Scottish independence did not scare off investors

The prospect of constitutional change did little to dampen investment in Scotland. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The prospect of constitutional change did little to dampen investment in Scotland. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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THE prospect of Scottish independence did nothing to scare off global firms from investing in the country, official figures today suggest.

Almost 10,000 Scottish jobs were secured as a result of foreign investment in Scotland during 2014/15, Nicola Sturgeon said today. This period included the six-month build-up to the referendum last September, amid claims that international firms would have been deterred by the possible constitutional instability after a Yes vote.

Today’s figures from Scottish Development International (SDI) showed the Government quango directly helped generate more than £433million of inward investment - safeguarding more than 3,000 high value jobs.

Inward investment projects increased by almost 17% to 91 projects in 2014/15 while the jobs created or safeguarded rose by almost 30%, 3192 of which were high value jobs. The figures indicate Scotland’s raised international profile was a “key factor” in attracting inward investment across a range of priority sectors including financial and business services, energy, food and drink, and life sciences.

Ms Sturgeon unveiled the figures on a trip toPrestwick Airport this morning.

She said: “These results demonstrate just how successful Scotland is at doing business. Last year was a record in terms of the jobs and projects that SDI was able to support. It is clear that Scotland has now firmly established itself, outside of London, as the most successful part of the UK for attracting international investment.”

Among the firms which announced plans to set up in Scotland last year were Capita, the UK’s leading provider of business support services that will create over 200 jobs in Glasgow with a new £11 million investment.

The company is investing almost £5 million in its Capita Customer Management (CCM) and £6 million into its IT services division.

Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has demonstrated again its strengths as a fantastic place to invest in and grow a business. A highly skilled workforce, research capabilities and competitive infrastructure makes us extremely attractive to the world’s best companies.”