Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal Secured

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region has secured a £1.1bn deal from the UK and Scottish Governments.

Download the Heads of Terms.

The ambitious city region deal, which will drive investment and address inclusion across the area, is being signed today by First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Damian Green; Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown and Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Adam McVey on behalf of local authority partners (East Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian). Also present will be David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland. 

The heads of terms is an agreement between the Scottish Government, the six local authorities, the UK Government and regional partners. Both governments are committed to jointly investing £600m over the next 15 years and regional partners have committed to adding up to £500m, overall representing a deal worth £1.1bn. In addition, the deal will generate over £5bn worth of Gross Value Added (GVA) over the same period. 

Key commitments 

  • £300m for world leading data innovation centres
  • £140m for crucially needed A720 city bypass at the Sheriffhall Roundabout and transport improvements across west Edinburgh
  • £20m capital funding for new world class concert hall
  • £25m regional skills programme to support improved career opportunities for disadvantaged groups
  • £65m of new funding for housing to unlock strategic development sites 

Council Leader Adam McVey, speaking on behalf of all of the local authority partners, said: “I am delighted that this ambitious deal for the region has now been agreed, creating up to 21,000 new jobs. This will allow us to transform the area delivering high quality jobs, housing, critical infrastructure, a new skills programme, and a world class concert hall. 

“The significant investment in innovation and culture is also to be welcomed as they are both hugely important to the region’s economy. This will put us at the forefront of data driven innovation ensuring we are ahead of the game in a technology driven world. 

“We are home to world class research and development activity, much of which acts as an anchor for the development of new products and services through innovation in the private sector. As a world class festival city, Edinburgh attracts over 4m visitors every year adding over £1.3bn to the economy annually. 

“Today’s signing is an important first step as we begin to work with both governments to deliver on the commitments in the deal to ensure the region is vibrant and inclusive going forward.”

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said: “The Scottish Government has been fully committed to this deal and I am very pleased that we have been able to get to the stage of achieving such an ambitious deal for the region.  Edinburgh and its city region is an area of huge importance to the Scottish economy, containing over a quarter of Scotland’s population and contributing £33 billion to the Scottish and UK economies.

“The projects agreed today 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.”

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “The UK Government is investing £300 million in the Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal, which will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South-East Scotland for decades to come. The Edinburgh deal will focus on the capital’s strengths of new technology, innovation and culture. It will make a real difference to the lives of people in the region, creating jobs and prosperity and driving investment.

“The Edinburgh deal brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to more than £1 billion, and demonstrates clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.”

East Lothian Council Leader Cllr Willie Innes, said: “This is an exciting and significant opportunity to boost East Lothian’s economy while investing in skills and housing programmes for local people. 

“I am delighted that East Lothian Council, working with other local authorities in the region and national Government, has secured support for this major package to help accelerate growth. 

“The Regional Housing Programme will help accelerate investment in affordable housing, including at Blindwells – a site which is significant for East Lothian’s future. 

“Another important element is helping to develop our people, and I warmly welcome the allocation of resources towards skills programmes which have the potential to strengthen the workforce, ensuring that East Lothian is well positioned to build strong, sustainable economic growth.” 

Councillor Shona Haslam, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “This is excellent news for the Scottish Borders. We will not only benefit from specific funding but also from a stronger and more vibrant city region. this will be achieved through a range of projects to be taken forward by the individual partners and collectively.

“For the Borders specifically, this deal will enable us to maximise the delivery of affordable housing, stimulate private sector investment and support local jobs, and will be a further step towards ensuring that our young people can see a future for themselves within the Scottish Borders.  Key to this is the promotion of inclusive growth.

“A focus for us will be driving forward the development of the Central Borders Business Park in Tweedbank. This builds on the success of the Borders Railway and is yet another example of the Council seeking to maximise the economic benefits that the railway provides.

“Edinburgh and the wider city region drives significant economic growth for Scotland and the UK. Through working with our local authority partners, the UK and Scottish governments, this deal will unlock the potential of that for the Scottish Borders and accelerate growth in this area.” 

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Informatics and Education, added:“The City Deal is a major vote of confidence in the economic strengths of Edinburgh and South East Scotland. We are delighted that the University of Edinburgh will be playing a key role with our partners in government, industry and other universities in growing the region’s digital economy. 

"Our research in new data technologies and the skills of our graduates have helped establish Edinburgh over the last decade as one of the main centres of the digital economy in the UK. The City Deal provides the impetus to move to the next level: a transformational programme of data-driven innovation which will harness the power of data technologies across the economy, from healthcare to agriculture, robotics, public services, finance and the creative industries, and equip many more of our young people from all backgrounds to succeed in the digital economy. 

