Seven Years of the City Deal: A look to the past and to the future

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Seven years ago today the eight Regional councils signed the £1 billion City Deal agreement with the Scottish and UK governments. 

At last week’s Cabinet council leaders reflected back on what has been achieved since then – set out in the latest Glasgow City Region Annual Performance Report which showcases significant progress in delivering projects and additional benefits being delivered on the back of the City Deal, despite the challenge of Covid.

The Region’s three emerging innovation districts, all underpinned by City Deal investment; further funding including £21 million from Sustrans for an extended Glasgow Avenues programme; private sector investment of £26 million generated from MediCity based companies, our first City Deal project; and the establishment of one of the UK’s largest Covid testing centres – the Lighthouse Lab at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which is supporting 700 new jobs; were all presented as evidence of our successful partnership delivering and maximising  UK and Scottish government City Deal funding.

Cabinet also looked forward at the Region’s future plans and ambitions, with an update provided on work to develop a new Regional Economic Strategy (RES), along with emerging analysis which is helping to shape what our key focus and priorities need to be and the ways by which these can be best practically addressed. 

The RES is being developed in partnership with our eight councils and key government agencies. It will not only set our future direction, but it will provide a solid evidence base for future funding bids.

The latest data shows that Glasgow City Region is the fastest growing city region in the UK. We have a proven track record in delivery. Our ambition is huge, political commitment is clear, and foundations are well established. An acceleration of both investment and decisions by our government partners will be central to a green recovery and provide a catalyst for economic transformation for the Region, Scotland and the UK.

You can view our latest Annual Performance Report here

Earlier this month Scottish and UK Government Ministers joined Inverclyde Council leader, Stephen McCabe to mark construction underway on Greenock new cruise ship visitor centre, a £19.2 million development which will welcome passengers and crew from some of the world’s largest and most luxurious vessels to Inverclyde. This City Deal project, led by Inverclyde Council, is expected to increase passenger visitor numbers to 150,000 a year and provide a £26 million boost to the Scottish economy.

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Kevin Rush is Director of Regional Economic Growth at Glasgow City Region

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