Nicola Sturgeon to announce expansion and funding of 'productivity clubs' for economic recovery

The First Minister is set to announce further funding and expansion of ‘productivity clubs’ in the Tayside region to help create a “wealthier, fairer and greener Scotland”.

Addressing the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Annual Forum today (Monday) in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon will confirm the expansion of Scotland’s network of Productivity Clubs which offer peer support to improve and grow enterprises.

The FM will grant funding of up to £200,000 which will introduce a further club in the Tayside region as she will highlight economic recovery should be a “national endeavour”.

Productivity Clubs were launched in 2019 in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in 2020 in North East Scotland, the Highlands & Islands, and the South of Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce further funding and expansion of ‘productivity clubs’ in the Tayside region (Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire).

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A new Club in the Tayside region is expected to be launched later this year.

The First Minister is expected to say: “We are recovering from the worst pandemic in more than a century, and the huge economic and social challenges it has brought.

“We face the highest inflation in more than a generation, and the growing cost of doing business is being made far worse by Brexit, which has removed us from a single market seven times the size of the UK.”

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Speaking at the conference taking place on Monday and Tuesday at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Ms Sturgeon will insist businesses, like governments, will need to adapt their working methods as the Scottish Government seeks to reduce climate change emissions, and become a net zero economy.

The FM will add: “Those challenges can sound daunting. But we also need to keep in mind that Scotland has huge opportunities and assets to help transform our economy. Inward investment in Scotland increased by 14% in 2021 – far above the UK’s increase of 2 percent. There was a rise of more than 70% in the number of inward investments in the digital sector.

“That highlights the strengths of Scotland’s skills and infrastructure, but it also reflects that businesses are increasingly taking investment decisions based on issues such as a country’s approach to sustainability, wellbeing, and climate change.

“The National Strategy for Economic Transformation – which we published in March – aims to capitalise on these strengths. And it makes it clear that recovery has to be a truly national endeavour.”

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