I spoke to the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work last week. We will meet again shortly to discuss our joint approach, including how we can deliver for my hon. Friend on the Stirling and Clackmannanshire deal.
Will the Secretary of State confirm to the House that the UK Government are committing new money to the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal, not simply rebadging existing funding? When he next meets the Scottish Government, will he secure a similar commitment from them that they will put new money into the deal and not just rebadge existing funding?
I confirm that the UK Government will definitely put new money into the Stirling and Clackmannanshire deal. That has always been our approach to such deals, and that is why they have such a transformative effect. I will speak to Keith Brown on the issue my hon. Friend raises, but I know Mr Brown takes a particular interest in that deal.
All the city region cash that has gone Inverness’s way is most welcomed by residents of Inverness. However, other communities in the Highlands such as Wick, Thurso and Tain struggle to see the benefit. It is supposed to be a city region deal. Will the Secretary of State look into why it is not working as it should?
I will of course look into the hon. Gentleman’s point, which was also raised with me when I was on Skye. May I use this opportunity to rebut the fake news that Skye is full and not open for business to tourists? It is open for business and a great destination.