£60 million to be invested in jobs and growth

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£60 million of investment in new businesses is to be allocated to 43 economic development projects across the country to support business growth and employment First Minister Alex Salmond has confirmed.

£20 million of European Regional Development Funding ( ERDF) will support total investment of £60 million in the successful projects to be run by businesses, local government and the third sector.

All have a focus on youth employment and will be implemented almost immediately, delivering business competitiveness, innovation and improving employment opportunities to people throughout Scotland.

The funding will help to start over 700 businesses, support a further 5000 businesses to grow and create over 3000 jobs including employment opportunities for young people.

This announcement comes in the same week as the latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics show employment in Scotland at a five year high.

GDP figures published by the Scottish Government this week also show that Scotland’s economy has grown faster than the UK over the last year to quarter two, with the economy growing for the fourth consecutive quarter.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“This week we have seen employment reach its highest level since 2008 with our youth unemployment rate continuing to fall. These positive figures highlight the significant economic progress being made in Scotland, however, there is still more to be done. .

“In June the Scottish Government asked for proposals from across the country, from organisations including local authorities, the third sector, small business and our universities of ways in which they could support economic development, create jobs and build new businesses.

“This funding will support 43 projects, help to start 778 businesses, encourage a further 5000 businesses to grow and create over 3000 jobs.

“Each project will create opportunities for our young people and will contribute to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth.

“The Scottish Government is using every tool at our disposal to support jobs and invest in recovery. With the powers of independence and the freedom to use our own resources in the best interests of Scotland we could boost the economy even further and ensure all our young people benefit from Scotland’s economic recovery.”