The Scottish Government set out an ambition to develop Regional Economic Partnerships in the Enterprise and Skills Review, published in October 2016. This was followed by a “Phase 2” report on Regional Partnerships in June 2017.
Regional Economic Partnerships have developed from the bodies which came together to deliver the first City Region Deals in Scotland. However, their potential value to the regional economies is much greater than the sum of the funding that we, and partners, have committed to them.
Regional Economic Partnerships will achieve their true value in creating better connections between the partners involved; including local and national government, the private sector, and education. This is why we want to see every community in Scotland represented and advocated for by a Regional Economic Partnership.
We recognise that every area of Scotland is unique, and has its own challenges and opportunities, so we are not prescribing what form Regional Economic Partnerships take.
Regional Economic Partnerships will form one of the key stakeholders and research considerations when considering the work of the Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth.
Regional Economic Partnerships
Glasgow City Region
Glasgow City Region’s Regional Economic Partnership grew out of the £1b+ City Region Deal which Glasgow City Region received in 2014.
The eight local authorities involved in the deal recognised that, beyond the record investment, there needed to be a development of how the local authorities work together as partners across the region. The City Region Cabinet was formed, bringing together the leaders of the Local Authorities to discuss how best to invigorate the economy of the city region. In March 2018 the City Region Cabinet agreed to formally create a Regional Economic Partnership, as described in the Enterprise and Skills Review. This includes formal roles for the Scottish and UK Governments, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the private sector.
Full details of the Glasgow City Region Deal, City Region Cabinet and associated work can be found here, on their dedicated site.
Aberdeen City & Shire:
Aberdeen’s Regional Economic Partnership is based around a partnership between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils alongside industry body Opportunity North East (ONE).
A City Region Deal was agreed in 2016 which provides £250m of investment over 10 years. To maximise the positive impact on the regional economy, a 20 year Regional Economic Strategy was created. Partners including the Local Authorities, ONE, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University, VisitScotland and North East of Scotland College monitor the delivery of the plan.
ONE’s Economic Leadership Board – comprising representatives from the private and public sector – provides a regional economic forum for the partnership.
The Joint Committee which provides governance for the City Deal, and whose partners form the basis of the Regional Economic Partnership, are exploring how to further develop their partnership model.
Full details of the Aberdeen City and Shire Deal and associated work can be found here, on their dedicated site.
Inverness & Highlands:
Inverness and Highlands Regional Economic Partnership formed as a result of the £315m City Region Deal signed in January 2017.
A suite of projects were identified to be taken forward, in collaboration with the Community Planning Partnership, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and others. Partners including Transport Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highland and Islands lead on certain projects.
The Highland Economic Forum, consisting of a wide network of private and public bodies, provides advice to the programme board who oversee the City Region Deal.
Full details of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal and associated work can be found here, on their dedicated site.
Edinburgh and South East Scotland
The Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal reached Heads of Terms in July 2017, with a total investment of over £1bn.
As part of the Heads of Terms, a partnership was created between the seven local authorities involved, alongside the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. This grouping is expanding its reach through the development of a governance framework which not only allows for oversight of the strategic projects included in the deal, but also for a regional economic strategy which provides links to the private sector, enterprise and skills agencies, Scottish and UK Governments.
Full details of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and associated work can be found here, on their dedicated site.
Stirling & Clackmannanshire
Heads of Terms on a £90.2 City Region Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, jointly funded by the Scottish and UK Governments were signed on 31 May 2018. As part of the Heads of Terms the partners have agreed to develop and refine their Regional Economic Partnership structure involving the local authorities, our enterprise and skills agencies, education and skills providers and the private sector.
Scottish Government officials are working with the following areas to develop their aspirations to have Regional Economic Partnerships and City Region/ Growth deals:
- Tay Cities
- The Ayrshires
- Argyll & Bute
- The Islands
In the South of Scotland the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Local Authorities will work with the South of Scotland Economic Agency, as well as existing structures, towards developing a Regional Economic Partnership, whilst the area will benefit from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.