Remploy (United Kingdom Government Response)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2012.

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Photo of Mark McDonald Mark McDonald Scottish National Party

That was not what I said at all. Remploy wants to look at all possible options for the future. I said that asset transfer is critical because the opportunity for Remploy in Aberdeen to secure the building and the equipment within it would unlock a significant opportunity, allowing the new businesses that have developed to hit the ground running, and creating an opportunity for small businesses to continue to be grown and investment to continue to be attracted.

I talk about attracting investment because, for social enterprise models to be successful, there must be buy-in from the private sector, as we have seen with Glencraft. I accept entirely the analogy that Labour has drawn with Glencraft, but I think that its direction is misguided because to say that Glencraft was saved purely as a result of the Scottish Government’s intervention is to misrepresent the process.

When Glencraft ran into significant difficulties in November 2009, a range of organisations, including the Scottish Government and the local authority, intervened. However, the critical element was the intervention of Production Services Network. PSN helped to create a new business plan for Glencraft and supported it, with support from both public sector and private sector sources. PSN pledged £100,000 to find new and more suitable premises for the business. Without that support from PSN, it would not have mattered a merry jot how much support the Scottish Government and the local authority were willing to give Glencraft.