A partnership of local authorities is aiming to win a £1bn city deal, under ambitious plans.
The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region – comprising Edinburgh, Borders, Fife, Mid, East and West Lothian councils – will work together to develop a deal with the Scottish and UK Governments designed to grow the local, national and UK economies.
At the heart of the proposition lies a £1bn infrastructure fund, with priority areas for investment likely to include transport, housing, economic regeneration, energy and digital connectivity.
It is estimated that an additional £3.2bn of private sector investment could be leveraged, generating tens of thousands of new jobs and providing a sustainable 5% uplift to the local economy.
The deal will be targeted at maximising the opportunities afforded by the world class research base, and would look to exploit the wide range of technologies being pioneered across the city region.
Any investment would be supported by a complementary package of skills and innovation measures, such as business-led training academies in key growth sectors.
Speaking on behalf of the six local authorities, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Andrew Burns, said: “I am delighted to be working with our five neighbouring local authorities to pursue a deal for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region.
“In creating this fund, we want to build on our strengths whilst tackling persistent pockets of inequality and other constraints that threaten to hold the region back.
“Our next step will be to seek UK and Scottish Government agreement on the development of a detailed proposition; one that we believe can unlock billions of pounds of potential infrastructure investment, thereby ensuring the continued growth and reduction in inequality across one of Europe’s most successful city region economies.”