Glasgow City Region has announced a £250m funding boost for vital infrastructure work which will help kick start the region's post Covid-19 economic recovery and play a key part in supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the Region.
The funding forms part of the £1.13bn UK and Scottish government funded City Deal, one of the largest and the most advanced in the UK.
The announcement was prompted by formal confirmation from government to the eight City Regional member councils of their successful Gateway Review - the first of three reviews over the twenty year City Deal which unlock funding for key infrastructure projects.
The review, carried out by an independent company, recognised significant successes across the City Deal to date and commended the partners for their focus on delivering inclusive economic growth and for their strong partnership and shared vision to transform the regional economy.
Last year marked the first five years of the deal which has already made significant progress, with over £216m spent and City Region businesses benefitting from a £79m boost in contracts won (At end March 2020). A number of major projects have completed or are well underway, including Europe's first ever 'Smart' canal and the £18m 'street in the sky' bridge at Sighthill, one of the largest regeneration projects of its type outside of London.
And the latest £250m funding boost is set to support a whole programme of work in the next five years, helping to create and support thousands of much needed jobs for the local economy.
Work to improve transport and connectivity, a key focus of the £1bn programme, will move forward, including a feasibility study on proposals for a Glasgow metro system - a sustainable transport solution which has the potential to greatly improve access to jobs and build on the area’s status as a global city region.
Sustainable and inclusive travel and transport projects feature widely and include road improvements, bridges and active travel initiatives - such as cycle and pedestrian schemes, park and rides, enhanced public realm to improve greenspace, accessibility and encourage walking and cycling.
Extensive remediation works will also continue to unlock land in key locations for private development, with new roads, thousands of new homes built and new commercial, industrial and residential floor space realised through projected follow-on investment.
Susan Aitken, chair of the Glasgow City Region cabinet and leader of Glasgow City Council said: "As we plan for our re-emergence from the greatest crisis in generations, it's crucial that we accelerate activity on the things we already know we need to build a city region economy, one which delivers for all people and a sustainable future.
"The City Deal has a critical role on that road to recovery and renewal. In the months and years ahead, a monumental effort at all levels of government will be required to resuscitate our post-pandemic economy and I am committed to working with UK and Scottish ministers to maximise the value and impact of the Glasgow City Region Deal."
Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: "It is great to see the UK government's investment of £523m in the Glasgow City Region Deal continue to bring many benefits to the city and beyond. This funding for vital infrastructure work will help significantly as we look to recover from the Covid pandemic and plan for the future.”
Michael Matheson, Scottish cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives. This further investment into the Glasgow City Region Deal from our total funding of £500m, combined with the package of support we have announced for businesses across the country, will support the region to plan its economic recovery from Covid and thrive in the future."