East Lothian Council to contribute to £1bn City Region Deal

east lothian councilEast Lothian Council has agreed to contribute almost £75,000 towards a project that could bring around £1 billion into the economy of the Lothians.

The Edinburgh City Region (ECR) Deal is a joint project between East Lothian Council, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Council. The local authorities will work together with the Scottish and UK governments to put forward a funding bid for a group of projects which will boost the economy of the area.

Projects included in the bid, across the city region, are likely to involve transport, housing, regeneration, energy, tourism and broadband – with the ambitious aim of boosting the economy by five per cent per annum over a 10 year period following the investment.

The initial business case will involve a contribution of up to £25,000 from East Lothian, then a further maximum of £50,000 to develop a detailed business case.

It is expected that the plan will draw in around £1bn in funding from the government, with an additional £3.2bn being pulled in from the private sector. The initial deal is expected to be agreed in early 2016.

John McMillan, cabinet spokesperson for economic development and tourism, said: “The Edinburgh City Region Deal is a really exciting prospect and could have huge benefits for East Lothian and our neighbouring areas. Its aims fit in with our council priorities of growing our economy as set out in the Council Plan and Single Outcome agreement. We could be looking at some very exciting projects which will help us achieve our aim of making East Lothian one of the best places to live, work and do business in Scotland.”

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