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13/11/15 00:01

Working with Scotland’s cities

Investment of £4 million secures £40 million in return.

Scottish Government investment in cities is delivering tenfold, with £4 million bringing £40 million in return, Deputy First Minister John Swinney today revealed.

Mr Swinney highlighted figures that show the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership between Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish Government, has secured £40 million of investment, including £10 million of European Funding to support smart city initiatives.

Speaking today (Friday) at the Scottish Governments Cities Convention in Perth, Mr. Swinney said:

The strength of our cities as drivers of growth is clearly indicated by today’s figures that show that the Scottish Cities Alliance, through partnership working, has secured over 10 times the amount of investment provided by the Scottish Government. This is a good return by anyone’s standards and one which we can be proud of.

“These investments are delivering major improvements to business connectivity and providing better links between our cities and centres of economic growth. This is a long-term approach and I have every confidence that there will be more to come in future years.”

The Convention – a Scottish Government-led initiative – brings together representatives from Scotland’s seven cities, and will include discussions around local empowerment and the best ways to ensure our cities are great places to live, work and invest in advance of the publication of the government’s refreshed Agenda for Cities next year.

Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for cities, Keith Brown, said:

“Continuing discussions with local authorities and community representatives on ensuring our cities continue to be great places to live, work and invest underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to empowering communities.

“Our wider approach is one of partnership. We believe that the people who live and work in Scotland’s cities are best placed to make decisions about their future. That is why we passed the Community Empowerment Act earlier this year. Amongst other things, this enables Scottish councils to reduce business rates to reflect their individual economic development priorities.

“Just as we have worked with our Islands and Border communities to develop comprehensive packages of initiatives to meet local needs, today’s Convention is yet another step in taking forward this government’s commitment to Scotland’s cities.

“We recognise there is no single approach to achieving our vision for cities and that’s why I am hosting the Cities Convention here today. My colleagues and I are in full listening mode and I look forward to engaging with our partners over the course of the day to ensure the best possible outcomes for our cities and the people who live and work in them.”

Councillor Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, said:

“Together Scotland’s cities and their regions have a strong story to tell, and collaboratively we are making a significant impact in a very competitive investor environment which highlights the huge rewards of Scotland’s cities working together.

“Our commitment and the success of working in partnership is clear. From an initial investment of £4 million the Alliance has brought in £40 million, with more announcements expected over the coming months. Indeed, Perth was the first city to reap the rewards of being part of the Alliance with its £30m Mill Quarter investment being the first success of the Scottish Cities Alliance’s Investment Prospectus which details £10billion of potential investments across the seven Scottish cities.

“Our commitment to working in partnership is cemented by this success and I am sure that, thanks to our ongoing collaboration, Scotland’s cities will continue to be seen as a global investor’s destination of choice.”

James Ledgerwood of the ScotRail Alliance said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Cities Convention. A key feature of our approach is recognising that our customers value not simply the rail journey from A to B, but rather the whole experience from doorstep to destination. Our services and infrastructure will continue to support wider economic growth and community investment in areas such as housing, commerce, education and tourism to help cities thrive.”

Notes to editors

Background

The Cities Convention aims to bring together community representatives from Scotland’s cities with policy makers to enable better understanding, improved policy and greater empowerment for communities.