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Scottish Government should target industrial sector, says trade body

The Scottish Government must focus its efforts on the housing and industrial sectors after investing an extra £100m into its economy, a leading trade body has urged.

The Scottish Building Federation said Holyrood should accelerate capital spending in sectors of the industry most likely to boost employment.

Its comments followed a £100m funding boost from the Scottish Government, which aimed to speed up delivery of health and infrastructure projects following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

SBF managing director Vaughan Hart said: “A strategy focused on rebuilding industry confidence and stimulating employment needs to target additional funding towards housing.”

He said a shift over the past 10 years from housing, commercial and industrial activity towards infrastructure has accounted for “record” industry output of more than £14bn last year.

However, he added that industry employment in Scotland has declined from more than 235,000 in 2008 to 175,000 in 2015.

Mr Hart also urged the government to reinstate business rates relief for empty industrial properties.

Based in Edinburgh, the Scottish Building Federation’s membership consists of large residential and commercial builders and civil contractors, as well as smaller local subcontracting firms, suppliers and professional industry advisers.



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