|13 November 2015|

A partnership between the Scottish government and the Scottish Cities Alliance is helping to equip the country’s cities for the digital age.

Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney today revealed figures that show the partnership has secured £40 million of investment, including £10 million of European Funding to support smart city initiatives.

Speaking today at the Scottish Governments Cities Convention in Perth, Mr. Swinney said: “The strength of our cities as drivers of growth is clearly indicated by today’s figures that show that the Scottish Cities Alliance, through partnership working, has secured over 10 times the amount of investment provided by the Scottish Government. This is a good return by anyone’s standards and one which we can be proud of.

“These investments are delivering major improvements to business connectivity and providing better links between our cities and centres of economic growth. This is a long-term approach and I have every confidence that there will be more to come in future years.”

The Convention – a Scottish Government-led initiative – brings together representatives from Scotland’s seven cities, and will include discussions around local empowerment and the best ways to ensure our cities are great places to live, work and invest in advance of the publication of the government’s refreshed Agenda for Cities next year.

Cabinet secretary with responsibility for cities, Keith Brown, said: “Continuing discussions with local authorities and community representatives on ensuring our cities continue to be great places to live, work and invest underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to empowering communities.

“Our wider approach is one of partnership. We believe that the people who live and work in Scotland’s cities are best placed to make decisions about their future. That is why we passed the Community Empowerment Act earlier this year. Amongst other things, this enables Scottish councils to reduce business rates to reflect their individual economic development priorities.

“We recognise there is no single approach to achieving our vision for cities and that’s why I am hosting the Cities Convention here today. My colleagues and I are in full listening mode and I look forward to engaging with our partners over the course of the day to ensure the best possible outcomes for our cities and the people who live and work in them.”