Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Gaelic

Kate Forbes MSP



Deputy First Minister
Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Kate Forbes was appointed as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Gaelic in May 2024.


The Deputy First Minister is responsible for:

  • business, industry and manufacturing support
  • covid inquiries
  • cross-government delivery and outcomes
  • economic policy and prosperity
  • enterprise agencies
  • entrepreneurship
  • green industrial strategy (jointly with Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy)
  • Historical Abuse Inquiry
  • inter-governmental relations
  • labour market strategy (long-term)
  • languages, including Gaelic, Scots and British Sign Language (BSL)
  • National Performance Framework
  • Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
  • redress
  • Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Sheku Bayoh public inquiry
  • UK government engagement on shared prosperity fund, levelling up fund, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

Infrastructure investment

  • city and regional growth deals
  • Clyde Mission
  • government investments (Prestwick, Fergusons, BiFab)
  • regional economic partnerships

Supporting Ministers


Kate Forbes is the Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency (which includes Dingwall, the Black Isle and the Great Glen). She is the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary (designate) for the Economy and Gaelic in the Scottish Government.

Kate is from Dingwall, although she spent part of her upbringing in Glasgow and India. Until she was elected as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate was employed as an accountant in the banking industry. Prior to that she studied History at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.

First elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, she was re-elected as the constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch in May 2021.

Kate first joined the Government in June 2018, as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy. She subsequently served as Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy from February 2020 to March 2023.

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