'Significant milestone' for Fife as £700m Tay Cities Deal signed

Fife has co-signed a £700 million deal set to boost economic prosperity in the wider Tay Cities region

St Andrews. Picture: Getty
St Andrews. Picture: Getty

The Tay Cities Region Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government, Angus, Dundee City, Fife and Perth & Kinross councils as well as further education establishments, which will see £300 million of government cash injected into the region with the aim of stimulating a further £400m of investment and creating 6000 jobs.

In Fife, the main beneficiary of the deal is the University of St Andrews Eden Campus low-carbon research project at Guardbridge, set for up to £26.5m of initial investment and £110m in further support in a bid to create 500 jobs.

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North East Fife councillor Karen Marjoram, who signed the deal on behalf of the local authority, said it was a “significant milestone” for the north-east of the Kingdom.

She said: “This investment will enable all Tay Cities partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region.

“Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife from the Regional Skills Programme and the Regional Culture and Tourism programme.”

Cllr David Ross, co-leader of Fife Council and chair of the Tay Cities Region Deal joint committee, said: “I am very pleased that we are now finally in a position to sign the Tay Cities Deal.

“The Deal provides a programme of sustained investment for the next 10 years (and) forms an important part of our plans to improve economic outcomes for everyone, reduce poverty and develop a fairer Fife.

“The investment, and the 6000 job opportunities across a range of industries that the Deal will help to create, will be important in growing and sustaining a successful local and regional economy over the long term.

“It will also help address some of the more immediate issues facing the local and national economy in the wake of Covid-19 and Brexit and contribute to meeting the challenge of climate change.”

The deal was signed in an virtual event livestreamed to the public, with all attendees abiding by social distancing guidelines, and represents the culmination of several years of work to get the deal across the line. However, it represents a lower-than-anticipated investment in the region, which had initially been trailed to inject up to £1bn.

UK Government Minister Iain Stewart said: “Today’s landmark signing will deliver transformative investment to the entire Tay region, including £150 million from the UK Government.

“This is the seventh Full Deal we have signed in Scotland and we now have deals in implementation or development for all of Scotland, representing investment from the UK Government of over £1.5 billion.”

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “In these uncertain times, these investments will deliver much needed jobs across the region. I’m pleased that the projects delivered through the Deal can now get underway and start delivering real benefits for local people and businesses.”

Other projects across the region include a £62 million investment in the Invergowrie-based James Hutton Institute, £26.5 million for Angus and a £37 million Regional, Cultural and Tourism investment programme.

Ellis Watson, Chair of Tay Cities Region Deal Enterprise Forum, said: “The Tay Cities Region Deal can’t fail to help the business environment that our companies operate in.

“A third of a billion pounds of real, incremental cash for our region is an incredible result and represents both an investment in and challenge to private, public and educational organisations across the region.”

Jon Brady, Local Democracy Reporter

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