finance

Scotland receives £14.5 billion of Westminster funding during the pandemic



Scotland has received from £14.5bn of UK Government funding to the devolved administrations, according to new Treasury figures.

The annual publication of the Block Grant Transparency shows that since the start of the Covid-19, the funding has enabled the Scottish Government to provide support to individuals, businesses and public services and will continue to support the recovery through 2021-22.

This comes as part of the package of support for the whole of the UK throughout the pandemic, with £352bn spent across the UK on Covid-19 measures.

In Scotland, this included protecting more than 900,000 jobs through the furlough scheme, £294m in self-employment support, help for businesses and the procurement of vaccines.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “We’ve protected more than a million Scottish jobs and businesses with furlough and support schemes, our vaccine rollout is unlocking the economy, and our Plan for Jobs is levelling up opportunity and helping us build back better across the UK.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “This extensive support, which now enables us to look towards recovery, shows how Scotland benefits from being part of a strong United Kingdom. Never has the value of the Union been more important or more apparent.”

Separately, UK Export Finance’s annual report and accounts also revealed its £12.3bn worth support Scottish exporters throughout the year, supporting trade with 77 countries.

Significant export contracts supported by UKEF in Scotland during the year include:

  • Livingstone-based grouting specialists FoundOcean, which received bond support from UKEF for a $3m contract to supply an offshore wind farm in Taiwan, creating 30 new jobs at the firm.
  • GE Caledonian, a provider of jet engines for commercial aircrafts, benefited from four loans worth £248m, guaranteed by UKEF to finance engine overhauls engineered in Prestwick for export.
  • Glaswegian manufacturer PCT Group secured a multi-million-pound contract to supply cranes for the new Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland through UKEF’s bond support scheme.
  • Family-run manufacturer BHC, based in Canwarth, won a £20m contract to provide steelwork and metal decking to a trading market in Ghana, after being introduced to the project by UKEF.

UKEF also committed in December to ending support for new fossil fuel projects overseas. As part of this commitment, UKEF has created a new Renewables, Energy and Carbon Management underwriting team of 20 staff.

To ensure exporters across Scotland’s industrial heartlands can benefit, UKEF has also launched a new Transition Export Development Guarantee, designed to help companies adjust their business models and accelerate their transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Alistair McMillan, UKEF’s clean growth export development Manager in Scotland, said: “Despite an extremely challenging year for everyone it has been great to be able to support a variety of Scottish companies in renewable energy to increase their exports, as well as introducing our game-changing General Export Facility product.”

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