Scottish Enterprise unveils £0.5 billion investment plans

Scottish Enterprise (SE) has announced plans to approve large grant funding of up to £0.5 billion for up to 160 new company projects before the end of the financial year.

Scottish Enterprise unveils £0.5 billion investment plans

Linda Hanna

Together, these projects have the potential to unlock investment by businesses into Scotland’s economy, creating or safeguarding more than 9,000 jobs.

SE will contribute up to £140 million to these projects over the next two-to-three years. The bulk of the awards will be made to domestic Scottish businesses, with the rest securing new inward investment.

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

This is in addition to the £180m SE has administered to almost 4,000 companies as part of the Scottish Government’s £2.3bn package of COVID-19 business support.

The new projects now being appraised cover industries including renewables, technology, engineering, manufacturing and life sciences, and are aligned with the Scottish Government’s vision of creating a stronger, more resilient and sustainable economy across Scotland.

They range from research and development programmes, to investment in machinery and equipment that will aid the transition to a net-zero economy.

Fiona Hyslop, economy secretary, 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.”

Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at Scottish Enterprise, added: “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 projects will be among the last to be evaluated under SE’s current large grant schemes. The organisation is seeking to develop a simplified approach to grants to roll out early next year

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