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DescriptionAdministrative guidelines to accompany Review of Scotland's Cities publications
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateJanuary 09, 2003




The Cities Review Analysis and 'Building Better Cities' have outlined the key issues for Scotland's cities and the Executive's proposals for addressing those issues. The Scottish Executive is determined that the Review should build on the evidence based provided in the Analysis report and should quickly result in clear, measurable improvements for Scotland's cities

This note therefore provides an outline of the proposals for preparing the City Visions and utilising the City Growth Fund set aside for Scotland's cities and city-regions in the Scottish Budget document 'Building a Better Scotland'. The overall level of funds for each city has already been allocated. It is as follows;

City Growth Fund resources over 3 years













The proposals for spending the City Growth Fund should reflect the priorities set out in the City Vision.

It is important that the Scottish Executive can clearly identify the positive outcomes that will be generated for the cities, prior to releasing the funds. The outline proposals below therefore provide a basic template for stakeholders to adopt when submitting proposals to the Scottish Executive for the use of the funds.

Local Authorities and other key stakeholders will shortly be contacted by relevant teams within the Scottish Executive concerning the administration of the various processes, but it is hoped that the guidance below will enable local stakeholders to consider their next steps in advance of formal contacts with the Executive.

This process re-inforces the Executive's commitment to Community Planning and is consistent with the guidance being prepared by the Scottish Executive on how local authorities, and other agencies, should discharge their proposed new statutory duties. The city council or local authority is being invited to facilitate the development of the City Vision. Dialogue with adjacent Community Planning Partnerships will be a key part of the proposed consultation process, in addition to public and private partners within in the city boundary. As part of the vision, cities may wish to indicate how they will keep such regional dialogue at the centre of implementation long term.

As separate but related exercises, the Scottish Executive will

  • consult early in 2003 on the scope for introduction of Business Improvement Districts and Urban Regeneration Companies as a means of stimulating growth and renewal in our cities. Stakeholders in each city-region will be contacted in due course as part of this exercise; and
  • establish a task force to take forward the Cities Review initiative on vacant and derelict land. The task force will develop concrete proposals and consider any relevant issues such as State Aids requirements. It is planned that the taskforce should comprise representatives of the Scottish Executive, including Communities Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Dundee Councils. To support the work of the task force a wider reference group will also be put in place, involving other key stakeholders, such as SEPA, other local authorities, and representatives of the private sector.


The Cities Review Analysis report emphasises the importance of a clear, shared vision in providing the impetus and framework for a successful city. 'City-Vision' exercises elsewhere have demonstrated the value of involving all local stakeholders in the development of those visions.

The Scottish Executive is keen to ensure that activity supported by the funding being provided to the cities should be focussed on priority issues identified by City Vision exercises. The Scottish Executive will therefore require cities to seek agreement to their city vision statements and to use them as the basis for use of the City Growth Fund allocation.

The proposals generated by the 'City-Vision' exercises and submitted to the Scottish Executive should:

  • Outline the long-term vision of the city which local agencies, city authorities and others are working towards.
  • Identify the key elements (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in the city-region's long-term future;
  • Identify the key short-, medium- and long-term outcomes required for the city-region's long-term success;
  • Outline, to an appropriate level of detail, proposed measures to achieve the long term vision (for example, immediate steps at city authorities' own hand should be described in more detail than long-term measures that may depend on other outcomes or the actions of other actors outwith the visions exercise).
  • Derive from the existing Community Planning process and demonstrate strong links with Local Economic Forum structures and plans. (Information on Local Economic Forums and community planning is available via: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/enterprise/localeconomicforums/leflist.asp ; www.communityplanning.org.uk
  • Demonstrate buy-in of all key players from the city and, importantly, the wider city-region through consultation with Community Planning Partnerships in adjoining areas;

In each city, a strategy will already be in place. However, this exercise provides an important opportunity to streamline existing strategic documents which may already exist to provide a single long term Vision, based on wide consultation and consensus. As an interim statement, a report of progress to date and an outline of the work programme in hand should be provided in the Scottish Executive by the end of February 2003.

During March, Scottish Executive Ministers will hold a meeting with each of the partnerships developing the City-Vision and provide feedback on the interim statement.

Full statements should be provided to the Scottish Executive by the end of May 2003. The statements will provide a basis for future discussions with stakeholders on the development of their cities, and for the Scottish Executive's consideration of the proposals for use of the City Growth Fund. Further meetings with Ministers on implementation of the proposals will follow.

City Growth Fund

The Scottish Budget document 'Building a Better Scotland' announced a £90m Fund over three years to help authorities support growth and opportunities in our cities. Allocations have already been set aside for the individual cities but their release will be dependent on satisfactory outputs from the proposed 'city vision' exercises (as described earlier) and a brief but clear submission to the Executive outlining how the money will be spent and, most importantly, what outcomes will be delivered.

Authorities' submissions to the Scottish Executive concerning the use of the City Growth Fund should include:

  • A list of projects or service outcomes the funds are intended to buy;
  • notional expenditure on each of these, with appropriate value-for-money considerations;
  • target dates for delivery;
  • identification of other sources of funds levered in to the projects;
  • consideration of any potential State Aids or other issues impacting on the use of the funds;
  • consultation with community planning partners including the business community in the city;
  • output of consultation with authorities and business interests in the city-region.

The Scottish Executive recognises that many of the projects involved are likely to have long lead-in times, and potentially to face other administrative requirements, for example planning consents for infrastructure projects. Therefore, it is accepted that the submissions will in some key respects be provisional. Additionally, the Scottish Executive will work to minimise the impact of its own considerations to allow authorities as much time as possible to meet other administrative requirements.

Subsequent to the Scottish Executive's acceptance of those initial proposals, authorities will be required to provide prior notification of any substantive changes to their proposals made after the initial submission. Authorities' will also be expected to provide a brief annual report on those activities supported by the fund, specifying in some detail the outcomes achieved. Additionally, authorities will be required to provide a final report after three years, outlining the outcomes achieved as a result of support by the Fund.

It is anticipated that local stakeholders will work to ensure that activities supported by the City Growth Fund and other funds administered by the Scottish Executive, for example the Quality of Life Fund, should be mutually reinforcing where possible.

Who to Contact

The Scottish Executive will formally contact local stakeholders concerning the measures outlined here, over the next few weeks. In the meantime, general queries concerning the steps outlined here should be directed to the Scottish Executive, via e-mail:


Scottish Executive

January 2003