THE investment arm of Scottish Enterprise backed 146 Scottish companies with a record £63.5m during 2016/17.

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) said the 21 per cent increase on last year’s total reflected its expanded remit to help meet the Scottish Government’s aim of increasing the breadth of support to help companies raise and secure growth finance.

SIB leveraged £106m of private sector investment and said it helped to support more than 3,300 full time jobs in Scotland,

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Through a series of exits, SIB generated income of £22.6m, the second highest total ever recorded.

SIB also noted that more than 30 venture capitalists and corporate investors from overseas backed SIB investee companies in the last year, helping to secure more than £46m of investment from outside Scotland.

Kerry Sharp, director of SIB, said: “These results illustrate that Scotland continues to benefit from a strong and vibrant investment market and reflect an integrated approach across Scottish Enterprise and with private sector partners to support the growth of Scotland’s ambitious company base.”

Ms Sharp added that SIB remained focused both on increasing the supply of growth capital available in Scotland and on preparing even more companies to receive investment.