Iomart £700k grant safe

For now at least

Scottish broadband provider Iomart looks set to hang on to £700,000 worth of public money it received from a local enterprise group - for the time being at least.

The cash - given in two grants - was made by Western Isles Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in Scotland to attract the "new economy" company to the region.

However, with the recent news that iomart is to shed 50 jobs doubts had been expressed as to whether it had met its obligations under the terms of the grant.

In a short statement, HIE said it was monitoring the situation but hoped that more jobs would be created in the future

The statement said: "We are in discussions with iomart concerning their ongoing obligations to the HIE network.

"However the financial assistance they have received is discretionary and if they develop a business plan that sustains any reduced level of employment, and gives us the confidence that job numbers will climb again in future, then we would be likely to work alongside the company to help them through this period without invoking our rights to reclaim the public sector investment," it said.

A report in a Scottish newspaper likened working conditions at Iomart to a "sweatshop". ®

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