Date lodged: 22 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support businesses in North East Scotland.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 29 March 2017
The Scottish Government, working in concert with the Energy Jobs Taskforce, continues to support businesses and individuals in the North East of Scotland which has been particularly affected by the downturn in the oil and gas sector. Our £12 million Transition Training Fund has funded re-training opportunities for more than 1800 individuals faced with redundancy; with additional training programmes procured by the fund looking to create up to 755 employment opportunities across Scotland, with my having announced the latest tranche supporting 425 opportunities when I visited Aberdeen on 10th February. There are also 12 individuals being supported into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM) teaching opportunities within the North East. We have also, to date, provided over £7million for 78 innovation projects and provision of business resilience support to 144 companies.
Our competitive business rates package also targets support where it is most needed, with a recent additional allocation of around £9.8m to cap business rates increases for certain properties in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Councils are able to apply further rates reductions, and we continue to work with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils to inform this consideration.