Budget 2016: City Deals
Talks open on £3 billion City Deal for Edinburgh
Mr Osborne said that he would open talks on a city deal with the region, omprising the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Councils.
The £3bn deal would follow others in Manchester, West Midlands and Merseyside. It was later confirmed that talks are also under way on a deal for Inverness.
Edinburgh Council Leader Andrew Burns said: “We are delighted with the Chancellor’s pledge to develop a City Deal for our region and welcome the opportunity to continue our engagement with both the UK and Scottish Governments.
“We submitted our proposals in September 2015 and remain as determined as ever to negotiate greater fiscal powers and funding towards strategic housing, transport and infrastructure to help the region to become the most connected, creative, inclusive and innovative place in Europe.
“This commitment from Westminster is a step forward for our proposals to tackle inequality and accelerate substantial economic growth.”
Fife Council Leader, David Ross, said: “This is fantastic news for Fife and its partner authorities across Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland.
“This commitment from Westminster is a huge step forward for our proposals to tackle inequality and accelerate substantial economic growth across the region.
“This is something we have been working towards for nearly two years now, and I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of those involved from the local authorities and all the public and private sector organisations that have supported us to get to this important stage.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said it was another commitment from the UK Government to Scotland’s major cities.
Ms Davidson said: “This is another commitment from the UK Government to Scotland’s major cities.
“Edinburgh is a financial centre and potentially a real powerhouse for both the UK and Scottish economies.
“This deal will help build on that reputation, creating jobs and opportunities for the whole region. It’s yet another union dividend, and I thank the two million people who voted to remain part of the UK in 2014.”
Alasdair Humphery, lead director for property consultancy JLL, said: “The City Region deal is great news for Edinburgh and the south east of Scotland.
“With the region’s population set to soar over the next five years, combined with both a shortage of both housing and office accommodation, this investment is crucial to helping the City region achieve its potential.
“Deployed effectively, it should help to create jobs, regenerate industrial sites, support new housing, as well as improving transport infrastructure, all of which is crucial to the economic development of the city and wider region.
“Delivering a deal that is fit for purpose will depend on a fully co-operative effort from the regional business community, ensuring that the funding is invested where’s most needed.”