Holyrood to launch new action plan for the economy

© PACabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay.

The Scottish Government has launched a new economic action plan, which includes an £18 million fund for advanced manufacturing and the piloting of two new “productivity clubs” for businesses.

It also commits to a “stable and competitive” tax regime and pledges to launch a “Come to Scotland” campaign to attract workers in the wake of the UK’s departure from the EU.

The document, unveiled by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, follows the latest report from the government’s chief economist, which found Scotland’s economy continued to strengthen during the first half of the year, though Brexit remains a key concern for many sectors.

Measures set out include the establishment of the £18m Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund and work with businesses to pilot two ‘productivity clubs’ to support firms to help each other to “improve managerial capability and diffusion of technology and innovation”.

Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government’s economic strategy sets out our vision for sustainable and inclusive growth – growth that boosts competitiveness while tackling inequalities and delivers for our communities, for the environment, and for workers and business.”

The action plan was welcomed by Stuart Mackinnon of the Federation of Small Businesses, but he added the plan “must be matched with diligent execution and a focus on making a tangible difference to Scotland’s business environment”.