Scotland Loves Local £10 million fund launched

Projects aiming to help transform towns and neighbourhoods could apply to a new £10 million multi-year fund.

The Scotland Loves Local Fund aims to encourage people to think local first, and support businesses and enterprises in their community. The fund will provide match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000 for projects run by groups like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts.

Administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership it aims to bring new, suitable, creative projects and activity to towns and neighbourhoods – helping build local wealth and increase footfall and activity, while supporting local enterprise partnerships. Eligible projects could include things like community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction projects delivery.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said:

“To support Scotland’s towns and neighbourhoods recover from the pandemic we are launching a new £10 million Scotland Loves Local Fund. This will provide 50% match funding for local projects between £5,000 and £25,000. Whether it be funding for small-scale improvements or adaptations, climate or active travel programmes, home delivery digital schemes, pop up shops and markets, or the direct funding or expansion of Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes – communities will be able to decide how best to improve their local area.

“This 100 day Scottish Government commitment reinforces our determination to support all our communities as they recover from the pandemic and will help strengthen the vital support being provided through the Scotland Loves Local marketing campaign and loyalty card scheme.”

Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice said:

“Over the coming years, this significant commitment from the Scottish Government will make a real difference – empowering communities to take action that will make their areas fairer, greener and more successful. We are delighted to be working with ministers to deliver this.

“This funding will unlock the great potential of our towns and neighbourhoods, allowing them not just to recover from the impact of Covid-19, but to create a stronger, more sustainable future which has localism at its heart. I would encourage interested organisations across Scotland to get their applications in.”

Director of Milngavie Business Improvement District and Business owner Wendy Ross said:

“The Scotland Loves Local campaign was a massive help to Milngavie, especially at the peak of the pandemic when non-essential retail businesses were forced to close. Using the digital experience of our business improvement district place manager and his network of collaborators, the Loves Local funding was invested to build many e-commerce websites very quickly so we could continue to trade online, with click and collect and deliveries.

“This was a critical help for local businesses and really opened our eyes to aspects of the digital world that we knew little about. Using the Loves Local messaging and excellent #ThinkLocalFirst campaign, we used social media and milngavie.co.uk to reach local people. That really struck home and continues to do so.”

For more information, visit https://lovelocal.scot/

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: analysis

covid.jpg

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: analysis

The Scottish Government have released a paper exploring the costs and benefits of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on a temporary basis. Such an extension could reduce unemployment in Scotland by 61,000 through the first half of 2021, at a cost of around £850 million.

The fiscal response to COVID-19 has been unprecedented in scale and scope. Both the UK and Scottish Governments have provided significant support to help protect jobs and enable business to survive. The economic policy response is largely reserved and the Scottish Government does not have the full suite of fiscal powers to fully.

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been the largest intervention, with the UK Government paying out almost £4 billion in a single week at its peak. The costs were highest during the most stringent restrictions, and have since fallen, reflecting both the return of employees to work and the reduction in the share of support coming from government. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that scheme costs will fall to around £3.5 billion per month (after tax) in October, when government will be paying 60% of wages.

The CJRS is playing a key role in mitigating the impact on unemployment which is reflected in the low rates of unemployment across the UK. The UK Government has announced the scheme will close on 31st October 2020. Data published by HMRC show that the scheme has protected 779,500 Scottish jobs, around 32% of the total Scottish workforce. Although the number of people furloughed has fallen as the economy has reopened, more than 217,000 jobs in Scotland are still estimated to be supported by the scheme. Given the high number of furloughed workers, the closure of CJRS could precipitate a surge in unemployment . The purpose of this paper is to explore the costs and benefits of extending the CJRS on a temporary basis through undertaking economic modelling of the impact on unemployment and employment over a three year period.

