Glasgow awarded £24m to develop ‘City of the Future’
By Keith Aitken in Edinburgh | 25 January 2013
Glasgow today won £24m of UK government funds to demonstrate its potential as a prototype ‘City of the Future’.
Scotland’s biggest city saw off competition from 30 rival conurbations for the investment, which comes through the Technology Strategy Board, an arm’s-length offshoot of the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
The cash will fully fund the Future Cities Demonstrator, a pathfinder project that brings together public and private sector innovation to exploit leading-edge technologies in ways that can significantly improve urban living.
Glasgow’s successful proposal involves programmes on transport and mobility, energy efficiency, healthy living and safer streets. The hope is that it will trial technological solutions that other cities will then adopt.
Announcing the result on a visit to the city, science minister David Willetts said it would make Glasgow a city of tomorrow. ‘We are in a global race and Glasgow can keep the UK at the forefront of innovative technology ideas,’ he said.
‘This Demonstrator will play a key part in the government’s industrial strategy and give real insight into how our cities can be shaped in the future.’
The award was also warmly welcomed by Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is a Glasgow MSP.
‘Generations of Scots have helped cement Glasgow’s global reputation for innovation and creativity,’ she said.
Sturgeon added that the win provided an opportunity for other Scottish cities to share in the benefits through the Scottish Government’s Scottish Cities Alliance partnership. ‘The Scottish Government recognises the importance of capitalising on Scotland’s strengths and this investment reinforces our reputation as a dynamic and innovative nation.’
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson predicted that the project would put Glasgow ‘years ahead of other UK cities in terms of integrating our technological systems to make them work for and talk to each other’.