Edinburgh and neighbours make pitch for city deal

14 Aug 15

Six local authorities in the Edinburgh city region are developing a £1bn city deal offer to be submitted to both Holyrood and Westminster next month.

The councils – City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Scottish Borders, Midlothian, and West Lothian – want to reach a deal to boost investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation in the region in order to improve growth.

If £1bn in public funding can be identified, the councils say an additional £3.2bn worth of private sector investment could be forthcoming.

An event will be held on Monday setting out a long-term vision for the city’s economy. Businesses will be asked to give their views on the priorities and to pledge their support for the city deal bid. A range of devolution pacts were agreed with cities in the last parliament by the coalition government. Glasgow signed the first one outside England last August. As well as Edinburgh, negotiations are also underway to reach an agreement with the Welsh capital Cardiff.

Speaking on behalf of the six authorities in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region, Edinburgh council leader Andrew Burns said: “Work is gathering pace on our proposal and we are all collaborating closely on our submission

“In shaping this deal, we want to build on our strengths, whilst tackling persistent inequality and other constraints that threaten to hold the region back. I am very conscious that as visitors flock into Edinburgh for the summer festivals, for example, we must act to secure the investment required to embrace and build on our cultural success, and put culture centre stage in our growth plans.”

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