Bancon Homes is expanding into the Scottish central belt for the first time with a development of four and five-bedroom homes in Strathaven.

READ MORE: The housebuilder, which has been operating in the north-east of Scotland for more than 40 years, said this week it had obtained planning approval from South Lanarkshire Council for 37 “bespoke detached homes”.

Scotch whisky giant Chivas Brothers this week reported a steep fall in sales amid the fall-out from coronavirus, as its chief executive and chairman emphasised the importance of the removal of US trade tariffs on single malt for the future of the industry.

READ MORE: Dumbarton-based Chivas saw Scotch sales fall by 11 per cent as lockdown measures brought in to halt the spread of the virus had a dramatic effect on the on-trade and travel retail markets around the world in the second half of its financial year, offsetting a “resilient” off-trade performance.

Also this week, Swilken Estates said it is poised to begin renovation and construction work on what is being hailed as the biggest retail and residential project in Inverness city centre in recent years.

READ MORE: With phase one of the project now complete, and 7 to 17 Union Street stripped back internally and externally to its original form, the developer said it was “poised to push the button” on the second phase. The planned £12.5 million development is on the site of the former Arnotts department store.

Omega Diagnostics is set for full marketing launch later this month of one of its leading Covid-19 tests following its approval for use in GP surgeries and other professional settings.

READ MORE: The CE Marking for its lateral flow antibody test developed in partnership with Bedfordshire-based Mologic makes Omega the legal manufacturer of the test, which will be sold under its Visitect brand.

Production from what is reckoned will be Scotland’s first commercial gold mine in more than 500 years is expected to start by the end of November after work was delayed amid the fallout from the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Scotgold Resources said preparations for the first pour of gold from the Cononish mine near Tyndrum, about 50 miles north of Glasgow, were progressing well.

ABOVE: Staycation haven with family home, four holiday cottages and two caravans for sale for just over £1m

Hospitality sector veteran Donald MacLeod this week welcomed indications that Scotland’s national clinical director is willing to discuss how the entertainment and events industry can begin to safely re-open venues whose doors have been closed for more than five months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Mr MacLeod, a concert promoter and owner of The Garage and Cathouse Rock Club in Glasgow, said comments by Jason Leitch at a recent private meeting organised by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce left him with little confidence that “any of us will be open in any sort of meaningful way” before Christmas. However, there was a “glimmer of hope” in that Mr Leitch, one of the Government’s chief medical advisors, said he was open to dialogue about how to move forward.

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Scott Wright: Could Eat Out to Help Out scheme be extended at make or break point for Scottish hospitality sector?

SME Focus: Highland village food business responds to challenges posed by coronavirus​

Monday Interview: Proximity sensors set to help workers social distance

And finally, from the bulletin ... New city centre restaurant unveiled | Drinks giant reveals Covid impact on profits | Car dealer completes strategic review

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