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Inward investment continues to deliver for Scotland

08 Jun 2023 • 7 minute read

Read about our new figures, which show that inward investment has secured thousands of jobs in Scotland over the last year.

Our latest figures show that Scotland has attracted a steady stream of investment over the last year, with inward investment securing more than 8500 jobs. Read some key figures and learn about successful investment projects over the 2022/2023 financial year.

Inward investment secures thousands of jobs in Scotland 

Our latest statistics show that more than 8500 jobs were created through inward investment in the 2022/2023 financial year. This is the highest number of roles delivered since 2018/19.

These figures were revealed by Shona Robison, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, on a visit to the company Gilmour & Dean (Eurostampa) as it unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art facility in Cumbernauld. 

The figures combine inward investment projects we’ve supported, as well as work from Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, and Skills Development Scotland. 

Investment figures showcase an outstanding year for Scotland 

Highlights for 2022/23 included: 

  • A total of 8533 jobs were created or secured through inward investment — an increase of more than 700 compared to last year 
  • More than 99% (8519) being real-living-wage jobs (meaning they provide a salary of at least £19,305, based on a 37.5-hour week) 
  • A total of 20 Scottish local authorities supported inward investment projects 
  • Energy transition was the most common type of project supported — a clear signal of Scotland’s focus on this sector 
  • North America was the leading source of inward investor projects into Scotland by global region

Scotland’s business agencies report nationwide investment success

Scotland has a wide network of business support agencies. They work closely with investors and industry, connecting them with the expertise, skills and finances they need to thrive.  

Welcoming the latest figures, these agencies have also reported strong inward investment performance across the whole country in 2022/23.

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s economic development agency. Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, said:  

“These are fantastic results and show Scotland remains an incredibly attractive location for global firms to not only locate in, but to also put down roots and develop a sizeable presence here.   

“To secure more than 8500 living wage jobs in the past year – our highest total in the past four years – is a tremendous achievement and reflects the key strengths Scotland has to offer on the international stage.

Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise

“Inward investment projects not only deliver high-quality, well-paid jobs, they can also act as a catalyst to accelerate innovation in fast-growing industries.

“As an influential, agile, focused, international innovation and investment agency, Scottish Enterprise will continue to work with all partners to deliver economic transformation by promoting the very best Scotland has to offer to international companies and investors.” 

Global firms are continuing to choose Scotland as an ideal place to pursue their net zero ambitions. Last month, Japanese firm Sumitomo Electrical Industries (SEI) announced plans to develop a power cable facility in the Scottish Highlands.    

Adrian added: “We’ve focused on key sectors in Scotland enjoying global growth, such as offshore wind.    

“Our SDI team in Japan developed a relationship with SEI over a significant period of time, highlighting Scotland’s strengths and the transformational opportunities that our people and natural resources have to offer.” 

Highlands and Islands Enterprise 

The Highlands and Islands have also seen strong foreign direct investment (FDI) performance, thanks in large part to the excellent support network for businesses that locate there. 

Vicky Grant, Head of International Trade and Investment at Highland and Islands Enterprise, said:  

“It’s great to see the Highlands and Islands continue to make a huge contribution to Scotland’s overall success and attractiveness for FDI.   

“In addition to the outstanding quality of life available here, our region offers expertise across sectors such as energy, food and drink and health tech, as well as excellent infrastructure and connectivity. 

“As Scotland’s development agency for the region, we work closely with companies looking to invest here. We help them identify the ideal location, find premises, help with recruitment and training, and can often also help financially.   

“Beyond that, we continue working with them to make sure they have access to the full range of support they need to prosper.” 

South of Scotland Enterprise 

In the South of Scotland, Smart Green Shipping announced a new headquarters in Dumfries. This follows a £1.8 million grant from Scottish Enterprise towards a research and development project and support from South of Scotland Enterprise. 

Smart Green Shipping is developing new concepts for shipping through renewable engineering of FastRig wing sails, as well as weather routing software and circular economy business models, over the course of a three-year project. 

Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, said:  

“These are hugely positive results which again highlight that Scotland is the ideal location for overseas businesses to set up and thrive in. 

“In the South, we are committed to working with our ‘Team Scotland’ partners to build on these results. This includes the recently published South of Scotland regional proposition and South of Scotland Enterprise’s new Five-Year Plan which aims to improve the lives of local people. 

“Alongside our partners, we are committed to contributing to the wellbeing of our local economies and communities, and ultimately attracting even more ambitious investment.” 

Skills Development Scotland 

Marion Beattie, Head of Skills Growth and Inward Investment at Skills Development Scotland (SDS) said: 

“Investors tell us that skills are one of the most important factors when making decisions over where to locate. So, SDS is committed to working as a part of Team Scotland to ensuring businesses can benefit from a dynamic, resilient, inclusive and intelligence-led skills system that will support investment and create sustainable skills solutions when they land. 

“By working with our partners, we can provide inward investors with a package of support that meets their skills needs and ensures Scotland continues to punch above its weight in a competitive global marketplace.” 


Why Eurostampa chose to invest in Scotland 

Eurostampa is an Italian family-owned packaging company with more than 50 years of experience in high-quality label printing for food, drinks and cosmetics.  

The firm’s multi-million-pound investment will see its factory space almost double compared with its previous facility in Glasgow. The move to a larger and more modern facility in Cumbernauld will allow the business to meet market demand and reduce its carbon emissions. 

Steven Thompson, Chairman of Eurostampa UK, said:

“Eurostampa is making the single biggest investment in the company’s history here in Scotland. This underlines our commitment as a strategic supplier to the Scotch whisky industry. 

“As a family business, investment is core to our strategy. We are delighted with the grant from Scottish Enterprise but also with the support that they have given throughout the project. 

“As well as providing us with the capacity to meet our increasing customer demand, our new facility in North Lanarkshire will help us increase efficiency through an optimised manufacturing process that will put us well on track to achieving our sustainability targets.” 

Learn about Scotland’s latest foreign direct investment projects 

Eurostampa is a perfect example of why Scotland remains a popular target for inward investment, particularly foreign direct investment (FDI).  

Examples of other FDI projects supported in 2022/23 include:

  • Japanese energy company Marubeni Europower Limited opens in a new window opened its first Scotland office in Glasgow, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the firm signed with Scottish Enterprise at COP26 in 2021. 
  • London-based tech firm Kultralab, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable businesses to build the workforces of the future, chose Scotland for global growth by opening a new ‘product hub’ in Edinburgh, creating up to 25 new jobs. 
  • In October 2022, Italian firm Guala Closures unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art £36 million superfactory in Gartcosh, securing the Scottish future of a company crucial to the whisky industry.  The huge investment included a £3.3 million grant from Scottish Enterprise, safeguarding the jobs of more than 400 employees. 

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