Two landmark projects led by the University of Stirling have today taken a major step forward – following the signing of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.
The University will spearhead the multi-million-pound creation of an Aquaculture Innovation Hub and Scotland’s International Environment Centre under the historic agreement.
The Deal – which will see the UK and Scottish Governments seal their collective commitment to a £214 million investment package in the local area – was signed during a special event at Forth Valley College this afternoon [Wednesday 26 February]. It provides £17m for the aquaculture facility and £22m for the International Environment Centre.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, attended the signing alongside Alister Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, and Michael Matheson MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
Professor McCormac said: “The Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal presents us with a unique opportunity to put innovation and learning at the heart of the drive for prosperity. By working in partnership, we will ensure that businesses, communities and individuals are equipped with the skills, knowledge and technology to head into the future with confidence.
“At the University of Stirling, two multi-million-pound, landmark projects - Scotland's International Environment Centre and the Aquaculture Innovation Hub - will provide fresh thinking and innovation. Scotland’s International Environment Centre will place shared responsibility and sustainability at the heart of the drive to be more productive, in the face of a global climate emergency, while the Aquaculture Innovation Hub will build on and support the University's pioneering aquaculture research, translating global growth into high quality local jobs.
“In working together through the City Region Deal, we will help Scotland play a leading role in responding to the world’s most pressing challenges through creating jobs, enhancing productivity, and supporting wellbeing for all.”
The Deal focuses on delivering national and international sustainability through cutting-edge environmental projects, innovation in the digital and tourism sectors, and boosting skills across the region to create a pathway for future success and resilience. It has seven key areas of investment: innovation; digital; culture, heritage and tourism; capital fund for Clackmannanshire; transport, connectivity and low carbon; infrastructure; and skills and inclusion.
In addition to £90.2m in UK and Scottish Government funding, regional partners will invest £123.8m while private investment could reach £640m.
The Aquaculture Innovation Hub will support the University’s pioneering aquaculture research –recently recognised with a highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize – and translate global growth into high quality local jobs.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s International Environment Centre will provide cutting edge research, and the best possible conditions and infrastructure for businesses to flourish and ensure a cleaner, greener, and healthier environment for future generations.
“This is a big step forward for the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, which will be transformational for the region’s economy, creating jobs and boosting prosperity for the long term
“The UK Government is investing more than £45 million in projects in Stirling and Clackmannanshire, including in tourism, aquaculture and the environment.
“This is just one of the many City Region and Growth Deals across Scotland, in which the UK Government is investing more than £1.4 billion to create thousands of jobs and opportunities and grow Scotland’s economy.”
Alister Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland
“The Scottish Government is contributing £50.1 million to the Stirling & Clackmannanshire region through this City Region Deal and additional projects. Across Scotland we have so far committed more than £1.8 billion over the next 10 to 20 years to City Region and Growth Deals and additional investments.
“This signing is a milestone moment for the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal. It will make a real lasting difference to the future of the region and inject confidence into the economy, improving the quality of life for local people.
“Not only will this deal create new high-value jobs, it will help safeguard the local economy and strengthen communities across Stirling and Clackmannanshire. I am grateful to all the partners for their hard work in getting to this stage, and I recognise the important involvement of the community in developing the deal proposals.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP
“This deal represents real change for our people and promises an even brighter future for the youth of the region. It will provide jobs and investment to our core industries and sectors and will also target the challenges our communities face in reaching their potential.
“A prosperous future lies ahead thanks to this Deal and I look forward to working with all our partners to deliver the transformational change promised by this landmark investment.”
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer
“On behalf of Clackmannanshire Council I am delighted to be signing the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal which will provide us with the opportunity to realise our shared ambitions for the region.
“Through this deal we have a unique opportunity, together with the University of Stirling, to create Scotland’s International Environment Centre in Alloa which aims to be a global leader for research and innovation, creating inclusive employment opportunities which will help us in our goal for a more sustainable and prosperous future.
“I’m also pleased that we will be able to move forward in developing plans for the City Region Deal funds for Culture, Heritage & Tourism, Digital and Active Travel which will benefit our communities. We look forward to taking forward locally developed proposals to the Capital Fund for Clackmannanshire as part of the City Region Deal.”
Cllr Ellen Forson, Clackmannanshire Council Leader