As jobless tally rises...

High growth firms secure support in £230m package

Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes: ‘harnessing Scotland’s talent’

Scotland’s vital high growth companies are to receive part of £230 million reallocated from underspent schemes.

The Scottish government will divert £51m to further business support, including those companies with high growth potential.

It will aim to ease pressure on technology firms following warnings that many, particularly the early stage pre-profit firms, could go out of business.

It is expected that the money will be targeted at firms working at business parks such as Edinburgh BioQuarter and the Michelin Innovation Parc as well as the regeneration project at Ravenscraig.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced the funding in a Return to Work scheme that will also be used to support education and maintain roads. It also covers construction and low carbon projects.

New projects featured in the package include:

– £51 million for business support, including boosting high growth companies

– £78 million for construction, including £40 million for regeneration projects and £20 million for roads maintenance

– £66 million to kick-start the green recovery, including £7 million to equip buses for physical distancing and the return to work

– £35.5 million for digitisation, including justice and education services

Ms Forbes, who also sought Parliament’s support for the Scottish Government’s call to be granted additional borrowing powers to manage the crisis, said: “The impact of COVID-19 has been enormous on both businesses and individuals and the Scottish Government has so far spent more than £4 billion tackling its effects.

“We are also taking steps to accelerate our economic recovery and this package ensures that we can make immediate use of money which, because of the pandemic, might otherwise not have been spent this year.

“I do not underestimate the challenges we face but I also see opportunities. It is important we take this chance to reshape our economy in a way that works for everyone and promotes long-term growth, not just quick fixes.

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