'No failure' over three-year absence of Highlands and Islands RSA funds, argues Derek Mackay

Scotland's Economy Secretary has defended a funding scheme which has not given a single grant to any business in the Highlands and Islands in three years.

Derek Mackay argued that there was no "systemic failure" from Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) funding, despite Highlands and Islands companies receiving none of the 209 grants handed out by the Government since 2016.RSA funding is aimed at supporting business projects that could help or create jobs, and is managed by Scottish Enterprise.More than £230 million has been given out in grants since 2015, but Scottish Enterprise revealed that no business from anywhere in the Highlands and Islands have successfully applied for the funding during the last three years.

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Derek Mackay argued that there was no "systemic failure" from RSA funding. Picture: John Devlin