Politicians split on Falkirk's £90 million investment deal
and live on Freeview channel 276
Falkirk Council will get £90 million from UK and Scottish governments to boost investment and create jobs.
The £40 million from the UK government is part of Falkirk’s long-awaited Growth Deal.
That sum is being matched by the same amount from the Scottish Government with an additional £10 million for green economy ambitions.
However, it is a fraction of the £238 million Falkirk Council had been hoping would enable ambitious plans to improve the area’s infrastructure and help the area move to a low carbon economy.
Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn says the sum does not recognise the vital importance of Grangemouth’s role in the national economy.
However, the UK Government says the cash will “drive forward economic growth across the area”.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The Falkirk Growth Deal will enable the regional economy to innovate, boosting investment and providing sustainable, high-quality jobs.”
Mrs Meiklejohn welcomed the money which she said would support the delivery of the Falkirk and Grangemouth Investment Zone – but she admitted she was disappointed that the amount was so low.
She said: “We welcome this offer of support and will work with Scottish and UK Governments to progress this initiative while seeking further assistance to deliver on the full scale of the ambition for our area’s economy.
“The award, however, is relatively low considering our population and large-scale ambitions we have for the area and Grangemouth’s strategic importance to the Scottish and UK economies.
“Our plans also included national scale plans such as a transition to a low carbon future and significant reduction in climate change.
“The Investment Zone for Falkirk-Grangemouth aims to transform the area’s economic fortunes at a vitally important time especially post Covid-19.
“We will continue to push for more funding sources to ensure the vital role the local economy plays in Scotland and further afield is recognised and supported leading to large scale employment opportunities as well as enabling innovation.”
As one of the last council areas in Scotland to be awarded a Growth Deal, Falkirk Council had been discussing the bid with both UK and Scottish Government for the past year.
The Scottish Government contribution of £50 million, which will be invested over 10 years, will fund targeted economic development activity across infrastructure, transport, innovation, energy transition and skills.
Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Falkirk Growth Deal demonstrates our commitment to supporting the region and delivering long-term benefits to the local communities and businesses.
“We will continue to work with our partners in Falkirk and the UK Government, supported by our enterprise and skills agencies, to help them to consider proposals that will unlock investment and drive inclusive growth across the area, creating a fairer, greener and more inclusive wellbeing economy.”
Message from the editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.