City deal finalised

The UK and Scottish Governments have each committed £300m to the City Deal which will see over £1 billion overall invested in unlocking economic growth and boosting jobs across the region.

Cllr Milligan signing the deal last year.

The funds will go directly to scientific research on space, health sciences, agri-tech and food and drink at Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Edinburgh Universities.

The signing of the full deal today by Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, backed by the UK government, Scottish Government and local partners, will see the creation of five new innovation hubs, including in robotics and space technologies. Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan signed the deal in July, 2017.

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Projects planned for Midlothian include the building of a world class Data Infrastructure Hub by the University of Edinburgh at Easter Bush; the construction of the new A701 relief road and A702 spur road, and funding for major improvement to the A720 Sheriffhall junction.

Midlothian can also expect to benefit from City Deal investment in the integrated regional skills programme and potentially with new secondary school ‘centres of excellence’, similar to the digital centre of excellence recently opened at the new Newbattle High School. Other benefits will include major construction projects, transport improvements and new affordable housing.

“Following the official signing, work on the City Region Deal projects can begin in earnest,” said Councillor Milligan.

“The planned investment builds on our area’s many strengths, particularly in research, technology and innovation. It will also act as a catalyst in accelerating economic growth by encouraging further investment and boosting the economy of Midlothian and the wider area.”

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian List MSP, said: “This investment in Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland is very welcome and will give a real boost to economic growth and jobs across Lothian.

“Lothian has an outstanding reputation for scientific research and these funds will be put to very good use.”