City Region Deal passes £100m milestone
More than £100m of the £1.3b Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal has already been delivered, a new report shows.
Housing, transport, skills programs and five new data innovation hubs are among the projects that have already benefited from the deal funding.
The UK and Scottish Governments are each investing £300m into deal projects that are expected to create thousands of highly-skilled jobs and opportunities. Regional partners are investing a further £730m in the projects for a total £1.3b boost for the area.
The annual report, which was approved by the Deal’s Joint Committee last week, showed that £103m has been spent since the deal was signed in 2018.
Projects worth more than half (£736m) of the funding have now been approved, demonstrating the strength and pace of delivery on the 15 year deal. In the past year this included the £85m business case for the Usher Institute, which will create a world-leading innovation hub to improve the delivery of health and social care services.
The report also highlighted how the deal has responded and adapted to the coronavirus pandemic. Just 11 days after the country was locked down the deal launched a COVID-19 Jobs Support portal, it has allocated £200,000 worth of grants to create data-driven solutions to assist the region’s communities, services and businesses with the recovery, and it has worked with transport operators on a package of emergency measures to support the main routes into and out of Edinburgh.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Connectivity and Infrastructure, Michael Matheson, said:
City Region and Growth Deals will be a crucial part of our economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) as we work towards a fairer, greener and more inclusive Scotland.
The region has instinctively worked together to respond to these testing times, and this determination will ensure that we can maximise the benefits of our investment in the years to come, creating jobs and significant growth.
UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said:
It’s great to see the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal progressing quickly and delivering for businesses and communities.
Deal partners have responded positively to challenges posed by the pandemic, and as our economy recovers these projects will be even more vital to securing jobs and investment for the area.
The UK Government has committed £300 million to the deal with £290 million of that investment focused on Scotland’s tech sector. This is a hugely important area, with a recent survey showing 23% of the Edinburgh’s workforce employed in digital tech jobs.
Across Scotland, the UK Government is investing more than £1.5 billion in regional growth deals to secure the future of our economy.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, Convener of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Joint Committee, said:
The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal continued to make great progress in its second year. On top of delivering projects across the innovation, skills, transport, culture and housing themes and bolstering regional infrastructure, a further major benefit has been the strategic coordination we are seeing across these areas.
Claire Pattullo, Vice-Chair of Regional Enterprise Council, said:
I’m greatly encouraged with the momentum that is building in Year 2 of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
The Regional Enterprise Council represents business, social enterprise and the third sectors with the ambition of achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth throughout the city region.
In the coming year we will be helping to shape the Regional Growth Framework to support the City Region Deal’s goals.