Our plan for Scotland: investing in the jobs of the future

We live in a time of unprecedented global change. Yet in every challenge, there is opportunity. Our plan for Scotland will make sure that we seize it.


In announcing the Scottish Government’s plans for the year ahead, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We must aspire to be the inventor and the manufacturer of the digital, high tech and low carbon innovations that will shape the future, not just a consumer of them.”


Here’s how we’ll do that.


Investing in a low-carbon economy


  • We will remove the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. To do that, we will massively expand the number of charging points, including making the A9 Scotland’s first fully electric-enabled highway.


  • A £60 million Innovation Fund has been established to support innovation in the low carbon energy sector. The fund has opened for applications from projects that deliver low carbon heating solutions, integrated energy systems, and ultra-low emission vehicle charging infrastructure.


  • While the UK government has pulled support for Carbon Capture and Storage in the North East, we will invest in the feasibility stage of the proposed Acorn Project at St Fergus in Aberdeenshire.


Supporting innovation


  • We will increase public sector support for business research and development by 70 per cent, meaning an additional £45 million of support over three years.


  • We want advanced manufacturing to be central to our modern economy. That’s why we’ve invested £8.9 million in a Lightweight Manufacturing Centre in Renfrew, as a first step towards the establishment of a National Manufacturing Institute in Renfrewshire.


  • The Fintech, or financial technology, sector is growing and we want Edinburgh to be one of the top 10 global centres in the world by 2021. That’s why we will invest in the establishment of a new industry-led body, FinTech Scotland to help grow the sector.


Long-term investment for growth

  • We will begin work to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank, to provide patient capital for growth and support our overall economic strategy.


  • We are investing in Scotland’s national infrastructure, with £6.4 billion of projects in construction or estimated to start in 2017.


  • Forthcoming figures are expected to show that we have met our target of delivering fibre broadband to 95 per cent of properties. Over the next four years we will invest £600 million in delivering superfast broadband to 100 per cent of properties by 2021.


An outward-looking economy


  • To attract new investment and help Scottish businesses access new markets, we will establish an Innovation and Investment Hub in Paris. This will add to our hubs in London, Brussels and Dublin, and the Berlin hub opening later this year.


  • A network of Trade Envoys has been established to champion and support our efforts to increase exports further. Scotland’s international exports – valued at £28.7 billion in 2017 – are already up 41 per cent under the SNP.