THE AMOUNT of venture capital funding available to Scottish businesses increased by nine per cent during 2016, with 25 businesses sharing in a total funding pot of £12 million.

Despite the rise, the total was significantly below the £53m of funds invested during 2014 and came at the same time as a 37 per cent drop in expansion funding from £96m to £68m.

The figures come from the Barclays Entrepreneurs Index, which also found that the number of high growth companies in Scotland fell from 221 to 171 during the course of 2016.

John Godfrey, a director at Barclays Wealth in Edinburgh, said the figures reflect what is going on at the UK level, with the number of companies receiving venture capital and expansion funding falling across the entire country.

“Growth levels among young enterprises are also down with the number of high-growth companies hitting an all-time low, 33 per cent lower than its peak in 2013, and the number of companies receiving venture capital investment is the lowest it has been in the report’s history,” Mr Godfrey said.

“However, with mergers and acquisitions at an all-time high as well as the number of new enterprises being created eight per cent higher than the previous year, they’ve helped the Entrepreneurs Index see the strongest levels of entrepreneurial outputs since the annual research began in 2011.”