Vision of City Region Deal takes shape

Highland Council has agreed the vision and a list of associated projects to form the basis of the case for the City Region Deal to be presented to the UK and Scottish Governments.

A number of projects have been identified under the themes of a skilled economy; a growing and sustainable economy and an enabled economy.

A skilled economy focuses on projects, which facilitate a highly skilled workforce, attracting graduates, promoting greater uptake in science and technology and expanding construction skills initiatives.

Further projects are aimed at a growing and sustainable economy through life sciences and health, and the promotion of tourism and renewables.

Recognising the importance of connectivity, there are a range of infrastructural projects and projects to accelerate the provision of effective broadband and mobile coverage across the whole region and enhanced wifi availability, as well as support for small businesses to take advantage of digital opportunities.

Chair of Development Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Audrey Sinclair said: “A City Region Deal would bring enormous economic benefits for both the City and the wider economy of the Highlands. This is underlined by the unique concept of a “City Region” Deal, which recognises the importance of such a deal to the whole area.

The Council, in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, has appointed a team to help develop a bid document. This will set out detailed business cases and quantify the economic benefits to the Highlands.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “This is about driving the economy of the Highlands up. Construction and technology skills will benefit people across the whole region. We have far, far too many low paid and low skilled jobs and this Deal is about upping the opportunities for everyone in all areas of the Highlands.”

3 Sep 2015