Economic Growth (West Lothian)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 5 February 2020.

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Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government how it supports jobs, business and economic growth in West Lothian. (S5O-04092)

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

West Lothian has benefited from a range of projects that are designed to promote investment and create jobs, including £2 million of investment in Livingston trade park from the building Scotland fund and £1.8 million from the town centre fund, which is supporting 112 projects.

In addition, during 2018-19, more than 1,400 West Lothian companies were helped through Business Gateway, about 1,000 modern apprenticeships were supported and Scottish Enterprise provided £2.3 million in research and development and in innovation grants.

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

The minister is well aware that API Foils Ltd, in Livingston, has gone into administration, leaving more than 100 workers with an uncertain future. How will the Scottish Government help to secure the site and jobs for the future and ensure that API Foils workers get full support, including their full redundancy and pension entitlements?

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Angela Constance to discuss some of those matters, and I would be happy to meet her again should she require to discuss them further.

Right now, our priority is to ensure that the workforce is supported in the immediate term. Our partnership action for continuing employment team attended the announcement of administration on Monday, and a PACE support event is taking place today in West Lothian College, which Unite the union is attending. I have offered to intervene in cases of delays in individuals’ receiving payments from the redundancy payment service. I hope that that will not be necessary, but I will readily intervene if it is.

Our immediate priority is to support the workforce. Thereafter, our other priority will be to support the acquisition of API Foils as a going concern. I assure Angela Constance and the rest of the chamber that my and Scottish Enterprise’s attention is turned to that matter.