THE GOVERNMENT has announced details of a £45m plan to “transform Scotland into one of Europe’s leading economies to start or grow a technology business.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes told MSPs that ministers had already finalised arrangements for five new “Tech Scaler hubs” which had the potential to create more than 300 high-quality start-ups. 

They were a key recommendation in an independent review of the Scottish tech ecosystem, by former Skyscanner executive Mark Logan. 

Located around the country, these will help to “ensure new and existing tech innovators have access to high quality commercial education.” Details of the locations are due in the next few months. 

Ms Forbes also pointed MSPs towards a £1.5m reskilling fund, which includes £1m on a Digital Start Fund to support people on benefits or low income to undertake courses that could lead to a well-paid career in tech. 

A further £500,000 has been invested in Digital Skills Pipeline; a set of modular courses from beginner level to advanced coding.  

The Scottish Government will also soon, together with a local authority, launch a teacher upskilling pilot scheme.

The minister also repeated promises to appoint a Chief Entrepreneur Officer to help “ensure entrepreneurship ambitions are embedded in policy development.”

Ms Forbes said: “The Scottish Government is committed to the most radical reforms of the Scottish entrepreneurial system since devolution. Our ambition is to establish Scotland as one of Europe’s leading start-up economies.

“These game-changing tech scalers will deliver one of the most sophisticated and comprehensive state-funded environments in Europe for the creation and growth of start-ups.

“Tech scalers will put Scotland on the global start-up map and we will promote their services relentlessly to attract the world’s best talent to scale up their businesses in Scotland.

“A key ambition in our strategy to transform the economy is to help establish Scotland as a world-class entrepreneurial country, founded on a culture that encourages, promotes and celebrates entrepreneurial activity.”

Mr Logan said:  “These coordinated initiatives are part of the most significant strategic investment in Scotland’s high-technology industry ever seen in Scotland.

"Together, they create the perfect environment for starting and scaling technology-based businesses, with the many opportunities for our people that will result from that. It’s a very exciting time for the sector.”