SNP announce new £250 million fund pledge


by G.A.Ponsonby

In a major new campaign initiative, SNP Leader Alex Salmond has launched the Scottish Futures Fund.  The SNP claim that the £250 million fund will be paid for by savings secured from the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

The Futures Fund will support five key projects of £50 million each.  The projects, say the SNP, are designed to strengthen Scotland’s society and economy and prepare the nation for the challenges of the future.

The five futures projects will be:

Young Scots Fund

■ Next Generation Digital Fund

■ Sure Start Fund

■ Warm Homes Fund

■ Future Transport Fund

Publishing the Scottish Futures Fund initiative, Mr Salmond said, “the new Forth Crossing is our bridge to better times.  The largest construction project in Scotland’s history, it will support 3,000 jobs and ensure connectivity between north and south.  The bridge will also help deliver a Scotland that is fairer, stronger and greener.

“Thanks to skillful negotiation and procurement, and the work of the Scottish Futures Trust, the SNP government has achieved substantial savings on the cost of the crossing.  We intend to invest these savings in a £250 million Scottish Futures Fund.”

During a visit to Monkey Bizness in Edinburgh Mr Salmond also set out some of the details of the £50 million Sure Start Fund.  This will be focused on helping pre-five children in our most deprived communities.

The First Minister added, “If our bridge to the future means anything, it means giving our youngest children the best start in life, and helping those in the most difficult of circumstances.

“The Fund will invest in initiatives such as Children and Family Centres – it will enable us to develop a new model for such centres offering childcare, family support, outreach and activities.  The Sure Start Fund will also help us support good parenting skills and tackle poor parenting, including intensive support and intervention packages.”