Skip to main content

City Deals: Scotland

Volume 605: debated on Monday 8 February 2016

This question underlines the point I was making about how other areas would like city deals, too. We have to work together to deliver city deals and we have to ensure that they are properly thought through, but we will continue to have those discussions and continue to work together to deliver something that can make a real difference. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will continue to be a passionate advocate for it.

This city region deal was submitted in September, with further information being submitted to both the UK and Scottish Governments on 18 December. Local government received a draft set of terms of reference from the UK Government, which was responded to in early January, but despite follow-up, it is still to hear anything further back. Can the Minister confirm whether a deal will be in place prior to the purdah period for the Scottish Parliament elections?

The Edinburgh and South East Scotland city deal is another important area of potential growth. The discussions are important, as this has to be done properly. The discussions have to be detailed, going through the opportunities as well as the costs. Given what has been achieved in Aberdeen, it is no surprise that the hon. Gentleman is keen to secure a city deal for his area, too. We will continue to have those discussions, and if the right deal can be reached, we will look to deliver on it.

The Government committed £500 million to the Greater Cambridge city deal—or 50%. Following the news that only 25% of Aberdeen and Shire’s deal was funded by Whitehall, may I ask what percentage of the Edinburgh and regions deal the Minister will be committing?

As I said, those discussions are ongoing and we will see what conclusion they reach. What is welcome is the recognition across the House that city deals can make a real difference and the recognition in those communities and economies of the value they can bring and of the growth they can generate. We will continue in those discussions. I hope we will reach a conclusion that will be welcomed by hon. Members from across the House, but I am confident that the city deals, as a whole, are making a real difference and will continue to do so.