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City Deals

Volume 619: debated on Wednesday 18 January 2017

The UK Government have spearheaded these deals, which will be transformative for the cities of Scotland. The city regions are engines of economic growth, so they will drive forward Scotland’s economy, which means more jobs and a secure future. That is why I am so pleased that the Government have now committed to a city deal for every one of Scotland’s seven city regions.

In the autumn statement, the Chancellor gave welcome support to city deals. Will the Secretary of State assure me that he will support the borderlands initiative as part of the programme?

The borderlands initiative is an innovative proposal that seeks to bring together Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, Carlisle City Council and other councils in the north of England to recognise the significant economic area that crosses the border. I am delighted to give my support to that proposal.

As well as city deals, the Secretary of State will be aware that the Ayrshire growth deal has been submitted to the Scottish Government. In yesterday’s Treasury questions, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury wrongly said that it is for the Scottish Government to advance that deal. What discussions has the Secretary of State had with Treasury colleagues about supporting the Ayrshire growth deal?

May I first welcome the fact that the hon. Gentleman’s colleague, the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Patricia Gibson), has secured an Adjournment debate tomorrow that will focus specifically on the Ayrshire regional growth deal? I have met the councils and I want that deal to receive support from the UK Government in the way that is most appropriate to make it happen.

At this Scotland Office questions, I am pleased to inform the House that I have just been notified that Andy Murray has won his second round match in Melbourne.