At a Tay Cities Deal Joint Committee meeting yesterday, held virtually due to ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, the four local authorities, along with business and higher/further education and third sector representatives committed to signing as soon as possible.
Joint Committee chair councillor David Ross, Fife Council’s co-leader, said: “Having gone through a thorough review and an exhaustive process of negotiation, we think that this is the best deal we can secure at this stage. It is on the table and we are ready to sign.
“However, we will continue to press the case for acceleration of the Deal funding, particularly in regard to the very important James Hutton Institute projects.
“Despite our reservations over the timing of the funding, this is an important commitment for the area. The two governments have pledged £300 million which will help to lever a further £400 million of investment into our city region.
“This money, and the 6,000 job opportunities across a range of industries that it will help to create, will be an important part of the combined response to the challenges posed to the local and national economy, particularly in the wake of coronavirus.”
Representatives of the Tay Cities Deal partners continue to have discussions with civil servants from both governments and have recommended to the Joint Committee that the deal be signed.
Cllr Ross added: “It remains for us to get a mutually convenient date in everyone’s diary and put pen to paper, even if that is virtual or socially distanced, so that we can push on with the important business of delivering for the people of the Tay Cities area.”
In addition to agreeing to proceed to signing the Deal the partnership also agreed to continue to express its strong support for the James Hutton Institute projects, request accelerated funding in the first 5 years of the Deal and press the UK Government to commit its funding over 10 years rather than the planned 15.
THE TAY CITIES DEAL
The Tay Cities Region comprises the local authority areas of Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and the North East part of Fife. The region has a strong economic base and regional identity with world class universities and many cutting-edge businesses. It is home to almost 500,000 people and more than 15,000 businesses.
The Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross under the headings Inclusive Tay; Innovative, International Tay; Connected Tay and An Empowered Tay.
In total, the 29 projects and programmes submitted require investment of £700 million of which £300 million over 10 to 15 years is being put in by the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies, subject to final approval of robust business cases.
If every project and programme set out in the submission is funded and delivered, up to 6,000 job opportunities could be created across tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care.