The first tranche of investments in a series of transformative projects in Edinburgh and South East Scotland have received approval as part of the City Region Deal.

Combined funding of £384million was yesterday (Monday 17 December) approved by the City Region Deal’s Joint Committee for five projects aimed at unlocking the area’s potential to become a global leader in data driven innovation (DDI), enhancing skills  and employability, expanding the region’s cultural offering and delivering a new concert hall.

Investment will be provided to:

  • IMPACT Centre music and performance venue in Edinburgh, which is subject to approval by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning Committee.
  • Bayes Centre at University of Edinburgh
  • World Class Data Infrastructure project at University of Edinburgh
  • National Robotarium at Heriot Watt University
  • The Integrated Regional Employability and Skills (IRES) programme.

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Regional Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government, the local authorities of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and the region’s universities and colleges. There are also regional partners from the private and third sectors.

The approved projects are the first in a series of announcements expected to total around £1.3billion over the next 15 years. It is anticipated that the investments will generate a further £5billion worth of Gross Value Added (GVA) during the Deal’s lifespan.

The £384m investment is a combination of capital and revenue funding from all partner elements of each project.

Adam McVey, chair of the City Region Deal’s Joint Committee and City of Edinburgh Council Leader, said: “These investments represent the first step in a hugely ambitious and transformative plan to drive inclusive economic growth and make the region a global leader in data-driven innovation. This success can only come by pooling resources and the funding provided will benefit our communities through enhanced skills programmes, delivering opportunities for business and improved infrastructure.

“This is just the beginning; further projects are due to be announced in the months and years ahead that will improve the lives of residents across the region.”

Leeann Dempster, chair of the City region Deal’s Regional Enterprise Council, said: “Delivering dynamic projects that will enable the region to harness the opportunities available in data-driven innovation is a key aim of the City Region Deal. Even at this early stage, the programme is beginning to bear fruit and collaboration between all the partners has been the reason for this rapid progress.

“This first £384million of funding will help future-proof our economy and is something the whole region can benefit from.”

East Lothian Council Leader Willie Innes said: “It’s great to see the Deal moving into the delivery phase, after years of careful planning of projects that will bring the most benefit to the region. Approval of the business cases will mean grant money beginning to come through from 2019 onwards and we’ll start to see real ‘on the ground’ effects of this investment.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the Integrated Regional Employability and Skills (IRES) programme coming to fruition. East Lothian Council has ambitious plans to grow the region’s economy and making sure we have a highly skilled, inclusive workforce will be key to achieving that aim. The IRES programme will focus on a range of initiatives, including labour market analysis and evaluation to ensure the services we are developing properly support the workforce and employers. It will also improve integration between employers, investors and education providers. Importantly, it also looks at barriers to employment such as the cost or availability of public transport so that we can be more inclusive and support some of the more vulnerable groups in our society into rewarding employment.”



Published: Tuesday, 18th December 2018