Extra £800m funding for Scotland and Stirling city deal in Chancellor’s autumn statement
Philip Hammond announced talks would begin on a city deal for Stirling, while the Scottish Government will receive £800m of infrastructure funding
Stirling City Deal - Image credit: Stirling Council
The Scottish Government is to receive an extra £800m of infrastructure funding, the Chancellor announced today.
In his autumn statement Philip Hammond announced a new £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund for innovation and infrastructure over the next five years, from which Scotland will get £800m under the Barnet formula.
Scottish higher education institutions are also likely to get a share of an extra £2bn per year of investment in research and development.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said he was choosing to “prioritise additional high-value investment, specifically in infrastructure and innovation” that will contribute to raising Britain’s productivity.
He added that the productivity gap is “well known, but shocking nonetheless”.
“We lag the US and Germany by some 30 percentage points,” he said.
“But we also lag France by over 20 and Italy by eight.
“Which means in the real world, it takes a German worker four days to produce what we make in five, which means, in turn, that too many British workers work longer hours for lower pay than their counterparts.
“That has to change if we are to build an economy that works for everyone.”
A city deal for Stirling was also among the key announcements for Scotland, while Hammond recommitted to deals for Edinburgh and Tayside.
He said: “Devolution remains at the heart of this government’s approach to supporting local growth, and we recommit today to our city deals with Swansea, Edinburgh, North Wales and Tay cities – and I can announce today we’re beginning negotiations on a city deal for Stirling, so that every city in Scotland will be on course to have a city deal.”
The Stirling deal follows the signing of city deals for Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen and confirmation of a city deal for Edinburgh, yet to be signed, announced by the previous chancellor, George Osborne, in his budget in March.
Work on the Stirling city deal began 18 months ago, headed up by Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils, with proposed projects including a digital district, turning the River Forth into a leisure and tourism destination, a new civic and harbour quarter and plans for a major city park near Stirling Castle.
Stirling Council leader Johanna Boyd said: “This is fantastic news for Stirling. Today’s decision will be transformational for Stirling and its surrounding areas but, just as importantly, it endorses the ambition that Stirling Council and its many partners have for the area, and I am grateful to the UK Government for recognising and enabling that.”
A city deal for Tayside had not previously been formally announced, but in response to a question by SNP MP for Dundee Chris Law in July, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities James Wharton replied: “I would be happy—I know my colleagues in the Scotland Office would be enthusiastic, too—to work with honourable members and local partners to see it delivered, if we can come up with the right proposal and the detail can be provided.”
The Tayside deal would involve Scotland’s two remaining cities currently without a city deal, Dundee and Perth.
The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland will advise the Scottish Government on its infrastructure strategy and investment
The announcements included an extra £90m of funding from the Scottish Government as well as new powers to introduce a workplace parking levy and tourist tax
Among the changes Derek Mackay announced an extra £90m funding for councils this year, giving councils the power to introduce a tourist tax and reform of council tax after 2021
The new funding is part of the Tay Cities Region Deal, which is supported by the Scottish and UK governments
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