£1.3 billion City Deal given green light

THE £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is to be formally signed off by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The deal seeks to deliver inclusive economic growth across the region through housing, innovation, transport, skills and culture. The Scottish Government and the UK Government will each invest £300 million over the next 15 years.

The Scottish Government’s investment will contribute towards 41,000 new homes, 21,000 job and improve the skills of an estimated 14,700 people.

The Scottish Government’s investment in the City Region includes:

  • £60 million towards a data driven innovation programme of investment, including the creation of economic infrastructure across the region that aims to ensure that businesses and communities are fully able to engage in the resulting opportunities
  • £65 million towards a regional housing programme, including the creation of a new housing company and infrastructure funding to enable the delivery of 41,000 new homes
  • £20 million for public transport improvements to Sheriffhall Roundabout
  • £25 million for an integrated regional employability & skills programme to reduce skills shortages
  • £10 million towards a new concert venue for Edinburgh, providing a home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland is an area of huge importance to the Scottish economy. The region contains over a quarter of Scotland’s population and contributed £33 billion to the Scottish and UK economies.

“The Scottish Government’s £300 million investment in the City Region Deal will contribute towards 41,000 new homes, and improve the skills of an estimated 14,700 people across the region. Or investments will ensure businesses and communities from across the region benefit from the opportunities created by this city region deal.”

The First Minister added, “Taken together these projects will help the region continue to thrive and grow, fulfilling our ambitions for the region to be one of the fairest and most inclusive areas in the country.”

Responding to the announcement, Tammy Swift-Adams, director of planning at housing trade body Homes For Scotland said, “This funding will allow progress to be made on the city region’s ambition to boost jobs and economic growth. To really reap the benefit of this deal, the region’s councils must match that ambition with bold planning for housing, as advocated in the recent examination report for the new South East Scotland Strategic Development Plan (SESplan2).

“This deal is also an important boost for business confidence in the region, helping counter increasing concern over a no-deal Brexit. With possible challenges for our industry including workforce retention and the cost of importing materials, we welcome any measure that supports our sector and its vital contribution to Scotland’s economic prosperity.”