, but the most exciting part of that trip was seeing the difference in the stock and the stock handling compared to here. The genetics that have been developed over the years due to the warmer climate were interesting to observe.

Q: What have you changed in your own farming practices on the back of this training?

A: Having been given the insight into what makes an excellent quality stock, we have a better understanding of the breed and what to look for; such as length, conformity and genetics. For show animals you are looking for horn shape, coat and hoof condition, a good rump and shape of head.

Q: And have you noticed an improvement as a result?

We are progressing into better genetics on the back of this deeper understanding. This will give us improved animal quality and increased carcass weight.

Q: How much demand is there for goat meat?

A: There is growing demand for it as it is very lean product. It is still quite a niche market, although is used fairly extensively in ethnic cooking.

Q: Is it good for you?

As with all lean meats it is good for you as it is high in protein and low in fat.

Q: What does it cost?

A: Prices are comparable to lamb.

Q: What dishes can be made with goat?

A: Curries, burgers, sausages are all popular or it can be enjoyed as a joint or a steak.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to start in goat farming?

Make sure you have good housing and dry pasture – which is not easy in the current weather conditions! Don’t expect a quick return – like a lot of farming activities, it takes time to see a return on investment. Buy the best quality you can afford and with the best High Health Status available.


This aromatic goat meat and chicken stew is deliciously tender and sweet, yet spicy with all the right seasonings.


  • Whole chicken
  • 1kg goat meat
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Scotch bonnet/Habanero Pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Seasoning cubes; Maggi/Knorr
  • Crushed ginger and garlic
  • Thyme
  • Curry powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash, clean and cut up the chicken and goat meat. Season and cook with half of the chopped onions, ginger, seasoning cubes, thyme and garlic. Cook with water up to the level of the goat meat and chicken contents of the pot. When the meat is fine, then add salt, allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a sieve to drain.
  2. Wash and blend the fresh tomatoes together with the scotch bonnet. Pour the blended into a pot and cook at high heat till almost all the water has dried. Add tomato paste/puree and cook together till the water have dried.
  3. Place a large pot on medium heat and heat up the vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and the thick cooked tomato mixture (or the puree or fresh tomatoes if that’s only thing you are using). Stir very well.
  4. Add in seasonings and fry at very low heat and stir occasionally – allow to cook till the oil has completely separated from the tomato puree and the raw tomato taste is gone.
  5. Add the meat. Add the goat meat and chicken. Stir very well and add salt if necessary. Add whatever other ingredient and seasoning you think isn’t sufficient, and adjust to taste.
  6. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. And it’s ready. Serve stew with your choice of side; boiled rice, yam, plantain. We highly recommend freshly cooked white rice. Enjoy!


Out Of Africa

Our corporate ambassador Mark Beaumont, holds the world record for cycling alone from Cairo to Capetown. He completed this gruelling journey in exactly 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes. In those six weeks he cycled 10,882 km during which time he spent 439 hours in the saddle.  More recently of course Mark is famous for having smashed the record for cycling around the world, completing the feat in 79 days, pedalling for 16 hours and covering 240 miles every day.

Trips abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. They can also be one of our biggest expenditures of the year. Sadly however, sometimes they can go horribly wrong. The most expensive travel insurance claim to date is thought to be for £650,000 for a Canadian lady who had a premature birth whilst traveling in the US.  Medical treatment abroad can be very expensive and you should ensure that you have at least £1m of cover if travelling to Europe and £2m if travelling to the US.  If you are heading off on your next holiday soon or thinking about booking one, make sure you have adequate travel insurance.  Please speak to us about what you might need to consider and be mindful that many travel insurance policies will not cover travellers over the age of 75.

  • Did you know that the emergency number to ring in Europe is 112.
  • European Health Insurance Cards, which give people the right to access state healthcare during stays in other European Economic Area countries and Switzerland, are FREE. Whilst the UK is still in the EU these cards remain valid.  Apply at

If you need some inspiration for your next holiday, Alice Gully, one of the co-owners of the specialist African travel agent, Aardvark Safaris ( and who runs their Scottish office in Musselburgh, talks to us about why Africa can appeal to everyone:

If I’ve not been to Africa – where do I start when it comes to thinking about a holiday there?

