Speaking at the signing of the historic Tay Cities Deal agreement on Thursday, Dundee council leader John Alexander voiced the feelings of many with his opening remarks: “Thank God”.
The milestone ceremony in Perth came as a huge relief, after months and months of protracted talks between council leaders, both UK and Scottish governments, as well as industry chiefs and academics.
The Heads of Terms agreement reveals the list of 23 projects that are due to benefit from £300 million of the governments’ funding.
This includes money for the multi-million-pound transformation of Perth City Hall and a much needed transport hub to replace the ageing bus station.
Perth and Kinross Council is in a good position, with much of the legwork on these game-changing projects already completed or under way.
The city hall scheme, for example, has been rumbling on for several years and after a great buzz of excitement when designers were selected in late 2017, things appeared to have ground to a halt.
Same with the bus station plans. There has been a lot of talk about this project for some time, but not a lot of visible movement.
And the redevelopment of the derelict St John’s Primary School – which was at the heart of the City of Culture bid – is still on the starting block.
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The signing of this agreement is a chance to win back that momentum, get these projects going again and give the city its mojo back.
There are other things to get excited about, including an upgrade of digital infrastructure to deliver super-fast 5G connections to mobile phone users and a £10 million revamp of Perth Festival Theatre.
But there was a glaring omission at Thursday morning’s ceremony. The all-important Cross Tay Link Road, which was at one stage the council’s top priority for TCD cash, was surprisingly absent.
The council has insisted that this crucial project is still on the table, but other funding sources now being looked at.
There is a chance it could secure funding from the extra £50 million promised by the Scottish Government.
With so much hinging on this project, fresh uncertainty over how it is going to be paid for is a queasy prospect.
Hopefully the council can build on its newly-found confidence and find a way over this particular troubled water, before it gets too choppy.