SMEs score highly in Regional Selective Assistance round

It’s been a bumper year for Regional Selective Assistance (RSA), according to Scottish Enterprise (SE), which says that more than £57 million was offered to projects in Scotland between 2014 and 2015.
SE’s annual report, which was published earlier today (September 3), has revealed that £57.8 million was awarded to projects with planned capital expenditure of £396.7 million and is are expected to create or safeguard 8,991 jobs across 21 Scottish companies.
It shows that, of the accepted RSA offers, 61% were for SMEs, which have received a total grant of £13 million.
These projects involve planned investment of £67.4 million with the aim of creating or safeguarding 1,367 jobs.
The results follow the announcement in July that 2014-15 was a record year for inward investment and SE says RSA funding plays a crucial role in this success.
SE claims that more than half of the planned capital expenditure generated last year came from foreign-owned companies, as well as more than half the jobs expected to be created or safeguarded.
It says grants were awarded across a broad range of priority sectors including, life sciences, energy, food and drink, and financial services.
SE chief executive Lena Wilson said: “These are excellent results. We’ve extended our reach to Scottish companies especially SMEs to help them achieve their growth potential.
“We’re also attracting high value investments from foreign-owned companies in a highly-competitive global market.
“RSA is one of the most important tools we have at our disposal and this report demonstrates conclusively that our efforts are impactful.”
Deputy first minister John Swinney, said: “These figures demonstrate the business sector’s continued – and growing – confidence in Scotland’s attractiveness as a country for investment. This confidence is built on the fact that Scotland now has the longest period of uninterrupted growth since 2001, of which we are rightfully proud.
‪“RSA supports investment in Scotland’s economy and creates jobs for our people – in fact, Scotland now has 4th lowest economic inactivity in the whole EU. In the three months between April and June 2015, 20,000 young people got jobs – 20,000 young people in work who weren’t before. We now have the highest youth employment level since 2005 and the lowest youth unemployment level and rate since 2008, with overall unemployment also down.
‪“These are encouraging signs of an improving economic landscape in Scotland, following on from recent official statistics showing the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the first three months of this year.
‪“The Scottish Government and our agencies are entirely focused on working with business to create new jobs, and are committed to maintaining and building sustainable economic growth in Scotland to deliver the most competitive business environment anywhere in the UK.”
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