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CITIES SHARE£90M GROWTH FUND

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The executive today approved a£90m growth fund aimed at improving the quality of life for the people who live in S...
The executive today approved a £90m growth fund aimed at improving the quality of life for the people who live in Scotland's six cities.

Finance and public services minister Andy Kerr said it would allow Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling to start work on developing a vision of being among the best in Europe.

The £90m growth fund is backed by other proposals:

* An additional £20m to bring vacant and derelict land back into economic use - both Glasgow and Dundee will benefit from this fund

* A consultation paperissued today setting out innovative ideas on business improvement districts to help local authorities and businesses work together to improve the business environment throughout Scotland

* A consultation paper on urban regeneration companies, to be issued shortly, looking at innovative ways of improving the delivery of regeneration and involving both private and public sectors

The executive also wants regular meetings between all six cities to ensure closer joint working as their visions take shape.

In Dundee today, Mr Kerr said:

'Our six cities - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling - have distinctive strengths and, of course, distinctive challenges. They do, however, share the aim of being six of the best in Europe.

'This £90 million of Executive funding will allow our cities to start work on turning that shared vision into reality. Our approval of these Cities Growth Fund proposals builds on the good work our Cities have already undertaken in partnership with the executive.

'Cities have a fundamental role to play in growing our economy. They are also crucial to our social and cultural life - not just in the cities themselves, but in the wider regions.

'I am excited by the innovative proposals the cities have drawn up. They cover a wide range of priorities and addr ess social, economic and cultural needs. Importantly, they will make a real difference to the quality of life in our cities.

'Central to this is working in partnership. We want our cities to work with the public sector, with the private sector and, crucially, with each other.

'The executive will arrange regular meetings with all six cities to ensure they are working together as much as possible. I attach particular priority to Glasgow and Edinburgh collaborating more closely.

'We are also backing our cities in assisting them to put in place innovative ways of stimulating economic growth and regeneration. We are issuing today a Consultation paper on business improvement districts and will be issuing later this month our ideas on urban regeneration companies.

'Both hold out the prospect of combining the different skills of the public and private sectors to create greater wealth. In this we aim to learn from experience elsewhere.

'Business improvement districts are another example of the executive providing an opportunityfor local solutions to local issues. Through BIDs, local authorities and the local business community can work together to take forward schemes which benefit both business and the local community.'

The minister added:

'Aberdeen will receive £11.5m. The growth fund proposals focus on diversification, internationalism, skills, infrastructure and culture for the city's future direction. This includes £1.5m on the Energy Fund, £1.5m on Urban Realm, £1.2m for a development company and £1m for an arts fund.

'Dundee will receive £9.3m. The proposal has a strong focus on the regeneration of the waterfront, with £9.3m directed to this initiative.

'Glasgow will receive £40m. The proposals are aimed at addressing social, economic and environmental challenges. This includes £9.7m on a vocational training programme, £9m on the Clyde Gateway Industrial Development, £6m on regeneration on the Riv er Clyde and £5.4m for business and training centres in deprived areas.

'Edinburgh will receive £24.2m. The proposals have a strong focus on transport, education, housing and enhancing the city centre. This includes £8.7m for the City Centre, £3.8m for bus information and service improvements, £3m for affordable housing and £1 million for Hermiston park and ride.

'Inverness will receive £3.1m. There is a broad focus to the proposals, including £500,000 for upgrading of the public domain around the castle and river, £500,000 for the Wired City initiative, £500,000 for streetscape improvements in the city centre and £500,000 for waste management.

'Stirling will receive £1.9m. The proposals have a strong focus on sustainability, health and inclusion. This includes £700,000 for a sustainability centre, £400,000 on routes and linkages, £200,000 on city gateways and £50,000 on castle area improvements.'

The Cities Review was announced in December 2000.The review concluded with a report in January 2003. At the same time, the executive launched the Action Plan Building Better Cities, which commissioned city councils to draw up city visions and proposals for spending a £90m city growth fund.

