North East Fife businesses urged to back Tay Cities Deal

Local firms encouraged to sign up and pledge their support 

Businesses from across the Tay Cities economic region of North East Fife, Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross are being urged to back a major bid to accelerate inclusive growth across the region.
Fife Council is encouraging them to sign up and pledge their support for the Tay Cities Deal submission, which is says is set to boost creativity and fairness and benefit around 500,000 people for the next 20 years and beyond, to the Scottish and UK governments later this month (March).
The Tay Cities Deal team is currently negotiating with both governments on funding and the shape of the projects, with the aim of creating one of the most productive knowledge-led economies in Europe.
Fife Council says the aim is to get fairer, as well as smarter, so that no-one gets left behind.
It claims the Deal will raise productivity by investing heavily in skills, getting research knowledge to market, growing the sectors that the region is already leading in, engaging more with the world, and improving infrastructure at every level to benefit everyone.
It says that, within 10 years almost 5,000 more people will be working in the Tay Cities region, with more jobs created and vacancies filled though skills development, re-training, backing business start-ups, encouraging inward investment and making work worthwhile as a result of the Deal.
Head of Tay Cities Deal David Littlejohn – speaking on behalf of the Tay Cities partners – said:  “We are asking businesses to pledge their support for the Tay Cities Deal to help create a region that is truly inclusive, innovative, international and connected.
“To cut unemployment rates we will help 2,600 people back into work and ensure that no one slips back into long-term worklessness. The focus is on communities where people experience multiple-deprivation and keeping them productive.
“We’re focussing on certain industries because they’re already significant employers and income generators with potential to grow, or we’ve got the brains but need the financial backing to make them really fly. All of this is anchored in new and exciting ways of delivering services.
“Businesses are urged join dozens of local businesses who have already signed up to support the deal at ”
The total cost of the proposed investment is £1.83 billion, with the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies are being asked for £763 million over 10 years.
Fife Council says businesses that innovate meet their international ambitions and the Tay Cities region is set to become the home to even more of them. Nine specific areas are identified where innovation will deliver inward investment and significant productivity improvements.
Littlejohn added: “Twenty years from now, when anyone asks what the Tay Cities area is good at they’re going to have a wealth of options to choose from. The Deal heavily backs collaboration between businesses, academia, research organisations and the public sector, harnessing the wealth of creativity and expertise in the area to build collaborative approaches to training, research and development in all nine fields.
“It might be world-class oil and gas decommissioning or the creative industries. The answer may be ‘I was there on holiday, enjoying a superb visitor experience’, as the cradle of the most recent digital revolution, or the home of the eco-innovation living lab. All will be players on the international stage, bringing with them new skilled jobs and prosperity.”
Fife Council claims the Tay Cities region is not only ambitious and creative, but also fair. It says that fairness is about working together differently, and willingness to collaborate, integrate and innovate.
It promises that future policy and interventions at all levels will focus on inclusive growth ensuring that everyone has access to job opportunities, making the Tay Cities region a much more desirable place to live, work and invest.
The Council says the opportunity to negotiate a tailored city deal represents a once in a generation chance to finance the delivery of the Tay Cities Regional Economic Strategy and improve economic outcomes across the whole area.
It says that equally important is the creation of long-lasting partnerships – not just between the four local authorities, but with government, between and within the business sector and other public and voluntary participants.
It claims these partnerships and the active support of businesses will, ultimately, deliver sustainable change from this City Deal.