We normally like to chat for five minutes or so, find out your wish list, how you see the safari unfolding and what’s important to you.  With this information we look into dates of travel (each African country has its own weather pattern) and what you want to spend and then start building a holiday.  This is often altered a few times before we get the perfect combination.

Would Africa be too much for a senior traveller?

On the contrary, Africa can be as comfortable or as wild as you want.  Most of the safari lodges are very comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, swimming pools and incredible food and wine, as well as spacious wildlife viewing vehicles.  We have organised safaris for families where the youngest has been 4 and the oldest 94!  Every aspect of our safari and beach is tailored and the lodges are very good at keeping everyone happy.

Would an African holiday suit a younger family?

Yes! I first took my triplet girl when they were just two and they have been going every year since.  Africa and Africans are brilliant for children, where they are learning all the time and being introduced to new cultures, experiences and food. It’s so good for them and their minds to see something that’s so different from home and without a TV or tablet screen in sight.  My girls have made lasting friends on safari.  With children under 8, we tailor the activities to keep everyone safe and entertained at the right level.

If you would like to find out more, Alice would love to hear from you. Please find her contact details below:

Alice Gully | [email protected] | +44 (0) 1578 760222 |

Setting Sail – Boat Insurance

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the jobs that need doing before the season starts, so we thought it might be useful to list eight de-wintering tasks that can easily get forgotten about.

  • Give your topsides some attention. After giving your boat a thorough wash down to get rid of any mould and algae that’s built up over the winter you should remember to apply a protective wax to your topsides. If your topsides are painted or a dark coloured GRP, it’s worth investing in a wax which contains UV protection. This will help to slow down colour fade.
  • Check your anodes have enough life to last until the next haul out.
  • Ensure your batteries are charged.
  • Service your lifejackets. Don’t risk them failing to inflate when you need them most.
  • Check your flares are in date.
  • Winches – these should be serviced annually. There are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how to do it yourself, or get your local service agent to carry it out for you.
  • Purify your water system & tanks
  • Check your seacocks

If you have any questions about boat insurance please contact your Account Executive or Account Handler or alternatively reach us a [email protected] | 0131 553 2293

Precious Advice for Private Clients

We are always talking to our clients about the importance of regular valuations for their jewellery and watches.  We don’t want any of them to be in position where a valuable watch is lost and yet to replace it is going to cost thousands more than it was insured for. Many of the panel of insurers that Bruce Stevenson use offer what is called ‘extended replacement’. This means that if you have had a professional valuation carried out in the last three years the insurer will pay the full cost of replacing or repairing any damage even if it is more that the amount insured.

To get a view from a jewellery expert, we talked to Clare Blatherwick, who is one of the most experienced professionals in Scotland:

Q: When we think about jewellery we often think of diamonds, precious stones and pearls, but other types of jewellery can also be very valuable and perhaps more difficult to authenticate and value. Can you give some examples?

A: It’s easy to just think of valuable jewellery as containing big or important stones and that is frequently the case but there are instances of other types of jewels being less obviously valuable but of cultural and financial importance. Some good examples of this would be work by British designers from the 60s and 70s, such as Andrew Grima, whose collectibility factor has increased dramatically in the last few years. Jewels that can be considered works of art in their own right and pieces created with strong design as their driving force are seeing a real upsurge in desirability and value. One example would be the work of designer Suzanne Belperron who never signed her pieces, stating instead that ‘my signature is my style’. Her jewels command enormous premiums amongst those who appreciate her work. But her pieces can be missed by those unaware of her aesthetic or importance in the marketplace because there is no physical signature on her work.

Q: What should one look out for if one inherits a collection of jewellery –  how might you know you have a ‘sleeper’ amongst the collection?

A: That is a very tricky question. Ultimately it’s not easy for the person who has inherited a collection to know what they have and that underlines the importance of having an expert examine the collection on behalf of the owner. In fact, it’s not just people who have inherited their collection who may not realise what they have and it’s worth. The fact that the jewellery market is so dynamic can mean  pieces bought by an individual may have increased significantly without them realising. It is always an enjoyable part of the job to be able to advise a client that something in their collection is either much more valuable than they thought, or has a history and significance to it that they were previously unaware of.