The modelling suggests that

  • Extending the CJRS on a temporary basis for eight months could reduce unemployment in Scotland by 61,000 through the first half of next year.
  • The direct cost of extending CJRS for eight months for Scotland is estimated to be around £850 million.
  • Even though this is only a temporary extension of the CJRS, it has a persistent, positive impact on the labour market, preventing unnecessarily higher levels of unemployment over the next few years.
  • Wider economic benefits from the extension mean that it could pay for itself, increasing GDP and potentially lowering debt as a share of GDP.
  • With Covid-19 cases on the rise, it may prove impossible for certain sectors to resume economic activity in a way that is economically viable before the current employment support schemes are due to expire in October 2020. Many of these businesses will have a viable long-term future, but only if they continue to be supported.
  • This will help keep people in jobs while sectors of the economy currently unable to fully open recover and lead to sustained economic benefits at a relatively small cost.
  • Of course, the furlough scheme cannot continue indefinitely and this paper has explored an extension to the end of June 2021. Some other countries have longer extensions planned, such as Germany (to the end of 2021) and France (to end June 2022).

Download the full report
https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-analysis-extending-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

Latest Labour Market Statistics for Young People 16-24 year olds in Scotland
https://www.gov.scot/news/labour-market-statistics-for-young-people-16-to-24-years-scotland/

Further contact:

Email: OCEABusiness@gov.scot

Scottish Government: Replacement for European Structural Funds

scotland-top-small-towns-tobermory-isle-of-mull.jpg

Meeting Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities.
Plans for a Scottish replacement for European Structural Funds after EU exit have been published.

The new Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund (SSPF) will ensure Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities are met, with a key focus on addressing and reducing economic and social disparity.

Regional partners will play a key role in the SSPF – leading on allocation of funding and programme development for their area.

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said he expects the UK Government to transfer full control over replacement funding to the Scottish Government.

Mr McKee said:

“EU Structural Funds have been key to Scotland’s economic development over the past 40 years, investing more than £5.6 billion into a wide range of projects. As the United Kingdom crashes out of the EU at the end of next month so Scotland will no longer have access to such funds.

“Since the UK Government announced its intention to establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to replace these funds in 2018, it has failed to engage meaningfully with the devolved nations, providing no detail on how such a fund might work, how much funding will be available and what it will fund in future. Scottish Ministers and officials continue to try to engage with the UK Government to secure the information needed to plan for the future. However, the Scottish Government has also sought to develop a position on future funding priorities to ensure Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities are met. 

“The proposals we are publishing today for a Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund have been produced following 12 months of consultation and with the support of an expert Steering Group. We will now go on to develop the Fund involving key partners, especially local authorities. And we will continue to press the UK Government for full replacement of all lost EU funds – Scotland must receive at least £1.283 billion for a replacement seven year programme for 2021 – 2027.

“We also expect full control over replacement funding to be given to Scotland. Ongoing attempts by the UK Government to undermine the devolution settlement in relation to powers and funding in this area will continue to be resisted vigorously.”

Background:

Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund

This paper has been produced following 12 months of extensive consultation with stakeholders around Scotland and with the support of an expert Steering Group, co-chaired by Professor David Bell of University of Stirling and Professor John Bachtler of University of Strathclyde.

The UK Government may announce details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Scottish Ministers will keep Parliament updated on progress of the SSPF.

Scottish Ministers and officials will continue to press the UK Government for full replacement of all lost EU Structural Funds.

The UK Government may announce details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Scottish Government: Replacement for European Structural Funds

scottish.jpg

Meeting Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities.
Plans for a Scottish replacement for European Structural Funds after EU exit have been published.

The new Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund (SSPF) will ensure Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities are met, with a key focus on addressing and reducing economic and social disparity.

Regional partners will play a key role in the SSPF – leading on allocation of funding and programme development for their area.

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said he expects the UK Government to transfer full control over replacement funding to the Scottish Government.

Mr McKee said:

“EU Structural Funds have been key to Scotland’s economic development over the past 40 years, investing more than £5.6 billion into a wide range of projects. As the United Kingdom crashes out of the EU at the end of next month so Scotland will no longer have access to such funds.

“Since the UK Government announced its intention to establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to replace these funds in 2018, it has failed to engage meaningfully with the devolved nations, providing no detail on how such a fund might work, how much funding will be available and what it will fund in future. Scottish Ministers and officials continue to try to engage with the UK Government to secure the information needed to plan for the future. However, the Scottish Government has also sought to develop a position on future funding priorities to ensure Scotland’s distinctive needs and priorities are met. 

