East Lothian Council has approved an outline of projects which will bring more than £1.3 billion of investment over the next 15 years to the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region.
Along with other councils; City of Edinburgh, Fife, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and West Lothian, East Lothian Council has been working on details of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region (ESESCR) Deal since 2016, which aims to build on the region’s strengths to deliver inclusive economic growth.
Once all partners have agreed the content of the Deal, it can be put forward for sign-off by the regional partners, Scottish and UK Governments.
Leader of East Lothian Council, Willie Innes, said: “There are significant benefits to East Lothian from the City Region Deal and we are delighted that the projects involved have now been developed in more detail so that our residents can see how this ambitious project will contribute to the local economy, including improving employment prospects and transport infrastructure, and reducing inequalities across our communities.
“The Food and Drink Innovation Campus at Queen Margaret University is important for East Lothian, Scotland’s Food & Drink County, as it will support innovation and quality in the food and drink industry. And with its business and employability focus, it will also contribute to ensuring we have a more highly skilled workforce and will help reduce barriers to employment. Complementing the deal, a Regional Employability and Skills Programme will deliver better outcomes for all the region and particularly those people facing significant disadvantages to securing and sustaining meaningful, high quality employment.
“Improvements to the Edinburgh City Bypass and Sherriffhall roundabout will also have a positive effect on East Lothian’s economy by improving our transport links to Edinburgh and beyond.
“We will also directly benefit from an expanded affordable housing programme, with a specific focus on Blindwells, which will help to address the shortage of affordable homes we are facing. This will allow more young people to continue to live and work in East Lothian and encourage more people to live and work here – building both our communities and our economy.”