Backing Scottish industry to compete globally

A photograph of two staff members in high-visibility jackets and hard hats on site at Mackenzie Construction

Key points:

  • Underwriting the future of aluminium production in Scotland
  • Investing in the future of commercial shipbuilding
  • Supporting the Scottish steel sector

In November 2016, Rio Tinto Alcan sold the last remaining aluminium smelter in the UK, in Lochaber, to the GFG Alliance. The Scottish Government supported this transaction as part of a clear commitment to Scotland’s industrial infrastructure and rural economy and to inclusive and sustainable growth in the West Highlands. The continued operation of the smelter and further downstream investment will provide a critical manufacturing anchor creating opportunities in both the local and national economy.

We are committed to doing all we can to ensure a sustainable future for commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde. Shipbuilding and the wider marine engineering sector play a vital role in sustaining many high-value jobs on the Clyde and elsewhere in Scotland. We have demonstrated this commitment by our plan to bring Ferguson Marine into public ownership, securing a future for the yard and its workers.

We wish to see a sustainable future for the Scottish steel sector, building on the long and proud heritage of steelwork in Scotland. Scottish steel is a quality product, which includes the specialist heavy plate from Liberty Steel in Lanarkshire. We are working with the sector through the Scottish Steel Round Table, chaired by the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, to do as much as we can to help lower the barriers to trade and to increase the industry’s ability to compete in local and global markets. The public sector in Scotland is itself a major customer for steel and our on-line Steel Pipeline publication highlights potential market opportunities for steel producers from public sector projects and programmes.

Supporting these traditional industries is key part of our drive to build Scotland’s advanced manufacturing and data driven innovation opportunities.

In October 2019, we launched our draft Tourism Strategy Framework, which aims to make Scotland the leader in 21st Century tourism. For the first time the strategy, which is brave, outward-looking and forward-thinking, has been developed in a truly collaborative way, alongside our agencies, the third sector and the tourism industry. It will place Scotland at the forefront of global tourism and cement its role as a force for good for visitors and our people, businesses and communities.