Hope Tay Cities Deal Will Be Signed Off in Mid-DecemberNeil Hardie
Tay Cities Deal beneficiaries are celebrating the news that the multi-million-pound funding boost will be signed off next week.
North East Fife Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain asked in the House of Commons when the agreement would be secured.
Under Secretary of State for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “The chancellor announced in the autumn spending review the UK Government’s investment will now be compressed to 10 years.
“We are working with local partners to get the full deal signed on Thursday, December 17.”
Mr Stewart added that he hoped to visit the St Andrews Eden Campus project, which is part of the deal, in the new year.
The move will unlock £700 million of investment in projects in Dundee, Perthshire, Angus and north-east Fife in a partnership between local organisations and the governments at Westminster and Holyrood.
It is two years since the agreement was signed at an event in Perth.
There are hopes the programme will lead to the creation of upwards of 6,000 jobs.
Ms Chamberlain said: “Projects like the Eden Campus Energy Centre at St Andrews University are long overdue and will make an enormous difference for our local economy.
“Now more than ever these funds could make a massive difference, putting investments right in the heart of our communities.”
Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI principal, said: “We are very much looking forward to see the Tay Cities Deal signed off as this will allow us to progress the Aviation Academy for Scotland (AAS) project in partnership with Tayside Aviation and Air Service Training (Engineering) Ltd.”
Professor Colin Campbell, chief executive of the James Hutton Institute, said an urgent release of funding for its proposed International Barley Hub and Advanced Plant Growth Centre was essential.
“We are facing an urgent and perilous situation, where two flagship projects which have global significance and make a disproportionate contribution to the local region, Scottish and UK economies, are in danger of collapse,” he said.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “Supporting and growing the economy post-Covid is a key priority and this will help us to achieve that. The time for talking is done, now is the time for action.”
Angus Council leader David Fairweather said: “There is a meeting of the Tay Cities Deal Joint Committee this Friday (11 December) to go through what we hope is an imminent signing of the deal.
“If that is the case, it’s something we all look forward to.”
Perth & Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle said: “I’m obviously delighted to get this over the line. It gives us as a council confidence to move ahead with projects and it will do for our private partners too.”
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie, who is MSP for North East Fife said: “This money will be put to good use at Guardbridge,
“I hope to see that as soon as the deal is signed that the money is released as a matter of urgency.”
Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “Although this progress is welcome, UK ministers really need to make sure that projects, such as the James Hutton Institute, are able to draw down on funding in year one, in order to ensure that the project remains viable.”