Glasgow has officially signed a “City Deal” with the Scottish and UK governments which will bring £1.3 billion of additional investment to the Scottish City.
Westminster and Holyrood will both give £500 million in the scheme in additional grant funding to the city and its surrounding areas. Glasgow and other neighbouring councils will then supplement this by borrowing £130 million from currently unnamed lenders.
The money will be put to good use and will help to improve the city’s transport, infrastructure and employment programmes. It is projected that the City Deal will inflate the area’s annual economy by nearly £2.5 billion.
Last year it was announced that Glasgow will be the first Scottish city to reap the benefits of a City Deal status, which is an agreement between the UK Treasury and a city or region.
Similar deals have already been in place for a while in cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.
The first Scottish City Deal was signed on Wednesday by the leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson; Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander; Scottish Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay; UK Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark and leaders of other less significant participating local authorities.
Councillor Gordon Matheson described the signing of the City Deal as a “momentous day” for the Scottish City.
“The benefit this funding will bring to our infrastructure, economy and labour market will be felt for decades through tens of thousands of new jobs and increased competitiveness,” he stated.
“I look forward to working with all of our partners to deliver this hugely important project in the years to come.”
The government of the UK has stated that it believes the investment could create nearly 30,000 jobs over the next 20 years, and could potentially generate over £1.75 billion of economic growth in the city of Glasgow every year.
Mr Alexander stated that he believes the deal will have a fantastic lasting impact on Glasgow and it’s surrounding area.
“This is fantastic news for the residents of the city and the Clyde Valley region, as it means those who know Glasgow best – the people who live and work here – can decide where this investment can benefit them and their families the most,” he explained.
Innovo Property then added, “As our largest city, Glasgow is central in driving economic growth.
“That is why the Scottish government has agreed to invest £500 million in a city deal for Glasgow and the Clyde Valley that delivers significant benefits for the region and for Scotland as a whole.”
Some English politicians, however, are voicing their concerns that they believe the signing of the contract should have waited until after the Scottish Independence yes/no vote on September 18th, as if they choose to rescind their membership of the UK, they would not be entitled to the benefits of a city deal.
Some sceptics believe that David Cameron has urged the City deal to go ahead, as he hopes it will encourage Scottish voters to see the UK in a better light, and vote no in September. Whether this is the case remains to be seen.