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 REPs bring together regional interests, focussing and aligning resources, sharing knowledge, and identifying new joined-up plans 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. Many of these continue, some new partnerships have emerged via City Region and growth deal activity and others are being formed.
Glasgow City Region
Glasgow City Region’s REP, involving eight local authorities, grew out of the £1bn City Region Deal, agreed in 2014.
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.
Partners have engaged on a regional basis in a number of areas, including child poverty, business support, employability, and the refresh of the regional economic strategy.
Full details of the Glasgow City Region Deal, City Region Cabinet and associated work can be found here. The Glasgow City Region has their own YouTube channel – to subscribe or watch please click on this link.
Aberdeen City & Shire
Aberdeen City and Shire are working with Opportunity North East (ONE) – a private sector, industry-led body- and multiple other partners in their own Regional Economic Partnership.
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 ONE developed the RES and formed 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.
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 have agreed to develop a regional Growth Framework, with strong support for development of regional collaboration on economic development and infrastructure investment.
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 the signing of the £90.2 million City Region Deal in February 2020 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 have formed a Regional Economic Partnership – together with our enterprise and skills agencies, as well as the private sector, education and third sectors, which met for the first time in April 2019.
The REP will deliver scrutiny of the growth deal, is developing a shared regional economic strategy and is using funding allocated as part of the growth deal to grow Community Wealth Building across the region.
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 Highlands Economic Partnership 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
Established in 2020, the South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership aims to aims to support the establishment of South of Scotland Enterprise by setting the strategic direction for the south of Scotland. It comprises leading members of Scottish Borders Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, South of Scotland Enterprise, together with appointed members from business, communities, social enterprise, registered social landlords, and representatives from colleges, universities and public bodies including the Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and VisitScotland.
The area will also benefit from investment to support economic growth through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The strategic investments will develop the region’s tourism offer, boost digital infrastructure, improve quality of place, create business premises that will enable businesses
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.