Perthshire Advertiser

Vital to get deal signed


Two Perthshire politician­s have joined calls for the UK Government to sign off on the Tay Cities Deal to assure the region it will go ahead despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart and Perthshire North MSP

John Swinney have spoken out following a joint letter from the heads of all four local authoritie­s involved in the ambitious project and a question to the prime minister from Dundee West MP Chris Law.

Despite the cross-party political pressure, the UK Government has yet to confirm a date for the sign-off for what could be a vital economic boost for Perth and Kinross.

Mr Wishart said:“This project commenced in 2016, so it remains extremely concerning that by July 2020 we still have no final signing of the Tay Cities Deal. I commend the work that has been undertaken collaborat­ively by all involved from the four councils of Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Fife and Angus, but it has never been more important that the projects can get under way.

“The economic uncertaint­y that the region faces in the light of the COVID-19 crisis is stark, and the Tay Cities Deal boost could really help with that.

“I have been in talks with a number of the projects who are just really waiting on the green light from the UK Government.

“Without that final say-so, they cannot risk the financial uncertaint­y of putting the first shovel in the ground.”

Mr Swinney added:“It is now over a year and a half since the Head of Terms were signed, and we have yet to see substantiv­e progress towards the implementa­tion of the Tay Cities Deal.

“The Tay Cities Deal will spur growth, unlock economic opportunit­y and create jobs. At a time of such unpreceden­ted uncertaint­y, it is vital that the UK Government demonstrat­es their commitment to this deal, which is now more important than ever. To that end, I would urge the UK Government to take all possible steps to expedite the signing of the Tay Cities Deal.”

A UK Government spokespers­on said:“All partners are working to progress the deal, which will bring a huge, long-term boost to the area’s economy.”

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