I am pleased to confirm that we have agreed a city or growth deal for each of Scotland’s seven city regions. We have also agreed, or are in the process of agreeing, growth deals for Ayrshire, Borderlands, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, the Islands, and my own home area of Moray. Together, this will mean that a city or growth deal will be part of every area of Scotland.
I thank my hon. Friend for his reply and for his Department’s excellent work in delivering these growth deals for Scotland. But does he agree that we now need a growth deal for the whole United Kingdom based on free enterprise, an export boost from new free trade deals, and locking in some of the productivity gains we have made during this crisis on a transition to a more digital and cashless economy?
I do agree that as we come out of this pandemic we have to ensure that steps are taken to protect and restore people’s livelihoods, which are clearly at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment, because a strong economy is the best way to protect jobs and fund vital services that are required. I am certain that city and growth deals in Scotland and across the UK will play their part in helping to achieve this.