Theresa May confirms landmark £1.2 billion funding boost for Edinburgh and south-east Scotland

Prime Minister Theresa May (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Prime Minister is visiting Scotland at the start of the famous Edinburgh fringe festival and will outline details of a funding boost for the country - post Brexit success.

Theresa May will announce a £1.2 billion city deal for Edinburgh and the south-east of Scotland - with both the Scottish and UK Governments committing £300 million towards this.

The initiative aims to improve housing and transport links, support cutting-edge research at the capital's three universities and help to build a new concert hall.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister said: "I am pleased to be in Edinburgh today for the city’s annual celebration of the arts and culture."

The deal will be formally signed off by Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Theresa May. Credit: PA

May is visiting Edinburgh as the captial’s annual festival season gets under way - she said the city is a 'cultural inspiration' for the rest of the world.

"From the Fringe, to the International Festival, festivals dedicated to science, books and storytelling, the city is truly a cultural inspiration for the rest of the UK and the world," she added.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the work ministers are doing to "create more good jobs and spread economic prosperity across the country" as Britain prepares to leave European Union.

May breaks down how the funding will be invested as the city deals in Scotland will help 'to create jobs and open up new economic opportunities throughout the nation."

Acrobats from Cirque Berserk perform on the streets of Edinburgh to help launch the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018, ahead of their festival debut. Credit: PA

The funds will support economic growth across the region through housing, innovation, transport, skills and culture.

UK Government is set to work in partnership with business, academia and the devolved administrations to "create more good jobs and spread economic prosperity across the country," May added.

She said the city deals open up new possibilities for Scotland's future and is part of a wider "modern industrial strategy."

She added: “Today I have also announced a further £13 million for investment in six science centres in the UK, including Dundee and Glasgow, to drive innovation in science and technology.

Dundee and Glasgow will benefit from some of the £13 million the UK Government is investing in this.

Theresa May visited Ayr in Scotland earlier this year in March 2018. Credit: PA

"By making the most of our country’s assets and the talents of all of our people, we can build a brighter future for the whole UK," May explained.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Edinburgh and the south-east of Scotland is an area of huge importance to the Scottish economy.

"The region contains over a quarter of Scotland’s population and contributes £33 billion to the Scottish and UK economies."

Sturgeon added: "Taken together, these projects will help the region continue to thrive and grow, fulfilling our ambitions for the region to be one of the fairest and most inclusive areas in the country."

Nicola Sturgeon pictured with Theresa May after talks in November 2017. Credit: PA

Investment from the Scottish Government will contribute towards:

The investment was welcomed by Scottish officials, who said it "will allow us to unlock the region's potential."

City of Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: "The agreement of this ambitious deal heralds the beginning of a transformative and inclusive programme which will help share our success right across the region.

"This investment will allow us to unlock the region’s potential to become a global powerhouse in data-driven innovation through our exceptional research and development activities, whilst the commitment to a skills programme will enhance job prospects for everyone."