Scottish Government to go beyond City Deal agreement.
The Scottish Government will invest, over the same 5-10 year time span as the City Region deal, an additional £254 million in the North East's infrastructure, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown announced today.
The funding, is in addition to the Scottish Government's commitment to 50:50 funding of the Aberdeen City Deal.
It will be targeted towards the delivery of improved transport and digital connectivity and local housing programmes requested by the local authorities.
The Scottish Government is already providing over £1 billion to the area and only this week confirmed the construction of a new secondary school in Inverurie.
Existing investment in the area includes £170 million for the railways (Aberdeen to Inverness), £37 million in Inverurie Academy and £745 million in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route showing the value and on-going commitment of the Scottish Government to communities in the North East.
The First Minister will visit Aberdeen on Monday for meetings with the oil and gas industry where she will make a further announcement of Scottish government action to support innovation, exploration, skills and access to finance for the North Sea industry.
The extra funding being announced by the Scottish Government will help make a step change to the economy of the North East, through;
- An initial £200 million additional funding to help improve journey times and increase capacity on key rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt.
- £24 million of funding for the trunk roads programme to support improvements to the key A90/A937 south junction at Laurencekirk.
- £10 million for extension of digital infrastructure in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area above and beyond the commitment through the City Deal.
- £20 million in infrastructure funding to unlock housing sites that are of strategic importance to the local authorities as well as 5 year certainty on £130 million of affordable housing grant
Welcoming the extra funding, Mr Brown said:
"This announcement of additional funding sends an unequivocal message that Aberdeen and the North East remain central to driving future growth and prosperity in Scotland.
"While I support the City Deal agreement, the Scottish Government recognises that there is more support that can be made available to the region and that will deliver real economic benefits. That is why we have decided to invest £254 million of additional Scottish Government support in key infrastructure in the North East to cement Aberdeen as one of the world's leading cities for business and industry. It is clear that the appetite of the Councils, and the needs of the area require more.
"This additional funding includes £20 million to unlock strategic housing development sites which will deliver affordable housing in the region and a further £10 million to deliver competitive digital solutions to support economic development."
"The £224 million investment in the transport infrastructure will support improvements to the trunk road and strategic rail networks, including infrastructure improvements, double tracking at key pinch points, and other opportunities to improve journey times to the central belt and on to London, increasing capacity for passenger and freight services, supporting jobs and growth and providing an economic boost to the cities and communities of the North East.
"A grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk has been a long-standing commitment of the Scottish Government and we have been working hard with the two local authorities and Nestrans to deliver this much-needed scheme for the people of the north east as soon as possible, bringing improved road safety and economic benefits to road users and the local community in Laurencekirk and the north Angus area.
"This funding reaffirms our commitment to Aberdeen City and shire and supports over £1 billion of investment in the area including £50 million for the Haudagain improvement works."