Glasgow City Region’s Investment Zone takes flight with almost £2 billion worth of bid applications

The Open Call for project funding bids for Glasgow City Region’s £160 million Investment Zone has generated substantial interest from across the Region.

At the close of the Open Call which ran from January until the end of March 2024, almost £2 billion worth of project funding bids had been submitted over 41 key projects.

Glasgow City Region was announced in June of last year as one of two new Scottish investment zones to benefit from investment, tax reliefs and other incentives over ten years for a package of local projects which will further boost the innovation economy.   

Businesses eligible to bid for funding required to fall within three key sectors: Life Sciences; Advanced Manufacturing and Precision Engineering; Digital and Enabling Technologies. Analysis carried out last year by the Region’s Intelligence Hub confirmed these sectors offer the best potential for growth and investment, with an estimated 500 businesses based in these sectors across the Region’s eight council areas.

Applications were asked to set out details of what the project will deliver, how it will be delivered and the match funding, through an online portal.

Project bids have to provide at least 60% of the project funding which would then be matched by 40% of public funding in capital / revenue investment or tax incentives through the Investment Zone.

The 41 project applications received indicated a total match funding / private sector investment of over £1 billion, with bids provided across all three of the priority sectors.

The applications will now be reviewed and assessed over the coming weeks, as part of the process to collate the Region’s formal proposal including the final package of projects, for consideration and approval by the UK and Scottish Governments.

Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said:

“It’s increasingly clear that Glasgow City Region is now internationally recognised as a centre of science, technology and innovation and the new Investment Zone is an enormous opportunity for more local businesses to be part of that. Ambitious projects will be able to benefit from investment, tax reliefs and other incentives, further boosting our Regional economy and creating quality jobs and training opportunities for our citizens.

With nearly £2 billion worth of project funding bids submitted for the Investment Zone, the level of interest goes far beyond our initial expectations. It tells us businesses are ready to seize these emerging opportunities. But also, that these dynamic and growing sectors recognise something significant and exciting is happening right here in metropolitan Glasgow and they’re determined to be part of that.”