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Over £100m to stimulate economic growth

27 June 2012

A £105 million package of economic stimulus which, this year, will maximise opportunities to create jobs and growth, was announced today by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Mr Swinney outlined proposals to support new investment and accelerate projects from future years to boost the economy.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly called on the UK Government to provide resources for capital investment in order to support economic recovery. Today's announcement demonstrates that where the Scottish Government has fiscal flexibility, it will use its resources in order to boost recovery.

Each of these projects can be taken forward quickly and will deliver the maximum economic impact from the funds available. They cover key policy priorities for the Scottish Government, including renewables, tourism, transport and housing.

They include:

  • £22 million of investment in renewables and low carbon initiatives including £2m in improvements to the Arnish renewable energy facility in the Western Isles
  • Accelerated investment of £15 million and additional investment of £20 million in housing 
  • Accelerated investment of £15 million to expand our existing programme of maintenance of our hospitals
  • £6 million investment in Inverness Campus
  • Taking forward a number of additional transport projects including funding for green buses; the causeway at Kennacraig and improvements to the A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount route
  • Investment in additional regeneration and enterprise projects - in Rutherglen, Bridgeton, Forres and Inverclyde (£10 million in getting work underway to support Enterprise and Infrastructure in Forres)
  • Additional investment in visitor facilities within our national parks and Forestry Commission estate
  • Further investment in the maintenance of our cultural assets - through Historic Scotland, Creative Scotland, National Records of Scotland, National Library of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Economic Growth John Swinney said:

"The Scottish Government is maximising the value of every public pound available as we take forward our programmes to support economic recovery and deliver high-quality, efficient public services.

"Our careful management of Scotland's finances means that we are able to increase levels of capital investment now to boost our future prosperity.

"While these projects will support and stimulate economic growth, they will also deliver on a range of wider objectives such as environmental and health improvement, housing, greener transport, maintenance of our health estate, and culture and tourism. We are also focusing our support on local economies and investment in key geographical areas.

"By accelerating this programme of capital investment we are taking action where the Westminster Government has failed to do so. As I have said repeatedly, the UK's austerity approach is failing to produce growth in the UK economy and we are doing everything possible, within our current powers, to make sure that that this doesn't damage our efforts to build sustainable economic growth for Scotland."

Alex Paterson, HIE Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Government is investing millions of pounds of additional funds in some of the most ambitious projects which HIE is delivering with our partners across the Highlands and Islands. HIE's investments in infrastructure are designed to support sustainable growth for present and future generations and the funding announced today will help us move these projects forward faster.

"A £10 million pound investment in Moray at a time when there has been so much uncertainty will be a huge boost to local confidence and to the business community. The partnership effort launched in Moray in the wake of the defence review has galvanised local people and already succeeded in attracting new businesses to the area. This funding will enable Highlands and Islands Enterprise to accelerate the building of facilities and infrastructure to meet the needs of investors and ambitious businesses who want to grow in Moray.

"The Scottish Government's investment for Inverness Campus recognises the strategic importance of the project as a driving force for economic development in the region and nationally. This investment is very welcome and will have a much wider impact, particularly on developing Scotland's growing Life Sciences sector.

"Arnish Industrial Estate on Lewis is a key site for renewable energy manufacturing and this additional funding will enable the further preparation and development of the site to make it more investor ready.

"Crucially, such a sizeable investment at a time when public sector budgets are under pressure is a welcome stimulus for the region. That means we can review our future spending plans and work to ensure that communities across all parts of the Highlands and Islands receive a follow-on benefit from today's announcement."

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