Nationalist politicians representing the areas covered by the proposed Tay City Deal have written to the Prime Minister urging her to ensure the UK government matches the spending commitment of the Scottish government.
The letter, signed by ten SNP MPs and MSPs expresses concern the Scottish Government has committed more than £1.38 billion and the UK government just £1 billion.
Dundee, Fife, Angus and Perth and Kinross councils want the money for economy-boosting projects in a wish-list that includes funding to capitalise on the emerging oil and gas decommissioning industry, as well as transport improvements and investment in businesses and the arts.
Scotland Office Minister Lord Ian Duncan had highlighted the UK government can only spend money within its areas of competency, while the Scottish Government could spend money on projects on any devolved areas.
Lord Duncan had also slammed the Scottish Government for being “guarded and provocative” in its approach and pointed to this as the delay in signing the deal.
The letter also points to the fact Brexit has cost Dundee the potential to be crowned European Capital of Culture, “losing out on millions of potential investment”, a situation compounded by the threat of a “No Deal Brexit” and points out that “Tayside, Angus and Fife are already suffering from the lack of migrant workers that our soft fruit sector relies on.”
It concludes with the plea that the Scottish Government’s funding is matched by Westminster “for this vital investment in our area.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “It is nonsense to suggest that the UK Government will fall short on the Tay Cities deal.
“Our record proves that. So far we have committed more than £1 billion to the cities deal programme across Scotland, with more funding under discussion.
“As with all city deals, the UK Government only usually funds projects that are not devolved to Scotland.
“This is because we already separately invest large amounts of money in the form of a block grant to the Scottish Government so it can carry out its devolved responsibilities.
“Tay partners have put through a variety of interesting proposals, many of which are in devolved areas.
“We are working closely and constructively with all city deal partners to ensure that the projects we support are value for money and will make a real impact in the region.”