Scottish Government
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£1.5 billion infrastructure investment

Thousands of jobs forecast from regeneration funding.

An innovative financial model will help unlock £1.5 billion of public and private investment, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed yesterday on a visit to view progress on Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall development.

The Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) scheme is delivering millions of pounds worth of infrastructure projects across Scotland. It allows councils to fund infrastructure by borrowing against future business rate income that should be generated by the resulting regeneration and development.

Glasgow’s £80 million Buchanan Quarter project, already in construction, aims to develop the city centre, and will lever in £310 million in private investment to create almost 1,500 jobs.

The Buchanan Quarter project includes improvements to George Square and Upper Dundas Street, an upgrade to the Royal Concert Hall and Buchanan Street while the Cathedral Street Bridge will be strengthened and access to Queen Street station will be enhanced.

Other projects include:

• Falkirk’s £67 million TIF scheme, also already in construction. This scheme will unlock an estimated £413 million in private investment and includes improvement to the M9 motorway links and Grangemouth flood defences, creating almost 6,000 jobs.

• Argyll and Bute’s £18.9 million scheme to extend Oban North Pier and renewable energy projects. This will start construction in September and is expected to lever in £125 million in private investment and create in excess of 1,000 jobs.

• North Lanarkshire's £73 million Ravenscraig Phase 2 project which will lever in £425 million from the private sector. The project, which was provisionally approved by Ministers in 2011, involves development of the town centre, with retail, leisure, and community facilities.

The Scottish Futures Trust, set up by the Scottish Government to deliver value for money across public sector infrastructure, has spearheaded the development of the TIF model for use in Scotland.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Physical enhancements to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall will combine a flexible new accessible space for creative learning, performance and rehearsal, with digital capability which will connect performers from Stranraer to Shetland.

“In Glasgow, Falkirk, Argyll and Bute and North Lanarkshire the innovative TIF financing scheme will boost capital spending and support jobs and apprenticeships.

“The Scottish Government will use every lever at its disposal, such as TIF, within its devolved powers, to help boost the Scottish economy.

“Scotland needs independence so the Scottish Parliament can have full control over taxation, borrowing and spending to determine investment priorities according to the needs of the Scottish economy and public services, to promote growth, employment and opportunities for all to flourish.”

The Scottish Government capital funding of £8.5 million will provide a new home for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a centre of musical excellence for Scotland and Glasgow by December 2014.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration at Glasgow City Council said:

“The Buchanan Quarter TIF scheme will attract more than £300 million of private sector investment to Glasgow city centre, delivering vital improvements to the public realm and infrastructure, and bringing a huge number of new jobs to Glaswegians.

“While Glasgow city centre is the UK’s biggest retail destination outside of London’s West End, we have to be innovative to ensure we retain such an important economic position. The TIF scheme is a great example of the innovative approach we are adopting.”

Barry White, Chief Executive of SFT said “The Scottish Futures Trust leads the innovative Tax Incremental Financing Initiative in Scotland with Glasgow being one of six pilot projects.

“It is a great demonstration of how the public and private sector can work together in a new way in order to create jobs and to support economic growth.”

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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