"Our aim is to help establish the region as the Data Capital of Europe, drawing in inward investment, fuelling entrepreneurship, and delivering inclusive economic growth.”

City Region Deal sign-off expected soon after local government elections

The City Region Deal will not be agreed before the local government elections, but is expected soon after.

A spokesperson for the Region said:  “In announcing the Spring Budget earlier this month, the Chancellor cited the good progress being made towards securing a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland, referencing the constructive discussion with local partners and the Scottish Government to achieve this.

“Scottish and UK governments have this week informed the Regional Partnership, that given we have now entered the pre-election period, the deal will be completed as soon as possible after the local government elections in May.  An exchange of letters has taken place confirming that commitment’’.

“We remain focused on delivering greater powers for our region and funding towards strategic housing, transport and infrastructure that will enable the region to become the most connected, creative, inclusive and innovative place in Europe.”

Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Partners Welcome Autumn Statement Announcement

In his Autumn Statement today, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP stated that the UK Government will continue to work towards agreeing a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South-East Scotland. 

Council Leader Andrew Burns, said: “I welcome the announcement by the Chancellor in today’s Autumn Statement that the UK Government remains committed to a City Region deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland.”

“Discussions with the UK and Scottish Governments continue on the deal, which contains proposals to accelerate growth in Edinburgh and the wider regional economy that will benefit Scottish and UK economies while tackling inequalities and deprivation.”

Chancellor Announces City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland

The Chancellor George Osborne today announced a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

Speaking on behalf of the partner local authorities, the City of Edinburgh Council Leader Andrew Burns said: ‘‘We are delighted with the Chancellor’s pledge to develop a City Deal for our region and welcome the opportunity to continue our engagement with both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“This commitment from Westminster is a step forward for our proposals to tackle inequality and accelerate substantial economic growth through investment in innovation, skills and infrastructure.

“We submitted our proposals in September 2015 and remain as determined as ever to negotiate greater fiscal powers for our region and funding towards strategic housing, transport and infrastructure to help the region to become the most connected, creative, inclusive and innovative place in Europe.”

News Coverage

Commitment to develop a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland

In response to recent news articles detailing the progress of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, comprising the Scottish Borders, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian and West Lothian,  City of Edinburgh Council Leader Andrew Burns said: ‘‘The partners that make up the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region are delighted to have received commitment from the UK and Scottish Governments to develop a city region deal that will deliver a step change in economic performance while tacking inequalities. Detailed discussions will take place in the new year and we are aiming to have a deal agreed by the Spring Budget in March 2016.”

The Scottish Borders, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian local authorities submitted an initial proposal in September 2015 that outlined the general principles of the deal they were looking to secure which had received strong support from private, public and third sector organisations within the region. Both the UK and Scottish governments have recognised the importance and contribution of the City of Edinburgh and the wider region to Scottish and wider UK growth and have committed to work with the partners to develop a comprehensive plan to maximise opportunities.

£1BN BID SUBMITTED TO ACCELERATE GROWTH IN EDINBURGH AND SOUTH EAST OF SCOTLAND

The £1bn Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland City Region deal will reach a major milestone tomorrow (Friday, 4 September) as the six bid partners submit their proposal to the Westminster and Scottish governments.

The bid partners, East Lothian, the City of Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian councils, are working closely to develop a deal with the UK and Scottish governments designed to accelerate growth in Scotland’s capital city and wider regional economy that will benefit Scottish and UK economies.

It will concentrate on the region’s strengths – knowledge, culture and technology.

The City Region deal is a mechanism for accelerating growth through investment in innovation, skills and infrastructure. This will create a step change in economic performance that will generate funds to pay back this initial investment.

It is also about greater autonomy and disseminating powers for the region to make public service delivery more effective, increase productivity and to tackle inequality and deprivation across the city region. The ambition is to secure £1bn of funding and it is estimated that an additional £3.2bn worth of private sector investment could be leveraged if the bid is successful.

Working in partnership with stakeholders in the business and academic communities is crucial to the bid’s success and almost 100 businesses are now supporting the bid as well as the region’s universities and colleges.

Cllr Andrew Burns, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council on behalf of the leaders of the six local authorities, said: “I am delighted that we have now reached this key milestone and look forward to discussing our proposals in more detail with both governments in the coming months. In negotiating this deal, we want to build on our key sector strengths of knowledge, culture and technology. Our ask is for greater autonomy and decision making powers, increased opportunities for learning and development along with the creation of a regional specific skills programme, and investment in crucial infrastructure projects.

