Prime Minister launches new Growth Deals funding as he kicks off Union visits in Scotland
Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches new Growth Deals funding during Union visit in Scotland
• Today, the Prime Minister will go to Scotland to announce new funding for local communities
• The Prime Minister is also planning a trip to Wales to meet members of the local farming community
• He will also go to Northern Ireland to discuss the ongoing talks to restore devolution with the political parties
The Prime Minister will make his first official visit to Scotland today (Monday 29th July), where he will announce the expansion of Growth Deals across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, backed by £300 million of new funding.
Making the announcement when he visits a military base in Scotland, Boris Johnson will set out how this new pot of money will help communities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland thrive and ensure no corner of the United Kingdom is left behind.
The Prime Minister also plans to go to Wales to meet members of its farming community as well as Northern Ireland to discuss ongoing talks to restore the Executive with the political party leaders.
Ahead of the visit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
"Our Union is the most successful political and economic union in history. We are a global brand and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous.
"So as we prepare for our bright future after Brexit, it’s vital we renew the ties that bind our United Kingdom.
"I’m proud to be in Scotland today to make clear that I am a passionate believer in our great Union, and I look forward to visiting Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that every decision I make as Prime Minister promotes and strengthens our Union."
As he pledges the new funding, Boris Johnson will also commit to working closely with the Devolved Administrations to roll the Growth Deals out to every region of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
First launched in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2014, the UK Government has already committed £2.78billion for these deals. Supported by funding from the Devolved Administrations, local authorities and the private sector, the deals provide significant investment for local businesses and projects such as the Northern Innovation Hub in Inverness and the Highlands and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen.
Through this new funding, we will begin new deals in Falkirk, the Islands, Argyll & Bute, Mid South West Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens. We will also complete deals already in negotiation in North Wales, Mid Wales, Derry-Londonderry and Moray.
On the support for Growth Deals, Prime Minister Boris Johnson added:
"As I said when I stood on the steps of Downing Street last week, it is time that we unleashed the productive power not just of London and the South East but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
"Important projects like government’s Growth Deals – today backed with £300m new funding – will open up opportunities across our Union so people in every corner of the United Kingdom can realise their potential."
The Growth Deals pledge follows the Prime Minister’s announcement over the weekend for a £3.6 billion Towns Fund supporting an initial 100 towns in England. Today, the Prime Minister also reaffirmed his commitment to begin discussions with the Devolved Administrations around how we can better support towns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and make sure areas throughout the United Kingdom can thrive and enjoy a prosperous future outside of the EU.
Welcoming the announcement, Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said:
"The Prime Minister’s announcement of £300 million Growth Deals to level up the support we give to our towns and cities is great news for Northern Ireland.
"I am looking forward to working with our partners in Northern Ireland - in particular, I hope very soon, a restored Executive - on how we make the most of this, building on the success we have had agreeing a City Deal for Belfast and the progress we have made on a deal for Derry and Strabane."
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:
"It’s really great news that the Prime Minister is committed to ensuring that every part of Scotland benefits from UK Government Growth Deals.
"This investment will enable us to build on the success of our existing Growth Deals, which are helping to create jobs and boost local economies right across Scotland.
"I have been closely involved with the new Borderlands Growth Deal, which is a fantastic example of the UK Government working with partners to address local needs.
"The UK Government has already committed more than £1.39 billion to City Region and Growth deals in Scotland. Eight are already in place and work to finalise a ninth in Moray is underway."
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said:
"Wales is the only nation of the UK where Growth Deals have already been announced to cover all of our communities and the Prime Minister and I are committed to building on the successes of our existing collaborative achievements in both south and north Wales.
"For the Mid Wales Growth Deal, I am keen for us all to be as ambitious as possible in driving forward the development of projects, so that they can deliver enduring benefits to businesses and people right across the region."