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Sun September 19 2021

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Funding of £384m released for five Scottish projects

19 Dec 18 Funding of £384m has been approved for five projects aimed at transforming areas of Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

The National Robotarium is one of the approved projects
The National Robotarium is one of the approved projects

The projects are aimed at unlocking the area’s potential to become a global leader in data-driven innovation, enhancing skills and employability and expanding the region’s cultural facilities. The £384m investment is a combination of capital and revenue funding from all partner elements of each project.

Funding will be provided to:

  • the Impact Centre music and performance venue in Edinburgh, which is subject to approval by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning Committee;
  • Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh;
  • the World-Class Data Infrastructure project at the University of Edinburgh;
  • the National Robotarium at Heriot Watt University;
  • the Integrated Regional Employability & Skills (IRES) programme.

The £384m marks first tranche of investments in a series of projects as part of the City Region Deal. The Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Regional Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government, the local authorities of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and the region’s universities and colleges. There are also regional partners from the private and third sectors.

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Adam McVey, chair of the City Region Deal’s joint committee and City of Edinburgh Council leader, said: “These investments represent the first step in a hugely ambitious and transformative plan to drive inclusive economic growth and make the region a global leader in data-driven innovation. This success can only come by pooling resources and the funding provided will benefit our communities through enhanced skills programmes, delivering opportunities for business and improved infrastructure. This is just the beginning; further projects are due to be announced in the months and years ahead that will improve the lives of residents across the region.”

Professor Richard Williams, principal and vice-chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, said: “I am delighted to have confirmation of our ambitious plan to develop the UK’s first National Robotarium.  Its work will be a critical part of establishing Edinburgh as a hub for digital transformation, and assuring its global reputation for innovation.  We are looking forward to connecting our universities, business and community partners so Scotland will be at the forefront of developing the future digital economy to serve society’s needs.”

The approved projects are the first in a series of announcements expected to total around £1.3bn over the next 15 years.

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