Scotland pledges Investment Bank cash

Budget sets out commitment to capitalise Scottish National Investment Bank; £4bn pledge for infrastructure; more cash for affordable housing

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has set out the Scottish government’s Budget for 2018-19, promising investment in infrastructure, affordable housing and its planned Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB).

Unveiling the plans in the Scottish Parliament, Mackay said that the government would set aside £340m to capitalise the bank in 2019-21.

However, he added that in the meantime, the government would establish a “Building Scotland Fund”, which will provide £150m over the next two financial years until the SNIB comes into operation.

Mackay also committed £756m for affordable housing, as part of the government’s plans to invest over £3bn in affordable housing over the life of the parliament. Following publication of Benny Higgins’ implementation plan early in 2018, the government will make a number of appointments to act as a shadow board while the bank is formally established.

Overall, Mackay said the government will invest over £4bn in infrastructure in 2018-19.

The Budget document also pointed to further investment in the Hub programme, with phase 2 of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital redevelopment, “a number of health centres” in Grampian, the Highlands and in the West, plus secondary school developments through the Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme.

Meanwhile, it said that the Scottish Futures Trust will “continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure investment in Scotland by working collaboratively with public bodies and industry”.

The SFT is also in early discussions with the Highland Council, Aberdeen City Council, Mallaig and Stornoway Harbour Trusts on possible Growth Accelerator schemes.