“The proposals we are publishing today for a Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund have been produced following 12 months of consultation and with the support of an expert Steering Group. We will now go on to develop the Fund involving key partners, especially local authorities. And we will continue to press the UK Government for full replacement of all lost EU funds – Scotland must receive at least £1.283 billion for a replacement seven year programme for 2021 – 2027.

“We also expect full control over replacement funding to be given to Scotland. Ongoing attempts by the UK Government to undermine the devolution settlement in relation to powers and funding in this area will continue to be resisted vigorously.”

Background:

Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund

This paper has been produced following 12 months of extensive consultation with stakeholders around Scotland and with the support of an expert Steering Group, co-chaired by Professor David Bell of University of Stirling and Professor John Bachtler of University of Strathclyde.

The UK Government may announce details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Scottish Ministers will keep Parliament updated on progress of the SSPF.

Scottish Ministers and officials will continue to press the UK Government for full replacement of all lost EU Structural Funds.

The UK Government may announce details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Scottish Government opens survey of suppliers to the public sector in Scotland

scottish_0.jpg

The Scottish Government is conducting a survey of suppliers to the public sector in Scotland and would like to invite suppliers to share your views on a range of issues related to public procurement and the tendering process. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • your organisation’s experiences of bidding for and/or delivering Scottish public sector contracts;
  • the provision of training, support and advice on tendering;
  • barriers to bidding for and/or delivering contracts; and
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Government Procurement Policy Team encourages all suppliers to take part in the survey, as the feedback you can provide will be invaluable in helping to shape future thinking on the delivery of public procurement in Scotland.

The Supplier Development Programme particularly encourages all Scottish micro, small and medium sized businesses and supported businesses in the third sector to take part in this important survey.

Definition of the Scottish public sector

The ‘Scottish public sector’ means public sector bodies which are based in Scotland and whose functions are exercisable in or as regards Scotland and do not relate to reserved matters – for example, a Scottish local authority, a health body in Scotland, or a Scottish university or college.

How to take part

The survey should take no longer than 20-30 minutes to complete and your responses will be completely anonymous. The survey can be accessed by visiting: https://response.questback.com/scottishgovernment/supplierssurvey2020

Please submit your response to the survey before the closing date on Friday, 11 December 2020 at 5:00pm.

More information

If you have any questions about the survey, please email Susan Gardiner at scottishprocurement@gov.scot. Thank you for your support and the Scottish Government Procurement Policy Team looks forward to receiving your responses.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: analysis

scottish_1.jpg

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: analysis

The Scottish Government have released a paper exploring the costs and benefits of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on a temporary basis. Such an extension could reduce unemployment in Scotland by 61,000 through the first half of 2021, at a cost of around £850 million.

The fiscal response to COVID-19 has been unprecedented in scale and scope. Both the UK and Scottish Governments have provided significant support to help protect jobs and enable business to survive. The economic policy response is largely reserved and the Scottish Government does not have the full suite of fiscal powers to fully.

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been the largest intervention, with the UK Government paying out almost £4 billion in a single week at its peak. The costs were highest during the most stringent restrictions, and have since fallen, reflecting both the return of employees to work and the reduction in the share of support coming from government. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that scheme costs will fall to around £3.5 billion per month (after tax) in October, when government will be paying 60% of wages.

The CJRS is playing a key role in mitigating the impact on unemployment which is reflected in the low rates of unemployment across the UK. The UK Government has announced the scheme will close on 31st October 2020. Data published by HMRC show that the scheme has protected 779,500 Scottish jobs, around 32% of the total Scottish workforce. Although the number of people furloughed has fallen as the economy has reopened, more than 217,000 jobs in Scotland are still estimated to be supported by the scheme. Given the high number of furloughed workers, the closure of CJRS could precipitate a surge in unemployment . The purpose of this paper is to explore the costs and benefits of extending the CJRS on a temporary basis through undertaking economic modelling of the impact on unemployment and employment over a three year period.

