Firms in Scotland were given a unique chance to make their voices heard as part of an ongoing Review of UK Competitiveness in Edinburgh earlier today.
Lord Heseltine, who was asked to head the independent review by the Chancellor and Business Secretary, attended a meeting at the Scotland Office to hear from a range of companies on issues vital to the future of the Scottish economy.
These included the capacity of government to deliver growth policies, the ability of UK business to deliver growth and local capacity.
The opportunity to feed in views to the process came as the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore chaired a meeting of a number of members of the Scottish Business Board and other senior Scottish business people at Melville Crescent.
The event was also attended by Brian Wilson, the Chair of Harris Tweed Hebrides and a former trade and energy minister, as a new member of the Board.
It was announced that Mr Wilson will also take over the chairmanship of a specialist group which is currently examining support for Scottish exporting.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:
“Growth in the economy - and the jobs that brings - are the key priority for the UK Government. We are working closely with businesses across Scotland and listening to what they have to say because the private and public sector has to tackle this issue together. Today’s meeting allowed firms to feed in views to Lord Heseltine’s review on competitiveness directly and will ensure Scottish concerns and opportunities are represented fully.
“Our meeting also today focused on the barriers to growth and competitiveness in our economy and support for Scottish companies seeking to start up and grow, including via exports.I am glad to announce that Brian Wilson has agreed to join the Scottish Business Board and chair the sub-committee on exporting, an area in which he has a huge amount of experience and will make a real difference.”
The UK Government’s top priority is to achieve sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries. It is working towards this through the Growth Review and subsequent measures in the Plan for Growth.
Details of the Lord Heseltine Review can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/heseltine-review