HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing, as Brexit has "turned off the tap" of workers in Scotland, leading to labour shortages in various sectors, External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson has said.

A report from the Royal Bank of Scotland released on Friday shows a near-record number of job vacancies in the country, but also the second harshest drop in the number of applicants for permanent positions since the survey was first run in 2008.

Mr Robertson has blamed leaving the EU for the shortage, but the UK Government has repeatedly insisted other countries outside Europe are experiencing similar demand for staff.

In the City, Hollywood Bowl has cheered "exceptional" trading through the summer school holidays on the back of surging demand for staycation activities.

The company, which runs 64 ten-pin bowling and entertainment sites, said its performance has been "well ahead" of expectations since reopening in May following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

It highlighted a particularly strong August as sales jumped 50% to £20.1 million, compared with pre-pandemic levels from the same month in 2019.

Also today, a new nightspot from the firm behind Fly South is set to open and drinks firm Highland Spring has reported narrowing losses.

New city nightclub set for launch

"Luxe" late-night venue Nola has announced its official launch date for later this month.

After a precarious year due to the pandemic, the "stunning subterranean bar and cocktail lounge" located on lower Union Street in Dundee will finally open from 10pm until 2.30am next weekend, from Friday 15th October. 

Operated by Dundee entrepreneur Phil Donaldson of the MacMerry300 Group, which also includes other venues such as Fly South, The Bull, Bird and Bear, Draffens and Abandon Ship Bar and the newly opened Franks, Nola will be "an incredible addition to area and is set to bring opulence, imaginative drinks and warm service to the fray".

HeraldScotland: The venue will open its doors for the first time next weekend.The venue will open its doors for the first time next weekend.

The 120-cover space will play host to Dundee DJs like local La Freak Records and Liam Reilly, with a programme of talent "bringing the party each night after dark, seven nights a week". The venue will also have weekend events programme with various live performances planned pre 10pm.

Operations director AJ McMenemy said: “Nola is set to bring the boujee party to Dundee's thriving hospitality scene. With sophisticated drinks, table service and a stunning setting, we’re excited to officially launch next week.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’ve got an incredible programme of DJs and drinks to celebrate finally opening our doors.”

Highland Spring cuts losses despite downturn in demand during pandemic

Bottled water brand Highland Spring suffered a 12 per cent decline in revenues last year as it absorbed a fall in sales caused by the pandemic, but narrowed its pre-tax losses thanks to restructuring efforts to bring down overhead costs.

The Perthshire-based company, which is owned by the al-Tajir family, said the results demonstrated the resilience of the business in difficult market conditions. It added that it remains confident in its long-term strategy.

Brexit blamed for Scottish job candidates drop

Brexit has been partly blamed for a drop in numbers of job candidates available in a new report.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs said further marked increases in permanent placements and temporary billings were signalled by recruiters, with the rates of growth remaining close to their respective series records, despite easing since August.

If you have been forwarded this article and would like to sign up, or view our new range of newsletters, click below:​​

HeraldScotland: Herald Newsletter daily banner