A Scottish brewer has launched a beer brand that pokes fun at the Prime Minister's special adviser.

Dominic Cummings has attracted criticism for claiming to have taken a 30-mile drive to test his eyes while suffering from the effects of coronoavirus.

Ellon-based BrewDog took the opportunity to ask its customers their views, by asking people the best name for a new lockdown beer branding.

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Options included "Cummings and Goings", "260 Miles" and "Stay at Homes".

Twitter followers opted for "Castle Barnard Eye Test".

The brewer said demand brought its website down.

James Watt of Brewdog tweeted: "Short sighted beer for tall stories. Our New England, Old School IPA is locked down and loaded. 

"Dry-hopped for a juicy hit with pineapple, mango and hint of zesty lime.

"All profits will go to funding our production of free sanitiser for the NHS & Health Care Charities."

He later added: "The demand for this new beer has been insane and has completely broken our website & crashed all of our servers.

"We are working hard to fix this fast."

School children can immerse themselves in how an underground power station in the heart of a mountain keeps Scotland’s lights on through a new virtual tour aimed at supporting STEM education and skills during the Covid-19 crisis.

Drax Group has launched the free online resource for students to use from the comfort of their own homes as part of its efforts to support its communities during the lockdown.

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Cruachan power station, in Argyll, is a unique pumped hydro storage plant located in the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

Using its reversible turbines, the station pumps water from Loch Awe to fill an upper reservoir on the mountainside at times when demand for electricity is low.

This process allows the plant to act like a giant battery to store the water for when it is needed. When demand increases, the stored water can be released through the plant’s turbines to generate power quickly and reliably.

Each year the power station, which is a five-star VisitScotland attraction, has 50,000 visitors, many of whom are students, visiting as part of Drax’s efforts to work with schools and colleges to promote Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.

Since the Covid-19 crisis began, Drax has suspended its public tours at the power station to protect employees who are key workers, playing a crucial role in generating the electricity the country needs as the lockdown continues.

To support its local communities Drax has donated 853 laptops to 50 schools and colleges across the country, including 182 to 17 schools and colleges across Scotland helping to make sure children without access to computers or the internet at home are not left behind in their studies.

Drax Group’s head of sustainable business, Vicky Bullivant, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire children from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.

“With students having to be home-schooled during the Covid-19 crisis it’s essential they don’t miss out on the opportunities businesses like Drax would usually provide in creating positive experiences for them to support their studies.

“The virtual tours we’ve created builds on the work we’ve already done to provide laptops and free internet access, to ensure no students are left behind during the lockdown.”

Through its unique design, Cruachan can generate electricity in as little as 30 seconds when the grid needs it. The Hollow Mountain’s four generating units can provide enough flexible power for around 880,000 homes.

The first in the series of virtual shows viewers how Cruachan operates like a giant battery and how power stations generate the electricity we all use in our everyday lives.

Three out of five business fear they will not survive the Covid-19 pandemic despite support from the UK and Scottish Governments, according to a survey.

Research by think tank Scotianomics found 61% of Scottish companies are worried they may not reopen after the coronavirus crisis.

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This includes 77% of businesses in the tourism sector and 100% of those in agriculture, forestry and fishing, although Scotianomics noted in these areas many workers are self-employed and for them "financial support from the Government is lacking".

Of the 420 firms surveyed, almost all (93%) said they had been adversely affected by the pandemic - including 64% that said they had been forced to stop trading.

Looking ahead, almost three-quarters (74%) anticipate difficulties restarting their business when lockdown restrictions are eased.

Only 11% of businesses questioned had applied for a Business Continuity Loan - one of the schemes introduced by the UK Government to help firms survive the outbreak - with 48% describing them as a "bad idea in general".

Looking at why businesses have not taken advantage of the loan scheme, the report said: "There may be several reasons for this, such as credit scores, a company's desire to avoid relying on a loan or simply that the business does not require a loan after receiving Government grant support."

To counter the problems faced by firms, the think tank has suggested what it describes as "innovative and forward-thinking suggestions on how to rebuild Scottish business confidence".

These include a call for the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), under the direction of the Scottish Government, to investigate setting up a national invoice factoring service for businesses.

Under this proposal, the think tank said companies could hand over the work of chasing unpaid invoices to the SNIB, with the firms given a loan equal to a percentage of the outstanding amount they are owed.

Scotianomics said this move would provide struggling businesses with working capital and allow the SNIB to boost its own finances by charging a management fee, as well as fees for recovering money owed.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, director of Scotianomics, urged the Scottish Government to consider their proposals "very seriously".

He said: "If they act on these suggestions, we believe Scottish business and the economy will snap back quicker and more effectively than in many other countries."

Speaking about the proposal for the SNIB to chase outstanding invoices on behalf of firms, Mr MacIntyre-Kemp added: "Nothing wrecks business confidence as thoroughly as seeing the payment process shattered throughout the entire supply chain.

"Without cash flow, businesses simply cannot operate. Without business confidence in the invoice chain, the economy will take an age to recover and investment will stall.

"As a nation, we should be thinking big. This kind of progressive move would inject cash into businesses exactly where it is most needed, while telling the world that the Scottish economy is up and running again.

"The fact that it could also build an excellent reputation and safeguard the long-term future of the SNIB would be an added bonus."

The think tank also wants help for businesses to prioritise the worst hit sectors of the economy - such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, tourism and arts, entertainment and recreation.

It is calling for the Scottish Government to buy and stockpile supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), which can then be sold to businesses to help them if there is a second wave of coronavirus or could be used to help deal with other future infections.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We are acutely aware of the massive impact this pandemic is having on businesses and we are determined to do all we can to plan for recovery.

"We continue to listen to businesses about their concerns and discuss how we move forward as we slowly and carefully emerge from this crisis."

She added: "During this period of uncertainty, we are committed to protecting people's livelihoods and the productive capacity of the economy.

"Our total support for Scottish business now stands at more than £2.3 billion and we will continue to do everything we can to support employers and employees.

"We have set up an Economic Recovery Advisory Group, which will advise on the actions needed to support recovery and build a fairer, greener, more equal society.
"It will bring together business leaders and economic experts and already has extensive business and union involvement."