Tay Cities Deal submits £1.84bn investment plan
Set out as a series of “asks” and “offers” across 100 pages, the Tay Cities Deal submission lists over 50 projects across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross which could create up to 15,000 jobs for the region.
Among the projects are a scheme to boost employment through oil and gas decommissioning, cultural transformation projects in Perth and plans for a Cross Tay Link Road.
The total cost of the proposed investment is £1.84bn of which £826 million (45%) over 10 years is being sought from the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies. The remainder would come from councils, colleges and universities, and the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The leaders of the region’s four councils gathered at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie for the submission’s formal launch.
An advanced plant growth centre and an international barley hub, both of which would involve “significant input” from the institute, are among the deal projects.
Iain Gaul, leader of Angus Council, said: “The Tay Cities region will be successful for everyone who lives here. By working together, public and private sector partners can deliver this ambitious, creative and forward thinking programme.”
Ken Guild, Dundee City Council leader, added: “Anchored in new and exciting ways of delivering services we are going to create a region that is inclusive, innovative, international and connected creating growth that combines increased prosperity with greater equity; the kind that creates opportunities for all.”
Among the 56 projects structured around inclusivity, innovation, international, connectivity and empowerment that make up the Tay Cities Deal submission is:
- Dundeecom a private/public partnership aimed at creating a major centre in Scotland for oil and gas decommissioning pulling together the regional assets of Dundee, Montrose and Methill (Port and Energy Park Fife);
- developing cultural and heritage tourism assets including the creation of The Comic Centre, the UK’s first purpose built permanent comic-based centre/visitor attraction and increasing the ability of Arbroath’s Hospitalfield to become a world class facility for cultural ideas and production;
- Cultural transformation projects in Perth, including transforming Pitlochry Festival Theatre into a centre of performance excellence; a £30m capital investment in Perth Museum and Art Gallery and a new cultural attraction at City Hall; and the Perth 2021 UK City of Culture Bid;
- increased investment at the University of St Andrews’ Guardbridge Eden Campus, which will create the UK’s first energy carbon neutral university, and enhance Scotland’s position as a leader in both sustainable development and biotechnology;
- a regional logistics, fulfilment and business innovation park in Perth;
- marine tourism infrastructure at St Andrews, Tayport and Newburgh to support the region in its aspiration to deliver a world class tourism offer;
- the Cross Tay Link Road which will unlock development land in and around Perth and enable the planned and sustainable growth of the city;
- a Montrose to A90 investment corridor which will enable the delivery of infrastructure to support a major growth opportunity in North Angus; and
David Ross, Fife Council leader, said: “The opportunity to negotiate a tailored deal represents a once in a generation opportunity to deliver on the Tay Cities Regional Economic Strategy and, in turn, to improve economic outcomes for everyone across the whole region.”
Ian Miller, Perth & Kinross Council leader, added: “Our submission also has an unprecedented focus on cultural regeneration, supporting Perth’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and Dundee’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2023.
“In addition we want to create opportunities for people in work to progress as well as easing restrictions on access for new entrants to the jobs market to support our ambition of smarter, fairer growth through collaboration.”
Cabinet secretary for economy, Keith Brown, said: “Cities and their regions play a crucial role driving economic growth which is why the Scottish Government is working individually and collectively with Scotland’s cities, regions, businesses and people to boost this growth.
“It’s fantastic to see the local authorities working collaboratively to bring together this proposal. This partnership approach has been clearly demonstrated through the region’s asks and proposed innovative projects. We will continue to work closely with the councils to understand and help develop their ambitious proposals.”
UK government minister Andrew Dunlop added: “The UK government is fully behind a Tay Cities Deal, as was made clear by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement. We look forward to working through the detailed proposals with partners.
“Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements which will benefit everyone.
“The UK government is committed to delivering a UK Cities Deal for each of Scotland’s seven cities. We look forward to working with the Tay Cities partners.”
The Tay Cities Deal submission will be discussed at Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross councils over the coming weeks.
The final document will be submitted to both governments by the end of February.