Business management and marketing students put their heads together in Dundee at a special event to work out how the Tay Cities Deal can be delivered to maximum effect.
The gathering at Abertay University was special because the fourth year undergraduates were working with key stakeholders in the ambitious project aimed at transforming the economy of the Tay valley.
Representatives from the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Tay Valley Partnership and professional services group Ernst and Young gave the occasion extra significance by outlining the actual challenges presented by the project and challenging the students to come up with solutions.
The plan sees Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Angus and Fife councils working together to bid for £400 million from the UK Government to improve infrastructure.
The sum could be supplemented with funding from the Scottish Government, for a venture that, in the words of Dundee city development director Mike Galloway, could produce benefits ten times greater than those from the £1 billion waterfront regeneration.
The event was the latest in Abertay Business School’s Innovation for Global Growth (IGG) programme where students work with industry leaders to formulate solutions to real industry problems.
The undergraduates participating in the Tay Cities event were from Abertay and Fife College.
Charlie Malone, project leader of the IGG programme, said: “This is the biggest session we have held so far in this programme which we understand is unique in higher education in the United Kingdom.
“In previous events in the series the students produced solutions to challenges which are being implemented by the companies. This has happened with BT, so it will be interesting to see what transpires from this event.”
Stephen Frew, seconded from Scottish Enterprise to the Tay Valley Partnership, said: “It is a good opportunity to engage with the brightest young minds in this area and hopefully they can provide answers to some of the challenges we are facing.”
David McIntosh of Ernst and Young said: “I hope this occasion will raise awareness of the scope and potential of the Tay Cities Deal project which can be transformational for a region.
“It will be interesting to receive the students’ responses and I would hope that the Tay Cities Plan can gain real momentum.”
The four Tay Valley councils are due to submit their bid for government approval by April 2017.