PM Visits Edinburgh to Sign Off on Landmark Funding Boosts

Brexit Draft Withdrawal Agreement

The Prime Minister will visit Edinburgh today to sign off on landmark funding boosts for Scotland which will commit hundreds of millions of pounds in investment. 

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to formally announce hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment for the South East of Scotland today during a visit to Edinburgh.

The £1.2 billion City Deal for Edinburgh will see the UK and Scottish Government each committing £300 million to unlock economic growth and boost jobs across the region. Additional support from the private sector is also expected as part of the agreement.

This announcement follows the signing of the terms for the Edinburgh City Deal in 2017, and is part of the UK Government’s ongoing investment in city and growth deals in Scotland – which has now topped more than £1bn. Support from Westminster has also been matched by over £1bn of Scottish Government investment.

Investing in the Future

Funds will be directed specifically towards scientific research on space, health sciences and agri-tech; as well as food and drink at Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Edinburgh UniversitiesFive new innovation hubs, specialising in robotics and space technologies will be created as part of the deal and will be backed by local partners.

Around £350m of funding has been earmarked for research, development and innovation programmes for the region, which include; data centres, incubation spaces, and industrial and commercial spaces.

The Prime Minister said: “I am pleased to be in Edinburgh today for the city’s annual celebration of the arts and culture. From the Fringe to the International Festival, festivals dedicated to science, books and storytelling, the city is truly a cultural inspiration for the rest of the UK and the world.

“Alongside the Scottish Government and local partners, I will be confirming £300m, as part of a wider £1bn investment by the UK Government through City Deals in Scotland, to create jobs and open up new economic opportunities throughout the nation.

“These City Deals build on existing strengths to open up new possibilities for the future in Scotland and the whole of the UK as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

Glasgow and Dundee

The Prime Minister also announced an additional £13m investment for six science centres across the UK, including Dundee and Glasgow, to drive innovation in science and technology. The funding will help to improve facilities, create new learning activities to reach audiences and, it is hoped, attract thousands of new visitors.

Brexit Looming

The Prime Minister’s visit coincides with the first week of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In a recent interview, Fergus Linehan, the director of the Festival, claimed Brexit could have “disastrous” and “horrible” effects on the festival. Linehan also suggested that the month-long global event could be scaled back in 2019.

Brexit, the Prime Minister said, could provide valuable new opportunities for the UK. She said: “As we leave the EU, the UK Government is working in partnership with business, academia and the devolved administrations to create more good jobs and spread economic prosperity across the country.

“By making the most of our country’s assets and the talents of all of our people, we can build a brighter future for the whole UK.”

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