Q: How can one recognise how old an item of jewellery is, as diamonds often look timeless?

A: I’m afraid that isn’t something that can be distilled into a quick sentence or two. I have been working in jewellery for over twenty years and am constantly still learning. I invest in continuing my education to ensure I am up to date with developments around synthetic and imitation gemstones, as well as new types of treatments. Not only are there constant advances being made by people who want to trick us with stones that have been treated or enhanced in some way in order that they appear better than they actually are. It’s important to be constantly looking at what’s appearing in the market and for common themes that might indicate a batch of fakes, of let’s say, Art Deco jewels or jewels purporting to be by a particular maker, has appeared from a particular part of the world. It’s interesting you say diamonds that look timeless and of course I understand what you mean but actually the type of cut of a diamond can reveal a great deal about the age of the diamond and often the age of the piece it is set into. The clever fakers know this too though and can have diamonds cut to look older than they are. It’s really down to experience and exposure to a lot of jewellery to determine what is right and what isn’t

Q:In layman’s terms what are the current value trends for items of jewellery?

A: Generally the market is very strong at the upper end where people are looking for alternatives to cash sitting in the bank. Natural pearls have seen a big increase in value over the last few years and although that market seems to have stabilised, values are still very strong. Coloured gemstones are big news at the moment with natural, unheated sapphires and rubies in particular commanding significant prices. Ultimately it’s a supply and demand situation. Certain gemstones such as spinel and Paraiba tourmalines can fetch prices more commonly associated with ‘precious’ rather than ‘semi precious’ gemstones and amber is also seeing a big increase in value due to interest from Far Eastern buyers. Jewels are starting to be appreciated as works of art, so as I mentioned before, jewellery by designers with a unique aesthetic are also experiencing significant uplift in value.

Q: If I own a collection of jewellery, should I get it revalued?

A: Your broker and insurer can advise as to how often they expect you to have your collection valued but I think it is safe to say that in the current dynamic market it would be unwise to rely on index linking to ensure you are properly covered. The jewellery market is fast paced and seeing some real spikes in areas, so if your pieces haven’t been looked at in the last 3/5 years then it’s definitely time for them to be revalued. And of course, there will be some instances where values have dropped so it makes sense to be confident you are not overinsured and paying a premium that is unnecessary.

Q: How much does it cost to get my collection valued and can you visit me to do it?

 A: I am delighted to visit clients at their home, office or bank to value their pieces. Whilst I’m based near Edinburgh, I see clients all over the country. Having to carry jewellery around is nerve-wracking for most people and this way that anxiety can be removed from the process. I charge an hourly rate rather than making a charge based on the value of the pieces. This is the fairest approach in my view and I’m always happy to chat through how many and what type of pieces a client has in order to give a good indication of the likely cost.

Clare’s contact details are below should you like to speak to Clare about your jewellery or indeed follow her on social media:

+44 (0) 7967 380191

[email protected]

Farming Insights – On Farm Lead Poisoning

In spring time, when the livestock are turned out of their winter housing onto grass pasture, there can be an increase in cases of lead poisoning. Often these involve young cattle who are naturally inquisitive of their new surroundings.

As Bruce Stevenson are highly active within the farming community as a trusted insurance broker, we thought it would be helpful to explore this issue in greater depth.

What can cause Lead Poisoning?

  • Seepage from burnt out cars & abandoned or discarded machinery
  • Vehicle batteries or batteries used for electric fencing
  • Bonfire ash
  • Flaky lead paint on buildings
  • Lead shot from shoots
  • Piping and flashing left in an accessible location

What effect can this have on the livestock?

  • Sudden fatality
  • Infertility in breeding stock
  • Blindness
  • Nervous diseases

There have been 47 instances of animal death since 2015 as a direct result of lead poisoning. In each case, these accidents could have been avoided.

