Chapter 5: Capital to Support People and Places
A key theme of the Infrastructure investment Plan (IIP) is Building Resilient and Sustainable Places. The Covid-19 Pandemic has highlighted the importance of the places where we live and work, and where we make use of local services and enjoy our leisure and recreation.
The ministerial portfolios responsible for most of the Scottish Government’s place-based investment include Communities and Local Government; Justice and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; Health and Sport; Education and Skills; Economy, Fair Work and Culture; and Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.
The availability of suitable housing is central to the creation of great places to live and work. Covid-19 has further underlined the value of a safe, secure and affordable home and our homes will also now be somewhere many of us work. We currently plan investment of more than £3.3 billion in capital, over 5 years, in affordable housing, pending further clarity from the UK Government. The Housing to 2040 strategy will set out a long term vision for energy efficient, zero carbon housing, with access to outdoor space, transport links, digital connectivity and community services. This will take forward our objective that everyone in Scotland has a home that is warm, affordable and accessible and that fits their needs.
We are also providing £58 million investment so that Registered Social Landlords can fund adaptations to properties to enable social housing tenants to remain in their own homes and communities if their circumstances change.
Our National Planning Framework, along with local development plans and local place plans, is a key part of bringing about change to our communities and in support of that we are providing funding for a £35 million new, open-access, digital planning system.
A vital component of successful and fair communities is the provision of suitable services to meet a community’s needs, such as health and education provision. Families need access to high quality education for their children.
We recognise that excellence in education requires excellence in the estate. Since 2009, our £1.8 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme has delivered 116 new or refurbished learning estate projects, with the final project in the programme due to open in April 2021. This programme will have benefited around 78,000 pupils since it was established in 2009. We are now taking forward a second phase of new schools projects as part of the £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme. The first of these projects is due to start construction in financial year 2021-22.
Health services are also an essential part of local communities. We are investing in health provision across the country from the major cities to our towns and our rural communities. For example, we are investing £20 million in upgrading the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, investing £10 million in the new national secure adolescent inpatient service in Irvine and investing £18 million for the replacement of the St Brendan’s facility in Barra.
This is part of a significant investment in healthcare across Scotland, including a commitment to double annual funding for maintenance over 5 years, investing over £1 billion in enhancing or refurbishing existing facilities, and updating and modernising key equipment. Additionally, over £220 million will be invested in the Baird and Anchor project in Aberdeen and a £300 million programme of investment is being funded to enable the completion of elective care centres in Clydebank, Inverness, Livingston, Aberdeen, Tayside, and Kirkcaldy.
We will also invest to support and improve the quality of our urban and rural environment to make our communities attractive places to live in and to visit. We will invest £18.5 million over the next three years to support the introduction of Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four major cities. As part of our Place Based Investment Programme we will invest £275 million to support community‑led regeneration and town‑centre revitalisation.
Our plans include £121 million of investment in our national galleries and museums and other cultural institutions which make our cities vibrant places to live and encourages tourists to visit. The tourism industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic; through investing in transport links, the natural environment, cultural attractions and our urban landscapes we are putting Scotland in a position to build on the existing strengths of our tourism industry when the position improves.
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