Enterprise budget feels the squeeze

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Scottish Enterprise, the economic development agency, is to spend more than £336 million this year as it looks to accelerate Scotland’s recovery.

Although the agency’s total budget for 2013-14 represents a 10 per cent increase on last year, all of that rise is additional Scottish Government funding for a renewable energy investment fund. On a like-for-like basis the budget has dipped by £1.2m.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said the latest business plan was aimed at “squeezing every drop of value for Scotland’s economy from the investment we make”.

“That means working where we can make a clear difference in terms of growth, jobs and continuing to improve the Scottish business environment,” said Wilson. “I am confident that this delivery plan, based on some of the strongest evidence and analyses we have had as an organisation, demonstrates how we will do just that.”

The plan aims to support up to £1.3 billion in turnover growth for account managed businesses and secure up to £150m of additional investment from both the private and public sector in new research and development projects.

It also looks to leverage £85m of private sector investment through the Scottish Investment Bank and support up to 9,000 Scottish jobs through foreign investment.