Scottish Enterprise has announced plans to approve large grant funding for up to 160 new company projects before the end of the financial year.
Together, these projects have the potential to unlock up to £500m of investment by businesses into Scotland’s economy, creating or safeguarding more than 9,000 jobs.
Scottish Enterprise will contribute up to £140m 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 which Scottish Enterprise has administered to almost 4,000 companies as part of a £2.3bn package of Covid-19 business support.
The new projects now being appraised cover industries including renewables, technology, engineering, manufacturing and life sciences. They range from research and development programmes, to investment in machinery and equipment that will aid the transition to a net-zero economy.
Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at Scottish Enterprise, said: “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.”
Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “This funding will support our growth companies and give them the potential to prosper – it 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 Scottish Enterprise’s current large grant schemes, as it is seeking to develop a simplified approach to grants to roll out early next year.
Projects will be contracted between December 2020 and March 2021, with a full list of awards being published in April next year.