Glasgow and the North East in line for up to £160 million support.
Innovation and fair work will be at the heart of Scotland’s first two Investment Zones, which aim to boost the economy, stimulate business growth and create high-quality, well-paid jobs.
Glasgow City Region and the North East will each be supported by up to £80 million in targeted investment, tax reliefs and other incentives over five years following a joint selection process by the Scottish and UK governments.
Scottish ministers have tailored the UK Government’s Investment Zone model to ensure it aligns with the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and supports innovation in sectors such as net zero, digital and life sciences. There will be a strong emphasis on fair work, mirroring the arrangements for Green Freeports.
The initiative is to be delivered by each area’s Regional Economic Partnership. They will propose which sectors should be the focus of support, taking into account regional strengths and activity within Higher and Further Education institutions. Regional leaders, businesses and universities will take the lead in shaping and developing specific plans.
The Scottish and UK governments have an equal role in decision-making and overseeing delivery.
Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said:
“This is a milestone in the delivery of Investment Zones in a way that enhances Scotland’s economy while aligning with our distinctive priorities.
“Scotland already has a strong track record in innovation and research and the Investment Zones can build on these strengths. They will form part of a joined up approach that draws on the expertise of our world-leading research, education and training institutions, dynamic business sector and skilled workforce and will enable local communities to benefit.
“A rigorous process has been followed in selecting Glasgow City Region and the North East and we look forward to working in partnership with them to create high quality jobs and ensure that fair work practices, including payment of the real Living Wage, are embedded in the Investment Zones from the outset.
“We will, of course, continue to invest in all of Scotland’s regions, for instance through Growth and City Region deals, to build on their strengths and stimulate jobs and growth.”
The UK Government’s Spring Budget 2023 committed to establishing 12 Investment Zones across the UK, and announced eight proposed locations in England, with a further four to be located in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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