As well as the loss of the animal, there are other impacts to be considered:

  • Slower animal growth and loss of market value
  • Decreased production (Milk)
  • Birth abnormalities and defects in the progeny, due to exposure to lead by the parent stock
  • Associated fatality costs such as disposal and vets fees

There is minimum 16 week restriction placed on all animals entering the food chain, resulting in extra feeding costs, loss of condition and the impact on the business’s cash flow.

It is worth highlighting that food legislation prohibits dairy, meat & offal from entering the food chain if there is an increased level of lead.

How can you avoid lead contamination on your farm?

  • Make sure that there is no lead paint on buildings which are in the vicinity of the livestock. Replace paint where you can with non-leaded paint but in the meantime, ensure it is cordoned off.
  • Check fields before livestock are turned out to make sure that there are no vehicle batteries discarded there, and that there is no fly tipping, burnt out cars or other items containing lead such as piping or flashing. If there is, then arrange for these to be removed prior to the field being grazed.

If you come across livestock that may have been affected by lead poisoning, you should:

  • Remove the cause & restrict access
  • Move livestock to a different location/ pasture
  • Contact your vet for advice
  • Tests for lead are not expensive and can be arranged via your Vets and SAC.

Source – Food Standards Scotland, SAC Consulting, Scottish Government

For further information on any of our products or services please contact Jean Arnott-Glennie on 07881093485 or [email protected]

Event Insurance

With Festival season almost upon us, now is a good time to review your insurance policy. It is not something you enjoy thinking about when preparing for an event, but envisaging a worst case scenario is an essential part of event planning. Are you confident that your insurance policy will react if there is an incident?

With all the organisation involved in running festivals and events, risk and insurance can sometimes be overlooked. Unfortunately, things don’t always run like clockwork. It can pay to be diligent in checking your insurance documentation as part of the early planning and organisational process. Preparation is key. If something does go wrong, you can be confident that you have adequate insurance in place. Some important questions you should ask your insurance broker before staging a public event are:

  • Does our existing insurance programme cover us for staging, hosting and organising a public event(s) or exhibition(s)?
  • What happens if the event should be cancelled or abandoned due to circumstances beyond our control?
  • Who is responsible for insuring what?
  • Have you, as the entity holding the event, checked the limit of public liability insurance of any third party  who is supplying goods or services to the event.

There may be an occasion when you need more specific insurance in respect of an event you are organising and hosting. Your event could be affected by adverse weather and attendees can’t reach your venue in time or there has been a transport strike dramatically reducing the number of visitors. The insurer would pay the irrecoverable expenses to enable you to rearrange the event and your financial loss through reduced ticket sales if applicable. Remember that the insurance is not there to protect you against the commercial failure of the event. It is there to protect you in the event that you suffer a financial loss due to an unforeseen circumstance.

If you are staging events or exhibitions and have any questions regarding their insurance please contact [email protected] or call 07464 545648.


Popular Fife Whisky Festival to Return Next Year

Fife Whisky Festival is set to become an annual fixture following the success of the inaugural event.

Organisers Justine Hazlehurst and Karen Somerville announced the move after the festival – opened by Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont – was praised for boosting the local economy. More than 500 whisky-lovers from across Scotland, and as far afield as Argentina and Germany, attended tasting sessions held at the Corn Exchange in Cupar at the weekend. They enjoyed drams from a wide range of distilleries and independent bottlers, music from Fife-based duo The Coaltown Daisies and the chance to chat with guest of honour Mr Beaumont.

Mrs Somerville said: “It was a brilliant day and given all the positive feedback we received we’ve decided to make it an annual event.

“We had visitors from Argentina, France and Germany who were in Scotland on holiday and made the trip to Fife specially to visit the Festival.

“And it was great to have Mark there – he really enjoyed the festival and ended up meeting some of his old school friends.

“We’re delighted with how the day went and looking forward to doing it all again next year.”

Cupar councillor Karen Marjoram praised the event for boosting the local economy.

She said: “I very much enjoyed the day – it was such a friendly event with people who’d never met before chatting away to each other and it certainly put Cupar on the map.

“It was a real boost to the economy and wonderful to see the town so busy with the shops and restaurants full of people who stayed to see more of Cupar after their whisky session.

“I met people who had travelled a long way to come to Cupar and bringing the tourist pound to Fife in this way was a great bonus.

