£1bn Edinburgh City Deal to create 21,000 jobs

The £1 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal has finally been agreed, with the Scottish and UK governments investing £300 million each in addition to funding from six local authorities and the University of Edinburgh.

The Scottish government said it is expected the new deal will deliver 21,000 new jobs across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders.

The UK government’s Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “The Edinburgh deal will focus on the capital’s strengths of new technology, innovation and culture.”

The deal will include the creation of five new innovation hubs, including work in robotics and space technologies.

There will be investment in cutting edge research in the technologies of the future at Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Queen Margaret universities.

The deal will also create a new Edinburgh concert hall.

City Region Deals are agreements between the Scottish Government, the UK Government and local government designed to bring about long-term strategic approaches to improving regional economies.

City deals are already in place in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.

The Scottish government’s economy secretary Keith Brown said: “Edinburgh and its city region is an area of huge importance to the Scottish economy.

“It contains over a quarter of Scotland’s population and contributes £33 billion to the Scottish and UK economies.

“The Scottish Government will be investing in the region’s workforce and will invest up to £25 million for an Integrated Regional Employability & Skills Programme which will reduce skills shortages and gaps, delivering opportunity for people across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders.

“The Scottish Government has also committed £140 million to transport projects including £120 million for improvements to the A720, Edinburgh City bypass and £20 million for improvements at West Edinburgh.

“Providing decent housing is a priority for the Scottish Government so we will invest £65 million into new housing for the region.

“We will also be investing £60 million in innovation and that will focus on ensuring businesses and communities across the region can benefit from opportunities through world class business infrastructure.

“Festivals are a crucial part of the culture and economy of Scotland, which is why we are investing £10m towards a new concert venue for the city.

“We will reinforce Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading centre for music and the performing arts through investing in the proposed IMPACT project, working with existing philanthropic and commercial partners to deliver a new world-class performance venue in the heart of Edinburgh, and a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

“In addition I look forward to discussing with partners how we can further support Edinburgh’s festivals.

“Taken together these projects will help the region continue to thrive and grow, fulfilling our ambitions for the region to be one of the fairest and most inclusive areas in the country.”