The creation of a £5 million Cities Investment Fund to support a Scottish Cities Alliance was announced today by Nicola Sturgeon.
The Cities Investment Fund is designed to accelerate the pace of investment in our cities by:
- Developing programmes which lever in other funding - either private finance or European funding
- Supporting collaborative programmes between cities which will develop large-scale projects
- Developing programmes which allow for wider city region investment
The leaders of Scotland's city local authorities team up in a new economic partnership to attract investment, create jobs and help Scotland's cities compete more successfully on the international stage.
The Alliance has been tasked with developing growth initiatives focused on connectivity, sustainability, knowledge and culture, and will draw on the expertise of the public, private and academic sectors.
Ms Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, unveiled the Agenda for Cities as local government leaders met in Edinburgh for COSLA's convention.
"The Agenda for Cities will help create the momentum required to make sure that our cities and their regions are able to make the fullest possible contribution to sustained economic recovery - stimulating economic activity and job creation.
"We want to see cities working together, building on their combined strengths to develop strong investment propositions at a scale which will be attractive to potential investors.
"Our recently published Infrastructure Investment Plan and Regeneration Strategy will help improve connections within and between our cities and enable them to ensure opportunities are available to all. But as a Government we want to do more to help cities realise their visions by removing barriers and strengthening partnerships.
"That is why I am delighted that, as a key element of our Agenda for Cities, the leaders of city local authorities will be in the driving seat, collaborating through a new alliance, supported by the SCDI. The Alliance will help cities determine their shared priorities, backed by resources from our new £5 million Cities Investment Fund.
"I am also delighted that St Andrews and Glasgow Universities are together establishing and funding a Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre to support the Alliance. This will pool together expertise on cities growth issues, draw on international experience and provide the Alliance with a solid evidence, research and evaluation base.
"We have high expectations that the Cities Alliance, with the city leaders in the driving seat, will develop collaborative projects to attract private sector investment and accelerate the pace of investment into our cities."
Welcoming the news, Joe Fitzpatrick SNP MSP for Dundee City West, said:
“This is great news for Dundee and every city Scotland. I’m delighted that the SNP Government are committed working with local authorities to enhance and enrich the economic powerhouses and cultural hubs of Scotland.
“This is another major step forward in the campaign to bring investment and jobs to Dundee.”