Rishi Sunak travelled to Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow where he visited several businesses that have returned workers from furlough, held a roundtable of Scottish business leaders and saw how Scotland is creating jobs and leading our green recovery.
Around one in three jobs in Scotland have been supported by the UK Government’s support package and more than 90,000 Scottish businesses received more than £4.1 billion in loans since the start of the pandemic.
The Chancellor’s visit came as new figures released today show that the number of people in Scotland on furlough has halved in the last three months, with just 141,500 jobs still furloughed.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
It’s been inspiring to hear stories of people and businesses in Scotland that are now starting to feel the weight of the pandemic lifting off them as they get back to work – our Plan for Jobs is working and it’s great to see people succeeding after a year of uncertainty.
It’s been a challenging time but the UK Government has delivered one of the most generous packages of support in the world, protecting one in three Scottish jobs.
Scotland will be key in ensuring the UK’s economic success – creating jobs, powering our growth and driving a green recovery by hosting COP26 later this year.
During the visit, the Chancellor toured the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Turbine in Leven, Fife. The turbine is the leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy.
He met SMEs who have used the turbine for development and have benefitted from UK Government funding for green ventures.
The Chancellor highlighted the important contributions Scotland makes to the UK, including towards the UK’s Net Zero transition and climate change leadership on the world stage, ahead of the COP26 Glasgow conference in November.
He also conducted a roundtable with Scottish businesses in the retail banking sector at the new Queen Elizabeth hub in Edinburgh, where he thanked them for their role in responding to the pandemic, keeping call centres and banks open for vulnerable customers, and distributing many of the UK Government business support schemes.
The Chancellor saw preparations for the International Festival and the Fringe. The UK Government gave £1 million of funding to Edinburgh Festivals this year, to help the festival promote itself digitally to a bigger audience.
He also visited a number of small businesses including Liggy’s Cake Company in Edinburgh, which was supported through the furlough scheme and is now hiring new people.
He also visited Dynamic Earth, an award-winning visitor centre in Edinburgh dedicated to educating people about the earth and environmental issues, and met with several staff who have returned from furlough and met a group of children taking part in the centre’s outdoor activities.