£1m milestone reached by Scottish digital development loan

Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes with executives from DSL, SMS, and LESL.

The Scottish Government’s Digital Development Loan fund has awarded £1m to Scottish SMEs less than a year since its launch in June last year.

The £2m fund, which is managed by Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL) and supported by DSL Business Finance (DSL), is the first phase of the Scottish Government’s £36m Digital Growth Fund initiative which has the goal of helping Scottish SMEs improve their processes and productivity through digital application.

To date more than 20 SMEs have benefitted from the £2m fund which offers companies 0% interest rate loans of up to £50,000 to invest in improving their digital capabilities, capacity and digital skills 

The latest company to receive funding, and whose award marks the £1m milestone, is Sand Monitoring Services (SMS), an international business founded in Aberdeen that provides sensory data analysis and visualisation for the global oil and gas community. 

Other sectors to benefit include agriculture and fisheries, food and drink, manufacturing, energy and renewables and the creative industries.

Andrew Kinsley, operations director at SMS, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Digital Development Loan. It will allow SMS to develop our Data Visualisation product, improve the tools and activities essential to our research and development projects and create vast opportunities for us as a Scottish SME in Europe and the rest of the world.

“Through this product, SMS will unlock the inherent value of the data and develop products for clients to help make effective business decision, making giving a real return on business intelligence.”

Kate Forbes, the Digital Economy Minister, said: “We are committed to investing in Scotland’s digital productivity and ensuring we are ready to embrace the opportunities of a digitally driven future.

“The £2 million Digital Development Loan is the first phase of that process and this milestone proves that it is already helping businesses the length and breadth of the country to achieve their digital ambitions.  I would encourage more companies to apply for the Digital Development loan to invest in their company, staff and in their digital future.”

Liz McCutcheon, LESL’s project manager, added: “LESL and DSL are delighted to have approved over a £1 million in Digital Development Loans in less than a year. Our partnership is committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s aim of strengthening the ability of Scotland’s SMEs to innovate and compete digitally.

“The Digital Development Loan has already impacted a wide range of sectors across Scotland and now includes the Oil & Gas sector in Aberdeen.”

Stuart Yuill, DSL director, Andrew Kinsler, SMS operations manager, Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes, and Liz McCutcheon, LESL project manager.