Smart Cities Programme Receives £15m European Funding Boost
The funding boost will enable local authorities to bring more cutting-edge technologies to residents across Scotland.
A project to improve the digital connectivity of Scotland’s cities has received £15 million in additional European funding.
The Smart Cities programme, led by the Scottish Cities Alliance, aims to make centres around the country more attractive to potential investors and residents.
This additional funding brings the total to £60 million and will be used to improve technology and sustainability in infrastructure, such as street lighting and public transport.
The Scottish Cities Alliance is a collaborative endeavour by Scotland’s seven cities – Aberdeen, Dundee Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling – along with the Scottish Government.
The initiative aims to promote greater collaboration between local authorities and government to promote the country’s economic potential and improve connectivity in cities around the country.
Trade Minister Ivan McKee said the funding will allow local authorities to bring more “cutting-edge” technologies to residents across the country
“The funding will enable the local authorities to strengthen their collaboration and bring even more cutting-edge technologies, like Open Data and Intelligent Street Lighting, to residents across Scotland,” he said.
“This £15 million from the European Regional Development Fund for Smart Cities supports the Scottish Government’s aim to remain open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally,” McKee added.
The Alliance also aims to increase low-carbon energy solutions to address growing concerns over climate change.
The £10 million hydrogen fuel cell project is at the forefront of this aspect of the Alliance’s work, which it claims will allow Scotland to position itself as a leading adopter of hydrogen technology in Europe.
Alliance chairman and Dundee City Council leader, John Alexander, emphasised the focus on sustainability and said the funding will provide a “huge boost” to improve quality of life for people across Scotland.
“Taking seemingly ordinary things such as street lights, bins and public transport and transforming their possibilities through Smart technology means cleaner, safer streets and this Smart technology also boosts the sustainability of our cities,” he commented.
Alexander added: “Sustainability is increasingly an important factor for investor when they are looking at locations and we are one of the only countries in the world to take all of our cities on the Smart journey together, sharing learning and best practice, which has meant we as a collective have been cited as a model of best practice on numerous occasions.”