Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £170m 'levelling up' funding for Scotland
The UK Government is to invest £170m in Scotland as part of the first round of its Levelling Up Fund, Rishi Sunak has confirmed.
Cash has been allocated to eight projects in Scotland ranging from transport improvements to restoration of cultural sites.
It is part of a wider package of £1.7bn being handed to local communities around the UK to promote economic growth in areas historically left behind and is in addition to the block grant calculated through the Barnett formula.
The Chancellor has also announced £150m for Scottish projects as part of its Community Ownership Fund.
Sunak said: “I’m allocating the first round of bids from the Levelling Up Fund - £1.7bn to invest in the infrastructure of everyday life in over 100 local areas, with £170m in Scotland, £120m in Wales, and £50m in Northern Ireland.”
The Scottish Government has accused the UK Government os taking a "centralised approach".
Finance secretary Kate Forbes said: "It means that money Scotland would have previously received under the seven year EU Structural Fund programmes to spend according to its own needs will now be distributed annually according to a UK Government agenda. This approach potentially leaves Scotland worse off, raises value for money concerns and undermines devolution."
The budget will see £41bn come to Scotland through Barnett consequentials, a £4.6bn boost from the previous year.
But Forbes said that in every year of the spending review will see Scotland receive less funding after the first year.
Welcoming the cash, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “This is a Budget that delivers for working people in Scotland by focusing on protecting jobs, providing essential extra funding of £4.6bn for public services, and freezing fuel duty to help drivers up and down the country.”
As part of the Levelling Up Fund, Aberdeen is to receive £20m to improve its city centre while almost £40m is going towards improve links to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland near Paisley.
Smaller pots of money are going towards helping communities purchase and refurbish two town halls in Dumfries and Galloway, the UK’s most isolated pub on the Knoydart peninsula and the visitor information centre in Callander.