Detailed Proposals:

ABERDEEN

Citadel Arts Centre - £900,000

Energy Fund - £1.5 million

Refurbish Victorian Gardens - £800,000

Development company - 1.2 million

Festivals/Events - £600,000

Arts Fund - £1 million

Sports Developments - £1.5 million

Exploring the city - £600,000

Harbour area - £500,000

Urban realm - £1.5 million

Covered city - £600,000

Connected city - £700,000

Total - £11.5 million

DUNDEE

Regeneration of Waterfront - £9.3 million

Total - £9.3 million

EDINBURGH

Bus information and service improvements - £3.8 million

Hermiston park and ri de - £1 million

Usher Hall - £2 million

Winter festivals - £1.1 million

Edinburgh International Festival - £400,000

Theatre Fund - £1.2 million

MTV Awards - £100,000

Parks - £300,000

Affordable housing - £3 million

City centre public realm - £8.7 million

Joined up for jobs - £500,000

Urban Design support - £300,000

City region branding - £1 million

Support for city region working - £800,000

Total - 24.2 million

GLASGOW

Vocational Training Programme - £9.7 million

Clyde Gateway Industrial Development - £9 million

Glasgow North Canal Restoration - £2.7 million

Waste Management Innovation Fund - £1 million

Gartloch and Cardowan Corridor - £2.2 million

River Clyde Regeneration - £6 million

Business and training centres in deprived areas - £5.4 million

Traffic management and public access - £4 million

Total - £40 million

INVERNESS

Upgrading of public domain around Castle/River - £500,000

Wired city - £500,000

Streetscape improvements in centre - £500,000

Waste management - £500,000

Development of new UHI office - £100,000

Support for Merkinch SIP - £100,000

Voluntary resource centre - £100,000

City project office - £100,000

Strategic transport studies - £100,000

Design masterplan - £100,000

Pilot Business Improvement District - £100,000

City Centre Demonstration project - £100,000

Community Trust - £100,000

Support for commuter rail - £100,000

Eden Court - £100,000

Total - £3.1 million

STIRLING

Sustainability Centre - £700,000

WHO Health city - £38,000

Stirling style - £200,000

City gateways - £200,000

Routes and linkages - £400,000

Spaces - £70,000

Riverside improvements - £75,000

Stirl ing URC - £100,000

Castle area improvements - £50,000

City region study - £19,000

Total - £1.9 million

A business improvement district is a partnership agreement between a local authority and local businesses to secure additional services in order to improve the business environment. A BID would be funded, at least in part, by an agreed increased business rate payments.

In the partnership agreement, the executive set out the aim of working with local authorities to establish BID. The development of a BID system in Scotland was recommended by the Local Government Committee of the Scottish parliament in its Report of Inquiry into Local Government Finance. Subsequently, it was considered as part of the Executive's Cities Review and a number of issues were highlighted for consideration as part of this consultation.

BIDs are not restricted to the cities and part of the consultation will be the potential for BIDs in rural areas. The closing date for responses to the consultation will be October 10.

A paper on Urban Regeneration Companies will issue later this month. It will set out ways in which the public and private sectors can come together in delivery vehicles top regenerate areas. The creation of urban regeneration companies in England was a response to the Lord Rogers 1999 Urban Task Force. They are 'dedicated arms length bodies' responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of urban regeneration projects.

Three pilots were initially launched following the Task Force report. In November 2000, the UK government's Urban White Paper proposed that a further 12 URCs would be set up in England. In Scotland, the Cities Review report concluded that there is potential for introducing key elements of the URC approach to provide a new impetus for regeneration in Scotland's cities.

The Cities Review highlighted that more should be done about vacant and derelict land. The main objectives of the £20m Vacant and Derelict Land Fund will be to return some of this land back into economic use and also to improve the quality of life of the communities affected. This funding was announced in the Building Better Cities document which was published on 9 January 2003.

City Visions and related spending plans have been drawn up by city councils in partnership with other public and private sector interests. The process has close links to Community Planning.

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