New measures announced to grow Scotland’s economy

Economic Action Plan published.

An £18 million fund to help businesses benefit from developments in manufacturing is among the key actions announced in a new plan to help boost economic growth.

As part of a response to the business-led Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, the Economic Action Plan sets out a number of new and existing actions that will work together to build a strong, vibrant and diverse economy that promotes wellbeing and attracts investment.

The plan follows the publication of the State of the Economy Report which found that Scotland’s economy has continued to strengthen in the first half of 2018, with annual GDP growth the strongest since 2014 and above the UK as a whole, and the labour market continues to perform strongly with unemployment falling over the past year and remaining close to its record level.

Economy and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay published the action plan ahead of a visit to Mudano in Edinburgh to welcome news that the London-based consultancy company have just invested £6.9 million to establish a base in Edinburgh.

Some of the new measures in the Economic Action Plan include:

  • Committing to maintain a stable and competitive tax regime as part of a supportive business environment.
  • Establishing a £18 million Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund to ensure all parts of Scotland benefit from developments in advanced manufacturing.
  • Responding to the rapidly changing skills needs of business and employees by enhancing our support for reskilling and upskilling.
  • Working with business to pilot two ‘Productivity Clubs’ to support businesses to help each other to improve managerial capability and diffusion of technology and innovation
  • Expanding the role of the Can Do Business Innovation Forum to take action on the economic opportunities and challenges of new technologies.
  • Launching a ‘Come to Scotland campaign’ to attract talent and investment and help mitigate the impact of Brexit.

Economy and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

“Scotland has huge economic potential and we are well placed to take advantage of the economic opportunities that come from our established strengths in innovation and technological change. That will stimulate our economy even further, and lead to a more prosperous and fairer society.

“The Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy sets out our vision for sustainable and inclusive growth. Growth that boosts competitiveness while tackling inequalities and delivers for our communities, for the environment, and for workers and business.

“The Economic Action Plan reinforces our unwavering commitment to this vision and sets out actions that are all designed to support businesses, and accelerate growth and prosperity for all.

“This plan is in response to direct engagement and feedback the Scottish Government and Scottish Ministers have had with trade unions and businesses across Scotland. We will continue to work in partnership to ensure we are responding to the meet the needs of our economy.”

Charandeep Singh, Head of External Relations, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We welcome the work of the Scottish Government in aligning the Economic Action Plan with the recommendations of the Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board.

“Increasing the number of businesses exporting, tackling productivity challenges and maximising the use of technology are just some of the opportunities we can capitalise on. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Scottish Government as we identify further opportunities for the Scottish Chamber Network to deliver business-to-business support and drive economic change in our business communities.” 

Matt Lancashire, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Scottish Government to pilot the Productivity Clubs model. Improving productivity is a key issue for businesses across all sectors and geographies.

“We believe that this approach will help increase productivity throughout the Scottish economy, by supporting businesses who want to improve their own performance and share their advice and experiences to help others do the same. 

“We are really looking forward to working closely with the Scottish Government to achieve this shared vision and the commitments within the economic action plan’ 

Read the Economic Action Plan here.


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