Glasgow City Region Blog – October 2019

Director’s Update on recent developments at Glasgow City Region

It really has been a busy few weeks.  

Last month the Annual Conversation meeting with Government took place to review the performance of our City Deal for the past financial year. This meeting provides an opportunity for our Government funders to be reassured that Glasgow City Region is meeting the obligations established for the £1 billion of funding they are providing and that appropriate governance measures are in place. And for us, it provide the chance to showcase all of the good progress being made.

The basis for this meeting is our Annual Performance Report 2018 – 2019. This sets out what we’ve delivered in the period and it includes a number of good examples of people and businesses across the Region benefiting from the City Deal. 

At the Cabinet earlier this week, the leaders of our eight partner councils considered the suite of documents that will make up our formal submission in November for our first Gateway Review – an important milestone which, subject to approval, is set to release the next £250 million tranche of City Deal funding. The review of our Gateway submission by Government (and of submissions from a number of other UK-wide City Deals) is expected to be completed early next year.

We recently completed some work to strengthen our governance arrangements and an updated Assurance Framework was also approved at Cabinet – basically our contract with Government setting out how the deal will work and be managed.

Our City Deal is among the most advanced in the UK and projects continue to be delivered at pace – such as Sauchiehall Avenue, the first of the Glasgow city centre Avenues projects to be completed. Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson visited the new look street last month and also took the opportunity to see the City Deal funded Smart Canal which is set to complete very soon. The £115 million Avenues programme – the biggest of its kind in the UK – will transform seventeen key streets and adjacent areas in Glasgow city centre – improving streetscape and public realm, making it more people-friendly, attractive, greener, sustainable and importantly more economically competitive. The programme addresses challenges affecting high streets everywhere and is set to ensure Glasgow city centre, the UK’s biggest retail destination outside the West End of London, remains attractive to visitors and investors and is able to maximise its economic potential.

People have been placed firmly at the heart of this programme and the pilot was designed and delivered after consultation and collaboration with local residents, businesses and organisations. The new look street includes high-quality, public realm, enhanced and widened pavements with freed-up space for pedestrians, new cycle paths, trees, bus shelters, cycle stands and seating, intelligent street lighting and smart surface water management infrastructure. Find our more here

Another exciting milestone was the recent start of the City Deal funded enabling works for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS). AMIDS is set to create thousands of high value jobs, put Renfrewshire at the heart of Scotland’s manufacturing industry and boost Scotland’s manufacturing sector by £535 million in GVA a year. The project, which is being led by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, includes new roads, bridges, cycling routes and pedestrian walkways. This short film provides a great overview.