Agreement has been secured for the spending of the £26.5 million Angus fund which forms part of the Tay Cities Deal.
As the countdown continues to the long awaited sign-off for the multi million pound cross council package later this month, Angus Council has confirmed the UK Government’s commitment to invest up to £5.6m to promote north Angus and Montrose as a clean growth zone.
Initiatives around new technologies will include the development of a drone port at Montrose to benefit emerging offshore wind developments and create a regulated testing area it is hoped will attract companies from across the UK.
It will also see £5.9 million invested in low carbon projects, such as the increased use of electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as reducing the carbon impact of housing.
Agritech investment of £15m will develop technologies to increase sustainable crop production, improve food security and nutrition, and reduce the carbon footprint with the aim of achieving net zero, or carbon-negative, production systems.
UK Government minister Iain Stewart said: “These are an exciting set of proposals for Angus with the ability to transform the region into a powerhouse for clean growth and green jobs.
“From the outset the UK Government was determined that the Tay Cities Deal should deliver for the people of Angus, and our £26.5 million investment will do just that.”
The funds will be used to stimulate the council’s Mercury Programme, a £1bn partnership initiative across the Tay Cities region between government, public, private and community sectors.
Council leader David Fairweather said: “The projects being developed within the Angus Fund will be innovative and showcase Angus assets.
“We had already committed to the Mercury Programme in our council plan at the last full council meeting, but this funding will ensure a strong start and increased pace of growth.”
A provisional date for rubber-stamping the Tay Cities Deal has been set for October 29 – almost two years since council leaders approved the initial terms of the agreement at an event in Perth.
A key issue still to be ironed out if when the Tay Cities money will be shared out.
The Scottish Government has pledged to distribute the cash over 10 years, while the UK Government has so far committed to 15 years and talks are continuing around that.
Fears had emerge that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s surprise decision to cancel his autumn budget might further delay the final signing but the Treasury has said the matter will be resolved as part of the UK Government’s ongoing spending review.
The much-anticipated cities deal is expected to be worth £700 million and will fund projects across Tayside and Fife, including the controversial Cross Tay Link Road, and create thousands of jobs.