This article was published on the City A.M. website on 20 July 2017 as part of Invest Edinburgh Talk.
The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region has secured a £1.1bn deal from the UK and Scottish Governments.
The ambitious city region deal, which will drive investment and address inclusion across the area, is being signed today by First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Damian Green; Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown and Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Adam McVey on behalf of local authority partners (East Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian). Also present will be David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland.
The heads of terms city deal is an agreement between the Scottish Government, the six local authorities, the UK Government and regional partners. Both governments are committed to jointly investing £600m over the next 15 years and regional partners have committed to adding up to £500m, overall representing a deal worth £1.1bn. In addition, the deal will generate over £5bn worth of Gross Value Added (GVA) over the same period.
Key commitments of the City Region deal include;
- £300m for world leading data innovation centres
- £140m for crucially needed A720 city bypass at the Sheriffhall Roundabout and transport improvements across west Edinburgh
- £20m capital funding for new world class concert hall
- £25m regional skills programme to support improved career opportunities for disadvantaged groups
- £65m of new funding for housing to unlock strategic development sites
I am delighted that this ambitious deal for the region has now been agreed, creating up to 21,000 new jobs. This will allow us to transform the area delivering high quality jobs, housing, critical infrastructure, a new skills programme, and a world class concert hall.Adam McVey, Leader, City of Edinburgh Council
"The significant investment in innovation and culture is also to be welcomed as they are both hugely important to the region’s economy. This will put us at the forefront of data driven innovation ensuring we are ahead of the game in a technology driven world.
"We are home to world class research and development activity, much of which acts as an anchor for the development of new products and services through innovation in the private sector. As a world class festival city, Edinburgh attracts over £4m visitors every year adding over £1.3bn to the economy annually.
"Today’s signing is an important first step as we begin to work with both governments to deliver on the commitments in the deal to ensure the region is vibrant and inclusive going forward."
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said: "Edinburgh and its city region is an area of huge importance to the Scottish economy, containing over a quarter of Scotland’s population and contributing £33 billion to the Scottish and UK economies."
Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: "The UK Government is investing £300 million in the Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal, which will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South-East Scotland for decades to come."
East Lothian Council Leader Cllr Willie Innes, said: "This is an exciting and significant opportunity to boost East Lothian’s economy while investing in skills and housing programmes for local people."
Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: "This is excellent news for the Scottish Borders. We will not only benefit from specific funding but also from a stronger and more vibrant city region. this will be achieved through a range of projects to be taken forward by the individual partners and collectively."
Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Informatics and Education, added: "The City Deal is a major vote of confidence in the economic strengths of Edinburgh and South East Scotland. We are delighted that the University of Edinburgh will be playing a key role with our partners in government, industry and other universities in growing the region’s digital economy."
"Our research in new data technologies and the skills of our graduates have helped establish Edinburgh over the last decade as one of the main centres of the digital economy in the UK."