The £700-million Tay Cities Deal represents a good deal for the region and a good deal for Angus, elected members were told at the recent meeting of full council.
Councillors heard that the £300 million deal confirmed by UK and Scottish governments in November had the potential to create 6000 new jobs for the region and lever in further investment of £400 million over the next 10 to 15 years.
Angus will benefit directly and regionally from the deal – which represents a multi-million pound economic boost to the area aimed at reducing inequality, boosting productivity and creating many opportunities for people living and working in Angus.
The Tay Cities Region Deal Heads of Terms signed by representatives from Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross councils on 22 November, along with UK and Scottish Government officials and business and academic leaders from the area, makes a commitment to working collaboratively to deliver a deal that creates a smarter, fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.
Collectively, Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross will enjoy huge benefits working collaboratively trough the Tay Cities Region Deal – enhancing tourism, manufacturing, engineering and industry, local business and communities, education and skills training, tourism and communication and transportation links.
While Angus is set to benefit from the overall regional investment, three Angus-specific proposals are detailed in the agreement, totalling more than £30 million –
£1 million for world-class digital infrastructure; £3 million for Arbroath Aspiring to Grow; £2 million to establish Scotland’s first regional Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing network hub in Angus; and £26.5 million for Angus capital projects developed in partnership between Angus Council and local partners.
The additional resource of £26.5 million for Angus is set to be targeted towards projects that will support long term sustainable growth in the area. In this regard, Angus Council and other local partners will work closely together, in discussion with the UK Government, to ensure funds are allocated to grow the Angus economy and support further long-term investment, development and employment.
While the Scottish Secretary provided welcome confirmation earlier this year that Royal Marine base at RM Condor, Arbroath, would be retained, there is an opportunity to make best use of surplus land at the base for new development in support of Aspire to Grow Arbroath. It is a project that will progress with sensitivity ensuring positive relationships are retained and enhanced between the community and the military base.
An investment in rural broadband will see wireless technology supporting both residents and businesses to live and work in Angus. Angus Council places a great emphasis on the importance of digital connectivity and the need for superfast broadband and recognises that it is vital for its businesses to operate across local, national and global platforms. A priority will be to deliver high quality wireless solutions for those living and working remote or rural areas to ensure they enjoy the benefits of fast and reliable digital connections.
The announcement of £2 million to establish, with the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership, Scotland’s first regional Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing network hub in Arbroath is also great news for the area. This network, with full participation of regional colleges, will ensure that businesses across Tay Cities Region can fully engage with National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to reap the productivity benefits it will unlock. It will young people to up-skill and encourage them into manufacturing.
It is also anticipated that Montrose Port will play an important part in maximising the significant potential economic benefit to the region of building a world class renewable energy and decommissioning industry. Both the Scottish and UK Governments will consider how best to support additional port infrastructure investment in Montrose, as well as Dundee and Fife, with regards to Scottish and UK propositions in the renewable energy sector.
Tourism plays a crucial part in the vitality of Angus, it businesses and its people and the Scottish Government will invest some £37 million in support of a Regional Culture and Tourism Investment Programme. As part of this, Angus Council will work to ensure that our thriving tourism industry is enhanced still further and the considerable success of hosting The 2018 Open at Carnoustie is built upon. Work in this area will also include supporting our partners at Arbroath’s Hospitalfield House to secure funding streams for their ambitious and exciting plans for the arts and cultural experience in Angus.
Tay Cities Region Deal will see the Scottish Government support additional investment to deliver better skills outcomes across the region. Subject to approval of a programme business case, the Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million to support delivery of the Tay Cities Skills and Employability Development Programme to deliver fair work. Angus has a proven track record in developing skills and employability, not least through its award-winning Shared Apprenticeship Programme and the council will aim to secure funding from this allocation.
Significant improvements have already been carried out to the North Angus roads infrastructure, particularly around Montrose Port. Through the Tay Cities Region Deal’s partnership approach and its regional transport model, Angus Council will continue to seek further investment opportunities for the North Angus Growth Corridor, which will also be a pilot location for a Simplified Planning Zone.
More information about the deal can be found at www.taycities.co.uk