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Our Strategy

Our strategy is set out in Scotland’s Agenda for Cities, launched in March 2016 by the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment & Cities.

The document is a refresh of the Agenda for Cities, "Scotland's Cities: Delivering for Scotland", which established the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership of Scotland's 7 cities ( Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling) and the Scottish Government.

As part of the refresh process we held a Cities Convention on 13 November 2015 in Perth. The Convention brought citizens and policymakers together to enable better understanding, improved policy and greater empowerment of communities. You can view video of the event here.

Scottish Cities Alliance

The Scottish Cities Alliance, aims to attract investment and jobs into our cities and has developed an ambitious multi-billion pound investment pipeline.  Alliance partners are now working nationally and internationally to deliver these investments, live propositions can be accessed here.

In 2015 the Deputy First Minister announced the first major investment from this collaborative approach. The £30 million Mill Quarter development in Perth city centre is expected to create more than 150 jobs and over 350 construction and supply jobs, while attracting over 300,000 visitors every year.

Our new Growth Accelerator (GA) model is a novel funding approach which provides cities and regions with a means to invest in the enabling infrastructure to unlock private sector investment.  The first GA project, for the St James Quarter in Edinburgh, will provide up to £60 million of public sector investment which in turn will unlock around £1 billion of new retail, leisure, hotel and residential development in the city centre.  The second GA, in Dundee, will provide up to £63.8 million for a range of Central Waterfront investments to support economic growth and increase tourism in the area. 

City Region Deals

City Region Deals offer the potential for new collaborative regional partnerships, focused on long-term strategic approaches to improving regional economies. They can deliver positive outcomes in line with Scottish Government policy: they encourage Local Authorities to operate strategically at the regional level and they can support a long-term focus on the priorities required to deliver Scotland’s Economic Strategy.  Each deal is bespoke to the city region and will include a package of measures designed to work as a coherent whole.

In August 2014 the Scottish Government committed over £500 million over 20 years to the Glasgow City Region City Deal. This is the first deal of its kind in Scotland and is an agreement between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the eight local authorities across Glasgow and Clyde Valley.  As well as creating a £1.13 billion infrastructure investment fund, the local authorities estimate that the Deal will deliver around 29,000 jobs in the city region and lever in an estimated £3.3 billion of private sector investment.

Aberdeen City Region Deal announcement

The Scottish Government, UK Government, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council  and Opportunity North East signed the Aberdeen City Region Deal on 21 November 2016. The signing of the Aberdeen City Region Deal and the release of funding allows the deal to move on to the delivery stage and make proposals a reality.   The terms of the deal commit both the UK Government and Scottish Government to jointly investing up to £250m whilst Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and local partners are committed to investing up to £44m over the next decade. 

The 10-year deal paves the way for investment in innovation, internationalisation, digital connectivity and infrastructure across the region.  The Deal encompasses a number of projects it will support an Oil and Gas Technology Centre (The OGTC), a digital infrastructure fund and the proposed expansion of Aberdeen Harbour. A Bio-Therapeutic Hub for Innovation, Agri-Food and Nutrition Hub for Innovation and a Strategic Transport Appraisal are also part of the programme.

In addition, the Scottish Government are committed to investing a further £254m in funding out with the City Region Deal targeted towards the delivery of improved transport and digital connectivity and local housing programmes. The extra funding will help make a step change to the economy of the North East.

The Scottish Government will work with any Scottish City considering a deal to make a strong joint approach to the UK Government and through the Scottish Cities Alliance, we are exploring mechanisms to unlock investment in all of Scotland's cities.

The Scottish Government will publish an Equality Impact Assessment on the Aberdeen City Region Deal within 21 days of publication.

Inverness City Deal

On 22 March 2016 the Scottish Government signed a Heads of Terms Agreement with the UK Government and the Highland Council committing £315m over a period of up to 10 years to support and grow the regional economy. The proposals in the Heads of Terms will be subject to detailed business cases, statutory processes and implementation plans.

The commitments in the Heads of Terms fall under a range of categories; transport, innovation, digital connectivity, housing, skills, infrastructure and tourism. The SG is committed to investing funding of up to £135m over the 10 year deal and the UK Government will invest up to £53.1m over the same period. The council and regional partners will also invest £127m over the lifespan of the deal.


Iain Eddyshaw, Region & City Partnerships Team, 6th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU, tel: 0300 244 2680, email: iain.eddyshaw@gov.scot 

City Statistics

Access statistics for Scotland’s cities.

Data sources for City Infographics in Scotland’s Agenda for Cities 2016

Downloadable document:

Data sources for City Infographics in Scotland’s Agenda for Cities 2016Data sources for City Infographics in Scotland’s Agenda for Cities 2016 [DOCX, 28.6 kb: 08 Mar 2016]
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