Jamie seeks reassurance that new investment bank will boost region

Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, Jamie Halcro Johnston, has sought reassurance that the proposed Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) will not focus solely on the Central Belt.

Mr Halcro Johnston questioned Benny Higgins, the strategic adviser of the embryonic bank, at a meeting of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee of the Scottish Parliament earlier today (Tuesday 7th May).

He said: “All too often initiatives like this end up being entirely focused on the Central Belt, while the needs of areas like the Highlands and Islands, where investment could be extremely beneficial, are neglected.

“I was therefore reassured that Mr Higgins confirmed that they were engaging with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and that he acknowledged that the new bank must serve all of Scotland’s communities.

“Given that we had to fight to prevent the SNP from merging HIE into Scottish Enterprise a few years ago, it does at least show that by fighting our corner we can put a roadblock in the way of the SNP’s centralising juggernaut, and ensure regional needs are recognised and catered for too.”