Tay Cities Deal Cash Dispensed in 10 YearsNeil Hardie
Money for the Tay Cities Deal will be handed out over a 10-year period, it has been agreed. The initial heads of terms for the spending package indicated cash from the UK Government would be dispensed over a 15-year cycle. However, an agreement has now been reached to cut this by five years.
It is hoped the Tay Cities Deal could be finalised by December, more than two years after the initial agreement was given.
The £700 million programme will fund projects across Tayside and Fife, including the Cross Tay Link Road, and is expected to create thousands of jobs.
News of the acceleration was welcomed, but Dundee administration leader Councillor John Alexander said the process still needed to move “at pace”.
As it stands, the Tay Cities Deal will have an additional £6.3m annually.
Nothing has been signed off on any of the four deals singled out in the review, but the announcement – made yesterday afternoon – is regarded as a commitment.
Councillor Alexander, who is also vice-chairman of the Tay Cities Deal board, said: “The long-awaited, and what seemed like elusive, Tay Cities Deal has finally been given the goahead and I’m absolutely delighted. It’s fair to say that it has taken far too long.
“One of our core asks was a move to 10-year funding, which helps deliver the collective ambitions sooner and, therefore, deliver the benefits sooner. The UK Government have now committed to that timeframe, following the Scottish Government ’s lead.
“Now we need to get this signed- off formally and that will allow key infrastructure projects to move forward at pace.”
Perth and Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle said: “Getting this deal compressed down to 10 years will make a significant difference.
“It won’t cure all of our ills, but it will make a big change to the way we can structure the Tay City Deal.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The UK Government’s spending review delivers for all parts of the UK at this challenging time.
“Accelerating the Tay, Moray, Borderlands and Islands growth deals is great news. It will help support jobs and drive economic recovery across swathes of Scotland.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross added: “It’s now a fact that Rishi Sunak and the UK Government have gone further than any government in peacetime history to protect jobs and support public services.
“These unparalleled spending promises show that the deep pockets of the UK Government are best placed to support Scottish jobs, schools and hospitals.
“The Scottish Conservatives argued for accelerated city and growth deals to invest more quickly in Scottish communities, and we’re delighted to see that has been delivered alongside a bumper £2.4 billion boost in Barnett consequentials.”
Elsewhere in the review, a Dundee-based group that supports fledgling games developers has received £1m.
UK Games Fund is a nonprofit funding delivery body which is run from Dundee’s River Court.
The announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak means the group will have funding through to 2021-22.
Director Paul Durrant said: “We are delighted in this expression of confidence in the UK Games Fund’s Dundeebased operations.
“Despite a tough year, our funded companies are going from strength- tostrength with a recent string of announcements of funding deals, acquisitions and record-breaking crowdfunding campaigns.
“Operating from the heart of Dundee’s amazing games community continues to underpin our success.”
Earlier this year, UK Games Fund gave financial support to 38 companies in its sixth funding round.