The Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review included plans for development of Regional Economic Partnerships (REPs) across Scotland – each with a clear economic plan for their area.
Regional Economic Partnerships are collaborations between local government, the private sector, education and skills providers, our enterprise and skills agencies, and the third sector. The Scottish Government believes that enabling regional economic partners to work together can identify new ways to accelerate inclusive economic growth at a local, regional, and national level.
Prior to publication of the Enterprise and Skills Review and establishment of the city region and growth deal programme in Scotland, a range of local and regional economic partnerships were in place. Many of these continue. At the current time, six regions have REPs in place, along the lines envisaged by the review. Of those REPs in place, some are more advanced in their development than others.
Glasgow City Region
Glasgow City Region’s REP, involving eight local authorities, grew out of the £1bn City Region Deal agreed in 2014. A City Region Cabinet operates, bringing together the leaders of the local authorities to discuss how best to invigorate the economy of the city region.
Building on four years of partnership work linked to the City Region Deal, Glasgow City Region’s REP met for the first time in October 2018.
Full details of the Glasgow City Region Deal, City Region Cabinet and associated work can be found here.
Aberdeen City & Shire
The 2015 Regional Economic Strategy (RES) sets out a 20 year vision for the North East of Scotland and the £250m City Region Deal provides significant investment to drive forward the ambitions of the region. Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils and Opportunity North East (ONE), a private sector, industry-led body, developed the RES and form the Joint Committee which governs the City Deal.
A wider partnership has formed, including Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, academia and Aberdeen Chambers of Commerce, working collaboratively with the Councils and ONE to drive delivery of the RES and to maximise the opportunities and impact on the regional economy. The central role played by the private sector has been pivotal to the partnership’s success.
Partners are exploring how to further develop their partnership model.
Full details of the Aberdeen City Region Deal and associated work can be found here.
Edinburgh and South East Scotland
Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region agreed a growth deal with the Scottish and UK Governments in August 2018 for investment worth over £1.3bn. Partners in the region are now considering the form of a wider REP for the long term.
A private sector led Regional Enterprise Council (REC) has been formed, chaired by Leanne Dempster CEO of Hibernian FC. The Council comprises representatives from small, medium, and large enterprises from across the region. The REC will look to develop closer working between the public, private, and third sectors and to champion the regional growth deal nationally and internationally to encourage investment opportunities.
Full details of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and associated work can be found here.
Stirling & Clackmannanshire
The local authorities of Stirling and Clackmannanshire have agreed to establish and refine their Regional Partnership governance following Heads of Terms being agreed in May 2018 on a £90.2 million City Region Deal. This will include roles for enterprise and skills agencies, education and skills providers, the third sector, and private sector and business leadership.
Tay Cities Partnership
The Tay Cities Partnership came together ahead of agreeing their City Region Deal. This Partnership has been led by private sector partners, who have engaged with economic agencies and the constituent Local Authorities.
Heads of Terms for Tay Cities £700m deal were signed in November 2018.
Full details of the Tay Cities Partnership and associated work can be found here.
Head of Terms on a regional growth deal were signed by the three Ayrshire local authorities, the Scottish Government, and the UK Government on the 8th of March 2019.
The three Ayrshire local authorities are developing a shared regional economic strategy and have agreed to work with our enterprise and skills agencies, as well as the private sector, education and third sectors, to form a full REP.
Further details on the Ayrshire growth deal can be found here.
Inverness & Highlands
The £315m City Region Deal was signed in January 2017. Full details of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal and associated work can be found here.
Regional partnership working and collaboration is evolving from the economic partnerships already in place. There are a number of strong and long standing partnerships in place across the Highlands and Islands. The Moray Economic Partnership and the Highland Economic Forum consist of a range of partners from a range of sectors, and both participate in the Convention of the Highlands and Islands.
South of Scotland
In the South of Scotland, the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Local Authorities will work with South of Scotland Enterprise once it is established, and with other regional partners, to develop a REP. The area will also benefit from investment to support economic growth through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, which is currently progressing towards Heads of Terms.
Full details on the Borderlands Inclusive Growth deal can be found here.
Scottish and UK Government officials are continuing to work with Falkirk, Moray, Argyll & Bute, and The Islands on progressing their growth deals and associated regional partnership ambitions.