WE’RE only a couple of weeks into the new year but the Scottish government is already planning bold and ambitious action in 2020 to boost Scotland’s economy and long-term prosperity.

For example, we recently reached a major milestone for our Building Scotland Fund, with £100million of investment going into housing projects, regeneration and commercial and industrial developments.

That fund has unlocked projects with a value in excess of £238m and it’s a significant example of what can be achieved through the public and private sectors working together.

Here in Glasgow the fund is helping to revitalise the city centre with £12m going towards the refurbishment of a development in Douglas Street, creating jobs and much needed office space.

A key priority of the Building Scotland Fund is investment in housing. Large developments as well as those on a smaller scale have benefited from investment of £75m, which will help to support the delivery of more than 5000 homes and around 600 full time jobs.

The Building Scotland Fund is a precursor to the new Scottish National Investment Bank. This week the Bank reaches a key stage in its formation, as the Scottish Parliament is asked to agree the legislation that will underpin its operation.

The Scottish National Investment Bank is potentially transformational. It will be mission driven and its investments will be focused on equipping Scotland to meet the big, defining challenges of the future – especially the transition to becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emission country – and in a way that benefits our economy.

It will provide long term, what’s often called ‘patient’ capital for innovative businesses that can help us tackle the big societal challenges that all countries face – for example, tackling climate change, adapting to an ageing population and addressing deep seated regional inequalities. In years to come, the Bank will be the cornerstone of Scotland’s economic landscape.

Its establishment is a clear indication of our ambitions for Scotland, and our determination to transform not just our economy but society too. Over the long term, the Bank is projected to make cumulative investments of £17.5billion, which will help to leverage much more from other sources.

So the opportunities for investing in progressive businesses, social enterprises and third sector organis-ations across all of Scotland are vast, and the resulting benefits will be unparalleled. Here in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, the River Clyde has a big role to play in our aim to transform Scotland’s economic potential.

Working with Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and the private sector, we will work to strengthen industries such as shipbuilding and marine engineering; bring derelict and vacant land back into use; better manage the risk of flooding and also maximise the river’s ability to contribute to our low-carbon ambitions.

Just last week I visited a company – Star Refrigeration – that is building water heat pumps that will use the energy of the Clyde to heat hundreds of homes.

All of this will require us to bring further investment to the area, on top of the millions already being invested in the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus and the new National Manufacturing Institute.

If we get it right, the result will be the restoration of the Clyde to very the heart of Glasgow’s economy and communities, with huge benefits for the people who live in our city and the wider region.

To support all of this, of course, we need a long-term, national approach to infrastructure planning. That’s why the Scottish Government will consider carefully the recommendations of the newly published report of the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland.

It has provided advice on a 30-year infrastructure strategy with an emphasis on our priority of delivering an inclusive net zero carbon economy.

The value of investing in infrastructure goes beyond the physical homes, schools and hospitals we use in everyday life. If done right, it has the capacity to unlock economic potential, support jobs, and enable our businesses and communities to strengthen and grow.

To further guide our work, we have also updated our Economic Action Plan, setting out steps we will take to respond to ever-changing global trends in demographics and technology.

The aim of all of this is the creation of quality jobs which can sustain a dynamic, modern and inclusive society.

Our economic plans are far-reaching, ambitious and inclusive. They are designed for all of Scotland, and for everyone who lives here.

Of course, Brexit, which is now just over one week away, still poses a significant threat to Scotland’s economy, and to our wellbeing more generally.

The UK government has still offered no clarity on our future relationship with the EU – with all the signs that they want to diverge from European regulations and create more, not less, trade friction. This gives rise to major concerns about trade and access to skills in particular.

The Scottish Government will of course do all we can to protect Scotland from the damage of Brexit – but we will also drive forward our bold and ambitious plans to build a modern, prosperous and inclusive Scotland.