Jobs creation boosted by £15m of SE grants

ALMOST £15 million in funding - creating a potential 1,500 jobs - has been awarded to 32 Scottish companies in regional selective assistance (RSA) grants over the past three months, according to figures published yesterday.

The grants made by Scottish Enterprise under the scheme, which provides financial help to businesses moving to or expanding in Scotland, will also safeguard an estimated 470 jobs.

The largest award of 7m was made to Erskine-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services which will lead to the creation of 721 jobs.

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A further 368 jobs are planned by Vertex Data Science in Glasgow after an award of 1.7m.

The latest grants included a number made to manufacturing firms in the last quarter with 16 companies receiving a total of 2.5m of funding including Trak Microwave in Dundee, BOC in Lanarkshire and O-I Manufacturing in Forth Valley.

So far this year, the total RSA grants awarded in Scotland is almost 38m with an estimated 4,500 jobs set to be created.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise (SE), said: "These results show that despite the challenging economic conditions both indigenous and foreign companies continue to see Scotland as the right place in which to invest and grow their operations.

"Making RSA awards such as these is just one of the many ways in which we are encouraging companies to invest in Scotland, continuing our mission to create new jobs and build a stronger, more globally competitive economy."

Enterprise minister Jim Mather said the figures were evidence of the "robust action" the Scottish Government was taking to support businesses and attract new jobs and investment to strengthen recovery. But Liberal Democrat finance spokesperson Jeremy Purvis said more companies needed support and argued that his party's proposal of replacing SE with a regional development bank would lead to greater job creation.