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£1.1bn investment in Glasgow city deal

Words: Sam Waddicor

Prime minister David Cameron has announced £500 million of investment into a city deal for Glasgow with the Scottish government matching the sum.

Local authorities in the Clyde valley area will also contribute £130m to the deal, bringing the total investment to £1.1bn.

According to the UK government, the city deal could create 28,000 jobs, as well as helping to pay for roads, bus services and a - previously cancelled - airport rail link. Westminster has also claimed that the investment could eventually create £1.75 billion in economic growth every year.

Glasgow is the first Scottish city to benefit from the scheme after similar deals with Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool were agreed. The scheme involves granting significant economic powers to a city region, provided they have a detailed and sensible investment plan.

In a joint statement, Danny Alexander and David Cameron said: “Glasgow is one of the United Kingdom's greatest cities and, like Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, it not only has a proud history it also has a fantastic future.

“Glasgow plans to create a £1.1 billion infrastructure fund that will support projects such as the city centre-airport rail link, major improvements to the region's roads and bus network, and the development of new employment sites.

“These are genuine powers that will change the fortunes of people across the region by creating new jobs, improving transport networks, boosting businesses and providing skills to young people and the long-term unemployed.

“We want Glasgow to have the freedom, power and tools to innovate and succeed for a brighter, more prosperous future. That's why we applaud the ambitious aim to invest in infrastructure and attract private investment to help local business leaders establish Glasgow as a world leading city.

“Only weeks before the Commonwealth Games showcases Glasgow to the world, this city deal sends a very clear message that the region is open for business. People make Glasgow - and it is the hardworking people of Glasgow that are helping build a stronger economy and fairer society, creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

Glasgow City council leader, Gordon Matheson, said: "This is the start of an era of transformation in the Glasgow city region. This truly historic city deal is the biggest in the UK and the first in Scotland.

"City regions really are the engines of national economic growth and I have long argued that devolving more power to our cities is the best way to grow the Scottish and British economies.

"We have great strengths - a stock of land which can be brought into productive use, brilliant housing and amenities to attract and retain the best people, and universities which are educating the next generation of scientists and engineers."