£1bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal plans move forward

David Ross
David Ross

Plans for a £1 billion City Deal involving six local authorities has moved a step closer following a £275,000 investment by Fife Council.

The council is working with five other local authorities on the City Deal plan which could generate millions of pounds of investment and grow local economies.

Councillors at a meeting of Fife’s executive committee agreed the investment which will help produce a detailed business case to take the ambitious plans to the next level.

Edinburgh City, Borders, Mid, East and West Lothian will also contribute on a pro-rata shared basis to the business case.

The local authorities, who make up the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region (ESESCR) have agreed to deliver a deal with the Scottish and UK governments designed to grow the local, national and UK economies.

At the heart of the proposition lies a £1bn infrastructure fund, with priority areas for investment likely to include transport, housing, economic regeneration, energy and digital connectivity.

It is estimated that an additional £3.2bn of private sector investment could be leveraged, generating tens of thousands of new jobs and providing a sustainable 5 per cent uplift to the local economy.

The deal will be targeted at maximising the opportunities afforded by the region’s world class research base and would look to exploit the wide range of technologies being pioneered across the city region.

Any investment would be supported by a complementary package of skills and innovation measures, such as business-led training academies in key growth sectors.

Fife Council leader David Ross, said: “This is an important step towards securing the City Deal.

“Fife is delighted to be working with the five other local authorities to progress plans.

“Being part of a City Region Deal could unlock millions of pounds of investment for Fife and lead to vital infrastructure improvements.

“It also gives us the opportunity to further enhance the local economy and tackle inequality and is one of a number of ways we’d like to realise our aspiration of helping make Fife the best place to do business.”

Next steps include detailed discussions with HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and Scottish Government on potential projects to be taken forward. Work on prioritising potential investment and ensuring that the overall programme also addresses inequality would continue in partnership with representatives from both governments.


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