COMPANIES that are looking for growth funding may be able to get support under an official programme that will allow firms to access up to an additional £200m in total.

The Scottish-European Growth Co-investment Programme has been designed for companies seeking £2 million equity funding or more.

The programme will combine the resources of the public and private sectors. The Scottish Government expects it will allow firms to tap into a new pool of potential investors from across Europe.

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The government-supported Scottish Investment Bank will provide £50 million for the programme with the same amount coming from the European Investment Fund, whose shareholders include the European Union. Officials expect the programme will be able to lever over £100 million from fund managers in Europe for investment in Scottish companies.

Kerry Sharp, director of the government-funded Scottish Investment Bank, said the initiative was great news for companies with ambition for scale. She added: “This new Programme will allow us to engage with even more international investors and attract larger amounts of investment into Scottish companies.”

Entrepreneurial Scotland chief executive Sandy Kennedy noted the role growth companies play in creating wealth and jobs. He said: “Central Government support for innovation is vital for a healthy, entrepreneurial economy.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the agreement with the EIF allows for investment into Scottish companies over a three year period, with a further 12 month period to release all tranches. Whilst the UK remains a member of the European Union there will be no impact on this agreement. Whether any new investment can occur post Brexit, but within the three years of the agreement, will be dependent on the UK’s exit negotiation with the EU.