City Deal investment already bringing local benefit
Economy Secretary visits Highlands for progress update on Investment
The £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal is already benefiting the Highlands and supporting the area’s drive for economic prosperity.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown was given an update on the current investment during a visit to Inverness to meet council officials and see some of the projects benefiting under the deal. These included the Raining Stairs affordable housing project and Science Skills Academy in the Highland Capital.
Regional partners in the Highlands estimate the funding could unlock up to an additional £800m from the private sector and play a key role in securing long term productivity and economic growth as the region seeks to position itself as a centre of digital opportunity.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:
“Our cities and their regions are the engines of our economy and the Scottish Government is committed to working with our cities to unlock investment and boost the Inverness region’s potential. City Deals are one of our economic initiatives to stimulate growth and deliver infrastructure investment that will benefit both people and business.
“It has been extremely heartening to see the results of this investment today and the positive impact it is already having across the city. I look forward to continuing working with local partners to ensure both Inverness and the wider Highland region prosper, now and in the years to come.”
Margaret Davidson, Leader of Highland Council said: “The Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal is already delivering real and meaningful benefits to the Highlands, with the promise of securing a sustainable economic future for the region through this valuable investment in skills, business development and innovation, digital connectivity, transport infrastructure, housing and tourism.
“We have seen the start of important housing projects, the roll-out of free wifi, the completion of the first stage of the West Link and the development of the Newton Rooms and other exciting innovation and life science projects. We have always recognised that it is the private sector that will grow our economy and that our role is to enable and facilitate that growth and this is very much what the City-Region Deal seeks to do.”
The Inverness and Highland City-Region deal is just over a year old after being signed by Economy Secretary Keith Brown in January last year.
The Deal sets out SG investment of up to £135m, UKG investment of up to £53.1m and investment by the Council and regional partners of £127m. This 10 year investment programme aims to deliver a step change in transport, innovation, digital connectivity, housing, skills, infrastructure and tourism.
The City-Region Deal sets out the areas where the Scottish Government will commit investment of up to £135m and the UK Government will commit investment of up to £53.1m, which, together with £127m of further investment by the Council and partners, will deliver a step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, innovation and infrastructure.”
The HighlandAR project will bring local Inverness legends to life through a new app which uses augmented reality "AR". The free app is due to launch in late June.
For further information: visit: www.highland.gov.uk/cityregiondeal @cityregiondeal #cityregiondeal