New UK investment zones announced to grow the economy in Scotland

Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland will be Scotland’s Investment Zones following an agreement between the UK Government and Scottish Government.

The pace at which the agreement was developed is testament to the strength of partnership between the two governments and what can be achieved when there is a focus on delivering economic growth and opportunity for people in Scotland.

Investment Zones are a crucial part of levelling up, and are designed to deliver economic growth, more high skill jobs, investment, and future opportunities for local people – a key priority for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The tax incentives and funding that are being made available by the UK and Scottish governments will attract investment, improve skills, provide specialist business support and improve local infrastructure.

Investment Zones are focused around research institutions such as universities. They focus on driving growth in priority sectors including technology, the creative industries, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and the green sector. They will underpin clusters to boost UK competitiveness in these high-potential industries, leveraging existing strengths and assets to increase opportunities for local communities and driving productivity growth.

The two Scottish regions are the first Investment Zones outside of England and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove will today welcome this ‘historic milestone’ in widening the programme to other parts of the UK.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove said:

This is an historic milestone as we widen the opportunity and ambition of the Investment Zone programme to grow the economy across the whole of the United Kingdom.

I am very appreciative of the constructive approach the First Minister and Deputy First Minister have shown in the meetings I have had with them in recent weeks. We all have a shared ambition to work together to see all parts of Scotland thrive and today’s agreement builds on our successful rollout of Green Freeports in Scotland earlier this year.

Both Aberdeen and Glasgow, and their surrounding areas, have been at the very heart of the UK’s economic success for generations. Shipbuilding on the Clyde. Oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and a leader in the renewable sector. Both responsible for exporting some of the world’s finest food and drink around the globe. Both playing home to some of the biggest financial service companies we have. We want to build on this proud present and past so that Aberdeen and Glasgow continue to make a massive contribution to the UK economy.

The two Scottish Regional Economic Partnerships areas, made up of a number of different local authorities, will each benefit from an overall funding envelope of £80 million over a five-year period, while making the most of both reserved and devolved policies as is the case with Green Freeports.

The locations of Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland have been selected jointly by the UK Government and Scottish Government based on their research strengths, an assessment of economic need and potential, and a consideration of geographic spread.

Regional leaders, businesses and universities will take the lead in shaping regional plans, to ensure Investment Zones draw on the entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of research talent that exists across Scotland.  Discussions will now begin with both regions to develop detailed proposals.

Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, said:

“This is exciting news for Glasgow and Aberdeen – the establishment of two Investment Zones in these areas will enhance their existing strengths, helping to attract investment, grow our economy and create jobs in priority sectors. This will build upon the great progress already being seen with the Freeports we announced earlier this year in Inverness and Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth.

“We have worked closely with the Scottish Government throughout, which shows again what can be achieved when Scotland’s two governments work together to promote a fair spread of opportunities across Scotland. The UK Government is focussed on levelling-up throughout the UK which includes investing more than £2.2 billion in projects in Scotland.”

The delivery of investment zones will build on the success of the joint UK and Scottish government agreement for two Green Freeports in Inverness and Cromarty Firth and Firth of Forth, to create jobs, drive growth and level up the country.

Backed by up to £52 million in UK Government funding, the freeports are expected to bring forward an estimated £10.8 billion of private and public investment and create over 75,000 new, high-skilled jobs.

Link: New UK investment zones announced to grow the economy in Scotland
Source: Assent Information Services