Bank Boss Looks To 'Next Chapter'

Scotland must move on from the independence referendum debate and make further devolution work, according to the chief executive of Virgin Money.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia will call on Scots to look forward as she makes the keynote speech at this year's Business in the Parliament conference at Holyrood.

Now in its ninth year, the conference will bring together politicians and business representatives to discuss Scotland's economic future.

Bank boss Ms Gadhia, who is also chair of Scottish Business in the Community, will tell delegates: "Clearly the time has come to move on from the referendum debate.

"Whatever your views, we now need to look forward to the next chapter of our country's story, building upon the relative economic stability the UK is fortunate to enjoy.

"Our shared task and responsibility is to make enhanced devolution work, not just politically but in terms of generating economic growth and building prosperous communities.''

Murdo Fraser MSP, convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, is also due to address the conference on how business and politicians can work together.

He is expected to say: "Engagement is very much our purpose today - to bring those involved in the politics of business closer to those embroiled in the business of politics.

"Profit needn't be a dirty word. It should mean growth, jobs and investment. It should mean consideration of societal needs as well as economic needs. It should mean being attuned to the needs of communities as well as markets.

"It is in all our interests for Scotland to become a better place to live and work.''

The conference is hosted jointly by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "The Scottish Government recognises the importance of rebalancing and reindustrialising the Scottish economy. We are working with business to support a culture of entrepreneurial ambition and innovation by attracting inward investment and growing exports.

"This conference brings together a diverse range of individuals and businesses from across all of Scotland with different experiences, talents and ambitions.

"Everyone attending shares a common goal, we all want a Scotland that grows and prosper. It is important that we work together, rise to the challenges and maximise the opportunities for business here in Scotland.''

Holyrood's Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP said: "As the nation's Parliament, we are uniquely placed to host this event. It is right that Holyrood should be a forum for businesses and politicians to engage and debate how best to shape Scotland's economic future.''

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