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Success of £1.3bn City Region Deal sparks further partnership working

Posted: 21st October 2019

Strong partnership working across the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal area has now led to an agreement to produce a Regional Growth Framework by the summer of 2020.

The Framework will help shape new regional and national policy, and set the strategic direction for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the city region as a whole.

The project brief was recently approved by the Joint Committee of Regional Council Leaders and is now being presented to individual partners.

It is hoped a programme director will soon be appointed to drive this work forward.

Cllr Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, said: “Just over a year ago we signed up to a £1.3bn transformative 15 year City Region Deal with an inclusive programme to help grow and share our success right across the region. An incredible amount of work has been done since then with huge progress being made including £704m of spending being approved in the first 12 months for housing, transport, innovation, skills and employability and culture.

“This investment is allowing us to unlock the region’s potential to become a global powerhouse in data driven innovation and already we have over 20 industry partners in residence at the data-driven innovation hub at the Bayes Centre and £49.4m approved for the Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme.

“The success of all this partnership working has led to a cross-regional working group being set up to make sure that we have economic development and infrastructure policies in place to underpin the success of the projects being delivered on the ground. Each council is now considering a proposal to implement this group and I look forward to seeing the proposed Regional Growth Framework when it is produced next summer.”

Year one progress for the South East Scotland City Region Deal

  • £704m of spending being approved for housing, transport, innovation, skills and employability and culture
  • £49m of Government investment released
  • £22.5m for National Robotarium
  • £29m agreed for Central Borders Innovation Park
  • 10 boards appointed covering housing, transport, innovation, and employability and skills
  • 7 proposals for skills and employability, targeted at school pupils, people facing barriers to work and people looking to learn new skills
  • Over 20 industry partners in residence at data-driven innovation hub, the Bayes Centre
  • 15 project business cases approved
  • Digital and data skills workshops delivered for City Region school pupils
  • £49.4 million approved for Fife Industrial Innovation Investment Programme


  • August 2018 – Prime Minister and First Minister and regional leaders sign the Deal
  • September 2018 – Our Data-Driven Innovation initiative launches with a digital skills event at Newbattle High School, Midlothian
  • October 2018 – Bayes Centre is opened by HRH, The Princess Royal. 15 representatives appointed to our new business and third sector interface – the Regional Enterprise Council
  • December 2018 – Business case approved for the Dunard Centre, Edinburgh’s first purpose-built music venue in 100 years
  • March 2019 – Proposals approved for industrial innovation zones in Fife and the Borders, and Edinburgh University’s data-driven innovation hub, the Edinburgh Futures Institute
  • June 2019 – Green light for all seven skills and employability projects. 150 pupils from across the city region attend data workshop, marking the launch of the data-driven Innovation Skills Gateway


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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