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Falkirk Growth Deal to Boost Innovation, Skills and Infrastructure

Ross Kelly

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Falkirk Growth Deal

The UK Government is also investing £40 million in the deal, which will be matched by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government has announced a £50 million investment in the Falkirk area as part of the Falkirk Growth Deal.

Invested over ten years, the funding will target economic development across a range of areas, including infrastructure, transport, innovation, energy transition and skills.

Specific projects and activities to be supported will be announced over the coming months, Holyrood said.

The UK Government is also investing £40 million in the growth deal. Scottish Government funding matches that and provides an additional £10 million to support green economy ambitions in the Falkirk area.

Announcing the investment, Scottish Government economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Falkirk Growth Deal demonstrates our commitment to supporting the region and delivering long-term benefits to the local communities and businesses.

“We will continue to work with our partners in Falkirk and the UK Government, supported by our enterprise and skills agencies, to help them to consider proposals that will unlock investment and drive inclusive growth across the area, creating a fairer, greener and more inclusive wellbeing economy.”

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack added: “We know that City Region and Growth Deals will be vital to Scotland’s economic recovery from coronavirus. The Falkirk Growth Deal will enable the regional economy to innovate, boosting investment and providing sustainable, high-quality jobs.”

Regional Growth Deals are agreements between the Scottish Government, the UK Government and local government aimed at delivering long-term improvements to regional economies.

There have been 11 deals in recent years, with Glasgow having been the first recipient in 2014. In total, the Scottish Government has committed more than £1.8 billion to City Region and Growth Deals, Hyslop said.

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Falkirk Council leader, councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, welcomed the funding boost but suggested the award was less than expected.

She said: “We welcome this offer of support and will work with Scottish and UK Governments to progress this initiative while seeking further assistance to deliver on the full-scale of the ambition for our area’s economy.

“The award, however, is relatively low considering our population and large-scale ambitions we have for the area, and Grangemouth’s strategic importance to the Scottish and UK economies.”

Meiklejohn highlighted additional “national scale” plans, which included a transition to a low carbon future and a “significant reduction in climate change”.

Moving forward, she said, Falkirk Council will “continue to push for more funding sources to ensure the vital role the local economy plays in Scotland and further afield is recognised and supported”.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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