“With all the new distilleries in Fife, having the festival helps put the region on the whisky map so I’m pleased it’s to become an annual event.”

Endurance cyclist Mr Beaumont also welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a fantastic event for Fife and having partly grown up in the Kingdom I am proud of all it has to offer.

“This festival and events like it are so important in putting Fife firms on the map for travel and business.”

The inaugural festival was launched by businesswomen Justine Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Karen Somerville, managing director of Angels’ Share Glass.They joined forces to organise the festival in a bid to bring whisky back to the Kingdom of Fife.

Justine said: “After years of attending whisky festivals around the world, we wanted the chance to bring an exciting new event to Scotland and are over the moon with how it went.

“People loved it and were coming up to ask when the next one will be held so we are pleased to announce it will be an annual event.”

The Festival, sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, showcased the renaissance of whisky-making in Fife with exhibitors including the Kingdom’s well-known Kingsbarns Distillery, Creative Whisky Company, Glen Moray and Isle of Arran Distillers. Nearly 300 whisky-lovers attended the first session with 250 at the second taster while drinks specialists Luvians, who have bottleshops in Cupar and St Andrews, were on hand as on-site retailer.

Graeme Dempster, from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “We were delighted to support the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival and having our Corporate Ambassador Mark Beaumont there to open the event was particularly special.

“As well as great entertainment, it was a chance for us to meet with our existing Distillery clients and talk to owners of private whisky collections who were there to support this exciting new event.”


Plans for the second Fife Whisky Festival will get underway later this month with dates for the next event announced soon.

For more details about the Festival visit

Smash Success for A Taste of Borders Tourism

A Tourism and Hospitality event, A Taste of Borders Tourism, organised by Local MSP Rachael Hamilton, Borders College, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Borders and Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) went down a treat with local students.

The event that welcomed 152 pupils from secondary schools across the Borders to Kelso Racecourse educated the invitees to learn more about the vast array of opportunities in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and encourage them to consider it as a rewarding career.

The event highlighted what skills are needed to succeed in the sector and also what skills the sector is short of.

The Scottish Borders is currently experiencing a skills gap in the Tourism & Hospitality sector despite being a key contributor to the local economy and one of the strongest in Scotland. It is estimated that tourism contributes around £20 million to the Borders economy.

The event was kindly sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, Rabbie’s Tours Scotland, Kelso Racecourse and DYW Borders.

Organisations taking part in the event were:

  • Born in the Borders.
  • Firebrick Brasserie.
  • Visit Scotland.
  • Barony Castle.
  • Buccleuch Arms.
  • Carfraemill.
  • Borders College.
  • MBTAG.
  • Provender Melrose.


Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:

‘Firstly, many thanks to all who sponsored and helped make this event happen. The Scottish Borders is proud to have one of the strongest Tourism & Hospitality sectors in Scotland and it is right that we celebrate it and work to make it stronger.

‘The sector is facing a skills shortage challenge. However, we have incredibly talented young persons who can fill these shortages and actually help improve and grow the sector.

‘The young people of the Scottish Borders can and will make a tremendous contribution to our local economy and we should support them to do just that. This event has highlighted the talent we have in our young persons. It is time to cultivate that talent and work together to see not only the Tourism & Hospitality sector grow, but also the Scottish Borders economy grow as a whole.

Alexandra Richards from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers added:

‘Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers are delighted to have supported this inspiring event.  It highlighted that a career in Hospitality & Tourism in the Scottish Borders is not just about working in a hotel or restaurant.  If you are interested in digital marketing, filming, advertising, logistics, management, entrepreneurship and even insurance and risk management – all these roles can and need to be fulfilled in the Hospitality & Tourism Sector in the Scottish Borders with enthusiastic young people who are passionate about where they come from and want to showcase the Scottish Borders to the rest of the world.

‘We are proud to be sponsors of Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland who have provided over 1,200 scholarships and more than 10,000 bursaries to nurture and support the development of local, emerging Scottish talent within the hospitality industry.  Today’s interactive event delivered by Scottish Borders organisations played a really important and vital role in helping young people understand what opportunities are out there for them.’