Scotland launches national investment bank

It will focus on supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places and harnessing innovation.

The bank is being capitalised by the Scottish government with £2bn over ten years and will provide long-term investment for businesses and projects. It is also intended to catalyse further private sector investment. Plans for the bank had been announced last year.

Announcement of the launch was accompanied by details of the first investment – £12.5m for Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish National Investment Bank will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face now and in the years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.

“It is hitting the ground running with its first major investment in M Squared – a great example of the ambitious and innovative companies we have here in Scotland that will be key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.

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“The launch of the bank is one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament, with the potential for it to transform, grow and decarbonise Scotland’s economy.”

Scottish National Investment Bank chair Willie Watt said: “Today is a key milestone for the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our launch enables us to make mission-led, strategic, patient investments in businesses and projects that can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland. I am excited about the role the bank will play in supporting and enabling growth in the Scottish economy.

“We are particularly pleased that our first investment is in M Squared which is at the cutting edge of innovation and is a recognised world-leader in its field. It is our firm belief that the bank will make many more investments that deliver positive mission impacts in the years and decades to come.”

The Scottish National Investment Bank is a public limited company. State aid approval for the establishment and capitalisation of the bank was received from the European Commission in November 2020. The Scottish government recently consulted publicly on the proposed missions for the bank. The final missions will be set by Scottish ministers shortly.

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