In March 2016, the Government announced their intention to negotiate a city region deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland. As well as deals across England and Wales, this follows the successful agreement of city region deals for Glasgow and Clyde Valley, Inverness and the Highlands and Aberdeen City Region.
I can today inform the House that the Government has reached agreement with the Scottish Government and regional partners on a Heads of Terms for a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland.
This deal will bring in excess of £1 billion of investment into the Scottish capital city region. Local partners’ aspirations are that this investment will create in excess of 21,000 good quality jobs.
Central to the investment is the UK Government contribution of up to £300 million, which is being matched by Scottish Government. This investment is expected to unlock a considerable further investment from the city-region’s universities, higher education sector and the private sector.
UK Government investment will support local partners in delivering their ambition to make Edinburgh a leader in data-driven innovation. Building on existing regional excellence in R&D and innovation, the investment will see significant investments in digital infrastructure and data storage as well as the development of five R&D hubs across the city-region. These hubs will focus on growth in key sectors of the local economy such as data science, robotics, financial services, creative tech and agri-tech.
We will also deliver our manifesto commitment to support a new concert hall in Edinburgh, meeting the need for a mid-sized venue in the city.
Projects and programmes announced in the Heads of Terms document will be subject to the development and approval of business cases. Moving forward, the Government will work with the Scottish Government and the civic, academic and business leaders of Edinburgh and South East Scotland to ensure the successful implementation of the deal.
This represents an important step in delivering the UK Government’s commitment to a city deal for each of Scotland’s cities, as we work to strengthen the Union and build a United Kingdom that works for everyone.