City Region Deal secured

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region has secured a £1.1bn deal from the UK and Scottish Governments.

City Region Deal

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 

  • £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 

Council Leader Adam McVey, speaking on behalf of all of the local authority partners, said: “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. 

“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: “The Scottish Government has been fully committed to this deal and I am very pleased that we have been able to get to the stage of achieving such an ambitious deal for the region.  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.

“The projects agreed today 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.”

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. The Edinburgh deal will focus on the capital’s strengths of new technology, innovation and culture. It will make a real difference to the lives of people in the region, creating jobs and prosperity and driving investment.

“The Edinburgh deal brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to more than £1 billion, and demonstrates clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.”

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. 

“I am delighted that East Lothian Council, working with other local authorities in the region and national Government, has secured support for this major package to help accelerate growth. 

“The Regional Housing Programme will help accelerate investment in affordable housing, including at Blindwells – a site which is significant for East Lothian’s future. 

“Another important element is helping to develop our people, and I warmly welcome the allocation of resources towards skills programmes which have the potential to strengthen the workforce, ensuring that East Lothian is well positioned to build strong, sustainable economic growth.” 

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.

“For the Borders specifically, this deal will enable us to maximise the delivery of affordable housing, stimulate private sector investment and support local jobs, and will be a further step towards ensuring that our young people can see a future for themselves within the Scottish Borders.  Key to this is the promotion of inclusive growth.

“A focus for us will be driving forward the development of the Central Borders Business Park in Tweedbank. This builds on the success of the Borders Railway and is yet another example of the Council seeking to maximise the economic benefits that the railway provides.

“Edinburgh and the wider city region drives significant economic growth for Scotland and the UK. Through working with our local authority partners, the UK and Scottish governments, this deal will unlock the potential of that for the Scottish Borders and accelerate growth in this area.” 

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. The City Deal provides the impetus to move to the next level: a transformational programme of data-driven innovation which will harness the power of data technologies across the economy, from healthcare to agriculture, robotics, public services, finance and the creative industries, and equip many more of our young people from all backgrounds to succeed in the digital economy. 

"Our aim is to help establish the region as the Data Capital of Europe, drawing in inward investment, fuelling entrepreneurship, and delivering inclusive economic growth.”

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