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Sun September 27 2020

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Scotland offers loans to kick-start building

9 Sep 11 The Scottish Government is launching a £10m loan fund aimed at unblocking developments by investing in up-front infrastructure such as roads and sewers.

The launch is in response to calls from the industry to help housing companies who are unable to secure private sector finance. The Housebuilding Infrastructure Loan Fund will offer repayable loans to support physical infrastructure such as roads, sewers, decontamination, flood remediation and demolition.

Cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment Alex Neil said: "The house building industry has made clear that some major developments in Scotland have stalled in the current tough financial climate as the funding to build the necessary infrastructure just has not been available. We have listened carefully and this fund is designed to specifically target that problem and kick start a range of developments in urban and rural communities across Scotland.

"Loans will be for companies to build the roads or lay the pipes and cables that mean housing developments can go ahead.

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He said that unlocking development in this way will deliver a major boost to the Scottish economy worth far in advance of the initial £10m investment. It would support many construction industry jobs, he believed.

"We are working hard to mitigate the effects of Westminster's short-sighted and economically damaging capital spending cuts."

Jonathan Fair, chief executive of industry body Homes for Scotland, said: "With the number of new homes continuing to languish at stubbornly low levels, today's announcement demonstrates that the Scottish Government is prepared to grasp the nettle in terms of the barriers to development in the current economic environment and begin to help break them down with actions to unlock housing construction."

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