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University receives £22 million for international research hubs

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Two new international research centres – focussing on aquaculture and the environment – will be developed at the University of Stirling thanks to £22 million in government funding.

The significant investment forms part of a £90.2 million UK City Region Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, announced today by the UK and Scottish Governments.

The University will receive £17 million for a new Institute of Aquaculture and Global Aquatic Food Security facility, as well as £5 million for an International Environment Centre.

The announcement was welcomed by University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac, who said: “I welcome today’s signing of a City Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, which will bring significant economic benefits. 

“Investment in world-class research through the City Deal will enable University of Stirling researchers to further tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. By working in partnership, we can unleash our economic potential, delivering a unique source of jobs, growth, and skills development, both for Stirling, and the wider Scottish and UK economies.”

Details of the UK City Region Deal – funded by the UK and Scottish Governments – were revealed at the Engine Shed conservation centre in Stirling, where heads of terms were signed.

Speaking ahead of a visit to the University’s world-leading Institute of Aquaculture, the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, said: “The UK Government is investing £45 million in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal. The ambitious and innovative deal will drive economic growth across the region, creating jobs and boosting prosperity for generations to come. It is now for Stirling and Clackmannanshire to get on with the hard work needed to turn these proposals into a reality.

“This is just one part of a programme of UK City Region Deals across Scotland. Today’s announcement brings the UK Government’s investment in UK City Region Deals in Scotland to more than £1 billion. All of Scotland’s seven cities either have, or are in negotiation for, a deal. And talks are also underway on the Borderlands and Ayrshire growth deals.

“The UK Government is working hard to boost economic growth right across the UK. We want to work with the Scottish Government where we can to ensure the sustainability and prosperity of Scotland’s economy.”

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Keith Brown, said: “Scotland’s cities and regional communities are the engines of our economy. Today’s Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal demonstrates our clear and strong commitment to supporting and growing the regional economy.

“That is why the Scottish Government has agreed to invest £45.1 million as part of a £90.2 million City Region Deal that will deliver significant long-term benefits for Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Scotland as a whole.

“This deal has the power to build on the area’s socio-economic strengths and expertise, developing them to transfer the economy, bringing sustained economic growth and positive social impact to all of its communities.”

Professor Herve Migaud, of the Institute of Aquaculture, discusses the global impact of Stirling’s research with the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP

The new development for the Institute of Aquaculture will form part of a new Aquaculture Innovation Hub, which will operate four aquatic research facilities. Unique in the UK, the hub will provide the full range of marine environmental conditions, and create research and development opportunities to grow the export of Scottish aquaculture skills and products.

The International Environment Centre, involving a number of partners including Forth Valley College, will draw together academic expertise from across Scotland, the UK and the world. It will connect environmental research with business opportunities and training and will take full advantage of the natural environment and heritage of the region.

The City Deal will also include new and improved Active Travel routes across the region, and the development of a programme of investments in digital skills, training and business development, alongside the creation of digital hubs in Callander and Alloa.

It will also see the development of the Scottish Tartan Centre in Stirling to celebrate the history of the iconic fabric; the release of MOD land to the council to align with their housing and business plans; and support from the Department of Work and Pensions to help people from disadvantaged groups in Clackmannanshire to access work.

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