Cities and regions
Key achievements over last five years
City Region and Regional Growth Deals are a key tool for the Scottish Government in driving inclusive growth throughout Scotland. This is achieved by working together with local partners to identify and support projects that target and address unique regional needs and concerns. We are committed to implementing deals covering all of Scotland, allocating £1.9 billion to the programme so far. We have agreed eight deals over the last five years and a further four are in development.
The eight deals now in delivery are summarised in the following table:
|Scottish Government Commitment||UK Government Commitment||Regional Partners Commitment|
|Aberdeen City Region||21 November 2016||£125m||£125m||£576m|
|Inverness and Highland City Region Deal||30 January 2017||£135m||£53.1m||£126.96m|
|Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal||7 August
|Ayrshire Regional Growth Deal||19 November 2020||£103m||£103m||£45.5m|
|Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal||26 February
|Tay Cities Region Deal||17 December 2020||£150m||£150m||£400m|
|Borderlands Growth Deal||18 March 2021||£85m||£65m||£41.2m|
Those deals in delivery have funded a diverse range of successful projects over the preceding five years. Some of the most notable of these are as follows:
- Glasgow City Region Deal - The 'Sauchiehall Avenue' regeneration development, the first of multiple such 'Avenues' to be delivered across Glasgow city centre, is now complete. The Avenues Programme will result in a transformation of the city centre's streetscape and public realm - making it more "people-friendly", more attractive, greener, more sustainable and more economically competitive. The completion of the Sauchiehall Avenue marks a successful start to the £115 million programme of investment in urban regeneration.
- Aberdeen City Region Deal - The 'Oil and Gas Technology Centre' celebrated its fourth anniversary in February 2021. This organisation funds and directs projects supporting the oil and gas industry to accelerate the transition to an affordable net zero North Sea.
- Inverness and Highland City Region Deal - 'Newton Rooms', providing STEM skills workshops and interactive lessons to young people, opened in 2019 in both Caithness and Fort William, with a third ready to open in Dingwall. In the initial three months of these rooms opening, there were over 1,000 STEM engagements with individuals. These are the first in what will become a network of Newton Rooms throughout the Highland City Region, encouraging young people's interest in science, technology, engineering and maths from an early age.
- Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal - The 'Bayes Centre' opened in October 2018. This is Edinburgh University's innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The Centre employs 400 internationally recognised scientists, outstanding PhD students and leading industry experts.
- Ayrshire Regional Growth Deal - Despite this deal only recently entering delivery, one project, 'HALO', is already expected to open in May 2021. HALO involves the regeneration of a 28-acre site, projected to generate £205 million Gross Domestic Product and 1,500 jobs.
Progress in 2020-21
Despite the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple deals were signed and moved into delivery throughout 2020-2021.
- Ayrshire Growth Deal was signed in November 2020, focusing on a community wealth building approach harnessing resources, community strength, and relationships within Ayrshire to deliver improved outcomes for communities. The Deal can potentially create over 7,000 new jobs and unlock £300 million of further investment from the private sector.
- Tay Cities Region Deal was signed in December 2020, targeting inclusion, innovation, internationalisation, connectivity and empowerment, supporting projects that aim to promote inclusive economic growth across the region. This deal aims to secure more than 6,000 jobs and attract £400 million of investment.
- Borderlands Growth Deal was signed in March 2021. Targeting priority themes including digital, energy, place, destination, mountain biking, business infrastructure, knowledge exchange, transport and land and marine management. It is estimated that this deal will bring an additional 5,500 job opportunities across the area, while also generating around £1.1 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.
Three Growth Deals reached Heads of Terms agreement during 2020-21: Moray in August 2020; Argyll and Bute in February 2021; and the Islands in March 2021.
- The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £32.5 million in the Moray Growth Deal. Projects span digital, sustainable transport, manufacturing, tourism, housing, skills and innovation. Regional partners are confident that the Moray Growth Deal will unlock private investment worth in excess of £200 million and deliver over 450 new jobs across a wide range of sectors.
- The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £25 million in the Argyll and Bute Growth Deal. Proposals span tourism development, digital, business innovation, housing, skills, aquaculture, low carbon and regeneration. Deal investment will focus on connecting Argyll and Bute's high value business sectors to national and international business markets, growing benefit from the area's natural assets, and on strengthening communities by making Argyll & Bute a more attractive place to live and work.
- The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £50 million in the Islands Growth Deal (Outer Hebrides, Orkney, and Shetland). Proposals span energy, industry innovation, tourism, skills and housing. The deal aims to place the islands at the forefront of the transition to net zero; support growth in key sectors of opportunity such as tourism, food and drink, space and creative industries; and develop thriving, sustainable communities. It is projected that the deal will result in 1,300 sustainable jobs aimed at retaining and attracting workers aged 16-40 to all three island areas, supported by a programme to equip the islands' workforce with new skills and training.
All City Region and Regional Growth Deals are required to advance equality of opportunity and reduce gaps in socio economic outcomes as part of the conditions of grant aid. The Sottish Government provides support, training and resources to regional partners via Scotland's Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth (SCRIG) to enable them to do this. All Deal projects are required to submit a full Equality Impact Assessment prior to their approval.
Activity Going Forward
We aim to progress all deals to delivery by the end of 2022. At this stage, the only deal remaining pre-Heads of Terms is Falkirk, one of the last deals announced.
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