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Glasgow and Northeast Scotland Chosen for Growth with New Investment Zones

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Set to become economic powerhouses, Glasgow and Northeast Scotland are the recent beneficiaries of a significant financial boost, with each region being allocated up to £80 million to stimulate economic development. This move comes as part of the UK government’s strategic levelling up initiative, marking the first time investment zones have been established outside of England.

The objective of these investment zones is to foster growth by focusing on institutions renowned for their research capabilities, such as universities, with particular emphasis on advancing technology sectors.

The substantial funds, to be disbursed over a five-year span, will be allocated towards purposeful investments, tax benefits, and other appealing incentives. This approach is the result of a collaborative effort between the Scottish and UK governments, with the former fine-tuning the agreement to align with their goal of achieving net-zero emissions.

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary for the UK government, lauded this development as a landmark occasion for expanding the scope of the investment zone programme to encompass the entire UK. He praised the cooperative attitude shown by First Minister Humza Yousaf and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison during the deliberations about the investment zones, stating that the shared aspiration is to foster prosperity across all regions of Scotland. Gove highlighted the success of the green freeports established earlier this year in Scotland as a positive precedent.

Glasgow, Scotland.

The allocation of £80 million to the Glasgow city region signals the commitment to facilitating regional growth. Commenting on this move, the Scottish government’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary, Neil Gray, remarked that it serves as a significant step towards the operationalisation of investment zones that bolster Scotland’s economy while synchronising with the nation’s unique priorities.

He said: “Scotland boasts an impressive history of innovation and research. These investment zones can tap into these areas of strength.”

This move comes on the heels of the announcement made earlier this year about the establishment of freeports in the Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth.

Applauding the move, Dr Liz Cameron, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, labelled it as a significant investment for both the Northeast and Glasgow regions. She said: “The creation of these investment zones will catalyse innovation, attract capital and spur the creation of high-value jobs in these key sectors.”

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