A multi-million-pound investment in Dundee city centre is among the demands put forward by a group of the city’s leaders to the UK and Scottish governments.
Following a decision not to award Dundee investment zone status, the group has drawn up plans for a new partnership between the city and the Scottish and UK Governments.
It will allow Dundee to develop a programme of investment which will help to tackle poverty and create new jobs.
The group, which includes Dundee City Council, the city’s universities, Dundee and Angus College and the chamber of commerce, is proposing a new model to stimulate growth and investment.
It will aim to build on The Tay Cities Deal and capitalise on projects such as Dundee Eden and the cyberQuarter at Abertay University.
Ahead of the autumn statement this week, a business case and series of asks will be submitted to the governments.
The proposals range from funding to attract build-to-rent property developers to support for an employability hub.
Dundee group’s call for city centre funding
The ‘asks’ being made by the group to the Scottish and UK Governments are:
- Multi-million-pound funding to transform the city centre, including the redevelopment of surplus retail accommodation.
- New funding models to attract build-to-rent developers to create city centre housing.
- Tax incentives to support regeneration by transforming vacant and under-used buildings.
- A pilot scheme to bring innovative carbon neutral social rented projects to the city centre.
- Support for a skills and employability hub, with a specific focus on growth sectors such as digital and data, helping unemployed young Dundonians into sustainable employment.
Dundee’s opportunities outweigh challenges, says council leader
Council leader John Alexander said: “Dundee’s challenges are well documented, but the opportunities significantly exceed these.
“To unlock the vision of the city leaders, we are aiming to achieve long-term strategic partnership with both governments.
“We’ve taken our asks to the heart of both governments on a broad and ambitious agenda.”
Mr Alexander said he recently met with Neil Gray MSP, cabinet secretary for economy, fair work and culture, and the secretary of state for Scotland, Alister Jack MP to discuss the proposals.
He added: “No one can say that we aren’t being proactive as a city.
“Key partners in Dundee have been working hard behind the scenes to further strengthen our case for extra investment to transform not only our city, but the lives of people across Dundee.
“We see the autumn statement and any announcements about further levelling-up investment and partnerships as ideal opportunities to state our case for a new relationship with government.”
Alison Henderson is chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce.
She said Dundee would “languish” at the bottom of economic charts without government support.
She said: “We must see investment to stimulate local economies beyond city deal programmes to markedly improve the average earnings of the people who work in our city.”
‘Time to stimulate further growth’ in Dundee
Professor Shane O’Neill is deputy vice-chancellor and provost of the University of Dundee.
He said its opportunities are in health and life sciences companies. They will be supported by the new life sciences innovation district, he said.
Meanwhile professor Liz Bacon, principal and vice-chancellor at Abertay University, said the regeneration of the city so far has been based on partnership working.
She added: “It is now time to stimulate further growth by backing Dundee with investment required to support industry, tackle poverty and create new opportunities.”
Dundee and Angus College principal Simon Hewitt said: “We aim to play a vital role in providing the appropriate education, skills and training needed to attract more jobs into the city.
“We believe that such collaborative efforts are essential for unlocking the full potential of Dundee.”