More than £300M of public money will be provided to Inverness as part of a UK City Deal for economic growth.
A UK City Deal will invest over £300M in projects that will help the economic growth of Inverness and the Highlands, creating more than 3,000 jobs over the next two decades.
UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop was in Inverness today to announce the details of the UK City Deal, which includes money from the UK Government, Scottish Government, Highland Council, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The UK Government created City Deals as a way to provide UK cities with the power and resources to unlock the economic potential of their city.
The government is proving £53.1M of new money as part of the Inverness City Deal, for spending on areas that are reserved responsibility for the UK Government.
These include investing into extended digital coverage in the Highland area, enabling it to become the most digitally connected rural region in Europe, including superfast broadband and mobile 4G connectivity.
The money will also support a package of new innovation measures that builds on existing academic and industry expertise in Inverness, as well as business support networks across the Highlands. This will include a Northern Scotland Innovation Hub and the exploration of ways to support a multi-disciplinary centre focused on the commercialisation of new medical products and technologies.
Work will also be done to ensure business-friendly air-routes to international hubs and improved access to London.
Speaking in Inverness, Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop said: “This UK City Deal has the potential to transform the economy of Inverness and the Highlands. City Deals are all about unlocking the economic opportunities for a city and this deal could leverage in private money that makes the total package for Inverness something nearer to £1Bn. This is a very exciting time for the city and the region.
“In my view, the Inverness deal also marks a step change in closer working between the UK and Scottish Governments. Both governments have pulled together to deliver the best possible deal for Inverness, and that is what people in the city expect of their two governments.”