Scottish Government fund invests £100m in new developments

The Scottish Government fund has invested in new housing, industrial and commercial developments in the past two years.

A Scottish Government fund has invested more than £100m in new housing, industrial and commercial developments in the past two years – including the building of up to 1800 homes.

More than two-thirds of the £150m currently available as part of the Building Scotland Fund (BSF) has now been used to help developments through loans.

Stewart Milne, Athron Hill and SIGMA are among the recipients, with the latter looking to build between 1500 and 1800 homes for rent across the central belt, using a £30m loan over the next ten years.

The fund, which was announced in 2018 as part of the draft budget, is seen by the Scottish Government as a precursor to the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB).

The SNIB, which will have a pot of £2bn, will invest in businesses across the country in a bid to rejuvenate the Scottish economy.

Ministers created the SNIB to satisfy two ambitions – helping small and medium firms scale up their business and tackling climate change.

The Scottish Government intends to make the bank operational this year.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay praised the effect the BSF has had on businesses, who have so far borrowed around £100.6m from the fund, according to a post on the government website.

Mr Mackay visited 55 Douglas Street in Glasgow, an office development which was refurbished using a £12m loan from the funding pot and is part of the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) project.

A collaboration between Scottish ministers, the European Investment Bank and Amber Infrastructure, the scheme has benefited from £25m of funding for other projects, on top of the £12m for the Glasgow work.

Mr Mackay said: “I am delighted that the Building Scotland Fund has now agreed investments of £100m, unlocking projects in excess of £238m and providing a significant boost to the Scottish economy.

“This milestone is an important step not only for the Building Scotland Fund but also lays a strong foundation for the Scottish National Investment Bank – paving the way for it to become a cornerstone institution for Scotland’s economy.

“A total of £25m of BSF funding is being invested in projects through the SPRUCE urban regeneration fund.

“This includes the new high-spec refurbishment at 55 Douglas Street which is helping to revitalise Glasgow’s city centre and bring additional capacity for business and jobs.

“BSF has also agreed investments of £75m in a range of housing projects, from large-scale transformational projects to smaller developments being delivered by small to mid-size enterprise housebuilders.

“This is supporting the development of more than 5500 homes and around 600 full-time jobs.”