More than one fifth of Scottish SMEs to move or expand premises

More than 78,000 Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning to move or expand their business premises in the next 12 months to cater for an expected increase in activity, according to new research by Clydesdale Bank.

As economic confidence and activity levels grow, the research suggests more than one in five (23%) SMEs are planning to expand their existing premises, move into larger properties, or expand into additional locations to meet the increased demand for their products and services. These investment plans are being made against the backdrop of improving confidence and economic conditions for UK businesses.

According to the latest official statistics, capital investment by businesses grew by 9% in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. According to the Bank’s research, which surveyed more than 220 small and medium-sized businesses across Scotland, nearly half (43%) believe economic conditions are better for them now than it was a year ago, leading to more than one in three (39%) planning to invest in measures to encourage business growth.

Alastair Christmas, West of Scotland Director for Business and Private Banking at Clydesdale Bank, said: “More businesses are looking to invest and prepare themselves for a period of sustainable growth over the next few years. One aspect of that preparation is an investment in the bricks and mortar from which they operate – factories, offices, distribution centres – providing security for their businesses and staff and providing solid foundations from which to grow.

“New, refurbished or expanded premises have a number of effects for a business and its employees. By modernising or investing in the working environment businesses can expect to see improved productivity. Having additional space also allows for growth in staff numbers, new equipment or the room to develop new products and services.”

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