Glasgow and the surrounding areas have benefited from more than a quarter of a billion pounds of investment since the creation of a new fund that aims to shift control of decisions away from central government.

City Deals were enacted by the UK government in 2012 to promote economic growth and infrastructure and Glasgow’s is the largest, taking in areas including Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. 

Figures show £263 million of the £1.13 billion infrastructure fund has been invested in that time with local companies benefitting from more than £116 million in contracts.

Over 20 years the deal will deliver 21 major infrastructure projects, covering the entire region with a focus on regenerating and revitalising areas with forward-thinking designs that are both sustainable and adaptable to the challenges of climate change.  

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They includes the £115 million Avenues Programme which will re-design and transform many of Glasgow’s iconic public spaces with more trees, rain gardens to improve drainage, and active travel routes to make it easier to move about the city on foot or by bike. 

The lower half of Sauchiehall Street was the area to benefit and the next phase on the remaining stretch is due to get underway.

To the north of Glasgow a huge area of polluted land has been cleaned up so a new community can be built with easy access to the city centre, while Europe’s first Smart Canal system will help the city manage extreme weather and prevent flooding.

The £17million  project will combine the 250-year-old Forth & Clyde Canal with 21st century technology to mitigate flood risk.

Advanced warning of heavy rainfall will automatically trigger a lowering of the canal water level to create capacity for surface water run-off. Up to 3000 new homes are also planned for the area.

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Many projects outside the city are also improving links and supporting revitalisation, including the construction of a new bridge across the Clyde, regeneration at Ravenscraig and Exxon industrial sites, and a new terminal for cruise liner visitors at Greenock. 

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart visited Glasgow yesterday to mark the investment mileston, hear about progress on the deal’s many projects and see the development of Sauchiehall Street.  

He said: “It’s fantastic such great progress is being made on the Glasgow City Region Deal.  

“These projects are making a real difference to communities: creating jobs, building sustainable public spaces, and attracting further investment to the area.  

“The deal will play a vital role as we build back better from the pandemic, and we will continue to work closely with local authorities and the Scottish Government to achieve this.

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“The UK Government is investing more than £1.5 billion into City Region and Growth Deals across the whole of Scotland.”

The City Deal infrastructure fund is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments who are each contributing £500 million, with a further £135 million coming from local authority partners. 

The deal, which signed its first agreement in 2014, is also marking its 7th birthday since its inception, with the UK and Scottish governments recently reaffirming their continued commitment and joint working on the deal by accelerating the delivery of £65 million funding to help projects progress to their next stage.