Scottish Enterprise funding promises to create or safeguard 9,000 jobs

Scottish Enterprise is to approve funding for up to 160 company projects that should create or safeguard more than 9,000 jobs.

Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at Scottish Enterprise. Picture: Paul Devlin
Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at Scottish Enterprise. Picture: Paul Devlin

Collectively, the projects being backed before the end of the financial year have the potential to unlock up to £500 million of investment by businesses into Scotland’s economy.

The economic development agency said it would contribute up to £140m to the projects over the next two-to-three years. The bulk of the awards will be made to domestic businesses, with the rest securing new inward investment.

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The organisation has already approved large grant support for some 90 projects this financial year. Large grant expenditure is expected to top £60m by the end of March.

Projects will be contracted between December and March, with a full list of awards being published in April.

The grant support is in addition to the £180m Scottish Enterprise has administered to almost 4,000 companies as part of the Scottish Government’s £2.3 billion package of Covid-19 business support.

Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We’ve been working with partners to address the immediate economic impact of Covid-19 while preparing to help businesses recover and rebuild.

“Demand for our large grant products has grown to unprecedented levels, indicating that companies operating in Scotland still have their sights set on growth, despite the pandemic.

“We want to support as many of them as possible. This programme of large grant support does that by stimulating investment in our economy that will enable businesses to realise long-held growth ambitions and create jobs.”

The new projects being appraised cover several key industries including renewables, technology, engineering, manufacturing and life sciences. They range from research and development programmes to investment in machinery and equipment that will help aid the Government’s transition to a net-zero economy.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This grant support for Scottish businesses and inward investors will help rebuild the economy after the damage caused by Covid-19.

“This funding will support our growth companies and give them the potential to prosper. This is a key part of our long-term mission to create new jobs, good jobs and green jobs.”

The projects will be among the last to be evaluated under the economic agency’s current large grant schemes. It is looking to develop a “simplified approach” to grants to roll out early next year.

Meanwhile, three of Scotland’s top technology cluster voices are to work more closely to stimulate Scotland’s digital economy and develop cross-sector collaboration.

The collaboration involving FinTech Scotland, ScotlandIS and the Law Society of Scotland’s LawscotTech aims to bring leaders together from a diversity of disciplines and expertise.

Stephen Ingledew, executive chair of FinTech Scotland, said: “Bringing together our collective strengths across the clusters will enable us to be best placed to address the economic and social challenges faced by many communities and businesses.

“This is reinforced by our shared values of inclusivity and collaboration being at the heart of all innovation developments. I am excited by the opportunities to bring together participants and development the collaboration with colleagues at ScotlandIS and the Law Society of Scotland.”

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