Warning on loss of £210m for research

THE Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has claimed that an independent Scotland could lose £210 million each year in research funding from UK based sources.

Research by the Lib Dems has revealed that Scottish universities take 14 per cent of funding available from UK sources, despite having just 8.5 per cent of the UK population. In 2009/2010 various research projects in Scotland received a total of £234 million through the UK Research Councils.

Scotland received a total of £130 million from UK-based charities, £100 million from UK central government and £47 million of funding allocated to UK universities by UK industry, commerce and public corporations.

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Rennie believes this investment could be stifled if Scotland is to split from the rest of the United Kingdom and claimed it could amount to £210 million every year. Rennie said: “The expertise exists in Scotland, but we could not do all of this exciting new research without the extra bonus funding that we receive from across the Border.”

But a spokesman for the Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “Scotland has an unrivalled record of success in attracting funding for research from the UK and far beyond, reflecting the excellence and global reputation of our universities and research institutions, and that will continue with independence.”