£1b bid submitted to boost growth

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The £1billion Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland City Region deal reached a milestone on Friday as the six bid partners submitted their proposal to the Westminster and Scottish governments.

The bid partners, Scottish Borders, East Lothian, the City of Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian and West Lothian Councils, are working to develop a deal with the governments designed to accelerate growth in Scotland’s capital city and its wider regional economy that will then benefit the Scottish and UK economies.

It will concentrate on the region’s strengths – knowledge, culture and technology.

The City Region deal is a mechanism for accelerating growth through investment in innovation, skills and infrastructure. It aims to improve economic performance and generate funds to pay back the initial investment.

Councillor David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “We are making the case for more investment in crucial infrastructure projects as well as for greater local decision making powers, increased opportunities for learning and development and the creation of a regional specific skills programme.”

Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development, added: “This could help us to achieve a step change in economic performance for all the economies of the region. Our aim is to have a deal in place for early 2016.”