£200 million investment for rural economy.
David McQuade - September 14, 2016

Investment of up to £200m to support hundreds of jobs in the rural economy was welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today.

She visited Ross-Shire Engineering in Muir of Ord, who announced they will use the funding to create new jobs and secure existing positions.

The company has secured potential funding of up to £200m across the next five years from Scottish Water’s Capital and Operational Delivery framework projects to supply equipment to ensure high quality drinking water in many parts of Scotland.

This investment has already resulted in over 100 new jobs this year alone and provided additional job security to the existing 273 staff. The company has also expanded its apprenticeship programme, and will more than double the number of vacancies for apprentices and graduates over the next five years.

The announcement came as the First Minister made a series of visits in the Highlands to see how innovation and investment is strengthening Scotland’s rural economy.

She also visited Nigg Energy Park to unveil the first turbine built for the world’s largest-planned wave energy park.

The First Minister said:

“Ensuring a strong rural economy is crucial to Scotland’s success. This funding Ross-Shire Engineering has secured provides a hugely welcome boost in providing skilled jobs and investment across the Highlands, as well as providing vital utility services to Scotland’s homes and businesses.

In particular, I am delighted they will be investing in their already strong apprenticeship job programme, providing vital training and employment to young people living in the Highlands in a competitive jobs market.

Last week when I set out my Programme for Government I promised to protect Scotland’s interests, particularly our economic interests, in the wake of the EU referendum.

Driving sustainable economic growth is at the heart of that, and I am committed to ensuring this Government does all it can to ensure Scotland’s rural economy remains prosperous for future generations.”