Scotland

Revitalising Scottish manufacturing key to independence plans

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 20:21 GMT Jump to Comments

£25 million in savings and a positive score in an Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey prompts Alex Salmond to announce plans for the "reindustrialisation" of Scotland

Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney has welcomed the latest figures from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) on business efficiency savings during 2013/14, published today, which show that Scottish manufacturing firms have achieved £25.2 million of savings – up £4.2 million from the previous year.

The new figures from Scottish Enterprise show that manufacturing companies in Scotland completed 185 business improvement projects which saw them investing in tactical, short-term projects that focus on immediate ways of adding value and improving productivity, to looking at transformational projects which focus on a wider people-centred approach to business excellence.

Since it was set up in 2006, SMAS has delivered over 1,050 business improvement projects contributing over £135 million of value-added benefits to Scotland’s economy.

Mr Swinney said: “These figures come of the back of Bank of Scotland PMI survey which shows that Scottish private sector activity is being driven by strong growth in both the Services and Manufacturing sectors. We also heard from Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey which showed that foreign investment to Scotland in 2013 reached its highest level since 1997, increasing at a higher rate than the UK as whole, and creating over 4,000 jobs.

“The recovery in Scotland’s economy is continuing, with growth widely forecast to accelerate this year. the work of SMAS gives us a strong basis for the future and the First Minister will shortly announce plans to use the powers of independence to reindustrialise Scotland.

“With full fiscal and economic powers of independence, the Scottish Government will support businesses now and in the future to be more competitive will mean Scottish companies have the best chance of success.”

Adrian Gillespie, managing director of operations at Scottish Enterprise, said: “These figures highlight that manufacturing remains vital to a robust Scottish economy, with 60 per cent of Scotland’s international exports and 50 per cent of all business research coming from manufacturing businesses."

Charlotte Wright, Director of Business and Sector Development at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, commented: "Our region has a strong history of manufacturing, from our renowned food and drink industry to our growing reputation at the forefront of renewable energy development. Working together with SMAS and partners in other public organisations, we will continue to provide practical support to our businesses, encouraging them to grow and remain competitive on a national and international stage."

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