The modelling suggests that

  • Extending the CJRS on a temporary basis for eight months could reduce unemployment in Scotland by 61,000 through the first half of next year.
  • The direct cost of extending CJRS for eight months for Scotland is estimated to be around £850 million.
  • Even though this is only a temporary extension of the CJRS, it has a persistent, positive impact on the labour market, preventing unnecessarily higher levels of unemployment over the next few years.
  • Wider economic benefits from the extension mean that it could pay for itself, increasing GDP and potentially lowering debt as a share of GDP.
  • With Covid-19 cases on the rise, it may prove impossible for certain sectors to resume economic activity in a way that is economically viable before the current employment support schemes are due to expire in October 2020. Many of these businesses will have a viable long-term future, but only if they continue to be supported.
  • This will help keep people in jobs while sectors of the economy currently unable to fully open recover and lead to sustained economic benefits at a relatively small cost.
  • Of course, the furlough scheme cannot continue indefinitely and this paper has explored an extension to the end of June 2021. Some other countries have longer extensions planned, such as Germany (to the end of 2021) and France (to end June 2022).

Download the full report
https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-analysis-extending-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

Latest Labour Market Statistics for Young People 16-24 year olds in Scotland
https://www.gov.scot/news/labour-market-statistics-for-young-people-16-to-24-years-scotland/

Further contact:

Email: OCEABusiness@gov.scot

 

 

 

Scottish Government: Delivering the Youth Guarantee

scottish_2.jpg

Giving every young person the chance to succeed.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has set out more details of how Scotland’s Youth Guarantee will give young people the chance to succeed despite the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The guarantee will ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training. The Scottish Government is funding it with £60 million which will be broken down as follows:

  • £30 million through local authorities to help local partnerships to deliver employability support for young people
  • £10 million to create additional opportunities in colleges
  • £10 million additional funding for Developing the Young Workforce, the Scottish Government’s internationally recognised Youth Employment Strategy
  • £10 million to support pathways to apprenticeships

Sandy Begbie, who led the Developing the Young Workforce Group that played a pivotal role in the delivery of the Edinburgh Guarantee to young people, was asked to write an implementation plan which has been published today. The report’s recommendations include:

  • early work to identify youth employment opportunities with employers in some of the least-impacted sectors, including financial services, utilities and life sciences
  • working to introduce an incentive model where government pays 50% of wages for young people who need the most help
  • a call for the public sector to create more opportunities for young people
  • a call for businesses who would not normally have taken an apprentice full-time to consider sharing an apprentice with other employers
  • providing support to encourage SMEs to take on a young person if they are able to do so

Ms Hyslop said:

“I would like to thank Sandy Begbie for the significant work he has put into developing this proposal in such a short period of time. He has engaged widely and set out ambitious recommendations for which I am grateful, and I look forward to working with him to implement them.

“The guarantee will be crucial to improving the opportunities of young people in light of the pandemic, and I was delighted to be able to speak to some of them earlier today about how the Edinburgh Guarantee has benefitted them.

“The scale of this task will be significant, and that is why we have set ourselves the challenge of this ambitious guarantee. I would urge all employers who are able, to work with us to create more opportunities that recognise the valuable contribution our young people have to make in growing our economy. Progress will only be possible through collaboration and a collective determination to succeed. I am pleased that the Scottish Government has become one of the early adopters of the Youth Guarantee.

“My message to Scotland’s young people is simple: we are right behind you, we want you to be successful and we will do everything we can to give you the opportunities you need.”

Mr Begbie said:

“While very ambitious, in many ways this guarantee is quite simple. It is an unconditional commitment to all our 16-24 year olds, whose lives and prospects could be irreparably damaged by COVID-19. It is a guarantee of education, an apprenticeship, training, employment, volunteering or supported activity.  Keeping young people connected in a way they feel valued and productive is at the heart of this guarantee.

“To deliver this we need a call to action across the private, public, third and education sectors with everyone doing all they can to create opportunities for our young people.  

“The guarantee, if delivered effectively, will also go a long way to help address the inequalities we know exist, and every young person regardless of background will have the same opportunity.”

Background:

Young Person Guarantee. No-one left behind: initial report. 

The Youth Guarantee states: “We will guarantee to every young person aged between 16 and 24 in Scotland the opportunity, based on their own personal circumstances and ambitions, of going to university or college, an apprenticeship programme, training, fair employment including work experience, or participating in a formal volunteering programme.”

Original post: https://www.gov.scot/news/delivering-the-youth-guarantee/