The £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal was formally signed, sealing the Deal for the release of funding for a number of business cases.
The Heads of Terms document for the Deal, worth £315 million, was signed in March 2016, paving the way for business cases to be submitted to the UK and Scottish Governments for approval.
The City-Region Deal sets out the areas where the Scottish Government will commit investment of up to £135m and the UK Government will commit investment of up to £53.1m, which, together with £127m of further investment by the Council and partners, will deliver a step change in digital connectivity, digital healthcare, skills, innovation and infrastructure.
The impact of the Deal on Inverness and the wider Highland region will be significant in securing the long term productivity and economic growth of the region and position it as a region of digital opportunity. Regional partners estimate that the City-Region Deal funding of £315m could unlock up to an additional £800 million of investment by the private sector.
The Deal was signed by Councillor Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council, Keith Brown Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, The Scottish Government, and UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop.
Mr Brown said:
“The signing of the Inverness City Region Deal shows our clear and strong commitment to investing in Inverness and the wider Highlands region, and the crucial contribution they make to Scotland’s economic growth.
Our £135 million investment will improve access to jobs, education and healthcare which will deliver significant long-term benefits for the city, region and Scotland as a whole. This investment reinforces the Scottish Government’s commitment to bringing economic prosperity to all parts of Scotland.
It’s fantastic to see the first tangible results of Scottish Government investment which will help to address the shortage of skills related to science, technology, engineering and maths/digital through the Science Skills Academy.”