A £700m PROGRAMME that will boost economic prosperity across Tayside and north-east Fife will be confirmed today (December 17) with the formal signing of the Tay Cities Region Deal.
The Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government, Angus, Dundee City, Fife and Perth & Kinross councils along with the business and higher and further education sectors.
The two governments have pledged £300 million which will help to lever a further £400 million of investment to create a smarter and fairer city region with over 6000 new job opportunities.
The Deal document will be signed by partners today (December 17) at an on-line signing ceremony in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
UK Government Minister Iain Stewart said: “Today’s landmark signing will deliver transformative investment to the entire Tay region, including £150 million from the UK Government.
“The deal will create thousands of jobs through innovative projects such as cutting-edge forensic science at the University of Dundee and a drone port at Montrose in Angus.
“Investments in Perth City Hall transformation and Innerpeffray Library, Scotland’s oldest lending library, will also enhance the region’s culture and tourism offering.
“This is the seventh Full Deal we have signed in Scotland and we now have deals in implementation or development for all of Scotland, representing investment from the UK Government of over £1.5 billion.”
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I am delighted to sign the Tay Cities Region Deal and confirm our £150 million investment at a time of unprecedented need.
“The commitments we have made with our partners today will help deliver sustainable, inclusive growth in the region through funding for skills, connectivity and innovation, and make a crucial contribution to economic recovery and renewal in the years to come.
“In these uncertain times, these investments will deliver much needed jobs across the region. I’m pleased that the projects delivered through the Deal can now get underway and start delivering real benefits for local people and businesses.”
Fife Council co-leader Cllr David Ross, Chair of the Tay Cities Region Deal Joint Committee, said: “I am very pleased that we are now finally in a position to sign the Tay Cities Deal. The Deal provides a programme of sustained investment for the next 10 years. It forms an important part of our plans to improve economic outcomes for everyone, reduce poverty and develop a fairer Fife.
“The investment, and the 6000 job opportunities across a range of industries that the Deal will help to create, will be important in growing and sustaining a successful local and regional economy over the long term. It will also help address some of the more immediate issues facing the local and national economy in the wake of Covid-19 and Brexit and contribute to meeting the challenge of Climate Change.
“Under the Deal proposals, up to £26.5m will be invested in the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus in Guardbridge that’s estimated to leverage in £110 million investment and create over 500 new jobs as the former paper mill is redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub helping deliver a low carbon future. This flagship Fife project will enhance Scotland's position as a leader in innovation, sustainable development and low carbon technology.”
Fife Council north-east Fife Councillor Karen Marjoram said: “This signing of the Deal is a significant milestone for north-east Fife. This investment will enable all Tay Cities partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region.
“Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife from the Regional Skills Programme and the Regional Culture and Tourism programme.”
Cllr David Fairweather, leader of Angus Council, said: “I’m proud to sign this deal for Angus and welcome all the exciting opportunities that it brings for citizens across Angus and the whole of the Tay Cities region.
“We will be using the £26.5m Angus Fund to initiate our innovative Mercury Programme, which aims to increase productivity through clean growth, protecting places for future generations. Angus seeks to achieve this by becoming a sustainable, low carbon region that leads the development and implementation of innovative clean technologies and as our partners share many of the same ambitions, we are looking forward to working closely with them to expand this work beyond the Angus boundaries.
“I also welcome the focus on developing our workforce to ensure that local people can take advantage of the opportunities for skilled, sustainable and well-paid jobs that the many projects already outlined within this deal will undoubtedly create.
“Our emphasis must be inclusive and to ensure fair representation from our most disadvantaged groups and those experiencing barriers to training and employment and to address gender imbalance.”
Cllr John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “In signing this deal, we can now leverage in hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and create thousands of jobs opportunities across Tayside and north-east Fife.
“The Deal has innovation at its heart. It will support ground-breaking projects in those sectors that the region has particular strengths in, from life sciences, cybersecurity and forensic science to food production and the clean technologies which will be critical to the future of our planet.
“It will be genuinely exciting to see the projects emerge and form part of the economic fabric of the region. This is another important milestone for Dundee and for Tayside and I hope that it is just the start of a positive and exciting journey as we diversify, expand and enhance the economy."
Cllr Murray Lyle, leader of Perth and Kinross Council, said: “I’m very happy to be signing the Tay Cities Deal on behalf of Perth & Kinross Council and welcome the next steps in moving forward with the delivery of the Deal across Tayside and North East Fife and the benefits it will bring to everyone who lives and works in Perth and Kinross.
“Through this Deal, we are able to support a number of exciting projects in ways that we have not been able to before and the implications of this are exciting and positive for the area. Investing in cultural attractions such as Perth City Hall for example, improves facilities for people living in Perth and Kinross as well as attracting visitors and boosting the local economy; and the two projects being funded at the James Hutton Institute at Invergowrie are of international importance in responding to climate change.
“The projects being supported will allow us to diversify and succeed in ways that will raise our profile as a region for excellence and help secure our long-term economic future."
Among the key commitments in the deal are:
- £62 million to the Invergowrie-based James Hutton Institute to deliver world-leading barley research and advanced plant research facilities;
- £37m Regional Cultural and Tourism Investment programme;
- £26.5m for the Eden Campus in Fife;
- £26.5m Angus Fund; and
- £25m for growing the Tay Cities Biomedical cluster.
Ellis Watson, Chair of Tay Cities Region Deal Enterprise Forum, said: “The Tay Cities Region Deal can’t fail to help the business environment that our companies operate in.
“A third of billion pounds of real, incremental cash for our region is an incredible result and represents both an investment in and challenge to private, public and educational organisations across the region.
“The Enterprise Forum gives businesses of all industries and sizes the opportunity to play a key role in the changes being realised through the Tay Cities Region Deal and in the recovery and reshaping of our economic, educational, environmental and cultural landscape.
“The impact and success of the impressive range of projects announced today depends not just on the support of business but also on business capitalising on the expertise, networks and resources they offer.
“It is up to us all now to use this show of government faith to cement the Tay Cities area as a connected, innovative, inclusive and internationally-focused environment that people want to live, work and invest in.”
Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University and Chair of the Tay Cities Region Deal Higher and Further Education Forum, said: “This Deal will improve the lives of the region’s residents and create many new opportunities for the future.
“Inclusive growth has been placed at the heart of the Deal and it is designed to enable our regional economy to thrive while increasing economic participation, reducing inequalities, and attracting and retaining talent.
“This is important for all of the Deal’s partners and particularly for our universities and colleges, as we continue to work towards widening access while maintaining a pipeline of high-quality graduate talent to industry.”