Business leaders in Edinburgh and across the south east are being urged to pledge their support for a proposal designed to accelerate growth in the area.
They’re encouraged to support The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region’s bid for a £1 billion loan from the UK and Scottish governments to help boost growth in the capital and its surrounding regions.
According to Fife Council, the bid partners, which comprise the City of Edinburgh, Fife, East Lothian, the Scottish Borders, Midlothian and West Lothian councils, are working closely to develop the deal.
It says the City Region deal is a mechanism for accelerating growth through investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation and will concentrate on the area’s strengths in knowledge, culture and technology.
According to the Council, it will create a “step-change” in economic performance which will generate finance to pay back the initial investment.
In its official statement, Fife Council said: “It’s also about greater autonomy and disseminating powers for the region to make public service delivery more effective and to tackle inequality and deprivation across the city region.
“The ambition is to secure £1billion of funding and it’s estimated that an additional £3.2 billion worth of private sector investment could be leveraged if the bid is successful.”
A long-term vision of the area’s economy was presented earlier this morning (Monday, August 17) during a Business Breakfast at the EICC (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) hosted by The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region.
According to Fife Council, working in partnership with stakeholders in the business and academic communities is crucial to the bid’s success.
A similar event was held with the area’s universities, which have already pledged their support for the deal, earlier this month.
The Council says the deal could generate investment in world-class incubation facilities and realign skills activities to drive forward increased levels of productivity, as well as reducing inequalities across the area.
Fife Council leader David Ross said: “As Scotland’s third largest local authority Fife is well-positioned to take advantage of the benefits offered by the City Region deal. Collaboration across the six local authorities provides a great platform that will help us realise the significant economic potential of the region.
“The City Deal will allow Fife to leverage major infrastructure, skills and innovation investment as well as tackling areas of inequality that need to be addressed. This will boost economic growth and benefit all of Fife’s people and the communities in which they live.”
City of Edinburgh Council leader Andrew Burns added: “Work is gathering pace on our proposal and we are all collaborating closely on our submission. Today’s event is extremely important as we are keen to garner the support of the business community and for them to be part of this exciting process. It is important that we align our ambitions with theirs, in order to deliver step-change in the economic performance of our city region.”
The bid is set to be presented to the UK and Scottish government’s in September.
To find out more, head to the website.