A Tay Cities Deal would deliver a significant boost to Tayside’s economy, according to Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
During last week’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK Government is “open to negotiations” about the prospect of a deal.
If the investment bid is successful, the three Tayside councils and North East Fife could share £400 million to improve infrastructure, likely to be supplemented by the Scottish Government.
Although the proposed bid has been on the drawing board for over a year, no concrete proposals have yet been submitted to the UK Government, which will fund any agreement.
Suggestions being considered include proposals to extend Dundee Airport and steps being taken to bring more oil decommissioning work to Dundee.
Opposition politicians have accused local councils of not doing enough to push the bid.
Mr Swinney however believes any future agreement will drive forward the economies of both Dundee and Perth.
He said: “The Tay Cities Deal is a really important measure to strengthen the economic opportunities of the Tay cities.
“It’s a great partnership between the cities of Perth and Dundee and a great opportunity for us to take a strategic leap forward in our economic development.
“I think it contains great economic opportunity for both cities and the wider region to benefit as a consequence of this agenda.”
The Deputy First Minister also revealed his hope that cancelled music festival T in the Park would be back for 2018.
He said: “It’s a real loss for Perthshire that T in the Park isn’t going to be here next year.
“I think we have to actively work to make sure that we can secure this important festival for the future.”