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The top stories and latest news, dedicated to the licensed trade in Scotland.

The Awards belong to Glasgow

TV star Kate Thornton was in Glasgow last night to hand out the gongs at the 17th SLTN Awards, the recognition scheme hosted and organised by Scottish Licensed Trade News (SLTN). The celebrity presented awards to 23 of Scotland’s best pubs, clubs, restaurants, staff and operators before an audience of 700 at the five-star Hilton hotel. And Glasgow’s Stravaigin, the bar and restaurant on Gibson Street, was the star of the show, lifting no fewer than three of the prestigious prizes.

Morton moves for LA in drinks deal

INVERARITY Morton is poised to dramatically broaden the choice of spirits it offers outlets around Scotland after swooping to acquire LA Wholesale. IM confirmed the deal to buy the specialist spirits wholesaler, a division of Scott Gemmell’s LA Group, for an undisclosed sum yesterday (October 31). With its strength traditionally lying in wine and mainstream beers and spirits, the move significantly boosts IM’s presence in the fast-growing premium end of the spirits market.

Judge delays MUP review

THE Scotch Whisky Association said it is “disappointed” the judicial review of Scotland’s minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol legislation has been adjourned until January. The Scottish Government requested that the Court of Session hearing into the legality of its plans to implement a 50p a unit minimum price for alcohol, which was due to get underway last Tuesday (October 23), be postponed to allow it to respond to “detailed technical reports” it said the SWA provided a week before the hearing.

Supply lines shift as Waverley sinks

LICENSED businesses around Scotland were forced to quickly find new sources of drink supply last week after the sudden collapse of WaverleyTBS. The wholesaler ceased trading with the loss of 685 jobs on October 8 – six days after entering administration. Administrators at Deloitte have retained a team of 97 to help it realise value from the company’s assets, having almost conceded defeat in its attempts to find a buyer.

SLTN Awards 2012 finalists revealed

THE runners and riders in this year’s SLTN Awards have been revealed. With the SLTN Awards 2012 just two weeks away, a special preview brochure, included with this issue of SLTN, lists the finalists in each of the 20 contested categories. The winners, along with the recipients of the SLTN Entrepreneur of the Year and Industry Achievement awards, will be revealed at the SLTN Awards, which takes place at Glasgow’s Hilton hotel on William Street on Thursday November 1.

Fresh twist in club v pub row

THE Scottish Government has no plans to stop members’ clubs accused of abusing the licensing system to the detriment of mainstream operators. In April, SLTN reported that ministers were weighing up action against clubs that were effectively operating as commercial businesses. The position was disclosed in a letter to the manager of Bowl 2000, an Elgin bar, restaurant and bowling alley, who claimed clubs in Moray were offering function facilities to the general public without applying for occasional licences.

Axe falls on Waverley staff

Deloitte admits defeat in attempt to find buyer THE axe fell on 685 jobs at wholesaler WaverleyTBS after administrators scaled down efforts to sell the...

Cask up for first time in 20 years

Beer category continuing to grow – despite recession, latest report finds THE potential of cask ale to help pubs thrive was underlined last week when...

Cautious welcome for business bank

PLANS for a new business bank, which will provide £1 billion of lending to small businesses, have been given a cautious welcome by business groups and funding specialists. Speaking at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference last week, business, innovation and skills secretary Vince Cable confirmed he is working with chancellor George Osborne to set up a new institution which will combine new government capital with a private sector contribution to provide finance for small and medium-sized companies.

Waverley calls in administrators

THE wholesale trade was shocked yesterday (October 2) with the news that specialist drinks supplier WaverleyTBS has slid into administration. As many as 830 jobs are on the line at 18 sites across the UK, including 16 in Glasgow, as administrators at Deloitte commit to finding a buyer for the Chesterfield-based firm.