Barclays Buchanan Wharf investment in Glasgow

Jobs Boost for Scotland Through FDI

Scotland is set for another bumper year of foreign direct investment (FDI) after Scottish Development International (SDI) revealed figures that showed the country’s attractiveness to business remains strong.

SDI figures for 2018/19 showed more than 10,000 planned jobs had been generated by FDI projects into Scotland – an increase of 18% compared with the previous financial year.

This strong performance backs up the EY Attractiveness Survey that showed Scotland remains the leading UK location outside of London for FDI.

And early indicators show Scotland continues to punch above its weight when it comes to attracting international companies, with firms from North America, Europe and other UK nations setting up here over the past few months.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay welcomed the SDI figures as he visited Barclays new campus under construction in Tradeston, Glasgow, one of the many inward investment projects attracted to Scotland in 2018/19. 

Barclays is investing over £400 million in the new state-of-the-art site in an area of the city that has been under-invested in for many years.  Barclays’ investment will revitalise this part of Glasgow’s centre and create up to 2,500 new jobs benefiting the city and wider economy. 

Once completed it will be home to around 5,000 Barclays employees working across retail banking, corporate banking, private banking, savings, investments and wealth management, operations and technology, risk and compliance, finance, HR and other functions of the bank.

The project, which includes a commitment that at least 42 per cent of the new jobs will be high value and at least 341 will be for disadvantaged workers or those who have a disability, was supported by a £12.75m funding grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Mr Mackay said: “Scotland continues to be an attractive destination for inward investment.

“The figures for the last year demonstrate that more investments are being made across Scotland and are testament to our approach to promoting inclusive growth.  The Barclays campus is an excellent example of the high-quality jobs being created through inward investment.

“We will build on this year’s success through our new FDI Growth Plan which we will publish by this summer.”

Key findings from SDI’s results for 2018/19 were:

  • A total of 10,074 jobs were created or safeguarded through FDI
  • Of these jobs, 3,161 are high value jobs, with salaries around 20% higher than the Scottish average
  • And of the total 10,074 jobs created or safeguarded, 9,489 are jobs of the real living wage (salaries above £17,061.00 per annum).
  • There were 108 inward investment projects for the year
  • 47 new investors chose to locate in Scotland
  • The three most predominant sectors for inward investment were:
    • Financial and Business Services
    • Energy Oil and Gas
    • Technology and advanced engineering

Alongside Barclays proposals, other notable inward investment successes over the 2018/19 included:

  • Silicon Valley technology and data consultancy Transiris Corporation selected Glasgow for the next stage of its international expansion, creating 26 jobs in the process
  • Funding support for Baker Hughes GE global oil and gas manufacturing campus
  • 150 new jobs created by Hunduja Global Solutions in Selkirk

Attracting FDI to Scotland remains a key commitment for Scottish Enterprise.  As part of its Strategic Framework, Building Scotland’s Future Today,  Scottish Enterprise aims to broaden the pipeline of long-term inward investment jobs (new and existing investors) across regions in Scotland.

So far in 2019/20, SDI has supported significant FDI into Scotland, including:

  • Spire Global, an American company that builds, tests and operates nanosatellites tracking aviation, maritime and weather patterns will significantly expand its Glasgow site after receiving £14.7m in investment, creating 261 jobs over the next five years.
  • VeriCall opened a contact centre in Kirkcaldy following a £1m RSA award, creating 209 living wage jobs over the next two years
  • EedenBull, a Norwegian fintech company, established a technology hub in Edinburgh following a £225,000 RSA award, creating 20 jobs

Charlie Smith, Managing Director of SDI, said: “Despite growing competition from other countries and the uncertain geo-political climate we find ourselves in, Scotland continues to punch above its weight when it comes to attracting FDI.

“Not only does FDI bring quality jobs to our communities, it opens Scotland up to a new generation of talent and global innovators who want to work in partnership with us to deliver future economic opportunities.  This enhances our skills pipeline, develops our workforce and ultimately enhances our country’s productivity.

“Thanks to our skills, talent and knowledge, Scotland remains one of the most attractive locations for inward investment.  We will continue to adopt our ‘Team Scotland’ approach to ensure more global companies locate in our towns and cities and deliver high quality jobs for our world-class workforce.”

Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be building a state-of-the-art campus at Tradeston as part of our global campus strategy.  This is a big investment and vote of confidence in Glasgow, and builds on Barclays’ long history in Scotland. 

“Once finished, it will create a unique community space in the heart of the city and provide world-class facilities to attract the best talent.  This will be crucial as we double our headcount in Scotland creating up to 2,500 new jobs as part of this investment.”

Scottish Enterprise also has big plans for its GlobalScots - a worldwide network of entrepreneurial and inspirational business leaders, dedicated to supporting Scotland’s most ambitious companies.  Specifically, Scottish Enterprise is looking to increase the current number of GlobalScots from 700 to 2,500.


  • In 2017/18, FDI projects generated 8,516 jobs for Scotland.
  • Scotland was the top UK location outside London for the attraction of FDI projects in 2018 (EY Attractiveness Survey Scotland 2019)
  • NB the SDI inward investment results consider projects and planned jobs announced during the financial year 2018/19, whereas the EY survey relates to projects and jobs announced during the 2018 calendar year.
  • SDI counts planned and safeguarded jobs confirmed by inward investors through SDI/SE/HIE and DIT inward investment interventions. This evidence is then validated and is subject to audit procedures.

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