A project to launch Scotland’s first stock exchange since the 1970s has taken a step forward after securing six-figure funding to create scores of jobs.
Dubbed Project Heather, the proposed exchange has landed a £750,000 regional selective assistance grant through Scottish Enterprise, with the promise of creating 45 high-skilled jobs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The capital is to act as exchange headquarters, while representative offices will be established in the other two cities.
The project said its focus is to build a team which “represents a cross-section of society” and provides opportunities for under-represented groups.
This fresh funding boost follows a seven-figure investment package announced in March.
Project Heather is seeking to create a stock exchange which will bring impact investing to public markets and increase access to capital for sustainable companies.
Businesses who want to raise funds on the exchange will first need to demonstrate how the investment raised will deliver social and environment impacts.
Subject to approval from regulatory body the Financial Conduct Authority, Project Heather is targeting a launch in the second half of this year.
It has already partnered with one of the world’s largest stock exchange platforms, Euronext, to run the exchange on its Optiq trading platform and has also teamed up with Euro CCP and Euroclear to deliver the required market infrastructure.
Chief executive and founder Tomas Carruthers said: “We are delighted to receive Scottish Enterprise’s support for the creation of a stock exchange for the 21st century; one which serves society and can be trusted to serve all stakeholders.
“In addition to directly employing many highly-skilled people, a successful stock exchange in Scotland will foster greater prosperity and support the decentralisation of capital and wealth away from London and the south east.”
Carruthers, who founded the Interactive Investor platform, was previously chief executive of the Social Stock Exchange, an initiative backed by former prime minister David Cameron.
Business minister Jamie Hepburn added: “Enhancing the Scottish funding landscape by the establishment of a Scottish Stock Exchange would no doubt add value and provide greater choice to Scottish companies seeking to grow and fulfil their ambitions.”