A £2m ‘digital development’ loan fund has been launched for companies to improve their digital capabilities in cyber security, data analytics, and software engineering, as well as develop the digital skills of their staff.

“The Scottish Government has listened to the needs of the sector and are introducing this loan at 0% interest rates, helping firms to spread the cost of investment over 3 to 5 years,” it said in a statement.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “We are committed to investing £36 million to improve Scotland’s digital productivity and ensure we are ready to embrace the opportunities of a digitally driven economy in the future.

“The £2 million Digital Development Loan is the first phase of that process and will provide access to finance for small and medium sized businesses who want to improve their digital capabilities and the skillset of their staff.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work with business to ensure companies across Scotland have support they require to invest in their company, their staff and in their digital future.”

Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL), has been awarded the tender to deliver and manage the Digital Development Loan. LESL provides specialist business support for small to medium enterprises to help their businesses grow and succeed.

Liz McCutcheon, operations manager at LESL, said: “This loan will be a great asset to Scottish businesses to help them increase their digital skills, invest in digital equipment and ultimately support the deployment of digitally enabled processes to boost the economy in Scotland.”