The Scottish government has unveiled its new £24bn Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan, with ministers saying it will support 45,000 jobs across the whole country and help stimulate Scotland’s green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Covering the five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26, the plan includes investment to decarbonise business, industry and buildings, the provision of new health facilities and schools and support for manufacturing innovation.
The plan also places a new emphasis on enhancing and finding new uses for existing infrastructure before embarking on new projects.
The Draft IIP details how the Scottish government will deliver its £33.5bn National Infrastructure Mission (NIM), which will support an estimated 45,000 jobs. Apart from infrastructure, the NIM also covers investment in research, business innovation, capitalising the new Scottish National Investment Bank and capital funding to local government.
The plan also accepts the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s recommendations on the strategic investment priorities required to achieve an inclusive, net zero emissions economy in Scotland.
Scottish infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson said: “In 2018 our National Infrastructure Mission committed to boost sustainable economic growth by increasing annual investment in infrastructure by £1.5bn by the end of the next parliament.
“This plan makes good on that commitment, turning our green economic recovery into reality and helping to support 45,000 jobs. It is a national strategy driven by the needs of our villages, towns and cities and will deliver benefits to communities across the country.
“We are living in turbulent times and it is essential that government shows leadership and provides stability and certainty. The Draft IIP provides a robust pipeline of work that will help stimulate a green recovery and offer high quality, sustainable jobs in all parts of Scotland.”
The Draft IIP includes:
- More than £8bn for environmental sustainability and the transition to net zero emissions, including £250m to support 18,000 hectares of forestry and restoring peatlands;
- Almost £5bn boosting inclusive economic growth, including £500m to extend full fibre broadband to businesses and households in rural areas and £30m for the National Islands Plan;
- More than £11bn for Scottish cities, towns, villages and rural areas, including £275m to revitalise town centres and nearly £2bn on health infrastructure and equipment.
Further projects will be added to the Draft IIP when their procurement plans are sufficiently advanced, and ministers say it may also be possible to bring more schemes forward after the UK government publishes it comprehensive spending review, which will clarify the Scottish government’s budget for future capital investment.
Finalised infrastructure plans will be prepared later this year following a period of consultation on the draft IIP.