“Our ambition is to achieve a step change in economic performance for the economies of the region, Scotland and the UK and we are delighted that to date almost a 100 businesses have registered their support. In addition to this the academic community in the region are also on board. The joint working of public, private and the third sector is crucial to the success of this deal.

“I look forward to bringing more detail forward as we aim to have a deal in place for early 2016.”

Businesses urged to back £1BN City Region Deal Bid

Businesses from across Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland have today been urged to back a £1bn bid to accelerate growth across the region.

Over 100 business leaders gathered for a breakfast briefing at the EICC to hear more about initial proposals for a City Deal that would see greater autonomy and decision making powers, increased opportunities for learning and skills development and investment in infrastructure.

The bid partners – East Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Councils – believe the deal will accelerate growth, allowing the region to compete on an increasingly competitive international stage, deliver sustained economic growth and tackle deprivation and inequality.

The bid is being developed for submission to the Westminster and Scottish governments in early September. The ambition is to secure £1bn of funding and it is estimated that an additional £3.2bn worth of private sector investment could be leveraged.

Speaking on behalf of the six local authorities, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Andrew Burns, said: “We are asking businesses to pledge their support for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal to help accelerate the growth of the region, Scotland and the UK.

“Together, across the region, we are responsible for over 30% of the Scottish economy and are a key driver of the UK. Edinburgh is the most prosperous city in the UK outside London and the most productive in Scotland.

“As a result of this, people may question the need for a City Deal here, but I would urge them to look below the surface and not to take our success for granted. We are also a divided region, with significant numbers missing out on the success of the many.

“In the next 20 years, there will be 200,000 more people living here, placing yet more strain on our infrastructure, housing stock and community services. This isn’t only about accelerating growth; it’s about putting in place the fundamentals to cope with it in a sustainable and equitable way.”

Ernst & Young is supporting the partners in developing the Deal and Mark Gregory, Chief Economist, set out his long term vision for the region’s economy at this morning’s event.

He said: "This is a game changing bid with the UK and Scotland governments. It's vital in continuing to make the region, and Scotland as a whole, an attractive place to live, work, do business and invest in. It's about strengthening infrastructure, connectivity, innovation, equality, culture and skills to remain competitive on both a local and global stage.

"The ambition, vision and collaboration of the local authority partners involved to bring fairer growth, greater productivity and more opportunity to people living in this diverse region is inspiring."

Hugh Rutherford, Chair of the Edinburgh Business Forum, said: “The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region deal is an important initiative that will help develop the region’s economy while tackling poverty and inequality. There is clearly a lot of business support behind this bid as seen by the discussions that took place today.

“Edinburgh needs its City region and its City region needs Edinburgh – the future of the South east of Scotland and Scotland as a whole depends on a city region wide deal.”

Assuming a positive response from ministers, detailed work on prioritising potential investment would continue in partnership with representatives from both governments.

A partnership of local authorities is aiming to win a £1bn city deal, under ambitious plans announced today.

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region – comprising Edinburgh, Borders, Fife, Mid, East and West Lothian councils – will work together to develop a deal with the Scottish and UK Governments designed to grow the local, national and UK economies.

At the heart of the proposition lies a £1bn infrastructure fund, with priority areas for investment likely to include transport, housing, economic regeneration, energy and digital connectivity.
It is estimated that an additional £3.2bn of private sector investment could be leveraged, generating tens of thousands of new jobs and providing a sustainable 5% uplift to the local economy.

The deal will be targeted at maximising the opportunities afforded by the world class research base, and would look to exploit the wide range of technologies being pioneered across the city region.

Any investment would be supported by a complementary package of skills and innovation measures, such as business-led training academies in key growth sectors.
Speaking on behalf of the six local authorities, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Andrew Burns, said: “I am delighted to be working with our five neighbouring local authorities to pursue a deal for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region.

“In creating this fund, we want to build on our strengths whilst tackling persistent pockets of inequality and other constraints that threaten to hold the region back.
“Our next step will be to seek UK and Scottish Government agreement on the development of a detailed proposition; one that we believe can unlock billions of pounds of potential infrastructure investment, thereby ensuring the continued growth and reduction in inequality across one of Europe's most successful city region economies.”

Assuming a positive response from ministers, detailed work on prioritising potential investment would continue in partnership with representatives from both governments.