ABERDEEN, Dundee and Glasgow are all interested in hosting new Investment Zones, Michael Gove has revealed.

The Levelling Up Secretary told MPs he had held discussions with the leaders of the three SNP-run administrations about the low-regulation economic areas. 

He said it was an example of the Scottish and UK Governments working in a "way which is better together," referencing the name of the No campaign during the 2014 referendum on independence. 

READ MORE: Scottish and UK ministers hold 'constructive' discussions on investment zones

The zones were a central plank of the disastrous mini-budget of former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

They are special areas where firms pay less tax and where there are fewer restrictions on building - both commercial and residential - with planning rules significantly curtailed. 

While Jeremy Hunt ditched most of the economic proposals of his predecessor's catastrophic time in No 11, the zones survived.  

In March, during his budget speech, the Chancellor told the Commons that there would be a dozen of the areas, which he labelled “12 potential Canary Wharfs”.

He promised that there would be "at least one" in Scotland

Last October, the then deputy first minister John Swinney told Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration committee that there were discussions about "what those zones might look like” in Scotland

In the Commons on Monday, the SNP's Deidre Brock asked Mr Gove to detail the discussion he had with "devolved counterparts on the potential location of investment zones in Scotland."

The MP for Edinburgh North and Leith also urged him to spell out the steps he was taking "to tailor those zones to Scotland's economic strengths and the Scottish Government's ambition of transitioning to a wellbeing economy."

Mr Gove replied: "I've had good conversations with the SNP leaders of Aberdeen and Dundee Council and indeed the SNP leader of Glasgow Council, and also with the Deputy First Minister, about precisely this.

"We want to make sure that investment zones like freeports are an example of the Scottish Government and the UK Government working in a way which is better together."

READ MORE: Rejected Clyde freeport bid scored higher than Cromarty Firth

Earlier this year, the Scottish and UK government awarded Green Freeport status to Inverness and Cromarty Firth in the Highlands and Firth of Forth on the east coast.

Both Glasgow and Aberdeen lost out in the process which was dogged by claims of unfairness. 

There was also anger in Glasgow over the government's last-minute rule change to the level-up funding process which meant the city's bids were deemed ineligible.

It is understood Mr Gove's conversations with Glasgow and Dundee were fairly informal. 

The Herald understands that when Susan Aitken met with the minister she made the case that it was "Glasgow’s turn."

The Herald:

John Alexander, who leads Dundee City Council told The Herald that investment zones were "a vehicle worthy of exploring."

He added: "The bottom line is that you need to be in the conversation from the outset, in order to potentially benefit from the proposal. You've got to be in it, to win it, to coin another phrase.

"On a recent visit to Dundee, I set out the clear case for economic interventions of scale in cities like Dundee. I think the UK and Scottish Governments need to give serious consideration as to where an investment zone will have the biggest impact.

"Potentially, an investment zone could have a disproportionately positive impact in an area with higher deprivation, compared to placing it in a location that is already affluent.

"The justification for Dundee to host initiatives such as an investment zone is clear and robust. It will also help governments to meet their objectives in creating prosperity."