Argyll and Bute MSP backs investment bank plans

Scottish Brexit secretary Mike Russell
Scottish Brexit secretary Mike Russell

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, has said SNP plans to establish a Scottish National Investment bank will help transform inclusive growth across Argyll and Bute.

Last month, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP announced plans for an initial investment in the bank of £130 million as part of his draft budget proposals for 2019/20.

Subject to regulatory and legislative approval, the national investment bank will aim to begin investing in Scottish businesses and communities from 2020 – investing at least £2 billion in its first 10 years.

The investment bank will provide loans of up to £10m for small to medium sized local enterprises with high growth potential.

In advance of the Scottish National Investment Bank’s establishment, a £150m Building Scotland Fund announced in 2017 will provide debt and equity support to the private sector and organisations, such as housing associations and universities, to support the development of housing across all tenures, develop modern industrial and commercial space and support industry-led research and Development.

MSPs are set to vote on the Scottish Government’s budget proposals at Holyrood next month.

Commenting, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said: “A national investment bank has enormous potential to transform communities here in Argyll and Bute, and across Scotland. Operating within a core set of principles, the bank will deliver sustainable growth – with both individuals and small local businesses set to benefit.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy here in Argyll and Bute, so it’s very exciting that we are one step closer to providing historic investment for projects the length and breadth of Scotland.

“I would urge MSPs of all parties to get behind the plans.”

SCDI’s director of policy and public affairs Matt Lancashire said:“We welcome announcement of £130m to support the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank, which will deploy patient capital to back long-term investment in business scale-up and innovation, and could have a positive impact. We also welcome the decision not to progress the out of town Business Rates levy and additional support for our struggling town centres to help them adapt in light of continued change.”

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) policy & campaigns officer Paul Bradley said: “The Bank provides the opportunity for Scotland to establish itself as a global leader in moving to a high-performing and modern economy, one built on sustainable finance to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy where the benefits are realised across all groups in Scottish society. SCVO will continue to monitor and feed into the process of setting up the bank.”