Tay Cities partners are to call for urgent talks with the UK and Scottish governments aimed at overcoming the two remaining stumbling blocks in the way of the final deal being signed.
A key demand will be the acceleration of funding in the next five years to help maximise the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic through the economy and jobs-boosting programme.
A remote meeting of the Tay Cities Deal Joint Committee welcomed confirmation that both UK and Scottish Governments have indicated they are ready to sign the final deal.
It is now hoped talks will take place next month at Westminter and Holyrood level over the outstanding issues.
The first is that local partners remain committed to secure a 10-year term from the UK Government to match that of Scottish Government.
The UK Government has committed to a review after the deal is signed as part of the autumn comprehensive spending review.
Council leaders in Dundee, Angus, Perth & Kinross and the north east part of Fife say they will seek to demonstrate that the Tay Cities projects can be delivered in that timescale, and that the shorter phasing is essential to maximise economic impact.
The second outstanding issue is a request of both governments to collaborate on accelerated funding – in the first five years of the deal – to speed up the delivery of key projects and ensure their impact is felt sooner.
Councillor David Ross, Fife Council co-leader and Joint Committee chairman, said: “Delivery of the Tay Cities Deal will be a key strand of the response to the challenging economic position facing the regional and national economy.
“The £300million pledged by the two governments will help lever a further £400 million of investment in our city region and, critically, deliver up to 6,000 job opportunities across a range of industries.”
Leaders of the four councils involved in the virtual meeting agreed to seek an urgent meeting with ministers of both governments to negotiate and agree an approach to both of the issues prior to signing.
Mr Ross added: “The Tay Cities Deal will be one of a number of important policy measures that will help recovery from the impact of Covid-19.”
In total, the 25 projects and programmes submitted require investment of £700 million of which £300 million over 10 to 15 years is being put in by the Scottish and UK governments and their agencies, subject to final approval of robust business cases.
It is hoped up to 6,000 job opportunities could be created across tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care if all of the submitted projects are funded and delivered.